As organisations seek to redefine how they create, deliver and capture value, many are looking to digital technologies, which in turn are driving transformative changes across industries. However, the digital transformation process calls for far more than just updating technology or redesigning products.
Failure to connect the effort with employee values and behaviours can bring extra risks to an organisation’s culture. A holistic and collaborative effort can help teams shift their perspective to one where they feel empowered to embrace, and drive digital transformation.
Donna’s professional career has been deeply shaped by her involvement in the global open source community. In her current role, Donna works with Red Hat customers to facilitate project success by helping them embrace an open approach to transformation.
As an engagement lead with Red Hat’s Open Innovation Labs, she is focused on supporting customers through the sustainable, resourceful and effective application of open source technology. Donna firmly believes culture plays a key role in putting strategy into practice when implementing technology solutions.
Red Hat’s Open Innovation Labs help bring people, processes and technology together. Through an immersive teaming residency, customers are armed with the skills, tools and processes to deliver better software, more quickly, to meet the demands of today’s market. Open Innovation Labs combines technical practices with cultural practices – to help teams be more collaborative and impactful.
Moreover, as part of an Open Innovation Labs consulting engagement, customers work collaboratively in direct partnership with Red Hat experts to jumpstart their innovation and software development initiatives. The aim is to help organisations meet their goals and stay ahead of competitors through the use of open source technologies.
When defining success, organisations need to ensure their intention and purpose are built on their core values and vision. While this direction often comes from the top, organisations that holistically embrace open principles of inclusivity, adaptability, transparency, collaboration and community are able to accelerate their progress towards digital transformation.
For Donna, the top-down and bottom-up approaches complement each other. Leadership sets the direction for organisations, however, employees must be empowered to contribute to planning and goal setting.
In measuring success, the common criterion is revenue – but retention is also crucial. She feels there is tremendous value to be had from employee satisfaction and the benefits of caring about each other within organisations. Organisations need to create an environment where staff want to stay because they know they are valued. Culture has to focus on respect and treating employees with dignity. This means putting people at the centre.
Apart from trying to increase revenue, retention, customer or employee satisfaction, organisations are also trying to reduce cost wastage and unproductive effort. Success can also be measured by reducing the time it takes to deliver products to market.
Staff at all levels have a significant impact on these aspects. Therefore, organisations must have an intentional and meaningful conversation about value, goals and the way to measure success right from the beginning.
To create a culture that is conducive to organisations’ strategy, empowerment is critical. This is relatively more challenging in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region given how diverse the region is. This diversity brings different layers of culture across the spectrum at a national, organisational and individual level.
Leaders need to be aware of the varying contexts and how it fits into what they are trying to achieve. To create an enabling environment, it is vital to have clarity of vision as well as to get the team onboard. From the cultural point of view, organisations need to create an atmosphere where people feel empowered to embrace the fast-paced change of technology and want to learn new tools and upskill themselves.
The entire situation has been suspended by the pandemic. In the new normal, remote working or hybrid working, has become the default – at least for the foreseeable future. When it comes to these new models, Donna acknowledged that there are trade-offs.
One of the downsides is the loss of real human interactions. Donna feels that organisations must intentionally create space and guidelines for the human aspect in online conversations. For example, Red Hat’s Labs invite teams to create a working agreement to define common ground rules, such as having a cameras-on policy and core working hours for distributed teams. They may also encourage people to use hand gestures during AV interaction, adopting a social contract that recognises the importance of non-verbal communication.
Besides acknowledging the downsides, Donna pointed out that the pandemic has been responsible, to a great extent, for making distributed working the norm. This, in turn, has meant that the metric for employee productivity has changed – organisations no longer assess employees’ productivity by merely the time they spend at work but by the real outcomes they deliver.
Without a doubt, leadership has a huge influence on culture. While she acknowledges that there is no universally accepted definition of leadership, it is a position of influence. Leadership, she says, is less about a position or role and more about modelling behaviours, empowering people, and fostering an enabling environment.
Leadership styles are shifting from managing change to facilitating change. The role is more about helping people become part of the decision-making process, to be adaptable, and to constantly evolve in response to ongoing change.
Information and knowledge is power. When information was less democratised and centralised with top management, people had to accept (at face value) what leaders said. However, as information becomes more widely accessible, the entire workforce can become part of the decision making process. Leaders are not expected to know everything, but are there to source, locate, validate and disseminate information that is beneficial to the organisations’ goals.
When organisations truly empower people – from a top-down and a bottom-up approach – everyone can be a leader and help contribute to the journey. In this way, leadership is not just a single charismatic leader, but a sense of collective responsibility to achieve common goals.
Donna revealed how Red Hat’s Open Innovation Labs has brought two revolutionary forces together – the technology of open source software and agile development methodologies. This is a paradigm-shifting idea.
Open source has traditionally been an asynchronous activity where people work independently online without real-time, in-person communications. On the other hand, agile methodologies have traditionally been co-located and time-boxed. Merging the two aspects builds on both their strengths, creating far more impactful outcomes.
Looking ahead, Donna believes we can all design our future. However, many people do not feel they have the freedom or capacity to do so. This is where the role of leaders is of the utmost importance. Good leadership will openly and freely empower people to achieve their potential. She firmly believes leaders should help staff define their goals and work together on the necessary steps to achieve them.
Donna’s perspective is in line with the concept of “Open Leadership” that Red Hat advocates. It involves connecting to others, extending trust, being transparent, being collaborative, and promoting diversity and inclusion. Open leaders invite cooperation and productive dialogue to create better solutions as well as empower others to share ideas and value solutions from a broad base of contributors.
In closing, Guna elaborated on the issue of leadership more deeply. He agrees with Donna that great results come from leadership and foundational values that permeate the organisational culture.
Guna is a firm believer in the concept of Level 5 Leadership that was popularised in a book, “Good to Great”. Level 5 refers to the highest level in a hierarchy of executive capabilities. Leaders at the other four levels in the hierarchy can produce high degrees of success but not enough to elevate companies from mediocrity to sustained excellence.
Guna compared the main difference between authoritarian and Open Leadership. Companies with an authoritarian style tend to have one distinctive leader that is almost synonymous with the company itself. Meanwhile, companies that adopt Open Leadership do not usually have a single leader that everyone can point to – the team effort is front-stage. Open Leadership allows like-minded people who have a common set of values to discuss ideas openly to create innovative solutions.
When it comes to organisational culture, there must be a climate for growth and collaboration that exist at all levels. Guna says he cannot understate how critical leadership style is to the success of an organisation. While most governments tend to have a strong, firm structure, Guna believes that change can happen by having the right leadership and organisational culture.
In the new normal, everything is moving online, including employee workloads, leadership insights, and how the services and businesses interact with customers or clients. Organisations must undergo a digital transformation to create entirely digital processes, better experiences and streamlined operations.
Successful digital transformation allows all processes and systems to communicate with one another. Users have a single source of truth, updates occur in real-time, and data is integrated.
The transformation enables organisations to effortlessly pivot when necessary because all their systems and teams are interconnected. Everything can be done quickly and without impacting the operations – whether it is to add more users, connect new business software or begin automating tasks.
In a cloud-first strategy, organisations are not merely adding a new layer of technology when they transform. They are expanding their IT capability in an entirely new way. Data and systems are hosted in the cloud, allowing for a seamless, effective and adaptable connection of all their IT.
Increasingly, companies of all sizes are aware of the potential and power of the cloud. Due to the increased security, scalability and convenience, more businesses and services are moving their apps and data onto the cloud.
Within this suite, that offers consumers a significant advantage is cloud communications. As remote and hybrid work models become the norm, cloud communication is quickly gaining importance.
The OpenGov Breakfast Insight with Indonesia’s top public sector leaders on 1 December 2022 at the Westin Jakarta provided the current information on the benefits of the most recent cloud technology that can help the nation’s public, education, financial services and healthcare sectors.
The Cloud at the Heart of the Digital Transformation
Mohit Sagar, CEO & Editor-in-Chief OpenGov Asia, believes cloud-based strategies are being adopted and implemented by companies of all sizes to spur growth and increase profits. Cloud has fundamentally altered business communications.
Cloud transforms how people communicate, collaborate and conduct business in today’s digital world. It has sparked advancements in machine learning, the Internet of Things (IoT), devices, healthcare and autonomous vehicles.
“The cloud offers cutting-edge features and functionality that let staff members collaborate and communicate in ways – and places – they never imagined,” says Mohit. “Organisations can outsource systems management tasks like provisioning, switching, data storage, and security to cloud communications providers.”
Moreover, with remote and hybrid models, employees report higher productivity and greater satisfaction.
Nonetheless, according to Mohit, even though remote and hybrid models are becoming increasingly popular, they will not be successful if they are not based on the right technology. Cloud communications are a crucial component of any hybrid or remote work environment.
