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IT industry in an earthquake zone, says ManageEngine's Shailesh Davey

Shailesh Davey, Vice President of Engineering and Co-founder, Zoho CorpPremium
Shailesh Davey, Vice President of Engineering and Co-founder, Zoho Corp

India has been a significant market for ManageEngine growing at about 60% Y-o-Y and one of the reasons for this is the Government's digital push which translates to both bigger and medium enterprises adopting digital solutions.

Shailesh Davey, the vice-president of engineering at ManageEngine which is the IT management division of Zoho Corp says he wouldn’t deny the probability of a tech bubble burst from industry leaders. Davey who is also the co-founder of Zoho Corp spoke to LiveMint on the sidelines of a roundtable conference held in Bengaluru where it had released a report — IT at work: 2022 and beyond — partnering with independent market research agency Vanson Bourne gauging the industry’s growth and trends for the coming year.

Edited excerpts:

ManageEngine has a variety of portfolios from identity and access management to cloud solutions. Where do you see the momentum coming, is there a particular vertical as such?

ManageEngine has a variety of products both on premise and on cloud and we have been focusing on four major areas — IT operations, IT service management, IT security and IT analytics. We have more than 100 solutions in these areas. The major focus at the moment has been on IT security where we have solutions in identity and access management, privilege access management, security information events management and newer products related to Zero Trust coming up. We also have endpoint management and mobile device management. Management here refers to protecting the data through high security levels preventing them from getting leaked or attacked from malware or ransomware.

ManageEngine’s customers are mostly mid-sized companies largely because of its products delivered at affordable costs. How has been the growth in larger enterprises?

Traditionally we have had customers mostly from mid-size segments or departmental level of adoption from large enterprises as you pointed out but the last couple of years, India has been a significant market for us growing at about 60% Y-o-Y. Even from a customer perspective we are growing at 40% and one of the reasons for this is the Government's digital push which translates to both bigger and medium enterprises adopting digital solutions. We have a lot of BFSI customers who use our end point, enterprise management and identity and access management solutions for the last two to three years. We at ManageEngine have been in business for the last 20 years and have heavily invested in technologies without being a laggard. And that’s how we differentiate ourselves from others.

The recent Gartner report where ManageEngine had been named a challenger in ITSM platforms also noted the pros and cons of using each platforms’ products. One area where the competitors of ManageEngine see an advantage is the fast update cadence. What’s your opinion on this?

Competition keeps you honest and I’m sure this is one of those cases. Our idea is to ensure that our cloud solutions address the various needs of the enterprise and we have also been able to carry the enterprise who are looking for a path from on-premise to the cloud. This has been a wake-up call for us and we are enhancing our engineering resources and our release cadence on our cloud solutions.

IT security has been a key focus for ManageEngine and you had called it an area that’s witnessing a huge momentum at this point of time. Drawing your attention to the cyber attack that happened in AIIMS, do you believe there hasn’t been an awareness yet within the establishment and in India today over the threats the cyberworld possesses?

If I were to use a cricket analogy here, the bowler just needs one good ball to get the wicket and the batsman has to play all the balls. Same is the case with IT security, the organisation has to be ever vigilant. One small misstep can make things worse similar to what has happened in AIIMS. Most important aspect here is that the security posture and security knowledge within the organisation has to improve. Also, it isn’t just about having a hard and quick security wall around the organisation but also about being nimble by recouping and recovering the systems.

ManageEngine had planned to hire a thousand people last year as a part of its expansion. What are your plans for the upcoming year?

We didn’t hire the numbers we had put out last year. The IT industry is in an earthquake zone and it has become difficult to make long range forecasts. We are making decisions looking at how things pan out on a monthly and weekly basis. From an attrition perspective, we always had middle-level single digit attrition numbers but we noted a high single digit attrition rate in the first six months of this year. Last couple of months have seen attrition coming down. Our India growth however has been great and so is it with the Middle East and we may have to wait and see how the new year pans out.

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