Technology Magazine January 2023

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January 2023 | technologymagazine.com CLARIANT FEATURING: UPG ENTERPRISES NOVANT HEALTH AccorInvest: ESG at the heart of digital transformation Centrimex: Bringing freight flexibility to customers using data Cafcass: Technology is key to providing outstanding service Cybersecurity companies in 2023 Technology Magazine speaks to the British Army about Project THEIA, its digital transformation programme THE BRITISH ARMY

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The
MARCUS LAW GEORGE HOPKIN
BIRCH

Employees are shaping the future of work

In a world where hybrid working is the new normal, it is the employees who hold all the cards.

Around 80% of organisations worldwide made it mandatory for workers to work from their homes during the pandemic. And while research has showed 78% of digital decision-makers have agreed to let remote working continue, even well after the pandemic is over, businesses need to do more to keep their employees happy.

Competition in the job market is rife, so it’s never been more important for a business to get their approach to work right. In an attempt to stave off the great resignation, businesses are coming up with increasingly innovative solutions, whether it is meetingfree days or even exploring the possibility of the four day working week.

There are many potential solutions, but what’s clear is it’s the employees who are shaping the future of work.

marcus.law@bizclikmedia.com

TECHNOLOGY MAGAZINE IS PUBLISHED BY © 2023 | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED technologymagazine.com 5
Hybrid working has its benefits, but pressure to be ‘always on’ can put strain on employees. With workers holding all the cards, it’s vital for businesses to get their approach to work right
FOREWORD
“Competition in the job market is rife, so it’s never been more important for a business to get their approach to work right”
British Army Marching to the beat of digital transformation 30 Digital Transformation Remote working Trust essential for a new, flexible normal 62 Our Regular Upfront Section: 14 Big Picture 16 The Brief 18 Timeline: Predictions for the world of technology in 2023 20 Trailblazer: Adam Markowitz 24 Five Minutes With: Markus Nispel JP Morgan Removing friction from cross-border payments 70 CONTENTS
TOP 10 cybersecurity companies at the start of 2023 176 AI/ML Six of the best future uses for artificial intelligence 142 Cloud and Cyber Dark clouds on the horizon as cyberattacks target new normal 86 Black & Veatch Whitepaper Digital twins offer real-time modelling for data centres 150 AccorInvest ESG at the heart of digital transformation 94 Bukalapak The future for cybersecurity is resilience 124 Enterprise IT DevSecOps: Automation is the key to the kingdom 116
Clariant Clariant’s cloud migration: Transforming on a global scale 216 HCLTech Equipping manufacturers for a global and localised world 188 AppLovin Managing risk and growing the global app ecosystem 200
Layer 9 Data Centers Changing the way that the big cloud connects Latin America 274 Novant Health AI on the frontline: digital transformation at Novant Health 230 LivaNova Transforming lives through MedTech and Procurement 244 APWireless Infrastructure Laying the groundwork for more efficient telecoms expansion 258
Syngenta's journey to cyber maturity in the cloud 308 NEC
Open RAN – a new milestone in 100 years of telecoms 322
Healthy
a better
294
Syngenta
Corporation
Boehringer Ingelheim
data creates
world
Santander UK How Change Management transforms the customer experience 336 Cafcass Technology is key to providing outstanding service 352 Centrimex Brings freight flexibility to customers using data 368 UPG Enterprises UPG Enterprises on digital transformation and automation 380

BIG PICTURE

European Space Agency

Wireless power from space

Munich, Germany

Space-based solar power could be a working reality in the future as shown in a demonstration through the European Space Agency’s SOLARIS initiative.

In November a demonstration of wireless power transfer took place at Airbus’ X-Works Innovation Factory in Munich. Using microwave beaming, green energy was transmitted between two points representing ‘Space’ and ‘Earth’ over a distance of 36 metres.

For a working version of a space-based solar power system, the ESA says solar power satellites in geostationary orbit would harvest sunlight on a permanent 24/7 basis before converting it into low-power density microwaves to safely beam down to receiver stations on Earth.

THE BRIEF

“Whether at Boehringer Ingelheim or another company, the standard in the industry is that the employee's voice is heard, based on the notion that this is important because happy people give better results.”

BY THE NUMBERS 53% 33%

WiFi 7 is emerging as one of the most important areas of investment in new connectivity technologies, according to findings released by the Wireless Broadband Alliance’s annual industry report.

Have already deployed industry standard WiFi 6E

Plan to deploy WiFi 7 by the end of 2023

Study shows the worrying human cost of cyber attacks

Research by Rubrik revealed IT leaders are facing one cyberattack each week, with 92% saying they are concerned they’d be unable to maintain business continuity after an attack. Over half (52%) of respondents said they had reported a data breach, while 51% reported facing a ransomware attack in the past year.

“In view of today’s challenges, be they environmental, societal or economic, AccorInvest takes very seriously the fact that it must be committed and responsible”
 READ MORE
Wojciech
Lacz Chief Information Officer, Accorinvest
 READ MORE
Bruno Rizzuti Head of Data Management, Boehringer Ingelheim
16 January 2023

Digital transformation a driving force in four key sectors

The automotive sector is the biggest spender on digital transformation, according to new research. But challenges including cybersecurity and environmental concerns mean a significant increase in digital spending is also expected in the Electronics and High Technology, Oil and Gas, and Fast-Moving Consumer Goods sectors.

In its latest whitepaper, 4 Key Industries Embracing Industry 4.0, global technology intelligence firm ABI Research forecasts that the automotive sector’s spend on Industry 4.0 technologies will approach US$100bn in 2022 and grow to over US$238bn in 2030.

"The automotive industry is not alone in its digital transformation acceleration," says Ryan Martin, Industrial and Manufacturing Markets Research Director at ABI Research. "Industry 4.0 – also referred to as smart manufacturing, connected manufacturing, the Industrial Internet of Things, and other monikers –has revolutionised the way companies manufacture, enhance, and distribute products using new technologies."

 NVIDIA AND MICROSOFT

NVIDIA and Microsoft have announced a multiyear collaboration with the intention to build one of the most powerful AI supercomputers in the world. The supercomputer will help enterprises train, deploy and scale AI, including large, stateof-the-art models.

 AIRBNB

Airbnb has begun to roll out its anti-party tech, which screens reservations to protect hosts. The reservation screening technology has launched in the US, Canada and Australia, and the company plans to expand the technology worldwide in spring 2023.

 DROUGHTS AND DATA CENTRES

Drought conditions in the US are threatening the functionality of some of Big Tech’s data centres. According to research by Virginia Tech, the average data centre uses up to 300,000 gallons of water to cool itself each day.

 INCREASE IN DATA BREACHES

After a lull in the first half of 2022, data breaches grew significantly in Q3 2022. According to findings by Surfshark, data breaches surged by 70% quarterover-quarter, affecting 108.9 million accounts in Q3 2022.

technologymagazine.com 17
U P D O W N JAN23

TIMELINE PREDICTIONS FOR WORLD OF TECHNOLOGY IN

2023

Among Gartner’s Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2023 are advancements in the metaverse and adaptive AI technologies, while sustainable technology is expected to continue to dominate many organisations’ agendas

Sustainable Technology

Delivering technology alone will not be enough in 2023. Sustainable technology enables enterprise sustainability through technologies like traceability, analytics, emissions management software, and AI, helping customers achieve their own sustainability objectives.

The Metaverse

Hype for one of the most popular technology topics in 2022 promises to continue this year.

The metaverse allows people to replicate or enhance their physical activities, with Gartner predicting that this could be by transporting or extending physical activities to a virtual world, or by transforming the physical one.

Adaptive AI allows deployment through It continuously both runtime and based on By 2026, enterprises systems could outperform

FOR THE TECHNOLOGY

Superapps

Superapps are more than composite applications that aggregate services. A superapp combines the features of an app, a platform and an ecosystem all in one application. Gartner estimates that 15 popular superapps have been downloaded more than 4.6 billion times around the world, with 2.68 billion monthly active users.

Industry Cloud Platforms

AI Trust, Risk and Security

allows for behaviour change postthrough use of real-time feedback. retrains models and learns – within and development environments –new data and adjusted goals. enterprises that have adopted adaptive AI outperform their peers by at least 25%.

Industry cloud platforms combine SaaS, PaaS and IaaS with tailored, industryspecific functionality that organisations can use to more easily adapt to the relentless stream of disruptions. During a recent survey among North American and European enterprises, 40% had started the adoption of industry cloud platforms, while 15% are considering deployment by 2026.

AI TRiSM supports AI-model governance, trustworthiness, fairness, reliability and data protection. It combines methods for explaining AI results and rapidly deploying new models, actively managing AI security as well as controls for privacy and ethics issues.

By 2026, organisations operationalising TRiSM could see their AI models achieve a 50% result improvement.

Adam Markowitz

Markowitz is the co-founder and CEO of Drata, a security and compliance automation platform that ensures audit readiness.

Prior to Drata, Adam was the founder and CEO of Portfolium, an academic portfolio network for students and alumni to visually showcase their work and projects directly to employers, faculty, and fellow students/alumni.

He has also worked as an aerospace engineer designing, analysing and testing liquid rocket engines for NASA’s next-generation space launch vehicle, as well as the Space Shuttle Main Engine.

You worked as an aerospace engineer on the space-shuttle programme, what led you to that and what did you learn?

Growing up, I always had a dream of being an astronaut one day. Having earned a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering, and with plans to pursue my Master’s in Astronautical engineering, I landed the second best job next to being

an astronaut, and that was as an aerospace engineer working on NASA’s space shuttle programme.

The position was highly sought after, and, as a recent college graduate, I knew I would have to stand out in order to be selected for the job, so I brought a portfolio into my job interview to showcase my relevant work rather than listing it out in a resume. Landing the job and having the experience of a lifetime working on the shuttle programme reinforced the importance of taking chances, earning trust, and pursuing my dreams. After NASA retired the programme, I was inspired to explore on my own as an entrepreneur and start Portfolium based on that very interview experience.

What inspired you to create Drata?

45

Prior to Drata, I founded a company called Portfolium, an edtech startup that connected university students and recent graduates with businesses and employers by better visually presenting their academic work to prove their skills. Selling the software into hundreds of universities and handling the data of millions of students, it was critical that we were able to prove the effectiveness of our security program. SOC 2 reports quickly became the minimum bar requirement for our industry to help earn the trust of our customers and users that we were protecting their data. We experienced the pains of pursuing SOC 2 compliance manually firsthand –the time, cost, know-how, and slowing of sales cycles.

20 January 2023
From the Space Shuttle to startup CEO Drata CEO and Co-founder Adam Markowitz discusses his time working as an engineer on the Space Shuttle programme, and the importance of trust
TRAILBLAZER
days after launch, Drata brought on 100 customers
“Landing the job and having the experience of a lifetime working on the shuttle programme reinforced the importance of taking chances, earning trust, and pursuing my dreams”

After Portfolium was acquired by Instructure, I – along with co-founders Daniel Marashalin and Troy Markowitz – started Drata. We sought to remove the burdens of compliance by using automation to streamline the journey for companies of all sizes. Fast forward to today, and thousands of companies now use Drata to continuously monitor their security controls, have a holistic view of their security posture by integrating the Drata platform with their tech stack, and maintain compliance over time to help them scale.

Drata became one of the fastest companies to achieve a US$1bn valuation – what do you attribute your success to?

The success of Drata can be directly attributed to its people – the culture and execution of this team is truly unprecedented. The culture is defined by the values and behaviour of the incredible people here and trust lies at the heart of it all. We brought on 100 customers in just 45 days after our launch, which quickly affirmed the need for a platform like ours in what was a relatively stagnant market. And, because we’re a customer-obsessed company, we’ve continuously incorporated customer feedback and insights into the platform – it’s imperative that we build products that solve real pain for the people using it.

What does trust mean to you? How important is it?

Trust has been our core value at Drata since inception – it truly is at the centre of everything we do, from how

we interact with our customers and partners to how we build products, how we attract talented leaders, and everything in between. I believe, outside of time, trust is our most precious asset, earned in drops lost in buckets as they say.

We often refer to trust as our North Star as it guides our decision-making at Drata. For example, we didn’t publicly launch Drata until we achieved SOC 2 compliance ourselves and used our own product to do it. Success can’t be built without trust, and our vision for Drata is to be the trust layer between our customers and those they do business with.

22 January 2023
TRAILBLAZER

Drata - Put SOC 2 on Autopilot

What does the future look like for Drata? Drata has rapidly expanded its platform, having started with SOC 2 compliance automation to now, offering over a dozen compliance frameworks and additional GRC products like Risk Management, enabling companies to identify, assess, and treat risk and compliance all in one central place. We will continue our customercentric approach to product development as we quickly add new features and functionality to solve more problems for our customers for years to come.

technologymagazine.com 23
“Trust has been our core value at Drata since inception – it truly is at the centre of everything we do, from how we interact with our customers and partners to how we build products, how we attract talented leaders, and everything in between”

MARKUS NISPEL

MARKUS NISPEL SPEAKS

TO

Q. PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF AND TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR NEW ROLE AS CTO OF EMEA

» Having worked in the telecommunications and networking sector for over 25 years, I have been in the front row observing how the industry and the technology have changed, how customers benefit from those changes, how vendors disrupt and get disrupted, and, more recently, how digital transformation in enterprises has taken off.

Now, as CTO of EMEA at Extreme Networks – a strategic growth region and an engine for innovation – I’m driving the global office of the CTO thought-leadership activities, as well as heading up the incubator at the Office of the CTO. Triggered by inflections at different points in the market, technology and society, the mission of the incubator is to respond by driving initiatives from ideation through to prototype and, ultimately, MVP.

Within EMEA, my role includes activities to help customers look beyond the horizon and provide guidance in strategic IT decisions.

Q. HOW HAS THE NETWORKING SECTOR CHANGED SINCE YOU BEGAN YOUR CAREER?

24 January 2023
TECHNOLOGY
» In short, everything has changed. Over the last decade in particular, we’ve seen a number of changes in the way networks are planned, built and operated. These include different competing technologies (FDDI, Token Ring and ATM to Ethernet/IP as the winner), the growth of cloud (both for networking and security), and FIVE MINUTES WITH...
MAGAZINE ABOUT VIEWING NETWORKING CHANGES FROM THE FRONT ROW, THE GROWTH OF CLOUD, AND HIS PREDICTIONS FOR THE FUTURE

Welcome to The Infinite Enterprise

the virtually infinite availability of processing and storage that comes along with it. Perhaps most significantly, we’ve seen the democratisation of technology access. For example, what’s currently happening with ML and AI, Virtualisation and Containerisation, Wi-Fi, Fabrics, and infinite distribution of the enterprise. Also, commoditisation at various levels has made technology more affordable while also triggering various disruptions of formerly perceived superior

CTO

CTO EMEA since August 2022 2013 Joined Extreme in 2013 via the company’s acquisition of Enterasys Networks, which Nispel joined in 2000

technology that vendors held on to for too long.

The recent years have largely been dominated by the pandemic and the geopolitical tensions that are driving the Infinite Enterprise, along with unprecedented supply chain constraints in the entire IT industry and beyond.

Q. WHAT ARE YOUR PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENTS IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR?

» I am proud to have built a number of very successful teams and practices in my career in the areas of solutions’ architecture, software engineering, and data science. Recently, I also built the Office of the CTO and its practice from the ground up at Extreme. The power of collaboration and inspiration that a high-performing team can

technologymagazine.com 25
“OVER THE LAST DECADE IN PARTICULAR, WE’VE SEEN A NUMBER OF CHANGES IN THE WAY NETWORKS ARE PLANNED, BUILT AND OPERATED”

experience and the results that they then achieve makes me proud to be involved in. Outcomes like successful products, new innovative solutions and various patents are a result of that outstanding team performance.

Q. HOW DO YOU FORESEE FUTURE TECHNOLOGIES LIKE WI-FI 7 SUPPORTING EXTREME NETWORKS' DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION?

» Today, both Wi-Fi 6E and soon Wi-Fi 7 are critical elements for enterprises on their journey to impactful digital transformation. They both unlock significant capacity and performance benefits, while adding enterprise capabilities that enable new use cases requiring high-performance, low-latency right at the edge.

For example, industrial IoT or the latest AR/VR technologies across a range of industries. This is an opportunity for Extreme – as a leader in cloud-managed networking solutions, including WiFi – to help customers unlock that potential more effectively than with any other solution in the market.

Also, for ourselves as Extreme, being an Infinite Enterprise and embracing hybrid and flexible workplace policies means those new WiFi technologies are key to delivering outstanding employee experiences while working from their location of choice.

FIVE MINUTES WITH... 26 January 2023

FUTURE INNOVATIONS

» Through the power of the cloud and its capabilities, we can expect to see the operation of networks becoming increasingly “on autopilot”, and therefore consumed as a service. In other words, there will be a lot of innovation in the operational and consumption models coming down the road. In this post-pandemic era, the industry will also be faced with the challenge of providing security and

reliable connectivity for the Infinite Enterprise, so how the sector will respond to this in the coming years is still to be determined. As well as this, it will be interesting to see how the importance of the edge will change market dynamics beyond just networking and security – enabling brand new use-cases – and, also, how certain segments of the security market converge in the future.

Another area of interest will be how enterprise and service-provider technologies can come together in a new edge architecture.

So, while some think networking is not exciting, this ongoing stream of innovations and technology disruption makes this industry a very exciting one to be in. And it never stops changing.

Q. WHAT
IN NETWORKING ARE YOU MOST EXCITED BY AND WHY?
technologymagazine.com 27
“WHILE SOME THINK NETWORKING IS NOT EXCITING, THIS ONGOING STREAM OF INNOVATIONS AND TECHNOLOGY DISRUPTION MAKES THIS INDUSTRY A VERY EXCITING ONE TO BE IN”

Accelerate Your Net-Zero Carbon Initiatives with Low-Code

Featured with:

Executives from Appian, AWS, and Xebia share their collaborative efforts and excitement about their partnership in low-code, cloud, and sustainability.

Technology is instrumental to achieving next-level capabilities across industries. But organizations that want to operate sustainably must choose technology that lets them adhere to strong environmental, social, and governance principles.

Appian Corporation, a process automation leader, is a critical piece of the digital transformation and sustainability puzzle. The enterprise-grade Appian Low-Code Platform is built to simplify today’s complex business processes, with process mining, workflow, and automation capabilities.

“By quickly building apps that streamline and automate workflows, organizations are using Appian to make their processes for monitoring and reporting on ESG initiatives faster, simpler, and more effective,” says Meryl Gibbs, Emerging Industries Leader at Appian.

“Both AWS and Appcino are amazing partners of ours,” says Michael Heffner, VP Solutions and Industry Go To Market at Appian. “We have an extremely long legacy engagement with AWS as our trusted, go-to-market partner and Appcino builds “meaningful, business-focused applications on the Appian platform and is amazing in all things ESG.”

Digital transformation in ESG.

As an AWS leader enabling sustainability solutions built on the cloud, Mary Wilson, Global Sustainability Lead at AWS, talks about the partnership with Appian.

“Our objective is to help our customers achieve sustainability goals across their business operations,” says Wilson. “[This means] looking at data availability, meaning access to more data, and enabling actionable insights. “Lowcode, cloud-enabled, technologies will allow organizations to build fast, learn fast, iterate, and continue to improve these insights to drive their sustainability outcomes.”

Tarun Khatri, Co-Founder & Executive Director of Appcino (product part of Xebia), explains just how critical ESG is in the face of digital transformation. “The investment community now considers ESG reporting as a major factor for measuring performance,” says Khatri The collaboration will continually uncover new insights and provides customers the opportunity to accelerate their ESG goals with speed and security.

technologymagazine.com 29

TO THE BEAT DIGITAL

PRODUCED BY: KRISTOFER PALMER

MARCHING TRANSFORMATION 30 January 2023

BEAT OF DIGITAL THE BRITISH ARMY

MARCHING TRANSFORMATION technologymagazine.com 31

f you’ve ever lived in the UK, you’re probably familiar with the variety of cinematic British Army (BA) adverts that grace television screens. Whether honouring the fallen, conducting recruitment drives, or highlighting the coalescence of soldiers and emerging digital capabilities, each advert is nothing short of inspirational, suggesting a sense of close-knit community and belonging.

These adverts have become a type of national institution for Brits, a source of pride. And now, they are starting to detail the future of the British Army as well as the evolutionary steps needed to meet this future, including the BA’s digitalisation journey.

Last time we spoke with Brigadier Stefan Crossfield – Head of Information Exploitation, Chief Data Officer, and Deputy CIO for The British Army – he was outlining the onset of Project THEIA, the BA’s digital transformation programme that began in 2021.

A year on, significant progress has been achieved. So, we caught up once more with Brig. Crossfield to discover more about where the project is taking The British Army next.

32 January 2023 THE BRITISH ARMY
Brig. Stefan Crossfield & Major General Collyer share the British Army’s digital transformation progress so far, the challenges encountered and next phases
technologymagazine.com 33

Project THEIA: progression of British Army digitalisation journey

Back at the tailend of 2020, The Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced the Army’s intention to ‘double-down’ on embracing new technologies and enhancing operational facilities via a digitalisation programme called Project THEIA (pronounced thay-a).

According to the MoD, the aim of the project is “driving digital transformation in the British Army to outcompete adversaries, integrate with partners, and operate with maximum efficiency”. By 2023, the programme will have been in operation for two years and moved forward significantly, altering the fundamental structure and cohesiveness of the BA.

“Project THEIA is an accountancy programme in the Army programme of record, which means it's not got a lot of funding. That's because it's a federated programme of change, which is providing the coherence mechanism across the whole army to deliver digital transformation,” outlines Crossfield.

“The intent is to take us from being a predominantly industrial-age organisation – which is what we are now – to being an information-age-ready army, which we'll need to be to compete against our adversaries, deliver our efficiencies in the future, and also partner better with industry, international partners and all other partners.

“It's built around a very small programme office, and its function is delivered through three principal aspects. Firstly, accelerators, which are programmes that we’re seeking to favour and drive hard so that we can learn lessons from them, scale them, and reuse them across the whole of the Army.”

34 January 2023 THE BRITISH ARMY

The second aspect is the utilisation of an “enabler approach” – in other words, focusing on those things that enable digital transformation, like skills, operational changes and adoption of the cloud. The third aspect is catalysts, which comprises the technologies that the Army is looking to favour first.

So, in the time that’s elapsed since the programme’s onset, how far has it come?

“The programme is now entering that second epoch – or second phase, if you will – where it's beginning to focus on accelerators in particular, which are about delivering actual change in the hands of the users,” Crossfield says.

Example of an image caption
BRIG. STEFAN CROSSFIELD HEAD OF INFORMATION EXPLOITATION, CDO, DEPUTY CIO, THE BRITISH ARMY
take us from being a predominantly industrial-age organisation –which is what we are now – to being an informationage-ready army”
technologymagazine.com 35

Achieve information advantage with the power of search

Whether connecting military personnel with intelligence and real-time location, facilitating rapid development and deployment, or arming teams to protect the UK from advanced cyber threats, Elastic’s holistic search-powered platform accelerates the results that matter to the British Army’s digital transformation.

Learn more

Elastic: An advanced Distributed RESTful Search & Analytics Engine

After a long career in the UK Military, Robert Strange is now Senior Director of Solution Architecture at UKMEA Elastic – and he’s here to talk about search and security.

Robert Strange started his career as a tank commander in the Army and UK military. He left in 2007 after seven years of service at Tactical command, before moving as a civilian to strategic consultancy at Northward operational headquarters in the UK, before finally arriving at Elastic nearly six years ago to help build out the solutions architecture team.

At its core, Elastic is an advanced, distributed, RESTful search and analytics engine with many features and capabilities. “At the data core of Elastic is a search engine, this gives us enormous flexibility to ingest vast amounts of data while also presenting that in a way that’s relevant and valuable to our users,” says Robert Strange, Senior Director of Solution Architecture at UKMEA Elastic, “and it allows them to gain critical insights into their data, and consume the data in a way that is relevant to them, it’s about speed to value”.

Elastic’s strategy can be broadly broken down into three parts: the first is data consolidation; the second is data value; and the third is concerned with digital culture.

One of the main projects that Elastic are currently working on with the MOD is the provision of cyber protection to deployable headquarters. “It’s a complex problem in that it’s both a micro and a macro issue, both local and global” says Strange, “and it’s important to connect these HQs together across a security matrix.”

“One of the products that differentiates us is something called ‘Cross Cluster Search’, which allows us to take the query to the data - and not centralise the data to query centrally. Moving data around is expensive and problematic. So it allows higher headquarters to aggregate up threats over all Headquarters to provide that macro view over low bandwidth connections.’’

Learn more
38 January 2023 THE BRITISH ARMY

BRIGADIER STEFAN CROSSFIELD

TITLE: HEAD OF INFORMATION EXPLOITATION, CHIEF DATA OFFICER, AND DEPUTY CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER INDUSTRY: DEFENCE LOCATION: UK

Following attendance at Sandhurst Brig Stefan Crossfield was commissioned in to the REME in 1992. His initial assignment as a Lieutenant Colonel saw him working for Director Force Development ahead of the SDSR and then join the core Army 2020 team for 10 months.

Brig Crossfield took command of 6 Armoured Close Support Battalion REME in 2012 just before Op HERRICK 18. On his return he was selected for promotion to Colonel and temporarily acted as DCOS 3 (UK) Division.

Brig Crossfield has more recently delivered the narrative describing the military offer as COS to DPers and completed an Academic External Placement at Exeter University securing an MBA with Distinction in 2018. He served as DACOS YELLOWHAMMER in Jan 2019, completed a short tenure as DACOS Current Plans in HQ Home Command and upon promotion to Brigadier joined Army HQ as Head Information Exploitation (IX) in late 2020. As Hd IX, Brig Crossfield also fulfils the roles of CDO and Principal AI Officer for the British Army.

Brig Crossfield is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers. He is also a Chartered Manager and has a Masters Degree in Information Systems.

40 January 2023

The rest of the digitalisation journey – which phase next?

THEIA was always designed to have three core phases. Each phase signals the next steps required to align with the overall aims and features different elements of the Army.

“The first phase was about establishing the programme, which, in very simple terms, was making the army, defence and our wider partners aware that the programme existed as this controlling mind, the cohering function and centre hub for a federated change,” says Crossfield.

“We aren’t delivering the change. You can't deliver change in a nearly 400-yearold organisation that has 75,000 military people in it – 150,000 people in total. Lots of other people are going to have to deliver the change, but it is the cohering, the hub at the centre. That first year went well, but we have struggled in a couple of areas that we've now resolved.”

Project THEIA's come a long way. It's done exactly what we wanted to do in the first phase: it's delivered on intent”
technologymagazine.com 41 THE BRITISH ARMY
BRIG. STEFAN CROSSFIELD HEAD OF INFORMATION EXPLOITATION, CDO, DEPUTY CIO, THE BRITISH ARMY

From Crossfield’s perspective, the two most pressing struggles have been around resourcing and delivery. The former resulted from what he calls “a prioritisation war between a complete transformation in the Army and a future soldier, a spending review, and various other things” which initially made acquiring the necessary funding tricky.

“We've now got the programme fullyfunded to deliver the staff it needs, which took us to the end of the first year. The second thing that we need to do more of now is delivery. So, at the end of that first year, having done a programme review and worked with the DCGS – who was our sponsor – we agreed that the programme is now in a position where it really needs to start doubling down on delivery. We subsequently recast the programme, and the term we've used for that is ‘same material, different mould’, which I quite like, because we're not fundamentally changing it, but there is now a real focus on delivery,” he explains.

Marching to the beat of digital transformation

42 January 2023 THE BRITISH ARMY
“The programme is now in a position where it really needs to start doubling down on delivery”
technologymagazine.com 43
BRIG. STEFAN CROSSFIELD HEAD OF INFORMATION EXPLOITATION, CDO, DEPUTY CIO, THE BRITISH ARMY

Leveraging data to boost the UK’s defence capability

Civica helps the defence sector to manage and understand data in a better way; generating valuable insights that impact outcomes on and off the physical and digital battlefields.

As the UK’s largest software company focused on the public sector, our software solutions and digital consultancy support help make information transfer efficient and critical decisions easier.

Find out more

Civica: Helping the Army strengthen its Digital Backbone

A trusted partner across the MOD, Civica has helped Army HQ implement data governance, quality, architecture and digital upskilling.

Over the past 12 months, Civica has implemented production of the Army Command Standing Order (ACSO) 18/08 for Data Governance & Coherence Directive. This drew heavily on Civica’s understanding of the MOD’s Data Strategy produced within Defence Digital, and its subsequent implementation and policing across the Deliver Teams. By operationalising and standardising this ACSO, Civica and Army HQ can deliver a central and cohesive data governance framework across the Army’s Directorates, plus deliver an associated, extensive digital upskilling programme.

A global leader in public sector software

David Duggan is Civica’s MOD Senior Account Director. With over 30 years of proven MOD expertise, Civica supports the MOD with end-to-end digital transformation expertise and Data Management Association (DAMA) ties.

“Since 2019, we’ve supported Defence Digital across a multitude of their digital transformation programme activities, but specifically supporting data governance, delivering data management training, the

production of JSP 441 and more recently delivering in the development of the defence, digital data analytics platform, which has been a major success,” said Duggan.

Digital Backbone - the foundation to a strong defence

The commitment to an “enduring data pandefence capability,” according to Director Chief Data Officer MOD, Caroline Bellamy, requires partners like Civica to effectively deliver the data mandate.

Mark Humphries is the Consultancy Director at Civica and Chairman of DAMA UK , the leading professional membership body for data management professionals in the UK. Humphries adds:

“The Army is implementing ACSO 18/08 to establish effective data governance and data management across all directorates and capabilities. They need to do this so that when they are making evidence-based decisions in the future they are confident that the data they are using is reliable, fit for purpose, timely and readily available; in short they need to know they can trust the data that they are using.”

Learn more

“When we last met, we needed to wire up the estate in the UK and provide pervasive internet access across the whole of the Army estate while we're on it” – a vast, challenging undertaking – “We delivered the passive element of internet access to every building within the army estate. BT, who were our partner in terms of delivering that infrastructure, wired up those 40 sites and they're going live as we speak.”

Turning rhetoric into reality is the aim of phase two, which means literally putting “useful things in the hands of soldiers”. Simple as that, right? Well, not quite, no. With such a large estate to cover and tens of thousands of soldiers, delivery is much easier said than done. In fact, Crossfield estimates that this phase could last up to two years.

46 January 2023

“We're now working on phase two, which is a much bigger challenge. The next phase consists of about £70mn worth of infrastructure – about one hundred regular sites, a hundred reserve sites, and a whole load of publicly-financed initiative sites. PFIs are privately-financed initiatives, which will be more complicated because we don't necessarily own that bit of the estate, it's in a PFI,” he says.

“Phase two, again, will begin to deliver this year, though. We'll be putting the hardwire infrastructure in the passive infrastructure and turning it on in this financial year. Users are now increasingly connected, but that also means that that bit of the estate is connected as well. This will enable us to start exploiting technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT); we can start moving data around in a better way; we can start collecting data that we couldn't collect from that environment.”

“We delivered the passive element of internet access to every building within the army estate. BT, who were our partner in terms of delivering that infrastructure, wired up those 40 sites and they're going live as we speak”
ARMY
technologymagazine.com 47 THE BRITISH ARMY

Field Army IX transformation programme & partner reception

In terms of digital transformation, Crossfield feels that the Field Army has already travelled a long way down that evolutionary road, “delivering at pace every single two weeks” and dropping software into a whole suite of applications effectively.

“Effectively, we are slowly but surely building a digital picture of the Army's readiness across multiple different fronts,” explains Crossfield. “Readiness for us is across equipment, people sustainment, and soldiers’ readiness in terms of how collectively trained they are.

“We now have a view of all those angles and we're bringing them into a single dashboard with an analytics platform sat above it, which will begin to give us those insights about where we need to target activity, whether we could or couldn’t deliver against a particular ask or challenge that's placed on us.”

But how is the Army able to access the information regarding soldiers’ training in a simple yet effective way?

“We've rolled out a whole new suite of My Series applications in the home command environment; individual ‘My Series’ applications for soldiers to do their administration training have doubled in size.

“In the Army Personnel Centre, the career management portal – which was in its infancy when we last spoke – is now the de facto way of conducting career management activity, both for the individual and their career manager (the individual who's the leader of that person and the wider chain of command). The functionality within that portal has meant that endless trips to Glasgow on the Red Eye are fewer and fewer; we're running promotion boards and assignment boards completely virtually, all through that platform.”

The entire career management process can therefore be completed individually, without the need for a Teams’ event. Instead, “the platform runs it and soldiers can then interact with the platform” via scoring, commenting,

“Effectively, we are slowly but surely building a digital picture of the Army's readiness across multiple different fronts”
48 January 2023 THE BRITISH ARMY

THE BRITISH ARMY’S EXPANSIVE ESTATE

“The challenge that Bruhati is helping us with is architecting so that we can have commonality across the entirety of what we do. We’ve been using the Alpha platform for a while, and we have some really good documentation in places like the Army hosting environment, but the two have never really come together. So we’ve asked Bruhati, and they've begun to deliver some really good outcomes here to convert what we know about the Army hosting environment into an architectural product, which will allow us to monitor and maintain the Army hosting environment in a more coherent way,” says Crossfield.

“Working with Bruhati is good fun. They're reactive; we've been to them a couple of times now at very limited notice, with fleeting opportunities to use money, for example, at the end of the financial year – classic government department challenge – and Bruhati delivered every single time. So I rate them from that perspective, because that's not always easy to achieve with a commercial partner.

“The product is very good. They're also very good at speaking in crystalclear English, if you will, about something that's impregnable. With Bruhati, we've got real experts delivering high-quality architecture in our platform, which we value, but then also explaining to us in plain English what they've done, what the value of that is and where we should go next. So it's been a good relationship.”

building
DID YOU KNOW?
technologymagazine.com 49

Bruhati

Internet of Things Enterprise Architecture Business Automation

www.bruhati.com

Bruhati is helping to accelerate digital transformation at the British Army

Bruhati is a global consultancy that brings a wealth of digital transformation expertise to implement digital solutions and tools. We use Enterprise Architecture (EA) frameworks and methodologies to help organisations align their business capabilities & processes, applications, technology, and data.

We are assisting the British Army to enhance their EA maturity level by leveraging existing tools, processes and data sets, to create automated real time dashboards. The EA tool provides an architectural lens that dissects data across the organisation to produce a single viewpoint that can drive

immediate strategic and operational benefit. This will enable the British Army to become more agile, provide better data governance, and reduce redundancies in the application and technology portfolios.

“WithBruhati,we’vegotrealexperts

Says Brigadier Stefan Crossfield – Head of Information Exploitation, Chief Data Officer, and Deputy CIO for The British Army

deliveringhigh-qualityarchitecturein
ourplatform,whichwevalue,butthen alsoexplainingtousinplainEnglish whatthey’vedone,whatthevalueof thatisandwhereweshouldgonext.”
more about how Bruhati can support your digital transformation journey Disconnected tools and siloed data sets
centralised view across Business capabilities, Applications, Technology, and Information portfolios Limited data governance and assurance
view of overall
and ability to
for future demands Challenges Automated real time dashboard from key data sets Centralised view of Business capabilities, Application, and Information portfolios for the Army Hosting Environment Improved data governance and assurance Helping the
Information
team to become more agile for future demands Outcomes Software AG Alfabet EA tool for automated dashboards and single architectural viewpoint Integration of siloed data sets from British Army applications EA metamodel and governance framework established Solutions
Learn
No
Constrained
IT Architecture
plan
British Army’s
Architecture

and reviewing the evidence, and then adding their input. All that’s needed for a result is for these to be completed by a certain deadline.

It marks a “fundamental change” for the BA. So, how has the programme been received thus far by partners of the British Army?

“Our community of interest, which sits every third Friday of the month, is probably the jewel in our crown,” says Crossfield. “On these Fridays, we talk to all of our partners

– particularly commercial partners – about what we're doing, why we're doing it, and what our plans are going forward. We also have spotlights on particular partners, where they come and talk to the wider audience about what they're doing for the Army, which has been extremely well received.

“All of the feedback we get is to ‘keep going’. This is unheard of in defence; normally, we're a bit of an opaque box, it's quite hard to

“Our community of interest, which sits every third Friday of the month, is probably the jewel in our crown”
52 January 2023
CDO, DEPUTY
ARMY

break in, whereas we want to tell you more.”

Though feedback from partners has been positive, marking Defence’s foray into an era of greater transparency, Crossfield is quick to state that it will be postdelivery phase – after the next 12 to 18 months – that the effects of this approach will likely be felt.