With cloud-based communication tools, staff can easily switch to working remotely, teams can keep meeting, and operations can go on as usual.
“Technology for collaboration will be more crucial than ever with employees working in different time zones and locations. Hence, teams have the resources to connect with coworkers across boundaries thanks to cloud communications,” Mohit explains.
Organisations can make the most of their resources with cloud communications, which can quicken implementation, increase flexibility, and provide limitless high-volume information exchange. Moreover, cloud communication security features guarantee adherence to data privacy laws.
The technology, protocols and best practices that safeguard cloud computing environments, cloud-based applications and cloud-stored data collectively constitute cloud security. Understanding exactly what needs to be secured and the system components that must be managed is the first step in securing cloud services.
As an overview, cloud service providers are responsible for backend development against security vulnerabilities. Clients should concentrate primarily on the proper service configuration, safe use habits, and selecting a security-conscious provider.
“Clients should also confirm that any end-user networks and hardware are properly secured,” Mohit says.
Every step taken to secure the cloud aims to facilitate data recovery in the event of data loss; guard against malicious data theft on networks and storage; prevent human error or carelessness that results in data leaks, and minimise the effects of any data or system compromise.
The transition to cloud-based computing has resulted in a significant evolution of traditional IT security. While cloud models offer greater convenience, always-on connectivity necessitates new security measures. There are a few ways in which cloud security differs from conventional IT models as a modernised cyber security solution.
According to Nathan Guy, Zoom Phone Leader, Asia Pacific, Zoom, the macro business environment has significantly changed. Businesses are under tremendous pressure to increase productivity, adapt quickly as competition heats up and be productive to keep up with the rapid pace of innovation and technological advancements.
This problem is becoming even more pressing because of economic uncertainty. Without effective communication between customers, prospects and employees, it will be impossible to address these issues.
Nathan highlighted that the workforce is also experiencing a generational shift. People prefer the option of remote employment. And they are asking for cutting-edge equipment and communication systems as they need to do their jobs.
With every new tool and app that is made available, communication becomes more complex and confusing. Employees, clients, and potential customers are just a few stakeholders with preferences and expectations about how, when, and where they conduct business.
“Due to this, many businesses choose their battles carefully when it comes to facilitating communication,’ says Nathan.
Among the routes they take are keeping up with currently used systems deemed adequate; embedded communication tools included with other software packages; exploring multiple solutions depending on the situation; among others. “These strategies are meant to provide the organisation with fundamental communication.”
Such methods allow for some flexibility but also change the environment for prospects, employees and customers. People are compelled to alternate between various solutions based on their needs.
Some consumers “separate” from a favourite brand after just one disappointing interaction. Today’s harsh reality is that communication is a critical path activity; your business will also fail if it fails. A path that is crucial to the business failure.
Nathan believes that organisations must go beyond essential communication to universal communication. Creating intuitive connections to all parties – employees, customers, and investors – regardless of location, device, or business activity – will have a tremendous advantage in this uncertain business environment.
“You do this by combining the connection needs of the individual and organisation by delivering a consistent and quality experience for all participants, making human connection effortless, and enabling rapid innovation to maintain relevance,” says Nathan.
These steps could result in:
- Meeting both the organisations’ core business needs and the demands of their customers;
- Refocusing internal resources away from administering communications and towards new services and capabilities; and
- Improving the agility and the perceived value both in the company and the market
An organisation’s reputation is directly linked to the quality of its communication services. In addition to the fact that employees, clients, and customers can work from anywhere, people returning to the office do not want them to be disappointed by the home office environment to which they have grown accustomed.
Expectations have increased; a session that fails due to dropped participants or subpar audio/video is unacceptable and embarrassing. Organisations must adapt to this new hybrid environment and guarantee that everyone receives high-quality service regardless of circumstance or location.
“When communications are disrupted in today’s world, business transactions become impossible,” claims Nathan. “Organisations can eliminate a work-limiting unpredictability risk by doing this. They provide a controlled experience by enabling the staff to work without concern about the underlying technology.”
By using a top-notch infrastructure specially built to prevent failures, Zoom will protect organisations from communications breakdowns. Organisations could troubleshoot the underlying cause of environmental problems and take preventative measures. This allows the workforce to concentrate on their work without unneeded interruptions or uncertainty. Hence, employees will have confidence that the communication system they provide will work as expected.
Differences in network performance and bandwidth can seriously impair audio and video quality and lead to intermittent problems, preventing some users from participating fully. Even with severe packet loss, organisations can use Zoom to deliver a productive meeting experience. This makes it possible to eliminate local network and infrastructure variability, which is crucial when doing business internationally.
More complexity is being added to communications. “Now you have workers returning to the office, frequently in a hotel setting, as well as those travelling or working remotely,” says Nathan.
Three main contexts have been produced as a result: remote, office and mobile. Unfortunately, all too frequently, people are forced to juggle a patchwork of disjointed point solutions created during the pandemic. This includes a personal cellphone, a videoconferencing option for small meetings and another tool for significant events.
Nathan believes that employees and clients must learn to use a different interface. Even if the organisations stick with a single vendor, many have expanded through acquisitions, leading to various products with no shared characteristics.
“There’s no doubt that communication platforms are a big part of how hybrid teams work,” Nathan asserts. “A modern communications platform like Zoom could help boost productivity, add to what can be done, and show how engaged employees are.”
Fireside Chat: How to Prepare for the Transition to the “Cloud Culture”
According to Deddy Kartika Utama, Head of Information Security, Ministry of Home Affairs (Kemendagri), policies regarding political and general governance and regional autonomy are developed, determined and implemented by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The Ministry also plays a role in establishing regional and village administration, governing issues, regional finance, demographics and civil records.
Given the number of parties involved and the nature of the hybrid organisation, including the Ministry, maintaining consistency may prove difficult. Because of this, compelling and trustworthy means of communication are crucial.
Cloud communications, Deddy emphasised, continue to be the preferred method of meeting the growing demand for efficient organisational communications, considering the advent of the hybrid workplace. With cloud computing and communications, organisations can quickly expand or contract to meet fluctuating demand.
In the public sector, by using internet-based connectivity to reduce lag time and unreliable connections, organisations can communicate with their team and customers through various channels, including email, voice calls, chat and video.
Through the advancements in IT, organisations now have access to a flexible, instant, scalable, stable, and conveniently located environment. Organisations that switch to cloud-based communication technology can take advantage of full cloud communication’s mobility, scalability, security, reliability, and cost-effectiveness.
The rapid development of cloud computing services and collaboration technologies has apparent benefits for remote and hybrid workforces. It enables teams to work together and achieve their shared goals even when they are not physically present in the same office.
“Using a cloud collaboration strategy, coworkers can work together on documents stored in the cloud while having access to the same files and making changes to them in real-time,” Deddy explains. “One method for cutting costs while maximising organisational resources despite growing communication capabilities and reach is to concentrate on the quality of the technology.”
By utilising the cloud, businesses have found cheaper alternatives while ensuring that their customers can access their data and systems from any location at any time. Transitioning from traditional to cloud office culture is exciting and promising. To protect the organisations and their operations, a solid security foundation must first be established.
According to Deddy, the potential of cloud computing is becoming increasingly apparent to various organisations, and it is also growing. “Organisations are already transitioning from the traditional office culture to the cloud culture, and doing so is profitable. They can save money and space by switching to cloud technology.”
Nathan emphasised the significance of cloud security, albeit that most organisations are already utilising cloud computing in some form. “Organisations are still hesitant to move more data and applications to the cloud due to security, governance, and compliance concerns when storing their content in the cloud.”
By partnering with Zoom, the human connection could be simplified and security could be included. Organisations can capitalise on the habits and competencies individuals have developed over the past two years. Additionally, they will ensure consistency across multiple use cases.
“By partnering with Zoom, businesses will be able to maintain their relevance through rapid innovation. They have access to a constant stream of new capabilities that reflect actual user requirements,” Nathan claims.
According to Mohit, a critical component of cloud security is the protection of data and business content such as customer orders, secret design documents and financial records, among others.
Preventing leaks and data theft is critical for maintaining customer trust and safeguarding assets that contribute to competitive advantage. “The ability of cloud security to protect your data and assets makes it critical for any organisations that are transitioning to the cloud.”
Development partners can assist organisations in meeting a broader range of customer needs, resulting in increased market reach. As a result, when developing cloud applications, make sure to include platform or integration capabilities as well as a partner strategy.
“Your cloud partner strategy should be based on business potential, engineering capability, and platform marketing. A balanced strategy will enable a larger partner ecosystem, more comprehensive customer solutions, and increased revenue potential,” Mohit concludes.
