Managing more

Raj Sabhlok, President, ManageEngine
Raj Sabhlok, President, ManageEngine

 IT management firms such as ManageEngine are growing – and fast. The company has been expanding their presence globally and in the Middle East recently, providing IT solutions and management for businesses and enterprises in the region. CNME took a moment to sit down with Raj Sabhlok, President, ManageEngine to discuss the company and the role of IT management firms.

By IT standards, ManageEngine is no new kid on the block – the company has been providing IT solutions for almost 18 years. With a suite of products designed to streamline IT business processes, ManageEngine strives to be a “one stop shop” for IT management. “We are helping customers solve problems that have been around for a long time,” says Sabhlok. “The issue is that these problems have not yet been properly addressed, and the longer they have been a headache, the larger they become.”

However, ManageEngine isn’t simply providing management tools, it is developing new ways to do business. Sabhlok believes that an emphasis on development is what sets ManageEngine apart from other IT management companies. “We have incredible development power – 85% of our employees are in development roles. We are all about creativity; if you build it, they will come,” says Sabhlok. As such, the ManageEngine team is always looking to address the issues that enterprises face and develop solutions before they become larger problems. Essentially, IT management firms are charged with staying one step ahead.

So what can IT management companies do to make technology run more smoothly? To begin with, the importance of technology in today’s business world must be acknowledged. In Sabhlok’s opinion, there are businesses, technology-based or not, that simply wouldn’t have grown to what they are today without leveraging existing innovations. What management firms like ManageEngine try to do is facilitate the use of technology to support business processes and create solutions so that technology is an enabler, not a pain point. “Customers don’t want to see a lot of blinking lights,” says Sabhlok, “they want to know if there is a problem with a key process, where the problem is and how to fix it.”

By providing out-of-the-box solution to common issues, IT management firms are freeing up the often hamstrung budgets and schedules of the IT department. “Much of the time the IT staff is seen as a department that simply says ‘no’,” says Sabhlok, “this is because as technology infrastructure grows, the headcount at the IT department has stayed the same.” Essentially, management firms want to allow IT departments to do more with less.

One way that IT management companies are allowing the IT department to say ‘yes’ more often is by providing support for the rapidly expanding Bring Your Own Device trend. The management of a BYOD program presents obvious challenges, from protection of personal privacy, to corporate information security. “The challenge is keeping your personal data and your corporate data separate. Very few organisations currently have a BYOD management plan in place, but they know they need to,” says Sahblok.

As enterprises look toward managing BYOD programs and providing support for multiple devices and platforms, so too are they looking further ahead. In the near future enterprises will be faced with  myriad devices – beyond just mobile devices – with varied environments that will need to be managed. “The next frontier is managing all your input devices from one interface. That is where most vendors are focused, so that is where IT management firms must focus,” says Sabhlok, “We need to set up the environments, set up security and provide basic functionality not only for BYOD but for all device management.”

The challenges that IT management firms like ManageEngine face are the challenges of their customers. As the needs of their clients evolved with new technological innovation, so too must IT management firms shift their own focus. “We are very customer driven,” says Sabhlok, “so their challenges are our challenges.” As the technology landscape changes, he says, so too will firms such as ManageEngine.

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