By Mohammed Amin, SVP – Middle East, Russia, Africa & Turkey (MERAT), Dell Technologies
The world as we know it, is dramatically shifting because of technology. Since the pandemic began, the way we live, work and connect with one another has changed drastically and this fusion of technologies means that over the next decade, every successful business will need to be digital at heart.The pace of evolution brought about by the pandemic provided a glimpse of what is possible – we now stand at a critical juncture, with the available tools to truly revitalise and reimagine vital industries.
As countries around the world start to think about what “work” looks like post the pandemic, we must consider what this means for business. When I speak to our customers, one common factor stands out – today, digital transformation is no longer a luxury or nice-to-have. It has become a necessity for business success. Given the reach of digital technology and the change it promises, organisations across the MERAT region are in a race to become digital businesses. Some companies are leapfrogging into the future as they have fewer legacy challenges to deal with, while most others are accelerating their IT agendas.
With the importance placed on technology as the platform for innovation in an organisational context, a common mistake is focusing investments on the latest and greatest technology, without a clear vision as to what this is actually going to do for the organisation.
Businesses need to rethink and innovate their services and partnership models
On the IT side, innovate with data, modernise your applications, build IT infrastructure that is agile and secure. It will take new skills, and new ways of thinking, to lead the way and the organisations who succeed will have a competitive advantage to innovate, capture more market opportunities, and achieve higher revenue and business success in the long term.
Then, to maximise the impact of capital investments, organisations need flexible systems that can grow with the business. By adopting a flexible infrastructure, the business can also reduce operating expenses by increasing system availability and improving the productivity of the IT team. In addition, the rate of data growth is not slowing – and currently many organisations are managing upwards of five disparate IT systems to mobilise, analyse, protect, and secure their data – creating complexity and a lack of data visibility.
The promise of emerging technologies in a data-everywhere world
Data is the lifeblood of every business, allowing organisations to innovate in ways never thought possible. Vehicles will become fully autonomous. Telesurgery will remove barriers to vital healthcare. Digital cities will revolutionise our daily lives. With the pace of transformation accelerated, a data-first, data-anywhere business model is required to capitalise on the opportunities in front of us.
As we enter the zettabyte era, with more devices coming on stream, there is a risk that businesses could become overwhelmed if they are not prepared effectively. A zettabyte is the equivalent of 1 trillion gigabytes – about 250 billion DVDs’ worth of storage. Consider that humans and machines will generate, at minimum, 175 Zettabytes of data over the next five years alone(IDC) and we can understand the urgency.
One of the integral facets to data is Edge computing, which is the prerequisite for 5G connectivity and is already turbocharging IoT devices that connect our cities and homes. By embracing the potential of Edge computing, which can capture, store, process, and analyse data where the data is generated, instead of in a centralized data-processing location, we can accelerate and unleash the power of 5G.
On top of this, we see that transformation is occurring at many different layers across the information technology stack in organisations. As AI/ML, multi-cloud, IoT etc. emerge, organisations need to navigate these technology inflections to create infrastructure that minimises the risk of digital disruption by competitors.
It’s therefore crucial to set the foundation for the future of the business with secure and agile compute, storage, networking and data management technologies that can be tailored to business needs and expanded over time.
As we being to turn the corner into a post-pandemic world, I’m hugely optimistic about the opportunity that the digital sector in our region presents, with the push for digital transformation coming from governments, with the end goal of improving citizen experiences and fueling economic growth. For example, another aspect of digital transformation is to harness technology and data to accelerate equality in the workplace, empower gender diversity and champion access and opportunity for all. By cultivating inclusion, we unlock innovation and the ability to thrive and progress.
We should be excited by the power and potential of data and digital transformation to drive long term business and socio-economic success. It is simply a matter of choice – doorganisations want to wait and fall behind, or do they want to be the digital disruptors of the future?
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