The global spread of COVID-19 has been a disaster of unparalleled proportions. Not only has it halted the world economy, but it has also made even the most optimistic leaders reconsider how soon things would return to how they were before the outbreak.
Even as the pandemic disrupted businesses and services around the world, a sudden and dramatic increase in internet consumption was observed. Businesses had to shift to digital communications and tools as the key medium for maintaining productive and interesting relationships with their many stakeholders – internal and external.
While the private sector was quicker to alter procedures in the early phases of the pandemic, the public eventually successfully adapted and innovated to continue citizen service delivery. Of course, early on, most governments rapidly put into place digital communication and emergency response platforms.
By allowing users to access their data and applications from any internet-connected device, cloud computing expands the scope of digital transformation beyond simple technology adoption to encompass a comprehensive redesign of all related procedures, resources and user interactions.
The cloud and digital transformation are now inextricably linked. Organisations across the board need to adopt a cloud-first strategy if they want to ensure the longevity of their operations and realise their transformation objectives.
Most organisations and agencies have benefited from the digital change, but some industries are behind the curve. To keep up with the fierce competition in their industries, they must guarantee the reliable operation of the cloud communication platforms that serve as a direct line of contact between the organisations and their consumers and aid in the promotion of their offerings.
The OpenGov Breakfast Insight on 25 November 2022 at M Hotel Singapore provided Singapore’s public, education, financial and healthcare sectors with the advantages of the most recent cloud technology.
Simplifying Things via Cloud Communication
Mohit Sagar, CEO & Editor-in-Chief, OpenGov Asia believes that the cloud has transformed the way organisations communicate, cooperate and carry out many other critical business and service functions.
Cloud communications are voice and data communications solutions that organisations employ to manage cloud-hosted applications, storage and switching.
“Cloud communications services are becoming an increasingly intrinsic choice for organisations looking to streamline their operations and enable their remote workforces to stay connected and productive,” observes Mohit.
Cloud communications enable organisations to interact with their employees and customers over many channels, including email, audio calls, chat and video. All of these leverage internet-based connectivity to minimise faulty connections and lag in communication.
This communication model has become the go-to option for addressing the growing need for efficient internal communications in the hybrid workplace. As numerous workers are returning to the office, and for many of those who have remote work capabilities, hybrid work arrangements are swiftly becoming the new standard.
Organisations are figuring out ways to make hybrid work as interesting and effective as they can. Leaning into what is working, changing what is not working and adapting as lessons are gained are the first steps in creating an effective hybrid strategy, work environment, and culture.
Employee access to the system from anywhere on any device is the need of a mixed work environment. Regardless of the apparatus they are using or their location, employees need to be able to connect to the system.
“User-friendly features in cloud communications make it simpler for staff to become used to the technology,” Mohit explains. “Up until now, better work-life balance, more effective time management, control over working hours and location, prevention of burnout and higher productivity have been the main benefits of hybrid work.”
Having the appropriate tools to be productive at work, feeling less a part of the organisation’s culture, poor cooperation and relationships, and disturbing work processes are some of the biggest obstacles to hybrid work.
Apart from the initial expenditure, virtual meetings result in reduced expenses because of the decline in maintenance and transportation costs. Moreover, integrations of cloud telephony enable companies to place and receive calls from any device that is connected to the Internet.
This means that cloud communications can potentially maximise resources for organisations. Procedures, implementation and adaptability can all be accelerated with a cloud communications strategy, which also offers limitless high-volume information transmission.
According to Mohit, cloud communications must have robust security components to ensure compliance with data privacy laws and the security of all stakeholders. “To assist in safeguarding data in the cloud, emerging cybersecurity tools should also be taken into account.”
These include Artificial Intelligence (AI) for IT Operations (AIOps) and Network Detection and Response (NDR). Both programmes gather data on the security and stability of cloud infrastructure. After data analysis, AI notifies administrators of any unusual behaviour that might represent a threat.
Ultimately a well-thought-out cloud communication strategy with strong security features can serve organisations and gain a competitive advantage in an increasingly digital landscape and VUCA environment.
According to Lucas Lu, Head of Asia, Zoom, if communication fails to give the greatest possible experience, everyone suffers – from employees to consumers to investors. And neglecting to address this essential avenue has ever-worsening implications.
Organisations are going through some significant changes, he explains. The first is in the general business environment. Organisations are under tremendous pressure to boost efficiency, adapt fast as competition rises and keep up with the rapid pace of innovation and technological advancements.
This problem is becoming even more pressing because of economic uncertainties. Furthermore, solving these problems requires effective communication between consumers, prospects and staff.
The workforce is likewise seeing a paradigm shift. People desire the option of remote employment and are asking for the cutting-edge equipment and communication systems they need to do their jobs.
HR managers concur that a high-performing workplace’s future requirements would include collaboration, regular communication and a mentorship culture between managers and teams. “You run the risk of losing the ‘War for Talent’ if you don’t deliver,” Lucas asserts.
With every new tool and software that is made available, communication becomes more difficult and complex. Employees, clients and potential consumers are just a few of the stakeholders who have preferences and expectations about how, when and where they conduct business.
Due to this, many businesses choose their battles carefully when it comes to facilitating communication. They follow a variety of routes, including:
- Maintaining already-established systems that are deemed adequate
- Making use of the fundamental, built-in communication capabilities that are provided with other software packages, even if they don’t entirely satisfy the organisation’s demands
- Using different approaches based on the circumstances. You might, for instance, employ one communication tool for internal cooperation and another for clients, investors, and outside events
“All these strategies are meant to provide organisations with fundamental communication,” says Lucas. “These methods provide some flexibility, but they also change the environment for prospects, employees and consumers. People are compelled to alternate between various options based on their needs as a result.”
This causes unneeded annoyance, rework, expenditures and misunderstanding. Employees may feel alienated and impatient. Customers’ interactions with the brand are disorganised and unprofessional. And various instruments frequently make business slower.
In this uncertain business environment, organisations that can move beyond basic communication into universal communication have extraordinary potential. They can develop intuitive connections to all parties, employees, customers and investors, regardless of location, technology or business activity.
This will be accomplished by integrating the individual and organisational connection demands that will result in a) Delivering a consistent and quality experience for all participants, b) Making human connection effortless, and c) Enabling rapid innovation to maintain relevance.
These results may:
- Satisfy both the primary business requirements and the consumers’ expectations
- Redirect internal resources from managing communications to new services and capabilities; and
- Increase the marketability and perceived agility within the organisation and in the market.
An organisation’s reputation is directly related to the quality of its communication services. In addition to the fact that employees, clients and customers can work remotely, those returning to the office do not t want to compromise on the at-home office environment to which they have grown accustomed.
Organisations must adapt to this new hybrid environment to guarantee that everyone receives high-quality service regardless of circumstance or location. Expectations are simply greater and it is unacceptable if a session fails due to dropped participants or subpar audio or video.
“With Zoom, you may use a top-notch infrastructure that is specially made to prevent failures to safeguard your company from communications disruptions. You eliminate a work-limiting unpredictability risk by doing this,” Lucas says confidently.
When communications are down nowadays, it is impossible to conduct business. Hence, organisations may provide a controlled experience by enabling their staff to work without being concerned about the underlying technology. Additionally, they can analyse the underlying cause of any problems in their surroundings and take preventative measures.
With this, employees can concentrate on their work without unneeded interruptions or ambiguity and will have faith that the communication solution their organisation has deployed will work as planned.
“Partnering with Zoom enables quick innovation to keep up with the times. You can take advantage of a constant flow of fresh features that correspond to actual user requirements,” Lucas says. “Moreover, by frequently communicating with their support group, organisations will rapidly realise what is possible.”
Fireside Chat: How to Prepare for the Transition to the “Cloud Culture”
Geetha Gopal, Head of Infrastructure Projects Delivery and Digital Transformation, Panasonic Asia Pacific believes that every day, new technologies emerge and the culture of change is driving a paradigm shift for which an organisation must be prepared.
“As the COVID-19 outbreak rocked the world and we were unsure of what to do, our investments in technology became our strength,” says Geetha.
As the trend toward digitisation of remote work transforms the traditional office culture, a cloud culture has evolved. Likewise, cloud computing has become a competitive advantage for these organisations.
Every step toward better efficiency in the manufacturing sector increases competitiveness. Because of this, the industry’s embrace of cloud communications has become a crucial turning point. Cloud communications have changed the game for manufacturing by enabling increased efficiency while lowering IT expenditures.
“Cloud computing is the future, and organisations are successfully transitioning from the traditional office culture to the cloud culture,” Geetha says firmly.
Streamlining operations using scalable technological solutions for essential tasks and process optimisation not only helps reduce costs but also frees up time for businesses to devote to value-adding endeavours.