EXECUTIVE BIO

MAJOR GENERAL JOHN COLLYER

TITLE: CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER

INDUSTRY: DEFENCE LOCATION: UK

Major General Collyer was educated at Ermysted’s Grammar School in North Yorkshire and Welbeck Sixth Form College before commissioning into the Royal Signals. His early service was spent at Regimental Duty in Battlegroup, Brigade, Division, Corps and Joint Force formations and with Other Government Departments. Following Junior and Initial Command and Staff courses, Major General Collyer commanded at Squadron and Regimental level and subsequently Joint Forces Cyber Group and 1st (United Kingdom) Signal Brigade. His staff appointments have included the MOD Operations Directorate, Defence Intelligence, Army Headquarters, Headquarters Allied Rapid Reaction Corps and the United States Security Coordinator HQ. In the deployed arena, he has operated in the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. He holds a 1st Class Information Systems Engineering Degree with honours and a Masters in Defence Studies from King’s College London. Following an assignment as Head Strategy, Capability and Development in the Army HQ Information Directorate, he was appointed the Army HQ’s Director of Information and Chief Information Officer in October 2021.

THE BRITISH ARMY

had a big awakening about network-centric warfare, networks enabling capability and all that went with that”

Just over a year since his appointment as Chief Information Officer (CIO), we caught up with Major General Collyer to see what’s changed and learn more about the British Army’s digital direction.

What have been your priorities and what have you been looking to achieve?

MGC: In terms of priorities, my fairly unequivocal top three are: number one security and really understanding at a forensic level from a digital perspective – but also physical and personnel – where our strengths are, where our processes are good, or whether they need to be better; number two is about digital coherence and driving us hard into

a data-centric space; cross capability and cross domain digital coherence; and then, finally, my third – which really intersects both of those two points – is about digital transformation.

What do you think has been delivered, particularly in this last year? What are you most proud of so far?

MGC: The first one is about an awakening. When I joined the forces one or two years ago, at the time, we had a big awakening about network-centric warfare, networks enabling capability and all that went with that– an awakening around the potency, utility and the advantage around data and digital. We've

MAJOR GENERAL JOHN COLLYER: A YEAR IN
54 January 2023 THE BRITISH ARMY
“We

got a really good sort of head of steam there around our leadership and around our people.

The second one is about – and we are not there yet, but we're definitely accelerating –shifting mindsets, and I think there's a cultural thread to this. Are we, as an army, fighting within a joint, combined multi-domain and alliance force defined by the thickness of our armour, our gun line, our platforms and our weapons system? Yes, but the shift in thinking that we're able to really accelerate from now is moving from that platform-centric approach through to network-centricity to data-centricity.

The third point I'd pull out there is about people. We’re more than sure that, within the digital and data competency of all of our

people, there’s not a niche specialist tucked away, but that the situation has pivoted almost overnight, so we need now to upskill our people in all sorts of areas.

How does all that come together?

MGC: So we're working right now to bottle all of that together to really define in the forest of transformation, where there is a lot of woods and trees, what does all that look like? What makes us better? How does all that come together? So we're just writing that at the moment to really set our level of ambition, which we look to share with partners in industry, academia, allies, and other agencies and defence.

Q&A
technologymagazine.com 55

Adoption of the cloud across entire British Army

When it comes to the cloud and its new role in businesses, the word frequently used to describe the transition is ‘migration’, suggesting a monumental shift of data information, services, and capabilities from one place into the cloud. For the British Army’s use of the cloud, though, Crossfield prefers different terminology.

“As we've begun to deliver, we've realised that we're not migrating, we're adopting cloud, because we won't move everything. And by moving some stuff, we mean that we might be able to exploit our on-prem facilities in a different way. So we haven’t thrown the baby out with the bath water is, I suppose, the best way to put it. Cloud adoption for us is a joint server farm.”

As such, this joint server farm has multiclouds for the Army to utilise. But how does this impact overall security?

“It's all artificial sensitive. And we learned some good lessons, the biggest of which was the support that we had to provide to the user, the owner, and the application leads because they own it. We're not delivering mono-cloud for them; they own their bit of mono-cloud that's hosting their service, and that's a cultural change, right? To me, that’s the biggest opportunity of the cloud: to culturally change people to become more aware of the importance of being digitally capable, able to manage their own service’s applications, their own hosting computer store.”

Crossfield continues: “So that's gone. We learnt the lessons. We've got a partner at the moment who's helping us design our plan to adopt cloud more broadly for the remainder of what we've got in the Army's on-prem environment.”

56 January 2023 THE BRITISH ARMY
“We're not migrating, we're adopting cloud, because we won't move everything”
technologymagazine.com 57
BRIG. STEFAN CROSSFIELD HEAD OF INFORMATION EXPLOITATION, CDO, DEPUTY CIO, THE BRITISH ARMY
“The adoption of cloud is about balancing the risk of going too quickly, causing problems, undermining your ongoing running of the system versus the opportunity of being in the cloud”
58 January 2023 THE BRITISH ARMY
ARMY

“That's the army hosting environment and the army data warehouse. One of those is just storing data, while the hosting environment is hosting a lot of applications. It's also got a DevSecOps environment within it as well, which is going to have to move as quickly as we can physically do it without introducing too much risk.”

And risk is the key word here. Adopting the cloud for certain elements of the digital environment at too quick a pace can introduce gaps that create attack vectors, leaving the system prone to attacks and vulnerabilities. This could prove catastrophic for both the BA and the UK’s national security, so ensuring that the environment hosts the range of applications needed without introducing risk is a tricky balancing act.

“To me, the adoption of cloud is about balancing the risk of going too quickly, causing problems, undermining your ongoing running of the system versus the opportunity of being in the cloud. The security wraps provided by Microsoft and Amazon are world-class – which should help drive quicker opportunities – and they're not going to let that drop; we should therefore trust it implicitly at the moment.

“We provide a lot of that security via young men and women who are wearing green suits while sitting in a room 24/7, when we’d really rather have them out in the field to deliver war fighting capability.”

Unlike the many outlandish projections of future armies that are being detailed currently, it’s important to recognise that the integration of the cloud and digital capabilities across the army isn’t

to reduce the volume of human soldiers, but to enhance their skills and capabilities instead. Adopting the cloud, and the world-class security wraps provided alongside, means freeing soldiers up for more active defensive roles.

“Cloud at Secret is a bit of a challenge, and defensives are working their damndest to do that. In terms of AI/ML, for example, coming to life in the secret environment, we need a hyperscale cloud – particularly for some of the stuff we want to do with that. But at the official sensitive level, what I'm really excited about is this idea of the Azure service environment. Safire, our analytics platform, is a brilliant platform that’s sat OnPrem at the moment.

“The potential is huge. And not just in the war fighting space. Futures – the people who deal with designing how we fight in the future – are very engaged in the AI debate. To me, I think we’ll reap more rewards from AI/ML in supporting infrastructure in those other areas.”

technologymagazine.com 59
“We're now shifting to delivery, pivoting into working more in the battle space, and supporting our ambitions in terms of NATO”
60 January 2023 THE BRITISH
BRIG. STEFAN CROSSFIELD HEAD OF INFORMATION EXPLOITATION, CDO, DEPUTY CIO, THE BRITISH ARMY
ARMY

Access to the cloud from the battle space will be essential in the future, because the Army will be using the same tools and the same technologies in the battle space that are in the business space – particularly AI.

Critical enablers of digital transformation – the future

When Crossfield started imagining the Army’s fully-digitalised future, he noted that there were five to seven critical enablers of a digital transformation for the British Army – including wiring up all estates, statewide internet access for the Army, skills’ training, and a joint server farm – all of which have since been identified and now need to be delivered.

“We've done a bit of the estate, so we're now going after the really big bit: the army hosting environment. We're writing the plan for that as I speak, with the aim of starting to deliver that transition, the adoption of cloud, in that space at the backend of 2022,” he establishes

“Data's the critical enabler for all of the technologies we want to use. I mean, the best example I can give you is collecting data on our platforms so that we can make really good decisions about predictive maintenance. At the moment, that is done with a memory key and is very unreliable as a result, as you can imagine.”

So what next for the British Army’s digitalisation programme, Project THEIA?

Crossfield concludes: “Project THEIA's come a long way. It's done exactly what we wanted to do in the first phase: it's delivered on intent. We understand where we're going; we've very clearly defined the end state. We're now shifting to delivery, pivoting into working more in the battle space, and supporting our ambitions in terms of NATO.

“We're trying to level the playing field and get the backs all lined up so there's no gaps when all advancing as one.”

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REMOTE WORKING TRUST ESSENTIAL FOR A NEW, FLEXIBLE NORMAL

Holding all the cards, employees are seeking greater levels of autonomy and flexibility. Businesses must use technology to change their working culture.

The way the world works has changed. As organisations globally continue to grapple with the effects of a tech talent shortage, employees are increasingly holding the cards, longing for greater levels of autonomy and flexibility.

According to a Gartner report, around 80% of organisations worldwide made it mandatory for workers to work from their homes during the pandemic. Meanwhile, in a survey conducted by PwC, 78% of digital decision-makers have agreed to let remote working continue, even well after the pandemic is over.

62 January 2023 DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

And according to insights by VMWare, two years post-onset, only a few (5%) of worldwide organisations have declined to adopt permanent policies for remote work, leaving little doubt that hybrid is a new normal for most companies.

A changing approach to work

The pandemic changed many aspects of our lives, but none more so than our approach to work, comments Magnus Falk, CIO Advisor at video calling platform Zoom. “Employees now have the power to demand when, where and how they work, longing for greater levels of autonomy and flexibility, especially in the current hot employment market,” he explains.

As Falk explains, in knowledge-based industries, flexible working has become the default option. “In this new flexible world,” he says, “employers hoping to attract and retain their top talent will find themselves moving further and further away from ‘traditional’ working practices and top-down management styles, with technology laying the foundations for new approaches to working, built on one key ingredient: trust.” Research conducted this year at Zoom has highlighted that employees favour a more flexible approach to work, reporting that

technologymagazine.com 63 DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION
Enabling educators. Empowering students. Explore how we accelerate student discovery, learning and innovation with our Digital Education 3D Experience. E XPLORE THE 3D EXPERIENCE

69% of respondents wanted to decide where and how they worked. That figure rose to 85% among those who are already working remotely.

For any employers keen to return to old working styles, they may be in for a shock45% of employees said that they would look

for a new job if they could not work where they want, rising to 55% among those already working from home.

Robust technology is required

To make hybrid working a success, robust technology is needed to ensure organisations and employees can work in the same way from any location.

“Communication and collaboration tools can remove everyday friction and enable your teams to connect, collaborate and create seamlessly wherever they are,” says Ryan Herbert, Director - IT & Communication Services at Ricoh. “By replicating the ease of jumping on a video call remotely in an in-office environment

“IT’S ESSENTIAL THAT FATIGUE IN EMPLOYEES IS KEPT FRONT-OFMIND BY MANAGEMENT TEAMS, FROM BOTH A PERSONAL AND COMMERCIAL STANDPOINT”
technologymagazine.com 65
TRANSFORMATION
DIGITAL

Zoom: More than Meetings

you can make the office a destination again, where employees can come together to collaborate and seek inspiration.”

When it comes to delivering flexibility for employees, when they work could be just as important as where they work, with asynchronous working already high on the menu of employee desires, Falk says.

“In a recent study conducted with 10,000 knowledge workers, more employees (93%) said they wanted flexibility in when they worked than wanted flexibility in where they worked (76%),” he comments. “The pandemic made employees realise that location wasn’t the secret ingredient that made

them productive - and increasingly employees are realising that productivity doesn’t have to happen to a particular schedule either.”

Impact of poor mental health on productivity

Increasing pressure around meetings can have a hugely negative impact on the way people work, says Julien Rio, AVP, International Marketing at cloud-based communication and collaboration software company RingCentral.

“With this pressure comes growing anxiety around a need to be ‘switched on’ all the time and ready to multitask and engage in different meetings at a variety of times, spanning a multitude of time zones,” he says.

“WORKERS WHO ARE ABLE TO CHOOSE WHETHER THEY WANT TO WORK IN THE OFFICE, FROM HOME, OR SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN ARE HAPPIER, AND MORE PRODUCTIVE”
66 January 2023 DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION
MAGNUS

“Recent insights from RingCentral’s Human Connection survey revealed that over 20% of workers are less happy working now than they were before the pandemic. This ultimately leads to productivity being further lost due to absent employees, with poor mental health being found as one of the most common causes of workplace absence according to research from CIPD. It's therefore essential that fatigue in employees is kept front-of-mind by management teams, from both a personal and commercial standpoint.”

The four-day working week experiment

A global shift over the past two years to remote work has led to something unexpected. In a number of industries, calls for a change to the standard five-day, 40-hour week grew after many companies began to rethink how work is done in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A four-day week has also been touted as a way to reduce stress for remote workers. Despite initial concerns about workers’ ability to remain productive at home, early indications are that the opposite is true: burnout is more an issue as employees work additional hours at home and struggle to switch off outside of the traditional 9-to-5 day.

“An employee-led approach to how people want to work has been shown to be highly effective,” Falk comments. “Workers who are able to choose whether they want to work in the office, from home, or somewhere in between are happier, and more productive. In the future, could we all be embarking on a four-day working week?”

Britain is currently host to the world’s largest experiment in the four-day working week, with more than 3,300 workers at 70

Monitoring at work

With an increase in remote and hybrid working over the past two years, demand for remote employee monitoring software has soared. One in three of the 2,400 workers polled by union Prospect reported being monitored at work in October 2021, up from a quarter in April 2021.

technologymagazine.com 67 DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

Productivity and communication

According to research by Slack, productivity and communication can take a hit when employees are new to working from home. Nearly half of newly remote workers who responded to its Remote work in the age of Covid-19 report said that working from home had negatively affected their sense of belonging.

companies working just four days a week, on the same pay.

“If employees demand it, there’s a reasonable prospect that a four-day week may become reality at many companies,” Falk adds, “although research this year has shown that while employees like the idea, flexible working is actually more important to them than having a shorter working week, with 45% saying they would choose a job which advertised flexible working, compared to 40% for a four-day week.”

The power is in employees’ hands

The power is in employees’ hands, but businesses need to do more to enable them to successfully work remotely.

“Businesses must find ways to surmount challenges to employee mental health caused by remote working,” comments

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

Rio. “Fortunately, though, this is not an impossible task. There are numerous ways that companies can adjust working culture, using technology to aid the transformation.

“One way or another, we now live in a hybrid world and a significant part of our

communication takes place online. With this new way of interacting comes a pressure to be “always on” and available but that in turn leads to fatigue.”

“Employees are shaping the future of work, and it’s time that businesses took notice,” concludes Falk. “Competition in the job market is rife, which means that it’s never been more important for a business to get their approach to work right. By providing a flexible working culture built on trust, with technology that supports employees at its core, businesses can retain and attract the top talent, and set the standard for how employees want to work.”

“COMMUNICATION AND COLLABORATION TOOLS CAN REMOVE EVERYDAY FRICTION AND ENABLE YOUR TEAMS TO CONNECT, COLLABORATE AND CREATE SEAMLESSLY WHEREVER THEY ARE”
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DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

REMOVING FRICTION FROM CROSS - BORDER PAYMENTS

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J.P. M organ
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72 January 2023 J.P. M organ

When Christine (Jang) Tan talks to us from her office in Singapore, she has just returned from Sibos – the landmark financial conference held in Amsterdam. It’s a major event for J.P. Morgan. Indeed, several of the company’s executives participated in panel discussions and debates at the conference, held in person for the first time in three years.

J.P. Morgan showcased Confirm powered by LIINK, a global account validation service designed to enhance the efficiency of crossborder payments. Confirm runs on the ONYX platform, the firm’s blockchain division. Confirm is the world’s first bank-led, production-grade, peer-to-peer blockchain network that has the ability to verify over 2bn bank accounts from over 3,500 financial institutions1,2

“We are propelling solutions that address the demands of customers globally – that means they need to be agile, nimble and frictionless,” says Jang. “We have that ability, as we can leverage global infrastructure and incorporate local best practices to our solutions, customising them to the specific client and industry segments, including strategic partnerships to enable an endto-end payments ecosystem. We also featured our cross-currency proposition customised for banks, fintechs, corporates, and non-bank FIs.”

1 Expected estimates on number of institutions, number of accounts and number of corridors on Confirm are calculated based on projections from market research and incoming clients in Confirm’s pipeline and are subject to change. 2 All estimates on number of institutions, number of accounts and number of corridors include data from J.P. Morgan as a Responder and Inquirer on Confirm.

Example of an image caption

J.P. Morgan utilises a full arsenal of technology, including on-blockchain data exchanges
technologymagazine.com 73

J.P. Morgan, led by the ONYX team, also attended the Fintech Festival in Singapore. As a key foreign bank, the team is working closely with various central banks around the world, including the Monetary Authority of Singapore. The aim of this is to support new areas of innovation leveraging blockchain technology, with the goal of enabling the movement of money to be faster, better, more cost effective, and take place in a secured manner.

“WE BELIEVE THAT SEAMLESS AND SECURE PAYMENT SOLUTIONS CAN HELP OUR CLIENTS AND THEIR BUSINESS… TO GROW, DIVERSIFY, AND THRIVE”
74 January 2023 J.P. M organ

Jang works in J.P. Morgan’s Payments business, heading up Financial Institutions Group Sales in APAC. Not only is Payments a key part of J.P. Morgan’s push in redefining the future of finance, APAC is also a region that has historically been at the forefront of innovation with real-time payments and continues to be a torchbearer to this day.

Impressive credentials underline J.P. Morgan’s scale

“We operate with in-country presence in 16 markets,” Jang says. “We support 18 markets from a client segment standpoint within Asia.”

And then of course they move their flows on a global basis. In APAC alone, the Payments business operates hubs in Manila and Mumbai, which facilitate

technologymagazine.com 75

some of the treasury services and trade processing that J.P. Morgan carries out on behalf of its clients.

J.P. Morgan is regarded as the number one US dollar clearing bank globally, processing almost US$10tn a day in payments.

With such large volumes at stake, the company is keenly aware of its responsibilities around cybersecurity and protecting clients’ money. “That cybersecurity aspect is very critical and in our connections with all the banks, that's one of their key priorities – to have not just a

trusted partner who innovates, but the ability to execute securely,” Jang says. “That's very critical, particularly in Asia where you've got a lot of central banks as well as regulators and a complex landscape.”

Sheer volume means cyber becomes key focus

That duty of care comes with expected levels of best practice: large financial institutions and emerging fintechs alike expect their partners to act impeccably, particularly when it comes to complying with legal

76 January 2023 J.P. M organ

HEAD OF ASIA PACIFIC – FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS GROUP (FIG) SALES, PAYMENTS

Christine (Jang) Tan is Managing Director and Head of Asia Pacific – Financial Institutions Group for J.P. Morgan Payments, based in Singapore. In this role, she has leadership responsibility for banks, broker-dealers and non-bank financial institutions portfolios across the region, providing strategic advice and growing the business with both existing and new clients.

Prior to this position, Christine was Head of Treasury Services, ASEAN responsible for embedding the endto-end Treasury Services model across Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, ensuring resilience and robustness in product offering, service model and control environment.

She was also Head of Multinational Corporates (MNCs) for Asia Pacific for five years and has a wealth of MNC experience in the region across multiple key markets.

Christine joined J.P. Morgan from Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML), where she was Head of Regional Treasury Sales for South Asia, with responsibility for developing and executing the

sales strategy for pan-Asia subsidiary businesses of multinational clients and for large corporates in the region.

Prior to her time at BAML, Christine spent 12 years at Citi in a number of regional roles, including head of the Hong Kong Global Subsidiaries Group.

Christine also worked as an analyst covering Asian airlines and airports earlier in her career, where she also engaged in aircraft financing through structured trade finance, global cash management and fuel hedging for airlines.

Christine holds a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the

78 January 2023

and regulatory obligations or safeguarding systems from attack. “While we do share best practices, we also expect the same in terms of the companies [that we partner with] actually adhering to certain standards. It's really to protect the entire community.”

When she looks at how J.P. Morgan is likely to invest its resources in the future, Jang says: “We have to keep developing, and there has to be a cyber component that we continue to invest in. On blockchain, the use cases will continue and we've leveraged Confirm as one of our applications for banks, non-bank financial institutions, corporates and fintechs to use.

“We also just recently had the announcement with VISA B2B, who will be leveraging Confirm to facilitate their payment flows cross-border as well.”

When you’re working at such an astronomic level, it takes some bright-shining stars to inspire you. Within J.P. Morgan, Jang says she looks up to Takis Georgakopoulos, the Global Head of J.P. Morgan’s Payments division. “He was previously my boss when he ran the MNCs Corporate Banking business, and brings a unique strategic background to his current role. His vision of bringing together four discrete businesses under a single Payments umbrella is what differentiates us today, enabling the bank to provide end-to-end pay-in, pay-out cash management and trade finance capabilities to our clients. Today, we process almost US$10tn in payments daily in more than 120 currencies and over 160+ countries across the world, and we’re only getting started on this journey.”

A Singaporean native, Jang takes inspiration from the country’s late founding father and first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, as well. “Mr. Lee put Singapore on the map, and the financial services industry

APPLY
“WE ARE WORKING GLOBALLY ON OPPORTUNITIES TO LEVERAGE [ BLOCKCHAIN ] TECHNOLOGY AND THEN
THEM TO VARIOUS REQUIREMENTS AND SOLUTIONING”
technologymagazine.com 79 J.P. M organ
CHRISTINE (JANG) TAN Head of FIG sales APAC, J.P. Morgan Payments

thrived under his leadership,” Jang says. “It's been growing as a key financial hub globally so I’m really inspired by his journey running the country.”

J.P. Morgan’s ‘three Cs’ approach to payments Within its payments business in APAC, J.P. Morgan takes an approach that Jang calls the ‘three Cs’: client, collaborator and competitor.

On a client side, the firm is obsessively focused on innovating to support its clients with the rollout of new features and functionality. J.P. Morgan is a co-founder – alongside Singaporean bank DBS and sovereign fund Temasek – of an entity called Partior. The vision for Partior is to facilitate multi-bank settlement on the blockchain in multiple currencies. The firm has facilitated live transactions settling Singapore and US Dollars, and is in the process of adding settlement banks to facilitate additional currencies – including Euros, Japanese Yen and Chinese Renminbi.

80 January 2023 J.P. M organ
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82 January 2023
“THE CYBERSECURITY ASPECT IS VERY CRITICAL AND IN OUR CONNECTIONS WITH ALL THE BANKS, THAT'S ONE OF THEIR KEY PRIORITIES” CHRISTINE (JANG)
TAN Head of FIG sales APAC, J.P. Morgan Payments

For J.P. Morgan, collaboration is key to growth in the Payment business. A prime example is the partnership with European car manufacturer Volkswagen to create Mobility Payments Solutions, focused on the future of cars and how payments can drive innovation through the auto segment. The company continues to look at additional partnerships that it might leverage in Asia – whether that’s with fintechs, aggregators, financial institutions, nonbanks or corporates. The firm also conducted strategic acquisition and alliances with Cleareye.AI, and the latest in-region partnership was with In-Solutions Global (ISG), a leading payment solutions provider.

“Those are collaboration aspects where we would look at whether we want to partner with them, invest in them, and then leverage their technology to support our solutions at the end of the day,” Jang explains.

Finally, on competition, J.P. Morgan does not allow its size or scale to cloud its judgement of rivals in the market. “Clearly we do face competition, with fintechs these days becoming more prevalent,” Jang elaborates. “But I do think having competition is healthy. Ultimately, it’s about benefitting the consumers who have the ability to choose their payment options – whether it's through banks, wallets or fintechs. And J.P. Morgan wants to be part of partnerships that deliver for clients.”

Blockchain a key driver behind payments

Jang is a firm believer in the possibilities brought about by blockchain, and expects the decentralised technology to form a key pillar of J.P. Morgan’s strategy as the company prepares for the future of payments. Jang explains: “We are working globally on opportunities to leverage the technology and apply them to various requirements and solutioning

– whether it's on the markets front, tokenisation, real-time movement of money and cross-border payments.”

In addition to using SWIFT and ISO as the payment rails for cross-border transactions, J.P. Morgan is seeking to improve the sharing of data in real-time with Liink – the world’s first bank-led, productiongrade, peer-to-peer blockchain network for information sharing – and Confirm, an application for global account validation. This will reduce timescales for banks, cutting down on laborious tasks that need to be carried out manually while lowering rejection rates at the same time.

The company is working with a lot of different companies to facilitate cross-

technologymagazine.com 83 J.P. M organ

border exchange of that data into different corridors, particularly when it comes to demand for remittances associated with overseas workers, who want to send money back home to markets like Indonesia, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to support their family and communities. J.P. Morgan is expanding the service into the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand.

As she looks ahead to a promising future – one in which J.P. Morgan will play an undoubtedly pivotal role – Jang neatly summarises the pin-sharp focus of its Asia Pacific payments team: “We believe that seamless and secure payment solutions can help our clients and their business to grow, diversify, and thrive by enabling rails for companies, financial institutions, and

consumers to pay anyone by any method or channel from anywhere, anytime.” It’s not a straightforward brief – end-users want everything, and they want it now – but if any company has the track record behind it to make it happen, it’s J.P. Morgan.

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DARK CLOUDS

DARK CLOUDS DARK CLOUDS

CYBERATTACKS ON THE HORIZON AS CLOUD AND CYBER

As businesses step up their reliance on distributed cloud computing, attacks against the new global infrastructure are rising fast, say security experts

CYBERATTACKS TARGET NEW NORMAL 86 January 2023

The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t just spread a new coronavirus, it also infected the cloud.

Global lockdowns and the sudden switch to remote work on every continent presented a new world of opportunities for hackers to exploit. Today, cloud services are one of the most common routes for successful cybersecurity attacks.

And the number of attacks is increasing, with no reason in sight for this trend to change, says Frank Ford, Partner and Head of the Global Cybersecurity Practice at Bain & Company.

“We can expect to see many more cyber breaches with ‘cloud’ as the attack route,” says

Ford. “But the cloud itself is not the problem – rather it is how people use it. Cloud can be made adequately secure; just consider the number of online banking solutions in use, many of which are cloud-based.

“In simple terms, cloud providers like AWS and Azure provide robust security ‘of the cloud’, meaning the networks, computing environments, etc; whereas companies are responsible for their security ‘in the cloud’, meaning configuring their security solutions to properly protect what they put into the cloud, their applications and data.”

It is in this second part where things all too often go wrong, according to Ford, as many companies struggle to master the discipline

technologymagazine.com 87

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across ‘non-cloud’ environments; they make mistakes while setting up their cloud security solutions and leave themselves exposed.

“Cloud adoption is also growing strongly, with COVID-19 rapidly accelerating the move as companies sought to provide solutions for large populations of suddenly remote workers,” says Ford. “So when you take the combination of rapidly increasing volumes going into the cloud, intrinsically weak cybersecurity practices, and a new complex environment to secure and configure, then mistakes are made and the opportunity for successful attacks grows.”

“We can expect more cyber breaches, but cloud itself is not the problem – rather it is how people use it”
technologymagazine.com 89 CLOUD AND CYBER

Cybersecurity must be a shared endeavour

Representatives of the UK government and industry experts chaired the first National Cyber Advisory Board in November to discuss how they will protect and promote the UK’s interests in cyberspace, including how best to counter growing cyber threats.

The Board champions a ‘whole of society’ approach to building the UK’s cyber future, established as part of the UK’s National Cyber Strategy – which is backed by £2.6bn of funding and aims to make the UK a leading, democratic cyber power by 2030.

The meeting comes in the wake of new official figures revealing that, in the 12 months preceding March 2022, there have been 2.7 million cyber-related frauds reported by individuals and businesses. The

UK is now the third most targeted nation for cyber attacks, behind the USA and Ukraine. “Protecting and promoting the UK’s interests in cyberspace cannot be achieved in isolation, it must be a shared endeavour between government and all parts of the economy and society,” says Chair of the Board and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Oliver Dowden. “We have seen how cyber attacks are increasing, putting the UK and our businesses and services on the frontline of global threats.

“That’s why this new National Cyber Advisory Board is so important, bringing leaders from across industry, the third sector and academia to share information and expertise on how to build and protect our digital economy and services.”

90 January 2023 CLOUD AND CYBER

The increase in remote working accelerated cloud adoption, introducing new attack vectors for organisations used to protecting a traditional perimeter”

Rapid adoption of SaaS solutions attracts attackers

Del Heppenstall, Cyber Security Partner at KPMG UK, confirms that attacks against cloud infrastructure are increasing, as is the use of compromised cloud environments as an enabler for cyber-attacks against organisations and individuals worldwide.

“The pandemic – and subsequent increase in remote working – accelerated cloud adoption, introducing new attack vectors for organisations used to protecting a traditionally defined perimeter,” he says.

KPMG are seeing attackers’ increased focus on compromising configuration errors in cloud environments and a lack of securely implemented API service integrations. “This is partially due to the rapid adoption of SaaS solutions during the pandemic, but also a lack of focus on protecting this important attack vector,” says Heppenstall.

To compound this problem, a shortage of digital skills among employees remains a crucial issue in cloud security, where the demand for cloud expertise far

outstrips supply. Many underestimate the differences between cloud technology and traditional alternatives when implementing technical design and associated risk assessments.

“We often see organisations moving to the cloud at short notice in response to data centre contracts ending, resulting in the migration being performed with insufficient planning and support,” says Sarah Lyons, Deputy Director for Economy and Society Resilience at the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

“The services and technologies that cloud environments rely on to deliver these benefits are constantly evolving and accelerating in their complexity and potential,” she explains. “It is important that those responsible for delivering services understand the implications of any changes made to the technology they are consuming and adapt accordingly.”

Container orchestration and automation introduce new risks

Cloud security incidents may involve complex attacks, but the simplest barely qualify as “attacks” and are more likely to involve data being left freely accessible to anyone who knows where to look, explains Stuart Green, Cloud Security Architect at Check Point Software. “More complex cloud architectures often use a large number of loosely coupled components, each with its own unique set of configurations and, consequently, the possibility for misconfigurations.”

technologymagazine.com 91 CLOUD AND CYBER

What is a DDoS Attack?

While most of the core services in the cloud are generally well understood and often deployed in very secure manners, the more complex areas like container orchestration and automation can introduce new risks, says Green. On the automation side, as more focus moves into software and DevOps, this brings additional considerations such as software supply chain risks in bringing in external, potentially unverified code to corporate environments.

Cloud platforms are vast and cover several technology domains that usually involve multiple teams. When it comes to the cloud, many organisations will have a dedicated ‘cloud team’ that is responsible for everything in their choice of public cloud platforms, explains Green.

“In making their responsibilities far broader, there will be a cost of losing the in-depth expertise of how to properly and securely configure these services,” says Green. “For example, most cloud engineers

can deploy a virtual machine with a public IP without much of a challenge, but fully understanding the consequences of making it publicly available, not applying network security controls, or configuring access privileges correctly could, in the worst case, mean someone has full remote access to the raw storage data.”

As more and more services are introduced and consumed in the cloud, the problem is exacerbated and can quickly become difficult to manage. “This type of scenario tends to align with smaller businesses whose teams are more resource-constrained and under pressure to ‘just make it work’ when it comes to new deployments,” says Green.

“In contrast, there are larger enterprises who show a lot of restraint when it comes to adopting new cloud services for this exact reason and try to ensure that before any new cloud service is adopted, the scope of any new risks it introduces is fully understood.”

92 January 2023 CLOUD AND CYBER
applying network security controls or configuring access privileges correctly
someone
remote access to raw data”
“Not
could mean
has full
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STUART GREEN CLOUD SECURITY ARCHITECT, CHECK POINT

ESG AT THE HEART OF DIGITAL

94 January 2023

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

technologymagazine.com 95 ACCORINVEST
CENTURY OLD TOWN PRAGUE – MGALLERY

Spearheaded by Group Chief Information Officer Wojciech Łącz, a digital transformation is taking place at AccorInvest with the entire company’s involvement

In a conversation with Technology magazine, AccorInvest's Group Chief Information Officer, Wojciech Łącz, provides an insight to the company's digital transformations and explains why the entire workforce needs to be 100% onboard and engaged for the company to reach its ESG goals and deliver a consistent and outstanding customer experience.

But first, let’s take a look at AccorInvest’s story and its current status as the leading* hotel operator and owner in Europe, mainly in the economy and mid-scale segments, with a presence in Latin America and Asia also.

The AccorInvest Group was created in 2017 as part of a reorganisation of the Accor Group, which owns internationally recognised brands such as Sofitel, Novotel, Pullman, Mercure, ibis. The objective of this reorganisation was to place the real-estate assets and hotel operation activities within a dedicated structure to enhance their value and development.

Today, AccorInvest distinguishes itself with the complementary nature of its two businesses, which combine realestate value and operating performance: the management of hotel properties and businesses, and the operation of these assets under hotel 14 brands owned by the Accor Group, covering a total of 122,000 rooms, and generating a high volume of annual revenues.

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technologymagazine.com 97

After the 2020-2021 crisis years, AccorInvest's strategy grew into consolidating its leadership within its geographical scope (Europe) and asset range (economy and midscale). It aims to promote new Group dynamics to transform its hotels from transit locations into key players in their regions, able to demonstrate strong commitment to all of their stakeholders, facilitate social cohesion, and respond to current and future environmental challenges.

With more than 23,000 team members covering hospitality and real-estate expertise, the global team is dedicated to AccorInvest’s success and growth with a “One Team” approach.

When it comes to changing the status quo, 23,000 team members is no small amount of people to convince. Such type of complexity and Wojciech Lacz previous experience and leadership qualities created perfect match as the man for the job.

AccorInvest: ESG at the heart of digital transformation 98 January 2023
* In terms of number of rooms, geographical presence and revenues ACCORINVEST

WOJCIECH LACZ

TITLE: CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER

INDUSTRY: HOSPITALITY

LOCATION: WARSAW/PARIS

Wojciech Lacz is Chief Information Officer at AccorInvest, a position he has held since March 2021. After various experiences at L'Oréal and then for 8 years at Danone, Wojciech joined the Accor Group in 2018 as Director of IT & Digital Services for Eastern Europe. During this experience, Wojciech was responsible for defining and supervising key IT and digital projects for the Eastern Europe region (16 countries). Then he was appointed as SVP Technology and Digital and Executive Committee member for Accor Northern Europe. 6 months after he has joined Accorinvest as a Group CIO and ExCom member.His experiences in digital services and organizations, including building different scope of the shared services, major international infrastructure consolidation and execution of cloud strategy are key

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IBM and Oracle deliver AIG hospitality services on the cloud

Leaders from IBM and Oracle discuss their partnership and the combined strengths that enable cloud migration of AccorInvest Group’s global hotel network.

Hotels require great communication and accountability between departments, both in the office and in the foyer. In the digital era, hotels leverage technology to expand their offerings and encourage seamless operations across a network of branches. AccorInvest Group (AIG) is a key investor, owner and operator of a network of premises including those of Ibis, Novotel and Mercure. The company prides itself on creating more interactive guest experiences and leverages the Oracle-IBM partnership to facilitate its transition to integrated cloud services.

Oracle has a critical role in AIG’s digital transformation, providing its Oracle Cloud Human Capital Management (HCM)— leveraging its benefits for human resources (HR)—and Oracle Cloud Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), which also provide advantages in financial planning.

“We led similar, successful projects at Hilton and Marriott, so we have strong capacity to advise and support clients to carry out that transformation,” says David Mihala, Vice President Applications for France at Oracle.

“I am excited by the power of the Oracle and IBM partnership,” says Robert Churchyard, who leads the Oracle practice inside IBM Consulting. “Together we are delivering enterprise-wide business transformation through the deployment of Oracle ERP & HCM Cloud.”

Raising transformation capabilities

IBM is working with Oracle on the AIG transformation, delivering solutions to manage the maintenance and construction of its hotels, improving the employee and customer experience as well as the integration of Oracle cloud solutions to facilitate financial transformation.

Susana Rodriguez Puerta, VP Alliances EMEA Applications at Oracle†, highlights the three key differentiators of the company: focus on customer needs, developing innovation that matters, and commitment to customer success.

“IBM understands the customer needs very well, offering industry and business process tailored solutions from consulting to implementation,” says Rodriguez Puerta.

Concluding, Olivier Reine, Partner—Global Business Services at IBM, says “IBM has the experience—and the right skills and knowledge in new cloud solutions from Oracle—to deploy the right tools.”

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† Susana Rodriguez Puerta has moved into a new role as COO Applications ECEMEA but was the former Alliances VP for Applications at the time of the interview.
102 January 2023
MERCURE KRAKÓW STARE MIASTO

Meet Wojciech Lacz, Group Chief Information Officer, AccorInvest Knowing from the beginning that he “would be an IT guy”, Wojciech Lacz tells me that he started work in IT administration in 2005 after graduating from the Warsaw University of Technology.

