Digital transformation: The way forward

Channel post speaks with Fadi Kanafani, Regional Director for Middle East and Africa at NetApp on how digital transformation is shaping the future of IT and data management.

Fadi Kanafani

In this digital age, what is the roadmap for NetApp and what is its current focus in the region?

We are a storage and data management company offering wide array of products and solutions. Our extensive product portfolio enables us to offer variety of solutions based on flash, cloud and data center. We are also evolving and have developed solutions for the digital economy that will help companies digitally transform their businesses with new social, mobile and analytics capabilities.

Cloud continues to be our mainstay in the region, but our current focus is on delivering solutions for digital transformation, as businesses are advancing their IT infrastructure for digital era. There is a greater need now to have the flexibility to leverage data and compute resources from anywhere.

Is digital transformation essential for organisations in the Middle East? Why?

Today mobility and digital transformation are not a matter of choice but a necessity. It is something that all organizations need to go through to reach their maximum potential and is reshaping the way organizations work in the region. According to the research firm IDC, 50% of the G2000 companies will see that a majority of their business depend on their ability to create digitally enhanced products, services and experiences by the year 2020.

The market is moving towards cloud adoption and most organizations are ready to digitally transform their business. Millions of endpoints and devices are generating large amounts of data continuously, and there is a demand for access of this data anytime, anywhere. It is, therefore, very important for Middle Eastern companies to be heavily invested in cloud and understand that they need to transfer their workloads to the cloud to accelerate decision-making processes and manage workloads effectively.

What role is NetApp playing in facilitating digital transformation?

NetApp facilitates digital transformation by delivering unified data management across clouds. With our data fabric, organizations can increase efficiency, improve IT responsiveness and ultimately accelerate innovation. Our wide range of products and solutions pave the way for digital transformation by enabling our customers to move to all flash which helps them to respond to their business demands faster. We also encourage our customers to securely backup data to on-premises and public clouds with our cloud-integrated storage solution.

What are the top concerns surrounding the evolving digital landscape?

While digital transformation is important for businesses to increase productivity and efficiency, it is not without drawbacks. The main concern that emerges with the new trends is regarding security. With millions of endpoints and devices, constantly generating information, it is very important that this data is stored a secure manner.

What needs to be done to address such concerns?

Organizations need to ensure that there are governance and processes in place to ensure that they have a robust and secure platform. This raises the demand for organisations to view security as a core consideration in order to make sure that there is no data loss. In collaboration with its partner ecosystem, NetApp ensures that its encrypted solutions are further equipped with added security features to drive analytics and, detect & identify breaches. Also, there is also a need to take on-board well trained and certified personnel having the right skill-set, who can drive the digital transformation strategy while ensuring that safe practices are employed.