This is crucial now more than ever as operations teams struggle to keep up with the quickening speed of product and investment strategy development being observed among clients.
The new service-focused, client-centric operating model for investment operations will be made possible by technology, data and scalability. Organisations need to realise that the greatest way to prepare for the future is to create it as they deal with this period of constant innovation.
As a result, operations leaders who are taking steps to redesign, reinvent and adapt their operations may ultimately be in a stronger position.
Geetha emphasises that collaboration, communication and connectivity are crucial for success in today’s work environment. The key to maximising these contacts is digital communication. “For efficient communication and productivity, your company primarily depends on specific systems, platforms, and applications.”
More organisations are understanding the enormous advantages of migrating their systems to the cloud as technology continues to progress. In addition to allowing organisations to remain relevant in a competitive market, innovation plays a vital role in economic growth. Innovations are required to solve key problems.
One of the tactics that may be employed to save money while maximising organisational resources and extending communication skills and reach is advance planning.
An advantage of cloud communications for aiding staff members in a hybrid workforce is the reduction in time spent travelling to the workplace. Employees can save time travelling with the hybrid model simultaneously offering the chance to be more productive.
Despite the importance of enabling technology, it is the human workforce that will not only execute the organisation’s digital transformation strategy but also ensure its long-term success.
Guaranteeing that personnel are up to the task, however, needs not only technical training but also a radical transformation in thinking and decision-making.
It is important to focus on organisational culture by changing the management programme and making concerted efforts to close the gap between the internal aspect and employees.
Organisations that are unable to develop and achieve new goals that will assist their employees and business to thrive are those that are unwilling to alter existing practices.
“The pandemic can no longer be an excuse or the reason – remote work is here to stay. If we want skilled employees then we need to concentrate on their needs – we must empower our employees,” Geetha concludes.
Lucas believes that every problem has a solution since most organisations fail to connect their strategy to their innovation objectives. “Change is a constant process, and what we say today might leave a legacy tomorrow. Any plan for digital transformation, in our opinion, must be built around digital innovation.”
The road of digital transformation must involve a competitive advantage that can only be sustained by introducing innovations and contemporary methods if it is to stay modern and please clients with cutting-edge goods and services.
For every change, there is a call for managerial backing to be successful and transformative. Zoom is happy to discuss how digital transformation budgets differ from traditional business or IT budgets to meet the demands of any organisation.
Lucas believes that cloud computing is transforming not only how many organisations access and store data, but also how many of these businesses run. It provides greater protection, flexibility, data recovery, minimal to no maintenance and ease of access.
“Although many people used to hesitate the cloud computing, they have now realised how important it has become to organisations,” Lucas has observed.
Mohit believes that changes in computers and how technologies are distributed are altering the ecosystem, especially for those who work in a hybrid environment. He encourages delegates to start establishing a strategy to utilise the cloud’s benefits for their businesses and services. “Organisations should determine the types of cloud services for which you require solutions, then meet with cloud service providers to determine the best long-term match.”
Both public and private organisations benefit from the adaptability, efficiency, scalability, security, improved collaboration and cost savings that cloud computing offers. “The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated cloud adoption, but it is anticipated that cloud computing is here to stay, especially since hybrid work assumes a central role,” Mohit concludes.
Two tech companies operating within Hong Kong’s Smart Government Innovation Lab announced the roll-out of solutions that are now ready to be acquired by companies and institutions.
Solution I – Cloud-native Project Management & Collaboration Solution
A tech company under the Smart Government Innovation Lab has developed a cloud-native project management & collaboration solution called Julius. The solution is able with applications across the project lifecycle. Designed from the ground up with feedback from industry leaders, the solution enables digital transformation without server deployment.
The solution was developed to be applied in the area of City Management.
The solution employs the latest in Cloud Computing and the Internet of Things (IoT).
The solution allows users to:
- Gain control of and visibility into the customer pipeline as well as the sales and revenue situations of each project. Users can also track and manage cost vs. budget in real time; understand current progress status and stay ahead of potential risks and issues before it’s too late; enforce and evaluate against the quality standards without slowing down teams.
- Access and analyse customer and sales data on the fly; CRM functions tailored to the property sector including sales channel, commission and performance analysis; track inventories, sales velocity and payments; document full sales cycle between customer visit and contract payment to ensure smooth transaction; smart alerts on delays, returns and sales performance issues.
- Control every cost item to avoid cost overruns; manage change in real time – creating budgets that more accurately reflect where the budget stands at any moment; generate detailed financial reports to see how the spending decisions affect projected profits at close out; facilitate faster approvals, more accurate communication and eliminating the need to proceed at risk.
- Stay on schedule; quickly identify potential issues and their impact on schedule and budgets; avoid unwanted surprises with better visibility of every project task; track all steps and speed up the approval process.
- Understand and correct issues before they become a problem; built for the site, making it easy for site teams to contribute to and comply with construction safety regulations and quality specifications; all the necessary documentation, reference materials and records needed to ensure standards are met with verification methods that create accountability along the way.
Solution II – Vehicle Queue Monitoring Solution
Manual queue monitoring is a time and resource-consuming process that is prone to human errors and miscalculations. The Vehicle Queue Monitoring system uses computer vision to derive insights from the video cameras installed in the regions of interest. It analyses the traffic, calculates the number of vehicles in the predefined areas, conducts classification (taxi, public bus, private car), and notifies the user of specific scenarios.
For example, a user will receive an SMS/email alert if the queue exceeds 20 vehicles. The system also displays real-time and accumulated statistics in a web-based dashboard, tailored to the user’s needs. The Video Analytics system can be implemented in various locations that include vehicle traffic, such as car parks, tunnels, gas stations, highways, etc.
The solution was developed to be applied across the areas of City Management, Infrastructure as well as Transport.
The solution employs the latest in Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and Video Analytics.
An example of the application of the Video Analytics system is in queue-monitoring in gas stations. The system can detect, classify and count the number of vehicles queueing at a gas station. Once the queue exceeds the predefined region, an SMS alert is sent to the chosen number of users informing them on the queue status. Users can view a livestream to verify the queue and take appropriate actions. Additional features include analytics services where various daily/weekly trends are recorded and presented in the form of graphs and diagrams in a user-friendly web-based dashboard.
An organisation’s functions could be severely impacted by even a single incident. Organisations need rapid data recovery from the cloud, the edge and on-premises in the event of any type of disaster, be it a natural disaster, hardware failure, data breach or ransomware attack.
The knowledge that one is as well-prepared as possible provides some solace in the face of unforeseen calamities. With the right disaster recovery tools and procedures, it can quickly and easily restore data and workloads.
Hence, organisations need a plan to immediately get back to business as usual in the event of an interruption. Given the fast-paced nature of today’s IT environments, it is crucial to maintain a state of perpetual readiness.
Many businesses and organisations are left exposed to critical events – either man-made or natural disasters – as most fundamental systems have been shifted toward IT structures and applications.
While we can manage physical defence by using survival kits – which include emergency supplies, security, and insurance – not all firms can genuinely claim to have all bases covered. Especially in an increasingly digital landscape, where threats are virtual!
It may seem obvious to have an established disaster recovery plan, but due to the complexity of the outdated replication and recovery procedures, this is often overlooked. People might assume there is one and may have even talked about it but may overlook the most crucial step – documenting the plan.
Creatively assessing the possibilities for affordably safeguarding the data in a location apart from those dangers is vital. Despite data centres’ high level of security and frequent remote locations, creating a plan is now simpler than ever to implement using a cloud-based method.
The OpenGov Breakfast Insight on 10 November 2022 at InterContinental Singapore with Singapore’s top public sector leaders offered the most recent information on the benefits of disaster-proofing an organisation through speedy and efficient data security and recovery.
The Needs for Data Backup and Recovery
Mohit Sagar, CEO & Editor-in-Chief, OpenGov Asia believes that plans for catastrophe recovery must be in place for organisations adding that the traditional backup strategies have focused mostly on the first part of the backup and recovery process.
“The backup’s objective is to generate a copy of the data that can be retrieved in the case of a primary data failure,” Mohit explains. “A primary data failure might be the result of a hardware or software malfunction, data corruption, a hostile attack (virus, malware) or accidental deletion on the part of the user.”
Backup copies enable data to be restored from a previous point in time, assisting the organisation in recovering from an unanticipated event.
Data protection demands a secondary copy be stored in case the primary copy is lost or corrupted. This additional media can be as basic as an external drive or USB stick or as complex as a disc storage system, cloud storage container, or tape drive.
To achieve the best outcomes, backup copies should be made on a consistent, regular basis to reduce the amount of data lost between backups. The longer the time between backup copies, the greater the risk of data loss when recovering from a backup. Keeping several copies of data gives the security and flexibility to restore to a point in time that was not impacted by data corruption or malicious attacks.