After various experiences at L’Oréal and then for 8 years at Danone, Wojciech Lacz joined the Orbis Hotel Group managing the Eastern Europe Accor hotel portfolio in 2018 as Director of IT & Digital Services, responsible for defining and supervising key IT and digital projects for 16 countries in the region.

In October 2020, Lacz was appointed Senior Vice President (SVP) Technology and Digital and ComEx member for Accor Northern Europe. Just six months later, in March 2021, he was appointed AccorInvest Group CIO.

AccorInvest ESG strategy

From a more sustainable acquisition and renovation to a more sustainable operation of its sites, AccorInvest's Environmental, Social Governance (ESG) strategy is present

“IN VIEW OF TODAY’S CHALLENGES, BE THEY ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIETAL OR ECONOMIC, ACCORINVEST TAKES VERY SERIOUSLY THE FACT THAT IT MUST BE COMMITTED AND RESPONSIBLE”
782 Hotels operating around the world 122,000 Rooms 27 Countries where AccorInvest is present technologymagazine.com 103 ACCORINVEST

Your technology partner for market-leading connectivity solutions

High-availability internet connection of your locations, setup and operation of your infrastructure and intelligent networking with SD-WAN and digital guest services such as WiFi landing pages, Inroom TV and Digital Signage – we combine all of this in one powerful platform

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the sustainability, efficiency and resilience of its hotel portfolio

AccorInvest, Accor and m3connect have partnered to launch a pioneering hospitality project, which gives AccorInvest’s global hotel portfolio unique access to industryleading technologies.

The achievements and future scope of the digital transformation project

Shaheen represents a complete cloud transition project, bringing with it an exceptional degree of digital transformation. Through the partnership, AccorInvest has been able to create more efficient, sustainable and resilient processes, which it is now working to deploy across its entire portfolio. In fact, the transition to the cloud has unlocked huge benefits for AccorInvest, including some invaluable sustainability improvements.

Behind the scenes, hotels contain a lot of hardware. But, AccorInvest has optimised these operations by streamlining the required hardware down to the minimum.

one device for everything,” Dragas added.

“After we’ve finished this project, the hotel will have one cabinet. We will have saved up to 70-80% of power consumption in the server room. Plus, you are able to have one standard everywhere, which makes support and maintenance easier as well.”

And, for the next phase of the project, AccorInvest and m3connect will keep working to deploy the new cloud system across the former’s whole portfolio.

“Now that we’ve started, there’s no limitation,” says Ahmed Disokey, Group VP Hotel Technology at AccorInvest. “Right now, we’re creating a full ecosystem that not only focuses on the hotels, but also the back office, to be a corporation where everything interfaces with each other, in line with our ESG approach and initiatives. And that’s one of the key pillars for us,” Disokey outlined.

“We have a big journey up until 2025, and we are looking to build a strong relationship with really committed partners. So far, we are really satisfied with what we are doing with the majority of our partners, and, indeed, with m3connect.”

“THE DIGITISATION OF THE COMPANY IS CORE TO IT TAKING CARE OF ITS PEOPLE”

throughout all of the Group activities and involves all of its employees.

Wojciech Lacz makes it clear from the very start of the conversation that for either the Group’s ESG strategy or its digital transformation to be a success, the two must work hand in hand.

“In view of today’s challenges, be they environmental, social or economic, and through its responsibilities as owner, investor and operator, AccorInvest takes very seriously the fact that it must be committed and focus, taking it as an important factor in any company action” says Wojciech Lacz.

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As a young company, AccorInvest published in May 2022 its first ESG report, with the aim of sharing its ESG performance with all its stakeholders and in which it shared its ambition to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

“Our ESG strategy is linked to the identity of the company we are and the company we would like to be in the future, which is about helping both our guests and our employees to make the right choice in where to work, or where to go,” says Wojciech Lacz. The ambition is clear: AccorInvest will be recognised as a benchmark ESG player in its sector.

Three pillars, eight commitments and nineteen challenges certainly sounds very robust. “It is”, says Lacz, adding “The first pillar is about us acting as a responsible Group. The second is about respecting people and the environment - so how to boost the employee’s development and how to constantly reduce the environmental footprint. And last but not least, the third pillar is to deliver positive hospitality; positive not only from the customer experience point of view, but also in the way we are perceived by our customers, not only as hoteliers, but as part of the ecosystem in the city, by connecting with different

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NOVOTEL LONDON CANARY WHARF

core communities and enhancing the environment for them.”

Acting as a responsible group, AccorInvest has four main commitments. This includes “a commitment to having the right governance in place, which will also serve our investor relationship,” says Lacz. “The second is about compliance and ethics; to ensure compliance we demonstrate our ethical values across the portfolio. The third is about responsible investment; every time we begin a new construction or renovation, we make sure that our properties are competitive from an ESG point of view.” The fourth, says Lacz, “is about monitoring ESG risks in the supply chain” to make sure that all suppliers comply with the Group’s values.

Digital for the employees

Employees are at the heart of AccorInvest, “so, the second pillar is something that we are really looking at from the people point of view. We strive to foster employees’ development and welfare, and constantly reduce our environmental footprint."

For Lacz, IT and digital transformation is key to transforming the employee’s experience of the workplace. For example, taking repetitive and manual tasks and automating them so that they can focus on other more enjoyable aspects of the job.

Digital for the environment

Respecting the environment, reducing the carbon footprint, and implementing circular economy practices is another area in which digital and IT can really help, says Lacz. “We have already started to sync the different sensors to monitor and manage water and energy consumption. This allows us to discover a water leakage for example, before it is too late” says Lacz, pointing to the unexpectedly high utility bill we all dread coming.

“AT THE HEART OF ACCORINVEST IS ITS PEOPLE”
108 January 2023 ACCORINVEST
LACZ CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER, ACCORINVEST
technologymagazine.com 109

As part of the goal to eliminate single use plastic by the end of 2022, AccorInvest is on track to substitute plastic room cards with those made of more sustainable materials. Lacz and his teams are looking at the possibility of getting rid of the room card all together and using the Internet of Things (IoT) to do everything it did and more. This, he says, “would enable us to detect the guest inside the room to manage the electricity, the humidity, the air conditioning

and so on - another example of how IT could contribute to the ESG strategy and the guest experience.”

We strive to foster employees’ development and welfare, and constantly reduce our environmental footprint. A key part of the hotel digitalisation plan is to move the majority of services and content into the cloud, using different cloud providers to deliver the same experience or better for hotel staff and our guests, while reducing its environmental impact.

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NOVOTEL PARIS VAUGIRARD MONTPARNASSE

ESG + Business Digitalisation = positive hospitality

The last one of the pillars is about delivering positive hospitality, which AccorInvest does together with the manager, Accor. “This is about taking care of the guests, their comfort, their well being, the way in which they perceive innovation inside the hotel, and improving accessibility to hotel services.”

There are two main systems in the hotels right now – a property management system

ALWAYS KNEW I WOULD BE AN IT GUY”

(PMS) and a point-of-sale system (POS), the latter of which manages everything ecommerce related. “In order to give our staff the possibility to develop themselves, we want to be able to move them between the hotels, without having to learn from scratch. So, the systems need largely to be the same in each hotel. The most important thing then is this concept of homogeneous use, an ecosystem, which gives us the possibility to plan the different external services into it.”

Lacz uses the contactless journey of the guest as an example. “I don’t need to go to the reception desk in order to register myself and obtain the room card. Instead I can do it myself and enroll a digital key on my mobile device. The system could recognise me from the past and thanks to that I can check myself in, I can check myself out, I can order some services, in or out of the hotel.

“For us, what’s happening around the hotel is important. So, in terms of ESG, it’s how we can integrate with the social life of the city. By being homogeneous and open, we can start to integrate some additional services in the hotel, which could be delivered by our hotel staff, or by anybody else and fully embedded into the guest experience and journey. Our property, if needed, could an electric car charging point, standalone restaurant, meeting point etc. that is fitting in the concept of the location we are present.”

“I
technologymagazine.com 111 ACCORINVEST

Identifying the need, meeting the demand It’s all about need and demand, but unless you are close to the operations, it’s difficult to decipher. “That's why when I'm travelling, every time I am trying to stay in different hotels,” says Lacz, adding that members of the IT team are also visiting various hotels and seeing for themselves if the tools they have deployed really work in action.

“The solution we are putting in place needs to be a solution in which hotel teams who have never had any hospitality experience will be able to deliver the basics of hotel operations within a few hours of self-learning.

"The same applies to our F&B service – this

their food and drink from their mobile phone. The technology also comes with different language options making life easier for international staff and guests."

Robotics to assist staff

At the back end of 2021, AccorInvest realised there were a set of the different processes in the hotel that were still being carried out manually by staff members. “Some were painful, for example, the night audit. As you can imagine, consolidating all of the data and closing down the day in all the systems

IBIS STYLES SZCZECIN
112 January 2023 ACCORINVEST
STARE MIASTO

manually was taking two-and-a-half hours of our team members' time”. That particular job in some of the hotels is now being done by robots with no involvement of staff, which is complementary to human work, and we will be rolled out across the remaining portfolio. “So at that time, around midnight, the team member could be doing something else or getting some sleep,” in another example of IT and digital feeding into the company’s ESG strategy.

Asked if guests like the digital innovations they see, Lacz is very clear: “Yes, but I think

it's not even that they like it, it’s gone beyond that, they demand it. Therefore, we need to meet this expectation. But at the same time, we can't just binary switch from a more analogue way of doing things to fully digital, because we still have different types of customers to cater for. It was natural that the digitalisation demands of the customer would increase during COVID-19. And I think the area in which this is most visible is payment. People do not want to pay by cash anymore.

“In some areas of the business I still believe we should work in parallel modes for a period, or we face losing customers who are not so comfortable with digital. For example, in some countries, there is no

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phones in the rooms because this is part of the services that need to be delivered for the proper categorisation. However, in some other countries, like the UK, this is not a requirement. But even in those countries, for people who are less used to technology and need to call for emergency, we implement a specific type of the solution, which can be used for other hotel services too.”

New partnerships

AccorInvest Group (AIG) works hard to create interactive guest experiences. With help from Oracle and its professional services partner IBM, they can transition to integrated cloud services.

Oracle has a critical role in AIG’s digital transformation, providing its Oracle Cloud Human Capital Management (HCM)— leveraging its benefits for human resources (HR)—and Oracle Cloud Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), which also provide advantages in financial planning.

Having successfully bid on the joint project with IBM two years ago, Oracle supports AIG from a cloud migration perspective, enabling the second stage of transformation involving HR and Finance operations at AIG.

“I am excited by the power of the Oracle and IBM partnership,” says Robert Churchyard, who leads the Oracle practice inside IBM Consulting. “Together we are delivering enterprise-wide business transformation through the deployment of Oracle ERP & HCM Cloud.” The conversation moves on to future partnerships, with Lacz telling me that in addition to consolidating suppliers and collaborating with different suppliers, by the time people read this article, thanks to creating homogeneous environment between new Oracle Fusion ERP and Oracle Hospitality, Accorinvest will improve operational performance leveraging smoother processes execution and data

extraction which offer “flawless operations” from the lobby to the back office. “I believe the digitisation of the company is core to it taking care of its people,” says Lacz, adding that ecosystem that is built on Oracle product will connect distribution, guest rooms management, Point of Sales (POS), finance and HR, delivering the integrations AccorInvest requires to offer a seamless experience for staff and very satisfied guests. This would give AccorInvest a market competitive advantage having all the data in one place and accelerate any decision taking process increasing company agility in the fast moving environment. “The companies that are flexible will survive,” he says adding, "we are creating this opportunity, this agility, for the future and this includes our innovation initiatives making sure we can customise and integrate solutions to meet our needs now and in the future.”

114 January 2023 ACCORINVEST

I ask Lacz what the next 12 to 18 months look like from his perspective. He smiles and says, “I'm smiling because it's what I'm repeating almost every month to my teams, that the next 12, 24 months will be the year of delivery". We know exactly what we'd like to achieve, thanks to the executive committees of each of the companies we were able to achieve our specific plans. Now we just need to deliver. And I'm saying that with a smile, because you can imagine how easy or not easy it is to deliver for almost 800 hotel properties within such a short period of time. So yes, we need to deliver the things that we scoped, both on site which right now, is 80% of my attention through the different suppliers, through the different partnerships at our core or in order, really, to be perceived as the modern and competitive hotel owner and operator for guests, and the first choice of our employees.

“Also offsite, looking at what we do with the data, how we track the customer experience being moved between the different properties and understand their likes and dislikes. And maybe we could be much more proactive than we are right now.”

Lacz is keen to point out that the success of this digital transformation is not down to just one or few people coming from IT, but the entire workforce, “because only that way you can do something which is sustainable and that really brings value.”

So that's key, the entire workforce needs to be completely onboard with what AccorInvest is doing and why it is doing it in order for it to reach its ESG goals and what it wants to reach in terms of delivering an outstanding customer experience - it all feeds back into the team.

technologymagazine.com 115 ACCORINVEST

EC O PS : AUTOMATION IS THE KEY TO THE KINGDOM

D EV
116 January 2023 ENTERPRISE IT
S

As almost half of security leaders report that they have a backlog of vulnerable applications, utilising automation as part of DevSecOps is key

Since its creation over a decade ago, DevOps has become a vital component of how companies operate. Building upon the foundations of the agile movement, DevOps leverages automation for quality and security testing, as well as for formerly manual deployment and operations activities, in a bid to introduce software into production at speed.

technologymagazine.com 117

Get reliable network coverage and security protection, fast.

A modern network must be able to respond easily, quickly and flexibly to the growing needs of today’s digital business. Must provide visibility & control of applications, users and devices on and off the network and Intelligently direct traffic across the WAN. Be scalable and automate the process to provide new innovative services. Support IoT devices and utilize state-of-the-art technologies such as real-time analytics, ML and AI. And all these must be provided with maximum security and minimum cost.

This is the power that brings the integration of two cloud managed platforms, Cisco Meraki and Cisco Umbrella. This integration is binding together the best of breed in cloud-managed networking and Security. cisco.com cisco CiscoSecure CiscoSecure

As Peter Chestna, North American CISO at Checkmarx, explains, DevOps in general is about flow, fast feedback loops, and experimentation and learning: known as ‘the three ways’ of DevOps.

“The ‘Sec’ in DevSecOps calls attention to security as an important part in both

the culture and process,” Chestna says. “The main advantage of DevSecOps is that it enables the quick release of secure software to customers. When done properly, experimentation and learning alongside fast feedback enables continuous improvement, which nets faster releases as well as higher quality and security over time.”

Automation is the key to the kingdom Automation is at the heart of DevSecOps, with the security tools’ continuous monitoring and testing allowing DevOps teams and security experts to focus on activities that enhance business sense. DevSecOps removes the overhead of remembering to run security tools and processes. Organisations can set up

“ Once integrated into the development pipeline, security scans can become so automated that they become second nature”
technologymagazine.com 119

automatic tests and scans to run at checkins or other key points during deployment, eliminating the risk of skipping a step.

GitLab’s 2022 DevSecOps Survey found that a majority of DevOps teams are running static application security testing (SAST), dynamic application security testing (DAST), or other security scans regularly, but fewer than a third of developers actually get those results in their workflow. A majority of security pros say their DevOps teams are shifting left, and 47% of teams report full test automation.

“Automation is the key to the kingdom of DevSecOps,” comments Stephen Gates, Security Evangelist at Checkmarx. “However, integration comes first. Once integrated into the development pipeline, security scans can become so automated that they become second nature, and full developer adoption of security scans processed in DevSecOps initiatives will be the outcome.”

Generally, flow is accomplished by releasing small increments quickly, Chestna explains. “This is enabled by automation to make testing-and-release highly repeatable,” he adds. “This is typically referred to as Continuous Integration (testing each change) and Continuous Delivery (releasing each change) and abbreviated as CI/CD or CI/CD pipeline. “CI automation codifies the controls, policies, and standards for the company into tests that can be run efficiently against any change to ensure that it is acceptable to release; CD automation ensures that the software can be released on demand without user intervention or the risk of human error.”

Clearing vulnerability backlogs A report by Rezilion – an automated vulnerability management platform accelerating software security – in conjunction with the Ponemon Institute revealed that organisations are

of hours

losing thousands
in time and
“It is impossible to effectively manage a backlog without the proper tools to automate detection, prioritisation, and remediation”
120 January 2023
TANCMAN CEO, REZILION

productivity dealing with a massive backlog of vulnerabilities that they have neither the time nor resources to tackle effectively.

The State of Vulnerability Management in DevSecOps report highlighted that 47% of security leaders have a backlog of applications that have been identified as vulnerable. Two-thirds of respondents said their backlog consists of more than 100,000 vulnerabilities, while the average number of vulnerabilities in backlogs overall is a mindboggling 1.1 million, according to the data.

“This is a significant loss of time and dollars spent just trying to get through the massive vulnerability backlogs that organisations possess,” said Liran Tancman, CEO of Rezilion. “If you have more than 100,000 vulnerabilities in a backlog and consider the number of minutes that are spent manually detecting, prioritising, and remediating these vulnerabilities, that represents thousands of hours spent on vulnerability backlog management each year. These numbers make it clear that it is impossible to effectively manage a backlog without the proper tools to automate detection, prioritisation, and remediation.”

Expensive hours are lost trying to wrangle massive backlogs on both the production and development side of software applications. The survey found that 77% of respondents said it takes longer than 21 minutes to detect, prioritise, and remediate just one vulnerability in production.

“The key to clearing vulnerability backlogs is to have a true correlation of alerts coming from all of the various scans performed,” comments Gates. “Everyone knows security tests return lots of results, but without correlation, developers end up solving issues that aren’t critical, while potentially overlooking ones that are. Correlation of scan results is imperative and, by the way, aggregation is not correlation.”

Study finds DevSecOps a ‘strategic priority’ for 2023

In a recent survey conducted by the Neustar International Security Council (NISC), 93% of participating information technology and security professionals reported that DevSecOps would be a significant budgeting priority in the coming year, with 55% emphasising that it would be a very significant priority within their organisation.

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DevSecOps sector showing future growth

Less than a quarter of organisations have developed a DevSecOps strategy, according to research by Mezmo, but with 62% having a plan – or evaluating use-cases for it – the sector is showing significant future growth. The report also found that, of those already leveraging DevSecOps, 95% report a positive impact on accelerating incident detection.

The battle to stay ahead of security threats

According to Carlos Morales, Senior Vice President of Solutions at Neustar Security Services, DevSecOps has become a high priority for organisations as they look to better establish security as a central tenet through every phase of the software development lifecycle.

“By making security a shared responsibility across development, operations and security teams, DevSecOps should help better position organisations to identify potential vulnerabilities early in the process – ideally before being put into production – and save them from much bigger headaches down the line,” he said.

And while organisations may be unable to stay ahead of security threats, utilising DevSecOps teams can help them react quickly to attacks.

122 January 2023 ENTERPRISE IT

“We’ll never be able to stay ahead of security threats,” adds Chestna. “The best we can do is maintain high standards to keep the code base as clean as possible and build

the right muscles to allow us to react quickly to emerging threats.

The faster and more repeatable the process to release software, the more we can trust it for quick updates during a crisis or incident.”

“Threats are the attackers, and they will never go away,” concludes Gates. “Neither will their attacks. To stay ahead of threat actors and their attacks, though, one must understand risk. DevSecOps teams must fully understand and accept the risks they are willing to live with and resolve the risks they are not. Once they fully understand and document their intolerable risks, they can manage them more effectively.”

The faster and more repeatable the process to release software, the more we can trust it for quick updates during a crisis or incident”
technologymagazine.com 123 ENTERPRISE IT

The future for cybersecurity is resilience

124 January 2023
technologymagazine.com 125 BUKALAPAK

Flourishing in the wake of rising disruption, it is estimated that global spend on services and technologies that enable digital transformation will amount to US$1.8tn by the end of 2022 – an increase of 17.6% in investment compared to 2021.

Despite the need for innovative solutions to tackle growing demands, supply shortages and talent shortages, as well as increase transparency, resilience and agility, it is important to remember that, with more systems, comes new vulnerabilities that need to be protected.

While the benefits are clear, it will be vital to be prepared for accelerated digitalisation and understand the potential cybersecurity implications in the future, as global predictions expect 45% of organisations to experience attacks on their software supply chains by 2025.

Headquartered in Indonesia, Bukalapak’s key challenge is navigating the complex security landscape. According to a report, nearly 20,000 phishing attacks targeting Indonesia have been detected since the start of 2021, with more than one billion exposed credentials identified.

As Head of Information and Cybersecurity at Bukalapak, Yogesh Madaan is tasked with leading the company through its navigation of not only the regional but also the global threat landscape.

Yogesh Madaan, Head Information and Cybersecurity at Bukalapak, discusses the threat landscape in Indonesia and the need for resilience and talent
“There are a lot of disruptive technologies emerging that are thinking outside of the box when it comes to cybersecurity protection”
126 January 2023 BUKALAPAK

The future of cybersecurity is resilience

In the last few months, Indonesia has seen a rise in cybersecurity attacks in the form of stolen data and data breaches. “Indonesia is one of the prime target for financiallymotivated ransomware gangs. In 2021, ~10% of attacks in Indonesia were ransomware attacks, ~15% were unauthorised network access sales, and more than ~50% were database sharing requests,” explains Yogesh.

“Understanding the threats is the first phase; now we need to be one step ahead of these attackers, and this is what we are trying to do at Bukalapak,” he adds.

Developing a proactive security strategy and availability management system where the company can innovate and implement solutions allows Bukalapak to assess the market vulnerabilities and be proactive in its response to securing its critical assets.

“We are ultimately trying to build an infrastructure that is resilient to any attacks. We are building a safer cyberspace for our customers and employees as well as addressing the key security risks ,” says Yogesh.

During the height of the pandemic, one of the biggest threats to organisations was the potential for attackers to use home networks to hack the wider system. “At Bukalapak, we trained our employees on how to secure their home network to educate our employees and raise awareness.

“Awareness is key in cybersecurity for anybody and everybody. These days, human beings are the weak link, so we spend a lot of effort training our employees in cybersecurity for the new technologies, as well as developing a proactive and scalable cybersecurity ecosystem, and finding the right talent,” explains Yogesh.

2010 Year Founded 128 January 2023 BUKALAPAK

Closing the gaps with cybersecurity transformation

Joining Bukalapak almost 18 months ago, Yogesh’s role was to conduct an assessment of the current cybersecurity threat landscape at Bukalapak, building on ongoing efforts and establish a long-term strategy to address the future security threats –something many businesses have embarked on post-pandemic.

“I was brought in to harness my experience in the industry to provide a fresh set of eyes to identify the potential gaps and strengthen the Information and Cybersecurity domain. Today, we operate with a strong combination of teams working across vulnerability management, identity and access management, core infrastructure , governance risk and control, data security, and cloud security,” explains Yogesh.

“Our goal is to transform our team from being reactive to proactive, as well as transparent,” he adds. “This is the start of our three-year strategy. On our journey, we are also strengthening end-user security, email protection tools, and building a security operation centre. But this would not have been possible without the support, collaboration, and buy-in from internal teams, C-suite, and our partners.

EXECUTIVE BIO

YOGESH MADAAN

TITLE: HEAD OF INFORMATION AND CYBERSECURITY INDUSTRY: INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY LOCATION: SINGAPORE

Yogesh is the Head Information and Cybersecurity/CISO at Bukalapak. He is a seasoned technology leader with 18+ years of experience in information and Cybersecurity, technology risk management, regulatory compliance and controls, operational risk, data protection, cloud risk management, compliance- and conduct-related topics, outsourcing, IT account management and production support.

Yogesh holds an MBA in IT Systems, prior to joining Bukalapak, Yogesh spent his career as Head of Information and Cybersecurity, Singapore at Standard Chartered Bank in 2020 and two years as Director – APAC Technology Risk Manager at UBS AG.

technologymagazine.com 129 BUKALAPAK

CONSULT

We provide advice and recommendations that can enhance an organisation's cyber posture, strategy, and risk management.

INNOVATE

Our in-house R&D unit is the core of all our capabilities, originating AI-powered, patented cybersecurity solutions.

DESIGN & BUILD

We design and build cybersecurity infrastructure, implementing best-of-breed solutions as well as secure-by-design and zero-trust principles.

OPERATE

RESPOND

In the event of a cyber breach, our team of experts has the means and experience to help mitigate threats, and get organisations up and running in no time.

Asia’s largest, pure-play cybersecurity service provider with an end-to-end offering

We believe that cybersecurity is a journey where organisations must constantly and progressively improve to remain cyber secure. To achieve this, Ensign adopts a strategic approach in cybersecurity through our end-to-end capabilities in Consult, Design & Build, Operate, and Respond, in all domains of IT, OT, IoT, Cloud and 5G. These four capabilities are underpinned by Innovate, which is powered by Ensign Labs, our R&D unit that performs deep research into cybersecurity threats and solutions. This approach provides us with the ability, and agility to help our clients enhance their cybersecurity posture and constantly stay up-to-date to “meet the threat”.

LEARN MORE
We provide end-to-end cybersecurity management services through advanced solutions in threat detection, response and monitoring.

Ensign’s AI-Powered Cyber Analytics: Generating More Differentiated Outcomes

We caught up with Charles Ng, Executive Vice President for International Business & Key Accounts for Ensign InfoSecurity, to talk about cybersecurity, R&D and Bukalapak.

“As Asia’s largest pure-play cybersecurity services provider, Ensign’s robust capabilities and end-to-end portfolio of cybersecurity solutions and services put us in good stead to help our clients enhance their security posture as they invest in digital technologies, and accelerate digital transformation,” Charles Ng says.

“We invest a significant amount of our revenue in R&D, and this translates into tangible cybersecurity outcomes and benefits for our clients. It allows us to design and deploy highly customised cyber solutions not found in

existing off-the-shelf products. Having released three patents which have been recognised as some of the best AIpowered Cyber Analytics innovations and technologies in the industry, we can address our clients’ unique security challenges. By incorporating our innovations into their systems for more accurate and efficient threat detection, we enable them to adopt a more proactive, predictive security posture to stay ahead of threat actors.”

“Ensign’s footprint across Asia, covering Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Hong Kong, and South Korea is an important differentiator, especially for Indonesia-based Bukalapak. The breadth and depth of our expertise and solutions is the key reason that organisations across different geographies and industries choose to partner with us.”

Ensign’s partnership with Bukalapak

Founded in 2010, Bukalapak is Indonesia’s leading and first publicly-listed tech company dedicated to providing a fair economy for all through its creation of an online marketplace, online-to-offline platform, as well as specialised platforms. An advocate of cybersecurity, the company searched for a trusted partner who could understand their threat environment and provide end-to-end solutions. Ensign stood out with its strong capabilities - i.e., consult, design & build, operate, and respond - along with its R&D and significant coverage in Asia.

Ng adds, “Having to always be ahead of the game, we are committed to give our best to Bukalapak.”

Learn more 

They have helped us to transform our cybersecurity posture and, where required, have guided guide us in the right direction.”

Furthering its commitments to enabling a proactive cybersecurity approach, Bukalapak has been in partnership with Ensign – who helps companies to maximise both value and advantages by providing the most robust cyber-defence capabilities and services.

Security Operation Centre with Ensign Keen to partner with an organisation that could help drive the development of its Security Operation Centre (SOC), Yogesh explains why Ensign was the perfect partner for the task: “We spent conscious efforts to find the right partner who fits with our security strategy. Ever since onboarding Ensign, the organisation has been proactive

132 January 2023
BUKALAPAK'S 3RD SECURECODE WARRIOR 3RD TOURNAMENT, AN INTERNAL CODING SECURITY COMPETITION FOR THE COMPANY'S SOFTWARE ENGINEERS
“Understanding the threats is the first phase; now we need to be one step ahead of these attackers”
technologymagazine.com 133 BUKALAPAK

Bukalapak’s partnership with Imperva supports digital growth and

program

security
Protecting its customers while providing world-class services. Learn more →

Bukalapak is an Indonesia based tech enabler and All-Commerce company whose mission is to make a fair economy accessible for all through offline and online platforms. To protect their users, Bukalapak partnered with Imperva, a global leader in cybersecurity, to mitigate attacks from malicious actors.

While Bukalapak had an existing Cloud WAF in place, it was not meeting their needs. With a high cost of service, difficulties in reaching their support team, and a lack of PoPs in countries in which they had a large presence, a switch in solutions was pivotal; enter Imperva.

Solution

As Bukalapak increases its own companies and domains, so does the complexity increase. New environments must be protected, and Imperva’s Cloud WAF can handle such complexity.

“We need a top-notch solution to protect our infrastructure. We have a lot of data from many customers that needs to be protected. Hence, a robust WAF solution is a must and Imperva is that solution.” said Yogesh Madaan, Head Information and Cybersecurity at Bukalapak.

Support enhances the value of the solution

With such technical depth in cybersecurity, having a team that took the time to understand Bukalapak’s pain points and to explain differences in Imperva’s solution from their last was crucial.

“One of the biggest advantages we have going with Imperva is Support. And that’s how things should be,” said Madaan. “It’s very easy for companies to sell solutions, the support is where the problem lies. People don’t spend time on that, but Imperva has.”

Results

With a vast initial deployment, it was crucial to Bukalapak that their new Cloud WAF solution was well explained for overall understanding throughout their organization. “We have a lot of data that needs to be protected,” said Madaan. “Imperva stayed very patient with us. They are quite good with my team to provide us information.”

Learn more →

are adopting a coordinated approach to safeguard our important entities and systems”

136 January 2023 BUKALAPAK
“We

and supportive in addressing our security concerns. The staff are very knowledgeable in their respective domains to help us build a SOC –which we have been working on for the last three months – and guide us on various cybersecurity-related issues. Ensign has huge experience in building SOCs, working with many organisations in Indonesia and Singapore; they have a huge ecosystem of partnerships.”

2,000+

around resilience, which is important in the current cyber landscape.

The future is resilient

Looking to the future, Yogesh explains that future strategies will continue to be centred

Number

of Employees

“We are building a resilient infrastructure by adopting a coordinated approach to safeguard our important entities and systems,” Yogesh says. “We are also dedicated to building a safer cyberspace with secure authentications and authorisations for both our employees and customers to ensure that they continue to feel cyber safe.

With every development, Yogesh explains the importance of scalability and the need for developing talent: “When it comes to

technologymagazine.com 137

A JOURNEY TO DISCOVER THE UNKNOWNS BUKALAPAK ONBOARDS QUALYS

chose the holistic Qualys VMDR solution for an accurate and complete picture of all our IT assets’ vulnerability and compliance status with insights into the most severe threats so we can respond quickly.”

As a leading online marketplace in Indonesia, Bukalapak chose Qualys’ award winning Vulnerability Management, Detection and Response (VMDR) to strengthen its overall security posture.

Qualys VMDR provides Bukalapak with a single, end-to-end solution to automatically discover, assess and remediate all of its IT assets for vulnerabilities. Today Bukalapak enjoys a much-reduced attack surface, thanks to Qualys.

Learn more

“We

developing a vibrant cybersecurity ecosystem, it is important that our solutions are scalable. We are also committed to growing our talent when it comes to cybersecurity and training our people in the right way. The industry is a very evolving field right now, so we must adopt a holistic view in order to ensure that we can deal with future challenges.”

Dedicated to being one of the cyber safe companies, the next 12 to 18 months will be centred around people, processes and technology for Bukalapak, a trend that is mirrored across industry as the world becomes more connected than ever.

“Automation is becoming increasingly important for the cybersecurity industry, along with data-driven analysis, and artificial intelligence (AI). There is a lot of work to be done, and I want to make sure we have the

DID YOU KNOW?

Application Security with Imperva

To ensure resilient security from the application security perspective, Bukalapak partnered with Imperva to simplify its application security posture. Web application attacks prevent important transactions and steal sensitive data. “Imperva Web Application Firewall (WAF) stops these attacks with near-zero false positives and a global SOC to ensure your organisation is protected from the latest attacks minutes after they are discovered in the wild. “We were looking for a tool, one that can help us meet our requirements and Imperva fits in well,” explains Yogesh.

Partnering with Qualys Vulnerability Management is a key security domain and after we moved to Qualys our reporting has gotten much better. Qualys solutions make our job easier because of the accuracy. Our teams can trust that the vulnerabilities identified are correct and accurate, and it leads to better health and better trust. Qualys provides us with real- time transparent data on the vulnerable systems which enables us to act in time and secure our systems.

technologymagazine.com 139 BUKALAPAK

“We are ultimately trying to build

any attacks”

talent to back up these trends and be able to identify and address any vulnerabilities,” says Yogesh.

“There are a lot of disruptive technologies emerging that are thinking outside of the box when it comes to cybersecurity protection. Ransomware for example has become a menace in the world right now. While it's hard to stop, there are companies developing disruptive technologies to do just that.”

Yogesh concludes by commenting on the rise in geopolitical tensions and their impact on the cybersecurity landscape: “Physical threats such as the war in Russia and Ukraine also enter into the cyber world, and attacks have become more prominent. It will be important as we become increasingly more connected to understand the attack surface and how we can protect it. Important elements in the future will be:

1.
2.
3. Security
4.
Identifying the threat landscape/impact
Secure access management
monitoring
Security awareness
an infrastructure that is resilient to
140 January 2023 BUKALAPAK
BUKALAPAK

SIX OF THE BEST FUTURE USES FOR ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

Which areas of business can we expect AI to transform in the next decade? Almost all of them, experts say. Here’s half a dozen to start the revolution

142 January 2023 AI AND ML

Artificial intelligence (AI) has secured its ‘must-have’ technology status, enabling companies to move faster and further than rivals to sharpen predictions, boost efficiencies, and optimise real-time pricing or stock control.

But as we wrote in the November issue of Technology Magazine, most boardrooms and bosses don’t yet fully understand the potential use-cases for AI and machine learning (ML). “Stakeholders often don’t know what to ask for in order to get the right benefits out of the technology,” says Elliott Young, CTO, Dell Technologies UK. “This means they don’t really know what their business could be missing out on.”

technologymagazine.com 143

Overhyped AI scares people and masks the real benefits these technologies can offer, says Anthony J. Bradley, Gartner’s Group Vice President of Emerging Technologies and Trends Research. “This can lead to slower adoption, and even sociopolitical fear and government regulation that will stifle progress.”

We take a closer look at six sectors that will attract a lot of future attention.

Predictions and forecasting

AI is migrating from its position as a technology identifying relationships in data and predicting existing trends more accurately to a technology that spots future shifts in everything – from leisure spending and travel patterns to company creditworthiness – by analysing preferences and sentiments, says Sian Townson, Partner, Oliver Wyman.

“As AI model explainability improves, along with more reliable ways to monitor performance, robustness and fairness, these more complex models have in turn become more reliable with their methods and results more understandable, hence more feasible and creative applications,” she explains. “AI can recognise disruptors by making connections between embedded characteristics.”

“Even uncontrolled, AI does not necessarily make a process less fair”
technologymagazine.com 145 AI AND ML

Risk and insurance

Boosting efficiencies and fairness in areas such as credit risk, insurance, human resources, and conducting surveillance, machine learning (ML) will read through forms and review voice and video recordings, highlighting where the reviewer’s attention should be focused, how a call

should be routed, or simply if an attachment has been forgotten, details Oliver Wyman’s Townson.

“AI is currently used to automate customer-facing steps, from chatbots to processing an order; some companies will also use it to improve their customer service, actually making processes more transparent and objective.”

Advances in quantifying fairness and mitigating bias allow AI-based approaches to be more equitable, transparent and objective than previous human attempts –even if quantifying fairness can sometimes be a painful first step, says Townson.

“Even uncontrolled, AI does not necessarily make a process less fair,” she explains. “AI attempts, mathematically, to mimic previous decisions, so emphasises exactly how unfair these previous decisions were. That ability can now be harnessed to mitigate some of the imbalances we currently face.”

“AI is sophisticated enough to transform how customers interact with companies and government”
146 January 2023 AI AND ML

Sales and marketing

Conversational chatbots are a particularly high-profile example of AI in action and have already become an accepted part of the user journey on most websites – but the sales and marketing industry stands to receive a great deal more help from machines.

Artificial intelligence enables companies to carry out tasks and shift strategies in realtime, continues Townson. Machine learning algorithms will, meanwhile, automatically increase sales promotions or delay launching products that might cannibalise profit from other product lines.

In short, AI can recalibrate these types of decisions to generate additional sales, including products that haven’t been promoted previously.

Defence

“The defence industry is undergoing some massive changes, '' says Townson. “As soon as they can get their AI risk governance fully in place, there’s the real potential for acceleration.”

