Page 20

ISSUE 44 \ JULY-AUGUST 2022 How digital innovation is powering business growth at Al Khayyat Investments. A VISION FOR THE FUTURE

Introducing the Trellix Platform, a composable XDR ecosystem that brings detection, response, and remediation together in a single living security TRELLIX.COMsolution. The next evolution in XDR.


Published by Publication licensed by Sharjah Media City @Copyright 2022 Insight Media and Publishing Managing Editor Jeevan jeevant@insightmediame.comThankappan+97156-4156425


While the publisher has made all efforts to ensure the accuracy of information in this magazine, they will not be held responsible for any errors

THE SOVEREIGNTYCLOUD C loud is not a hard sell these days. Enterprise businesses are aware of the advantages of using cloud architecture. We have seen an uptick in adoption, especially in the last two years, as companies sought to mobilise their workforce and keep the business running in the wake of the pandemic. Many CIO surveys suggest that the cloud will see the biggest spending growth this year, and the SaaS model has already taken off in a big way in the region while IaaS and PaaS are slowly gaining traction. However, the public sector has been slow to embrace the cloud as many government entities are still evaluating their options in the face of stringent regulations around data privacy. This is why the sovereign cloud is a hot topic today. Sovereign clouds are architected to ensure all data, including metadata stays localised, and users have more control over security and access. This is expected to solve many compliance hurdles that public sector entities face today. A recent Capgemini survey reveals that many government/public sector organisations believe a sovereign cloud strategy provides them with a trusted and safe cloud environment for data and ease the sharing of data with trusted ecosystem partners as a benefit. According to the Capgemini survey, these are still early days for sovereign clouds. Many questions remain to be answered about data localisation, ownership, traceability, and access controls. With global cloud spending slated to cross the $1 trillion mark by 2024, it is time for public sector organiations to jump onto the bandwagon and lay out a well-defined cloud sovereignty strategy to tap the benefits. On a different note, we are gearing up for the second edition of our Cloud Connect event next month, and we are rallying together some of the thought leaders from the industry to discuss the latest cloud trends and strategies. We are also honouring the transformational cloud projects in the region at this event, and if you have not nominated your project yet, please hurry up. You do not want to miss this opportunity.

Sales Director Merle merlec@insightmediame.comCarrasco+97155-1181730 Operations Director Rajeesh rajeeshm@insightmediame.comNair+97155-9383094

Administration Manager Fahida Afaf fahidaa@insightmediame.comBangod+97156-5741456

Designer Anup Sathyan 2022

Production Head James jamest@insightmediame.comTharian+97156-4945966



National Marine Dredging Company has selected Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications Suite to enhance efficiency across various functions throughout its business operations.Byutilising a wide range of applications for finance, supply chain, HR, and customer service, the Group will be able to simplify and integrate critical business processes across verticals, to optimise spending, generate more insightful data, and better support its growing workforce.

Increasing spectrum availability will also facilitate robust and sustainable growth of the industry. “It is important for unified standards to be adopted worldwide,” said Mathlouthi. “Relevant spectrum guidelines will be released at the WRC at the end of 2023.” He predicted that 5.5G will be put into commercial use in Wang2025.Qi, Chief Marketing Officer of Huawei 5.5G Wireless Network, agreed with this prediction. He said that we will need wireless technologies that are more capable than 5G within the next 5 to 10 years as more intelligent applications emerge. 5.5G, the 5.5G, an enhanced version of 5G, is expected to be put into large-scale commercial use by 2025 to further digitalise the economy and society, and speed up green and intelligent transformations, according to an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) expert. Walid Mathlouthi, Head of the ITU’s Future Network & Spectrum Management Division made the above statement during the 5.5G and Intelligent World 2030 media roundtable at Huawei Win-Win Innovation Week held this week. Mathlouthi said that spectrum will be crucial for future ICT development, especially in mobile communications next proposed evolution of 5G, has already been defined by its ability to support 100 billion connections and ubiquitous 10 Gbit/s connectivity. This emerging technology will play a vital role in the growth of the digital economy. Wang believes that 10 Gbit/s downlink and millisecond-level latency will help bridge the virtual and physical worlds. He also said that other new 5G-based technologies such as NB-IoT, RedCap, and passive IoT will enable hundreds of billions of connections, and that integrated sensing and communication (ISAC) technologies will provide capabilities beyond connectivity. Further exploration of these technologies will be critical in driving innovation in a wider range of application scenarios. “5G will continuously evolve toward 5.5G with enhancements such as 10 times faster connectivity and stronger IoT and sensing capabilities,” Wang concluded.


“We continue to implement global practices in an environment where business dynamics change on a daily basis,” said Ahmed Al Dhaheri, CEO of NPCC. “The new Oracle applications suite demonstrates our commitment to ensuring our people have the right tools for success, allowing us to maintain operational excellence.”

“Oracle Fusion Applications will enable NMDC Group to benefit from an integrated platform that will improve operational efficiency and optimise business processes as the company consolidates and enters its next phase of growth,” said Rahul Misra, vice president business applications, Gulf and South Africa, Oracle. “With new innovations added quarterly, NMDC Group will also be able better respond to shifting market conditions and capitalise on new business opportunities.” and 5G to 5.5G evolution. The global industry value chain as a whole is currently concerned about ultrawideband spectrum allocation and all-uplink spectrum usage. It will be important to address these issues through industry-wide collaboration in networks, ecosystems, and services.



With an aim to increase flexibility and standardise business processes on a single platform, NMDC Group chose Oracle Fusion Applications to replace its highly customised on-premises legacy Oracle business systems through implementing the progressive and innovative Oracle Fusion Cloud Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Oracle Fusion Cloud Supply Chain & Manufacturing (SCM), Oracle Fusion Cloud Human Capital Management (HCM), and Oracle Fusion Cloud Customer Experience (CX). “NMDC continually looks to adopt the latest and most transformative technologies available on the market including the internet of things (IoT) and artificial Intelligence, that can truly empower our business and employees,” said Eng. Yasser Zaghloul, Group CEO. “Enhancing and standardising the Group’s business processes with the power of technology will contribute towards increased productivity, greater access to insights, and enhanced customer and employee experience.”

By creating a single platform, the Group is ideally positioned to capture growth opportunities in the UAE and in key regional markets, with strong capabilities across the value chain to support future expansion plans.

Sophos is also issuing “OODA: Sophos X-Ops Takes on Burgeoning SQL Server Attacks,” research about increased attacks against unpatched Microsoft SQL servers and how attackers used a fake downloading site and grey-market remote access tools to distribute multiple ransomware families. Sophos X-Ops identified and thwarted the attacks because the Sophos X-Ops teams combined their respective knowledge of the incidents, jointly analyzed them, and took action to quickly contain and neutralize the adversaries.“Moderncybersecurity is becoming a highly interactive team sport, and as the industry has matured, necessary analysis, engineering and investigative specialisations have emerged. Scalable end-to-end operations now need to include software developers, automation engineers, malware analysts, reverse engineers, cloud infrastructure engineers, incident responders, data engineers and scientists, and numerous other experts, and they need an organisational structure that avoids silos,” said Joe Levy, Chief Technology and Product Officer, Sophos. “We’ve unified three globally recognised and mature teams within Sophos to provide this breadth of critical, subject matter and process expertise. Joined together as Sophos X-Ops, they can leverage the strengths of each other, including analysis of worldwide telemetry from more than 500,000 customers, industryleading threat hunting, response and remediation capabilities, and rigorous artificial intelligence to measurably improve threat detection and response. Attackers are often too organised and too advanced to combat without the unique combined expertise and operational efficiency of a joint task force like Sophos X-Ops.”



Sophos X-Ops leverages the predictive, real-time, realworld, and deeply researched threat intelligence from each group, which, in turn, collaborate to deliver stronger, more innovative protection, detection and response capabilities.

ophos has announced Sophos X-Ops, a new crossoperational unit linking SophosLabs, Sophos SecOps and Sophos AI, three established teams of cybersecurity experts at Sophos, to help organisations better defend against constantly changing and increasingly complex cyberattacks.

Tenable has achieved the Application Security distinction in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Security Competency for its cloud-native vulnerability management solution. This designation recognises that Tenable has demonstrated and successfully met AWS’s technical and quality requirements for providing customers with a deep level of software expertise in Application Security to help them achieve their cloud security goals. Achieving the Application Security distinction in the AWS Security Competency differentiates Tenable as an AWS Partner Network (APN) member that provides specialised software designed to help companies – from startups and mid-sized businesses to the largest global organisations– to adopt, develop and deploy security into their AWS environments, increasing their overall security posture on AWS. To receive the designation, APN Partners must possess deep AWS expertise and deliver solutions seamlessly on AWS. “Tenable is proud to be an APN Partner to achieve the Application Security distinction in the AWS Security Competency,” said Ray Komar, vice president of technology and cloud alliances, Tenable. “Our team is dedicated to helping companies achieve their security goals by combining our vulnerability management expertise with the range of powerful security tools AWS provides.”


AWS is enabling scalable, flexible, and cost-effective solutions from startups to global enterprises. To support the seamless integration and deployment of these solutions, AWS established the AWS Competency Program to help customers identify AWS Partners with deep industry experience and expertise. “Tenable.io has unified our vulnerability management program under one tool set,” said Patrick King, Head of IT Operations and Security, Global Payments AU/NZ. “It’s brought together teams across different business units to use a common language around vulnerability posture. The solution is easy to use and streamlines our reporting.” Managed in the cloud and powered by Nessus technology, Tenable provides comprehensive vulnerability coverage with the ability to predict which security issues to remediate first. It’s a complete end-toend vulnerability management solution.

and industrial software to scale rapidly and flexibly leveraging Red Hat’s enterprise platforms and application services built on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.The collection, management, and analysis of industrial plant data is critical to improve the efficiency of operations while addressing safety, security and productivity needs. This is consistent with ABB’s strategy for the evolution of process automation. and applications suite that leverages industrial AI to drive Industry 4.0 digital business outcomes for customers. ABB’s Edgenius and Genix can both be scaled seamlessly and securely across multiple deployments. With this partnership, ABB will have access to capabilities like zero-touch provisioning (remote configuration of networks) which can increase manageability and consistency across plant environments.


The perpetuality of cyberattacks is also shedding light on the “haunting effect” data breaches are having on businesses, with the IBM report finding 83% of studied organisations globally have experienced more than one data breach in their lifetime. Another factor rising over time is the after-effects of breaches on these organisations, which linger long after they occur, as nearly 50% of breach costs are incurred more than a year after the breach. In the Middle East, the costliest breaches are often made by a malicious insider and can reach close to 9.6 million US dollars. This initial attack vector surpasses physical security compromises, stolen credentials, phishing attacks and cloud misconfigurations. The report did however highlight an improvement year-on-year where organisations in the Middle East are identifying and containing data breaches quicker and more effectively.

The 2022 Cost of a Data Breach Report is based on in-depth analysis of real-world data breaches experienced by 550 organisations globally, 31 of which are from the Middle East, between March 2021 and March 2022. The research, which was sponsored and analyzed by IBM Security, was conducted by the Ponemon Institute. “Businesses need to put their security defenses on the offense and beat attackers to the punch. It’s time to stop the adversary from achieving their objectives and start to minimise the impact of attacks. The more businesses try to perfect their perimeter instead of investing in detection and response, the more breaches can fuel cost of living increases.” said Charles Henderson, Global Head of IBM Security X-Force. “This report shows that the right strategies coupled with the right technologies can help make all the difference when businesses are attacked.”

Matt Hicks, executive vice president, Products and Technologies, Red Hat, said:“Red Hat is excited to work with ABB to bring operational and information technology closer together to form the industrial edge. Together, we intend to streamline the transition from automated to autonomous operations and address current and future manufacturing needs using open source technologies. As we work to break down barriers between IT and the plant level, we look to drive limitless innovation and mark a paradigm shift in operational technology based on open source.”

I BM Security has released the annual global Cost of a Data Breach Report, revealing costlier and higher-impact data breaches than ever before, with the global average cost of a data breach reaching an all-time high of $4.35 million for surveyed organisations. With breach costs increasing nearly 13% over the last two years of the report, the findings suggest these incidents may also be contributing to rising costs of goods and services. In fact, 60% of studied organisations globally raised their product or services prices due to the breach, when the cost of goods is already soaring worldwide amid inflation and supply chain issues.





The partnership enables virtualization and containerisation of automation software with Red Hat OpenShift to provide advanced flexibility in hardware deployment, optimised according to application needs. It also provides efficient system orchestration, enabling real-time, data-based decision making at the edge and further processing in theRedcloud.Hat OpenShift, the enterprise Kubernetes platform, with Red Hat Enterprise Linux as its foundation, provides ABB with a single consistent application platform, from small single node systems to scaled-out hyperconverged clusters at the industrial edge, which simplifies development and management efforts for ABB’s customers. Red Hat OpenShift increases the deployment flexibility and scalability of ABB Ability Edgenius, a comprehensive edge platform for industrial software applications, together with ABB Ability Genix Industrial Analytics and AI Suite, an enterprise-grade platform ABB and Red automationprocessusingindustriestopartnershipaannouncedhaveHatglobalenableABB’s


The top-targeted industry continues to be telecommunications, following a trend where it was among the top targeted sectors in Q4 2021 and Q1 2022, closely followed by organizations in the education and healthcare sectors. Other targeted verticals include financial services, local government, food services, retail, automotive, information technology, production and manufacturing. Meanwhile, the United States continues to be the top targeted country followed by Europe, Asia, North America and Middle East.