In addition, a single accident or mishap might completely interrupt company operations, with significant consequences. According to reports, 93% of organisations that do not have disaster recovery coverage and experience a big data loss go out of business within a year.
However, with the correct tools and disaster recovery methods, organisations can restore their data and workloads fast and easily. Through advanced technologies, policies and standards, establishing layers of infrastructure protection and controls increases resiliency and security posture.
Monitoring the environment and intelligently managing data, via a single interface, is one of the disruptive solutions to ensure the best visibility across the data to quickly identify risk exposure and coverage, data availability and business continuity across on-premises and cloud settings.
“When the unexpected happens, you must be able to swiftly restore your organisation’s operations. It is paramount to constantly be prepared, especially given the rate of change in today’s IT landscape,” advises Mohit.
According to Paul Lancaster, Director, Sales Engineering, Commvault, data is the competitive advantage in the modern digital economy. It generates corporate strategy, directs operational effectiveness, and forecasts consumer behaviour. “Data needs to be kept safe while still being always available.”
The problem is that the data is always changing and evolving as it expands, changes, and fragments into digital bits and bytes. Hence, the degree of an organisation’s success is directly correlated with how well they handle its data.
“In this situation, Commvault is useful. We support businesses in doing incredible things with their data. No matter where the data is located or how it is organised, our Intelligent data services can help these organisations become more efficient by changing how they protect, store, and use data,” Paul explains.
He advised organisations to always be prepared when calamity hits or whenever fraudsters attempt their best shot. Organisations should also be ready to take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves.
Further, Commvault offers flexibility in the deep integrations to:
- Connect (to Snaps/Replication via Intellisnap)
- Converge (roll new cyber harden backup infrastructure/stores with HSX)
- Cloudify (optimised stores for the cloud storage resources)
- Re-purpose (reuse existing open assets that still have a service life to the payoff from the prior investments)
Paul elaborated that their Control Plane offers comprehensive workload coverage coupled with key data management services to extend self-service roles so users can quickly and securely search and restore data. Data engineers working on a new analytics application can quickly call up a database clone to accelerate a new project.
Through hybrid cloud adoption, users can leverage cloud-based storage and realise the benefits of agile management, limitless scale, and cost savings of the cloud.
Commvault offers a comprehensive solution with deeply integrated workloads to simplify and future-proof. “We make the past more accessible and adaptable to the future faster and we span the solution across the customer’s full needs.”
Marcus Tan, Head of the Cybersecurity Department, Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R), A*STAR believes that business continuity refers to an organisation’s preparedness to keep delivering products and services at predetermined, acceptable levels despite a crisis.
“Business continuity plans detail how a company will operate during and after a disaster,” says Marcus. “It may include contingency plans explaining how the company will continue to operate even if it must relocate. In addition, smaller interruptions, or minor disasters, such as protracted power outages, may also be included in business continuity planning.”
On the other hand, recovering from a catastrophic incident, such as a natural disaster, fire, act of terrorism, active shooter, or cybercrime, is referred to as disaster recovery. Recovery from a disaster entails the steps an organisation takes to respond to an incident and resume normal operations as fast as possible.
“Disaster Recovery is an organisation’s plan for resuming normal operations following a catastrophic event. This is an essential part of the Business Continuity Plan,” Marcus elaborates. “And, importantly, strategies should align with the organisation’s goals.
There are various issues to be considered in terms of protection and recovery strategy. These are compliance requirements, budget, insurance coverage, resources (people, physical facilities), management’s risk appetite, technology, suppliers and data and data storage, among others.
Business Impact Analysis is the systematic process to determine and evaluate the potential effects of disruption to business operations resulting from disaster, accident, or emergency.
Risk Assessment, on the other hand, involves having to identify, examine, measure, and mitigate/transfer risks. Hence, it is important to identify critical business functions to keep the organisation going during a disruption.
The purpose of the Disaster Recovery Plan is Getting Ready (pre-disaster), Continuity (during a disaster), and Recovery (post-disaster).
Some of the key considerations of the Disaster Recovery Plan are identifying critical business processes to continue the minimum desired level of operations during disruption. It would also identify key data, storage, network and apps to support critical business processes.
There must be also a consideration of compliance with regulations, recovery point objective, recovery time objective, establishing management succession, reporting structure, roles in the event of a disaster, and budget.
A Disaster Recovery Plan should be updated when a significant change to system architecture occurs; and if it has changed in system dependencies and recovery personnel as well.
“Tools are great for making your job easier, but they can never take the place of doing the things we need to do,” Marcus concludes.
Chua Chee Pin, Area Vice President – ASEAN, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea & Taiwan, Commvault highlighted that data is getting more and more in demand. “The balance between data democracy and security is so important, hence protecting your organisation’s data is complex.”
Everyone is now aware of the significance of data, both in their professional and personal life. Digitisation, cell phones, and Internet of Things (IoT) sensors all contribute to the ever-increasing amount of data. Utilising this knowledge is crucial for both company competitiveness and empowering individuals in their daily lives.
“Commvault’s data management and protection unify and safeguard data at scale across on-premises, hybrid, and multi-cloud environments for all workloads,” claims Chee Pin. “Advanced detection, multi-layer protection, and rapid recovery against security threats, such as ransomware and data breaches.”
Mohit highlights the importance of a digital partner. External partners can be a pillar of support while facing digital transformation procedures. They are available to assist every organisation with any project based on their demands.
“They can guide you through a much broader and more sophisticated process, as they possess the necessary expertise and experience,” Mohit opines. “Partnerships can save the organisation from making unneeded errors, thus saving time and money.”
It is globally acknowledged that the public and private sectors can better comprehend requirements, desires and trends with the help of solid data and data-driven insights. These intelligent inputs help decision- and policy-makers find methods to better serve citizens and clients.
Like other nations across the world, in an increasingly digital landscape, Indonesia also heavily relies on a sound data strategy as the government has long recognised the usefulness of data and analytics.
The nation plans to develop an easily accessible platform and share data between national and regional authorities to provide accurate, current, integrated and accountable information. This would help the country’s economy and delivery of citizen services.
Given how crucial it is to give the digital transition a framework and protection, numerous laws and regulations have been put in place. Such guidelines normally focus more on data residency than they do the actual, reliable roadmap for the transformation path.
In this tech-empowered world, the need for integrated, connected and related data is on the rise – but it is only useful if it is reliable, usable, clean and accessible.
With the Satu Data programme, the Indonesian government is actively investigating how it might manage its data to its best potential.
The epidemic has caused enormous changes in culture and viewpoint all over the world, including, no less, in Indonesia. It is appropriate that leadership enables staff to easily track, manage and make decisions.
To enable quick decisions from siloed and unstructured data, leaders and teams require capable technology that can collect, sort, combine and analyse data. Bolstered by the cloud, this practice is quickly emerging as the standard in the hybrid work era.
The OpenGov Breakfast Insight on 1 November 2022 at the JW Marriott Hotel Jakarta for key public sector leaders from Indonesia aimed to present the most recent information on implementing cloud systems and cloud-based technology.
Indonesia’s Increasing Data Landscape
Kicking off the session, Mohit Sagar, CEO & Editor-in-Chief, acknowledges that because of its large population and growing need to improve its infrastructure, Indonesia is ripe for digital transformation.
Moreover, the G20’s demand for urgent global action to make digital transformation more equitable and accessible during Indonesia’s chairmanship is pertinent. It would be vital to enhance essential digital and analogue enablers for scaling up digital transformation, as well as assist underdeveloped countries in accessing and adopting technologies.
According to Mohit, data is a valuable resource only if it is complete, easily available, free of errors, and reliable. “The business and public sectors can better understand demand, supply, and trends with the use of data-driven insights.”
The Indonesian government has long understood the importance of data and analytics, and it is currently looking into the best ways to handle its data. Thus, to offer a framework and protection for digital transformation, laws and regulations have been put in place as the safeguarding of data is essential.
The major difficulties that must be overcome are caused by the enormous demand for services available on any device and at any time. As a result, embracing technology and adopting it can aid organisations in meeting clients’ increasing demands.
Indonesia’s older infrastructure may act as a barrier to change and advancement. With many variables to consider during the conceptualising and planning phases, the underpinning digital systems and platforms themselves must be agile.
Create a roadmap by first visualising the large picture and working through a succession of incremental phases and iterations, Mohit urges. Critical cognitive infrastructure is required for effective data storage to accomplish this.
To ensure that accurate and useful insights can be generated in a reasonable amount of time, security must be implemented, protocols and processes must be developed, and data must be in the proper location.
It is imperative to create a robust and resilient data structure. Then, rapidly adjust to change by developing data solutions.