The US Navy is already actively developing over a thousand AI-related activities. “I think most would be surprised to the degree with which AI is being groomed and developed within the Navy,” says Chief AI Officer for the US Navy, Brett Vaughan. “But a majority of those efforts reside in the R&D realm. So in the highlytechnological and competitive landscape of the modern era, we are prioritising the accelerated progression of those capabilities to the fleet.”

While Vaughan is limited in what he can say, he confirms there are two areas where AI is being used by the US Navy: enabling autonomy in unmanned/robotic systems and improving the quality and speed of human decision-making.

It’s AI all the way down

The artificial industry will, of course, be in a constant state of transformation as it develops new technologies to share with other industry sectors.

Meanwhile, experts say AI will be required to tame the AI industry itself.

“A basic prerequisite for the use of AI at scale is establishing an auditable, ethical and explainable model for AI,” says Paul Henninger, Head of Connected Technology at KPMG UK.

“Ironically, AI itself – in addition to sensible processes, policies and governance – is the solution to what will unlock the potential of AI.”

technologymagazine.com 147 AI AND ML

Customer experience

Almost half of the world’s largest companies will be using AI and ML to transform their customer experience (CX) within the next four years, according to IDC's Future of Customer Experience report.

"In a world of accelerated uncertainty, the next era of CX innovation will be led by those brands that improve value for the customer through empathy and delivering outcomes for customer success," says Sudhir Rajagopal, Research Director, Future of Customer Experience at IDC.

The IDC report found that by 2026, 45% of the Global 2000 are expected to use AI/ML to nudge customers into unfamiliar, novel experiences to improve sentiment metrics and potential for brand upselling.

“AI technology is already sophisticated enough to transform how customers interact with companies and government,” says Paul Henninger, Head of Connected Technology at KPMG UK. “Research into and early implementations of AI-driven avatars, conversational AI, and large language models will create relationships between customers, their data, and business services that are truly different.”

Asset management and investment

Over two-thirds of banks see AI and ML technology as crucial tools in tackling the increasing complexity of trade surveillance, as a shortage of skilled compliance staff means manual checks are slowing down business.

148 January 2023 AI AND ML

Global financial firms are increasingly looking to technology for efficiency, with a clear desire for more automated workflows, but driven by regulatory demands and exacerbated by volatility, a new study by Acuiti found in November.

“AI has already transformed trading in some respects via algorithmic trading,” says KPMG’s Henninger. “We will see the same complete transformation of how we think about meeting our retirement objectives as well as the kinds of outcomessuch as social and environmental outcomes - that investors want to be a part of.

“Driven by AI that works for the investor, asset management and other computational and tokenization technologies, the asset management industry will undergo a massive transformation in the next decade,” says Henninger.

“I think most would be surprised to the degree with which AI is being developed within the Navy”
technologymagazine.com 149 AI AND ML
NAVY
150 January 2023
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PRODUCED BY: LEWIS VAUGHAN AD FEATURE WRITTEN BY: GEORGE HOPKIN
152 January 2023

Digital twin technology has gone from a futuristic ideal to a present-day reality for data centre developers and operators. This highly specialised virtual modelling can impact the entire data centre lifecycle, beginning with site due diligence and moving into design and construction, as well as measuring sustainability objectives and creating tools for operational excellence.

Black & Veatch is using its internal resources to develop real-time modelling for global clients. Digital twin technology eliminates geographical barriers in initial site due diligence and design phases. The entire team can virtually walk the “completed” project without leaving their desks. This provides great convenience, but the real value is evolving.

Digital twins are not simply simulation tools because they also provide a previously inaccessible depth and breadth of exploration of data. It allows clients to review a project in a virtual world before implementing it and allows developers to sell the project to stakeholders earlier.

The digital twin can also support operations of the data centre, where monitoring and other tasks are done remotely and the ops officer can review issues from any location to make decisions that have a significant impact on the enterprise.

This report features industry insights from key personnel at Black & Veatch who are invested in its activities and translate the company’s achievements into professional services for its core industries.

Example of an image caption

Black & Veatch provides insights on digital twin technology and its impact on data centre development, including design, construction, and sustainability
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DUE DILIGENCE INSIGHTS BEFORE A SHOVEL GOES INTO THE GROUND

Digital twin modelling allows clients to design a site even before the land or building is purchased, says Black & Veatch’s Shilpa Maganti and Greg Zalewski Black & Veatch perform site due diligence for data centres and mission-critical facilities, collaborating with clients to assess greenfield and brownfield sites using the company’s expertise in the power, water, telecom/fibre, environmental and data centre industries.

The company has the capability, scalability, and global resources to help clients select sites that will meet future capacity and sustainability requirements. This expedites challenging schedules and gives clients a competitive advantage by leveraging Black & Veatch’s vast global internal resource pool, preferred sub-

consultants and long-term relationships with utility providers in major markets worldwide.

“We might have a client who has a piece of land and asks us, ‘Can we build a data centre here?’” explains Shilpa Maganti, Black

“Clients know how large a data centre they're looking to build, so our team works with them to build a virtual master plan”
BLACK & VEATCH

& Veatch’s Data Centres Project Manager. “At that point, we would look at the site, look at the topography, even the soil conditions. We have to be able to answer the question of whether we can even build at that location.“

“We also need to calculate the civil and structural side issues related to a project – do we need to blast the site? How is the grading going to work?”

Black & Veatch also considers power and utilities during a site due diligence project, including an overview of potential cooling systems and water supplies.

“Then we move on to other investigations, including the environmental side and master planning. We investigate any environmental impacts. Most of the clients we work with know how large a data centre they're looking to build on that piece of land, so our team works with them to build a master plan.”

SHILPA A. MAGANTI, P.E.

TITLE: PROJECT MANAGER

INDUSTRY: ENGINEERING

LOCATION: UNITED STATES

EXECUTIVE BIO

Shilpa Maganti is a Project Manager for Black & Veatch with more than 13 years of experience with a wide variety of auxiliary power system designs and arc flash hazard analyses associated with data centres, power plants and mission-critical industrial facilities. Shilpa’s experience includes design and specification of auxiliary electrical distribution equipment for new and retrofit data centre projects. She is experienced in performing power system studies, including load flow, short-circuit and arc flash hazard analysis engineering activities using SKM (Power Tools for Windows) or Electrical Transient and Analysis Program (ETAP) - PowerStation by OTI. She has developed procurement and design-build/ Engineering, Procurement and Construction.

BLACK & VEATCH

TITLE: PRECONSTRUCTION

INDUSTRY: ENGINEERING

LOCATION: UNITED STATES

Digital twin tech gives real-time understanding of critical issues

Some developer clients may already have their own facilities, which requires Black & Veatch to carry out a facility assessment.

“Evaluating an existing facility requires more extensive detail. Do we need to make any structural improvements? Are there any permitting or zoning requirements that change the land use, or the use of this building? What are those implications?”

Greg Zalewski, Preconstruction Manager at Black & Veatch, says digital twin technology gives the client a real-time understanding of a broad range of critical issues.

Greg Zalewski is a Preconstruction Manager at Black & Veatch and has more than 14 years of experience providing project estimating services for data centers and mission critical facilities, including modular systems. He is responsible for the development of project cost models for opportunities ranging from Design Requirements Reports to At-Risk cost estimates for engineer-procure-construct (EPC) opportunities. He considers cost factors such as site investigations, the local labor market, availability of materials, quantities from design drawings, and quotations from suppliers. He also develops cost opinions for reports and feasibility studies and maintains procedures for quality control of cost opinions.

“And it means you're not waiting for architects and engineers to come back and redraft; you can make a lot of those changes on the fly using that digital model of a digital twin,” says Zalewski. “It doesn't have to be a fully developed model – you can do some very rough block models and get an idea of how it will all work. From there you can visualise what that project will look like and what your facility will be, before you ever put a shovel in the ground.”

EXECUTIVE BIO
“You can visualise what that project will look like before you ever put a shovel in the ground”
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Greg Zalewski

REGIONAL FOCUS: DATA CENTRES IN INDIA FACE UNIQUE CHALLENGES

India aims to secure much of the regional investment being made in Asia, which is expected to account for half of the global data centre market by 2025. The country reclassified data centres as “infrastructure” in April 2022, and this change in legislation is expected to attract investment from developers having access to capital at lower credit rates as a result.

With huge potential for demand growth, international data centre providers are

ramping up to secure market share. In recent years, many have acquired local players or entered into joint-venture arrangements.

Developers looking to fast-track construction face challenges including access to local teams at wage rates that retain reliable and high-quality outcomes, while also designing facilities that are sustainable within the Indian market, particularly with the country facing increased climate change impact.

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CASE STUDY

SUSTAINABILITY IS CRUCIAL FOR THE FUTURE OF DATA CENTRES

Global business and society demand data centres – and sustainable designs are the future, says Black & Veatch’s Angie Nygren, Amol Samant and Drew Derrick

Black & Veatch is committed to continuous improvement for clients and communities, so sustainability is ingrained into the company’s strategy. Mitigating and adapting to climate change, decarbonising supply chains, and creating a more diverse and inclusive workforce are just some of the challenges the company is committed to addressing head-on.

Together with its clients, partners and employees, Black & Veatch’s work designing and building tomorrow's infrastructure plays a powerful role in improving sustainable outcomes.

“Our clients are feeling accountable for sustainability and making sure they have sustainable options in their designs,” says Black & Veatch Architect Angie Nygren. “The need for data centres is not going away, so how can they not feel accountable?”

Black & Veatch Project Manager Amol Samant has also seen a significant increase in the number of conversations around sustainability in his work with clients. Some of the most important factors to consider

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ANGIE NYGREN, NCARB, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

TITLE: ARCHITECT & EXECUTION MANAGER

Angie Nygren is a licensed architect and Execution Manager for Black & Veatch with more than 13 years of experience in design of complex building types. Her expertise extends to several market sectors, including athletic training facilities, football stadiums, mixed-use developments, and data centres.

Angie is responsible for the crossdiscipline coordination of the complex building systems within mission-critical facilities. She leads the design team through design and documentation and is responsible for coordinating across disciplines to uphold the client’s standards, design intent, and project schedule.

EXECUTIVE BIO
ANGIE NYGREN ARCHITECT & EXECUTION MANAGER, BLACK & VEATCH
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“Our clients are feeling accountable for sustainability and making sure they have sustainable options in their designs”
Digital twins offer real-time modelling for data centres
“The city centre is where the infrastructure for things like power are available, but there is a scarcity of water”
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are water, heating and cooling, and noise pollution, all of which can present challenges for sustainability-minded clients regarding where a data centre can be placed.

“The city centre is where the infrastructures for utilities, like power, are available,” says Samant. ”At the same time, there is a scarcity of water, and we cannot use the huge amount of water required for data centre cooling at the same location.”

A technical “balancing act” to save energy, power and water This can mean Black & Veatch has to work with the client to perform “a balancing act” to save energy, power and water while still ensuring data centre facilities are optimised.

“We've had a client come to us recently and tell us they want to use air-cooled chillers, which are not necessarily the most efficient cooling option available,” says Black & Veatch Mechanical Engineer Drew Derrick. “But they've made the

AMOL SAMANT

TITLE: SENIOR PROJECT MANAGER

INDUSTRY: ENGINEERING

LOCATION: VIKROLI, MUMBAI, INDIA

Amol Samant is a senior Project Manager with more than 25 years of diverse experience with multiple complex projects like IT parks, shopping malls, health care facilities and data centers. His project activities have included condition assessments, feasibility studies, design and construction administration. Amol has served as Project Director for mission critical data center projects which include complex electro mechanical installations, centralized chilled water systems, hot aisle systems, thermal energy storage.

BIO
EXECUTIVE
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decision that they want to use cold chillers so they can save water.

“We have that discussion with the client, bringing their requirements and preferences to the forefront. Then we can design a system around their values for sustainability – and that can be an interesting topic of the conversation if the client hasn’t thought of it before.”

Derrick predicts that, in the next decade, the data centre construction industry will see more liquid cooling options – both direct-to-chip or immersiontype technology – but this will require

DREW DERRICK, PE, CXA, DCEP, ATD

TITLE: MECHANICAL ENGINEERING MANAGER

INDUSTRY: ENGINEERING LOCATION: UNITED STATES

Drew Derrick is a Mechanical Engineering Manager with more than 20 years of experience with heating ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) and plumbing systems for mission-critical facilities, including data centres. His project activities include condition assessments, feasibility studies, design, construction administration, value engineering and commissioning.

EXECUTIVE BIO

Drew has engineered and served as certified commissioning agent for mission-critical mechanical systems subject to client reliability criteria, redundancy, and single-point vulnerabilities. He has experience developing mechanical systems for sensitive compartmented information facilities (SCIF) subject to DCID 6/9, and is an Accredited Tier Design (ATD) by Uptime Institute.

“After you've built it, it’s much more expensive for the client to make changes”
BLACK & VEATCH
Drew Derrick

clients to make upfront investments in the technology to reap the rewards of its better functionality over time.

Digital twin technology also allows clients to quickly determine how sustainable their new data centre would be using different materials for construction. “From a rough design of the

structural system using different materials, we can pull those quantities and materials from the model and give them a carbon factor,” says Nygren. “Then clients can know whether a concrete structure, a steel structure, or a timber frame might affect the carbon footprint of these different structural systems.”

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CASE STUDY

REGIONAL FOCUS: NEW GROWTH FOR DATA CENTRES IN ASIA PACIFIC

The data centre market is set to grow across the Asia Pacific region over the next five years, with many sources projecting a double-digit growth. This demand growth – for data locally and regionally – could see significant capacity development beyond traditional regional centres, such as Singapore and Hong Kong.

Investment flows could shift to locations such as India, Indonesia and the Philippines with low existing capacity alongside promising demographics and projected economic growth.

Countries like Singapore have only recently lifted moratoriums on data centre development, with government

officials citing the intensity of water use and electricity as a key factor behind the previous moratorium. Such circumstances highlight the looming issue facing new development, as our hunger for data competes for energy and water resources. Well-planned and calibrated growth is required at a national level, while on a project-level, best-in-class technologies and practices for energy and water efficiency must be considered early to ensure long-term viability of projects. This must be considered alongside making sure adequate and reliable utility interconnection infrastructure is in place or developed in parallel.

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DIGITAL TWINS MEAN CLIENTS CAN DESIGN TWICE, BUT BUILD ONCE

Data centre virtual models mean contractors can work together with perfect precision, says Black & Veatch’s Angie Nygren, Drew Derrick and Greg Zalewski Black & Veatch’s integrated design, engineering, and construction approach increases project performance while ensuring cost and schedule certainty for critical infrastructure. As clients’ single point of contract responsibility, Black & Veatch works in a collaborative team to maximise return on investment and deliver projects of the highest value possible. The company’s design-build teams identify and implement creative solutions through a contractor-led, construction-driven model.

“With the 3D fly-throughs we can offer, the client knows what they're getting, knows

that operationally it's going to function for them,” says Black & Veatch Architect Angie Nygren. “So, in a sense, we're really designing twice.”

CFD modelling is used to build interior and exterior twins, which allows Black & Veatch to work with clients to fine-tune master plans. “We had a project where the client was using direct evaporative units on the exterior of the building, sucking in large volumes of air,” says Black & Veatch Mechanical Engineering Manager Drew Derrick. “Diesel generators for the project were sitting relatively close. We found that when the generators were on, the exhaust fumes came back into the building.

“We ran the model and had to extend the stacks, moving the generators a little farther away, so we could make those modifications before it became a problem in the field,” says Derrick. “After you've built it, it’s much more expensive for the client to make that kind of change.”

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Digital twins do away with “firstcome, first-served” approach

A fully coordinated model provides a clear understanding of where systems should be placed, says Greg Zalewski, Preconstruction Manager at Black & Veatch, which didn’t always happen in a time before digital twin technology. “When people weren't coordinating their work, they may not know how they're going to arrange their systems, whether it's electrical conduits or mechanical piping, or sprinklers.”

Digital twin technology does away with this “first-come, first-served” approach, replacing the need for subsequent

contractors having to make allowances around the first to start work.

Clients in different regions may also have very different requirements – for example, Black & Veatch has carried out studies to explore options to recycle data centre cooling water for irrigation or other purposes.

“This is designing twice and building once, because you can coordinate all those systems in the virtual world before you actually get into the field, and then your contractors can build from the model. They know exactly down to the inch where they need to be and how close they should be from one system to the next, and this saves a lot of time in the field.”

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What We Do - Black & Veatch technologymagazine.com 167 BLACK & VEATCH

OPERATIONAL INTELLIGENCE

BOOSTS RELIABILITY AND EFFICIENCY

Digital twin technology leverages drones and specialist software to give an overview of operations, says Black & Veatch’s Julia Guerra and Anthony Taylor

Operational intelligence provides insights that help optimise day-to-day operating and maintenance practices to boost reliability and efficiency. This can include important monitoring and diagnosis services that provide a dashboard for clients to see deeply into their systems

via the cloud. Adaptive planning focuses on the future, using scenario analysis and predictive analytics to better inform asset management, long-term capital expenditures and other planning decisions.

Black & Veatch also prepares clients with well-defined procedures, such as lock out/ tag out and confined space instructions, to optimise day-to-day operations and maintenance. Other services include: preparation of facility-specific operations manuals; process control optimisation and troubleshooting; onsite technical support for completion of facility start-up and commissioning; assessments, including facility operations, of staffing

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JULIA CAROL GUERRA TITLE: BIM COORDINATOR

INDUSTRY: ENGINEERING

LOCATION: UNITED STATES and maintenance; laboratory design and onsite laboratory reviews; and equipment specification development.

“Recently, we've been leaning towards something called DroneDeploy,” says Black & Veatch BIM coordinator Julia Guerra. “This is a very exciting piece of software that very easily shows with one click that a client representative in the field doesn’t need to be an engineer to be able to use a drone. It's about simplicity, scalability, and how everybody can get their hands on it – from the owner to the surveyor or an engineer, it doesn't matter, everybody can use the same data. We’re taking the fear away from drones and simply making it a tool like

Julia Guerra works in technology construction for Black & Veatch. Her background includes reality capture technology including Drone services, 360 cameras and laser scanning. Julia has extensive experience in BIM technology, including 3D modelling, and model management for field teams. She has previous experience in founding a drone programme that accelerated to 10 pilots in under a year. Her experience in reality capture includes execution and strategy of laser scanning, and 360 capture walks. Julia can help provide a clear picture for communication

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ANTHONY TAYLOR

TITLE: BIM

INDUSTRY: ENGINEERING

LOCATION: UNITED STATES

Anthony Taylor is BIM Coordinator & Technology Manager for Black & Veatch. He is responsible for the strategic development and implementation of Black & Veatch’s BIM initiative using BIM related tools and platforms including BIM 360. Anthony specialises in

the use of BIM on complex regional and global BIM projects including setup, establishing objectives, providing technical direction and support. Anthony has design capabilities in multiple software applications including Globally specific space control, grading and drainage design through Civil 3D and/or OpenRoads (Power Inroads SS4), and mission-critical facilities utilizing BIM 360, Revit, VEO, CADworx, NavisWorks.

EXECUTIVE BIO 170 January 2023 BLACK & VEATCH

everything else so that people in the field are just as comfortable using a drone as they might be using a hammer.”

BIM 360 connects workflows, teams, and data for clients and contractor

Black & Veatch’s digital-twin work makes extensive use of BIM 360, part of the Autodesk Construction Cloud designed to connect workflows, teams, and data. This software – along with an extensive line of modules designed to extend and focus functionality – reduces risk, improves

quality, and helps deliver projects on time and on budget by predicting safety hazards, proactively managing quality, automating tasks, and reducing rework so that clients can control costs and stay on schedule.

“With BIM 360, not only are you able to have your team on a single platform, you're seeing data throughout the project lifecycle from design to construction,” says Anthony Taylor, BIM Coordinator & Technology Manager in Black & Veatch’s Data Center Group.

“You have the ability for your clients to see the same data from any device that has Internet service. That could be a computer or a tablet or a phone – as long as there is Internet access, you can access these files anywhere in the world.

“BIM 360 also has security layers, so if you only want certain roles like project managers or admins to have access to certain folders, it's really great for management and security,” says Taylor.

“We’re making it so people in the field are just as comfortable using a drone as they might be using a hammer”
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“With these new technologies, not only are you able to have your team on a single platform, but you're seeing data throughout the project lifecycle”

3D, 4D AND 5D DIGITAL MODELS SHED NEW LIGHT ON CONSTRUCTION

Traditional paper plans used by construction contractors have been replaced by digital twin technology, says Black & Veatch’s Angie Nygren and Greg Zalewski

Black & Veatch has been leading the construction industry since its earliest days of building infrastructure in America’s heartlands and worldwide. The company delivers the highest standards of safety, quality and efficiency and adapts its diverse construction solutions to mitigate risk and suit client budgets.

The company’s construction experience extends across all industries they serve, benefitting from a holistic view of infrastructure lifecycles. Black & Veatch has experience with multiple contracting approaches as a prime contractor, design-builder, construction manager at-risk (CMAR), major subcontractor, joint venture partner, or consortium member. The company also selfperforms construction trades as a direct hire, as a construction manager of multiple subcontractors, or a combination of both.

“I'm seeing a couple of trends in digital twins in construction,” says Black & Veatch Architect Angie Nygren. “The first is much more client interaction. Historically, we used to give 2D plans to the client; they would approve the plans, and we would build it, and then it would be something of a surprise when they saw the end result after construction.”

2D plans and drawings are not enough for clients anymore, says the Black & Veatch team, with clients instead calling for 3D and digital twin models. “They want to see the building in three dimensions before we even stick a shovel in the ground,” says Nygren. “The client is going to be the end user, so they want to know things like how are they going to load the racks? How are they going to access the cable tray? Will they have a clear space for a ladder to get to areas that will be required in the future?”

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Modelling catches issues long before they become problems

Black & Veatch goes further than this and ensures clients can assess the smallest details, which can then attract interest from other departments such as marketing and brand management. “Clients can discover how the finishes we've chosen interact with their brand,” says Nygren. “How is the flow of the space from break rooms to offices?

Increased client interaction means they’re looking for that 3D fly-through.”

This approach to construction means even the smallest efficiencies can be identified or discovered in the digital twin environment. “We model everything,” says Nygren, “so that we know if there's a picture that's going to clash with a duct from our model long before this is an issue in the field.”

Beyond the third dimension, Black & Veatch is also seeing trends extend into the fourth and fifth dimensions of those digital twin models. These take into account not only what the project or product will look like, but also how it looks over time as well as the costs involved in its operations and maintenance.

“While you're evaluating a project, you can look to custom construction sequencing to see how this project is going to be built, and you can look for

opportunities there to either accelerate or – if you're considering phasing – how you would implement that throughout the project by using that 4D aspect,” says Greg Zalewski, Preconstruction Manager at Black & Veatch

“On top of that, we're starting to see a lot more focus on the fifth dimension, which is adding cost to that,” he says. “While the fourth dimension takes the model through time, the fifth dimension adds cost to that time factor. From an owner's perspective, you can actually get a very reliable picture of what your capital expenses are going to be throughout the course of that project and how you need to finance and fund it.”

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As digital twin technology becomes the industry standard, data centre owners and operators will benefit from more reliable, efficient and sustainable facilities. Traditional paper plans used by construction contractors have been replaced by digital twins, which allow clients to design a site even before land or buildings are purchased.

Digital models presented in 3D, 4D and 5D will impact not only site due diligence and design, but also construction, budgeting, modernisation and operations. Modelling catches issues long before they become problems and Black & Veatch goes further to ensure clients can assess the smallest details. This can then attract interest from other departments such as marketing and brand management.

Black & Veatch is ever-evolving and leading the industry in applying these

tools and technologies to leading-edge data centre development. The company has the capability, scalability, and global resources to help clients select sites that will meet future capacity and sustainability requirements.

This expedites challenging schedules and gives clients a competitive advantage by leveraging Black & Veatch’s vast global internal resource pool, preferred subconsultants and long-term relationships with utility providers in major markets worldwide.

References:

• What is a digital twin?

• Mission-critical facilities/data centers

CONTACT US technologymagazine.com 175 BLACK & VEATCH
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CYBERSECURITY COMPANIES AT THE START OF 2023

To prevent cyber attacks, it has never been more important for enterprises to invest in security. We look at the top companies offering cyber platforms

Technology is developing at a breakneck pace. While businesses are spoiled with the number of technological solutions at hand to drive growth and improve operation, cyber criminals too are utilising such technology to their advantage, making attacks more complex and harder to defend against.

To prevent cyber attacks, it has never been more important for enterprises to invest in cybersecurity. We look at the top companies offering cyber platforms.

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Zscaler 10

Zscaler provides enterprises with a cloud-based security platform built on zero trust principles. Zscaler mainly caters to U.S.-based enterprises with 10,000 or more employees.

Through a partnership with CrowdStrike, the company has showcased security detection capabilities available through its Zero Trust Exchange cloud security platform and the CrowdStrike eXtended detection and response (XDR) platform - helping customers correlate security data from multiple sources to identify new indicators of compromise (IoCs) and suspicious signals that show cyberattacks may be underway.

VMware 09

Founded in 1998, VMware is a leading provider of multicloud services for all apps, combining endpoint security and endpoint management with network edge security.

Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, VMware acquired CloudHealth in 2018 and a year later announced it had acquired security cloud provider Carbon Black, providing comprehensive protection of endpoints and defence against a variety of threats. In May, semiconductor manufacturer Broadcom Inc announced an agreement to acquire VMware in a transaction valued at US$61bn.

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Fortinet

Headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, Fortinet develops and sells cybersecurity solutions, including physical firewalls, antivirus software, intrusion prevention systems and endpoint security components. The Fortinet Security Fabric platform secures many of the largest enterprise, service provider, and government organisations around the world.

With its platform, the company brings together the concepts of convergence and consolidation to provide comprehensive cyber security protection for all users, devices, and applications across all network edges.

“ ”

08 07CrowdStrike

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, CrowdStrike provides cloudnative endpoint protection, threat intelligence, and cyberattack response solutions. Its platform, Falcon, goes beyond simple threat detection by automatically investigating anomalies removing the guesswork from threat analysis. CrowdStrike counts three of the 10 largest global companies by revenue among its clients.

Powered by the CrowdStrike Security Cloud, the CrowdStrike Falcon Platform leverages realtime indicators of attack and threat intelligence to deliver hyperaccurate detections, automated protection and remediation.

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Crowdstrike counts three of the 10 largest global companies by revenue among its clients ”

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Cisco

Founded in 1984, Cisco is a software development company that offers its own security platform, SecureX. This cloudnative platform includes XDR capabilities and integrates the Cisco Secure portfolio with its customers’ security infrastructure, speeding detection, response, and recovery.

It delivers a consistent, built-in experience across customers’ products, giving them unified visibility, intuitive automation, and robust security for their entire security portfolio. Cisco Secure enables customers to defend against threats and safeguard the most vital aspects of business with security resilience.

Trend Micro

A leader in cloud and enterprise cybersecurity, Trend Micro has around 7,000 employees across 65 countries, with its cyber security platform protecting 500,000+ organisations and 250+ million individuals across clouds, networks, devices, and endpoints.

The platform delivers central visibility for improved detection and response, with a powerful range of advanced threat defence techniques optimised for environments like AWS, Microsoft, and Google. Trend Micro is driven by decades of security expertise, global threat research, and continuous innovation.

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Darktrace 04

By using AI, Darktrace has the ability to interrupt in-progress cyber attacks with its technology. It can fight against attacks including ransomware, email phishing and threats to cloud environments and critical infrastructure. The company has over 6,500 customers worldwide that rely on Darktrace’s digital immune system to avoid cyber disruptions.

Founded in 2013, Darktrace applies Self-Learning AI to enable machines to understand the business in order to autonomously defend it. The company is headquartered in Cambridge, UK, with 1,700 employees and over 30 offices worldwide.

CyberArk 03

CyberArk is a global leader in identity security. Founded by Alon N. Cohen and its current CEO Udi Mokady in 1999, who introduced a patented digital vault technology, the company provides a comprehensive security offering for any identity – human or machine – across business applications, distributed workforces, hybrid cloud workloads and throughout the DevOps lifecycle.

Since its founding, CyberArk has led the market in securing enterprises against cyber attacks that take cover behind insider privileges and attack critical enterprise assets. The company delivers innovative security solutions that help leaders become more proactive to cyber attacks.

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The company has over 6,500 customers worldwide that rely on Darktrace’s digital immune system to avoid cyber disruptions”

McAfee

The McAfee Corporation is an American global computer security software company, headquartered in San Jose, CA. Purchased by Intel in February 2011 to become part of its Intel Security division, McAfee is a worldwide leader in online protection. Its key attributes are to focus on protecting people, not their devices. The cybersecurity business boasts over 108 million customers in 182 countries worldwide.

McAfee’s suite of products include its antivirus software, which can be used to scan PCs for viruses and protect them in real-time detecting all kinds of malware, such as ransomware, spyware, adware and more.

With cloud-native data protection from McAfee Skyhigh Security Cloud and threat defence from McAfee Cloud Workload Security, customers can transform cloud risk into business acceleration. The company’s cyber solutions are designed to integrate threat defence across devices, IT infrastructure and the cloud.

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Creating Digital Communities NOW
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Palo Alto Networks

Palo Alto Networks is an American multinational cybersecurity company with headquarters in Santa Clara, California. Its platform includes advanced firewalls and cloud-based offerings that extend those firewalls to cover other aspects of security. Created in 2005, it today boasts over 85,000 worldwide customers in more than 150 countries.

The company’s mission is to be the cyber security partner of choice, protecting our digital way of life. By delivering an integrated platform and empowering a growing ecosystem of partners, the company protects tens of thousands of organisations across clouds, networks, and mobile devices. Palo Alto’s technology enables customers to secure any cloud, automate security operations, stop zerodata threats in zero time and secure hybrid workforces.

TOP 10
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EQUIPPING MANUFACTURERS FOR A GLOBAL AND LOCALISED WORLD

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Supply chains have recently seen unprecedented challenges due to the uncertain global scenarios and ever-increasing sustainability demands. The manufacturing industry is embedded within the wider supply chain network and is, therefore, subject to enhanced exposure, but what does this mean for an industry that has historically operated in a globalized fashion?

Businesses are now struggling to balance globalisation and localisation of supply chain operations as they look to futureproof their operations. In either case, digitalisation is the critical enabler of growth. So how should manufacturers approach their digital transformation journeys?

This is where an innovation partner like HCLTech can lead the manufacturing supply chains toward a successful future. Shankar Gopalkrishnan who has extensive experience in driving change among manufacturers to deliver better outcomes, explains how manufacturing organizations can best leverage technology to ensure successful business outcomes.

TS: Globalisation vs localisation. What are the pros and cons?

SG: The manufacturing industry will continue to progress on the foundations of digital, flexible, and green, which have been the core pillars for globalisation. This will allow manufacturers to create more sustainable products faster and cheaper. Globalisation also allows companies to establish synergies between regions, industries, and trading systems.

Senior Vice President, Head localisation versus globalisation and the input of technology
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Shankar Gopalkrishnan, Senior Vice President, Head of Manufacturing, HCLTech, discusses localisation versus globalisation and the impact of technology

Head of globalisation technology

TITLE: SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, HEAD OF MANUFACTURING

INDUSTRY: IT SERVICES AND CONSULTING

LOCATION: UNITED STATES

Head of Manufacturing and Utilities Vertical for business acquisition, global contracts, revenue and profitability growth. 25 + years of overall experience in Technology Consulting, Account Management, Business Development. Manage large teams under Global delivery model. Worked extensively on strategy formulation, solution identification and design, consultative solutions providing value based services to clients.

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EXECUTIVE BIO

Extreme localisation sounds right in the current situation. But when you consider the long-term effects, this approach will impact the product cost and fast-to-market product development, and disrupt the trade links and supply chains established over decades. The right equilibrium must exist in balancing localisation efforts while improving and tightening globalisation principles for promoting economic growth and vital business outreach to break into new markets.

TS: What has driven manufacturers to re-evaluate their sourcing strategies?

SG: The pandemic and supply chain constraints forced the manufacturing industry to rethink their sourcing strategies, with a focus on finding the right vendors to balance globalisation and localisation.

Strategic sourcing has pivoted to a new level, digging into all aspects that influence the value of sourcing. The traditional value drivers for strategic sourcing were built on the principles of cost, quality, scale and

overall score carding. But the events over the last two years have exposed startling deficiencies. Now the procurement organizations in the manufacturing industry are heavily focused on establishing new baselines aligning toward response, agility, speed, visibility, broader product value chain, risk management, and suppliers who can address resiliency.

Sourcing organizations are also trying to create more outcome-based partnerships where suppliers can take a complete TCO-based approach to defined business outcomes. We at HCLTech are seeing a lot of customers doing some fundamental changes to their strategies toward sourcing on these outlined parameters, but to scale this, the clients are looking for next-gen digital infrastructure and applications to enable their vision.

TS: Is it likely that there will be a strategic approach to combine globalisation and localisation?

192 January 2023 HCLTECH

HAS

GOOD COLLABORATION BETWEEN DIFFERENT INDUSTRIES AND REGIONS, AS WELL AS A TRADING ECOSYSTEM”

SG: Globalisation to glocalisation, is a very novel thought process. But, building such an ecosystem will take significant time, people, and money. While such thought-provoking measures are adopted in the long run, it is very important that the ecosystem does its part in laying out and adopting new policies that increase supply chain resilience. There must be necessary measures to build the infrastructure and risk mitigation strategies to stress-test supply chains on a periodic basis.

Supply chain agility is essential for the manufacturing industry to keep up with customer expectations of personalization and convenience. But, in many ways, agility remains only a buzzword as manufacturers lack the ability to quickly integrate local providers, adapt inventory, and rejig the value chains.

To change this, the manufacturers must adopt a strategic transformational mindset, creating the right balance to strengthen their local competencies alongside integration with the global hub through industry 4.0 and digital levers. The transformation of the systems used for production, transportation, and consumption would require a new way of thinking to enable manufacturers to scale further.

The globalisation vs localisation debate Gopalkrishnan explains that, until now, global supply chain networks have created

“GLOBALISATION
ALLOWED COMPANIES TO ESTABLISH
technologymagazine.com 193

HAVE SEEN A LOT OF OUR CUSTOMERS AND SOURCING ORGANISATIONS LOOKING AT MORE OUTCOME-BASED ENGAGEMENT WITH SUPPLIERS”

connections between regions and opened up more possibilities for manufacturers.

“Globalisation has allowed companies to establish good collaborations between industries and different regions, as well as a trading ecosystem. But I think the challenges that we are seeing today are due to the supply chain issues—as well as the pandemic and geopolitical crises—forcing organizations to look at establishing local ecosystems,” says Gopalkrishnan.

In this process, stockpiles have been created to maintain some equilibrium to bridge this gap. In this scenario, a business strategy around localisation against globalisation makes sense.

While the case for localisation seems the strongest option for supply chains, Gopalkrishnan also highlights that there are other variables that determine the success of supply chains in the current risk landscape.

Resilience and the health of the supply chain are essential metrics that we need to continue to measure and monitor as we move forward. Localisation in the current scenario makes sense, but if you look at it from a long-

“WE
194 January 2023 HCLTECH
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DID YOU KNOW...

HCLTech is a next-generation global technology company that helps enterprises reimagine their businesses for the digital age. Its technology products and services are built on four decades of innovation, with a world-renowned management philosophy, a strong culture of invention and risk-taking, and a relentless focus on customer relationships. HCLTech also takes pride in its many diversity, social responsibility, sustainability, and education initiatives. Through its worldwide network of R&D facilities and co-innovation labs, global delivery capabilities, and over 219,000+ ‘Ideapreneurs’ across 52 countries, HCLTech delivers holistic services across industry verticals to leading enterprises, including 250 of the Fortune 500 and 650 of the Global 2000.

Although it has a large footprint in the manufacturing space, HCLTech is the service provider of a multitude of organisations spanning various industries, including consumer goods, aerospace and defence energy and utilities, travel, and the public sector.

The firm is heavily focused on providing innovation capabilities to its customers through its large portfolio of digital solutions, in which application modernisation, technology and cloud services, cybersecurity product engineering, digital business, start-up ecosystems and industry ecosystems are core offerings.

term standpoint, we are already seeing that it is increasing the cost of products and will also impact the time for products to come into the market.

Since global disruptions are the key factors driving manufacturers’ decisions, this is also the main focus of HCLTech as it operates within four manufacturing industry subverticals: Automotive, Industrial products, Chemicals and Electronics. As a result of these disruptions, manufacturing companies are paying close attention to their supply chains and doubling down on the costs involved in production, while also creating contingency plans for material sourcing and transportation to limit potential downtime.

