Safe Passage Through The Digital Transformation

digital transformation

By Melvin Ejiogu

“Is it safe?” the sinister figure played by Sir Laurence Olivier repeatedly asked Dustin Hoffman’s protagonist in the 1976 film “The Marathon Man.” While in the movie script Olivier was referring to a hidden stash of diamonds, nearly half a century later, the same question speaks to a more frequent and common-place worry: anyone who relies on computer networks – which is really almost everyone today – needs to know their system, their data, and critically their personal information is indeed safe from exploitation, loss or theft.

According to analysts, last year alone companies reported more than 4,100 major data breaches. Many more went unreported. The targets were all household names, like Twitter, Uber, WhatsApp, and major contractors to the U.S. government, and hundreds of millions of customers of these firms had their data compromised. For any business, this is both a reputational and operational nightmare.

The estimated, average cost to a business of a data breach is $3.86 million – an eye-popping sum to any executive who wants to insure his or her company against unplanned expenses.

Whether you’re running a business with ten employees or 10,000, cyber security is a front-of-mind concern because hardly a day goes by without hearing about malicious intrusions like these. Given the irreversible shift the world has seen since the COVID-19 pandemic from office-based jobs to remote work, the challenge of keeping systems safe has become more complex. Gartner, a major business consultancy, predicts that by 2027, more than half of all companies will have adapted to human-centric security practices.

For more than a decade, my company – VeeMost Technologies – has been on the cutting edge of the digital transformation that is exploding right now.  From cloud computing to artificial intelligence, the very ecosystem of technology is now undergoing revolutionary change at an ever-faster pace. What we have learned is that the IT service companies which have thrived during this period have been those which anticipated emerging trends and threats, and positioned their clients to harness the full benefits of the changing landscape.

We see three key IT needs of all enterprises, institutions and organizations today: transitioning to the cloud, scoping out how AI can optimize their operations, and protecting against the heightened risks that can come with remote workforces.

In one form or another, most enterprises today are bridging the gap between traditional IT infrastructure and the hybrid cloud for data storage and resource safety. This is in part to accommodate the changing needs of the workplace, but also remains a dominant trend in tech today. Importantly, cloud-based solutions allow teams to collaborate better, improving processes and outcomes

One question on almost everyone’s mind today is particularly how Artificial Intelligence (AI) is going to change the way we live and work tomorrow.

Just as many rely on ‘Alexa’ or similar apps in the home to help with mundane tasks, businesses are seeking ways to free up employees from repetitive tasks through automation that increase employee productivity and reduce overhead. In the IT services industry, providers who can match their clients’ needs to scalable AI solutions will be very busy in the years ahead.

Perhaps the biggest lesson of the last few years is this: absent the stronger firewalls that brick and mortar offices have been afforded up until now, more and more remote workers now face greater cyber security threats in today’s environment. And without in-house IT departments to respond to the range of everyday network issues companies face, IT service providers are seeing a steep uptick in demand.

Combined with the rapid pace of progress in technology, managed service arrangements are thus becoming increasingly popular.

Managed services let organizations outsource their IT to a growing number of providers. Globally, there are about 150,000 managed services providers, and in 2019 their revenues were $179 billion – a figure that is projected to grow to over $400 billion by 2027.

In this dynamic marketplace, providers with the right partnerships, records of performance and capabilities will likely be the ones that earn their clients’ trust.

The Marathon Man’s diamonds are today’s data – Keeping your enterprise safe requires a holistic approach to your IT needs, and that means having a service provider who is abreast of the emerging trends in tech, like cloud solution and AI.

Cyber security threats pose as great a risk to business today as bandits did to wagon-trains in the Wild West. As your company embarks on the digital transformation, chances are you’ll be looking for the right IT safeguard to get you there safely.

MelvinMelvin Ejiogu is the CEO of VeeMost Technologies and has worked in the technology sector for over a quarter-century.