“You have to think how you change the governance internally to drive the communication and action for external change the policy, through smart data, smart cloud and smart deployment, Mohit concludes.
Fetra Syahbana, Country Manager, Indonesia, Nutanix Indonesia opens by emphasising that the acceleration of digital strategies has forced people to change the way they live and interact with each other.
From Fetra’s perspective, Indonesia was better navigate the pandemic as compared to other countries in digital terms. This was done through applications that were created during the hard times by the Indonesian public sector. This was achieved, thanks to the usage of proper data in Indonesia.
Arief Pribadi, Technical Director, Nutanix Indonesia, knows that because of the pandemic, several other government programmes and initiatives in Indonesia have been expanding while some are put on hold. Adjustments in spending priorities and policy shifts have been made as a result.
Because of this approach, the nation was able to place greater emphasis on healthcare infrastructure and digital transformation initiatives.
However, he does note that “there needs to be a more productive digital ecosystem in Indonesia for the country’s digital space infrastructure to function effectively and securely.”
This can be accomplished by issuing several regulations, as well as implementing and speeding up digital transformation to increase the country’s internet link ratio.
By issuing several regulations, implementing and speeding up digital transformation and increasing the internet link ratio in Indonesia, a more productive digital ecosystem may be created, ensuring the efficiency and safety of Indonesia’s digital space infrastructure.
The National Registration Number, Catalogue Electronic System, Data Privacy, Electronic Trading, Export/Import, Transportation, and Customs are only a few of the many projects that make up the country’s Digital Flagship Programme.
There are a few steps involved in data management, all of which work together to guarantee that the information stored in a company’s systems is reliable, complete, and easy to retrieve.
Deploying the IT systems that run business applications and offer analytical information to drive operational decision-making and strategic planning by corporate executives, business managers and other end users relies heavily on effective data management.
The agile software development life cycle is the defined progression of steps taken by a product from inception to completion. There are six steps in the process: Meet, Plan, Design, Develop, Test And Evaluate.
Delivering usable products to customers on time is the top priority for every software development team.
Faster expansion requires more than just the ability to scale up. They require the flexibility to scale up to meet the demands of growing complexity and sophistication, adopting cutting-edge technologies and launching products more quickly.
The ability of a business to adapt its People, Processes and Technologies is a problem when implementing cloud technology.
Qualified individuals with an agile mentality are required when Business and Technology are together. “An agile mentality allows you to rapidly iterate from concept to implementation.”
These skills are essential for developing an agile methodology and culture, such as the DevOps culture, which allows for more frequent experimentation and research through action, as well as faster product delivery on a daily or even hourly basis.
Arief is convinced that the key to success in terms of process is the implementation of automated IT and business procedures. When all resources, whether they originate in a private on-premises cloud or the public cloud, are based on self-service and intelligent operation, IT must embrace fully managed services.
“On the other hand, when we talk about technology, we’re referring to things like computer programmes that run on servers,” says Arief.
He added that the application’s portability between clouds is achieved using software-defined everything, including the underlying infrastructure service, agile architecture, and lightweight computing technology, such as containers and their orchestration.
Arief highlighted that supporting any application and workload, anywhere, the Nutanix Cloud Platform incorporates hybrid cloud architecture, multi-cloud management, unified storage, database services, and desktop services.
“By providing an open, software-defined, hybrid multi-cloud platform, we help you streamline cloud complexity so that you may put more attention on business results and innovative ideas,” he reveals in closing.
Power Talk: Surviving the Defiance of Digital Economy Development: Building the Right Digital Solutions
Several government organisations still require assistance in acquiring and constructing suitable digital infrastructure considering the diverse digital needs across the large Indonesian archipelago and the uncertain economic conditions faced over the past few months.
When a company undergoes a digital transformation, it makes use of digital technologies to enhance its business processes, systems, and customer experience. As a result of the change, many organisations will save money on operating costs.
Likewise, staff efficiency and output improve in tandem, increasing the business’ bottom line. Hence, every successful company in the modern era has sped up the process of digitising its operations.
For Setiaji, Chief of the Digital Transformation Office, Ministry of Health, the key is to adopt collaborative tools so that employees will be able to work efficiently, especially in the health sector.
In an increasingly digital landscape, technology is here to stay and will be foundational to any strategy. Organisations need to embrace technology to survive, thrive and stay relevant.
Setiaji emphasised the importance of Indonesian healthcare to broaden and accelerate the digital transformation of health in the country. “We devised a plan to help us go faster in the health industry. First, we established a digital team, and then we upgraded our digital infrastructure.”
The cloud is quickly rising as more organisations have moved from a gradual to an end-to-end digital transformation. Successful organisations will be the ones who can adapt quickly to this shifting landscape, make wise decisions and work with strategic allies to strengthen their talents.
Sonny Supriyadi, Senior Vice President – Head, Pricing and Data Analytics, Maybank opines that organisations that put data first value risk models based on numerous data sources prioritise data-driven business innovation. To facilitate enhanced predictive analytics, data modernisation is a multi-stage process that enhances data accessibility.
The importance of upgrading the systems, especially in the banking industry is crucial. “To modernise, businesses must first extract data from ageing applications and infrastructure and reformat it for use in analytics across all deployment models such as cloud, edge, and on-premises.”
“Data is the most precious asset of any organisation, therefore it makes sense to create a plan that prioritises it. Your data’s value will be wasted if it remains dispersed across silos and legacy systems if you don’t have a modernisation strategy to bring them together,” Sonny cautions the delegates.
Agung Indrajit, Chief of Data, Satu Data Indonesia, Ministry of National Development Planning says that the government of Indonesia acknowledges the advantages of digital transformation. Thus, the nation is considering digitisation as a means of involving its citizens in governance, economic recovery and overall growth.
Agung believes that the Indonesian government’s efforts to digitise will result in “smart governance” and the nation’s digital journey will make public service better.
In addition, a safe and effective approach to responding to crucial decisions calls for integrated data management. Hence, a competitive advantage is driven by data, and in today’s fast-paced world, firms must be nimble and quick to adapt by constructing novel capabilities, according to Agung.
“To achieve this goal, businesses need to implement cutting-edge technology and industrialise data and analytics to increase their income through better decisions.”
Fetra emphasised the importance of data as a company’s most valuable asset in determining how to effectively implement business plans through analysis of target audiences.
Organisations must acknowledge a comprehensive data digitisation strategy for an effective digital transformation. As a result, digitising data has become a crucial prerequisite for organisations seeking to adapt to the rapidly changing industry.
“In the long term, digitising data will serve as the bedrock upon which additional layers of digital transformation can be built,” says Fetra. “Nutanix Indonesia will be happy to help any government agency improve its services through digitalisation.”
Mohit recognises that Indonesia is competing on a global scale. He knows that 5G is ready for its second wave of availability and that it has been implemented. Technology is now at the centre of most business strategies because of digital transformation. This method has the potential to lessen operational costs and boost productivity.
When it comes to handling digital transformation processes, he knows, that a digital partner can be the tower of strength.
“Digital transformation is typically backed by a digital partner who will contribute their experience to guarantee you make the right decisions. This is because it is simpler to reach the organisation’s goal with a unified approach across business and technology.”
At Investor Day in 2021, StarHub showcased DARE+ which changed them from a telco company to an enterprise that helps customers connect their digital lives. DARE+ is anchored on doubling down on going digital, speeding up the creation of value, achieving growth without borders and giving customers a never-ending stream of experiences that give their life colour.
StarHub provides an extensive selection of connection, over-the-top (OTT) streaming entertainment, cloud gaming and digital solutions. It achieves this by dismantling boundaries between services to suit the diverse and expanding requirements and desires of its clients.
DARE+ was based on the successful end of DARE 1.0, which was in October 2021 and saved more than SG$ 270 million in costs – more than the original goal of SG$ 210 million. Operating expenses were also cut by 15% because of DARE 1.0.
In an exclusive interview with Mohit Sagar, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of OpenGov Asia, Nikhil Eapen, Chief Executive and Executive Director, StarHub explains how the global ICT sector drives growth and how StarHub makes synergistic investments in infrastructure, enterprise communications and technology.
Goal-Oriented Perspective and Foster Creativity
“StarHub will pursue more acquisitions that will increase its scale and footprint, as well as extend its product choices and capabilities for customers,” Nikhil affirms.
Nikhil believes that people are the organisation’s biggest asset and liability. As a result, the team’s working style is also evolving. They’ve changed how they hire people to make the funnel bigger and give them more access to talent and businesses.
To identify the most appropriate and efficient approach to complete a task, Starhub practice agile working which involves bringing together people, processes, connectivity, technology, time and place.
“It’s about business outcomes and not telco outcomes. We are focusing on some exciting outcomes such as Infinity Play, Super App, Cloud Infinity, Green Tech, Cloud + Cloud Connectivity + Cyber. These are war cries for us,” Nikhil elaborates.