In particular, Gopalkrishnan says that firms are looking into transparency across their end-to-end value chains and alter their strategic sourcing approach toward better

“OUR MVISION FRAMEWORK IS CONSTRUCTED TO SUPPORT THEIR TRANSFORMATION JOURNEY BY LEVERAGING OUR BUSINESS DIGITAL OPERATIONS AND THE ENGINEERING PILLAR”
196 January 2023

risk management. We are seeing some fundamental changes in sourcing strategy to scale this entire ecosystem—right from the current traditional model to a nextgeneration sourcing model— focusing on visibility, speed, agility and robust infrastructure and applications to align to that vision.

The new outlook on the supply chain, particularly in the eyes of manufacturers, is to consider all aspects of sourcing instead of targeting individual areas. This means a holistic approach to sourcing has become a necessity in risk mitigation.

Weighing up the benefits of both globalisation and localisation of supply chains is somewhat an endless debate. Thus, the proposal of Gopalkrishnan and the team at HCLTech is to consider what he calls a ‘glocalisation’ model.

Creating more of an agile environment continues to be a challenge for a lot of manufacturers. It’s important they change their thought processes and move into

a transformational mindset, which requires a balance of local and global competencies, through Industry 4.0 and digital transformation levers.

The benefits of digital in the supply chain

Global business has been the major catalyst for many organizations, driving them towards operational excellence, which provides a strong case for a globalized manufacturing outlook. But, to reach new heights and become more innovative, Gopalkrishnan says that the focus should turn toward the state of the market leveraging a more proactive approach to market disruptions. This is where manufacturing companies are utilizing the latest industry 4.0 capabilities—along with the internet of things (IoT), to establish their digital transformation based on data.

“This will allow them to become more transparent in their operations, consistent and market-responsive. On this line, we are establishing and helping some of our

technologymagazine.com 197 HCLTECH

manufacturing customers to create their digital plan, pivoting beyond the digital divide that is currently evident in the overall value chain. We’ve set up what we call ‘Manufacturing Vision’ or ‘MVision’, which can truly help them achieve unprecedented levels of digital adoption and become data-driven organizations” says Gopalkrishnan.

As a well-established digital solutions provider for manufacturers around the world, HCLTech created a comprehensive framework for the manufacturing industry through MVision which is built on the principles of a hyper connected digital-enabled enterprise. The MVision framework allows organizations to adopt and deploy solutions across the entire value chain, focusing on people, process, and technology. MVision has been constructed to provide visibility from shop-to-top floor by integrating the broader ecosystem of

customers, partners, and employees. The integration allows organizations to tap into opportunities to increase top line through new business models and improve bottom line by breaking silos. The MVision transformational framework is built on four fundamental pillars –

• MVision for Business

• MVision for Digital

• MVision for Engineering

• MVision for Operations

The first pillar, MVision for Business helps define and execute digital process and digital strategies to enhance customer, partners, and employee experiences. It aims to build systems that drive business transformation to create process optimization, experience, and product orientation.

198 January 2023 HCLTECH

The second pillar, MVision for Digital helps design and build the platforms that use AI, ML, and other capabilities for creating mechanisms within our customers’ technology footprint to empower their digital transformation journey through our MVision for Business.

The third pillar, MVision for Engineering focuses on assisting manufacturers in accelerating product development by leveraging their latest technologies, monetizing their product services, and providing immersive customer experiences.

The fourth pillar, MVision for Operations provides an integrated applications and infrastructure services in a high velocity, software driven agile operating model

At the core of MVision framework, is MVision Nucleus, powered by the critical components of industry 4.0 that focuses on creating an intelligent and connected ecosystem

through connected assets and connected products. This drives digital transformation across the connected value chain of the manufacturing industry.

The first goal to consider when implementing the four pillars revolves around smart manufacturing principles. As companies see the opportunities arising from industry 4.0, they require the expertise to get the most out of their connected solutions. The next area is supply chain visibility, which is a critical capability for all businesses as they strive for sustainability, while minimizing risks in their value chains. HCLTech is heavily involved during the implementation stage to ensure careful alignment with their digital plan.

HCLTech is determined to invest in clients’ roadmap and aim to help adopt new technologies with complete transparency.

“RESILIENCE AND THE HEALTH OF THE SUPPLY CHAIN ARE ESSENTIAL METRICS THAT WE NEED TO CONTINUE TO MEASURE AND MONITOR AS WE MOVE FORWARD”
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Managing risk and growing the global app ecosystem

200 January 2023
technologymagazine.com 201 APPLOVIN

Apple’s 2009 advert – which coined the phrase ‘There’s An App For That’ – was just the beginning. Over the last 13 years, there has been a global explosion of app downloads ranging from mobile games to productivity tools. And, with figures from Statista suggesting there were 230bn global mobile app downloads in 2021, there are no signs of a slowdown.

For AppLovin, a leading growth platform with an ultimate mission to grow the global app ecosystem, the goal is to help developers expand their audience and their revenue while helping the industry continue to thrive.

Since launching in 2012, AppLovin has been instrumental in defining many of the world’s most popular apps and game studios. The company’s leading mobile marketing and monetisation platform provides app developers with a powerful, full-stack solution to solve their missioncritical functions like user acquisition, monetisation, and measurement.

“Really, at the end of the day, the goal is to grow that whole app ecosystem,” explains Jeremiah Kung, AppLovin’s Global Head of Information Security and Compliance.

“Growing up, we didn't have cell phones, we barely had the internet,” he laughs, “and now it's different.”

“Everything's on the phone, and apps are growing,” he adds. “We want to grow that ecosystem so that everyone is successful –

AppLovin is on a mission to provide app developers with the tools they need to thrive – balancing speed and comprehensive information security is vital
202 January 2023 APPLOVIN
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CFO Herald Chen & CEO Adam Foroughi

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Data Theorem’s solutions are powered by its award-winning Analyzer Engine, which leverages a new type of dynamic and runtime analysis that is fully integrated into the SDLC, and enables organizations to conduct continuous, automated security inspection and remediation.

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Organizations today need tools that are purpose built for securing modern application stacks to prevent data breaches. Past-generations of runtime AppSec tools (WAFs, RASPs, EDRs) are unable to address critical areas of modern application stacks such as cloud-native applications.

As an example, serverless applications with APIs, such as AWS Lambda, cannot be secured using traditional web application firewalls (WAFs), runtime application self-protection (RASPs), or endpoint detection and response (EDR) agents. This is because there are no accessible operating systems for agent installation nor traditional network perimeters with ingress/egress points. Data Theorem now uniquely delivers runtime defenses and observability across its entire product suite, addressing security gaps in modern application exposures commonly found with cloud-native stacks.

Data Theorem Active Protection is a runtime defense and observability

offering. It works across Data Theorem’s product portfolio to help customers enable application-layer security defenses across their application stacks from the client layer web and mobile apps to the API data transport layer and lastly cloud infrastructure. The runtime defenses include attack prevention, OWASP Top 10 rules, known malicious sources, policy violations of encryption levels, authentication types, authorization rules, and a variety of custom rule checks including preventing Broken Object Level Authorization (BOLA) attacks. Further, organizations also need increased observability (logging, tracing, trending) before enforcing security policies because of the dynamic nature of their modern application stacks. Customers can enable Data Theorem’s Active Protection through the use of their SDKs (software development kits), application extensions (Lambda layers), and AppSec proxy (L7 sidecar proxying).

Managing risk and growing the global app ecosystem

from the developers and the applications to the businesses and the advertisements behind that – so that it's a win-win for everybody.”

A risk-off approach to cybersecurity Trust and transparency continue to be incredibly important for both organisations and individuals, with concerns around data protection increasing in recent years. As Kung explains, from an information security perspective, by not storing personal information from devices, AppLovin takes a ‘risk-off’ approach.

“From a security point of view,” he says, “our technology never knows who owns the device and only captures what ad types that device interacts with. For example, it's more like: ‘That device likes Wordscapes games, so let’s send them more ads for Wordscapes-type games’ as they will be more likely to download. We never know who the owner of the device is,” Kung adds.

“We removed the significant risk from the equation, which ensures significant risk reduction from an InfoSec perspective.”

The app market may have been on a meteoric rise in recent years, but as with all industries, there is a negative side, with bad actors posing daily threats. For Kung, who joined the business in May 2022, transparency is particularly important when it comes to cybersecurity.

“I try to stay as plugged in as I can to the business so I can understand the threat and risk,” he comments. “I've added tools and processes, but I think what really counts from the cybersecurity piece at this point is transparency.”

“This is a highly technical company with a lot of smart people. My first priority for information security was to conduct assessments; I did my poking and prodding, and penetration testing.”

206 January 2023 APPLOVIN

“They have made some really smart choices and done some really clever things,” Kung adds. “We’re now focused on adding enhancements and improvements over time. The one improvement we added for the cyber side was transparency.”

Cyber success is down to people

For Kung, a cybersecurity professional with more than 20 years of experience in the industry, the key factor to driving a successful cybersecurity programme is down to the people.

As he explains, when joining AppLovin, the first thing he did was create an advisory programme to sit and talk to developers, establishing conversations and processes around when to introduce InfoSec checks.

“We’d have a conversation around what the developers are working on to determine the best point in time for my team to conduct penetration tests,” Kung says. “And we’ll have regularly scheduled conversations to check in.”

In a fast-paced environment such as the technology industry, it’s also highly important not to sacrifice the speed of development. Having joined AppLovin following several cybersecurity roles at financial institutions, Kung is particularly aware of the differences between the east and west coast working in cybersecurity.

JEREMIAH KUNG

TITLE: GLOBAL HEAD OF INFORMATION SECURITY AND COMPLIANCE

INDUSTRY: COMPUTER SOFTWARE LOCATION: CALIFORNIA, US

Jeremiah Kung is AppLovin’s Global Head of Information Security and Compliance. AppLovin enables developers to grow their business with a powerful set of industry-leading solutions. Jeremiah is a risk-based CyberSecurity and Technology executive with strong beliefs in innovation and partnership. He has led multiple digital transformations and has found that the constant drive to improve along with the business is the key factor to leading a successful security program in any company. Jeremiah is a results-oriented hands-on cybersecurity professional with 20 years of successful history of leading cybersecurity, data privacy and risk management programs

APPLOVIN

“Coming from a banking organisation or FinTech, you’re so highly regulated,” Kung comments. “You have to find everything and fix everything before it goes to production. The CISO must sign off on everything, and it doesn’t go to production until they’ve done all their tests and they’re happy that everything’s fixed.”

“But here,” he adds, “our business success depends on the velocity of our releases. So, it’s all about how you find that perfect momentum of putting the security controls in place but not slowing the process down.”

“That’s what’s really fascinating – finding that balanced mix. And at the end of the day, it comes down to people.”

“We have extremely talented developers who are willing to work with us. We have tools that give us visibility, and we are also willing to work with the team. I’m not going to hand them scan reports and say, ‘Here are

“Our business success depends on the velocity of our releases. It’s all about finding that perfect momentum of putting the security controls in without slowing the process down”
208 January 2023 APPLOVIN
technologymagazine.com 209 APPLOVIN
OUR MULTINATIONAL CLIENTS LOOK GLOBALLY TO IDENTIFY THE BEST BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES - AND WE DO, TOO MAKINSIGHTS’ unique structure across 4 continents allows our team to innovate and punch above our weight class in ways our competitors cannot. With our clients, we ACCOMPLISH TOGETHER in the areas of: • Information Security leadership (including virtual CISO) • Strategy & program definition • Governance, risk management & compliance • Resiliency & disaster recovery • Privacy & data protection • SWIFT compliance • Cyber, offensive security & penetration testing LEARN MORE MAKINSIGHTS supports the expansion of Information Security around the world

some findings, go fix them’. I commonly say, ‘These are the findings, let me look at them, and perhaps we find things which might be an issue’. This allows us to track if it’s a quick fix – and if not, we’ll ensure it’s prioritised in the next release.”

Managing third-party risk

With a rising number of security breaches arising from third-party relationships,

managing third-party risk is a particularly relevant issue in cybersecurity – especially in light of the SolarWinds attack, which opened many eyes to the dangers of insufficient onboarding and monitoring of third-party vendors.

“I aim to look at all threats and ensure they’ve been looked at,” Kung explains. “Third-party risk is a great one. For vendors we’re doing business with, we ask questions to ensure that they are properly secured, and will protect our data.”

“You don't want to say, 'Here are 1,000 questions, please answer them', to every company you work with. That could potentially slow things down,” he says. “Instead, we'll do our own assessment, then we’ll come regularly to reassess and ask questions.”

Particularly in the cybersecurity world, a strong network of partnerships is vital –

“Especially in a SaaS world, you can't be on your own and just have your own developers build everything”
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and AppLovin is no different. In addition to a partnership with Google, Kung explains that working with smaller companies, such as Data Theorem and MAKINSIGHTS, has significant advantages.

“I have liked working with the smaller, hungrier companies because they're willing to work with you,” he muses. “Especially in a SaaS world, you can't be on your own and just have your own developers build everything. As smart and as efficient as they are, we do need to partner with some vendors out there.”

“With Data Theorem, I met with their CEO quarterly, when I was back at EastWest Bank,” Kung says. “At the time, we were building mobile apps to do business banking in China as well as the United States, so the security needed to be top-notch.”

When looking for a tool to protect from Magecart attacks, a discussion with Data Theorem’s CEO led to the development of a ‘hack toolkit’, which could detect a multitude of vulnerabilities with a push of a button.

“It’s been interesting to watch them grow their business from just scanning the mobiles to the web to then creating a piece for cloud security, and followed this up by creating a piece for API security,” Kung says. “These were all the things I was worried

APPLOVIN 212 January 2023

about, and now I had just the tool I needed in order to find this solution.

“MAKINSIGHTS is another great example of a nimble company: they came on board and provided excellent service by supplying us with skilled former 'Big Four' consultants, many based out of LATAM,” he adds. “Working with MAKINSIGHTS brings the latest in cyber processes, policy, governance advice, risk assessment, pen testing –essentially the full gambit of Information Security from an outside perspective.”

AppLovin has also been partnering with Google, utilising cutting-edge tools in both the cyber and the cloud space.

“A lot of times, solutions are being built on-premise and tend to be legacy, and slower,” Kung explains. “Google is doing some pretty innovative work now in the cloud, engineering-wise. By partnering

“When we’re evaluating a vendor we’re starting to do business with, we do deeper dive assessments to see if they are properly secured and whether they are going to protect our data”
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HEAD OF INFORMATION SECURITY AND COMPLIANCE,
214 January 2023 APPLOVIN

with Google there are a lot of interesting options we're considering including looking at information security from a different point of view than the typical push-button compliance checklist.”

How organisations manage InfoSec is changing

In an increasingly cloud-based environment, Kung predicts there will be shifts in the way organisations manage their information security.

“At the end of the day, security never really has an end state,” he says. “Threats are always changing and the business is always evolving. Eventually, more and more systems are going to move to the cloud. Larger institutions will be tougher, but smaller companies and high technology companies are mostly going to be in the cloud. And, if they’re not already there, they’re going to start moving to Kubernetes and to serverless functions, which is really going to shift the way we do information security.”

With different threat factors and different attack surfaces to look at, organisations need to be constantly assessing security threats while thinking outside the box.

“Passwords are pointless,” Kung states. “You really should be doing multi-factor authentication (MFA) – those are ways of thinking outside the box of technology.”

“I've seen some really cool ideas from Transmit Security, who had an awesome tool that would get to know who you are,” he says. “We would know a user held the phone in a particular way, so we can authenticate it – a robot, for example, wouldn’t be holding it at all. I don’t know if that's the ultimate solution, but out-of-the-box thinking like that is where we need to go.”

And, with AppLovin’s goal to continue growing the app ecosystem, InfoSec will similarly continue to hold a vital role.

“I'm definitely looking at every new product we're coming out with, making sure it's secure and focusing on helping grow the business without slowing it down,” Kung comments.

“For AppLovin, the goal is to continue to grow the business and the app ecosystem, even at a time of economic uncertainty,” concludes Kung. “We're focused on growing that ecosystem, helping it thrive, and moving it forward.”

“When you do cyber insurance forms or client security inquiries, the question asked is ‘how long is your password?’
That's not the right question”
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CLARIANT’S CLOUD MIGRATION: TRANSFORMING ON A GLOBAL SCALE

216 January 2023
technologymagazine.com 217 CLARIANT

Recently, specialty chemical firm Clariant underwent a vast phase of transformation, featuring a successful cloud-migration project that enabled significant scalability, automation and agility.

Ali Khosravi is Head of Global Technology Operations at Clariant, a leading global company in specialty chemicals. Back in 2021, the company generated roughly 4.4bn CHF (SWISS FRANCS) of sales, as well as approximately 16.2% EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation).

Represented in all four global regions, Clariant’s largest and strongest market distribution is in the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa), representing 43% of their sales, while the Asia Pacific region, showing strong sales growth, represents 30%, followed by America at 27%. Perhaps coincidentally, the organisation’s distribution of people is almost equivalent to their regional sales distribution.

Clariant’s cloud automation programme

SAP (one of the world’s leading producers of software for the management of business processes) was just one part of Clariant’s cloud automation programme.

“From the inception of our vision, we had the goal of becoming masters in automation,” says Khosravi. “We wanted to have an automated operation to the greatest

Clariant undergoes a major cloudmigration through agility and vision.
We spoke to Ali Khosravi, Head of Global Technology Operations
218 January 2023 CLARIANT
technologymagazine.com 219

Clariant

extent and that translated into the mission of having scalability in our services.

“Another of our goals was clearly to enter a pay-per-use model, to not be tied-up to hardware any longer, and to shut down costs instantly if needed.”

At the same time, Clariant wanted to improve the speed and quality of their services.

“Prior to our transformation, we may have needed days or weeks to deploy services; now, thanks to our automation systems, we can now do that within hours or minutes,” says Khosravi.

“We also wanted to significantly improve our security posture, needing faster integration and divestitures of our business units and bottom line. We also tried to improve and reduce our overall global data centre hosting costs, which we decreased by more than 25%.”

All these adaptations resulted in migration onto Clariant’s managed cloud, into infrastructure as a code.

Clariant shifted to bottom-line automated infrastructure, provisioning and operation, wanting to move fully away from conventional, on-prem environments where you have a lot of manual processes and activities.

Khosravi says: “We needed to achieve all of that within a two-year timeline, because

“FROM THE INCEPTION OF OUR VISION, WE HAD THE GOAL OF BECOMING MASTERS IN AUTOMATION”
220 January 2023 CLARIANT

we knew that, by June 2022, all of our on-prem data centre contracts would expire, so we needed a fast return on investment (ROI) as well.”

Clariant decided to take close to 150% of the yearly savings they wanted to generate as a one-time project budget, and used that to migrate and accomplish their programme within two years.

“We understood that, due to the challenges of time constraints, standard project methodologies would not be fit for purpose, meaning all of this needed to be very agile,” says Khosravi. “So we required independent teams to delegate responsibility and to fail fast, but also to learn fast, as a principle.”

For Clariant, it was ultimately this agile approach that enabled the success of their programme.

Tech transformation into fully automated provisioning and maintenance Clariant decided that they would not do a lift-and-shift migration. They knew that going from their on-prem environment into the cloud bottom-line would achieve nothing more than a different charging model.

A simple lift-and-shift would have allowed them to enter the pay-per-use model, but it would have also meant that they couldn't have achieved cost reductions, efficiency gains, greater speed, significance and quality improvements. “So what we did with

ALI KHOSRAVI

TITLE: HEAD OF GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS

INDUSTRY: CHEMICAL MANUFACTURING LOCATION: BASEL, SWITZERLAND

Khosravi started his career as an IT Engineer in 2003. Two years later he became the Head of IT Support and Infrastructure at Bridgestone. In 2008 he joined Compass Group as the Head of IT Services for Europe. Both roles were located in Frankfurt, Germany.

Relocating to Basel, Switzerland in 2012, Khosarvai first joined Clariant as Manager of Global Datacenter Services.

He spent three years at Actelion International as Head of Global Infrastructure and Operations before returning to Clariant in his current position.

40%

We have reduced 40% of our overall server landscape through the consolidation

CLARIANT

all of our applications – including all the business-critical applications and the 27 SAP landscapes – was to redesign, refactor and enter into infrastructure as a code.

“The benefit of automation was very much key to our programme's success and enabled huge gains for our organisation.”

Transforming the global network of 200+ sites in 50+ countries into first internet-only network The transformation of Clariant’s network was a prerequisite for the cloud automation and migration project because the chemical company needed much more bandwidth across each of their sites, in all of the countries their operations are based, “because every site from that moment on would access the business-critical applications and SAP directly from that site”.

“So, for us, increasing our bandwidth was critical – but, with the technology we had at the time, this would be extremely cost intensive.

“PRIOR TO OUR TRANSFORMATION, WE MAY HAVE NEEDED DAYS OR WEEKS IN ORDER TO DEPLOY SERVICES; NOW, THANKS TO OUR AUTOMATION SYSTEMS, WE CAN DO THAT WITHIN HOURS OR MINUTES”
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“To solve this problem, we moved away from classical lines to internet-only lines, with which we had much more bandwidth and far fewer costs.

“That was clearly the way for us to go forward and transform every site globally; everything that Clariant has – in terms of production sites, sales offices and so on –

was transformed through an internet-only network,” explains Khosravi.

Change Management

Clariant began with changing their project methodology, moving away from standard models into much more agile methods, and this included agile teams.

They understood that they needed to transform their entire operating model: the way that their system and network administrators were previously applying changes within their systems wouldn’t work anymore, moving forward.

“That meant that we retrained and coached our people, as well as insourced parts of the operations from the provider back to Clariant so that we could run and maintain the entire cloud hosting and automation ourselves,” says Khosravi.

“THE BENEFIT OF AUTOMATION WAS VERY MUCH KEY TO OUR PROGRAMME'S SUCCESS, ENABLING HUGE GAINS FOR OUR ORGANISATION”
technologymagazine.com 225 CLARIANT

“While doing all of that, we have also changed the mindsets of our people to one that welcomes running the operation with DevOps.”

Partner Ecosystem: HCLTech & AWS

Clariant would not have been able to undergo its cloud-migration transformation without its partner ecosystem. Collaboration was crucial, however agility was something that applied to the planning process as much as it did to their overall strategy.

Khosravi says that in the beginning they went to their suppliers and providers and outlined their vision for the future. “And

through all the discussions we came to understand that what we envisioned in regards to the automation platform, was something that we could not buy out-ofthe-box from our providers.

“Over time, we learnt that, if we wanted to go down that path with providers, we had to pay them for the knowledge gained within their environment, and this was something that we refused to do.

“That was the moment where we made the decision to insource the entire cloudhosting and automation platform, but we still needed a provider who could run and maintain the entire application operation.”

For that piece, Clariant started an RFP

226 January 2023

(Request For Proposal) and went through the entire process. They also wanted to consolidate several providers into one, and to reduce costs through that consolidation.

Once the RFP was successful, Clariant decided on HCLTech as being the application operation provider, “and I proposed that we insource the hosting and automation platform back to Clariant”.

“Because of that insourcing strategy, it meant that we needed to start with the hiring process immediately. We then began hiring a large number of new internal Clariant members, cloud engineers and cloud architects in three different locations globally, which were mainly in Poland, Spain

and India,” asserts Khosravi.

“To build up the cloud engineering and cloud architects within the client – in regards to the cloud environment itself –we went through deep analysis and through proof of concept with the usual suspects of cloud providers, until finally going deeper down the road and deciding on AWS, because we were impressed with the stability of their technology.

“We were even more impressed with how many new technologies get deployed within the AWS environment per month or week, which we wanted to leverage from them.

“Then, at a certain point, the decision was made to go with AWS as our single cloud provider. We declined to go multi-cloud or hybrid because we knew that would add complexity as well as costs.”

Outcomes of the programme

As a consequence of its transformational programme, Clariant has migrated around 270 to 280 applications into the cloud.

“IF YOU WANT TO CROSS THE OCEAN, YOU DON'T NEED THE BEST BOAT, BUT YOU DO NEED PEOPLE WHO SHARE WITH YOU THE PASSION FOR THE SEA”
technologymagazine.com 227 CLARIANT
228 January 2023

This represents about 93% of their entire environment. Khosravi says: “The remaining 7% is a question mark as to whether we want to migrate them, because, in some of the cases, this concerns batching systems or local building recording systems, for which it doesn't really make sense to move them into the cloud.

Before the project, Clariant had roughly 1700 servers running and maintaining those applications. After the project, however, they had fewer than a thousand servers hosting and maintaining either the same amount or “actually, even more applications than before, due to the organic growth you have over time”, according to Khosravi.

“So, in other words, we’ve reduced 40% of our overall server landscape through the consolidation.”

As a result, Clariant has also reduced roughly 40% of their licence costs, as well as reduced 12% of their application, operation and provider costs. Most importantly, 27% of their global hosting costs have been reduced, which equates to savings extending into the multi-millions per year.

Success factors

Khosravi reveals that building a clear vision and mission from the beginning was central to the project's success. It was critical to convey the message to management, to the team, and to acquire their excitement and buy-in to the project. In such projects, the human element should never be overlooked.

“It was important that everybody understood where we were going and why we were doing this. We think big, but we started small, and that’s a very important point.”

Clariant built and prepared MVPs (Minimum Viable Products) from the beginning, which meant they gained quick wins and were able to prove that to their IT teams, giving them evidence that the

technology worked and that the idea was the right one.

Clariant also conducted interviews with their people to gather their ideas as to what went well with the project and what could be improved in the future.

“The lowest common denominator was that people who worked within the programme felt positive that it was a ‘failuretolerant environment’. So that means that we allowed for failures, for people to fall and then stand up stronger with lessons learned – and then make it successful the next time. Our people know that it doesn't need to be perfect, and that they could, and can, take risks – something necessary for big gains.

“The last point to mention is that it was important to attract the right people into the right roles, to fully use their skills and potential to support the transformation.”

Khosravi believes that it’s important to be a master at choosing the right people and putting them into the right roles, so they can spread their wings and play out their strengths.

“If you want to cross the ocean, you don't need the best boat, but people who share with you the passion for the sea. And that is exactly what we have applied within that programme.”

For Clariant the next 12 months will be about looking at high performance computing to support them in different business areas. Khosravi says: “We want to become as serverless as we can, wherever we can. We will also look to optimise the environment, to run sizing procedures in order to leverage the best of the pay-per-use system and increase cloud scalability. We will also look to significantly improve our security posture with our cybersecurity team, and develop better, faster modern security technology to protect the entire global IT landscape.”

technologymagazine.com 229 CLARIANT

AI ON THE FRONTLINE: DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION AT NOVANT HEALTH

230 January 2023
technologymagazine.com 231 NOVANT HEALTH

ovant Health is a not-for-profit integrated network of hospitals, physician clinics, and outpatient facilities delivering healthcare to communities in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia in the US.

Its expansive network consists of more than 1,800 physicians and over 35,000 team members who provide care at more than 800 locations, including 15 hospitals and hundreds of outpatient facilities and physician clinics.

“Our core mission at Novant Health drives everything that we do. We exist to improve the health of our communities one person at a time, one community at a time,” explains Onyeka Nchege, SVP and CIO of Novant Health.

“Our values are compassion, diversity, inclusion and equity, personal excellence, teamwork, courage and safety. And that's how we go about things, with a recognition that we have one purpose: we exist to improve the health of our communities.”

Staying true to this guiding purpose, Novant Health’s pioneering use of sophisticated medtech sets it apart from competitors, providing its communities with significantly enhanced services. These include industryleading AI technologies improving the pace and breadth of radiologists’ diagnostic power.

For Nchege, not only do these technologies help the company to maintain its pace of growth, but they actually prove instrumental in attaining this core mission: “From a technology perspective, my organisation

Novant Health is utilising the full scope of next-gen technologies – spanning everything from AI to the cloud – to better meet its patients’ needs
232 January 2023 NOVANT HEALTH
technologymagazine.com 233

AI on the frontline: digital transformation at Novant Health

has its hand on the pulse, if you will. That's probably one of the things that's most fulfilling for me.”

Digital transformation at pace, propelled by COVID-19 As is the case with countless companies – both within and outside of the healthcare sphere – the global COVID-19 pandemic proved critical in accelerating Novant Health’s digital transformation plans.

“If we go back to when Novant Health first started on its digital transformation journey, we completed a thousand or so virtual visits prior to COVID-19; then, starting at the height of COVID-19, we were doing 200,000 per month.”

“Think about how technology has allowed us to reach our patients without having to overextend a patient's reach. Are they able to get to the hospital? Are they able to get to a clinic? Well, we've been able to take that off the table and say, ‘No, we come to you’.”

Driven by unprecedented challenges and the need to pivot almost overnight, the pandemic saw the technology deployed in healthcare evolve at a phenomenal pace.

“COVID-19 presented numerous challenges, and it pushed providers to move quickly on some large-scale changes, which normally would have taken years, or even decades, to accomplish,” Nchege says.

And, in the weeks and months since, this pace of change has shown no signs of slowing. “At Novant Health, we’d already built agility into our system. So teams have been able to quickly and seamlessly pivot to serve our patients’ most pressing needs.

“Novant Health offers home-based virtual technologies, like TytoCare, that help patients capture basic diagnostics – including heart and lung sounds, heart rate, temperature, and images of inner ears, throat, and skin – for their primary care visits, remotely.

234 January 2023 NOVANT HEALTH

EXECUTIVE BIO

ONYEKA NCHEGE

TITLE: SVP & CIO

LOCATION: UNITED STATES

Onyeka Nchege is a business-oriented and transformational leader focused on successful digital transformations to enable enterprise growth. As Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Novant Health – a superregional healthcare system with one of the largest medical groups in the US – he oversees growth initiatives and the delivery of worldclass consumer capabilities, differentiating technologies and advanced clinical solutions that allow the integrated healthcare system to provide remarkable patient care.

Nchege has a purposeful commitment to mentoring and developing leaders, and an unwavering dedication to empowering teams to innovate and unleash their potential. As Chief Information Officer for Toyota Industries Commercial Finance, The Cooper Institute, Interstate Batteries and Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated, he led team members, leaders and executives through the development and implementation of digital strategies resulting in successful information technology and digital business transformation and integration that accelerated corporate purpose and strategy and created sustainable value.

technologymagazine.com 235 NOVANT HEALTH

Health and wellbeing for everyone

At RVO Health, our mission is to give people a better way to health & wellbeing.

We help nearly 100 million people a month seek information, find a doctor, save money, and take action around their health & wellbeing through Healthline Media, Healthgrades, Optum Store, Optum Perks, and more. We are making health easier to navigate, more accessible, and more affordable for everyone.

RVO Health is digitising the patient healthcare journey

The ageing and expanding population requires a more robust and inclusive approach to healthcare. This is because access to healthcare is a major concern for individuals, particularly when a lot of patients lack trust in their healthcare providers or those they seek support from in the future.

According to RVO Health1 , a health platform backed by Red Ventures and Optum, around 40% of patients lack confidence that they are able to receive adequate medical care. This leads them to wonder how they should best approach their health and wellbeing to meet their own needs.

The websites, products and services that RVO Health offers does exactly that. From finding the right medical professional for their needs to saving money on healthcare, the company provides the tools to do so through the United States’ largest health and wellbeing platform.

“Our portfolio of industry leading websites, products, and services touches every part of the journey, and we’re excited to do even more to help people on their way to better health and wellbeing,” says Courtney Jeffus, President of the Healthline Group—a division of RVO Health.

Jeffus leads projects to formalise partnerships with healthcare organisations to allow patients access to its service, which is how the collaboration between RVO Health and Novant Health came to the fore.

As explained by Jeffus, RVO Health is “helping create and innovate their digital journeys.” She continues, explaining the benefits to both Novant Health and its patients. “We’ve helped streamline their digital media, their web experiences, appointment scheduling, and audience growth to increase new patient acquisition and ease the patient journey.”

“We’ve doubled patient yield, driven an 80% reduction in cost per acquisition, and driven a nine times improvement in digital patient growth.” 1According to a Healthline Media Landscape Segmentation Study, Dec 2020

Learn more

Courtney Jeffus boasts great success in improving patient yield and healthcare performance, partnering with Novant Health to provide digital care services

“Going forward, even more technology will be available to empower patients in receiving more care, probably even acute care, at home through virtual visits, home care, you name it.”

The pace of change kickstarted by the pandemic has fuelled Novant Health’s ongoing investment into healthcare technologies, with the company rapidly expanding its outreach into other spheres, including AI and advanced analytics.

Optimising and expanding advanced analytics capabilities

In 2019, Novant Health began a multi-year journey to modernise many of its corporate and clinical technology platforms, thus laying the groundwork for improved efficiencies and future expansion.

“Novant Health is optimising and expanding our technology and advanced analytics capabilities to provide actionable and secure information, while also innovating to drive organisational results,” Nchege explains.

“We’re using technology to improve patient experience and outcomes by using an omnichannel approach. This creates a seamless patient experience, making healthcare extremely personal as well as improving quality and speed through both emerging and advanced technologies.”

These include creating a digital health platform to engage patients in their entire health and wellness journey, redefining how patients think about health management, building next-generation digital channels for care delivery, and digitally enhancing traditional physical care delivery channels.

Using AI to support and enhance radiologists’ diagnostic power

The numerous benefits of AI are, these days, evangelised by businesses spanning

“We continue to invest in in-house capabilities to design and develop digital tools that are driven by consumer data and insights”
238 January 2023 NOVANT HEALTH
ONYEKA NCHEGE SVP & CIO, NOVANT HEALTH

a broad remit, from mining and manufacturing through to cybersecurity. It’s in a healthcare context, though, that it becomes apparent just how transformative AI technologies are.

Automating laborious manual processes can benefit almost every sector. But when deployed in healthcare tasks, the improved efficiencies that AI software achieves don’t just translate to revenue saved: they actually have direct links to saving more lives. A primary example of AI benefits in healthcare can be witnessed in Novant Health’s radiology diagnostics.

A partnership with Aidoc has enabled Novant Health to instantly – and to an extremely high degree of accuracy – highlight acute problems in real-time. The AI specialist's products assist radiologists in shortening turnaround times, while improving the quality and efficiency of care.

“We were one of the first in North Carolina to adopt Aidoc’s FDA-cleared platform for triage and notifications of patients with acute medical conditions, such as intracerebral haemorrhage or pulmonary emboli.

“We went live at two of Novant Health's largest facilities in early December 2021. We wrapped up our pilot in early May, and now, every CT scanner in the Novant Health system, including in the new coastal market region, also sends images to Aidoc and its AI technology.”

“It serves as a second set of eyes for radiologists with its ability to detect abnormalities. The patient will come in as normal for their CT, and the scans will be uploaded to the cloud where AI technology quickly scans for any anomalies. No additional time is needed or even added to the patient's appointments,” Nchege outlines.

“Then, if the technology detects an anomaly, it will quickly notify the care team

technologymagazine.com 239 NOVANT HEALTH

Improve patient outcomes and increase revenue?

It’s not an either/or with AI.

Whether your goal is to decrease length of stay or reduce turnaround time, Aidoc’s team of engineers will customize an AI platform to meet your facility’s needs, ensuring it is scalable, seamlessly integrated and secure from day one.

Join the more than 1,000 hospitals worldwide that have already shifted to faster, more efficient health care with Aidoc’s pioneering operating system and FDA-cleared algorithms across multiple pathologies.

and, if additional treatment is needed, it can be done right away while the patient is still on campus.”

In turn, the extra AI-enabled capabilities help management to better support its teams. “We're hearing from our emergency department radiologists that burnout is lower, just based on the work that we're doing with Aidoc,” says Nchege.

“They were going through scans in the order that they were received, and they were just sitting on a ticking time bomb. But now, the most urgent patient scans go to the top of the stack so they can be quickly triaged using AI technology. These digital capabilities, while they will never replace our providers, will augment our team’s incredible skills to deliver the best care possible.”

Aligning patient needs with the best facilities

“Our strategy for everything that we do at Novant Health really begins with the patient. So we have a patient in mind, and we start to ask questions like, ‘How can we eliminate their pain points?’, ‘What do they need and how can we change to meet those needs?’. It's a balanced approach to the things that we consider paramount,” Nchege states.

In December 2021, Novant Health launched a new digital care platform, designed to connect consumers to expert support and real-time health information. Now, these goals are being achieved and expanded through an ever-advancing system of technologies.

technologymagazine.com 241 NOVANT HEALTH

“Now, the two new digital tools involve a virtual assistant and a physician matcher, which leverage automated communications and artificial intelligence to help people make more informed decisions about from whom to receive care.”

One recent, key milestone for Novant Health was implementing its new tele-ICU programme. This communications solution rapidly exchanges health information between hospital critical care and other units, creating an interlinked ecosystem of vital patient information. In short, it all but eradicates human error from the process.