LATEST VERSION OF COLLABOS improve, and are easier than ever to deploy and manage and help deliver high-quality, equitable meeting experiences for everyone. The UAE is accelerating its digital transformation efforts, and according to Loubna Imenchal, Head of Video Collaboration at Logitech AMECA, Logitech is powering up its video collaboration (VC) devices through the latest CollabOS 1.6 and firmware updates, bringing helpful enhancements like expanded mic and camera support, camera speed controls, Local Network Access (LAN) configuration, and autorotate features to facilitate the hybrid meeting experience. The updates will make hybrid meetings easier to deploy, manage, and join. CollabOS is the unifying operating system which runs on select Logitech video collaboration devices. With CollabOS, these devices work seamlessly together, continuously organisations using Logitech solutions will notice that the CollabOS 1.6 update adds more collaborative value to their in-person, hybrid and virtual meetings.”

Ensuring equitability in hybrid meetings is important in today’s business environment and this means that every participant should feel and be equally seen and equally heard no matter if they are in the office or working at home. Having responsive and adaptable video is a crucial fixture in today’s meeting rooms, and Logitech’s CollabOS 1.6 update helps achieve this through expanded Mic Pod support, external camera support, and adjustable camera speed controls.

Compared to previous years, ransomware made up a smaller portion, comprising 15 percent of all threats, compared with 25 percent last quarter. The drop is attributed to various factors including the closure of several ransomware groups, whether it be of their own volition or the actions of global law enforcement agencies and governments.



Cisco Talos has released its latest quarterly report that examines incident response trends and global cyber threats. According to the report, during April, May and June 2022, commodity malware outpaced ransomware for the first time in more than a year, comprising 20 percent of the threats observed, followed by ransomware, phishing, business email compromise (BEC) and advanced persistent threats. This quarter mainly saw an increase in commodity malware threats, widely available for purchase or download. This type of malware is typically not customized and is used by a variety of actors to deliver additional threats in various stages of their operation and/or to deliver additional threats. Cisco Talos also observed ongoing Qakbot activity, which leverages thread hijacking, allowing threat actors to use compromised email accounts to insert malicious replies into the middle of existing email conversations.

Commenting on the report’s findings, Fady Younes, Cybersecurity Director, EMEA Service Providers and MEA said: “Organizations across countries of the Middle East and Africa hold a huge amount of sensitive data that is prone to cyber threats and needs to be secured. With cyberattacks becoming more sophisticated, the demand for comprehensive cybersecurity solutions is increasing.” He added: “Cisco is uniquely positioned to support governments and businesses of all sizes and across industries in our region, addressing the cyber security challenges they are facing, and helping them increase their security resilience.”

This update will make it easier to deploy new features and create a more seamless atmosphere to leverage oneclick content sharing and collaboration.”


and data management – and is poised to become a major powerhouse with industry analyst firms naming the company a leader and one of the fastest growing in its category,” said Sanjay Poonen, CEO and President, Cohesity. “In my due diligence with customers, I’ve found that Cohesity has the best technology in its category and protects data for many of the biggest brands in the Fortune 500. Above all, Mohit has built an incredible Cohesity has announced the appointment of Sanjay Poonen as CEO and President. He will also join the Cohesity Board of Directors. Poonen was formerly Chief Operating Officer (COO) of VMware and President of SAP. Mohit Aron, who has been CEO since founding the company in 2013, will accelerate Cohesity’s product innovation and roadmap as Founder and Chief Technology and Product Officer. Aron will continue to lead the company’s research and development (R&D), support and services, as well as the Office of the CTO. He will remain on the Cohesity Board of Directors.“Cohesity sits at the intersection of three of the highest priority business issues today – cyber security, cloud, team across the organisation that is committed to driving innovation while putting customers first. I look forward to leading this talented organisation and driving even further success in strong partnership with Mohit and all Cohesians.”Inhismost recent role as COO of VMware, Poonen oversaw sales, marketing, services, and alliances and played a key role in doubling revenues from approximately $6B to $12B. Poonen also played a vital role in architecting multiple successful cloud partnerships, including AWS, Microsoft, Google, and Oracle. He led the company’s security and end-user computing businesses, including the acquisition of AirWatch and Carbon Black. Prior to VMware, Poonen served as President of SAP where he led SAP’s Applications, Industries, and Platform teams, serving in engineering and sales roles that helped double SAP revenues from approximately $10B to $20B.




ectona Technologies has welcomed Mustafa Jamal Sofi as its Regional Sales Director of the Middle East & Africa to lead the overall GTM. Mustafa joins Sectona with nearly a decade of expertise in cybersecurity sales & distribution, working with Fortune 500 across MEA & APAC regions.


The appointment of Mustafa comes as the company opens its new office in Dubai, UAE, and is looking to accelerate its growth in the region. Mustafa’s expertise in niche cybersecurity solutions and his track record of delivering value to customers and channel partners will help Sectona PAM in phenomenal growth and outreach. “I am excited to join Sectona, a company I’ve been following very closely since their founding days. The product is very innovative and the young team’s plans for the region as well as Africa and Europe ensured that I leapt at the opportunity when it was presented to me. As the leading provider of privileged account security and dynamic employee remote access management for over 250 enterpriselevel customers, we’re committed to growing and strengthening our market position. I look forward to a long and fruitful journey here!” said Mustafa. Previously Mustafa served as the BU Head for one of the leading Cybersecurity Distributors in the MEA region. Nitish Kumar, the CEO of Sectona, said, “The proliferation of identities and anywhere access are increasing the need for organisations to secure privileged accounts from threat actors. It is high time to make the world a cyber secure place, and I am glad to have Mustafa join us in our mission to provide enterprises with robust PAM.”


“With our new unified platform, we’re enabling Middle East enterprises to move away from this disconnected, tactical approach to productivity, and instead embrace a radically simple and effective IT paradigm that delivers an inclusive and unified experience to all enterprise users,” Sambandam added.Kissflow’s new work platform consolidates capabilities for app development, process management, task management, case management, data management, integrations, analytics, and collaboration. It makes these easily consumable to end-users, teams, team managers, process experts, citizen developers and IT developers through the intuitive low-code, no-code model. This aligns with the company’s mission of democratising app development in the region to address the present and intensifying shortage of technical talent.“Even as IT workloads skyrocket, the needs of over 500 million business users is being served by a pool of just 26 million developers. It is a concerning disparity that threatens to cripple digital transformation initiatives,” said Sambandam. “Low-code/ no-code is the obvious solution as it enables business users to take control of their digital needs while IT leaders can continue providing a secure and scalable platform for digital growth. With 500 million business users becoming citizen developers, this will be the gamechanger that will drive the future of work.”


K issflow has unveiled its vision for seamless work acrossmanagementallfacetsof the modern enterprise. The company has consolidated solutions across its portfolio – including its low-code, no-code, process automation, collaboration, and analytics offerings – to deliver a unified low-code/no-code work platform that enables enterprises to fast-track digital transformation.Outlininghow the current, fragmented approach to work software hinders the success of digital initiatives, Suresh Sambandam, CEO, Kissflow said, “The multitude of siloed work management tools has created a complex, disjointed digital ecosystem. A holistic digital transformation is impossible without an inclusive approach where business experts and IT teams can co-create.”

we are still in the midst of. Almost every day there’s a new story about shortages caused by supply chain disruptions. Covid’s effect on the manufacturing world simply amplified existing vulnerabilities, and as much as we might want to go back to how things were, this appears unlikely to happen. Enabling agility through digital “senseand-response” Built with real-time operational data, digital twins can help understand what the plant is “capable-to-promise”, by providing real-time situational awareness via edgeto-enterprise visibility. Furthermore, the digital twin provides the foundation for AI and predictive analytics to provide powerful insights that empower workers to optimise processes and throughput. To respond effectively to supply chain disruptions that are occurring on almost AN INCREASINGLY STRESSED SUPPLY CHAIN IS CAUSING CPG MANUFACTURERS TO LOOK FOR WAYS TO BECOME MORE AGILE AND RESILIENT. ENABLING THE RIGHT DIGITAL CAPABILITIES CAN HELP MANUFACTURING PLANTS – AND THEIR WORKERS – TO RESPOND TO CHANGING MARKET CONDITIONS MORE RAPIDLY, SAYS SREE HAMEED, CONSUMER PRODUCTS INDUSTRY STRATEGIST, AVEVA THE HOLISTIC SHIFT


The focus for manufacturing operations in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) sector is changing. Where before plant efficiency was the top priority, this has now expanded to include agility – both of the plant and the wider supply chain. In the past, the goal of digital investments was to improve cost efficiencies, with overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) considered the main key performance indicator (KPI). Even when supply chains became global, further increasing the risk of disruptions, manufacturers protected plants from variability with inventory so they could continue to focus on efficiency. However, the pandemic fundamentally challenged this way of working. The speed at which it was able to disrupt global supply chains has been an unprecedented stress test, and one a daily basis, capabilities like advanced planning and scheduling can align the plant with supply chain planning to quickly adapt to fast-changing situations. Improving the plant-to-supply chain linkage gives the business more options to respond by looking holistically across the “sourcemake-deliver” processes. Enabling agility through empowered workers A connected business, with access to information anywhere and at any time, increases agility and enables manufacturers to respond to the challenge of today’s dynamic markets. Coupled with knowledgeable and empowered workers – who are the ultimate drivers of continuous improvement and resilience – businesses can really push the boundaries of their agility. Indeed, a key factor for future manufacturing operations improvements is collaboration of people and systems. Digital transformation makes information more accessible to employees, connecting them to plant processes, data and systems as well as other workers across functional domains and functions, developing a living repository of staff knowledge and experience. Embracing agility Businesses cannot control incidents that occur across the wider supply chain, but having agility and resilience allows them to adapt quickly. By taking steps to improve the supply chain, companies are better positioned to make the right decisions when issues occur, as well as gather data around long-term trends and patterns to become more agile and resilient in the future.

Customers and suppliers: Segmentation and price. In a recent AVEVA survey, we asked several CPG companies two questions: What happened in your business in the pandemic? How could you have prepared if you knew ahead of time? The answers are revealing and uncover the essence of what it means to be an agile and resilient business. The majority of respondents said they aimed to match demand and supply in a more predictive, prognostic and profitable way through digitisation. CPG leaders also said they would be more mindful of operating under vastly different and changing conditions using different strategic levers.

Corrective action plans So what actions did companies take during this tumultuous time to ensure the survival of their businesses? First of all, organisations realised the criticality of timely information and a fluid and responsive supply chain. More companies turned to full digital transformation to enable a supply chain without fatal delays orCPGdisconnects.leadersalso realised the importance of enabling a flexible workforce, through skills rotation, temp training and automation assistance. Another critical – and possibly fatal – pain point to be addressed was the ‘bullwhip effect’ –where one delay reverberates and lengthens as it travels along the value chain. To counter these delays, leaders tore down walls across the network to better collaborate with their contract manufacturing partners. And began to stratify their factories by role – such as launch products or flexible lines – and conducted overall network and inventory assessments. To counter the pain point of segmentation, companies are also working harder to symbiotically align markets and categories with demand. Instead of leveraging sales and marketing to drive unlimited demand, CPG leaders looked to match supply and capacity. Businesses also looked to carefully raise prices amid government intervention. And crucially, companies chose to spend and invest in digital initiatives for future resilience. CPG leaders no longer view saving cash as the key objective – avoiding future cash haemorrhages through resilience planning and investment is now paramount.

Put simply, in light of the pandemic, global CPG companies faced a do-ordie supply chain paradigm shift. And those businesses that lag on redesigning processes for a new age of rapid supply shocks and uncertainty ultimately risk losing revenues on unforeseen cost burdens, such downtime, employee absenteeism, and empty shelves. Death of the old supply chain model

Businesses endeavoured to carry out more frequent and systematic reviews of overall operations. They also committed to co-manufacturing and tighter integration and strategic alliances with partners. Above all, CPG leaders are now realising that information and relationships is the lifeblood of their supply chains. The investment mindset is also shifting from cost reduction to cost avoidance. In many cases, a singular supply chain is no longer enough. Businesses are increasingly opting to embrace multiple supply chain responses based on factors such as customer and product segmentation.

The training programme

The holistic shift Following the pandemic, companies are being pushed to redesign their supply chain design principles in a holistic manner – allowing for factories, suppliers, vendors and distribution centres to work together in an integrated, flexible fashion. There is a marked move away from linear, silo-based thinking to network-based processes.

Today there are eight company ‘levers’ that enable both agility and resilience, providing the ability to thrive in an increasingly dynamic business operating environment. Foundational: Information, relationships and cash. Operations: Time, inventory, and capacity.


For the purpose of this article, let’s take a deeper dive into how value chains of the future are evolving for the newnormal world. Let’s start by looking at the typical value chain structure: On the demand side, marketing and sales sought to better understand their customers and worked with R&D to create (or acquire) the right products. On the supply side, the supply chain team orchestrated procurement, production and distribution to source, make, and deliver those products. For decades, this arrangement was the order of the day. The predictable consumption patterns and stable networks allowed businesses to tightly adhere to an optimised plan of product quality, quantities, and timing – keeping the cost of production as low as possible. To manage supply chain variance, companies would implement a standard inventory buffer which responded to replenishment signals, maximised factory utilisation by ‘sweating the assets’, and implemented just-in-time vendor/product replenishment strategies. But in the pandemic world, this decadesold model has cultivated brittle supply chains. Amid a new and morphing era of sharp shocks – such as port delays, supplier disruptions and changing consumer buying habits – companies have learned that efficiency (e.g., just-in-time inventory, full utilisation) can come at a cost if the system is unable to absorb these shocks. Today’s unpredictable business world demands greater agility and resilience. Towards agility and resilience So how should we think about agility and resilience? A useful metaphor can be seen in world-class athletes. When it’s time to compete, top competitors unleash their maximum performance and operate at the outer, exceptional fringes of human capability. But this level of output cannot be sustained 24/7 without damaging the body. So, as well as agility –which is evidenced in the ability to perform – athletes, like businesses, must cultivate resilience. It is resilience – the ability to withstand shocks and the unknown – that protects the asset and allows it to perform over the long-term. And like a muscle, resilience is crafted through careful performance strategies and training. Together, the qualities of agility and resilience represent the backbone of any high-performing athlete – or business entity.

software. In the third year, the group brought in transportation management solution, automated proof of delivery and demand sensing technologies. “Now we are in the fourth year and the whole framework is complete and working perfectly. It wasn’t a technology project that we were deploying, all the decisions we took were based on what made business sense and added value to our operations.” One of AKI’s key focuses was to enhance capabilities and efficiencies in distribution and achieve the ‘perfect order’. “Unless you have a holistic view of the business and define the priorities and aspirations, how to engage with customers and so on, it is not possible to design the technology framework. Our technology architecture was completely aligned with the current and future needs of the business.”

