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Navigating the Path to Digital Maturity: Key Takeaways From the ManageEngine User Conference

Insights from the ManageEngine User Conference: Pursuing digital maturity, optimizing digital impact, and enhancing cybersecurity in the modern enterprise.

ManageEngine, the provider of a range of other IT management solutions, including Endpoint Central, ServiceDesk Plus, and Applications Manager. I recently attended their US user conference. It started with a focus on digital transformation, digital maturity, and the evolving role of IT in the modern enterprise.

Attendees gained valuable insights from keynote speakers, panel discussions, and customer success stories, highlighting the importance of aligning IT strategies with business goals and leveraging the right tools to drive innovation and growth.

Pursuing Digital Maturity in the Modern Enterprise

In his keynote session, ManageEngine President Rajesh Ganesan emphasized the importance of digital maturity in today's fast-paced business environment. He likened the pursuit of digital maturity to the constant innovation and optimization seen in Formula One racing, where pit stop times have decreased from 7.8 seconds in 2000 to just 1.8 seconds in 2020.

"The 3X to 4X improvement we’ve seen in F1 pit stop times is the same thing IT management is trying to achieve. We’re trying to deliver our employees and customers 3X to 4X performance and UX improvement. This requires a strategic vision that focuses on resilience and security in the digital enterprise," Ganesan said.

He outlined seven key traits that drive enterprises toward digital maturity:

  1. Digital readiness: Embracing a digital-first mindset at all levels

  2. Intelligence: Leveraging data-driven decision-making

  3. Trust: Implementing explicit verification at every level

  4. Security: Integrating cyber hygiene into routine operations

  5. Resilience: Anticipating disruptions and preparing for the future

  6. Experience: Balancing user needs with technological advancements

  7. Innovation: Actively encouraging the implementation of new ideas

Optimizing Digital Impact and Delivering Digital Outcomes

Bobby Cameron, VP and Principal Analyst at Forrester, delved deeper into digital maturity and its impact on organizational success. He emphasized that customer-obsessed organizations must be digital, and that digital transformation occurs in parallel with the organization's level of customer obsession.

"The definition of digital is a good place to start. I've been in it for more than 40 years; I've been a practitioner for 18 of those and worked in training, ERP, and product planning on the platform and the support base for 30 years. I’ve driven the research into many issues, starting with development tools," Cameron said.

He outlined the five dimensions of digital maturity:

  1. Technology: Determining what you are trying to achieve

  2. Talent: Identifying the skills needed to drive performance

  3. Structure: Organizing talent around technology

  4. Data: Measuring performance and using data for smarter decisions

  5. Partnerships: Selecting partners essential for success

"A key message here is that this same concept of maturity doesn't happen simultaneously. We've been trying to explain that for a while. Every enterprise is different," Cameron noted.

Enhancing Cybersecurity in a Constantly Evolving Landscape

In a fireside chat, Joe Cook, Head of Security, Compliance, and Patch Management at AMIS, and Leon Lewis Jr., CIO at Shaw University, shared their experiences and best practices for enhancing cybersecurity in their organizations.

Cook highlighted the importance of balancing patch management, user experience, and regulatory compliance. "A balance must be set between product management, user experience, and regulatory compliance. So, trying to manage all of those seems challenging, and the job is trying to make everybody happy. It was always hard; doing it in this arena seems to be the challenge," he said.

Lewis stressed the importance of understanding your company's security needs and tying them to business outcomes. "It starts with communications. I know my champions in each university area, so I check in with them. We discuss fighting the bad guys to protect our personal data and academic assets. I also conduct open forums for staff, faculty, and students." He explained that once people know who you are and why you do what you do, you have much more buy-in and compliance.

When asked about the role of AI in cybersecurity, Cook discussed the potential for AI to be used defensively and offensively. "It will bring problems and challenges. It's already been used to create scripts that will cause various problems. ChatGPT has written scripts. You could tell the code came from ChatGPT and was used to infiltrate an environment," he mentioned.

Strategies for Effective Incident Response and Endpoint Security

In a subsequent one-on-one interview, Leon Lewis Jr. shared his insights on effective incident response planning and endpoint security in a remote work environment.

Lewis emphasized the importance of having a concise incident response plan that fits on one page, with clear communication strategies and contact information. "The most valuable lesson I've ever learned about an incident response plan. It must fit on one piece of paper. In an emergency, no one has time to read a 30-page book. The page should outline the steps and include the phone numbers you call when there’s an issue. Everyone should have a laminated copy on their desk and a copy at home. When something happens, they need to begin with step one.," he said.

Lewis highlighted the need for a comprehensive tool to manage updates and reports across various platforms, such as Windows, macOS, and Chrome OS when securing endpoints in a distributed environment. "You have to get this done. It would help if you found the right tool, like EndPoint Central, to hit all of it. The problem is that you have Microsoft, Apple, and Chromebooks. So you need a tool to update it and report to you promptly," he explained.

Fostering a Culture of Cybersecurity Awareness

Lewis also discussed the critical role of security awareness training in his organization's cybersecurity strategy. He conducts regular phishing tests every 45 days and tracks employee performance to identify areas for improvement.

"So it's a major role. And, it's education. We have to talk to people. I do more phishing tests than most people. I probably launch a phishing test every 45 days. And I keep a rolling average of who hits and who doesn't," Lewis shared.

The Importance of Documentation and Automation in IT Operations

Several speakers touched on the importance of documentation and automation in IT operations throughout the conference. Lewis stressed that automation with proper documentation can be beneficial in high-turnover environments.

"I love automation with a caveat. In a high turnover environment, automation around documentation is worthless. So, I do push automation, but I push documentation more, which slows down the process. Because I want all my automation to be documented, either in the CMD control or something similar, because what happens is somebody will do the most brilliant thing, and then they will leave. And nobody will know what they did," he cautioned.

Customer Success Stories and the Future of ManageEngine

The conference also featured a panel discussion with IT leaders from various industries, sharing their experiences and success stories with ManageEngine's solutions.

Krista Ciccozzi, Director of IT Customer Support at ExamWorks, discussed the challenges of managing a growing IT infrastructure following multiple acquisitions. "I think for us, COVID changed a lot of things with people working from home, teams working remotely, and everyone able to work from anywhere. I always felt like that was possible, and COVID affirmed it. From the business perspective, we saw it as an opportunity to cut costs.

We began asking where can we reduce costs and make things more digital for people working outside the building?" she said.

Looking ahead, ManageEngine executives emphasized the company's commitment to enhancing its solutions and expanding its presence in the North American market. "North America has always been a big market for us. Now, with more enterprises using ManageEngine, we will have more people on the ground in North America. We will focus on building regional teams in major states and providing dedicated support," said Sekar Subramanian, Director of Sales, North America.


The ManageEngine User Conference provided attendees valuable insights into pursuing digital maturity, aligning IT strategies with business goals, and best practices for enhancing cybersecurity in the modern enterprise. By leveraging the right tools, fostering a culture of cybersecurity awareness, and emphasizing the importance of documentation and automation, organizations can navigate the complex landscape of digital transformation and drive innovation and growth.

Rajesh Ganesan concluded in his keynote, "To put this all together, we have evolved from offering solo products to providing a comprehensive suite of solutions designed to meet your complex business needs. Our commitment lies in helping our customers achieve their desired outcomes, no matter where they are on their digital transformation journey.

ManageEngine will continue to innovate and build powerful products that help you achieve your current goals and empower you to reach new heights. We are not stopping there; we will continue to be your trusted partner as you navigate the ever-changing landscape of technology and business challenges."


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