“In addition, we participate in initiatives to preserve the environment. This year, StarHub’s staff, including senior executives and customers planted a total of 100 trees in support of the National Parks Board’s OneMillionTrees movement,” says Nikhil.
Nikhil revealed that Starhub has a passion for sustainability and the environment. It was named the world’s most sustainable Wireless Telecommunications Service provider, and Singapore’s most sustainable telco.
It’s not about awards, but about matching the value of their customers and the community. They are a proponent of sustainability. Among their ground-breaking projects are solar-powered Wifi for NUS, rainfall measurement at PUB base stations and smartphone recycling.
They create digital products, solutions, digital engagement, and digital transformations. They provide customers with sophisticated digital experiences that they may self-serve. This has a significant impact in reducing carbon footprint.
As the premier green tech player, they are also developing products, services, and solutions for enterprises. They deploy network-managed sensors, provide dashboards to help companies to monitor their energy efficiency, and implement cloud workloads to gather and store data to optimise their operations management and workflow processes.
“We are also in the business of green enterprises and as a leading green tech for enterprises, we empower and help our clients to go green,” Nikhil says passionately.
StarHub DARE+ Beyond Telco
According to Nikhil, DARE+ is the next major phase in StarHub’s transformation journey. DARE+ is no less ambitious than DARE 1.0 in terms of progress in all areas.
StarHub is evolving from a telecom to a full-service supplier of enriching connectivity, entertainment, and other lifestyle experiences, as well as creative business solutions for its customers, with seamless digital engagement at its foundation.
StarHub drove prepaid aggressively, being the first to introduce free incoming calls and, most importantly, being the first in the world to establish the concept of Quad Play such as mobile, broadband, Pay TV and fixed services.
DARE+ is about becoming a challenger, but it’s more about challenging themself and elevating their aspirations. “We have a long and illustrious history. StarHub was founded about 25 years ago, combining SCV with a fixed license and a third mobile license.”
By enabling an indefinite continuum of connectivity, OTT streaming entertainment, cloud gaming and digital solutions, DARE+ transforms StarHub from quad-play to “Infinity Play,” shattering service silos to meet consumers’ diverse and expanding requirements and desires.
To be effective, “Infinity Play” requires genuine digital engagement, utilising StarHub’s success with its digital platform, which has achieved stellar growth and the highest Net Promoter Score in the market.
With DARE+, StarHub will increase user consumption through an all-encompassing super-app platforms, with the goal of offering as many self-serve, zero-touch services as possible, while achieving speedy time-to-market and minimising cost and capital outlay.
The goal of StarHub is to become the go-to brand for businesses that need cyber security, cloud, ICT and network connectivity by utilising its distinct capability sets and growing ecosystem of reliable partners to cross-sell solutions and push fixed services and 5G connectivity. StarHub will continue to look for acquisitions that will increase its size, footprint and range of products and services available to customers.
DARE+’s digital transformation and fundamental network connectivity with StarHub form its foundation. In August 2020, StarHub launched 5G for the first time in Singapore. StarHub also runs the most lauded network in Singapore, providing users with excellent connections across 4G, 5G and broadband.
To provide clients with the finest access at any time, everywhere, and on any device, StarHub will keep distinguishing its fundamental infrastructure.
Nikhil elaborated on StarHub initiatives to digitally transform and cloud-enable the front- and back-end systems. For the back end, they have a cloud control plane; converging fixed and mobile; network slicing on 5G; and hygiene, scalability and capabilities that equal proximity and power.
For the middle which includes the cloud stack, data lake, and super app for digital engagement, StarHub has the following:
- Scalability, agility – new product cycle, product/pricing change cycle, number of transactions in hundreds per second;
- Customers are empowered to self-serve. Some telcos do this for data, voice and SMS but Starhub do across their products, infinity play;
- Knowing their customer and providing solutions or recommendations;
- Stay up to date on the product.
Finally, for the front-end system, StarHub has externalised its products based on the needs of its consumers and clients including 3C’s (Cybersecurity, Cloud, Connectivity) and mobility as a service reflecting the future of work – not just a connectivity plan, but a whole range of modules from remote working to device security to green-tech.
The 2030 Vision
StarHub has developed greener retail, marketing and communication activities. Some of these areas are embracing paperless technology and responsible consumption, including:
Sending e-invitations and e-cards over the holidays; Electronic versions of newsletters, annual reports, and EGM circulars are accessible; By default, customers receive electronic statements rather than printed bills; Use of electronic versions of vouchers, sales agreements, and work orders; and My StarHub app to supplement e-bill by enabling digital account management for customers.
In terms of responsible consumption, StarHub encourages customers to “Skip the Bag” and bring their bags. Since 2020, they have switched from non-woven bags to FSC MIX-certified biodegradable brown paper bags at their store. They rent set-top boxes, business routers and Optical Network Terminal units.
In addition, used items are repaired and refurbished for redeployment until the end of their life cycle, at which point they are recycled by authorised e-waste collectors.
Nikhil shared StarHub’s 2030 vision and objectives for enhancing environmental resilience and sustainability citing that they are committed to sustainably growing the business – a combination of long-term goals to achieve by 2030, aligned with the Paris Agreement, as well as short-term immediate goals.
In line with the increasing environmental resilience and sustainability, the effects of climate change will continue to worsen as weather patterns become more irregular and long-term temperature fluctuations become more common.
“We are committed to reducing our environmental impact while also ensuring our business remains resilient in the face of climate change,” confirms Nikhil.
They have managed an 8% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions and will target to have a 50% reduction in the same scope by 2030, from a 2019 base year, “This year alone, we will be offsetting our scope1 and 2 carbon greenhouse-gas emissions for our corporate office and four main retail shops. We are also targeting 30% renewable energy use by 2030.”
In addition, StarHub aims to increase its monthly average Power Usage Efficiency (PUE) ratio to 1.70 by 2022 to increase the power usage efficiency of its data centres. For supply chain management, they plan to obtain certification from 70% of their suppliers by 2022 that they will abide by StarHub’s Supplier Code of Conduct.
Moreover, they are digitalising end-to-end green technology services for the government, institutions of higher education (IHL), and businesses. StarHub is advancing the Green Agenda by integrating high-quality, secure internet and cloud-based services.
“These will help us reduce energy and water usage – not just from the StarHub point of view, but also from a nationwide one,” Nikhil ended.
In his personal life, Nikhil is as conscientious. He also loves using public transportation like the MRT, buses, and e-bikes. “For the last 7–8 years we’ve been driving electric cars. I even ride an electric bike.”
As a family, he reveals that they are quite idealistic about being environmentally conscious, but their actions probably trail behind their words. They throw less, recycle more and only buy what they need. They also try to eat as little beef as possible.
“In the end, sustainability is a personal, corporate and societal endeavour. For better or for worse, we are all in it together, so we all must do our bit,” Nikhil says emphatically.
Indisputably, the cloud is a good place to store data for backups, long-term storage, and in case of a disaster. Cloud data management is a way to cope with data across cloud platforms, with or without on-premises storage. With cloud data management, resources can be acquired as needed. Data can also be shared between private clouds, public clouds, and storage on-site.
Some platforms can manage and use data in both the cloud and on-premises environments. However, cloud data management considers that the policies for data stored on-premises and in the cloud can be very different.
The cloud has its own rules about how to keep data safe and make sure it is correct. Traditional ways of managing data might not work in the cloud, so it’s important to have management in place that fits the cloud’s specific needs. Costs, data integrity, and security are just a few of the difficulties associated with cloud data management that are also linked with cloud technology.
Even though cloud security has gotten a lot better over the last few years, it’s still up to each organisation to make sure that only authorised users can access the data by setting up data access policies.
Moreover, organisations are increasingly recognising the value of shifting workloads to the cloud and leveraging the cloud’s agility to optimise new products and services. As organisations continue to migrate IT operations and applications to the cloud, there is a critical, strategic need for cloud-centric data management tools and platforms capable of managing all types of data.
Senior digital executives from Singapore’s public sector convened at the OpenGov Breakfast Insight on 27 October 2022, at InterContinental Singapore to gain up-to-date information on how organisations can power a comprehensive security strategy from management to architecture and technology to improve IT agility and efficiency.
Efficiency via Cloud Security, Compliance, and IT Policy Governance
Mohit Sagar, CEO & Editor-in-Chief, OpenGov Asia acknowledges that government agencies and businesses are undergoing the largest digital change in history.
Persistent geopolitical concerns and health crises have pushed governments into the next stage of digital transformation. Fueled by a massive influx in data, however, strong cloud data management is still one of the main issues for many agencies.
