‘Cloud technology is the new norm in this hybrid working model’: Travers Nicholas, Dell Technologies

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With the ongoing Qatar CIO Summit in 2021, International Business Magazine had an exclusive and a rather insightful interaction with Travers Nicholas, Country General Manager for Qatar, Dell Technologies.

The interaction revolved around the effects of the pandemic on cloud technology adoption across the globe, the challenges faced in the digital transformation of Qatar and the latest trends to watch out for. Here are the excerpts from the interaction: –

The pandemic had a major effect on technology, accelerating digital transformation from years to a matter of months. How did this shift into high gear enable business outcomes at the speed of innovation, especially in Qatar?

The pandemic prompted many organizations to reconfigure their business operations placing them on the path to digital transformation, which in turn also accelerated workforce transformation and IT transformation. 

In Qatar, we witnessed mindsets quickly shift across all industries, as organizations were propelled to innovate at an unprecedented pace to ensure business continuity. Despite the challenges, there was a huge drive forwards across businesses of all sizes from hospitals adopting telemedicine solutions to schools moving to online learning.

Embracing change in Qatar didn’t just enable organizations to survive, it’s enabled them to thrive in a new digital world. During this time, we worked with local businesses to accelerate digital transformation and work towards helping the nation realize its digital transformation goals, a key pillar of Qatar National Vision 2030.

We also saw a rise in demand for cloud in the wake of the pandemic, driven mostly by organizations wanting to power their remote workforce and become more agile.  As more organizations shifted to a hybrid or remote working model, there was increased migration to cloud, as it provided the flexibility to deal with fluctuating business and workforce needs.

As the country ramps up its growth plans, our primary focus is to help organizations accelerate national and business transformation initiatives with speed and purpose as we work together to power the innovation agenda of the nation.

Qatar is a priority market for Dell Technologies with clients in key sectors such as healthcare, banking, telecom, and the public sector. We aim to build the strongest relationships to help realize the vision of a smart, innovation-backed economy that offers its citizens a sustainable future and improved quality of life.

Though digital transformation was turbo charged over the past 18 months, continuous digital transformation is not easy. What are some of the biggest challenges/hurdles facing organizations in Qatar today looking to digitally transform?

While digital transformation has become central to organization growth over the last 18 months, the current environment has accelerated this transformation to adapt to new business models.

As emerging technologies continue to advance and shape the digital landscape in Qatar, organizations are learning how to use these technologies for better business outcomes.

We are currently working with several organizations in Qatar to move them from their legacy infrastructure to a digital infrastructure that employs and supports emerging technologies.

Some of the other challenges that organizations encounter are having the right roadmap in replicating the office environment (through tools like virtual conferencing, virtual desktop infrastructure or cloud-based desktop-as-a-service) and enough network bandwidth to support access to office networks. Upskilling the IT teams to meet the fast-paced digital transformation demands is another area where companies require additional support.

At the start of the pandemic, many organizations were not sufficiently prepared to cater to a remote workforce. This accelerated investments in technology as organizations had to enhance their infrastructures in a short span of time. Many had to undergo legacy IT migrations, which was a crucial turning point in helping organizations meet customer and employee needs. Having the right infrastructure in place to support and empower remote workers has proven to be business critical. 

Another important element is having a cybersecurity plan put in place. The vast distribution of employees in a remote work setting adds increased vulnerabilities. Organizations should level-up their cybersecurity measures and best practices to ward off potential attacks. Dell Technologies’ broad portfolio of end-to-end business solutions enabled us to support our customers through the pandemic and deliver differentiated results.

Dell Technologies has been supporting its partners in Qatar with the essential infrastructure to build their digital future, transform IT and protect their most important asset, data. As the nation forges ahead in its drive to become a knowledge and innovation hub in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030, we see a growing number of businesses making investments for the long-run as they see the value these emerging technologies provide. Organizations in Qatar have demonstrated technology readiness, leadership, and a resilient culture that is able to adapt and use technology for better business outcomes.

Advanced technology plays a vital role helping companies adapt quickly, stay agile and serve their customer base in an increasingly digital world. Organizations are transforming the way they consume and deploy software infrastructure and applications much faster. What are some of the latest trends you’re seeing?

Hybrid cloud is emerging to be a key trend, as organizations look to unify their environments and get superior flexibility, scale, agility, innovation, and a consumption model that aligns with their business needs. This includes incorporating a mix of on-premises data centers to public clouds and the emerging Edge —allowing them to have greater control of their workloads, data and cloud journey. The coming year should be an exciting one, with more organizations taking up technology to pave the way for economic recovery.  

By 2022, IDC predicts that over 90% of enterprises worldwide will be relying on a cloud mix to meet their needs, with 2021 being a defining year for the multi-cloud.  In the near future, we expect more organizations to take up as-a-service models for cloud, spanning Infrastructure-as-a-service (Iaas), Platform-as-a-service (Paas), and Software-as-a-service (Saas) to leverage the benefits cloud offers.

As the world becomes more connected, increased importance will be placed on the security of devices, networks and data. IoT proliferation and 5G will also take precedent, and we’ll be seeing more demand for edge technologies. The ability to analyze and act on data insights at the edge will accelerate the pace of new data-drive outcomes such as e-commerce and digital business apps. It will also fuel the uptake of connected and intelligent sensors, to facilitate the evolution of smart cities. Artificial Intelligence and machine learning also stand to be used in new and innovative ways, paving the way for the hyperconnected future.

Given the reach of digital technology and the change it promises, there is a need to shepherd these exciting technologies without diminishing its energy and potential. Dell Technologies is committed to making transformation real for organizations, and we look forward to not only strengthening our position as trusted advisors to our customers and partners, but to also help businesses chart a successful digital roadmap for the future.

Expert Contribution By Dell Technologies

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