Matt McLarty

Matt McLarty

Matt McLarty is Vice President of Client Solutions at Layer 7 Technologies. Matt is focused on customer success, providing implementation best practices and architectural guidance to ensure clients receive the maximum benefit from Layer 7’s products. Matt brings over 15 years of technology leadership to Layer 7, with a particular focus on enterprise architecture, strategy and integration. Prior to joining Layer 7, Matt led the global IBM technical sales organization responsible for application integration software and solutions, notably helping to grow the SOA Gateway business substantially over a five-year period. Before joining IBM, Matt worked as a Senior Director and Enterprise Architect focused on SOA, electronic payments and identity management.

February 13th, 2012

Enterprise Apps & APIs: Current State

Enterprise Apps & APIsI really enjoyed presenting my first Layer 7 webinar last Wednesday, discussing enterprise mobile access and the “bring your own device” (BYOD) movement. This movement is snowballing and is even hitting the mainstream radar as this Globe & Mail article attests.  We can all speculate about what the ultimate impact will be on enterprise IT – and I certainly did that in the webinar – but we have to start from where we stand today. Therefore, here are some answers to the “current state” questions attendees asked at the end of the webinar…

How secure can mobile really be? Can it be used in government or defense organizations?
As Nathan Clevenger observes in his book iPad in the Enterprise, the increasing consumerization of IT has reversed the innovation flow. Whereas government research used to lead to technological invention that would be leveraged by businesses and then packaged for consumers (think silicon chips), we are now seeing consumer technology being embraced by business – and high-security government agencies are relatively late adopters due to their data protection concerns. However, mobile is definitely not being rejected by these organizations, since the potential increase in productivity and cost savings are way too high to ignore. At Layer 7, we feel strongly that our solutions can help the most secure organizations embrace mobile and Cloud strategies, as we are able to open up those new worlds while preserving existing security policies and even leveraging existing security infrastructure through new methods such as OAuth.

Have you seen enterprise customers moving apps to the Cloud to support the scale required for mobile?
Mobile app traffic has the potential to increase Enterprise API volumes by orders of magnitude. We’ve worked with clients who have gone through this exponential growth. This means more revenue for these companies but their infrastructure must be able to handle these new peaks. Satisfying this demand is absolutely driving migration of enterprise workloads to the Cloud. We recently did a webinar with Amazon and Best Buy on just this type of solution and are happy to report that Black Friday went off without a hitch. Our Layer 7 solutions are able to help on both sides of this equation: securing and scaling inbound mobile connections, as well as outbound to the Cloud.

Do you see enterprises using the API Portal mostly for internal or external developers?
Currently, much of the focus of mobile app development is in the public domain. Start-ups and established companies alike are looking to populate the Apple App Store and the Android Market. As we get further along the maturity curve of enterprise mobile migration, more and more apps will be developed explicitly for employees and companies will move to mobile device management for app distribution, as using public repositories will no longer be an option. So today, most of our Portal users are providing APIs for use by external developers but we expect to see a dramatic increase in enterprise portal usage for in-house development.

We’re at the start of a very exciting enterprise IT transformation and I hope these answers provide some insight into where we are today. Now, back to the future…

February 6th, 2012

Bring Your Own Device? Bring It On!

iPad at Work With the popularity of iPads, iPhones and Android devices in the consumer world, employees are not waiting for IT departments to let them use their own mobile devices for work: they are using them en masse. A recent study showed that 67% of North American iPad owners are using their iPads at work and the numbers are similarly high around the globe. This “bring your own device” (BYOD) movement is forcing IT leaders to rethink their technology introduction processes, according to this recent InfoWorld article.

There is more at stake for these IT leaders than just making their colleagues happy. There are big opportunities to reduce cost and improve productivity for companies that embrace BYOD. As Nathan Clevenger describes in his fantastic book, iPad in the Enterprise, companies can gain these benefits rapidly by creating a mobile-friendly enterprise service layer to integrate with mobile apps. Still, there are obstacles.  The biggest concern in allowing personal devices on the enterprise network is, of course, security. In the managed desktop paradigm, workstations could be locked down and managed centrally by the IT organization but this corporate ownership model won’t work for BYOD environments, as users will not be willing to live with the risk of having Angry Birds deleted without their consent.

Fortunately, there is a new class of solution — Enterprise API Management — that allows secure BYOD mobile access to existing enterprise services. Please join my webinar this week where we will explore this topic in more detail.

January 19th, 2012

Enterprise Mobile Migration: A 2012 Imperative

Simplifying Enterprise Mobile Access — A How-to GuideThe proliferation of consumers using smart phones and iPads has, perhaps inevitably, led to an explosion of mobile adoption in the enterprise. In fact, this so-called “BYOD” (bring your own device) approach to workplace connectivity is increasingly driving enterprise usage of Cloud-based services.

However, with these new opportunities come new questions for enterprise IT. For example:  How can I control access to the Web APIs used by mobile apps? How can I secure connections to Cloud-based services? How can I monitor usage in order to protect against malicious attacks or accidental traffic spikes?

On February 8, I’ll be presenting a webinar called Simplifying Enterprise Mobile Access — A How-to Guide, which will provide answers to some of these questions. If you’re interested and you’d like to join me, click the link below to register:

In this webinar, I’ll be drawing on my experience helping large organizations deal with disruptive IT change. From my perspective, it’s clear that giving employees access to corporate data and services via mobile devices will require new thinking on how to leverage existing identity infrastructure, how to protect APIs and how to govern externally-facing IT assets.