Lokhandwala and his team developed a detailed plan that spanned over four years. In the first year, the team worked on getting the basics and designing the framework. The second year was all about simplifying and automating the processes with warehouse management

Digital transformation may mean different things to different people, depending on their requirement and the industry they belong to. However, one thing that everyone can agree on is that it is never just about the technology. In fact, according to Gartner, for successful digital transformation, organisations must look at beyond technology and focus on assessing and managing the intricate mix of strategy, leadership, business need and – well, technology.




What we know today as AKI was founded in 1982 as Alphamed General Trading. The company has grown tremendously over the years and now employs over 5,000 members of staff with a turnover of more than $ one billion. With a diverse portfolio of business units that includes distribution, healthcare, retail, contracting and automotive; using a shared infrastructure for warehousing, distribution and logistics, human resources, administration, finance, and IT; Lokhandwala and his team had their work cut out for them to develop a group-wide transformation framework”.putlevel,transformthetransformationLokhandwalaprogramme.says,“OurdigitaljourneybeganwithBoardrealisingthattheywanttothebusinessatagroupleveragingtechnology.So,wetogetherabusinessarchitecture

Sajid Lokhandwala, Group Chief Information Officer, Al Khayyat Investments (AKI), a family-owned company operating in diverse industry verticals, reiterates this point as he shares AKI’s digital transformation journey.

“Our aim was to simplify the system to such an extent that it is intuitive for our support staff like packers and drivers, so there is minimal learning required. And yet have strong controls in place so that there is no room for anyone to make any mistakes. We have achieved the fine balance between the two, optimising our operations

This meant that AKI had to deploy technologies that enabled accurate demand forecasting and demand sensing. “It is very important to predict customer requirements for the future,” he adds. “We also need to track supplier performance and evaluate their ability to fulfil the order because it is not necessary that every supplier can fulfill an order 100 percent.”


Besides enhancing the supplier side of operations, AKI has also implemented extreme automation for the customer side of the equation to boost resiliency and“Fromproductivity.theconsumer division alone, we were looking at about 12,000 –15,000 incoming orders from large regional customers. To streamline this process, we needed end-to-end API based system-to-system integration, which would allow us to directly pick up and action orders from the system. This way there would be no manual intervention required from the point of order generation to execution. To enable this, we put together a vision of ‘straight-through-processing’.”

Over the coming quarters, we will see AKI revamping its omnichannel stack for BinSina, AKI’s flagship pharmacy chain, and developing an omnichannel stack across AKI retail, which also includes brands such as Holland & Barrett and fashion stores for many mid and high-end labels. “We are now working on leveraging the omnichannel capabilities we have for BinSina to our other retail brands. We have all the components required, such as our own delivery management solution, centralised order management and so on, for developing an omnichannel stack across our entire retail“Webusiness”.havecome a long way but this is just a milestone. There are a lot of opportunities for Business enhancements in the digitisation and automation journey”, Lokhandwala concludes.

The degreesautomatemethod‘straight-through-processing’helpedthecompanytoallitsprocessesfroma360perspective.Thewayitworks

Now when a customer generates an order, it is automatically picked up by the company’s system and goes to the ERP for the necessary credit checks and balances. Once everything checks out, it goes straight to the warehouse, without any human intervention required.

Drivers are also enabled with handheld devices and their routes are already planned as per order priority, and the proof of delivery is now automated through the system.

“This way the drivers do not have to make any decisions, it is all automated and unless he closes a particular delivery, he will not receive instructions for future deliveries.

“The whole game is about efficiency and that comes when you are tracking KPIs. This helps to keep us evolving and improving. The biggest number for a distribution business is inventory accuracy and we are proud to say that we have achieved 99.4 percent accuracy in this regard. We have about 2.5 million items being packed in the warehouse per month, so that is the volume of orders we deal with. Our order fulfillment accuracy is 99 percent for 24-hour delivery SLA.”

“This way the warehouse gets the visibility of tomorrow’s orders, and we further link it up with our transport management system. The transport management system prioritises the orders, the packing is then done accordingly, and the itinerary is created for the driver. The planning happens from a transportation perspective and that is translated to the shop floor.”

AKI has ensured the technologies in place, for example its ERP or core warehouse management system or delivery and transport management system, RPA, IoT, etc., empower the process and systems within the warehouse across verticals to execute the incoming orders precisely. The CIO explains, “We have made sure that we have the best-in-class solution for each vertical. We are also joining all the systems using a middleware layer so that data is flowing across the multiple and varied systems seamlessly.”

Lokhandwala explains that the ‘perfect order’, coined internally by AKI, is when a customer’s order that includes multiple line of items with each line having additional items or information are translated into the warehouse and fulfilment of the order takes place exactly as per the customer’s requirement. “For this to happen, the supply chain process must be seamless and robust. Therefore, the first thing we did in our digital transformation journey was to bring in efficiencies in the supply chain.”

is that the inventory from suppliers is now calculated based on demand planning and demand sensing technologies, the systems in the warehouse make sure of stock availability and stock accuracy and incoming orders from customers can now be fulfilled on demand.

Lokhandwala reiterates that the whole transformation journey was possible because strategic initiatives at AKI are formulated in full alignment with the MD and the CEOs of different business units. The CIO and Chief Supply Chain Officer work in close collaboration to deliver the vision. “We have married the top-down approach with the bottom-up. This is the secret sauce of our success. The vision and strategies are formulated at the top and the actual implementation is done to make the lives of line workers simpler. We think about a day in the life of a packer or driver and see how we can solve the challenges they face. When you design a transformation plan, thinking about the challenges and opportunities from the grassroot levels, it always works.”


There is an increasing pressure on business to be more sustainable and make their IT investments carbon-neutral. Many countries in the Middle East, including the UAE, have announced their plans to transition to a net-zero future, creating new opportunities for tech companies to develop the underpinning technologies. Many tech majors such as Apple and Intel have unveiled ambitious plans to make their businesses carbon neutral within this decade. Apple plans to cut down emissions by 75 percent while deploying carbon removal solutions for its end-to-end business by 2030. Intel has announced plans to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in its global operations by 2040, and to drive supplier greenhouse gas emissions reductions. The company plans to increase energy efficiency, lower the and I/O. This both optimises performance as well extends the life of products resulting in less eWaste.

Intel says it will look at the entire system architecture to drive its sustainable products strategy – data centre to rack to platform to silicon – and then design products to enable optimising for sustainability throughout the system.


A key innovation in this area is creating modular server where data centre operators can upgrade compute, network,

Intel’s vision is to drive continuous innovation around Sustainable Semiconductor Manufacturing. This includes driving to net-zero carbon consumption in product manufacturing, using renewable electricity sources to power its manufacturing sites, and driving to water-positive factory usage.

total carbon footprint of Intel products and platforms, and work with customers and industry partners to create solutions that lower the footprint of the entire technology ecosystem.

Intel has also announced two new investments in its continuing efforts to create more sustainable data centre technology solutions. First, Intel unveiled plans to invest more than $700 million for a 200,000-square-foot, state-of-the art research and development mega lab focused on innovative data center technologies and addressing areas such as heating, cooling and water usage. Additionally, Intel introduced the technology industry’s first open intellectual property (open IP) immersion liquid cooling solution and reference design. With the initial design proof of concept initiated in Taiwan, Intel aims to simplify and accelerate the implementation of immersion liquid cooling solutions throughout the ecosystem globally.

Another tech major Lenovo has announced various innovations in manufacturing, supply chain, and operations that are helping to make IT hardware and supply chains more sustainable and more efficient. One of Lenovo’s key solutions for improved energy efficiency is the Neptune direct water-cooling infrastructure, which offers much more efficient cooling for data centers than traditional air cooling. Neptune can remove approximately 90% of the heat from a computer or data system, thereby reducing energy consumption, increasing efficiency and improving performance. Lenovo is also investing in the use of more sustainable materials both in hardware manufacturing and product packaging.Withtech companies having a major role in paving the path to our net-zero future, what are some of the key sustainable technology innovations to watch out for?

He cites the example of the sustainable impact of a Smart City approach that leverages smart sensors, 5G and Machine Learning. This can offer intelligent automated traffic control that can reduce carbon emissions substantially by predicting traffic flow and diverting traffic in real-time, to help with the smooth flow of traffic. These technologies can also provide additional benefits to city planners with regards to housing locations, consumer outlets and most importantly, the consumer supply chains that employ a large number of trucks within the city.


“New technologies are rapidly transforming all aspects of our economy, society and environment. Today, governments and businesses are leveraging advanced technologies to introduce new business models, promote sustainability, and improve the general standard of living for today’s global citizens. IoT, AI, machine learning, blockchain technology, 5G, robotics, and cloud computing are several technologies that are being leveraged in solutions to achieve these goals,” says Ahmed Ibrahim, Director, Global Business Development –Service Providers at Intel. The biggest environmental impact from IT is the data centre, and energy consumption from data centres, says Alaa Bawab, General Manager Infrastructure Solutions Group (ISG), Middle East & Africa, Lenovo. Currently, around 1% of global electricity is used to power data centres and as we progress towards a world where data is projected to grow to 463 exabytes of data created every day by 2025, electricity consumption could multiply rapidly. The energy impact goes beyond just the electrical. According to a US Government report, a data centre will need on average around 1.8litres of water for every kWh consumed, predominantly for air conditioning purposes. This means that technologies that can improve the efficiency of data centres are going to have the greatest impact. For example, proper data storage and management policies can help companies reduce the amount of redundant data or inefficient data storage, which can reduce the need for extra computing resources thereby reducing consumption of power and water, says Bawab. “The AI spectrum is by far the most promising sustainable technology innovation when employed in association with other technologies such as IoT,” says Miguel Khouri, General Manager, GBM Abu Dhabi. “New capabilities made available by AI and IoT advancements are leading to more intelligent automation - whether in utility services, transport networks, or other sectors - and are starting to show massive benefits in minimizing energy expenditures, while also giving business leaders deeper insight into their operational performance.”

We cannot discuss sustainable technologies without highlighting cloud computing, as it is an essential technology that reduces emissions from small to medium companies who need IT and all the components associated with it to run their business, such as cyber-security, websites, applications’ compute and disaster recovery. Gartner says public cloud services offer great sustainability potential with their ability to centralise IT operations and operate at scale using a shared Miguel KhouriAlaa BawabAhmed Ibrahim

Omar AkarBjorn Viedge


“With organisations, on the other hand, the implementation of sustainable solutions can result has the biggest impact in reducing energy consumption, and therefore reducing power bills. Along with direct savings for reducing the energy to power IT systems, more efficient IT systems will consume less cooling, which means lower water bills, and less cost for facilities cooling. More efficient operating of IT systems in turn contributes towards longer life cycles, for a lower long-term operating cost.”

“Because digital solutions are so ingrained in today’s economic fabric, it is essential that technology lifecycles are considered by both business leaders and technical innovators—neither operating in a silo. It requires in-depth knowledge of the business and IT requirements for the near future, at minimum, as well as a financial analysis that allows for the appropriate spending, to realise the full benefits to the business,” he says.

Khoury from GBM says technology lifecycle management requires many aspects of the business to be considered. To improve technology lifecycles, it is essential to conduct an analysis of the business processes, mapped to the technology requirements, from applications to infrastructure, while taking into account the lifespan of those technologies from the facets of suitability, integration capabilities, administration, support and security.

How can enterprises in the region benefit from green technologies.

Viedge from ALEC sums up: “Apart from the benefits gained in the reduction of operational expenses from using low carbon emitting green technologies, organisations also stand to benefit if seeking finance. We are presently witnessing a refocusing of capital towards ESG as financial institutions, wealth funds and others have begun aligning their portfolios with net zero objectives. These organisations would also be better positioned to bid for lucrative government tenders which will no doubt prioritise businesses with green operations given how countries such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia have each announced their net zero goals for 2050 and 2060 respectively.”

Bawab from Lenovo says by adopting green technologies, organisations in the Middle East can actively contribute to the national sustainability goals and objectives and can also reap various benefits for themselves, including meeting their own corporate sustainability targets. “Many countries in the Middle East now have sustainability agendas, which pave the way towards a better, cleaner and safer environment.

FEATURE service model, resulting in greater computing efficiency. Bjorn Viedge, General Manager at ALEC Data Centre Solutions, says the demand is greater than ever for new data centres as the sheer volume of data being generated by modern enterprises grows exponentially and more businesses move to the cloud. In the region and even globally, the vast majority of data centres have racks and white spaces which are air-cooled, and is definitely not the most efficient way of cooling. In the Middle East region, this is even more pronounced given the extreme outdoor temperatures. “This is why at ALEC Data Centre Solutions, we firmly believe in the immense value and need for liquid immersion cooling for data centres. In addition to the sustainability benefits, liquid cooling will likely become a de facto standard. With computing equipment approaching the higher end of operating parameters, and with chip densities continuing to increase, air cooling will no longer be feasible. We’re already seeing manufacturers such as Intel consider liquid cooling as an important part of new chipset designs,” he says. What can be done to improve technologyAccordinglifecycles?toOmarAkar, Regional Vice President, Middle East & Emerging Africa, Pure Storage, enterprises considering their own environmental impact and how they can improve the lifecycle of technology investments should focus on two key areas: engineer for a smaller footprint and develop an as-a-service approach. Corporate data centers are often still optimized for reliability, performance, or cost and less for efficiency. Old magnetic disk technologies delivered capacity yet sacrificed inefficient power usage and e-waste. Solid-state media can enable organizations to design and operate less resource-intensive data centers and can help shrink footprints dramatically, he says. True “as-a-Service” solutions are about buying an outcome (i.e. Service Level Agreement) and having a thirdparty deliver it. “You should be able to start small, grow over time and have transparency over pricing and related KPIs, including sustainability. In storage, that requires architecture that enables technology improvements without costly and disruptive rip-and-replace projects, are capable of flexing up and down as you need, and only deploying equipment as it is required,” he adds.