“We have developed a robust tele-ICU programme with custom-built ICU carts, right from a race car – a race car design team actually put this together, and they’re another unconventional partner of ours. They helped build this for us to support a surge in intensive care patients.

“Market-leading capabilities extend our physical reach digitally in our acute facilities. Essentially, a tele-ICU allows highlyspecialised intensive care physicians and nurses to support local care teams virtually via remote monitoring technology, with high-def audio visual capabilities to enhance this,” Nchege explains.

“The technology improves overall outcomes by shortening the length of stay times, reducing the length of time that people might be on a ventilator, and giving patients the option to stay in their local hospital – because we can connect to you, as opposed to them always feeling like they've got to come to us.”

The next phase of next-gen healthcare technologies

Business transformation remains a key organisational focus for Novant Health, with the company using technology to drive improvements across its entire operations.

“We are modernising, stabilising and scaling our people and culture, as well as supply chain finance, digital products and services, while streamlining all those functions through the implementation of a cloud-based platform.”

“Secondly, through the implementation of a cloud-based platform, we are consolidating our clinical and revenue cycle technologies to have a more unified medical record and patient MyChart account. Then we're going to be developing

242 January 2023 NOVANT HEALTH

transformational clinical capabilities, continuing expansion into non-acute settings and commercialising digital solutions through our Novant Health Enterprises.”

Alongside this, Nchege says that the company is gearing up to prepare itself for what he believes will be an industry-wide shift towards remote technologies.

“When I think about the healthcare industry in general, we're seeing an evolution in monitoring devices, with sensor capabilities becoming so much more sophisticated.

I think it's reasonable to expect that a lot of the things for which we'd normally have to go into a hospital can be monitored at home.”

“We have unprecedented access to data, and I believe we'll be able to combine the data streams from those sensors and monitoring devices and, coupled with our available computing power, make decisions in the moment.”

ONYEKA NCHEGE SVP & CIO, NOVANT HEALTH
“Our core mission at Novant Health drives everything that we do. We exist to improve the health of our communities, one person at a time, one community at a time”
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244 January 2023

Transforming lives through MedTech and Procurement

PRODUCED BY: CRAIG KILLINGBACK technologymagazine.com 245

LivaNova’s CPO,

Lesenechal,

LivaNova is a global medical technology company built on decades of experience and a strong commitment to their patients. Their focus is on transforming lives with products and therapies for the head and heart, operating in Cardiopulmonary, Neuromodulation and Advanced Circulatory Support technologies.

For LivaNova, it’s health innovation that truly matters

Their diverse product portfolio and pipeline include the following therapeutic areas:

• Advanced Circulatory Support

• Cardiopulmonary

• Difficult-to-Treat Depression

• Drug-Resistant Epilepsy

• Heart Failure

• Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Their Chief Procurement Officer (CPO), Jérôme Lesenechal, has spent his entire career in Procurement, coming from 17 years’ experience in Automotive, through multiple categories, before joining LivaNova in February 2018.

Lesenechal leads the global Procurement team in charge of strategic sourcing activities, both for indirect services and for direct material, as well as new product development.

Jérôme
chronicles what it takes to provide life-changing medical services through technology, procurement and innovation
246 January 2023 LIVANOVA
technologymagazine.com 247

VITAL TECHNOLOGYः

Designing & Building a Medically-Certified Computer

When LivaNova needed a medically certified touchscreen computer to communicate with their new revolutionary perfusion system monitors they turned to Teguar, who assembled a team of product design specialists and developed a custom computer meeting every single requirement of LivaNova’s requests.

Discover more Learn more about the TME-5040-22 >

Teguar & LivaNova team-up to support patients

Medical computers manufacturer Teguar on why its latest work on LivaNova’s heart & lung machine was so rewarding

It might be said a healthy bottom line is the most gratifying thing for a business leader, yet for organisations working in the medical sector, saving and improving lives offers rewards that are on another level entirely. Teguar builds medical and industrial computers, and its CEO, Jonathan Staub says one recent project in particular “felt extremely important” – its contribution to the development of the hardware component of the Essenz Patient Monitor, a medical device that is used by clinicians during Cardio-pulmonary bypass procedures.

The project saw Teguar working with LivaNova, a global medical technology company that specialises in products and therapies for the head and heart. LivaNova tasked Teguar with providing the hardware

component of the Essenz Patient Monitor, a medical device that provides continuous, advanced and insightful data to show the key parameters at all times during a case. “Cardiopulmonary bypass perfusion supports patients during open heart surgical procedures, by taking over the function of the heart and lungs,” Staub explains.

Teguar developed an all-in-one touch-screen PC that met the exacting specifications that all medical electrical equipment have to satisfy, for the performance of highly invasive procedures. But as well as this, Staub says it was hugely important that the PC was also pleasing on the eye. “We pride ourselves on the elegance of our products,” he says. “Elegance is an important part of who we are and what we do.”

Product not approved in all geographies. More information on the Essenz Patient Monitor as well as important safety information available on the LivaNova website.

Among the important services Teguar provides to customers is long-term availability of computer components – vital for healthcare equipment that customers might not be able to afford to replace for many years. The company also has “an experienced and agile” global team that can meet customers’ needs.

So what was it about the LivaNova opportunity that drew Teguar in?

“LivaNova’s mission is to support perfusionists and their patients during lifesaving procedures,” says Staub. The Essenz Patient Monitor is the realisation of this mission.

“That we could be a crucial part of the development of such a cutting-edge medical computer was an exciting opportunity and a challenge to us.”

LivaNova: Transforming lives through MedTech and Procurement

“This means our responsibilities go from clinical studies to spare parts management, through serial production and corporate services,” he says.

The relationship between a MedTech company like LivaNova and their suppliers is, of course, crucial: in the end, the quality of those relationships will determine patient outcomes.

“Suppliers share our values,” says Lesenechal, “especially our purpose to improve the lives of patients (which speaks to one of our core values, ‘patients first’).

“I consider myself as accountable for the healthcare supply chain, and our suppliers are doing so, too.”

Supplier relationship management, in MedTech and beyond, has been growing to a level of importance higher than ever before. Contract obligations or Purchase Price Management are not enough to manage ongoing supply chain disruptions anymore, and it’s not only about the power dynamic between the company and its suppliers.

"There is an urgent need to extend the company's borders to external partners,” Lesenechal says, “because together, we are stronger and more creative in anticipating and fixing problems.

“The CPO especially needs to orchestrate brainstorming sessions with suppliers; this can be to get support for a

“I CONSIDER MYSELF AS ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE HEALTHCARE SUPPLY CHAIN, AND MOST OF OUR SUPPLIERS ARE DOING SO, TOO”
250 January 2023

difficult-to-source component, to drive a game-changing design evolution, or to influence business decisions.”

Lesenechal expresses that he has, on several occasions over the last few years, seen that the value coming from that type of co-working is very high, compared to a standard purchase price discussion.

Regarding internal stakeholders, he believes that procurement must play a strong role in Product Lifecycle Management.

From supplier selection in a new product design phase to the phase-out of another one through the proactive management of the obsolescence risk, Lesenechal maintains that procurement’s partnership with R&D and marketing can have a massive impact on the sourcing agility, as well as the profitability per product – and that this is what procurement must drive.

Developing second sources, having a dynamic process of redesign for electronics, and revisiting specifications to make them easier to source are key.

“What we call ‘Sustaining R&D’ must now be fully integrated into procurement´s strategy, as well as to the daily management of supply issues,” he says.

People development ‘beyond resilience’ Resilience is becoming quite a common topic, and not only in business circles.

“Resilience remains super important, and management must keep working on it, but I

JÉRÔME LESENECHAL

TITLE: CHIEF PROCUREMENT OFFICER

INDUSTRY: MEDICAL EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURING

LOCATION: MUNICH, GERMANY

Jérôme Lesenechal was named CPO of LivaNova in August of 2020. His role includes leading the global team responsible for the success of Liva Nova‘s Material and Services Procurement, ranging from contract negotiations to supply chain remediations, delivering consistent operational results for LivaNova customers.

In January of 2021, his role was expanded to include Replenishment Process transformation to answer to the global disruptions in Supply Chain. With this added responsibility, he works with teams across Production Planning, Tactical Purchasing and Logistics to continue the modernisation of critical supply processes that team members use to deliver a reliable and predictable replenishment.

“Procurement can leverage its new image and influence to move from an ‘instructions-taking’ department to a ’decision-making’ one.”

EXECUTIVE BIO

Before this, Jérôme was Global Director of Procurement for New Product Development at LivaNova, where he led multi-year sourcing projects to increase LivaNova‘s portfolio. He began his career in the automotive industry at Peugeot SA by leading multiple categories, as well as global sourcing activities.

LIVANOVA

believe the new profile of a strategic buyer must go beyond that, to reach a kind of ‘extreme ownership’,” he says.

Lesenechal understands that, first, procurement needs to realise that its role is now a key to success in troubled times. “Yes, it comes with many responsibilities, but it is also a noble purpose to secure the healthcare supply chain. Procurement must be super proud about that!”

Second, he holds that procurement can leverage this new image and influence to move from an ‘instruction-taking’ department to a ’decision-making’ one. He says: “For those who were able to navigate across the 2020-2022 period

Helping you to deliver intuitive, reliable devices that increase your competitive advantage Med-tech | Pharmaceutical | Diagnostics Synecco specialises in the design and manufacture of devices for the Life Science Sector Learn more Contact us synecco.com 252 January 2023 LIVANOVA

with success, the gain in credibility to the executive leaders opens new possibilities of challenging the status quo.

“Then, the coaching that procurement can provide to a cross-functional team can be very valuable, for example to speed up the implementation of a new design, giving the supplier a seat in this cross-functional team. The ‘new-gen buyer’ is now a mix of programme manager and marketing influencer, on top of the traditional skills of negotiations and strategic leadership.”

Strategic buying, diplomacy and market intelligence skills

On one side of the value stream, it’s important for procurement executives to leverage the suppliers’ own market intelligence to predict the unexpected. Lesenechal thinks that all these risk assessments and information are very valuable intelligence that can be used at

the highest level of the company to orient the global strategy.

On the other side of the value stream, you have the customer, or ‘the user’. Here, too, there is a need to develop and quickly

“AS LONG AS WE STAY CLOSE TO THE PATIENTS, THE USERS AND THE CLINICIANS TO UNDERSTAND THEIR NEEDS AND TRANSLATE THEM INTO SPECIFICATIONS, THE MEDICAL DEVICE INDUSTRY WILL KEEP ITS HIGHPERFORMANCE STANDARD”
JÉRÔME LESENECHAL CHIEF PROCUREMENT OFFICER, LIVANOVA
technologymagazine.com 253 LIVANOVA

JÉRÔME LESENECHAL

reinforce the relationship with the company's sales organisation, and with the final user.

“You will collect amazing data (about competition, about new needs, new market insights etc) that can influence your procurement strategy,” says Lesenechal. “I can tell you that you behave very differently when you know that a hospital has been waiting months for oxygenators for children, or that your main competitor is not predictable with its delivery plan anymore”.

Balance Net Zero with LivaNova’s ambitions

Another layer of complexity is for LivaNova to procure, and thereby provide, these critical medical services, whilst balancing that against its Net-Zero ambitions.

And procurement is not only screening the current state: LivaNova also includes ESG considerations in each decision, in collaboration with corporate leaders.

Suppliers represent a large portion of their products’ bill of materials (BoM), and their customers also rely on them to control supplier engagements.

LivaNova’s next step will be to set up targets together with their suppliers internally, (travel, company cars, etc) for the commodities that are under management by procurement.

Continuous improvement on processes such as logistics can also help considerably. Redesigning the packaging, revisiting the supplier’s footprint to avoid long lead-time logistics – every decision can decrease the carbon emission of their sourcing activities and make their BoM more compliant with new and emerging regulations.

“FOR THOSE WHO WERE ABLE TO NAVIGATE ACROSS THE 2020-2022 PERIOD WITH SUCCESS, THE GAIN IN CREDIBILITY TO THE EXECUTIVE LEADERS OPENS NEW POSSIBILITIES OF CHALLENGING THE STATUS QUO”
254 January 2023

Balancing profits with sustainability goals

Customers are prepared to reward companies that make ESG a central part of their mission.

“Procurement needs to act in a similar way and award business to the best suppliers in ESG,” says Lesenechal. “I believe that selecting a supplier with a very good rating can lead to better business for LivaNova and make us even more competitive in tenders.

“Given the way we need to balance deviations with additional action items to put us back on track, it’s easy to see why procurement needs to develop the right battle plan with stakeholders and suppliers.”

LivaNova’s partnership with Teguar LivaNova’s partnerships are crucial to helping them achieve their goals. One of their main partners is Teguar, an industrial and medical computer company.

Jonathan Staub (CEO of Teguar) and Lesenechal have been working very closely for many years to drive a new development.

The collaboration keeps LivaNova’s configuration as standard as possible, both to contain costs and to ensure the right design-to-source.

Lesenechal says: “There is no way that LivaNova or Teguar can influence market trends in consumer goods technology like laptops, but, together with the cross-functional team, we were able to limit customisation and other exotic specifications. This leads to better profitability on both sides, as well as better material availability for the sub-components.

“I need here to underline the great collaboration with our marketing and our programme management. Our team always managed the relationship with a dynamic and constructive approach.

“On its side, Teguar always challenged our requirements and design changes in the right way – and this is exactly what I expect from all my suppliers – helping us to bring to the market a product that will be sustainable both in terms of supply and costs of goods.”

Lesenechal is confident that LivaNova´s pipeline will match with customers’ expectations. “As long as we stay close to the patients, to the users and to the clinicians in order to understand their needs and translate it into specifications, the medical device industry will keep its high-performance standard.”

LivaNova’s products and therapies are used worldwide. With a presence in more than 100 countries, their team of approximately 3,000 talented people works to improve and sustain patients’ quality of life each and every single day.

technologymagazine.com 255 LIVANOVA

Outlook for the Future

Orienting to the future, Lesenechal says: “I believe the supply chain disruptions will remain my biggest focus in 2023, especially in electronics, costs containment and logistics management.

“We will continue our transformation of the replenishment process, and reinforce our partnerships with our strategic suppliers further. More than ever before, the integration of our suppliers into the company's strategy can make a difference in the design of sustainable products that fit with the market's expectations and in remaining predictable in lead-times despite all the headwinds.

“The last discussion I had some weeks ago with perfusionists and scientists from Belgium convinced me that these are procurement´s main missions for the near future. I am confident that LivaNova´s pipeline will match with customers’ expectations. As long as we stay close to the patients, to the users and to the clinicians in order to understand their needs and translate them into specifications, the medical device industry will keep its highperformance standard.”

256 January 2023

WE CALL SUSTAINING R&D

NOW

FULLY INTEGRATED INTO PROCUREMENT’S STRATEGY, AS WELL AS TO THE DAILY MANAGEMENT OF SUPPLY ISSUES”

Expectations of growth

Major changes in technology, as well as the industry as a whole, are opening doors for important transformations.

In closing, Lesenechal says: “Areas we expect to grow or continue to grow in importance in the Medical Device industry are: 1) direct-toconsumer engagement, which has been a key for pharmaceuticals for years, but is just starting to gain traction in our market; 2) a continued shift toward less invasive/wearable diagnostics that can be used in the home setting; 3) better connectivity between implantable devices and patients and physicians with apps and the cloud; 4) more effective ways to meet with and train physicians remotely, including the use of AR/ VR technology; and 5) a continued shift toward more investment in clinical evidence to drive awareness, adoption and reimbursement”

“WHAT
MUST
BE
LIVANOVA technologymagazine.com 257
CHIEF PROCUREMENT OFFICER, LIVANOVA

Laying the groundwork for more efficient telecoms expansion

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258 January 2023
technologymagazine.com 259 APWIRELESS
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Leading global telecom and digital infrastructure investment company APWireless has an asset portfolio of around 9,000 acquisitions and investments of over $1.7bn to foster the growth of the marketplace.

“All you have to do is take your cell phone out of your pocket and you can see how the telecoms industry has evolved,” remarks Dan Hasselman, the Co-CEO and Co-Founder of APWireless.

“We've gone from flip phones that were only capable of voice and text messages to smartphones that do just about everything you depend on in your daily life, from reading the news, streaming videos and accessing every social network platform to making purchases, both online and in person. The industry has evolved tremendously, and the same is true for our business.”

The main assets the company acquires are ground leases underneath towers/masts, or leases associated with rooftop installation, and APWireless provides capital to the landowners that have these installations on their property. Alongside this, the other assets they invest in comprise critical infrastructure required by telecoms operators to run their networks, including fibre aggregation points and distributed antenna systems. In addition, the company has invested in data centres and other critical infrastructure assets, including their newest business line: building new cell towers on behalf of the operators.

technologymagazine.com 261 APWIRELESS
Helping operators match the pace of 5G, APWireless is providing a one-stop solution to fulfil telecoms’ expansion plans and meet their infrastructure needs

Thanks to this wide breadth of avenues, and a series of successful manoeuvres in line with broader industry trends, APWireless has achieved a remarkable growth trajectory from 2010 to where it is today.

“When we started the company in June of 2010, our business model was to acquire a couple of thousand assets in the United States only. But, after six months, and after exceeding all expectations, we decided to take the business model international. In the United States, we faced a tremendous amount of competition in the market. On any given transaction there could be five or more competitors negotiating for the same deal. What we realised was nobody was doing this internationally.”

Although APWireless initially saw a lot of competition in this field, Hasselman explains how this influenced the company’s decision to move outside of the busy American market and set its sights abroad.

“In 2011, due to competition and an untapped marketplace abroad, we took our business international. That opened a lot more opportunities for us because we were a first mover and there wasn’t any competition there.”

“We acquired our first international lease at the end of 2011 in the UK, and from there we continued to expand, year after year, and we're now operating in 21 countries, and still growing.”

262 January 2023 APWIRELESS
“When we started the company in June of 2010, we had a business model to acquire a couple of thousand leased rent streams in the United States only”

DAN HASSELMAN

TITLE: CO-CEO

COMPANY: APWIRELESS INDUSTRY: TELECOM INFRASTRUCTURE LOCATION: UNITED STATES

EXECUTIVE BIO

Mr. Hasselman became co-CEO of APWireless in December 2019. Previously, Mr. Hasselman had been President of APWireless since 2011, in charge of both U.S. and international operations. Prior to that he was Managing Director of the business since co-founding it in 2010. All told Mr. Hasselman has more than 20 years of experience as an executive in the real estate and wireless infrastructure industries. In May 2007, Mr. Hasselman co-founded Vertical Capital Group, LLC, which originated investments in telecommunications infrastructure assets on behalf of RFS Capital, LLC, for which he served as President until co-founding the APWireless business.

APWireless' asset portfolio: 9K+ acquisitions $1.7bn+ investments technologymagazine.com 263
264 January 2023 APWIRELESS
Laying the groundwork for more efficient telecoms expansion

Taking the company public & the consequent pace of growth

The nature of APWireless is that it is a highly capital-intensive business. As a result, when the company made the decision to go public, the opportunity was created for it to extend its outreach and enter a period of rapid growth.

“When we went public, it created a big opportunity because of the inflow of new capital,” Hasselman explains.

“It provided us with an opportunity with additional capital to go out and invest in related asset classes. The core business model, which is acquiring ground and rooftop leases, is a very predictable business

from a CapEx investment perspective, so with an influx of new capital we started investing in alternative assets to deploy the capital quicker.”

“We expanded our investment criteria and found critical infrastructure assets that closely mirror our ground and rooftop lease assets, which is, simply put, a triple-net, passive real-estate investment. Essentially, it’s any type of lease underlying critical infrastructure of the telecom operators. We started to buy telecoms switches or fibre aggregation points, as well as acquiring distributed antenna systems. In addition, we started investing in data centres as a complement to the same type of critical

“After six months, we had exceeded all expectations, even though there was much more competition coming into the market”
technologymagazine.com 265

EXECUTIVE BIO

SCOTT LANGELAND

TITLE: CO-CEO

COMPANY: APWIRELESS

INDUSTRY: TELECOM INFRASTRUCTURE

LOCATION: SALT LAKE CITY, US

Scott Langeland became co-CEO of APWireless in December 2019. Previously, Mr. Langeland had been an Executive Vice President and senior counsel for APWireless, overseeing the legal and underwriting functions within the AP Wireless business, including leading the efforts to enter, and to formulate asset acquisition structures in, new jurisdictions. Mr. Langeland joined APWireless in October 2010. His legal experience covers areas such as structured finance, commercial real estate, and civil litigation. Mr. Langeland is a Cum Laude graduate of Thomas Jefferson School of Law and holds a B.S. in Economics from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

infrastructure we are buying in the telecoms space. The only non-passive investments we are now investing in is building towers on behalf of the telecom operators,” Hasselman explained.

From that first step to going public, APWireless has continued at this same pace of expansion. These initial

266 January 2023 APWIRELESS

seeing the business evolve, in that our investments are expanding as the operators are trying to get their 5G networks rolled out”

investments, coupled with the wider breadth of its services, have meant that the company is successfully growing across multiple service planes.

“We're seeing tremendous growth, not only in our core business, but also in the alternative assets we're acquiring and the towers we're building. We see growth in

multiple areas. Firstly, by expanding our existing markets. Secondly, by opening up new markets. Thirdly, in acquiring more alternative assets like fibre aggregation points and distributed antenna systems (DAS), both from individual landlords, as well as through sale leasebacks with the operators. Finally, we see a tremendous opportunity in building towers through BTS agreements with the operators.”

Alongside this, APWireless is remaining firmly on top of industry trends, continuing to evolve its services based on the needs of operators. This has proven particularly critical during the 5G rollout.

“We're
technologymagazine.com 267

To support operators as they continue to roll out their networks, APWireless is building towers in conjunction with its clients, offering a bespoke, comprehensive service.

“So, we're seeing the business evolve due to operators' desire to get their 5G networks rolled out. And we can be a partner for them to do that. We are now a one-stop solution for the operators, from partnering with them

on ground lease buyouts to providing saleleasebacks on core infrastructure, to building towers through BTS agreements.”

‘A benefiter, collaborator and partner’ One of the qualities that distinguishes APWireless’ services is the way it operates as a ‘collaborator’. For Hasselman, this is about creating a flexible service that gives

268 January 2023 APWIRELESS

operators a future-proof, readily scalable solution to fit their requirements.

“For the first ten years, we were buying these assets independently. Each one of the lease streams are assignable, which means we're able to go in and offer a lump sum payment to the landowner, in exchange for collecting the rents for a certain period of time. Instead of that landowner receiving the rents, we then take over that rental stream and provide the landlord with a large one-time payment.”

“What we have realised is the operators have a desire to gain operating efficiencies as they continue to roll out their 5G networks, and we can provide those operational efficiencies by giving them rent reductions and favourable lease terms, in exchange for acquiring leases on their behalf,” Hasselman outlined.

“We realised that the operators have a desire to go out and create efficiencies”
technologymagazine.com 269

From that point onwards, APWireless’ goal became to forge a new way of working with operators. Critically, these services give operators new revenue options, while also supporting their infrastructure needs.

For example, if an operator has a capital need to expand their 5G networks, APWireless can provide sale-leaseback opportunities by acquiring some of their core assets, like their telecom switches.

And then there’s the widespread need for operators to build new towers to launch their expansion plans. Right now, this is being done either by the operators themselves via their own capital or by using third-party service providers.

APWireless instead sought to bring a new approach to the market, giving operators access to a more complete – thus faster –solution to their expansion requirements.

“We can provide a one-stop solution to their tower needs where we come in and handle everything from A-to-Z, from site acquisition work to post-construction. All the operator has to do is hang their equipment once the tower is built, we do everything else. We provide that solution to make it very seamless and easy for them to roll out their networks.”

In this way, Hasselman predicts that tower developments will be one of the APWireless service sectors to experience the most growth over the next few years.

“One of the business lines we are focused on for continued expansion is tower development. We're currently building towers right now on behalf of operators and we seek to expand those relationships. We are very well positioned to continue expanding out tower development activities and will continue to look more like a tower company over the next five years.”

270 January 2023 APWIRELESS

right

on

“We're building towers
now
behalf of operators. We want to continue to expand those relationships”
technologymagazine.com 271

“The operators are committed to ongoing 5G upgrades and expanding their network. So, for us, we're going to continue expanding our platform by working with the operators to do ground lease buyouts on their behalf, as well as helping them with their infrastructure needs.”

And, from APWireless’ perspective, this gives the company a more active involvement in the growth of the telecommunications sector.

“Typically, the assets we acquire are passive, real-estate investments. So, our tower initiatives will require us to be a little

“All they have to do is come at the end and hang their equipment. We provide that solution to make it very seamless and easy for them to roll out those networks”
272 January 2023 APWIRELESS

bit more active. We're actually managing the construction process and building the tower.”

As Hasselman puts it, for all players in the telecom industry, the game is far from over. “There's still so much more opportunity out there. We've been doing this now for 12 years. I remember around the third year in business, we said that we were probably at the 25-minute mark of a football match, or the third inning of a baseball game. And now, after 12 years, we're still saying the exact same thing. Technology is evolving and expanding rapidly, and with it, there are more opportunities for us to evolve and expand.”

technologymagazine.com 273

THE CLOUD CHANGING CONNECTS

PRODUCED BY: LEWIS VAUGHAN 274 January 2023

CLOUD CHANGING THE WAY THAT LATIN CONNECTS AMERICA

technologymagazine.com 275 LAYER 9 DATA CENTRES

n the five largest regions of Latin America – Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Columbia – the population is around 640 million people. To put this into perspective, there are around 330 million people in total living in the United States.

The amount of people using data in South America is growing at a compound rate of almost 25% per year. Furthermore, coupled with the fact that the average income in the region is growing, the proportion of regional industries that are pivoting to tech is rising along with it. In fact, in Mexico, nearly two thirds of its GDP is specific to hightechnology products.

In terms of personal users of data, then, the South American smartphone penetration rate is currently set at around 68% and growing rapidly.

“For example, 10 years ago, an average LATAM household family of four would download about seven gigabytes of data per month. But today, that same family is downloading 77 gigabytes of data. In fact, that number doubled to 77 from 38 in just the last three years,” explains Michael Ortiz, the CEO and Co-Founder of Layer 9.

Despite this, there are 223 million Latin residents who still lack access to the internet.

When you take these figures into account, it’s apparent that there is a major

opportunity present in the LATAM market – one that, from Layer 9’s perspective, has such exceptional potential that's gone largely unnoticed.

Until now, that is.

Layer 9 is breaking new ground, utilising the immense untapped potential of the LATAM market and fostering the development of the region’s tech talent
276 January 2023 LAYER 9 DATA CENTRES

The untapped potential of the LATAM data market Layer 9 is a data centre provider that specialises in prefabricated, modular and hyperscale solutions. It operates in the LATAM market, bringing hyperscale connectivity to regions

technologymagazine.com 277

MICHAEL ORTIZ

TITLE:

CEO & CO-FOUNDER

COMPANY: LAYER 9

INDUSTRY: DATA CENTRES

LOCATION: INDIANA, UNITED STATES

Michael Ortiz brings 24+ years of experience in investment banking, capital markets, commercial real-estate development and information technology.

Serving industry leaders such as DuPont Fabros Technology and Digital Realty in leadership capacities, within the fields of asset management, site selection and government incentives programmes, Ortiz has a proven track record of driving teams to success.

Ortiz has also served in senior leader portfolio management roles at Equity Office Properties, and held roles in JP Morgan and Mitsubishi Tokyo Financial Group.

Ortiz earned his MBA from Indiana University Kelley School of Business and completed his Executive Post Graduate work in Cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence at the University of Oxford – Said Business School.

that have previously been dramatically underserved by these technologies.

Joseph Ryan, Layer 9’s Chief Development Officer and Co-Founder, explains how the LATAM market presents a number of growth challenges, and how the differences between expanding in America versus expanding in the LATAM market have meant that previous companies have decided not to invest in this region.

“The way in which we build in the US and other areas is that you build the site, and they will come. You’ll be able to get all the utilities and the fibre there, in some capacity, and within a certain reasonable timeframe.

EXECUTIVE BIO 278 January 2023

“But what we found in Mexico and Latin America is that there are a lot more challenges, because some of these cities aren't as developed infrastructure-wise, or have challenges in distributing power or connectivity,” Ryan explained.

“Hyperscale was practically nonexistent within Latin America just five years ago,” Alejandro Cantu Sepulveda, the Chief Operations Officer and Co-Founder of Layer 9, added, explaining the status of the market when Layer 9 first established itself in the region.

“Working the Latin America market, and being of Mexican descent, gave me a street-

2019

Year founded 17+ Number of employees 25%

The amount of people using data in South America is growing at a compound rate of almost 25% per year

technologymagazine.com 279 LAYER 9 DATA CENTRES
280 January 2023

“Hyperscale was practically nonexistent within Latin America just five years ago”

level perspective of what was happening within that market. And there were certainly data centre projects happening, but the scale of those projects was very, very small –varying from five to ten megawatt sites – and understanding why that was happening was a big challenge for Michael and I.”

“We saw the opportunity to solve that hyper-scaled infrastructure dilemma within Mexico, and to cater to cloud service providers who innately prefer to not always own the brick and mortar. But data centre companies in Mexico and Latin America who catered to retail clients didn't understand the hyperscale world. So, in their business plans, you saw growth of, again, three megawatts, four megawatt data centres,” Sepulveda explained.

So, in contrast to the other operators in this market, Layer 9 enables hyperscalers to continue their growth into Mexico and LATAM while maintaining the type of footprint and delivery that they've been accustomed to elsewhere in the world.

technologymagazine.com 281 LAYER 9 DATA CENTRES

Giving something back to the LATAM market

Then, alongside the growth opportunity that Layer 9 unlocks for its hyperscale clients, there is also the company’s work to foster the region’s immense tech sector talent.

For Sepulveda, in particular, the company’s decision to invest in Mexico and the LATAM enabled him to help transform the region's reputation in the global digital and data centre industries.

“I think it's time to give back to Mexico what Mexico has given to us,” Sepulveda states.

“Mexico has great potential in Latin America, and it hasn’t been exploited properly. Technical job creation, stable investment technology, upgrading school programmes to be able to attract new talent in our trades to do things better – that creates an ecosystem of people and talent that’s sustainable and will replicate by itself.

“I tend to see it as a domino effect. The main question is, who's going to push that first domino? And we will do that. We want to create that ecosystem that creates that domino effect,” Sepulveda explains.

282 January 2023 LAYER 9 DATA CENTRES

JOSEPH RYAN

Is a 20-plus-year veteran within the digital information Sector, with specific focus on procurement and development of larger scale data center projects. His time spent at Jacobs, Syska Hennessy and Microsoft allowed Mr Ryan to gain experience to lead Layer 9 development efforts in Mexico. Mr Ryan looks to drive prefabricated experience toward driving modular construction in LATAM. His approach to driving efficiency by way of keeping delivery predictable, predictable and scalable will allow Layer 9 expand rapidly across the ever-growing LATAM marketplace.

EXECUTIVE BIO
technologymagazine.com 283
TITLE: CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER & CO-FOUNDER COMPANY: LAYER 9 INDUSTRY: DATA CENTRES LOCATION: ARIZONA, UNITED STATES
Learn More
“I tend to see it as a domino effect. The main question is, who's gonna push that first domino? And we want to do that. We want to create that ecosystem that creates that domino effect”
284 January 2023 LAYER 9 DATA CENTRES
ALEJANDRO
SEPULVEDA
OPERATIONS OFFICER AND CO-FOUNDER, LAYER 9

For Sepulveda, not only does this fuel an invaluable talent development opportunity in the region, but it also drives digital transformation across the LATAM, benefitting both individuals and organisations alike.

“Sometimes, people perceive Latin American countries as what they see on TV, and when they get to explore those markets, they're deeply surprised by the infrastructure, the availability of connectivity and the talent,” Sepulveda comments.

“It's an underserved market, and people should better understand it. Then, when they do, they'll see the great opportunity that we have in those markets.”

And Layer 9’s unique approach to investing in this market opportunity has enabled the company to expand rapidly, and create a sustainable, immensely competitive growth model.

“Some people saw Layer 9 as a project, but Layer 9 is a platform,” Sepulveda states.

“Now, our model is kind of breaking the rules. So we're dropping flags where we can find the qualities to build a data centre, which is power and connectivity. The same as we did in Mexico. We opened up the ring, and we figured out that there was more opportunity.”

“Based on direct feedback from the CSPs, we have begun the site selection process on several new hyperscale campus sites, all within Latin

America. Our goal is simple - to become the ‘easy button’ for the cloud, and to expand our platform across three to five regional zones throughout LATAM,” adds Ortiz.

Building a collaborative multinational company culture

Alongside the prime market positioning and rapid digital investment in the region, Layer 9 names its company culture as another critical factor in its success. The diversity of team viewpoints, company-

technologymagazine.com 285

ALEJANDRO CANTU SEPULVEDA

As COO and Co-founder Mr Cantu brings market experience that spans both U.S. and LATAM borders. His tenure across various disciplines touching procurement, sale engineering and energy contract negotiation has served invaluable to the Layer 9 organisations. Today, Mr Cantu’s focus is execution of corporate strategy toward the development of hyperscale data centre solutions beginning with Project Falcon; and later carry that success toward a scaled, predictable platform that will be viewed favorably upon by the cloud service providers entering LATAM.

EXECUTIVE BIO
COMPANY:
INDUSTRY:
286 January 2023 LAYER 9 DATA CENTRES
TITLE: CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER & CO-FOUNDER
LAYER 9
DATA CENTRES LOCATION: ARIZONA, UNITED STATES

“Some people saw Layer 9 as a project, but Layer 9 is a platform”

wide mentoring, and the shared mission that drives everyone has allowed Layer 9 to build its characteristic team dynamic.

“What I love about our team is that we come from diverse backgrounds. Some of us were cut from the cloth in this business; some of us fell into it, like myself; some of us came from the bottom up of the business, on the equipment resale side; and some of us came from the top down, being the banker or asset manager financing that equipment. And then everything in between,” Ortiz explains. “This company is only two-and-a-half years old, and yet we have some of the most innovative think-tank sessions I've ever had in my entire career.”

This company culture, as Ryan describes it, takes an “all hands on deck”, fully collaborative mindset. “It's a testament to the team, what we've done and how we go about doing it. We have different styles, but what’s brought us together is the common goal and the way that we achieve it.”

And, for Layer 9, this sense of a shared goal has actually proven invaluable to their

technologymagazine.com 287
NetworkEnvironments.com Prefabricated Modular Solutions ENVIRONMENTS Turning data center projects into products 288 January 2023 LAYER 9 DATA CENTRES

Bringing a hyperscale mindset to the LATAM market

internal talent retention, a challenge that data centre companies across the world are facing.

“In years past, companies have lost their individual touch to inspire their employees to keep on growing and to look for new opportunities. People that are joining

our company believe in the project and believe in what we're doing right now,” Sepulveda enthuses.

Fostering collaboration amongst all talent across the company’s markets, mentorship and long-term partnerships help ensure that these growth foundations are strong and sustainable.

“In areas that are regional, we have a peering initiative, which is mentoring. We’re also bringing in groups, partners, employees and consultants that we know have the capabilities to collaborate with us on the first project, the second project, and so on, rather than being disconnected from our operations. And it’s unusual to have that type of involvement at the field level, but we think so much about that,” Ryan outlines, before expanding on this.

“It’s also about going into these areas that may have some experience, but not

“This company is only two-and-a-half years old, and we have some of the most innovative think-tank sessions I've ever had in my entire career”
technologymagazine.com 289

at that large-scale hyperscale level. They have commercial construction capabilities, but not really that specific technical nuance. So what we're doing is building that experience capable of fostering such growth regionally, but also culturally –inject the way we work into the region, but not force it.”

By nature, this is markedly different from the approach taken in the US and European markets; for Layer 9, this is critical, as it helps them to navigate the barriers to growth in the region, which their competitors haven’t successfully penetrated.

“To be able to give them the support that they need to grow – and in turn for us to grow – through understanding this culture is a hugely symbiotic relationship.

“We have different styles, but what’s brought us together: a common goal and the way that we achieve it”
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292 January 2023 LAYER 9 DATA CENTRES
“ We have a team that's tremendously cohesive, tremendously collaborative, but that immerses itself into the local market, the local culture, and understands those regions prior to purchasing land”

That's what our mentors’ job is to do, and that's really our goal: it's mentoring, it's partnering, it's collaboration, it's immersing ourselves in learning without being the bull in the China shop,” Ryan explains.

“I think what makes our team unique is that we've gone at it differently than the others. We have a team that's tremendously cohesive, tremendously collaborative, but that immerses itself into the local market, the local culture, and understands those regions prior to

purchasing land. This means that land purchase is fruitful for both us and our customers in the future.”

