During the pandemic there has been a clear acceleration of digital transformation. How has this transformation impacted the Middle East? What changes have you seen in the past year?
The pandemic has accelerated digital journeys of businesses not just in the Middle East, but all across the globe. Earlier, businesses were hesitant going digital, taking years to even approve digital initiatives. The pandemic changed that – businesses were required to rethink how they operate on a daily basis, customers were demanding services to be provided to them from the safety of their homes, employees were required to support customers remotely. In short – businesses needed to adapt to the new ways of working quickly. Going digital was the only way most businesses could remain relevant during the pandemic.
Those businesses that had invested in digital transformation, or started investing in digital transformation during the pandemic were able to pivot their businesses to the needs of their customers and employees, quickly and effectively. Those that did not struggle, and will continue to struggle even with the pandemic slowing down, as the post-pandemic world will look very different from what it was prior.
Throughout the pandemic, Finesse continued to be a reliable partner to its digital transformation clients in the Middle East, and helped them choose and implement the right technologies in furthering their digital journeys. Depending on the type of business clients were in, Finesse has seen increased use of digital initiatives through use of technology solutions like AI chatbots, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Intelligent Process Automation (IPA), Blockchain, Business Intelligence (BI) and Analytics, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Internet of Things (IoT).
But, some transformation initiatives succeed, and others fail? Why?
Digital transformation initiatives, when done right have the potential to bring in a lot of benefits to organisations. One of the many, but important reason, as to why organisations are not being able to derive great value from digital initiatives, is because they fail to understand what technology solutions will best serve their respective business. The digital journey for each company is very different from the others, even so for companies operating in the same domain. Digital initiatives that worked for other companies might not be the best solution for your company. Your company’s digital journey is unique, and needs to be planned as such – taking the needs of your customers, and your stakeholders into consideration. Companies need to understand how digital transformation can best serve their business, and then set a roadmap.
It is true, some digital initiatives will take longer to bring results, especially in times like these when the pandemic has changed business models have changed overnight, and continue to change. It is imperative though for companies to learn from these failures, and tweak their approach on these initiatives to reach a satisfactory outcome.
Digital transformation is not a destination, but a journey – where the company as a whole changes its mindset to build digital businesses, that will drive growth and scale. Companies need to understand this, and plan their digital journeys for the long-haul.
With remote working being the new norm, what cybersecurity measures do you suggest the organisations to take to prevent and detect attacks?
Digital transformation is important but securing your business’s digital transformation is equally important. Giving due consideration to both aspects allows you to gain maximum benefit out of your business going digital.
Here are a few ways organisations can avoid becoming victims of cyberattacks. But like all things good, the journey is not glamorous, and it requires the support of everyone in the organisation.
First and foremost – make cybersecurity part of your digital transformation roadmap right from the start. This means engaging security experts at the very start of the digital transformation journey and aligning security strategies to business goals.
Second is to boost cyber-resilience. While systems should be resilient to cyberattacks, they should also be able to recover and fall back to earlier states quickly.
Third – partner with security experts/implementation partners that take cybersecurity seriously, trust them to make the best decisions, empower them to act and thus protect your company and its customers from future pain.
Final and most important – remove silos around cybersecurity within the organization. Cybersecurity should be embedded into each product and service the company provides, and within each team in the organization. Cybersecurity is everyone’s job, not just of the security team personnel.”
How do MSSPs empower businesses during uncertain times like the Covid-19 pandemic?
Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) provide outsourced monitoring and management of your company’s security systems, so that your company has a secure digital business future. These providers enable your company to offload the often tedious work of managing hundreds of security incidents and events a day to an experienced team of outsourced security personnel, instead of hiring, training and retaining such personnel, who are in much demand at the moment.
Most importantly, MSSPs bring in expertise in digital security, which allows them to be quick and nimble to react to evolving security incidents within your company. They also often provide a 24/7 high-availability security operations centres, which will keep your company safe from cyberattacks at all times.
Can you tell us about the innovations/ challenges in the education sector? How is Finesse addressing these challenges?
Although educational institutions have been using technology solutions for the past few years, the importance of digital transformation in the education sector went mainstream during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Finesse has partnered with schools and universities, in building digital ecosystems that responds to the needs of stakeholders in the education sector – mainly students, faculty, and staff. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has been one of the common solution implemented within the educational sector. Use of RPA has reduced paperwork and manual processes, parents are informed of student grade-assessments through RPA bots, student enrolment process has become smooth, and accounts department have been able to complete the fee collection process in a seamless manner.
Tell us about your participation at GITEX Global 2021.
Finesse has been a regular participant at GITEX for the last 10 years and has since been a strong proponent of the benefits digital transformation can bring to organisations. The pandemic has further amplified the need for organisations to embrace digital transformation to remain relevant. Companies that invested in digital solutions were able to pivot to serve their customers quickly and effectively, while those who did not struggled throughout.
Finesse has continued playing a key role in the region during these trying times, helping its clients choose and implement the right technologies in furthering their digital journeys. In line with this trend, during GITEX 2021, Finesse showcased how companies can embrace digital transformation journeys in the post-pandemic world.
We employed a two-pronged strategy that can bring the best results to an organisation’s digital journey during the show. The first part was through ‘enabling digital transformation’. Targeted at organisations looking to enhance their digital footprint, Finesse showcased digital solutions like AI chatbots, BI and analytics, blockchain, CRM/CEM, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Intelligent Process Automation (IPA), and managed IT services. The second part was that of ‘securing digital transformation’. An important, but often overlooked part of digital transformation journey, digital risks are very real, and has the potential to erode customer confidence, and has reputational, legal, and financial consequences for the business. Finesse showcased how organisations can secure their business on the digital front through use of digital risk and compliance, zero trust, cloud and applications assurance, digital identity, data protection and privacy, and managed Security Operations (MSSP).