At the moment, the cloud is at the core of both the public and private sectors and data management is frequently regarded as a challenging problem.
Data breaches are still commonplace in the Asia Pacific Region and have affected many organisations in 2022 already. For instance, Singapore was sixth in the world last year for having the most datasets exposed, and the attack continues.
With this, organisations are becoming more conscious of data management as a strategic business imperative rather than just an IT duty because of ongoing data breach occurrences and stronger data management rules.
Singapore’s Government Technology Agency (GovTech) is upgrading the Government Commercial Cloud (GCC) service to facilitate the management and security of government agencies’ use of public cloud services. GCC 2.0 seeks to strengthen service enhancements in areas such as user onboarding and security, among others.
On the other hand, as the rate of technological advancement accelerates tremendously, security leaders face difficulties safeguarding remote workforces, shifting to the cloud, and achieving compliance. Hence, there is a demand for an optimised cloud migration solution for organisations.
Mohit recognises that as the landscape of cyberattacks continues to evolve, cybersecurity remains a crucial aspect in ensuring the viability and effectiveness of cloud migration. With a solid cloud data protection policy, organisations may meet these requirements by managing all identity access activities across cloud resources in an effective manner.
“There are many moving parts that need to be considered before a data strategy can be implemented. A wise approach to cloud data management requires extensive planning,” Mohit concludes.
The Needs for Smart and Secure Digital Solutions
Smart and secure digital solutions are essential today, according to David Chan, Managing Director, Adnovum Singapore. “Consumers will expect to obtain products and services via simple, secure digital solutions, regardless of the organisation.”
He emphasises that a digital service must be well-managed and maintained to remain secure. “If it does not respond to different threats, it will become more vulnerable and easier to compromise as time passes. Hence, vulnerability management and monitoring are two critical aspects of this.”
Adnovum, a Swiss software firm, was established in 1988 as a privately held joint stock business and presently employs 600 people worldwide. Adnovum Singapore was created in 2010 and currently employs 100 people in Singapore and Vietnam.
With over 30 years of hands-on experience in delivering such solutions, can assist those organisations in determining how to meet or even surpass their consumers’ expectations. The enterprise has spent many years focused on its core industries and have have obtained significant insights into sector-specific business difficulties and current industry trends.
Because of this, they can offer organisations the competitive advantage they require in today’s market. IT consulting, software solutions, identity and access management, IT security and application management are all areas of expertise for the enterprise.
Customers in Switzerland, Singapore, and other nations include both the private and public sectors, as well as all industries. Adnovum increased its operations in the public sector and the banking, insurance, transportation and logistics industries in 2021. However, 50 per cent of their clientele are FSI and government employees.
“Our clients include banks, insurance organisations, and the public sector, among others, that seek to distinguish themselves through unique digitalisation solutions,” reveals David.
Clients get comprehensive support for the rapid and secure digitalisation of business processes, from consultation and design through implementation and operation. Also among its primary skills are identity and access management and security consultancy.
Cybersecurity in the Context of Evolving Threat Vectors
Kenny Seah, Head of Identity Access Management and Security Consulting, Adnovum Singapore explained that a data breach is when confidential, private, protected, or sensitive information is given to someone who isn’t supposed to see it. “Theft of information from a person or organisation can be the result of a mistake or a deliberate act.”
For instance, an employee could accidentally share sensitive information or steal company data on purpose and give it to a third party or sell it. Or a hacker might steal sensitive information from a company’s database.
No matter what led to a data breach, the information that was stolen can help cybercriminals make money by selling it or using it as part of a bigger attack.
Information like bank account numbers, credit card numbers, personal health information and login information for email accounts and social networking sites are often lost or stolen when there is a data breach.
Such leaks can be very bad for businesses. Not only can they cost them money, but they can also hurt their reputation with customers, clients, and employees.
On top of that, organisations may also have to pay fines and deal with legal issues because data and privacy regulations are getting stricter.
Cyber risks can change every day, which can cause major problems for the whole organisation. With data insights and security controls, this could be avoided. Cloud data management manages data on cloud platforms with or without on-site storage. The cloud is a good place to store data for disaster recovery, backup and long-term archiving.
Purchasing resources on an as-needed basis is possible with cloud data management. Data can also be shared between private and public clouds and on-premises storage. A cloud-based data management system serves the same purpose as a traditional data management system that has been adapted to the cloud’s requirements.
Some platforms can manage and use data in both the cloud and on-premises environments. However, cloud data management considers that the policies for data stored on-premises and in the cloud can be very different.
Kenny shared the top 3 cloud data management challenges:
- Cloud Data Governance: Practicality across Hybrid & Cloud Environments
- Security, Protection & Monitoring of Sensitive Data Traversing to the Cloud
- Navigating through Piling Regulatory Mandates and Requirements
Along with the cloud data management, Kenny talked about the “Key Trends for 2022 and Beyond” that include a) Cybersecurity Mesh: Starting with Zero Trust Network/Architecture; b) Strengthening Identity & Access Management, Monitoring & Defense; and c) Distribution & Reframing of Cybersecurity Function.
Cyber security is the practice of safeguarding digital data and the computing infrastructure that processes or stores it as a necessary part of doing business, as many companies transmit sensitive data across networks and to other devices.
Companies and organisations, especially those entrusted with protecting sensitive data such as that related to national security, health, or financial records, need to take precautions to protect their valuable data as the number and sophistication of cyber-attacks increase.
Fireside Chat: Establishing a robust cloud data management strategy to prevent risks, achieve regulation compliance, and enhance data availability, accessibility, and security across multi and hybrid cloud environments
Huang Shaofei, Chief Information Security Officer, SMRT Corporation reiterated some of the benefits of cloud data management.
These include lowering data management costs; addressing data quality issues; centralising the organisation’s cloud data; scaling the data management resources based on current needs; utilising improved cybersecurity measures and technology and providing remote workers with simple access to the organisation’s cloud data.
An organisation can adjust its data management strategy to a cloud environment if it already has one. The most frequent modifications they must make are remote user access, the level of security required for various data types, regulatory requirements and data standardisation.
Establishing a clear cloud data management strategy will help organisations avoid risks, get around regulatory compliance obstacles and make informed decisions while also gaining the trust of their customers and citizens.
According to Shaofei, the need for trust is one of the biggest problems when it comes to getting organisations to use cloud computing. “Ask any CIO, and they will tell you that putting mission-critical systems in the public cloud presents significant challenges from a compliance, security and business standpoint due to a lack of visibility, auditability and verification for what happens to their data in the public cloud.”
When compared to traditional IT models, moving to a hybrid cloud presents significant challenges in interconnectivity, integration, data protection and management.
Many organisations are having trouble adapting their old processes, resources, and skills to hybrid, multi-cloud, and post-pandemic realities in the workplace, like remote work.
Resiliency means accepting failure and building the next steps that let the application respond to the event and get back to a fully functioning or optimal state as quickly as possible.
The degree of application resilience in the cloud and its relative importance to business continuity depends on several goals, requirements, and constraints that are influenced by the type of workload, the role of the users, and the organisation’s size and technical capabilities.
A cybersecurity strategy is a long-term plan outlining how an organisation will protect its assets over the coming years. Organisations must update their strategy as technology and cyber threats are subject to unpredictable change.
The goal of making and using a cybersecurity strategy is to make sure that assets are better protected. This usually means switching from a reactive security approach to a proactive one, where organisations focus more on preventing cyber-attacks and incidents than on responding to them after they happen.
The Singaporean government knows that each type of cloud computing offers its level of security and benefits. As a result, the nation’s cloud strategy entails adopting a multifaceted approach to cloud computing to harness the relevant cloud for the suitable requirement.
David emphasised the issue of uncertainty because of a variety of operational circumstances, particularly in cloud computing.
The use of cloud computing has affected resource allocation, node security communication, and secure storage, among many other things. The trust mechanism has successfully addressed the security issues with distributed computing by replacing conventional network security.
According to David, businesses moving to cloud computing – whether they’ve already done so or not -should be aware that they’re not just buying a particular good or service. “Instead, they’re forming a partnership with their cloud service provider. The cloud service provider for an organisation functions as an outpost of the IT division.”
The provider ought to be viewed as a reliable partner as a result. To make this happen, both the customer and the vendor must commit to open communication and transparency, which are typically unheard of when on-premise IT solutions are bought.
“You cannot derive commercial value from the data you collect if you do not foster trust throughout the data-sharing process,” says David.
Mohit feels that it is important for organisations to create trust-based procedures that instill high levels of faith in the data source as well as the data’s trustworthiness. “This enables you to integrate internal and external data utilisation with your company goals.”
Mohit is a massive believer in data sharing but security should come to it adding that “You cannot derive commercial value from the data you collect until you establish trust throughout the data-sharing process.”