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EXCLUSIVE! Virtual Breakfast Insight: Accelerating Enterprise Digital Transformation from Edge to Cloud

Data must be processed and analysed safely and securely from every edge environment to multiple clouds as enterprises require insights on demand at any scale and in any location. Partnerships and platforms based on a consistent cloud experience across a hybrid landscape can guide enterprises through the next wave of digital transformation, providing the flexibility and agility required for data-driven business success.

According to HPE data, 63% of enterprises plan to modernise or update existing mission-critical apps, with 46% remaining on-premises. This necessitates the use of custom applications to containerise enterprise operations rather than simply standardising using a one-size-fits-all approach.

It all goes down to the nuts and bolts. Now that it is unanimous that digital transformation is essential, everyone has to figure out how to implement technology to move the business forward, especially as the pandemic seems to wind down. Nonetheless, new global challenges are evolving constantly, bringing about new threats and challenges.

Asia, with its massive population and appetite for all things online, have massive potential for digital transformation. It has Asia has the most number of mobile phones and corners nearly 60% of the world’s online retail sales. E-commerce in e Asia-Pacific e is expected to nearly double by 2025 reaching $2 trillion.

Certainly, the stakes may not be as high as they are now. And yet, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy for every enterprise out there. Every company must tailor-fit a solution to move forward best. Invariably, some of the key questions that could crop up would be:

  • How should my organisation implement digital transformation?
  • What approach should we use to come up with the right strategy?
  • What part of digital transformation should we prioritise first?

In essence, how must we move forward? Where should we allocate time, talent and treasure to make business transformation most impactful? And perhaps more importantly, how do we get everyone in our organisation on board?

This OpenGovLive! Virtual Breakfast Insight aimed to provide the latest information on the main factors that will recalibrate the digital transformation strategies towards sustainability and cost savings.

Digital Transformation: The Lasting Solution

Mohit Sagar Technologies to cope with new demands
Mohit Sagar: Companies must recalibrate to make such a digital transformation happen

Mohit Sagar, Group Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief, OpenGov Asia kicked off the event.

“Indeed, COVID-19 changed everything since the virus hit over two years ago,” Mohit says. “It pushed every envelope.”

But while the world may be seeing the tail end of the pandemic, new challenges are emerging that will disrupt businesses.

The problem could be about perspective. The digital transformation that we have right now must not be seen as a “band-aid” solution to a crisis. Rather, it must be seen as the way to work forward and thrive in the new normal.

Employees, who have tried the remote or hybrid model, do not want to back to a 100% in-office regimen. If 70% of the workforce present do not want to go back to the regular office, then all the more employees will not choose that, Mohit emphasises. Thus, companies must recalibrate to make such a digital transformation happen: to realign their 3 P’s – People, Process and Product.

People are getting smarter, used to the convenience of a tech-enabled life and will only get more demanding. Add to this is the fact that the world is rapidly evolving digitally so there is a need to stay ahead of the curve and stay relevant.

In a rapidly evolving digital landscape, new technology, tools and platforms offer amazing and effective solutions. Technology is the enabler that can protect, recover and manage data, create systems, better access and offer better experiences overall. When the 3P’s are aligned with tools and technology, organisations can genuinely transform.

Every organisation today still has its wheels spinning and that’s exactly what this session is covering. Participants can glean insights from each other as well as have access to products and resources that can help.

The Cloud Effect in Business

Mohan Krishnan:  Instead of buying cars, you want to hire a car and forget about it. That’s the trend in IT.

Mohan Krishnan, the HPE executive talked about the practical struggles of working from home and how he longed to travel and get back to the office. These are common issues with the worldwide workforce whereby transformation is about managing these challenges.

Mohan defines digital transformation in terms of two things: (1) data and (2) applications. As new sources of data never before extracted became available, IT is driven in all directions. As customers demand more, each department and agency needs more information to personalise and cater to individual demand. This is the age of the digital economy.

Mohan discussed the 3 key aspects that make IT more important now than ever.

  • Customer experiences drive customer loyalty
  • Digital products and services provide new income streams
  • Efficiency in core business drives greater savings

To address these and ensure a successful transformation, HPE’s focus also rests on three key pillars:

  • Edge Centric: developing better experience by connecting people, places and devices
  • Data-Driven: developing better insights with AI, unified big data and analytics
  • Cloud-Enabled: Hybrid Cloud solutions etc.

The new normal and the digital economy, has given rise to new phenomena. With aggregators and ride-hailing platforms, instead of buying cars, people hire cars and forget about the vehicle after the ride.

To close, Mohan shared the formula everyone can glean from for digital transformation. The formula is technology, people, and economics.

AMD and the Greater User Experience

Alexey Navolokin: Adding ‘Adaptive’ in our vision is a big change that has resulted in more product offerings

Alexey Navolokin, Director, Commercial Sales, Asia Pacific and Japan Region for Advanced Micro Devices, spoke on AMD’s role in user experience.

AMD is a world leader in the global semiconductor market cornering a sizable share in the computer processor sales. AMD’s vision is high-performance and adaptive computing is transforming our lives. The mission is to build great products that accelerate next-generation computing experiences.

AMD adds more devices and products to its portfolio and also offers the industry’s broadest portfolio of leadership high-performance and adaptive processor technologies,

Alexey acknowledges that digital transformation is changing lives. While digital transformation was essential and may have previously been about survival, the focus is now on enhancing digital experiences.

AMD is making great strides in that area by providing great products to accelerate the next generation computing experience in line with its vision.

