Blog post

Commentary on Centrify’s new MDM product

By Mark Diodati | February 19, 2012 | 0 Comments


Industry analysts discuss emerging concepts and current events with journalists. We are misquoted more than you might think (or we would like). Sometimes the misquote is minor. On occasion, the statement attributed to us differs materially from our original statement; we are inclined to speak out and make a correction.

Misquotes can be the result of the interview process. Frequently, we speak to the journalist for less than five minutes, which may be insufficient for nuanced technical topics. Sometimes, the journalist will forward the article to us so that we can provide corrections before they publish it.

Occasionally, misquotes come from good journalists. I’ve known Rob Westervelt (TechTarget) for several years now and he does good work. He contacted me for comments about the new Centrify mobile device management (MDM) product—Centrify DirectControl for Mobile. You can find the link to his article here. I have some corrections.

I like the administrative model used by Centrify DirectControl for Mobile. It naturally extends Centrify’s ability to manage heterogeneous devices via native Active Directory tools. Centrify provides an identity bridge that monitors Active Directory for changes, then feeds those changes  to a SaaS-based service that abstracts the complexities of mobile device interaction. Many enterprises use Active Directory tools to manage users and devices (including UNIX, Linux, and Mac OS), and this model enables them to manage mobile devices in the same fashion. This approach may not work for all organizations, but it is a valid one.

I see no significant issues with managing mobile device policies via Windows Group Policy. It’s a BYOD world and most organizations will leverage an MDM product to manage device policies. Centrify happens to use an existing policy framework.

Centrify DirectControl for Mobile lacks some of the features of the established MDM products in the market. It is a first generation product and everyone needs to be realistic about its capabilities. But I like its administration model and its hybrid architecture. I continually research the identity management capabilities of MDM products, so expect a research document from Gartner soon.

 Additional reading:

Of Identities, Clouds, and Bridges

How Soon is Now: NFC Smartphones and Physical Access Control Systems

Physical Identity and Access Management (subscription required)

The Evolving Intersection of Mobile Computing and Authentication (subscription required)

Market Profile: Identity Management as a Service (IDaaS) (subscription required)

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