“It really drives our vision. We all have a common goal and a common vision of how we want to collaborate, as well as how we want to partner, both with ourselves and with our local partners, regions and government.”

technologymagazine.com 293

HEALTHY WORLD HEALTHY DATA CREATES A BETTER WORLD

294 January 2023
technologymagazine.com 295
PRODUCED BY: KRISTOFER PALMER BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM

Humanity faces serious challenges in 2022: climate change threatens the planet; global health crises have exposed vulnerabilities in society; communities are being marginalised; and demographic trends are creating new pressures on healthcare worldwide. To meet these challenges, pioneering familyowned Boehringer Ingelheim is working on breakthrough therapies with the hope of transforming lives.

First established in Germany in 1885 and now one of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies in the world, Boehringer Ingelheim specialises in areas of unmet medical need in three business areas: Human Pharma, Animal Health, and Biopharmaceutical Contract Manufacturing.

Boehringer Ingelheim strives to develop improved therapies, healthcare products and services to ensure we all live in a better world. The company has plans to increase the scope of its social and environmental ambitions, aiming to explore what more can be done to contribute to a sustainable world and a healthier future.

The company attributes its success to scientific innovation, including investments in sustainable healthcare and technology to accelerate industry improvements. Boehringer Ingelheim is currently pursuing more than 390 research collaborations in the

Boehringer Ingelheim’s Head of Data Management, Bruno Rizzuti, explains how Big Pharma builds a better world with tech innovation throughout the enterprise
296 January 2023 BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM
technologymagazine.com 297

CAPGEMINI HELPS BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM TOWARDS DATA-DRIVEN DECISIONS

The Dataland program was initiated to create the end-2-end data ecosystem that powers Boehringer Ingelheim's needs for data-driven decisions and to enable the use cases that drive innovation and efficiencies now and in the years to come. Capgemini supported Boehringer on their journey to the AWS cloud and in the implementation of use cases across all business domains. Learn more

CAPGEMINI HELPS BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM IN A WORLD OF DATA

Ruth Lütticken, Director of Life Sciences, Data Science & AI, Capgemini, explains how data management is helping Boehringer Ingelheim to transform lives

Pioneering family-owned Boehringer Ingelheim is making use of cutting-edge data management services provided by Capgemini in its work on breakthrough therapies.

Boehringer Ingelheim specialises in areas of unmet medical need in Human Pharma, Animal Health, and Biopharmaceutical Contract Manufacturing. As part of its Dataland program, Boehringer Ingelheim invests in data-related initiatives to strengthen its foothold in the digital world. Leveraging data has the potential to transform drug development and the patient experience. Several units within the organisation were already successfully working with data, but Boehringer Ingelheim wanted to scale its usage across the entire company. This ambition required a strong technology foundation and modern infrastructure, as well as clear processes and responsibilities in the area of data governance.

“It is a cloud-based ecosystem that we’re building for our data needs not just for today but the years to come in the future,” explains Boehringer Ingelheim’s Head of Data Management, Bruno Rizzuti. “This project is designed to create a trusted environment not only for our regular use cases but also for those that require more, let’s say, flexibility and the capabilities that the technology in the cloud can provide.”

“There are many exciting use cases for data and human pharma,” says Ruth Lütticken, Director of Life Sciences, Data Science & AI, Capgemini. “I think since Covid 19, everybody knows how important that step is in developing new tracks.

Here the change was for the global feasibility managers at the country level to select a certain trial site for a certain trial phase.

So many factors and data will have to be considered, and this gives them a predictive modelling solution which is using internal but also external data to allow them to have data-driven site identification, which means they can reduce the time for the trial.”

Learn more

Boehringer Ingelheim

life sciences' community – representing more than 50% of its pipeline projects – and the company’s animal health business is now the second largest in the world, with more than 200 products for dogs, cats, horses, pigs, cattle and poultry.

To add to this, Boehringer Ingelheim is also investing €35bn in health innovation to tackle non-communicable diseases, as well as an additional €250mn in partnerships to combat emerging infectious diseases. Through its flagship initiative Making More Health, it has partnered with Ashoka, the largest global network of social entrepreneurs. To mitigate the environmental impact of its growing business, Boehringer Ingelheim has

committed to becoming carbon neutral in its operations and halving its resource footprint by 2030.

Driving innovation across the enterprise with advanced technologies

Boehringer Ingelheim is driving innovation across the enterprise and has focused on advanced technologies to discover new ways of introducing technology to core business processes. Big Data and analytics powered by AI allows the company to build new models and predictive tools that can have far-reaching impact on production processes, improving the quality, connectivity and availability of patient solutions.

“WE WORK TO MAKE HUMANITY BETTER, RIGHT? TO MAKE THE LIVES OF PEOPLE AND ANIMALS BETTER EVERY DAY”
300 January 2023 BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM

Bruno Rizzuti joined Boehringer Ingelheim in 2014 and took up his role as Head of Data Management in 2020. "I moved into the pharmaceutical industry when I was very young," says Rizzuti. "I had been working as a consultant on analytical processing systems, working with many clients in the pharma industry – which is how I got to know the industry so well – and then moved to Boehringer Ingelheim."

Inclusiveness in the industry has been a draw for Rizzuti, being one of the main reasons he joined the industry. “Big Pharma companies listen to their employees, as well – this is something you can immediately tell when you join a pharma company,” says Rizzuti. “Whether at Boehringer Ingelheim or another company, the standard in the industry is that the employee's voice is heard, based on the notion that this is important because happy people give better results."

Innovation is another attractive, industrywide aspect of the profession, according to Rizzuti. "You cannot survive in pharma if you don't innovate. You must innovate in new treatments and in new therapeutic areas. This is an industry that has innovation at its essence. And that also makes it a wonderful place to grow; you always have new challenges."

BRUNO RIZZUTI

TITLE: HEAD OF DATA MANAGEMENT INDUSTRY: PHARMACEUTICAL

MANUFACTURING

LOCATION: BARCELONA, SPAIN

Bruno Rizzuti is currently the Head of Data Management & Data Engineering at BoehringerIngelheim with an extra passion about working culture, data-driven mindsets and technology scouting. His studies include Data Engineering, Data Science, Project Management and a little bit of Economics. In his free time, he exercises, studies technology, reads and plays videogames. With over a decade of experience in Data & Analytics in the Big Pharma Industry and viscerally passionate about technology, he has his focus every day in what he considers the two most valuable assets of any organisation: People and Data.

52,000

Global workforce 130 Markets served by Boehringer Ingelheim

EXECUTIVE BIO
BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM

Migrating to the cloud is a journey and a huge paradigm shift

One of the biggest tech-related challenges facing the industry today is migrating to the cloud, not only from a technology perspective but also from a cultural perspective, says Rizzuti.

"When you embark on a journey to build an ecosystem and a data analytics platform that will serve you for the next five to 10 years, that’s a huge paradigm shift in comparison to how we've been doing things in analytics since the 80s and 90s."

The industry needs the kind of mindset changes that have already been introduced by data-driven professionals. “But you can't expect everybody in every position to have that mindset. One of the biggest changes that we're seeing nowadays is that it used to be enough for IT people to be on top of technology. Now, you need everybody on board to make such a change. And that requires an educational and cultural component in our IT roles.”

Rizzuti plays a key role in the area of data ingestion, which includes crucial data governance issues that should be incorporated into business planning at all stages.

“YOU CANNOT SURVIVE IN PHARMA IF YOU DON'T INNOVATE; YOU MUST INNOVATE IN NEW THERAPEUTIC AREAS”
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"Who will consume this data, for what purpose, and for how long? What are the different usages of this data? Having that in mind beforehand is key,” he explains. “Sometimes, people will jump into action without having a clear definition of who the data owner is, what the usage of this data will be, and what is the intended purpose – but all of that information is needed to provide the best tools to make the best of it. Otherwise, you end up having a 'data swamp' instead of a 'data lake', which eventually replicates errors from the past."

Global product teams work to uncover ideas and solutions

Boehringer Ingelheim has a workforce of more than 52,000 employees serving over 130 markets. In Germany, the company's New Therapeutic Concepts team in Biberach is introducing data and analytic tools to the early-stage drug discovery process. By working with some of the early findings and connecting those across projects, Boehringer Ingelheim can identify patterns that have the capacity to help multiple product teams uncover ideas and solutions that speed up the development process.

BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM
“THIS IS AN INDUSTRY THAT HAS INNOVATION AT ITS ESSENCE. AND THAT ALSO MAKES IT A WONDERFUL PLACE TO GROW”
304 January 2023

In Ingelheim, the company's Farmer team works with devices, data collection and systematic analytics to identify and isolate early signs of health problems that risk spreading through animal herds. The underlying data generated will simultaneously help identify inefficiencies that impact yields and farm productivity.

Meanwhile, the Mobinostics team is working with vets to develop mobile diagnostic and treatment solutions that allow greater reach and greater speedto-treatment for remote farms all over the world.

Ingelheim is also home to the company's BRASS (Benefit Risk Assessment System) project, which uses AI to conduct an initial analysis of adverse reactions to medications that have already been approved –identifying potential side effects and undesirable events – and offer a valuable decision-making tool for those working in pharmacovigilance, helping them process each case more quickly.

In Vienna, Austria, Boehringer Ingelheim's Smart Process Design team is leveraging the power of data to strengthen yields in previously unpredictable biopharma manufacturing.

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306 January 2023

Also in Vienna, the Biomarker-Based Patient Population project empowers experts within the company to identify biomarkers to better characterise patient populations for clinical studies. Being able to process and analyse large amounts of data creates the potential to select the right drug for a patient.

Based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, PetPro is one of the company's first digital products that directly addresses end users’ needs. PetPro Connect has been developed in close collaboration with the company's Animal Health business to connect pet owners and veterinarians, organise follow-up appointments via video chat, quickly and easily order medication refills, and benefit from bonus programmes.

Over in Spain, the company's Pathological Speech Processing team – based in Sant Cugat del Vallés, Barcelona – develops digital tools that facilitate the process of speech and language processing (SLP) by using machine learning and disease-customised algorithms. This will be used to analyse speech and language patterns, which can consequently be analysed to predict the development of mental diseases, such as the risk of dementia.

More Health, More Potential and More Green at Boehringer Ingelheim Boehringer Ingelheim has defined three areas: More Health, More Potential and More Green – which are at the heart of a framework the

company calls Sustainable Development For Generations. The framework incorporates established initiatives, building these into more ambitious goals to increase the company’s impact on health, society and the planet. In doing so, Boehringer Ingelheim generates greater long-term economic and social value for stakeholders, the communities they serve and employees.

Through these focus areas, Boehringer Ingelheim can contribute to the creation of solutions for global challenges and help enable sustainable change. The impact in each area reflects its core business and aligns with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Sustainable development goes hand-in-hand with the company’s planning principles of taking responsibility for communities and the environment.

Big Pharma has big aims and ambitions, providing a daily incentive for everyone working in the industry at every level. "We work to make humanity better, right?" asks Rizzuti. "To make the lives of people and animals better every day. That's a difficult model to reject. It's definitely something that immediately gives you a sense of purpose when you're working in such an industry. It's a life science; it's all about taking care of people, taking care of animals.”

“IT USED TO BE ENOUGH FOR IT PEOPLE TO BE ON TOP OF TECHNOLOGY. NOW, YOU NEED EVERYBODY ON BOARD”
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Syngenta's building capabilities and

308 January 2023

Syngenta's journey building out modern capabilities in cyber and cloud space

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Widely known as a leading science-based innovator in agritech, Syngenta needs very little introduction.

In addition to its multi-billion-dollar turnover and 30,000-strong workforce, the global company is known for its significant investment in the scientific side of the business, driving advances in agritech that help farmers meet global demands surrounding sustainability and growth. As such, Syngenta dedicates a whopping $1.3bn a year to R&D, regularly bringing new products to market; this dedication to identifying cutting-edge tech and practices has helped it maintain its lead in a competitive market.

Despite this, though, the 22-year-old organisation faces the same problems as any other large business when keeping up with tech and security advances in a constantly fluctuating environment – with the two being interdependent in certain areas like cloud security and therefore complex to maintain.

Syngenta's Global Head of Infrastructure and Cybersecurity, Vanja Vlaski, oversees the company's networks, included within which is cloud, as well as workplace technologies, the helpdesk, and overall cybersecurity.

“Infrastructure and security are at the base of any company today. Anything that goes wrong in any sub-department impacts every single employee and the company overall. As an example, having a data breach causes parts of our operations to stop, and that has an immediate financial impact. If some part of our cloud service is unavailable, key business applications don't work. That's a simplistic explanation of how important all these interdependent technologies are.”

The world of agriculture is, according to Vlaski, surprisingly fastpaced and forward-thinking in terms of cyber and technology, so it’s important that the same attitude is applied to the security of those.

“Nowadays, as you go on investing in infrastructure, you don’t take that static view any more; falling behind in capability, getting out of touch with latest technologies, developments and frameworks can have that direct, immediate impact all the way to where your sales and go-to-market strategies interface with your customer. This is as fast-changing a technology landscape as it is anywhere else.”

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Syngenta's leaders in infrastructure, cybersecurity and cloud strategy share their fast-track transformation programme
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Syngenta and cybersecurity

This, in a nutshell, is how the IT landscape looks from Vlaski's standpoint. To take a closer look at the threat levels, we can turn to Paul Carugati – he's Syngenta's Global Head of Information Security, or CISO.

“When we're talking about information and cybersecurity, it's all about risk management,” he asserts. “To my team and to all of our internal and external customers, I say that, essentially, the role we play is as facilitators of risk in every corner of the global business. We help them all to understand the level of cyber risk that's being incurred, to help to find what the risk 'appetite' is, and then implement the appropriate controls to effectively manage those risks.”

A business like Syngenta is very dynamic, he points out, so this is essential. “The

organisation is continually changing shape and that makes it difficult to pinpoint where it may become vulnerable, especially in the cybersecurity realm. We face constant technical and administrative threats that hinder the operation of the business. We have to not only understand the technology that is driving those threats, but also the people component.”

In addition to needing to raise awareness among stakeholders, Carugati likes to re-emphasise the basic fact that while technology can do quite a lot to keep a business secure, it’s less effective when lacking strong human collaboration. This is particularly true in cases where much of the threat – and, conversely, defence – stems from users, as at Syngenta.

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SUBU IYER

TITLE: GLOBAL HEAD OF CLOUD SERVICES AND IT INTELLIGENT AUTOMATION

LOCATION: GREATER CHICAGO AREA

Subu Iyer is a seasoned executive who brings a holistic perspective to people leadership, technology strategy, and solution integration. A strong believer in the phrase “Think beyond the here and now” he is an expert in analyzing, incubating, productionalizing and evangelizing numerous emerging technologies like RPA, Chatbots, Hyper Automation solutions, Cloud Native services and API platforms within an Enterprise. Subu is an intelligent problem solver with an innate ability to leverage diverse perspectives to create winning solutions and drive consensus. He has a track record of developing high performance teams by fostering an environment of mentorship and collaboration. With a rich history of excellence in program & service delivery, multi-million dollar budget management, business partnerships, cross functional team management and cloud implementations he has acted as a motivator to propel the productivity of onsite, virtual, global, offshore and vendor teams.

EXECUTIVE BIO
you don't invest in cloud space you are not able to keep up with the where technology is headed, keep your costs down and your applications modernised”
“If

We helped Syngenta save almost half a million dollars a month and boost agility in the cloud. Here’s how we did it.

Ask Syngenta, and they’d probably say the right partner is cloud-native. One that looks after your cloud environment in a reliable way while boosting agility, increasing speed to market, and unearthing major cost savings.

Syngenta is a leading Agricultural Technology (AgTech) company. Helping farmers improve yield, increase profitability and grow more sustainably are key factors underpinning the company’s strategy.

Cloud and data play major roles in connecting farmers with their technologies. Syngenta has a strong cloud and IT team, and were used to working with traditional CSIs and hyper-scalers to manage their environments.

Syngenta started working with Nordcloud in 2020. At first, we came in to help migrate some workloads to the cloud. It was an opportunity to sow the seeds of a different, cloud-native approach.

There was a clear difference in how lean and nimble this approach was. So, when the team needed help with automations, we also got involved with those. The result: manual tasks that might’ve taken many hours previously could be completed in 10 minutes or less. Account vending processes that used to take many days were shortened to 5 hours.

Then the cost savings. Our FinOps experts took a microscope to the environment to identify potential savings. They harvested information around rightsizing, utilisation, and resource optimisation, identifying half a million euro a month in cloud savings.

It’s this added value that means some of the biggest and best companies are shifting to cloudnative MSPs to look after their environments.

Cloud natives know how to boost performance while reducing costs. They’ll deliver best practices to drive efficiencies. They make clever improvements that cut licence and capacity costs or reduce technical or security risks.

Cloud natives strengthen security without slowing enterprises down. They know how to implement bestpractice governance, take care of security operations, or conduct a Zero-Trust maturity assessment.

The impact of this approach is an agile, secure and reliable cloud team and environment that empowers the entire organisation.

How do you know if you’re working with the right cloud managed services provider?

Syngenta: Crops, Seeds and Cybersecurity

“The majority of threats we see come from our end users. End users outside and inside the business can be our most vulnerable area. But at the same time, they can be our greatest defence against those threats if they are educated and trained properly in threat awareness and protection.

“In the ever-changing technological landscape our threats are very dynamic. It's an almost continuous game of cat and mouse to stay on top of those technical issues from a threat management perspective, but ideally, with our strategic outlook and the protection and defensive measures that we put in place, we can manage those responsibly.”

The journey to cyber maturity

Becoming a fully cloud-based company (ahead of most competitors in the space) was a challenge. Once achieved, though, it became necessary to turn the attention of the teams to the questions of how to modernise the company’s application landscape and

316 January 2023 SYNGENTA

drive the business towards a cloud-native approach. Cybersecurity moved to front and centre. “If I look back three to four years,” says Vanja Vlaski, “this was not a professionally run department; today, it is a 24/7 operation.”

That was before the arrival of Paul Carugati and the setting up of a dedicated organisation. “Prior to my time here, there were certainly areas of competency on information security within the business, but they were extremely decentralised; nothing formal was in place. As a result, the organisation started seeing more incidents that were impacting operations negatively.”

So, how did Syngenta – with the collaboration of Vlaski, Carugati and the rest of the team – link these decentralised strands?

“We centralised the function, working directly under the CEO and CIO to establish a central and global information security organisation,” explains Carugati.

“From there, we aligned standards and the best practices defined for enterprise risk management – including ISO 27001, NIST 800.53, and, more recently, the NIST CSF (cybersecurity framework), which are needed to understand the appropriate capabilities for the purpose of organising teams and building responsibility for information security in a growing enterprise.

“One of the first things we did was to implement a formal risk management and treatment framework. We had to create that from scratch, as well as a team to govern it. In the process, we established

EXECUTIVE BIO

VANJA VLASKI

TITLE: GLOBAL HEAD OF INFRASTRUCTURE AND CYBERSECURITY

LOCATION: GREATER CHICAGO AREA

Senior technology and business services leader with front-line experience ranging from engineering and development roles in technology startups to delivering complex large scale programs and achieving transformed business services/technology capabilities within large corporations.

I am acknowledged for strong communication skills and creation of high performing teams, with a proven track record of driving: global transformation and change programs, business digital/technology strategy, process simplification and outsourcing focused on savings contributions and top line growth.

“A key focus area for us in 2023 will be to drive the adoption of Infrastructure-as-code across the Enterprise for increased agility and standardised compute deployments”
HEAD OF CLOUD SERVICES AND IT INTELLIGENT AUTOMATION, SYNGENTA
SYNGENTA

PAUL CARUGATI

LOCATION:

Accomplished information security executive with a proven ability and rich expertise in the successful execution of Information Security programs in global organisations across multiple commercial industries. Paul is a specialist in collaborative technology, building high-performing teams, program management, fostering a culture of data protection through business enablement and risk management, and achieving positive, measurable behavioral change through accountability and integrity. He is an in-demand speaker who holds many accreditation and industry certifications showcasing his technical and business prowess. Paul is passionate about raising community awareness about cyber security and privacy. Paul has spoken to and coached a variety of executives and BoD members on cybersecurity.

EXECUTIVE BIO
“End users can be our most vulnerable area but at the same time they can be our greatest defence against threats if they are educated and trained properly in threat awareness and protection”

good cadence with our legal, finance and HR partners. We then introduced ourselves and established good partnerships right across the all lines of service as well as in the functional areas of the organisation, especially from an R&D perspective.

“Where we find ourselves now evolved from what I found to be a baseline maturity model: reactive, unstable, ad hoc and inconsistent into the standards-aligned, documented and risk-based programme that I think is absolutely critical to be able to maintain from a cybersecurity perspective in a global organisation.”

It's not a finished job though, given the dynamic threat landscape – ever-evolving and expansive.

“Without continuing to grow and innovate in this space we will remain static and find our maturity level reducing. We have to

grow, and we have to innovate along with the company’s risk appetite. Our goal over the next few years is to move the needle even further across our maturity curve toward a more proactive and metrics-driven organisation, with a predictive, integrated information and cybersecurity programme.

“We need not only to address the current needs of the business, but to actually predict what those are going to be, if we are to stay one step ahead of our cyber adversaries. And we must be able to build security controls and capabilities into our technological solutions across the organisation as opposed to bolt-on solutions.”

The road to the cloud

A great leap forward in capability and tech maturity was taken when the company moved all its on-prem infrastructure to the cloud. The responsibility of Subu Iyer, Global Head of Cloud Services, DevOps and IT Intelligent Automation, Syngenta's journey to the cloud started back in 2016 with the setup of Cloud 1.0 in AWS.

"Migration of applications from data centres to the cloud started then, as the cloud promised a 50% reduction in operating costs. We successfully migrated the initial batch of 500-plus applications to the cloud in 2020, but project teams soon started running into governor limit-related issues linked to a single account architecture in Cloud 1.0. Subsequent discussions with AWS led us to setting up the secure multi-account landing zones, or Cloud 2.0. This proved to be a huge milestone for us. After detailed analysis and careful considerations, we chose to migrate the entire suite of SAP platforms and workloads out to our Cloud 2.0 ecosystem that same year,” explains Iyer.

“Following in the footsteps of the AWS operation, we then set up the multi-account

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landing zones in Azure in Netherlands and Chicago in 2021. That year saw us onboarding Nordcloud as the Managed Services Provider for the steady state operations of all our cloud assets. This meant that, for the first time, we had round-the-clock support coverage for this critical foundational service.

“In a massive, complex undertaking in 2022, we migrated the last set of applications and all the infrastructure services out of the data centres, making Syngenta a 100% cloud operation. This was really the proudest moment for our infrastructure and security teams. Everyone banded together to unwind the decades' worth of legacy – and often undocumented, on-prem solutions – and set up fit-for-purpose, cloud-ready alternatives".

In a cloud-first organisation, how does the wider business successfully engage, communicate and share best practices on

cloud policy and IT infrastructure?

“In the cloud organisation we have a competency called Cloud Business Partners (CBPs),” Iyer says. “Their primary goal is to engage with all our stakeholders and understand their vision and strategy, so that we in Cloud Services can organise to better support them and help them meet their goals. The CBPs also drive the cloud initiatives and priorities with teams across geographies and functions.

“Apart from that, we have the architecture, engineering and automation units that provide additional capabilities, services and competencies to support our customer base. We also empower our customers by providing a guided experience on our self-service platform for provisioning all their cloud assets, supported by guidance on cloud-native design patterns and best practices. All this helps make sure that

2000 Year Founded 38,000 Number of Employees $16.7bn Revenue 320 January 2023

whatever they may build accords with Syngenta's codes and standards.”

Talking about cybersecurity, Iyer states: “Cybersecurity is particularly important in the cloud and compute space. We have to ensure that that the assets we manage are always patched for vulnerabilities, and that we stay on top of all the upgrades and new iterations. It's also important that the guardrails around our cloud infrastructure and various account types that we provide our customers are accompanied by the right security controls and policies, while providing them the required levels of flexibility and autonomy.

And, of course, MFA-based SSO with rolebased access are key to ensure that only authenticated, authorised users have access to the relevant cloud assets."

Currently, Syngenta’s priority is to optimise the assets in the cloud and modernise legacy

applications to embrace cloud-native design patterns, while making sure that all new applications and services that are onboarded to the cloud follow the latest technology trends.

"A key focus area for us in 2023 will be to drive the adoption of Infrastructureas-code, or IaC, across the enterprise for increased agility and standardised compute deployments."

But, as Vanja Vlaski is proud to document, this has been a massive and transformative operation that will make life easier for all Syngenta's employees and customers. Just as importantly, it will release funds for product development, boosting R&D to drive better and more sustainable food production in every corner of the globe.

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322 January 2023
Open RAN – a new
in
of telecoms technologymagazine.com 323
milestone
100 years

Not only is the telecoms industry constantly evolving, but it is transforming at a pace that very few of the world’s sectors can come close to rivalling.

The growth of the cloud, the rise of 5G, and the perma-innovators creating disruptive technologies all keep telecom operators firmly on their toes.

To get a sense of telecoms’ transformation – both what has been already achieved and the advancements that we’re soon to see –we spoke to one of the world’s connectivity leaders, NEC Corporation.

Disruptive technologies necessitating consistent evolution

“I think the biggest change in this industry has been the evolution from a purely telecoms-oriented connectivity to the cloud. The emergence of cloud computing as a technology, and then cloud providers as a global provider of services, has changed so much in our industry,” explains Patrick Lopez, Global VP Product Management, 5G, at NEC.

“I know I'm old enough to remember when we had to pay on our phone for every single text we sent or received, for every minute of calls, and we paid for data per byte. And then the smartphone came in, the app revolution came in and then, all of a sudden, giant cloud providers emerged and were able to provide a variety of digital services globally, for free.”

After 100 years at the forefront of Japan’s telecoms industry, NEC Corporation now has its sights firmly set on the global deployment of Open RAN networks
technologymagazine.com 325 NEC CORPORATION

Alongside the introduction of the cloud came a wave of disruptive technologies, which completely changed the payment model of these services.

“One of the first was Skype, through which people could essentially video call each other for free. So that broke down the idea that you had to pay for every minute. And then there was WhatsApp: people figured out they could send unlimited texts, for free. So that killed that model,” Lopez explains.

“What's remarkable is that all those innovations have come from outside of the telecom world, but they have had a deep impact on the telecom world. And I think we're back on the same swing of the pendulum.”

And, as we look towards the advent of 5G and 6G, such innovations are only set to accelerate.

Over the last couple of years, basically, anybody who's been looking at Open RAN ends up working with NEC in one way, shape, or form”
RAN
326 January 2023 NEC CORPORATION
Open
– a new milestone in 100 years of telecoms

“Now is an amazing time for the telecoms industry and telecoms operators to create innovative services, because, with the next wave of innovative services, they're not going to rely on fixed broadband like our WiFi; they're going to rely on 5G and 6G,” Lopez asserts.

“So we're all dreaming of augmented reality, the metaverse and autonomous robots, and all these new services and devices are going to need to be mobile. I think there’s a big opportunity there, and I think it's a fantastic time, because it provides a great opportunity for operators to change how they want to participate in the industry.”

While, yes, the telecoms industry fulfils the world’s entertainment needs, Lopez asserts that it’s also important to take a step back and recognise how much of a pivotal role these technologies play across the world.

“I mean, obviously a part of what we do is enable people to go on TikTok to post silly dance videos, but another part is providing services that are crucial for health, the economy and for the security of the countries that we work in. It's good, every now and then, to remind ourselves of what it is that we can enable and how we can contribute to the community,” says Lopez.

PATRICK LOPEZ

TITLE: GLOBAL VP PRODUCT MANAGEMENT, 5G

INDUSTRY: INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & SERVICES

LOCATION: ONTARIO, CANADA

Patrick Lopez is Global VP of product management for 5G products at NEC, where he supports the product strategy and planning, partnership, and growth of the Open RAN, 5G Core, and 5G monetization services.

He has over 20 years of experience building, launching, and operating telecoms businesses in startups, midsized and tier-one multinationals. Before NEC, Patrick was the Global VP of networks innovation at Telefonica group and CEO at {Core Analysis}, the leading industry analyst practice at the intersection of telco and cloud. He also was the exclusive advisor to Opera software in its acquisition of Skyfire for $155 million.

1899

Year founded 117,000+

Number of employees

EXECUTIVE BIO
technologymagazine.com 327 NEC CORPORATION
OpenRAN Radio Unit Solutions for NR and LTE MTI making OpenRAN partnerships successful Learn More
Industry leading

From 100,000 employees to 120 years at the forefront of electronics innovation

NEC Corporation is an end-to-end, full spectrum supplier of advanced electronics technology and solutions, headquartered in Japan. With over 100,000 employees located around the world, NEC contributes to a wide array of different industries and sectors.

“I was in Japan just two weeks ago, and the first thing I saw at the airport was the facial recognition technology at immigration. And that facial recognition is made by NEC. There are cameras and computers, and they're all NEC. And that's the first thing you see,” Lopez describes.

“You see NEC everywhere throughout Japan, from electronics to appliances to services. And NEC is involved in retail, manufacturing, healthcare and telecoms –even within just telecoms, we say that we're involved in everything ‘from the seafloor to outer space’, because NEC is one of the world’s leading manufacturing vendors of both submarine cables and satellites.”

The rising value of Open RAN solutions

One of the things that sets NEC apart is the fact that, on top of being a vendor of products and technology in the telecoms space, it is also a systems integrator.

This is key for the company as, when technologies emerge – Open RAN being a key example – the opportunities have to be weighed by network operators against complexity, and the added cost for operators to onboard a new vendor. The ability to take on this additional complexity is a key decision point for wireless telecom operators.

“So one way to reduce that risk, reduce the cost and be able to hit the ground running is to use a system integrator. That's where we shine, because we don't just integrate our products, but we have launched NEC Open Networks,” explains Lopez.

NEC Open Networks – for the specific domain of telecoms that they are interested in – is a suite of solutions that provides operators with access to not only NEC’s specialist products, but also to products from

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DAVID COHEN

TITLE: HEAD OF MARKETING FOR 5G SOLUTIONS

INDUSTRY: INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & SERVICES

LOCATION: PHILADELPHIA, USA

David Cohen is the Head of Marketing for NEC’s 5G Solutions business. In this role, David is responsible for all marketing activities related to NEC Open Networks, an umbrella brand for the products and solutions the company offers to mobile network operators looking to leverage the advantages of 5G using Open RAN technology and other open standards.

He has been a marketing leader in the world of technology for over 20 years, having spent more than 15 years working in media technology where he developed go-to-market and messaging strategies for suppliers to the television industry.

its partners, while integrating these solutions end-to-end.

“We make that journey easy, so that all you have to do is select the technology that you want from the vendors, and we'll bring it, package it together, install it and deploy it for you,” Lopez says.

“We provide open and disaggregated solutions, which means they're made of different elements from different vendors. There’s a standardised interface between each of these elements, so you can swap, replace and complement, which then provides you with a much faster innovation rate, as well as more resilience in your network end-to-end.”

This is because, with Open RAN, operators are less reliant on a single vendor. The introduction of interoperable, multi-vendor

EXECUTIVE BIO
330 January 2023 NEC CORPORATION

ecosystems means that innovations can be introduced throughout the ecosystem by any vendor, at any time, provided the solution is compliant with the open standards.

For NEC, the benefits of this approach are most clearly demonstrated by its global commitment to openness.

“I think this element of openness enables us to bring something unique to the ecosystem, because we’ve had the experience of working with the earliest adopters of Open RAN, providing our customers with the advantages of our learnings,” asserts David Cohen, NEC’s Head of Marketing for 5G Solutions.

As more and more operators decide to take the leap into Open RAN, the unrivalled experience of NEC in this field is invaluable.

“In the last 18 months, NEC has dived headfirst into the Open RAN waters, providing leadership to the industry and working with operators around the world who are interested in exploring the benefits of Open RAN. This includes many proofs

We are the ones who will have all eyes on us, and we relish that opportunity”
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18 months

Blue Danube & Aspire Technologies

of concept, localised tests and, ultimately, deploying solutions within live networks. These customers are among the first to commit to multi-vendor ecosystems, freedom of choice, and the ability to take technologies from a new entrant into the market and innovate while allowing flexibility to continue innovating as technology moves forward,” Cohen adds.

For NEC, its partnerships play a pivotal role in its successes. And, in the case of Open RAN, its collaboration with MTI has proven critical.

“We don't think any company could or should do it alone. We think that for open

and disaggregated networks to work, there has to be an ecosystem. So we have grown our focus on partnerships a great deal,” Lopez explains.

“MTI is a manufacturer of radio units and they have very innovative capabilities in launching Open RAN radios, with form factors that are very desirable for the market. And they complement our product portfolio very well.”

Over the last
NEC acquired two major companies
and has launched 18 new Open RAN radio products
332 January 2023

“Part of the NEC Open Networks’ strategy is developing an ecosystem of partners, and MTI is a perfect illustration of what a great partnership can be. They bring innovation, they bring mature product capabilities, and we've been able to introduce them to a number of our customers and work together hand-in-hand, co-creating solutions and products that meet customers’ expectations.”

Running in parallel to telecoms’ evolution

Interestingly, although NEC has long asserted itself as a telecoms’ leader in Japan, it has only been in the last few years that it has emerged on the international stage.

“What was a hidden gem and a little secret in Japan is becoming more and more known amongst the people who want to create innovative networks, who want to change the way those networks are architected, the cost structure of those networks, and want to introduce more innovation in their networks. More and more, they're reaching out to NEC to help them on that journey,” says Lopez.

“We were not really thought of as a member of the global wireless community. And these deals that we're now working on, predominantly in Europe, are attracting a lot of attention,” asserts Cohen.

Cohen outlines how, although many of the operators in the world have expressed their interest in Open RAN, they are still hesitant to launch any immediate plans for deployment. So the deployments that have been initiated are being watched very closely.

“In particular, our work with Telefonica – a project in which we are the prime integrator – is going to be deployed on multiple continents and in half a dozen countries,” Cohen explains.

“At least one major global operator has already indicated that they are watching Telefonica to see it work and to validate whether Open RAN is indeed something that can be deployed at scale. We are the ones who will have all eyes on us, and we relish that opportunity, because it's a great way for us to demonstrate our abilities and to show that deploying an Open RAN network with multiple vendors using disaggregated solutions is the way of the future.”

In this time, we’ve really emerged as a global vendor, with very mature products and solutions”
NEC CORPORATION
“ We want our reputation outside of Japan to be what it is inside Japan”
334 January 2023 NEC CORPORATION

Expansion at pace – a period of exceptional achievement for NEC

Over the last 18 months alone, NEC has implemented some vast changes. These include the acquisition of two major companies: Blue Danube, now NEC Advanced Networks, to aid NEC’s development of radio products, and, more recently, Aspire Technologies, a network consulting and integration firm based in Dublin.

“So the changes there, organisationally, have been to add on those capabilities and integrate them within our product and our services portfolio, making sure that we make the best of those synergies,” says Lopez.

Alongside this, NEC has invested heavily in expanding its product line.

“Over the last 18 months, NEC has launched 18 new radio products – all of which are Open RAN, all high performance, and high capacity – also RAN software that has some of the most advanced capabilities in the world in that space, and a converged core that is infinitely scalable and cloudnative,” Lopez outlines.

“So, taking all those products that were cutting-edge in Japan, we’ve adapted and launched them internationally. In this time, we’ve really emerged as a global vendor with very mature products and solutions. Seemingly overnight, for people looking from the outside,” Lopez states.

“There has been significant change in our posture globally,” Cohen adds.

“And, in order to service the global market, you need to have boots on the ground everywhere that you hope to serve customers. So, our team in North America has grown from basically zero to more than 30 people in a year-and-a-half. Patrick has built a robust product line management team globally, and I was hired within the

last year to establish a 5G-centric global marketing organisation. All of these changes are geared towards making Open RAN real for everyone around the globe.”

So, as NEC launches its global growth strategy, there are high hopes that it can replicate the same success internationally that it has achieved in its home market.

“We want to take our success in Japan and bring the same high quality solutions and service to everyone, everywhere. We want to be an iconic brand that is recognisable and be an irreplaceable partner to our customers,” says Lopez.

“Our goal is to earn the distinction of being a globally recognised vendor of choice because of our ability to deliver high performance, high-quality products, which are also blazingly innovative and radically open.”

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336 January 2023

HOW CHANGE MANAGEMENT TRANSFORMS THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

technologymagazine.com 337 SANTANDER UK

Creating a better customer experience, generating a healthy, workplace culture, and ensuring all talent is gainfully used are challenges that can make or break a business these days.