Undoubtedly, staying on top of availability and performance is far more challenging in a software-defined cloud environment, where everything constantly changes in real-time. But digital transformation projects and innovation initiatives continue to run at break-neck speed; the heat is on for technologists to adapt and get the visibility and insight they need across these modern environments. Why is it challenging to monitor hybrid cloud environments?

W hy is nativewithinperformancemanagingcloud-applications and architectures a business imperative today? Digital transformation initiatives, accelerated in major part by the pandemic, led to the rapid adoption of cloud-native technologies such as microservices and Kubernetes over the last two years. These modern application architectures offer huge benefits for organisations in terms of improved speed to innovation, greater flexibility, and improved reliability. But many IT teams are now finding themselves under immense pressure as they attempt to monitor and manage availability and performance across hugely complex cloud-native application architectures. In particular, they’re struggling to get visibility into applications and underlying infrastructure for large, added a new level of complexity; organisations found themselves continually scaling up and down their use of IT based on real-time business needs.

While monitoring solutions have adapted to accommodate rising deployments of cloud, alongside traditional on-premise environments, the reality is that most were not designed to efficiently handle the dynamic and highly volatile cloud-native environments that we increasingly see today. In the end, it’s a matter of scale. These highly distributed systems rely on thousands of containers and spawn a massive volume of metrics, events, logs and traces (MELT) telemetry every second. And currently, most technologists simply don’t have a way to cut through this crippling data volume and noise when troubleshooting application availability and performance problems caused by infrastructurerelated issues that span across hybrid environments. Is that why cloud-native observability is so important now? Yes, it is now essential for technologists to implement a cloud-native observability solution to provide observability into highly dynamic and complex cloud-native applications and technology stack. For technologists to be able to properly understand how their applications are behaving, they need visibility across the application level, into the supporting digital services (such as Kubernetes) and into the underlying infrastructure-ascode (IaC) services (such as compute, server, database and network) they leverage from their cloud providers. But managed Kubernetes environments running on public clouds.

Traditional approaches to availability and performance were often based on physical infrastructure. Flashback 10 years and IT departments operated a fixed number of servers and network wires. They were dealing with constants and fixed dashboards for each layer of the IT stack. The introduction of cloud computing CISCO HAS LAUNCHED APPDYNAMICS CLOUD, A CLOUD-NATIVE OBSERVABILITY PLATFORM FOR MODERN APPLICATIONS, WHICH ARE BASED ON INCREASINGLY COMPLEX, DISTRIBUTED ARCHITECTURES AND SERVICES. GREGG OSTROWSKI, EXECUTIVE CTO AT CISCO APPDYNAMICS TELLS US HOW APPDYNAMICS CLOUD HELPS TECHNOLOGISTS CUT THROUGH THE COMPLEXITY OF MANAGING HYBRID CLOUD ENVIRONMENTS AND DELIVER SEAMLESS DIGITAL USER EXPERIENCES.


This pandemic-accelerated trend has spawned an end-to-end experience revolution among consumers and end users, and hybrid work is contributing exponential momentum. To deliver the consistent, reliable digital experiences that consumers and end users now demand, IT teams must monitor and manage a dynamic set of application dependencies across a mix of infrastructure, microservices, containers, and APIs using home-grown IT stacks, multiple clouds, SaaS services, and security solutions. Unfortunately, traditional monitoring approaches break down in this vastly complex and dynamic ecosystem.AppDynamics Cloud seamlessly ingests the deluge of metrics, events, logs, and traces (MELT) generated in this environment — including network, databases, storage, containers, security, and cloud services—to make sense of the current state of the entire IT stack all the way to the end user. Actions can then be taken to optimise costs, maximise transaction revenue, and secure user and organisational data. Built from the ground up with cloudnative observability, AppDynamics Cloud is about real outcomes, so organisation can fix issues when they arise, or even before they happen, and ensure digital services offer exactly what users want.

before rushing to implement a solution to this growing challenge, there are some important factors for technologists to consider when thinking about observability into cloud environments. They should be looking to implement a purpose-built solution that can observe distributed and dynamic cloud-native applications. Traditional monitoring solutions continue to play a vital role, and will do so for years to come, but it becomes problematic when cloud functionality is bolted onto existing monitoring and APM solutions. Too often, when new use cases are added to existing solutions, data remains disconnected and siloed, forcing users to jump from tab to tab to try to identify the root causes of performance issues. Furthermore, very few of these solutions provide complete visibility, for example, insight into business metrics or security performance. Many are naturally biased towards a particular layer of the IT stack depending on their legacy, whether the application or core infrastructure. So what should technologists consider when evaluating a cloudnative observability solution? Technologists need a solution that allows them to monitor the health of key business transactions that are distributed across their technology landscape. If an issue is detected, they need to follow the thread of the business transaction’s telemetry data, so they can quickly determine the root cause of issues, with fault domain isolation, and triage the issue to the correct teams for expedited resolution. And they’ll need a solution that combines observability with advanced AIOps functionality. They need to leverage the power of AIOps and business intelligence to prioritise actions for their cloud environments. In the future, organisations will utilise AI-assisted issue detection and diagnosis with insights for faster troubleshooting. Ultimately, it allows technologists to focus more quickly on what really matters and where and why it happened. As the application world has evolved massively over the past two years, technologists must ensure that their monitoring capabilities keep pace. From understanding how highly-distributed cloud-native applications work and predicting incidents, to adopting new ways to gather vast amounts of MELT telemetry data, teams across IT Ops, DevOps, CloudOps, and SREs need contextual insights that provide business context deep within the tech stack. Only with the right cloud-native observability solution in place will organisations be able to maximise the benefits of modern applications, driving enhanced digital experiences for customers and improved business outcomes. What can you tell us about your recently launched cloud-observability platform, AppDynamics Cloud? AppDynamics Cloud enables the delivery of exceptional digital experiences by correlating telemetry data from across any cloud environment at a massive scale. It leverages cloud-native observability to remediate application performance issues with business context and insights-driven actions. It delivers power and usability in a single, intuitive interface. And puts the focus where it needs to be, on 360-degree visibility and insights and the ability to take action that leads to extraordinary application experiences every time. Moreover, AppDynamics Cloud maximises business outcomes and customer experiences by continuously optimising cloud-native applications. It accelerates the detection and resolution of performance issues before they impact the business or the brand with intelligent operations. Investment protection is derived from continuous data integrations with OpenTelemetry standards and technology partnerships with cloud solutions and providers. New teams manage cloud-native applications with different mindsets, skills, and ways of working. Does this platform meet their needs? The platform enables collaboration across teams, including DevOps, site reliability engineers (SREs), and other key business stakeholders to achieve common benchmarks like service-level objectives (SLOs) and organisational KPIs. While many organisations still run their missioncritical and revenue-generating systems with traditional applications, modern business apps are increasingly built using DevOps initiatives and must support distributed architectures and services.


• Automate time-consuming manual security processes with the application of advanced automation tools helping with threat hunting, vulnerability management, analyses of user behaviour etc. Can you share details of Inspira’s offerings to the regional market?

• Conduct cybersecurity assurance assessments, increase incident response, and encourage team training to learn advanced technologies and solutions related to the maintenance of infrastructural security and protecting the safety of sensitive data.


W hy is it essential for the regional enterprises to become more cyber resilient? Enterprises in the middle east have transformed post-pandemic owing to digital transformation, helping to introduce new business models. Over the years, I have seen influencers and company leaders constricting their security knobs to achieve a better cyber security posture. Managing physical and cloud environments has also become a challenge in recent times. It is high time enterprises in the Middle East should stay updated about the existing threats and imbibe cyber resilience in their security strategy.

• Maintain continuous monitoring of organisational “crown jewels” and asset inventory. Regularly update operating systems, enterprise networks and application software to apply security patches as and when available.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) cyber-attacks have drastically affected digital security in the middle cloud innovation, cloud security, business analytics, Threat Modelling, “CyberIn-A-Box” and similar technologically advanced solutions, encouraging digital transformation and robust security forces acrossMainlyenterprises.thefocus stays on bringing the cyberspace closer to reality and near to a secure future. Below are some significant cyber security offerings that Inspira integrates to build a robust cyber resilience strategy for organisations globally: Cyber Advisory: Increased cyber threats have resulted in massive transformation with the adoption of digital technologies. Realignment of existing cyber posture has become the need of the hour. Inspira’s Cyber Advisory practice monitors pertinent cyber risks, develops active defence mechanism and suggests a holistic cyber resilience strategy to resist various cyber-attacks. Cyber Transformation: Inspira’s cyber security operations are applied globally to secure critical and sensitive environments in various commercial spaces. The cyber operations team leverages tailored cyber threat intelligence and implements digital transformation capabilities to strengthen the cyber security posture.

• Perform security audits at intervals to identify and eliminate vulnerabilities

Holding years of experience in the cyber security scenario, here are some top tips to achieve cyber resilience and respond to the attacks vigorously:

With inauguration of Inspira’s new MEA office, the launch of a well-equipped Cyber Fusion Centre was also announced. It is a diligent base to strengthen the regional cyber security offerings inclusive of Cyber Advisory, Digital Business Risk Management, managed security services,

Cyber Operations: Initiating cyber security operations, Inspira’s security experts aim to identify network vulnerabilities and protect sensitive data with constant monitoring. The operations aim to fill the security gaps and design effective solutions to secure information systems and networks from cyber-attacks.Lastly,tomaintain a winning position in cyber governance, a progressive cyber resilience strategy must be holistic in its approach. INSPIRA, along with its esteemed OEM partners, thrives on providing cyber resilience for a secured customer journey. east, mainly among the government and private sector customers. At the same time, VPN attacks have also introduced new vulnerabilities affecting the systems and networks across the organisational landscape. What are your tips for enterprises to achieve cyber resilience? Organisations in the Middle East are seeking ways to become more cyber resilient to preserve sustainable security.

What are some of the growing threat vectors that enterprises in the middle east should watch out for? The modern cyber landscape has observed an increase in ransomware activities. It is a malware that encrypts sensitive data for ransom. Additionally, phishing attacks are another threat vector sourced via emails and websites.


THE MOST TRANSFORMATIONAL CODING MOVEMENT & MEETUP 15,000 coders, programmersdevelopers,&techies 50+ tech, coding & software development companies 60+ industry pioneers & tech geniuses For delegate group booking, call Fahad Khalife at: +971 4 308 6805 | globaldevslammarketing@dwtc.com #GLOBALDEVSLAM GLOBALDEVSLAM.COM RamirezSebastianMontano Creator Travis Oliphant Creator of NumbPy & Co-Founder Pablo Galindo Salgado Physicist & Software Engineer - R&D Python Infrastructurea Ketan Umare Co-Creator of Flyte, Co-Founder & CEO USA USA GermanyUK TECH PIONEERS ON STAGE DON’T MISS OUT, GET YOUR DELEGATE PASS Founding Partners Gold Sponsor Silver Sponsor Organised by




“Countries in the Middle East are actively adopting Wi-Fi 6-enabled solutions. For instance, in 2021, the UAE became the first country in the Middle East and Africa to release Wi-Fi 6 for indoor usage. The trend

According to the Wi-Fi Alliance, it only took three years for Wi-Fi 6 to obtain more than 50 percent market share compared to the previous Wi-Fi 5 technology, which took four years to do the same. Referencing IDC Research, the Wi-Fi Alliance also stated that the number of Wi-Fi 6 products to enter the market this year will exceed 2.3 billion devices and 350 million Wi-Fi 6E products, respectively. By 2023, it is estimated that Wi-Fi 6 and 6E will dominate the enterprise Wi-Fi market, with enterprise access point shipments expected to reach 13.4 million in 2026, according to global technology intelligence firm ABI Research. Considering this, the trend towards Wi-Fi 6 in the coming years is clear.


W i-Fi 6 is becoming an indispensable technology for enterprise networks with increased bandwidth and performance. Introduced in 2020, Wi-Fi 6 and its supplement Wi-Fi 6E, which runs on unlicensed 6Ghz spectrum, have seen rapid adoption, making it the de facto standard for WLANs.

According to Prem Rodrigues, Director for the Middle East, Africa & India/SAARC at Siemon, Wi-Fi 6 offers a series of advancements compared to previous Wi-Fi generations, bringing distinct benefits to the users. Firstly, Wi-Fi 6 delivers four times faster average throughput compared to the previous Wi-Fi 5 and data rates are expected to be more than 5 Gb/s delivering increased speed and capacity. Secondly, Wi-Fi 6 benefits from two high bandwidth wired IT cabling uplink connections that have enhanced remote powering capability for powering Wi-Fi 6 devices. Also, Wi-Fi 6 can operate at either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz and can therefore support a larger volume of mobile devices in dense deployment environments.

