Organisations across the region have been required to utilise digital tools to help them adapt to the new environment created by COVID-19. Anas Jwaied, Managing Director – Middle East and Africa, Micro Focus, tells us why organisations should look to adopt a ‘smart’ Digital Transformation strategy for business benefits.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted Digital Transformation strategies?
While Digital Transformation was an existing objective for many CIOs in the region, there is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated these strategies.
Many organisations have had little choice but to look to digital tools to help them survive during these exceptionally tough – and unprecedented – times. And these digital tools have enabled companies to keep a laser tight focus on their business goals.
Large enterprises immediately sought to ensure their infrastructure was capable of handling a large upsurge in digital demand while enabling employees to work securely and productively from anywhere. And smaller businesses have faced similar challenges; with many leveraging existing or new digital tools to continue to offer their services.
So, while Digital Transformation was certainly on the way before COVID-19, its impactful arrival means there is now no other option but to embrace this strategy.
How can organisations evolve their IT practices without jeopardising critical business solutions?
One of the most critical considerations for CIOs in the region is around how they can evolve their organisation’s IT practices without placing any strain or pressure on existing critical business systems that have been established for several years.
It’s certainly a challenge and a balancing act. The key is to set out a strategy for a ‘Smart Digital Transformation’ – one which bridges existing and emerging technologies so that you can transform and run uninterrupted at the same time.
Why is a ‘smart’ Digital Transformation so important?
The idea of this ‘Smart Digital Transformation’ is hugely important for several reasons. And the clue is in the name – it really is about making smart decisions to propel the company forward while keeping the important business functions ticking over.
There are a number of reasons why a smart DX should be central to CIO strategies.
From a Micro Focus perspective, there are four key pillars that make up this smart Digital Transformation.
Enterprise DevOps: Delivering at high-speed with low risk. This is central to enabling innovation quickly.
Hybrid IT Management: Simplify your IT transformation.
Security, risk and governance: Secure what matters most.
Predictive analytics: Analyse in time to act.
By making this strategic decision, you can avoid taking a risky ‘rip and replace’ approach and avoid interruption during your transformation.
It’s a holistic approach which reduces risk and has multiple business benefits – driving improved customer engagement and experience, enabling growth and scale, profitability, customer satisfaction and speed-to-market.
Why is it crucial that security is built into Digital Transformation strategies?
Security cannot be an ‘add-on’ to Digital Transformation initiatives. It’s a core element that needs to be built in from the very start – it’s actually a cornerstone of Digital Transformation.
Cybercriminals are constantly evolving their attack methods which means organisations need to have robust security solutions in place as they navigate their Digital Transformation journeys.
We understand the importance of enabling secure operations which is why security is one of the key elements of our smart Digital Transformation platform.
With a broad set of integrated security, risk, and governance solutions combined with deep domain expertise and analytics, Micro Focus can help organisations take a holistic approach to protecting data, identities and applications and evolve for the future.
Can you outline some use cases/examples of how you are helping customers digitally transform?
At Micro Focus we work with customers across all verticals to achieve their Digital Transformation goals.
Here are some key solutions that help you deliver your Digital Transformation, in line with the business requirements and new technologies:
Micro Focus Enterprise Service Management is the single front door to IT and Enterprise Service Requests and a fully automated, engaging, service management experience that saves money. It’s a single solution, based on analytics and Machine Learning, for enterprise and IT Service Management and IT Asset Management. Out-of-the-box it enables faster support resolution, fewer service outages and lower ticket volumes. Entirely codeless configurations and modern, container-based delivery assure low TCO. The intuitive, consumer-grade portal improves user self-sufficiency and satisfaction and decreases ticket volume. The solution with social-media lookalike and experience can be deployed in the public cloud or on premise or can be consumed as a service. ITIL-aligned, it automates out-of-the-box IT and non-IT processes, workflows and tasks and can be easily extended for custom, workflow-based applications without coding.
With the trend to transform and consume everything as a service from public cloud service providers in the region, we are offering Hybrid Cloud Management as a unified automation framework which allows IT to select and aggregate public cloud services, design, deploy, manage and govern tuned hybrid resources, more fully automate private cloud and orchestrate IT processes while providing cloud and cost governance, account/access management, reporting and analytics, self-service portal and ChatOps.
On another hand, Robotic Process Automation provides a practical, non-intrusive way to build, scale and secure automated business processes across the enterprise. Software robots mimic UI-based human actions to perform everyday tasks, while keeping underlying IT infrastructure intact. Robots interact with apps and systems just like people do. But they are faster, more accurate, highly secure and never sleep. They save time. They cut costs. And they free human employees to focus on more important things.
To complement operations with development and transform towards DevOps, Release Management solutions simplify application deployments across all environments by offering visibility and efficiency across the delivery pipeline, enabling repeatable, reliable and audit compliant processes. Complexity is the enemy of velocity and simplification improves application delivery acceleration and operational stability. With Micro Focus you can streamline and remove barriers to continuous delivery through automation to ultimately reduce cycle times, deliver applications with confidence and provide end-to-end compliance and control throughout the process.
To continue the journey and transform DevOps to DevSecOps, Next-Gen SOC solutions equip your SOC team to deal with constantly evolving threats by combining real-time correlation with Machine Learning analytics and automation.
It detects and points analysts to real threats, in real time. By automatically identifying and prioritising threats, teams avoid the cost, complexity and extra work associated with chasing down false positives.
What best practice advice would you offer CIOs looking to improve their Digital Transformation strategies?
It’s understandable that many CIOs may be looking to improve or refine their Digital Transformation strategies to ensure they are future-proof.
After all, Digital Transformation is now an imperative rather than an option. Core to any such strategy should be the ‘smart’ transformation we advocate and support out customers to achieve.
It can be tempting to simply pull existing technologies and replace them with seemingly ‘better’ tools, and while this can certainly work in some cases, in many others it can leave organisations vulnerable to downtime and decreased productivity as teams grapple with these new systems.
By using tools that enable them to bridge that gap between the existing and the new, companies are instead taking smart steps towards their digital futures.
Are there any other trends you expect to see in this space looking forward?
It’s clear that the march to digitalisation is not slowing down and, in order to remain competitive in a tough market, companies must embrace these new technologies to give them the vital tools they need to survive and thrive.
Unfortunately, the time to be complacent is over and the time for action is upon us – there might be challenges along the way but it doesn’t have to be traumatic if you make ‘smart’ an integral component of your strategy.