Alongside this is the drive to take businesses – especially banks – entirely online. Branches are closing at a rate of knots, while customers are facing the prospect of their troubleshooting being carried out by increasingly sophisticated, AI-driven chatbots. Although theoretically streamlined, it cuts out the human touch – an element essential to any business that wants to garner loyalty within its customer base.

It is these elements and more that have fallen in the job jar of Santander UK’s CTO and Head of Operations, Jas Narang. A veteran of the bank with 25 years’ experience, the former engineer is a passionate advocate of healthy workplace culture and the needs of the customer. Narang is also a brilliant strategist who has led extraordinary changes throughout Santander UK’s digital journey. It is these changes that are leading the bank towards a unique, hybrid challenger definition that considers all the needs of its customers and staff.

Santander UK’s CTO, Jas Narang, outlines the bank’s innovative strategy to fulfil better customer experiences
338 January 2023
2004 Banco Santander acquired Abbey National 2010 rebranded as Santander UK 18K+ employees technologymagazine.com 339 SANTANDER UK

Jas Narang

TITLE: CTO

COMPANY: SANTANDER UK

INDUSTRY: BANKING

LOCATION: UNITED KINGDOM

Jasmeet (Jas) Narang is currently Chief Transformation Officer & Head of Operations Community at Santander UK.

As part of the CTO role, Jas and his team are responsible for and working with teams across Santander UK & Group to build core capabilities including Customer Interactions, Digital, Process Re-engineering, Data, Agile Ways of Working, Supply Chain Management & People/ Organisation levers to help set the foundations for the bank to grow in the future whilst maximising productivity. He also manages the federated operations functions and acts as the central owner for both Regulatory and Group responsibilities.

EXECUTIVE BIO 340 January 2023 SANTANDER UK

Change management and a new, agile approach

Though many organisations claim to be agile and flexible, internal structures often restrict staff movement between departments. This results in the under-utilisation of talent in addition to the restriction of inter-company communication and cooperation.

To counteract this, Santander UK is employing a unique internal structure called ‘Change Management’. The system enables complete interaction and cooperation between the bank’s multiple teams, along with fluid movement between departments for staff, so that the workforce can be interoperatable and multidisciplinary. Talent isn’t static; rather, it is shared across the organisation, boosting ideas, innovation, and job satisfaction.

14mn active UK customers 449+ branches £220.2bn customer loans £190.7bn customer deposits 7mn digital customers technologymagazine.com 341

Workforce agility in full effect

The radical transformation of Santander UK’s internal structure began in 2020, involving 250 small to medium-sized initiatives. This makes the structure much more resilient compared with one that relies on the more usual model of, say, 10 initiatives. The idea is that the company is neither top-heavy nor bottom-heavy, but instead operates with a small, central team, surrounded by many flexible, interoperable teams.

Narang explains: “We've got a very light central team, but the involvement

of a fair few hundred people across the organisation at various levels – from the front-end, customer-facing colleagues through to the C-suite. It's about cutting across the organisation and making sure that we involve as many people as possible and generate as many ideas as possible across the organisation, reimagining those processes and customer journeys.”

The benefits of such a radical approach are already evident, with faster implementation of ideas among many more innovative plans being generated across the organisation.

JAS NARANG CTO, SANTANDER UK
“I'm very, very passionate about the Change Management aspect and the involvement of people. That’s the cornerstone that differentiates us from other banks and organisations”
technologymagazine.com 343 SANTANDER UK

“Change Management has helped us to create a very strong foundation for people passionate about change, who want to make a difference to the customer and, therefore, are not only coming up with ideas, but are also being involved in the implementation of those ideas.

“That's been a cornerstone of our Change Management strategy over the last couple of years. By no means am I saying it's ultraperfect; there's always more that you can do to get the organisation to come along the journey with you. But the idea and the strategy has been to broad base that, rather than have a small team of people who direct from the centre. It's been the key for us.”

JAS NARANG CTO, SANTANDER UK
344 January 2023 SANTANDER UK
“You can't have a cookie-cutter approach because people deserve better. I always say, 'You can’t stack them high and sell them cheap'”

Driving innovation through Change Management

The benefits of Change Management

While the immediate benefits of Change Management see a well-distributed and agile body of talent throughout Santander UK’s internal structure, the solution has numerous additional advantages. One of those benefits is employee inclusion in the digital transformation process. While many companies cite employee resistance to change as one of the stumbling blocks of transitioning to a digital system, Santander UK’s staff can comprehend the impact their performance has on the peripheral teams and are far more invested in driving forward the company as a whole, according to Narang.

“We set up various work streams for the transformation, involving vertical business units due to the traditional structure in a bank, but also with horizontal capabilities such as data and process re-engineering in the conversion from legacy to cloud.

“We’ve combined vertical and horizontal work streams with a work-stream leader and initiative owners with the various initiatives or projects under each of those work streams.”

The system is enormously experimental and involves more than 250 people across the organisation to physically lead each of those projects.

“Because they were leading those projects, they got intimately involved in

technologymagazine.com 345

“There is a particular section of our society that does like to walk into a branch for some specific piece of advice or certain types of transactions. They feel more comfortable dealing with a human being, rather than with a piece of equipment”

346 January 2023 SANTANDER UK

this whole big chunk of the transformation of a programme.”

Removing roadblocks to encourage project owners to deliver their own ideas and prioritising investments and resources while having the backing of the organisation are pushing new innovations over the finish line.

“A result of that is that people have been led to participate in it – we've trained them along the way to make sure that they understand what change and transformation means. For example, over the past couple of years, we've been able to promote 27% of the people involved in transformation, compared with promotions for the entire organisation, which stand at between 12 and 13%.”

It’s a startling success story that has more than doubled the number of people involved in digital transformation, thereby maximising talent and innovation in that space. Through Change Management, staff are exposed to a wider view of their role within the bank, and this has expanded their appreciation of their impact across Santander UK.

A future that involves bank branches

Another dramatic shift that has emerged as a result of Change Management is a growth in the keen understanding of the needs of customers.

Unlike other market-leading banks, Santander UK does not have plans to close all its high-street branches. Instead, the plan is to examine customer requirements, and respond to their demands, a concept that some may see as swimming against the tide in an increasingly digitised industry – but Narang is confident in the strategy.

He explains: “Santander UK is the fifth largest bank in the country. We think of

specific transactions. human
technologymagazine.com 347 SANTANDER UK

ourselves as challenging the big four of Lloyds, Barclays, HSBC, and NatWest.

“Basically, our vision and mission is to be a digital bank with a human touch. Our purpose is to help businesses and our customers prosper – that's what we exist for.”

Catering to the needs of customers

Part of this purpose is to ensure that all customer requirements are met. The bank’s recognition that, despite the widespread digitisation of the banking industry as a whole, people prefer to interact with people rather than bots is allowing Santander to set itself apart. Of course, it’s a radical move – but one that Narang takes pride in.

“During the pandemic, the banking sector saw a huge amount of change. What was going to take somewhere between 7 to

10 years – in terms of digital adoption by customers – has happened in the course of the last 18 to 24 months.

“It's a huge shift in how customers want to bank, right? Everybody wants to bank on their phone rather than walking into a branch. And that’s multiple times a day for various different requirements and needs that each customer has.

“But the reality is also that there’s a segment, or particular section of our society, that does like to walk into a branch for some specific piece of advice, or for certain types of transactions where they feel more comfortable dealing with a humanbeing, rather than remotely on a piece of equipment.”

The plan is for Santander UK to balance its developing digital journeys at scale, which caters to all customer’s needs. “We're aiming

348 January 2023 SANTANDER UK

to be a digital bank with a human touch, or you could call it a digital bank with branches. That's what our goal is and that's what we're going to be steadfast on in the coming foreseeable future.”

Partnerships for success

To assist Santander UK in its strategies, the bank is partnered with three companies especially in the customer service and technology area, namely: Concentrix, which assists in customer journeys; Genpact for operational services; and Coforge, which handles IT fulfilment. Unlike other organisations that collaborate with a wide spectrum of businesses within the digital ecosystem, Santander UK has reformed its partnership network and chosen to form alliances with companies that can assist them across a wide range of verticals.

“It's about cutting across the organisation and making sure that we involve as many people as possible, generating as many ideas as possible across the organisation to reimagine those processes and customer journeys”
technologymagazine.com 349 SANTANDER UK

“Traditionally, we've had a core set of Top 20 partners, and then a very long tail that deals with hundreds of individual businesses or partners for small tasks. The endeavour today is that we're going to partner with fewer – yet more strategic – partners in the ecosystem,” says Narang.

This enables Santander UK to build deeper and more meaningful relationships with their ecosystem partners – but also strike a balance between relationship and risk: while fewer partners does mean a greater concentration of risk, this can be more than manageable with the right strategy in place.

A bright outlook for the future

As the next 18 to 24 months unfold, Narang is quietly confident about how the market will affect Santander UK. He believes a solid strategy will help the bank weather the storm. While rising inflation rates are a concern for all financial institutions, because Santander UK is a retail bank, and not an investment bank, they have not been subject to the highs and lows that other organisations are facing.

“We are largely a retail bank, not a big investment bank. Therefore, we haven't taken crazy bets on some sector A or

350 January 2023

derivative B or product C. The bulk of retail bank business is mortgages. And the reality is that when the times are tough, customers think about paying off their mortgage before a credit card or a personal loan – or any other type of borrowing. Everybody wants to protect their house first as a natural human behaviour.”

Customers deserve a flexible approach in hard times

A responsibility towards helping customers through difficult times is a priority for Santander UK. In this, personalisation is key, because economic instability requires a flexible outlook.

'You can't have a cookie-cutter approach because people deserve better. I always say'. You can stack them high and sell them cheap." Customers don't go for that any longer. That used to be the case 10 years or 15 years back, but not any more.”

His own experience as a consumer influences his take on how products and services should be managed. “I want to feel I am wanted by the bank. You're personalising stuff for me that is tailored to my needs here and now.”

Ultimately, Change Management has contributed extensively to Santander UK’s agile customer experience.

Narang concludes: “I'm very, very passionate about the Change Management aspect and the involvement of people. That’s the cornerstone that differentiates us from other banks or other organisations.”

“Because they were leading those projects, they got intimately involved in this whole big chunk of the transformation of a programme”
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JAS NARANG CTO, SANTANDER UK

TECHNOLO is key outstanding

352 January 2023

TECHNOLO G Y key to providing outstanding service

technologymagazine.com 353 CAFCASS

From receiving the worst possible rating to being outstanding a decade later, Cafcass CIO Robert Langley describes the organisation’s digital journey

Utilising the right technology has the potential to transform lives, but arguably nowhere is this as apparent as in the case of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass).

Cafcass works exclusively in England with children and families who are involved in the family courts. It employs about 2,300 people, with a flexible workforce to ensure that children's voices are heard in the family courts.

Appointed by the courts, the organisation works across private and public law and supports more than 140,000 children and young people each year.

For Robert Langley, who is Chief Information Officer at Cafcass and also part of the organisation’s corporate management team, technology is crucial to ensuring that children and staff are supported: from enabling hybrid working to providing case workers with the tools they need.

“The main focus of my job is essentially to make sure that the technology that we've got works when it's needed, as people want it to, and hopefully expect,” he says. “So, I'm involved across the organisation, looking at all aspects of our work as a public body.”

Since joining Cafcass in 2008 as part of a small team of three or four people, Langley’s position - and the organisation itself - has gone through a great deal of change.

354 January 2023 CAFCASS
Robert Langley is the Chief Information Officer at Cafcass

Cafcass has gone from being rated by Ofsted, the inspector, as inadequate in 2008 to being ranked as outstanding a decade later, representing an impressive turnaround which was driven by a single-minded focus to improve how the organisation works.

“I arrived as part of a new team of people coming into all sorts of different parts of the organisation to transform Cafcass, because we were pretty low as an organisation,” Langley explains. “There was quite a lot of criticism from all sorts of different sources, and we were getting the worst possible ratings from the inspectors.

“We
are dealing with about 11% more children than pre-pandemic at the moment. So that's about 6,500 additional children”
356 January 2023 CAFCASS

“In that first 10-year period, we took ourselves in stages up through the rankings,” he adds. “And we came out in 2018 as an outstanding organisation overall, which everybody's incredibly proud of. That's the best possible verdict from the inspectors, so from the worst possible to the best, all within a decade, is quite a turnaround, very hard to achieve.”

EXECUTIVE BIO

ROBERT LANGLEY

TITLE: CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER COMPANY: CAFCASS

INDUSTRY: PUBLIC SECTOR LOCATION: UNITED KINGDOM

After postgraduate research, Rob moved into public service, starting in performance and data analysis for the police and children’s services. Taking on an increasingly broad information management and technology brief, he has been heavily involved in organisational improvement and digital transformation for over 20 years. Most recently, he has led the technology function at Cafcass and been part of the corporate management team, building delivery partnerships and enabling our transformation into an outstanding organisation with sector-leading technology. A strategic thinker and inclusive leader, Rob enjoys working in an environment where everyone is focused on achieving the best possible outcomes for the children and families whose lives we touch.

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YOUR IT, IN SAFE HANDS

Technology underpinned positive change

One key part of the dramatic improvement is the use of technology, which has been used holistically to underpin Cafcass’ strategy.

“It's not just the technology changes that we've made that have impacted that, but I think that has underpinned a lot of what we've been able to do,” comments Langley. There have been wholesale changes in social work practice as well, trying to make sure that people are emphasising the importance of understanding the uniqueness of each child, and their experiences, spending the time talking and listening to families.

“But because of the changes that we've made to the way the business runs, that's been much more possible,” he adds. “So, we've got far less variation in business practice, so we're not a series of disjointed

2001 Year founded 2.3K+ Number of employees 90% Overall satisfaction rating technologymagazine.com 359 CAFCASS

regions working in unique ways. We've done a huge amount of centralisation of core services. So, it should mean that, whether you're in Cumbria or Cornwall, you get a similar experience that, hopefully, is a very, very good experience.”

Describing digital transformation as working hand in hand with the business change, Cafcass has avoided having a separate IT strategy or digital strategy, Langley explains.

The organisation’s journey started simply, making sure that the social work staff – known as family court advisers or guardians depending on their role – were able to work remotely and expanding the number of mobile phones in use, before beginning

Cafcass: technology is key to providing outstanding service
360 January 2023 CAFCASS
“Some years before we reached the period of the pandemic, everybody had a hybrid laptop and smartphone, from the receptionist up to the chief exec”

to look at the case management system, which went through a number of iterations.

“Firstly, we had a case record system with lots of filing cabinets, and then we had a case recording system with a digital document store,” he says. “And then we moved to a unified, proper case management system, which is cloud-based, and available everywhere. And now it is just the beating heart of the organisation.

“We are wholly digital first. Those hundred-odd offices that we used to have when I started were places to keep the filing cabinets. They were places to go to use the computer. We've got 33 offices now. And those are welcoming places to meet families and children.”

Providing the best possible service in the pandemic

The COVID19 pandemic represented a difficult time for all - but the fact that Cafcass had already established a hybrid working environment made for a smoother transition as the world locked down.

“Some years before the pandemic, everybody had a hybrid laptop and smartphone, from the receptionist up to the Chief Exec,” Langley describes. “We've got SaaS systems for HR, finance, and all the other core systems. Our centralised analytics function is also so important.

“We knew that those people could survive without an internet connection because they could hotspot from their phones or they could go and work from home. And then, of course, March 2020 came upon us, which everybody still remembers. But what it meant for us was, for as short a time as possible – because when you're in a people business like ours, you need to meet people in person - we took the decision to move to a fully-remote working model and temporarily closed the offices.

“The workforce was used to it,” he says. “People knew what they were doing. We could take all our functions and people could go and work from home or wherever they needed to. And the technology was there, which meant that we could focus our attention as a management team on keeping

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362 January 2023 CAFCASS
“We've it or

staff safe, and on continuing to provide the best possible service in the circumstances with children and families.

“It put us in a really strong, and I think resilient, position, that commitment to a hybrid way of working that we've all started talking about in the last couple of years,” Langley adds.

Upgrading case management system

Describing it as the ‘beating heart’ of the organisation, the decision to upgrade Cafcass’ case management system was an integral part of the digital transformation.

Upgrading such an important system in the worst of the pandemic might seem a surprising decision but, as Langley explains, the benefits far outweighed any potential difficulties.

“We decided that the core product that runs our business should be replaced during a pandemic,” he laughs. “The original driver was a purely pragmatic technical decision because the previous iteration was based on SharePoint 2010 as the back end. It was going end-of-life, so we had to replace it.

“We took the opportunity to do something a bit more than just change the version of SharePoint, and do something really special. And working with Version 1, our partner for

“We've done a huge amount of centralisation. So it should mean that whether you're in Cumbria or Cornwall, you get a similar experience that, hopefully, is a very, very good experience”
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ROBERT LANGLEY CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER , CAFCASS

that, I'd like to think, and I certainly say, that what we've got is probably one of the best case management systems around now.

“We did a phased implementation while everybody was working almost entirely remotely, and it was a remarkable success. It could have gone either way, I think. But we were confident in the project and training teams, and people really engaged with that.”

Enabled by SaaS solutions, the transition to the new CMS, called ChildFirst, has benefitted from remarkably positive feedback since its implementation.

“We were coming from a place where people really liked the old case management system, the so-called electronic case management system,” comments Langley. “They liked it and they felt it did what they needed it to do. But when we started bringing the stories about what was going to be, everybody engaged with that.”

“I think we did six phases over about 13 months - we started in June 2020. So we were deep into lockdown territory. And

after that final drop, we asked people what they thought of their new, shiny browserdelivered, single sign-on system. And we were slightly taken aback because we got a 90% overall satisfaction rating from people. And they told us it was a real improvement on the previous system, which in my experience is a rare and special thing in any technology project to get that level of feedback,” he explains. “It probably feels like quite a high-risk thing to do, but I think we got it right.”

Partners enabling success

As with any organisation, Cafcass utilises a network of partners to help the organisation deliver its goals. One such partner is Jigsaw24, a relatively recent addition to the ecosystem.

“When we needed to upgrade our smartphones, Jigsaw24 came to us with a great proposal,” Langley explains. “Beyond the basic just device as a service, it fitted well with a remote working model, and fits into the core service that Littlefish provides in the desktop support service.

“One of the things I'd say about our work with all of our partners at Cafcass is that we all know that it's hard work to deliver good services to people,” Langley adds. “It involves a bit of back and forth and all those kinds of difficult discussions from time to time. But the critical thing is that it's a united front to the organisation and to the staff who are receiving the service. As we’re getting 95% plus satisfaction with the service desk, and a declining number of incidents per person, I’d say that suggests it’s working.”

Maintaining outstanding service in challenging times

The near future has the potential to be a very challenging time, amid ongoing economic challenges.

“We are dealing with about 11% more children than pre-pandemic at the moment.
So that's about 6,500 additional children”
364 January 2023 CAFCASS

90% APPROVAL FOR NEW CASE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

Implementing and introducing a new case management system in the middle of COVID19 lockdown was, as Langley describes, a huge undertaking. Starting in June 2020, the team worked in six phases over around 13 months to deliver an improved system, which received a remarkable 90% overall satisfaction rating. “Since then we've done quarterly iterations, listening to staff and the strategic imperatives; we're constantly evolving,” Langley says.

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366 January 2023 CAFCASS

“In the UK, and globally, we've got an economic situation that is difficult, which has a knock-on impact potentially on government finances,” Langley explains. “So, there are underlying considerations to think about.”

There are also challenges in family justice more broadly, around the absolute numbers of children and families in the system, but also the delays in cases, which is in part a hangover from the pandemic.

“We are dealing with about 11% more children than pre-pandemic at the moment,” Langley adds. “So that's about 6,500 additional children. And of the roughly 34,000 open and active children’s cases that we're currently supporting, about 15,000 children have cases that have been open for more than 52 weeks.

“If you imagine that in the context of a child's life, a year has a huge impact. The pandemic has been at the centre of increasing those case durations across the family justice system, which is really challenging for a group of organisations that are desperate to improve.”

There are huge plans in the future, Langley describes, including beginning to pilot artificial intelligence (AI) and background automation to free up staff time, while there are plans for a website refresh in the near future.

“We've got some really interesting irons in the fire to start testing out carefully what the role of AI could be,” he comments, “which I'm really excited about because we've been talking about it for quite a long time. But I think we might finally be able to actually do some projects to test out some of the theories.”

“Security is of course still incredibly important and we undertake a lot of work in the background, making sure everything remains secure.

“I really want to spend some more time thinking about our environmental impact as well,” Langley concludes. “Reducing our footprint in various ways would be a great thing because we need to acknowledge that that's the context that we're all living in.”

“We've got some really interesting irons in the fire to start testing out carefully what the role of AI could be”
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BRINGS FREIGHT FLEXIBILITY TO CUSTOMERS USING DATA

368 January 2023
technologymagazine.com 369 CENTRIMEX

It’s safe to say that, if supply chain firms were leveraging the capabilities they have today, the process of change would be made that much simpler. In fact, it would allow businesses to positively thrive among adverse circumstances and come out stronger, faster.

Planning contingencies is no easy task, and one that’s often required at short notice — yet it’s where the use of real-time data really shines. The ability to track shipments and foresee disruption is a luxury that’s used at Centrimex, a freight-forwarding organisation that is committed to great service through dedication to even better visibility.

The company’s vision is to provide high quality services adapted to the customers’ needs, at the right price, and with a seamless experience to the customer. But, in an environment where disruption is rife, Alexia Schmitt, Chief Transformation and Information Officer at Centrimex, has a critical role to play. This particular role is responsible for getting goods from point A to point B by maintaining visibility — visibility that is driven by real-time data.

The aim of the business is to manage clients’ freight, from the shipping process to all of the documentation and processes required to ensure that goods are able to cross borders.

“The core mission is to manage services around the whole transportation process, with the best level of service for the customers,” says Schmitt. “This means

Driven by data, visibility is a key part of the Centrimex approach to customer experience and creating a more collaborative working environment
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Centrimex brings freight flexibility to customers using data

bringing the expertise on geographical areas to customers, as well as the specific requirements for documentation or declarations that requires know-how and experience to meet specific and legal obligations.”

As the company continues to grow and offer exceptional freight-forwarding services, this starts with customer focus — ensuring that clients receive the best possible service throughout the shipping process and maintain confidence in the business.

“The first step is to understand the customer’s expectations. This is something that the company has been working on over the last two years through customer surveys and interviews with a sample of customers,” says Schmitt. “More than a hundred customers were individually interviewed so we could better understand what is important to them, because, despite working with our customers on a daily basis,

it's important to know exactly what the key criteria are for them to trust a freight forwarder.

“Understanding the customer expectations is a step we’ve achieved and allows us to deliver the best customer experience.”

Throughout the survey process, Centrimex was able to gain key information from its customers, which raised the issue of ‘time-toanswer’ — basically meaning customers were in need of much faster communications on a consistent basis.

“ When I joined Centrimex, the knowledge and the use of data was very basic”
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ALEXIA SCHMITT TITLE: CHIEF TRANSFORMATION AND TECHNOLOGY OFFICER

LOCATION: FRANCE

Graduating from an engineering school in agronomy, Alexia Schmitt started her career in manufacturing, then the supply chain area, where she acted as a consultant, managing different projects in various companies and business areas. After eight years, she took the opportunity to move to an IT role, first in the Soft Drinks industry, then in the Cosmetics and retail area, where she undertook several IT management positions over almost 15 years.

2.5 years ago, she joined Centrimex to embrace a launch and steer the Digital Transformation of the Company.

EXECUTIVE BIO
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“Pain points of the shipping process raised by our customers are related to the time it takes to receive a response to a request,” she says. “For example, when a new quote is requested by our customer, the first criteria is to get the answer quickly.”

“If we take two days or three days to answer, it’s no good for the customer. So time is a key focus in the sales process. That's the reason we've been working to understand customer data and, through a specific project, we consolidate customer data into our database.”

Supply chain visibility stems from customer needs

Thanks to its in-depth customer research, Centrimex has been able to consolidate and better-use data to be more proactive for its clients. In freight-forwarding, the company

374 January 2023 CENTRIMEX

was able to address the time it takes clients to receive updates on their freight, achieving this by providing them with technology that could do just that.

Combatting a lack of visibility and the time to access it was the reason behind Centrimex’s tracking solution: Click & Track.

“We’ve focused on these two pain points over the last two years to deliver services around that,” says Schmitt. “That was an important initiative, which then facilitated the use of the tracking solution.”

“The Click & Track service provides alerts on the possible issues during a shipment — both to the customer but also to our teams. When an issue arises, there are situations where you can find alternatives or options to fix the problem with the shipping line,” she explains.

Click & Track services have been revolutionary for the company. Not only does it provide solutions to its customers’ needs, the business can also leverage data to ensure that

it reaches any potential concerns before the client and come up with alternatives at a faster rate.

“The Click & Track service answers customer expectations on visibility, sending notifications at the key steps of the shipment but also — similar to Amazon’s approach — they receive a link to a webpage where they can follow the different steps of the journey of the shipment,” says Schmitt.

“The internal team also gets the alerts very quickly and works with the providers to fix the issues if possible. It's not possible in some cases, like that of the evergreen boat in the Suez Canal. But, in other cases, you can work with the shipping line to find solutions. This was really the purpose of the Click & Track service, which was launched more than a year ago and we’ve had very good feedback from the customers.”

Tracking goods is a way of leveraging real-time data from customers and their shipments, with further details from

technologymagazine.com 375 CENTRIMEX

shipping lines to confirm the stage at which consignments are in the transit process. This is limited to downstream movements from the point of Centrimex’s interaction with goods, which covers the entire process from when products leave the warehouse to when they are received by the customer.

However, part of the success in managing downstream processes is related to managing upstream pre-departure of shipments.

“The Click & Track service will focus on the downstream—the journey itself. But, for the customer, it's important to get information for the upstream part. Say the shipment preparation is the booking, is it confirmed by the shipping line? Is there any delay in this booking? There are different steps to prepare the shipment before the goods are loaded on the ship,” says Schmitt.

“Through a collaborative platform, you can give visibility to the customer on these different steps. It's a very straight forward approach, we give the customer complete transparency to help build trust within our relationships. We are actually rolling outa wider collaborative platform allowing us to gain a global view of the shipment, upstream and downstream, including sharing documents easily with the customers.”

Bringing data into the supply chain mix

To ensure a successful journey for every consignment that goes through Centrimex, the company underwent its own transformation process, with one of the key components for a solution that meets its customers’ needs being data.

In just over two-and-a-half years, Schmitt has worked with the company to transition from minimal data usage to incorporating it into the wider strategy of the business; it’s effectively become part of Centrimex’s offering.

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“When I joined Centrimex, the knowledge and the use of data was very basic. So the first task was to consolidate the data to get a better understanding of it. And we’ve improved customer data through the implementation of a CRM solution.” These developments were necessary for maintaining a watchful eye over all goods. Schmitt goes on to explain how access to key performance indicators (KPIs) is critical for personnel to support clients. As data becomes a more integral part of the business on a daily basis, it opens up even more doors for efficiency and customer satisfaction.

“We are able to see a 360-degree view of the customer. That means, when I visit a customer, I'm able to get all the data on them. What were the outcomes of the last visit? What are the KPIs with this customer? The data and invoicing situation? Well, any important customer KPI is available to us in order to deliver the best service.

“Globally speaking, we worked on consolidating it in a data warehouse to share the same KPIs among the company, givingall employees in the company access to their KPIs to improve their performance and develop their business.

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“This was a very important project over the last two years. We still have much to do, but the first step is to know the data, and then to use the data for predictive input and analysis.”

To roll out the wider use of data, the company leaned on partners for the provision of those solutions that supported its strategy. INGENIA Consulting also supported the company’s transformation — a partnership previously formed by Schmitt in a past stage of her career.

“I had already worked with the INGENIA team, so I knew the company,” she says. “They are data experts-though it's a quite small company, they have developed and

maintained the knowledge and expertise on data technologies, such as Power BI or the ETL part which is crucial in the data scope.”

“Choosing the right solution partner is very key. We have partners that will support the implementation or the development of in-house solutions. To choose the right partner, they must have a good understanding of the challenge, working closely with our partners and our teams to gain that understanding.”

As the company moves forward, its efforts to consolidate data will continue, while more emphasis will be placed on visibility for both the clients and the Centrimex team. As the use of data becomes embedded in the business, it can look to automate processes to achieve a new level of speed and insight for its clients.

Schmitt, meanwhile, believes automation will free up more personnel to focus on future developments and reach a new stage of its transformation journey.

“We are introducing automation as much as possible where there’s no real value. This is really to focus the teams on the value rather than just recording data in a system. So, automation will be a major challenge for the next 12 to 18 months.”

ALEXIA SCHMITT CHIEF TRANSFORMATION & INFORMATION OFFICER, CENTRIMEX
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“ The Click & Track service will focus on the downstream — the journey itself”
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UPG ENTERPRISES ON DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION AND AUTOMATION

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Joe Madda is the CIO at UPG Enterprises which works across steel services and logistics. Here, he discusses security, digital transformation, and automation

UPG Enterprises provides shared services across a series of companies that it owns, primarily in the steel service centre and logistics industries. The company also provides technology enablement - from IT to - from IT and HR to finance and marketingwhile looking for areas where it can introduce new, more mature processes to help the businesses it owns run more successfully.

Joe Madda is the CIO at UPG Enterprises and has been with the company for two years. In his role, he oversees the IT teams, which are made up of a help desk and infrastructure team, a digital marketing team, an enterprise services team, and a data services team.

“I've always been interested in technology,” Madda says. “Even as a kid, I always had computers and tinkered with them to figure out how they worked. That got me into programming.”

How automation can build more efficient teams UPG Enterprises’ cloud migration has been an interesting journey, according to Madda.

“We've grown the business and, as we acquire new companies, some of them have varying degrees of maturity in their own processes and their own technology,” explains Madda.

Due to this, UPG Enterprises has inherited several different varieties of tech maturity, as well as areas for improvement.

“When I joined UPG two years ago, we had to get a real lay of the land. IT teams were scattered and not connected. I had a help desk team that was helping

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UPG Enterprises on digital transformation and automation

to keep the organisation running, but we never really did the deep dive into each of the businesses and saw how they managed from a technology perspective, or what level of process maturity they had in place.”

As a result, the company spent time looking at where there were areas for improvement. Eventually, Madda and his team developed a strategy to create a more stable and scalable infrastructure. This strategy allows them to introduce newer technologies faster and develop better operating practices.

“We have 27 locations throughout North America, two in Canada, one in Mexico and the rest are in the continental USA. Each

“They're a trusted partner, especially when it comes to networks and security”
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of those has presented its own unique set of challenges that we inherited, and these facilities are not the best environments for hosting technology. These are steel service centre facilities that don't always have the cleanest, most stable environment.”

Madda got to work identifying missioncritical systems and what systems could not afford to have any downtime. Data was shifted into data centres or into cloud facilities.

“Part of the cloud migration strategy has been around consolidation,” Madda adds.

“We identify where there's a tonne of fragmentation within our business and where we can try to keep it simple.”

Automation processes play a huge role at UPG Enterprises in several areas. One specific area of focus is on the IT process and data. Since UPG is spread across 14 businesses and 27 locations, the company has a real need for efficient ERPs.

“One of the things that we've really focused on is the automation of pulling all this data together into a centralised location, where we can aggregate the data and make it visible,” says Madda.

UPG Enterprises creates a level of visibility for the business that it lacked in the past, even on an individual level. However, through automation, data can now be pulled from each of these systems,

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cleaned, aggregated and reported to each of the businesses in whatever format they need.

“As a holding company, UPG needs visibility to data. So, that's been one area of automation,” says Madda. “On the IT front, we have made tremendous strides to assimilate and use our current systems in order to pull in and use the data that we have available today, like our ERPs and our HR system.”

To ensure that people can communicate properly and as needed makes a difference. On the IT and data side, there’s been a heavy focus on automation, removing fragmentation and creating consistency across the business.

Since UPG’s business focus is on manufacturing, there is a lot of opportunity for automation on the operations side of the business.

“With the adoption of robotics, system consolidation and creating better visibility, we can make better decisions with realtime data,” says Madda. “The adoption of the hardware that will help make us more efficient is not the sort of thing you can do overnight. This is about creating efficiencies and enabling our workers to work smarter. Ultimately, our people are our greatest asset.”

For Madda, it's not about cost cutting, it's about creating an efficient way of working so that the teams can run faster. Automating more repetitive tasks, especially in manufacturing, can achieve this and achieve safety.

“Cybersecurity is an ongoing task, it never ends and there's always bad guys looking for new vulnerabilities”
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JOE MADDA CIO, UPG ENTERPRISES

Cybersecurity and digital transformation at UPG Enterprises

However, in cybersecurity there is no room for cost-cutting. Automation, at least, is not a moving target.

“Cybersecurity is an ongoing task, it never ends,” says Madda. “There's always bad guys looking for new vulnerabilities.”

At UPG, the team has a strategy: first and foremost is just to create visibility.

“We need to know what's going on in our network,” says Madda. “We have several facilities, we have lots of systems.”

By creating a consistent infrastructure and ecosystem while removing fragmentation across their businesses, UPG is able to remove some of the guesswork.

“We know that if we're managing through a single provider, then we can ensure that everybody has safeguards like MFA turned on and we can enforce that,” says Madda. “By creating visibility, it allows us to make better decisions and ensure that there are certain things that we don’t have to worry about, because it is not optional.” Digital transformation is something else that UPG has been focused on over the past few years.

“This industry is not always at the forefront of technology adoption “ admits Madda. “By demonstrating the value of digital transformation and what we can accomplish through that, it will sway our teams to adopt new technologies.”

One of the things that UPG introduced to its data services team was Tableau, which allowed the company to create a robust reporting package available to its user base.

“It's available to our ownership and management,” says Madda. “It creates visibility at a level that they just never had before. This allows us to make better decisions and react to changes in the environment quickly.”

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14

Joe Madda

TITLE: CIO INDUSTRY: MANUFACTURING

LOCATION: UNITED STATES

Joe Madda is a Chief Information Officer with 20+ years of experience, a proven track record of leadership, transformation and delivering solutions to drive efficiency, visibility, and accuracy across organisations. Mr. Madda has served as a CIO and as a top technology consultant in multiple

industries, giving him the unique perspective necessary to identify areas of opportunity and efficiency. Throughout his career, he has been equally strategic and tactical allowing him to lead and contribute in the boardroom, architecture discussions, and code reviews.

Mr. Madda holds a B.A. in Management Information Systems (MIS) from Creighton University and M.S. in Information Systems with honors from DePaul University.

EXECUTIVE BIO

For UPG Enterprises, having visibility tools at their fingertips makes them a better company. Although educating employees can be a slow process, enabling them to understand the value of digital transformation is worthwhile and ensures stronger workplace cohesion.

Partnerships for strong networking and security

UPG Enterprises has had a partnership with IT company ACP for for two years.

“They're a trusted partner that we use for both our hardware provisioning and their expertise in technology,” explains Madda. “Especially when it comes to networks and security.”

The computer and network security company Fortinet is another partner of UPG. They help UPG identify and adopt best practices in the world of network security and networking.

“Fortinet has a great suite of products that work well within our environments. We rely on them to educate us on the best way these systems should be rolled out, which keeps our system secure as well as keep us up-to-date on potential threats.”

UPG Enterprises has made investments in newer technologies, specifically around Fortinet, as the company uses a lot of Fortinet's products. Both businesses have educated UPG on best practices, training teams to be self-sufficient and helping to roll out platforms.

“They have helped us to create this ecosystem, which is stable and scalable as we continue to grow.”

As a company that has had rapid growth and frequent acquisitions, it has been extremely helpful to have

a playbook so that the acquired companies can quickly and easily be integrated into the IT environment.

“We have to have a repeatable process in place that allows us to absorb more companies,” says Madda.

Madda believes that the essential ingredient to a successful partnership is one where the lines are blurred between the vendor and the client.

“When we started this process, we were looking for partners, not vendors. We wanted our partners to be an extension of our team. We wanted organisations that we could have open and honest conversations with about our needs and the solutions that they can deliver, and ultimately trust,” he says. “Those are the best and most essential ingredients for a successful partnership.”

Over the next 12 months at UPG Enterprises, Madda and his team will continue to build out a strong foundation for the company to grow on.

“We have very diverse businesses,” he says. “We have very diverse environments, and diverse systems. Some fragmentation within our systems is unavoidable. So, we do need to determine how to make an environment work as seamlessly as possible with all that diversity and fragmentation.”

For 2023, Madda’s expectation is that UPG Enterprises will continue to grow both organically and through further acquisition, so they need to have a stable foundation. These partnerships have been very valuable in helping prepare UPG for that growth.

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