Refat Al-Karmi, Senior Consulting Engineer, META region at Juniper Networks, notes the Wi-Fi 6E ecosystem is rapidly spreading, and the UAE has made the 6 GHz bands accessible for WiFi 6E. Saudi Arabia is trying to maximize the potential of Wi-Fi 6E by making the entire spectrum open. With businesses in the region already testing and deploying Wi-Fi 6, it is likely to evolve into one of the top three critical wireless technologies that will further change business models, new product development, and customer engagement.Formostindustries, advanced wireless networks are a strategic imperative, says Saleem Al Balooshi, Chief Technology Officer at du. The Wi-Fi 6 expansion into 6GHz is further driven by increased demand, with Wi-Fi 6E attracting unprecedented interest among regulators around the world, and also seeing a surge of product and strong deployments by service providers and enterprises. “We are seeing an increasing trend towards adopting Wi-Fi 6 offerings, which will result in additional benefits for the marketplace and help businesses move into the upcoming era of seamless connectivity such as higher education institutions, government, hospitality, healthcare and entertainment,” he says. Should you wait for Wi-Fi 7 Expected to be ratified in 2024, the next Wi-Fi standard – Wi-Fi 7 or 801.11be –promises to deliver 46Gbps, five times Ehab Kanary Osama Al-ZoubiMarkus Nispel


was continued with the mega event, Expo 2020 Dubai, which had over 9,000 Cisco access points of which 400 were Wi-Fi 6 enabled, making it Cisco’s first Wi-Fi 6 customer in the UAE,” says Osama AlZoubi, CTO, Cisco Middle East and Africa He says the growth of connected smart cities in the UAE and Saudi Arabia has also increased the demand for applications of Wi-Fi 6. Use cases include reducing traffic congestion, managing utility usage and enhancing overall crowd safety, thanks to its capability to support advanced connectivity in dense and dynamic environments.

He adds with Wi-Fi 6E, enterprises will be able to improve consumer experiences in all business verticals by providing them with enhanced efficiency through 1200 MHz of the new 6 GHz “Regardedspectrum.asthe biggest change to Wi-Fi in the last 20 years, the tech industry is rapidly adopting Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E due to the benefits they bring along such as increased speed, lower latencies, and better security. This means that enterprises can have smoother connections and lower latencies for their data. Additionally, WiFi 6 and 6E relieve network congestion, provide greater capacity, and reduce power consumption. This is a crucial thing for enterprises – especially if they have numerous devices connected to their Wi-Fi,” says Ehab Kanary, VP Sales, Enterprise Infrastructure, EMEA Emerging Markets at CommScope

What is driving the Wi-FI 6 and 6E adoption in enterprises? “Simply put, Wi-Fi 6 offers 4x the capacity for more devices than previous Wi-Fi generations,” says Markus Nispel, CTO of EMEA at Extreme Networks. “Wi-Fi 6 ensures that high-demand networks can cope with the onslaught of corporate, guest, BYOD, and IoT devices that flood every organisation today. Network efficiency is at the heart of the value of Wi-Fi 6 as it protects bandwidth through traffic optimisation and prioritisation, instead of simply throwing more capacity at the problem. As a result, Wi-Fi 6 takes a much more intelligent approach to the sustainability and longevity of mobility infrastructure.”

“Now if we take a look at the progression of Wi-Fi 6 adoption in the Middle East, countries such as the UAE, Saudi, and Qatar have already enabled Wi-Fi 6E, but the rest of the region hasn’t still caught up. Now there is a possibility if Wi-Fi 7-enabled devices come into the market in the next couple of years, we might see some regions/enterprises skip 6E completely in favour of Wi-Fi 7. This completely depends on the organisations goal. Those that prefer to remain on the “bleeding edge” of the technology without any budget constraints will choose 6E and then 7 in the next few years,” he says. Nispel from Extreme Networks adds that Wi-Fi 6E marks the start of a spectrum paradigm shift for Wi-Fi that will have a huge impact for many years to come, providing the foundation for Wi-Fi 7 and other future generations of Wi-Fi. “Currently, Wi-Fi 7 is on the engineering chalkboard, but we expect enterprise Wi-Fi 7 in the next few years. So can we expect some new features in this future model? Sure. Wi-Fi 7 may have some FEATURE new dashboard features and some new lane assist technology, but at the end of the day, the true value for Wi-Fi 7 will be that it will also be built on the 6 GHz superhighway that’s already available right now through Wi-Fi 6E.” Will it replace wired Ethernet? Al Balooshi from du believes that wireless technologies will prevail in the last mile of connectivity. Wireless technology offers a flexible, mobile, and economically viable service without requiring extensive cabling. However, wired Ethernet will still be necessary for servers and high-speed access points due to the fact that it offers a much more stable connection that is not affected by noise or signal jams, so physics will always be considered when providing connectivity for high and critical service points. “The extent to which Wi-Fi 7 will be able to compete with Ethernet remains to be seen. Currently, CCTV cameras, door access systems, and many other facilities are connected via wired Ethernet in order to meet bandwidth demands and ensure security, but Wi-Fi 7 could eliminate these challenges. The extent of the change will probably be known within the next few years,” he says. In many aspects, Wi-Fi 7 has the capability to replace Ethernet and can truly be a game changer, says Kanary from CommScope. The benefits that come along with it include all-wireless connections for homes and offices, which means the lack of cables in the building itself. Additionally, Wi-Fi 7 can yield speeds much faster than Ethernet, but it comes down to whether there is demand for such fast speeds.

faster than Wi-Fi 6. This impending new standard being worked on by IEEE is expected to deliver higher spectrum and power efficiency, better interference mitigations, higher capacity density, and higher cost efficiency. Kanary from CommScope says there is a lot of speculation in the market about the deployment of Wi-Fi 7, with various sources quoting anywhere between 2023 to 2025.

Rodrigues from Siemon says although some might think that Wi-Fi 7 devices can support transmission speeds at similar levels to structured cabling systems, it looks extremely unlikely that wireless networks will make balanced twisted-pair telecommunications cabling obsolete in the near future soon.

Saleem Al BalooshiRefat Al-KarmiPrem Rodrigues


“The number of connected devices is growing exponentially. With the Internet of Things (IoT), billions of devices are already connected, and many more are to come. With more technologies pushing the boundaries of innovation, we, at Cisco, believe that we will always need a combination of access technologies that are complementing each other, from wired to wireless and Private 5G,” sums up Al Zoubi from Cisco.

“Faster internet is attractive to everyone, but the question becomes how fast is too fast? Switching to Wi-Fi 7 means upgrading the devices that are going to be connected to it, and for many people and companies, this might be something that doesn’t justify the high price tag that comes along with it. Therefore, even though it is possible for Wi-Fi 7 to replace Ethernet, the benefits it brings might not be relevant to everyone – considering the fact that the initial technology that uses it would have a steep price to it,” he adds.


Can you tell us how Nvidia is expanding its reach in the automotive industry? Nvidia is almost 30 years old, and the company has undergone amazing transformations. Our roots, of course, are in gaming and graphics, and one of the biggest markets we serve is the automotive industry. There are many ways in which our technology helps the auto industry. It started with enabling the automakers to do things they had never done before using our graphics technology. Part of this was 3D design, structural analysis, virtual wind tunnels –everything to design and build the car. About 15 years ago, we started looking at taking our graphics technology and bringing that inside the car. Wherever there were touch screens, instrument clusters, and rear seat entertainment, Nvidia worked with automakers such as Audi and VW to deliver consumer electronics experiences into the car. Compared to consumer electronics, cars used to feel very dated. So we help the auto industry to advance state of art and the user experience inside the vehicle. At the same time, our company was going through its transformation into an artificial intelligence company, using our GPUs to do more and more complex doing what’s called free space calculation, which is looking for the absence of objects. So having these different types of redundant and diverse algorithms increases the system’s safety. We could easily run 20 or more deep neural networks simultaneously to understand what’s around us, where we can safely drive, and then predict the behaviour.




Is Nvdia DRIVE Hyperion production ready now? Drive Hyperion is a branded solution of computing, software, and sensors that we use. We are a computing platform. We support all different kinds of sensors, many types of LiDAR, and types of cameras, so each customer can create their own configuration. We are working with Robo taxi companies, shuttle and trucking companies - they’re building their own, so there’s no one set solution. But what we’re doing in terms of having our own vehicles, collecting data, and training is establishing a fixed set of sensors. We’re working with many different tier one suppliers on this. Additionally, if our customers use the Hyperion sensors, they’d benefit from all the data collection we do. We are doing this with companies like Mercedes Benz and Land Rover. Are self-driving cars really safe? Our number one concern is safety. Everything we do is focused on delivering safe cars. I think that’s the reason why you don’t see them driving around everywhere now because we haven’t reached that level of safety yet. The biggest challenge is that we humans are unpredictable driving on the roads. So the vehicles need to be aware of it and anticipate it. If we got rid of all human-driven vehicles today and replaced them with safe autonomous vehicles, that would be a much easier problem to solve. if you go back five years or more, everyone was predicting by 2020, we would have self-driving cars. That didn’t happen because we underestimated the complexity. As we’ve gotten in, we recognized we need more computing and high-resolution sensors to improve safety. So our approach has been to create this drive platform, which we call a softwaredefined car. mathematical calculations. So we looked at opportunities with the auto industry to use this computing horsepower to make transportation safer and more efficient. For example, cars today have many sensors, extra cameras, LiDAR, etc., and all these are generating an enormous amount of data. NVIDIA processors – what we call Nvidia Drive- is the platform that goes inside the car, which takes all this information and can essentially recreate a 3d model of everything that’s going on around the car. Is your autonomous cars strategy centred around Nvidia DRIVE? That’s right. Nvidia DRIVE is hardware and software that goes inside the car - it’s a SOC (system on a chip). So we’re using the same computing, hardware, and software you put in the data centre into the vehicle. You must be able to do such high-performance computing in the car because within a fraction of a second, we have to scan all around the vehicle and create this picture of what’s in front of us. It’s like a mobile edge supercomputer. We are constantly scanning – 30 times a second - through the video and sensor data to understand the environment, build a plan, save time, and ultimately control the car. Do you offer deep learning capabilities? So that’s part of Nvidia DRIVE OS running inside the car and we also have DriveWorks, a toolkit that allows developers to leverage deep neural networks. There might be one for pedestrian detection or sign recognition, and we have a deep neural net that calculates the distance. There’s a lot of redundancy built in for safety. For example, we have a neural net that can detect people or cars ahead of us. There’s also a separate neural network that is

This year, Ericsson is inviting university students from across the world to propose innovative technology solutions to help tackle sustainable development challenges. The theme of the Ericsson Innovation Awards (EIA) 2022 challenge is ‘Impact Our Sustainable Future’ and will take inspiration from the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs). With more than EUR 50,000 in prizes up for grabs, the competition will encourage students to identify an interconnected challenge to tackle with their team and create new innovative tech solutions that can make a lasting change and drive digital innovation in the process. How will it complement regional government initiatives to foster a tech talent ecosystem? As governments across the region adopt digital technology, we are seeing an increased push in offering students opportunities to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to drive local innovations. Competitions like the EIA that engage students in the STEM space are an excellent way to get students excited about technology and foster their interest in pursuing tech careers in fields such as robotics, and coding - subjects that are becoming vital to the digital development of nations across the Middle East and Africa. With cooperation being an essential element of tech innovation, EIA will instill in students the spirit of teamwork to achieve environment via a smartphone. The beauty of OwnLabs’ idea was its simplicity to help young people find truth through experimental science and reach their full potential. How will the competition seek to bridge the skill and talent gap in STEM? To answer this, it is important I emphasize how important private-public partnership is in bridging the talent gap in the tech industry. Partnerships between tech corporations and educational institutions to provide STEM learning opportunities creates an environment of efficient practical learning. This environment allows students to leverage real-world learning opportunities that improve their skills and help them grow their interest in pursuing exciting and rewarding STEM careers. As a company committed to empowering STEM education and fostering diversity and inclusion across academia, the Ericsson Innovation Awards will identify changemaking talent and help make their smart ideas into reality. How will the competition encourage STEM career exploration and skill development? The EIA competition gives students the chance to pick any issue on the given theme and develop innovative solutions to tackle it. Giving students this freedom encourages them to delve deeper into their chosen issue and broaden their knowledge and understanding of the topic. Devising a workable technological solution for the issue will propel them towards exploring the topic further in the real world and perhaps even empower them to academically pursue the area. a common goal while also encouraging independent learning. It will also increase the problem-solving abilities of students in real-life situations, thereby empowering them to emerge well equipped as the future workforce of the digital Middle East and Africa. What were the impact and practical applications of the previous competitions? I’m glad you asked as highlighting the end results of the competitions are truly a testament to their impact and success. Over the past few years, we have seen plenty of success stories, however, two exceptional submissions that come to the top of my mind are from Team BlisCare who won EIA 2021, and Team OwnLabs who won EIA 2018. The theme of EIA 2021 was bridging the digital gap, and students were encouraged to propose technological products and solutions to build a fairer and more equitable future. The competition saw Team BlisCare devise an innovative solution that focused around enabling equal educational opportunities for visually impaired people and used a tablet to create digital braille in real-time from any text or graphic. The solution was also designed to be cost-effective and to supply endless material both online and offline. EIA 2018, under the theme “The Future of Truth”, challenged student teams to answer the question of how technology can improve the way we find, validate, and share truth in a fully connected world. Team OwnLabs, from Senegal, sought to address the lack of school labs in Africa by offering physics, chemistry, and biology classes in a virtual reality




W hat are the themes and problems explored in this year’s competition and how they will drive digital innovation?


The result of poor mental health in your employees is a quantifiable loss in productivity. When your organisation Many people give 110% at work and tend to forget that there’s more to life than their job. On top of this, when employees are struggling to stay on top of things at work, it often affects them in their personal lives. Behind every successful business there are three factors, or three Ps: people, purpose, and passion. What happens when people are unhappy? What does this mean for you as an IT leader, and how does it affect the business? And how do you promote a positive work culture? Let’s take a look.

• Happy employees are the foundation of any successful organisation; retention rate matters. When employees are stressed, they will look for more desirable opportunities. A study by the American Institute of Stress revealed that 19% (nearly one in five) of employees quit their jobs due to stress.