Shaped by experience and market demand, they have fine-tuned the vision from high-performance computing to high-performance and adaptive computing. While it may be one word that has been added, it has wide-ranging implications in the way the company builds their products.

High Performance and Adaptive Computing include:

  • Cloud, network, Hyperscale and Supercomputing
  • 5G & Comms Infrastructure
  • AI & Analytics everywhere
  • Adaptive Intelligent Systems
  • Gaming, Simulation, and Visualisation
  • Smarter Client Devices & Edge

In short, they now have more advanced devices to offer. Moreover, A great partnership with HPE is an opportunity to provide a better service and makes sure that everything works well and delivers value.

Narasimhan Parthasarathy: Be Aware of Your Technical Debt

Narasimhan Parthasarathy: Every organisation has technical debt

Narasimhan Parthasarathy, Group Chief Technology Officer of Direct Asia Insurance talked about the technical debt that everyone has at work. Specifically, about one and a half-trillion dollars of technical liability that IT has accumulated over time.

Referring to Mohan’s presentation, he agrees with “everything as a service”. That is where the digital transformation is taking place and the technical debt actually influences moving towards everything as a service. He is convinced that essentially everything that is required can be offered as a service rather than rebuild each time.

To establish context, Narasimhan defines what technical debt is which is a debt that has been carried forward because of the various shortsighted or not considered patterns before implementation. Design is critical to great products. If companies introduce products that have shortcomings in the design, the company owes its clients – that is technical debt. It can involve four things: design debt, code debt, Infrastructure debt and data debt.

When it comes to design debt, whenever people design anything – whether it is an infrastructure, an application, any network, or security – if they do not design properly and consider various factors, this will be a design debt.

The second is code debt is when people do a code review, and they do not it properly. Infrastructure debt is not planning or giving adequate thought to the investment long term.

Even though data is the new oil, it could also be a debt. Data is an oxymoron because it could be a gold mine but on the flip side, it could also be a morass.

Delegates Interaction

After the informative presentations, delegates participated in interactive discussions facilitated by polling questions. This session is designed to provide live-audience interaction, promote engagement, hear real-life experiences and impart professional learning and development for the participants. It is an opportunity for delegates to gain insight from subject matter experts, share their stories and take back strategies that can be implemented in their organisations.

The first question asked what key challenge the delegates are experiencing. More than one-third (38%) said that it is challenging to extract relevant business insights from data trapped in legacy and hybrid IT infrastructure. Almost one-third chose a limited digital transformation budget while about a fifth (19%) agreed that efforts to ensure security and compliance requirements for business data needs to be improved. About a tenth (12%) found it difficult to provide a consistent cloud experience across my hybrid landscape to meet business needs. Budgets were also an area of concern.

On being asked about the main motivator that is driving digital transformation in delegates’ organisations, almost half (40%) agreed that the motivator is to speed up their time-to-market to fully capitalise on business opportunities. A little more than one-third (34%) of participants chose improved capability to manage the increasing amount of data at the edge locations while ensuring security and compliance. Delegates were equally split (13%) between growing need to maximise value/insights from increasing amount of data assets and to provide a consistent and seamless cloud-everywhere experience across a distributed enterprise.

A delegate explained the ability to provide services is a key consideration in their digital transformation adding everyone needs agility and flexibility to support business. But others had a different take. A Malaysian business leader who has been attached with banks and the shipping industry thinks proper handling of data is their biggest driving factor.

Concerning where delegates’ organisations are prioritising digital transformation strategy and roadmap, well over half (60%) focus on new digital offerings (e.g. payments, delivery options and ecosystem partner enablement). A little more than a quarter (26%) prioritise automation of processes by reducing human-based tasks. Delegates were equally divided (7%) between digital trust-ability of people, technology and processes to create a secure digital world and creation/manufacturing of new products or changed production lines.

Participants were polled on the most important benefit which can be achieved by adopting a  consumption-based IT-led digital transformation model. Almost a quarter (24%) thought the ability to drive innovation in the business, rather than focusing on operational issues is the most valuable.

Delegates were equally split among four options (19%): Correlating technology spending directly to outcomes; bringing agility back into IT, so that it can drive forward the priorities for the business; Getting an integrated view into cost, governance, performance, operations, and security; and accessing modern IT to deliver new services and modernise legacy assets.

A delegate chose this due to his IT infrastructure model and as people are moving from monolithic into microservices. By managing these services ourselves, it would be time-consuming and intensive. Meaning, the cloud can be a ready solution that will not cost as much. Using Pay-as-you-go (etc.) will definitely help the front end of the company. Rather than lose effort on maintaining these services.

The last question asked what is the reason which helps to decide where to keep your organisation’s applications and data. A little more than half (54%) chose data security and regulatory concerns. One-fifth (20%) said the reason is the ability to free up the IT team for more high-value strategic work instead of routine operational work. The rest equally (13%) opted for data gravity and the amount of control they have over the applications and data.

Conclusion

Shankar Raghavan, Senior Director, Advisory, Professional Services & Greenlake Cloud Services of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Asia Pacific, concluded the session.

Referring to Narasimhan’s thoughts, he felt that exchanging ideas is a great way to address the technical debt that organisations have.  An organisation must be able to evolve and adjust its operating model to provide value in its digital agenda. The emergence of a CTO in today’s organisation speaks volumes on how important digital transformation is today.

Shankar affirms the as-a-service concept to boost the customer experience as a whole. Embracing the concept can increase the organisation’s bottom line.

In closing, Shankar then thanked everyone for the very insightful exchange and the robust participation. He was eager to support delegates on their journeys and invited them to connect with his team and him.

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