Intelligent Data Centres Issue 32 | Page 45

wWhat are the key challenges owners Middle Eastern enterprises are grappling with considering accelerated Digital Transformation projects ?

In 2021 and beyond , organisations are adapting to different economic environments . We ’ ve already seen accelerated adoption of Digital Transformation with some instances of 10 years of change being implemented in only a few months .
We will continue to see a seismic change in the way we work and live . We ’ re still in the process of adaption and future-proofing . Network service providers have never played a more fundamental role as we adapt to meet these changing requirements .
Admittedly , some companies have faced challenges when it comes to the acceleration of Digital Transformation , particularly regarding connectivity and storage . For example , with connectivity , there has been a requirement for faster and more reliable connectivity – and that connectivity is needed wherever the user is .
With data storage , there were two main challenges : one was the security of data storage and the other was the higher capacity of the data storage .
How are organisations adapting their technology offerings to comply with these Digital Transformation demands ?
COVID-19 has really changed business priorities and , with them , the role of the network inside buildings and campuses . We ’ re seeing companies embrace a lot of remote connections and remote networks , with companies providing opportunities for employees to work from home or away from offices . Other companies are adapting their office sizes and trying to maintain social distancing for health and safety reasons .
Connecting employees to their offices and back to the network has never been more fundamental . Now , with the focus on employee and customer health and safety , we will continue to see building rollout secure VPN connections to connect customers and employees back to their offices and manage their networks differently .
This change will see greater integration and convergence between the Information Technology ( IT ) and Operational Technology ( OT ) teams as they need to make sure they maximise efficiencies and reduce the costs of the building .
We have recently noticed that the OT team is going to be implementing a lot of touchless access control . For example , they may implement several heat and temperature detecting cameras to make sure that customers , employees and visitors coming into the building are within the limits set by the government and health and safety regulations .
We ’ re going to see a lot of systems and applications on monitoring crowds and the space inside every office to ensure social distancing . IP security cameras , LED lights , digital signage with 4k and HD will be flooded into buildings .
Can you highlight how 5G and other emerging technologies will benefit enterprises in their quest to realise Digital Transformation goals ?
We ’ re all in the process of adaptation and future-proofing . It looks like the new normal is here to stay and we ’ re not going to go back to where we were . The networks have never played a more fundamental role as we adapt to meet the changing requirements . When we talk about new technologies , we need to think about the new emerging and the next generation technologies such as 5G and Wi-Fi 6 , and this leads to a common question around which technology should be adopted – 5G or Wi-Fi 6 ?
But why should you solely fix on one of the technologies and lock yourself in when you can have a convergence between both . These wireless and Wi-Fi networks are complementary and many enterprises will need both as they work together across a multitude of different use-cases with differing requirements . As we look forward to what ’ s yet to come in 2021 and beyond , we see the
opportunity to leverage the network to improve organisations , so we need to drive more business outcomes by reducing costs and increasing efficiency with a focus on improved health and safety as well as a better customer and employee experience .
What tools and solutions should organisations be investing in to enable this continued digitalisation while managing increased pressure on infrastructure ?
When thinking about investment , you need to think long-term . Organisations need to invest in a converged network that is versatile , with high-performance infrastructure which is capable of handling multiple kinds of application and services at the same time or simultaneously . We have fibre which has the performance and the flexibility to do that and can really handle both the fixed network and the wireless networks .
We also see that fibre can connect different types of projects and buildings such as residential , commercial and industrial . Fibre also enables increased network densification and improved connectivity at the Edge . Over the last five years we have seen an increased number of deployments of Edge data centres with a goal of getting information closer to the customer . These data centres are being connected with fibre . Now , to improve network connectivity , organisations need to partner with the right service providers . Those which prioritise virtualisation
Feras Hani , Infrastructure System Engineer , CommScope www . intelligentdatacentres . com