S tress, burning the midnight oil, exhaustion, breakdown, burnout—these are phrases often heard and just as often disregarded in the workplace. Many businesses fail to address the mental health of their employees, especially those working in the IT department. Amidst the constant service requests, emails, meetings, and deadlines, it can be hard for employees to prioritise theirWithwell-being.workfrom home becoming the norm, it’s getting harder for people to detangle their identities from work.

• If you’re understaffed, it puts tremendous pressure on your workforce. However qualified they may be, overworking them is not an effective way to get the job done. The quality and quantity of work will take a hit. Forcing employees to rush to complete their daily tasks results in poor judgment, wrong decisions, and errors that could potentially affect customers, too.


How does poor mental health affect an organisation?

• Negative interactions between employees can quickly turn into insubordination. This can jeopardise the welfare of everyone involved.


Create an environment that helps employees look forward to Monday. Some workplaces don’t have a dress code or strict work hours. Working 12 hours a day in suit and tie doesn’t automatically translate into quality output. Once you stop focusing on the smaller details and look at the bigger picture, everything else falls into place. Work-life balance is essential, and every organisation should emphasise it.

Once you’ve identified your problem areas, you can focus on providing a longterm, sustainable solution.

5Dedicate time and space to not discussing work

7StartAutomationsmall isn’t something to be afraid of. It’s a tool and, if utilised properly, can be a huge benefit to your business. Many small-to-medium-sized businesses avoid automation because they’re worried it’s too complex. But if a task needs to be carried out multiple times, it should be automated. It allows your staff to focus on more essential tasks instead of repeating the same simple tasks over and over. Automation helps you save time, lower operational costs, and collect quality data with which you can make well-informed decisions. How can we talk about automation and not mention AI? In today’s fastpaced world, nobody likes waiting. Everything needs to be done quickly and correctly, and AI is the best way to deliver on that front. If you’re hesitant, consider starting with low-level automations. Test the waters by using automations to monitor servers and send out alerts for low disk space or routine recycle bin cleanup. By eliminating lower-level tickets, you can maximise the ROI on the cost per ticket.

3Make use of resources Admins should have a streamlined way to help employees. Whether it’s a help desk portal, an emailing system, or a texting channel, it has to be organised. The first thing you can do is create a uniform system as a first point of contact for employees to get help. Help desks are incredibly useful, not just for admins, but for employees, too. They enable you to monitor the status of requests and find suitable solutions quickly. If your organisation doesn’t have a help desk tool in place, now might be a good time to invest in one.

8Invest in mental health

Investing in employees’ mental health is just as important as any insurance policy. The World Health Organisation has found that for every dollar put into treatment for common mental health disorders, there’s an ROI of four dollars in improved health and productivity.Yourteam’s performance is a reflection of your success as a leader. Spend some time each week checking in with your team. A simple, “How are you?” is more powerful than you might think. We’ve already talked about how we promote a positive work culture; now it’s important to reflect on what you can do to maintain this culture in your organisation.

To help others, you first have to help yourself. Ensure you are in the right headspace. No job is 100% stress-free, but if you find yourself overwhelmed, it might be time to reevaluate your workload and delegate some of it. Next, help others. Ideally, your organisation’s HR department should organise training sessions to help you spot the signs of a coworker in distress. Even if it doesn’t, try to communicate with your team and see who could use some support. Anonymous suggestion boxes and surveys are also an effective way of assessing your team.

1Help yourself, then help others


A lot of organisations are now taking up Meetless Mondays, a creative twist to the popular vegetarian movement “Meatless Mondays.” It recommends that you push your meetings to Tuesday to give employees time to catch up with their work and settle into the work week at their pace. Many organisations also arrange offsite team trips because these trips are a great way to blow off some steam and really get to know your coworkers beyond the workspace.

is performing poorly, it’s important to determine why. Are employees stressed over their workload? Stress can have a major impact on productivity, so if your employees are feeling stressed, it’s essential you find and address the cause. What you can do to help your employees Truth be told, there isn’t one particular path or defined solution to handle such a sensitive issue. It’s up to you as a change maker to discover what doesn’t work.

4Define clear boundaries Your employees do not work 24/7 (and neither should you). They’re not obliged to respond right away, especially outside of regular work hours. Unless it’s pressing and you don’t have a choice, try to get everything done within business hours.

6BeTheflexiblefuture of work is hybrid. A hybrid work model is now the most common way to get the job done. It’s effective and, most importantly, inclusive. It’s a game-changer in boosting productivity and gives employees a chance to balance their work and personal life.

2Pay attention to workplace culture

• Data science in theory is useful for security, but in practice does not solve challenges in operational and industrial systems Industrial and operational technologies encompass a wide range of machines and configurations, pumps, compressors, valves, turbines, and similar equipment, interface computers and workstations, programmable logic controllers and diagnostics, safety, metering, and monitoring and control systems that enable or report the status of variables, processes, and operations. A single programmable logic controller can be designed and produced by several different vendors, can be configured using different programming languages, and enable communications from hundreds of different protocols. When simplified, any programmable logic controller from an average of 10 limitations to this type of collection, rule application, and analysis for operational and industrial systems.

Since there are no cut and paste tactics, techniques, procedures from incidents in operational and industrial systems, the only way to secure operations is to include plausibility checks for systems in play. Security is relative to functioning of the entire process or critical operation worth securing. Systemwide frameworks for understanding risk and threat scenarios are a must for this field. A systemwide framework examines the largest-scale dynamics, and the inherent systemic risk of the Internet. This approach is necessary to secure operational and industrial systems and explore the full range of potential intrusions, espionage, attacks, disruptions, and accidents.

The more efficient we become at asset intelligence, process variable detections and plausibility checks for real-world outcomes, the better we will be able to augment threat intelligence. It is more efficient to spend resources in building intuition and bolstering situational awareness, rather than incident response capabilities.Thenextwave of building intuition into monitoring for operational and industrial systems security is behavioural analytics that cover communications traffic and process variables simultaneously. With an, assume a breach has happened mentality, the focus for security products must be on reducing the severity of potential impacts, not on responding to worst case scenarios after they unfold. Building intuition into security for purposebuilt operations requires customising detections and prevention methods. That is the way forward.

T he current state of security for operational technology and industrial control systems is turning a corner. In today’s reallife scenarios, there has been an increase in related cyber incidents. In one week in May 2022, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in the U.S. released 27 Industrial Control Systems Advisories. The growing number of attack patterns has revealed three pitfalls in operational and industrial systems: • Companies are reacting to security incidents, rather than investing in reducing severity



• Threat of sophisticated, nation-state level attacks, narrows focus to threat hunting at the expense of other indicators



The purpose-built systems and subsystems need to be translated into purpose-built systems for security. In security we continue to amass knowledge in the form of indicators of compromise. Unfortunately, attacks on operational and industrial systems do not provide the volume of telemetry data to adequately derive threat actor objectives helping to identify novel attacks ahead of time. Indicators of compromise do not capture indicators for misconfigurations, malfunctions, or accidental changes that go undetected. These limitations are only captured by monitoring actual processes andMostoperations.ofthesecurity companies doing intrusion detection in this space focus on network traffic capture and security monitoring that evaluates and scans for known threat activity. There are AND ICS ARE

major vendors, utilising any of the top 5 most common programming languages, and one or more of the 12 most common communications protocols, has at least 600 possible operational configurations. This example demonstrates how quickly standardizing the technologies and products to establish their attack scenarios will become an enormous task. We need to build a deterministic nature of purpose-built systems in operational technology and industrial control systems, customised for every and any operation. This approach ensures no two attacks on operational and control systems are ever the same. This is the next step in building security systems for operational technology and industrial control systems environments.




“In addition to combining short- and long-term levers, we identified three other key lessons that those other cities and nations can learn from the leading tech hubs we studied. These include developing and executing a strategic plan, building on existing strengths, and leveraging anchor companies to build broader hubs. With the right mix of policies that leverage existing strengths and enhance their appeal to digital talent and leading tech companies, cities and nations can nurture dynamic tech hubs that will become vibrant centers of international business,” added, Rami Mourtada, Partner & Director, BCG.



To address ongoing inflationary pressures, the UAE now offers select startups office space with two years of free rent, providing health insurance for employees all the while making it easier for incoming talent to attain work visas. Among other initiatives, it established incubators such as Dubai’s Area 2071 and recruited venture capital firms from around the world to establish local offices as a testament to Dubai’s commitment to act as a sustainable global center of excellence.


A spiring tech hubs must enact measures that both create traction quickly and that sustain growth and development in the future. The United Arab Emirates—96% of whose tech workforce is composed of immigrants— exemplifies the benefits of a well-planned, comprehensive strategy for developing a tech hub that deploys both shortand long-term levers. In a new report titled ‘Turning a Tech Hub into a Talent Magnet’, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) studied 11 tech hubs around the world that continue to thrive by attracting digital talent from beyond their borders. In particular, BCG analysed the strategies and mix of policies Dubai has deployed to attract talent has fostered strong client relationships across the region since 2019, and already has a proven track record in delivering game-changing businesses for leading public and private organisations.“Successful digital hubs need lots of digital talent—an increasingly scarce commodity. The global shortage of technology workers will reach 4.3 million by 2030. And that was before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which heightened demand for digital services. Dubai recognized this appeal very early on in the game, attracting tech experts from every four corners of the world,” said Faisal Hamady, Managing Director and Partner, BCG.

“A major catalyser in talent attraction is Dubai’s ongoing visa offerings which are a first in the region and further grounded the hub as one of excellence. vision of their hub’s current strengths, the key industrial sectors they aim to develop, and the type of workforce they need. And Dubai has done just that. Attracting digital talent requires insight into the factors that motivate skilled tech workers to move to new locations. Armed with this knowledge, policymakers can continue working with stakeholders in the local digital ecosystem to develop and execute strategies to build and nurture dynamic, resilient tech hubs that can spur innovation and economic growth for decades to come.”

These include business visas, under which foreigners can obtain a long-term visa as part of the Golden Visa system but also remote work visas and their assigned virtual working program for start-ups and entrepreneurs wishing to reside in the UAE all the while working outside the AccordingUAE.”tothe survey, Dubai stands out as a leader in three waves by combining short- and long-term levers. First, for many years it successfully attracted leading technology companies with an aggressive corporate tax rate incentive capped at zero. Smaller tech companies followed with UAE operations. Moreover, it boasts a UAE’s Golden Visa and a pathway to citizenship for international investors and top talent from around the world, providing them with visas for up to 10 years – next to a recent work visa scheme which enable employees from all over the world to work remotely from the UAE.

Second, it launched several initiatives to attract talent with the skills needed by industries targeted by the government, such as agriculture technology within the city’s 10-point action plan for Dubai Future District, a new space dedicated to the development of the future economy, as well as an AED 1 billion fund to support new economy companies who can power Dubai’s future growth. Juergen Eckel, Managing Director and Partner, and regional Head of BCG Digital Ventures said “The report highlights that a feature of successful hubs is a range of policy tools. To win the digital talent challenge, policymakers need a clear REVOLUTION GROWTH. BCG IDENTIFIED BIG DUBAI.


Actionable Insights By leveraging the powerful combination of AI and ML enabled automation, organisations gain context-rich, filtered, and fix-first insights, ready for IT action. These insights enable effective crossdomain collaboration because it offers a single source of truth, allowing for more efficient decision-making to accelerate mean time to resolution. Time to Act and Observe In the era of the always-online customer, failing to deliver exceptional digital experiences can prove disastrous for organisations. As new paradigms, workforce models, and customer preferences will continue to add to the demands placed on IT teams, complexity can become an ever more significant challenge. constantly evolving environment. The solution? Observability, which represents the next phase in the evolution of monitoring and visibility. Observability is the ability to measure the internal states of a system by examining its outputs. Observability gives IT the flexibility to dig into “unknown unknowns” on the fly. It enables access to actionable insights by correlating information across disparate tools and providing appropriate context around why things are happening. In doing so, observability ensures seamless business continuity, increases agility and productivity, improves service availability and reduces cost, and bridges silos across domain-specific IT teams.


not just sample data, offers organisations a deeper level of insight that augments quantitative measures of user experience with qualitative measures of employee sentiment. Intelligent Analytics Applying Artificial Intelligent (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and proprietary data science techniques across disparate data streams, including third-party data, can help organisations better detect anomalies and changes. By doing so, it can surface the most important issues faster and with precision. This is a significant difference from existing observability tools available today because organisations can better understand the impact and severity of issues from the start. This enables better prioritisation so they can focus their time and effort on the areas that matter the most.

Full-Fidelity Telemetry Full-fidelity data is captured across the entire IT ecosystem, from client devices, networks, and servers, to applications, cloud-native environments, and the users themselves. This complete picture enables IT to understand what

In today’s digital world, a click is everything. From employees utilising productivity and collaboration tools, to customers engaging with businesses via mobile apps, digital experiences define the way we live and engage. And with the competition also just a click away, in this fiercely competitive digital world, these experiences must be flawless. While digital channels have simplified engagements for customers and employees, they have saddled IT teams with new levels of complexity. Today’s environments are exponentially more complex, dynamic, distributed, and hybrid. The result? Despite their best efforts, IT teams find they have an insufficient understanding of how the network and applications are performing. This is not for the lack of data either. In fact, it is precisely the tremendous volume of data, generated by tools designed to help IT that actually makes their jobs more difficult. Without the ability to derive valuable insight from this deluge of data, IT teams find their effectiveness inhibited when asked to innovate, or address issues that arise – placing those ‘flawless digital experiences’ far out of reach.

It is important to note that observability is not a replacement for monitoring which has been key to keeping environments running. Rather ‘completes the story’ by augmenting this established practice to provide actionable insight that aids troubleshooting and resolution. Monitoring provides visibility, which is a prerequisite forWhileobservability.observability should bring together the benefits of monitoring, visibility, and automation, most observability tools available today have limitations. This is why it is not just observability, but unified observability that organisations need. And here are the key pillars of unified observability.

