Unlocking businesses while building strong cybersecurity

Digital transformation allows businesses of every size to use technology to achieve greater efficiency and keep up with customer demands

Kevin Hall, senior systems engineer, Datapac: ‘Flexibility and mobility are core elements of modern work, and the underlying IT resources serving as an organisation’s technical backbone must accommodate this’

In today’s business landscape, it has become vital for organisations across the board to move strategy towards greater agility and the capacity to quickly respond to external factors, said Kevin Hall, senior systems engineer at Datapac.

In this respect, IT is a key enabler, he said.

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Why it is in the news: Datapac is helping businesses large and small exploit the possibilities unlocked by digital transformation

“Flexibility and mobility are core elements of modern work, and the underlying IT resources serving as an organisation’s technical backbone must accommodate this. This applies to both core IT infrastructure, such as compute and storage capabilities, and the applications with which users interact directly. For a modern remote or hybrid workforce, it is essential to select communication, collaboration, and productivity applications that seamlessly facilitate work regardless of employees’ physical locations,” he said.

As a result, Datapac has observed this need being met with a strong increase in Microsoft 365 adoption.

“With a dispersed workforce, data is increasingly stored outside traditional server rooms, often at the endpoint where it is created. This shift reduces the need for traditional on-premises server solutions, with many organisations turning to cloud-based offerings,” Hall said.

For many organisations, cloud technology tends to go hand in hand with digital transformation.

“Public cloud infrastructure offers key advantages over traditional on-premises counterparts, such as transitioning from upfront costs to ongoing investments, the ability to quickly scale resources in response to demand, enhanced accessibility, and streamlined maintenance and updates,” Hall said.

However, full public cloud migration may not always be possible. For example, an organisation may rely on core legacy applications that cannot be migrated to the cloud, or it may operate in industries with stringent data sovereignty requirements.

“In this situation, it is still possible to benefit from cloud infrastructure through a hybrid cloud model. This approach allows some data and applications to remain on-premises while others are moved to the public cloud or co-located off-premises. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), for example, has pioneered this approach with their GreenLake service offering, which enables organisations to have a customised hybrid cloud solution tailored to their specific needs.”

Just as the driving forces behind digital transformation are not purely technological but business-related, a wide view should also be taken of business needs.

With sustainability now front and centre in public discourse, is it important for organisations to view sustainability as a central tenant when planning digital transformation efforts, Hall said.

“In addition, efficient lifecycle management can help organisations move away from legacy hardware that is invariably more power-hungry,” Hall said.

Damien Mallon, senior systems engineer at Datapac, said that it was also now clear that business leaders across the globe are trying to find ways to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) into their business operations.

However, despite the interest in the technology, barriers remain, notably integration.

“Integrating AI technologies into existing business workflows is a significant challenge for many organisations. While numerous tools boast enhanced AI capabilities, most are third-party applications that don’t integrate well with existing systems. This lack of integration reduces productivity and effectiveness, as users must manually transfer data between the AI tools and core applications.”

However, he said, Microsoft Co-Pilot for 365 is making strides in integrating AI capabilities into existing tools and apps.

“Busy executives can use Co-Pilot to quickly extract critical information from long correspondence chains in Outlook and Teams, provide automatic meeting minutes, and summarise key action points.”

Security is also high on the digital transformation agenda and Mallon said integrating cybersecurity as a core strategic business concern is essential.

“As businesses evolve and increasingly rely on digital technologies, they expand their attack surface, creating new opportunities for cybercriminals to exploit vulnerabilities. Cybersecurity must be embedded in the digital transformation strategy from the outset, not treated as an afterthought,” Mallon said.

Notably, last year, Datapac launched the Managed Threat Ops service, offering full 24/7 threat detection and response which allows even smaller SMBs to access high-level protection.

In the modern threat landscape, he said, every organisation should consider a 24/7 managed threat detection and response service, especially with new legislation like NIS2 and DORA looming. These services use advanced technologies like AI and machine learning, combined with human oversight, to detect and respond to threats proactively.

“When viewed through a strategic business lens, cybersecurity becomes a coherent, measurable process aligned with industry standards, such as the NIST framework. Through critical analysis and collaboration with a trusted partner, gaps in an organisation’s cyber-readiness and alignment with standards can be easily identified and addressed,” he said.