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4 Questions with Sumit Johar, CIO MobileIron

For MobileIron, a security-focused company where 98% of business assets live in the cloud, the Software-as-a-Service model is key to survival. CIO Sumit Johar believes that the increased speed and scale of deployment has also escalated the need to find better ways to manage the SaaS portfolio.

Here’s a closer look at how he’s using Productiv to increase security, gain insight, and maximize ROI in MobileIron’s SaaS ecosystem:

Q: As a SaaS company, what prompted the need to improve your own SaaS management practices?

Sumit: Before Productiv, we didn’t have a consistent model that we followed across the board when it came to software procurement. We’re inherently a SaaS company, but most of our customers are not.

We sell a lot to government agencies and other companies that are slow to move to the cloud. These companies have a lot more focus on security and compliance. So as we are trying to sell to them and have them move to the cloud, they are asking us how we are solving these problems for ourselves.

Now that we are managing our SaaS portfolio with Productiv, we have a more organized approach to selecting vendors and comparing them against our criteria for security and compliance.

Q: What is IT’s role in the new landscape of SaaS?

Sumit: It used to be that it took six months for an ERP upgrade. Now, we’re deploying new services every month. You only need to swipe a credit card and you’re live, with or without IT stepping in.

But being in the security business, our IT department needs to ensure that security and compliance are top considerations. We want more info on vendors: are they SSO enabled? Where do they store their data?

We have a minimum of 80 security questions that we ask our vendors. To have this information automatically available is ideal.

And after deployment, our IT team still has to monitor security and compliance. For example, what happens when an admin leaves the company? This could cause compliance problems with an audit in the future. This is where Productiv really helps us, as we can conduct our audits more efficiently.

Q: Why did you choose Productiv?

Sumit: Engagement tracking and productivity were big challenges for us. Once COVID started and people were working from home, we wanted to see how many people are still using tools like Zoom and Slack. We wanted to make sure the work was still getting done.

We had different people giving reports on each tool every week, but this took up half a Friday. Now, we can see at a glance who’s using what. It’s a huge time-saver that lives up to its name.

Q: How is MobileIron using Productiv to manage the SaaS sprawl?

Sumit: Our focus has shifted from pre-deployment to post-deployment and how applications are being used. We’re focused on value creation and getting an ROI for every app. If users aren’t getting the minimum value for a product, there’s no point in expanding it. We love the analytics that breaks down each tool to understand usage.

It also gives us a chance to make employees aware of the services we have. This was especially important during COVID when employees didn’t know we had a whiteboard app.

We’re also more aware of app renewals and expirations. We can get to a conclusion a month before it happens.

Want SaaS without the Mess? Try Productiv.