Observability Presents the Answer IT today permeates every aspect of the modern business with technology systems enabling collaboration, communication, customer experiences, forecasting and much more. As a result, organisations, and particularly the IT teams that actively contribute to driving business results, need greater insight and more context from the data they receive so they can do their job well in today’s is experiences,ofwithsampling.eventsmissingwhilehappenedandhappeningwhathasavoidingkeyduetoThis,coupledtheanalysisactualuser




understand trends, spot opportunities, and eventually maximise revenue. Dashboards and reports can reveal status updates across the entire enterprises supply chain and provide detailed data that can be relied upon and quickly actioned. Operations that were once reliant on manpower can now be automated resulting in greater efficiency andAtcompetitiveness.Epicorforexample, we developed Epicor Kinetic to intuitively personalise and integrate with your existing business platforms, whether you are looking to find new ways to replace manual processes, see the full picture of your business performance and need to access data from multiple systems such as an accountancy platform (APS) or empower your users with access to self-serve business data such as configure price quote (CPQ) we enable businesses to track work progress in realtime, improve technical data processes and increase automation and insights, all while maximising business revenue. Choose a reliable partner As I have alluded to above, part and parcel of adopting the right software solution is having a trusted and reliable partner that will help you create the right solution for your business. This is where ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) is key, especially for those in manufacturing and distribution. The right partner would bring their industry experience, challenge you KAPOOR, REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENT, EPICOR, CHAIN


The effective solution for businesses to overcome manufacturing labour shortages is to implement automation through a vertical approach to software solutions. Defined as: Data capture – capturing data can be simplified with automatically using machine reading and measuring systems, barcodes for quick scanning, machine learning that automatically reads populates data. Monitoring & controlling – of process and controls systems so they can have benchmarks set, send out auto alerts by chosen delivery model, allow benchmarked transactions and escalate exceptions and control machinery and alert on any at every stage and align your business processes towards best practices, with the right mix of technology. This would not only help you prepare for the change required with new technology across people and processes, but also ensure the goals you want to achieve and will work with for the right solution to help you manage day-today business activities across accounting, procurement, project management and of course supply chain operations.

I n the Middle East, we are faced with supply chain labour challenges not too dissimilar to those globally. But what is unique to the region however is due to the large emigrant workforce. The pandemic saw employees leaving for their homeland, leaving their roles to find better opportunities, or diversifying their skill set into other areas.

The holistic effect of a right partner? A more efficient and streamlined supply chain that is less reliant on a human workforce. Protect your workforce My final point focuses on how automation can benefit workers, in turn allowing companies to shield against labour challenges.Fundamentally, it gives manufacturing and supply chain companies the opportunity to better use their resources, but also provides employees with more rewarding employment. This is because the introduction of new technology has altered the way supply chains operate. Manufacturing companies are seeking employees who will bring a mixed skill set to the table, a combination of technical, soft, and physical skills required in a setting that is largely tech-run. As such, workers have greater opportunity to work in an environment that sees them learn and use diversified skills, while allowing them to be more accurate, reliable, and efficient themselves. In fact, the prospect of working for manufacturing companies whose supply chains are automated can be significantly more attractive to candidates.

In short, reducing the demands on employees can lead to greater retention and more job satisfaction, ultimately cutting back on labour shortage. However, companies will have to remain cognizant of the potential skills gap and should be prepared to upskill and train employees accordingly. There is no doubt that our supply chains of the future will need to be characterised by both resilience andAutomationresponsibility.holds the key to this. It can help companies safeguard against any serious regional labour shortages, enabling them to build around their customers, help economies recuperate and ultimately support stability in supply chain.


In response, businesses regionally are a placing a lot of importance on anticipating and minimising labor-related risks in their supply chain. Organisations are increasingly looking at alternating their processes & controls, that were human dependent. The idea is to explore automation and a more hybrid model of human and machine process. This is where that software solutions and industry 4.0 technologies hold the answer. Implement an automation process Until not so long-ago, companies invested in technology largely because it improved productivity and reduced costs. Manufacturing is one of the main industries facing these challenges with demand for labour outpacing supply, automation is now a prerequisite for business process continuity.



1. Traditional. These protections derive largely from the web-based protections included in web application firewalls for years. Rate limiting, OWASP Top Ten, and of course encryption/decryption.

2. Modern. These protections have emerged in the past few years and risen as a significant source of security for APIs. This group includes payload (content) inspection like seeking out malware and malicious content and authentication/authorisation. Spoiler: that’s the identity part.

those who had implemented API protections in the past year. As with deployment of services, identity was at the top of the list of most valuable protections for APIs. The value placed on adaptive methods is promising. That’s not entirely surprising given the eager embrace of AI and machine learning to fuel security services. Given the volume of data and the impact of missing an attack, it’s no surprise that the entire industry is turning to more advanced and adaptive methods of security to protect everything from infrastructure to applications to the business itself.

Both identity and behavioral analysis are important parts of a comprehensive security strategy, especially for APIs given the role they increasingly play in powering the digital economy. Inspection remains key as well, as many attacks—particularly malware and malicious content—are often easily identified by a unique signature that can be matched against the payload of an API transaction. Speed of identification is as important as confidence in identifying a possible attack, and inspection remains a quick and reliable method of identifying malicious content. Lastly, we see identity-related technology deployment as a result of COVID-accelerated digital transformation. We asked respondents what kinds of

I n the eight years since we first launched the annual research that would become the State of Application Strategy Report, we’ve seen the steady rise of security to the top of the app security and delivery services stack. This year, for the first time, we saw a noncore security service rise to the top of the “most deployed.” That service is identity. But it’s not just that identity and access have risen to become the most deployed technologies. There is ample evidence throughout our research that points to a significant shift toward identity-based security. Consider API security. Yes, people are deploying it. But we dug into the details and asked about specific types of protections that respondents considered valuable. We grouped them loosely into three categories:




3. Adaptive. Adaptive protections are a new category, fueled by the ability to leverage AI and machine learning to perform behavioral analysis that can differentiate between human and nonhuman users. These techniques tend to form the foundation for anti-fraud and bot protection services. changes were being made to their security strategies post-COVID. More than one-quarter (26%) have implemented a credential stuffing solution and 34% have implemented API security frameworks. That first number is the relevant one to this topic, as credential stuffing is all about protecting the identity (credentials) of people in a digital world. Given the incredible rise in digital options for every kind of business over the course of the pandemic, it’s heartening to see at least some taking their responsibility to protect identity seriously. This is a relatively fast-moving trend in security, and we expect it will continue to become more pervasive as organizations further expand their presence in the digital economy. The importance of APIs foretells a need to identify more accurately the ‘user’ of APIs, especially with the growing importance of APIs in automation, cloud-native application architectures, digital ecosystems, and, of course, IoT. Protecting APIs in a digital economy is not just a technology concern but a business one as well. But the trend also indicates how important identity is in a digital world, and why it’s only somewhat surprising to see identity-related services rise to the top of the most deployed application security and delivery technologies in 2022. This shift toward identity revealed by our research is also significant as the market embraces zero trust as a foundational approach to security. Zero trust was named by 40% of respondents as the “most exciting” trend or technology. As an architectural model, zero trust focuses on securing and protecting applications and infrastructure by designing networks with secure micro-perimeters and limiting risks by restricting user privileges and access. At the heart of zero trust is a simple question: who should have access to a resource? While there’s definitely a lot more that goes into answering that question and enforcing resulting policies across core, cloud, and edge, without identity the entire approach falls apart. Whether identity stays top of mind remains to be seen but, given that emerging trends like Web3 also place a heavy emphasis on identity as a core construct, we think it is likely that the shift in security toward identity is just beginning. We asked

https://cxoinsightme.com/ictleadershipawards/2022/ 11th OCTOBER 2022 Conrad Hotel, Dubai

Digital Resiliency That Mitigates Your CapEx Cloud is scalable not only with respect to resources but even when it comes to its pricing or billing model. There is no one size fits all approach in this aspect. For example, in ESDS, we have introduced several innovative billing models like pay per consumption, pay per branch and pay per transaction. This adoption suits our customers’ needs and their operations. It also minimises their capital expenditure and allows this financial and relative human resource to enhance their actual business operations. Most importantly, it reduces the instances of unused resources whenever the demand decreases. The cloud platforms eliminate some financial hurdles allowing businesses to achieve exponential growth, explore and expand into new markets and enhance innovations. At the same time, it empowers organisations with the ability to adjust according to the market situation and avoid adverse financial consequences. Lastly, migration of any IT infrastructure on a cloud platform is feasible for any organisation. With the options like lift and shift, it becomes seamless even for organisations with legacy systems. At the same time, organisations should modernise their applications to suit their present needs and operate in a Cloud environment. Similarly, if IT leaders want to benefit from the cloud, they must be well prepared to take utmost advantage of its capabilities.


Cloud Services Providers like ESDS are playing a crucial role in cloud migration of such organisations and our Community Cloud is exactly designed for such organisations. It comes with all the necessary compliances and takes care of migration of data of such customers from on premise to respective community Cloud.


The world has seen significant social, economic and technological changes in the last two years. It includes the significantly evident mass migration in the technological spectrum. Also due to the uncertainty and the volatility brought in by the pandemic, organisations were compelled to think about moving their operations to cloud-based platforms. The experiences of the pandemic lead thought leaders to think about mitigation and future readiness to prepare for such or similar instances. In the same line of thought, Cloud services became a go-to option, as cloud provides agility to grow faster and digital resilience to adapt to such circumstances. Post the three waves of the pandemic, the difference between digitally advanced organisations and those with a slow-paced digital development was crystal clear. Digitally updated organisations or those with cloudenabled Infrastructure didn’t deteriorate much because of the freedom of scalability, adaptability and agility that the cloud provides. The cloud made everything easy, whether it was getting accustomed to the work-from-home atmosphere or even suiting new demand of the customers who preferred onlineContraryservices.tothis, organisations still dwelling on the legacy systems struggled. The needed digital resiliency to adapt to changes and remain competitive at the same time has ultimately compelled organisations to fasttrack their digital transformation plans. This transition seems to continue, as organisations still dependent on legacy systems will realise the capabilities of cloud-based technology. It will eventually provide them with the needed potential to get through current challenges and future possibilities. Cloud providing the best platform in the VUCA environment The VUCA or volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity environment that all businesses must go through needs a


VIEWPOINT robust platform that provides scalability to combat these circumstances. Apart from this, Speed is another element crucial for business success, and with the Cloud being the most suitable and hassle-free option, migration is evident in this environment. Organisations need to make a smart move in such situations. Hence, some of the most preferred is the increased popularity of “as-a-Service” options like Infrastructure as a service, Software as a Service, and Disaster Recovery as a Service. Organisational decision-makers get the freedom to choose a bespoke service that suits their needs within the prescribed financial limits. Another significant relief that cloud services provide is the elimination of data silos, which can become a bottleneck in the VUCA environment. With accessibility being one of the definite plus of cloudbased platforms, elimination or alleviation of data silos become easy. This, in return, makes “work from anywhere” a hassle-free possibility for organisations opting for one. In addition to this there is the enhanced cost of finding and maintaining talent these days that is needed to maintain legacy infrastructure. Organisations big and small, that are trying to maintain on premise infrastructure are facing double digit churn per month from their IT department. This unseen churn in the IT sector has forced Business leaders to move to cloud. The large organisations having new generation applications have been able to comfortably move to cloud, but banks, government organisations and SMEs have been struggling to migrate on public cloud due to their legacy applications not being fit for cloud operations.

ORGANIZER OFFICIAL MEDIA https://www.cxoinsightme.com/Cloud-Connect/2022/REGISTERNOW8thSeptember2022 V Hotel Dubai, Curio Collection by Hilton


he global Extended Detection and Response (XDR) market is expected to grow considerably over the next decade. World Wide Technology reported that it will grow at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 20% between 2021 to 2028, reaching a value of $2.06 billion by that time. Over this projected period of growth, security vendors that already have an XDR offering will no doubt refine their solutions, and new players will also likely throw their hat into the ring. But all this variety isn’t necessarily a good thing for organisations. With so many XDR solutions available on the market today, organisations need to be careful about which one they choose. That’s because not all XDR available endpoint telemetry to make detections via EDR, how will they ever be able to effectively ingest even more telemetry from non-endpoint sources?

An effective XDR solution needs to be able to handle infestation of telemetry from not just endpoints, but also cloud workloads/containers, user identities, an array of business application suites, etc. So can they deliver effective XDR? No, they can’t, and that’s just reality based on platform capabilities.


Native XDR vs. Open XDR After data filtering, it’s important to distinguish “native” XDR from “open” XDR. The former performs XDR functionality by integrating with “native” solutions that belong to the same vendor portfolio. This type of offering platforms are created equal or deliver the same type of value. Here’s how to sort it all out. Data filtering: the lowest of the low It’s important to note that some companies do not have the ability to ingest all available telemetry for their Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) offerings. As a result, they resort to a technique known as “data filtering.” This is where they eliminate telemetry even though it might be useful for detection. They have no choice; their model involves sending all data to the cloud for analysis before they can return a detection. Even so, it calls into question whether these companies’ platforms can keep organisations safe. Indeed, if their platforms cannot currently handle all NAAR, CHIEF VISIONARY OFFICER & CO-FOUNDER AT CYBEREASON, ON WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN XDR ALL XDR




AI-driven XDR also ingests threat intelligence streams to allow organisations to defend against known attacks and uses AI and machine learning (ML) to automatically correlate telemetry from across these different assets to deliver the complete attack story in real-time. This functionality frees security analysts from needing to triage every generated alert, enabling them to address actual threats faster.

AI-driven XDR also leverages behavioral analytics and Indicators of Behavior (IOBs) to provide a more in-depth perspective on how attackers conduct their campaigns. This operation-centric approach is far superior at detecting attacks earlier–especially highly targeted attacks that employ never before seen tools and tactics that evade traditional endpoint securityFindingsoftware.onecomponent of an attack via chains of potentially malicious behaviour allows defenders to see the entire operation from the root cause across every impacted user, device, and application. This is where AI-driven XDR is essential to automatically correlate data at a rate of millions of events per second versus analysts manually querying data to validate individual alerts over several hours or even days. Such visibility enables security teams to respond to an event before it becomes a major security issue and introduce measures designed to increase the burden on attackers going forward.



AI-powered XDR Fortunately, organisations don’t need to settle for incomplete XDR solutions. There is the option to go with an AIdriven XDR solution that delivers the complete attack story in real-time and extends continuous threat detection and monitoring, along with automated response beyond endpoints to protect applications, identity and access tools, containerised cloud workloads and more.

spares security teams from needing to spend lots of time on configuring their XDR platforms and from needing to go through a complicated buying process for all their different solutions. But the advantages end there. With native XDR, organisations might find themselves in a state of “vendor lock-in” where they’re stuck with a single company’s solutions that don’t fulfill all their security requirements. Organisations might also need to replace some of their existing technologies to make full use of a native XDR product, thus cutting down on the ROI of their current investments. These drawbacks don’t apply to open (also known as “hybrid”) XDR. This approach enables organisations to integrate their XDR platforms with whichever best-of-breed solutions work for them. Yes, they’ll need to go through separate buying processes for these tools, and the integrations might not be as tight as they would be under a native XDREvenplatform.so,organisations can use open XDR to work with tools that fulfill their security requirements as they continue to evolve. They also won’t need to replace any of their existing investments (if they’re still working for them) under an open XDR platform.


Traditional XDR vs. Advanced XDR A step up from native XDR vs. open XDR is the difference between traditional XDR and Advanced XDR. This distinction has to do with how an XDR platform gathers data and what types of security incidents it can help to illuminate as a result.

Advanced XDR thereby not only provides visibility across the kill chain, but it also provides automated predictive response, elevating Tier 1-2 analyst capabilities to be on par with Tier 3 skill sets, as a result increasing both efficiency as well as efficacy.

Advanced XDR takes this approach one step further by automating the time consuming triage and correlation tasks. Not only does it integrate with threat intelligence, but it also uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to deliver context-rich correlations based on telemetry from disparate sources across organisations’ assets.

Traditional XDR is straightforward. It integrates with threat intelligence to spot Indicators of Compromise (IOCs) from already-known attacks. The XDR platform then helps security teams to respond to those incidents, but the analysts must manually triage all relevant alerts and then begin the task of trying to correlate them to determine which are related to an actual security event and try to answer the question “are we under attack?” This can take time, giving digital attackers an opportunity to further infiltrate organisations’ systems.

customers to deliver the capacity and performance they need, on-premises, in cloud or any other combination and paid for on an as-a-service basis. We look at the benefits of on-premises STaaS consumption models and the kind of services customers should look out for.

T he public cloud’s gravitational pull is immense, and we live in an age in which it drags data towards it and away from the customer data centre. But while the lure of the cloud is undeniable, many of its attractions come at a cost. The cloud promises flexibility in capacity and performance, with the ability to scale up — and down, in theory — and with pay-as-you-go pricing that make it an Opex running cost rather than a Capex spend.




Benefits of STaaS Consumption models of storage purchasing turn the procurement of on-site capacity in block, file and object storage into a pay-as-you-go

However, the reality can often prove less rosy. Costs can spiral out of control, SLAs have to be monitored in hawk-like fashion and performance cannot be guaranteed as it can on-site. For these reasons many prefer the predictability of their own data centre, and the concept of cloud repatriation has entered the lexicon. Fortunately, another option has emerged, a potential best-of-bothworlds, Storage-as-a-service (STaaS). STaaS is the consumption model of storage procurement, which allows OMAR AKAR, REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENT, MIDDLE EAST & EMERGING AFRICA, PURE STORAGE, ON HOW STORAGE-AS-A-SERVICE THE BALANCE


So, what should customers look out for in STaaS offerings? Core to consumption model offerings is the ability to deploy storage capacity onsite and be billed for consumption. Key to watch out for here, however, is that the service is being truly delivered as a service. In other words, levels of capacity and performance should be underwritten by SLAs, and when more hardware is required to meet those it should be delivered and deployed nondisruptively.Mostvendors offer something that’s more like a leasing agreement, in which their products are deployed on a threeor five-year cycle with forklift upgrades at the end. By contrast, the best StaaS offerings work to guaranteed service levels with automated upgrades to meet performance and capacity guarantees without extra cost and which are triggered by AI-based monitoring and telemetry.Customers should also check the storage supplier’s ability to deploy file and block access storage as well as fast file and object storage in the same hardware, with tiers of performance defined by input-output speed, throughput and capacity. That way, all workloads are covered, from rapid transactional block access, via unstructured file data, to the rapid throughput performance needed for analytics and restores from backup data. Monitoring software should give the customer an easy-to-read view of capacity usage and performance across on-prem storage infrastructure and the cloud, that shows how things are matching up to SLAs. It should also allow the ability to provision storage. AI-driven tools should enable prediction of future usage and be part of the process of triggering performance and capacity upgrades.Theseare the key features of the most advanced storage consumption models on the market today, and can help your organisation deliver cloud-like flexibility but with the peace of mind that only onpremises operations provide.



transaction. That’s in contrast to the traditional ways of on-premises hardware purchasing, where new products were bought on a three-year cycle to replace equipment bought during the preceding refresh three years before. And so on. It was a purchase of goods. You owned the item outright and paid for a support contract alongside it. You could upgrade controller software, and add drives and shelves, but when it groaned under the weight of increased performance or capacity demands and reached end-of-life, it was time for the next refresh and a forklift upgrade. Consumption models try to do away with that by turning storage procurement into a service-like experience. Customers usually commit to some kind of minimum capacity level, with agreement also to extra “buffer” capacity and the ability to scale beyond that. Some form of monitoring then allows the vendor to present a bill for storage used. Treating storage as a service has the big benefit of being potentially more flexible in terms of scalability and the ability to add more capacity or Meanwhile,performance.beingdeployed in the customer data centre means storage performance can be better than it would in the cloud and nowhere near as susceptible to suffering any degradation over the wide area network (WAN). Also, compared to cloud storage, bills and usage are likely to be more predictable, especially without costly cloud peculiarities such as egress charges, which can mount up unnoticed and result in huge bills. Concerns about security that go with the cloud are also mitigated.Havingsaid that, if the storage vendor has cloud infrastructure or partnerships, hybrid cloud working may be available as part of the arrangement, and so the ability to burst to the cloud to take advantage of extra production capacity or stage less-frequently used data becomes a possibility. On top of all this, STaaS can be treated as an Opex cost and so can be offset against tax. So, to sum up, consumption models of storage procurement potentially offer flexible and scalable capacity and performance operated on-site but billed as if it were a service, with the potential to link to the cloud as an extension of the data centre. And all treated as an Opex cost.

Key features of storage-as-a-service

Dell Technologies has unveiled the Precision 7865 Tower, uniting performance and computing power in the first Precision system to feature AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper PRO 5000 WX-Series processors. This professional workstation is maximized for demanding, multi-application workloads and brings together immense power, flexibility and reliability in one system, whether for VR and AI initiatives, analyzing massive data sets, graphic design, or imaging.

The Precision 7865 Tower also delivers fast network speeds (1G and 10G native), supporting work from home and allowing multiple users on one tower virtually. The AMD Advanced Management with DASH (Desktop and mobile Architecture for System Hardware), allows the Precision 7865 to deliver secure out-of-band and remote management, giving IT administrators the ability to support employees’ needs regardless of location.

The newly designed chassis also supports dedicated air channels for critical components, enhancing both thermal efficiency and acoustic performance. Servicing and upgrading are also made simpler with convenient front and side access, with tool-less interiors and organized, color-coded components that make it more intuitive to upgrade memory, storage or graphics cards as power demands increase. Additionally, use of Dell Optimizer for Precision software makes the system smarter, using AI to learn work styles and respond to needs, automatically improving application performance, specialized reporting and analytics. The Precision 7865 Tower also features a lockable chassis with intrusion detection which helps keep it secure. TPM 2.0 (trusted platform module) and selfencrypting drives create a comprehensive solution that users can depend on to help protect sensitive data, intellectual property and confidential projects.

PRODUCTSDellPrecision 7865 Tower 44 CXO INSIGHT ME JULY/AUGUST 2022

The Precision 7865 Tower comes with up to 64 CPU cores, up to 56TB storage, optional Thunderbolt 3, up to 1TB of DDR4 ECC memory with RMT Pro and a full suite of professional graphics (up to 16GB AMD Radeon Pro W6800 or up to 48GB NVIDIA RTX A6000 graphics), allowing users to create and render simultaneously, without sacrificing performance.

Users can choose between transparent colour or mosaic masking, the level of masking required, and how often the background automatically updates. Colour masking provides the greatest privacy protection, effectively eliminating the collection of personal data while enabling movements to be seen. Mosaic masking shows moving objects in very low resolution and allows users to better distinguish forms by seeing an object’s colors. AXIS Live Privacy Shield is suitable for remote video monitoring or recording in indoor areas where surveillance is otherwise problematic due to privacy regulations. With dynamic masking functionality, it is ideal for near-range indoor and outdoor scenes in places like hospitals, elderly care homes, hotels, schools, offices, and stores.

Siemon has announced its new LightWays fibre routing system in the Middle East. LightWays is a fully enclosed, flexible ducting system ideal for protecting, segregating and managing fibre optic cables in the data centre environment.

Axis Live Privacy Shield With AI-based masking – supported in selected Axis cameras with a deep-learning processing unit (DLPU) –the application analyzes live video for human forms and gives users the choice of masking humans, faces or the background in restricted places. It enables users to schedule when the privacy application should be applied and removed, such as using the new functionality on weekdays and removing it during weekends.

LightWays features innovative toolless joiners that completely eliminate the need for any drilling, nuts, bolts or other tools to connect or disconnect components. The joiners provide an audible click to ensure a secure connection and can be easily removed and reused throughout the system as needed. Easyaccess covers and removable protective end caps allow fibre cables to be added or removed from any pathway section at any time, without the need to disconnect system components.

Each component has been specifically designed to protect fibre cabling from dirt and dust and to maintain proper bend radius, which is imperative to maintaining network uptime, performance and reliability.


The system’s revolutionary low-profile Waterfall Outlet can be easily placed anywhere along the sidewall of straight sections to create vertical drop-offs with full bend radius control for safely routing fibre cables to and from data centre racks and cabinets. The Waterfall Outlet’s unique two-piece cover with hinged rear section makes it easy to access, add or remove fibres that bypass the outlet without disturbing those inside the outlet.

Siemon LightWays fibre routing system

Part of Siemon’s portfolio of advanced data centre solutions, LightWays comprises of a wide variety of straight solid and slotted duct, elbows, tees, crosses, reducers and outlets available in four different sizes. The easy-to-assemble fibre routing system is highly flexible to custom design protective fibre pathways with any turn or transition to meet the needs of any data centre.

AXIS Live Privacy Shield compares a live camera view to a set background scene and applies dynamic masking to areas of change—essentially, moving people and objects.



A s multi-cloud becomes a preferred solution for organisations worldwide for many reasons, data security and monitoring have become a prime concern.Asmany as 81% of respondents in a recent Gartner study indicated that their companies have evolved beyond hybrid cloud computing to multi-cloud computing, where they are using two or more public cloud service providers (CSPs) in one network architecture. The definition is slightly more expanded these days.An organisation using a different Infrastructure as a Service (say, Google Cloud), Software as a Service (Zoom, for example) and Platform as a Service (AWS Elastic Beanstalk), are also considered part of a multi-cloud system. The presence of industry behemoths like Google, Microsoft, Oracle, and Amazon in the market is one of the main reasons for the growing popularity of multi-cloud computing. These providers are evolving their offering to the market at a breakneck speed, helping increase agility for their clients in the process. However, each of them also has its own strengths and vulnerabilities.Beingableto pick and choose and spread the workload across a number of service providers reduces the risk of single-vendor dependency. It enables the client to access the best and most useful features of all of them. Other benefits of adopting a multicloud strategy are increased backup options, better chances of disaster recovery if one of the cloud services is compromised, and easier migration for some data and applications. It also brings the organisations closer to their users and customers and complies with specific regulations that may differ from country to country. However, price negotiation becomes tricky in multi-cloud solutions simply because an organisation cannot give its entire business to CSPs and hence will not get volume-related discounts. Each service in the multi-cloud setup comes with its own set of tools. This makes it harder to optimise performance. It also leads to more time, effort, and money spent on training.Thecomplexity involved in multicloud deployments raises security concerns, including the enhanced risk of cyberattacks, as it offers a much wider surface area for hackers to target. It also requires consistent security controls across heterogeneous environments. As organisations understand the value that a multi-cloud strategy brings, there is also a greater awareness of the need for a security approach that enables them to protect data, applications and other assets spread across a multi-cloud environment. While the CSPs are responsible for securing the cloud itself, organisations must plan and maintain security within the cloud. Some of the security challenges are lack of visibility because of the involvement of multiple parties, increased risk of access and privileges from various parts of the globe, and inability of organisations to keep pace with the upgrades by their CSPs.

In a recent study, Israeli security company Aqua gave the following tips for improving multi-cloud security: Synchronise policies, so that the same security settings are used; tailor security policies to services so that each workload or application has its own security profile; automate security like you’d automate other processes on public clouds; consolidate monitoring that logs alerts and events from all cloud providers in one place; and just like each cloud platform has different compliance certifications and features, organisations should also run different workloads with different compliance obligations on each cloud. Most importantly, a vibrant and detailed cloud strategy must be in place. The IT leaders in the organisations must know which services they have, for what reasons and what applications they host. A lack of proper data governance processes and procedures can expose the data to risk. The famous line uttered by Benjamin Franklin way back in the early 1700s still holds true for several things in life, including multi-cloud security – if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.


Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.