Digital transformation – the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business that changes how it operates and delivers value to its customers – is not a small feat for any organisation, more so government agencies.
Director of engineering and new business and managing director of Blu Networks Consultancy Ltd, Sheldon Paul said although TT is making strides, it still has a long way to go. Blu Networks Consultancy Ltd is a Cunupia-based telecommunications integration company that has been in existence for ten years.
Paul said putting proper infrastructure in place is at the core of digital transformation, which is something many people overlook.
“It’s a strategic approach, and what we have seen over a year plus, because of the pandemic, is the rush for digital transformation, which is not a bad thing.
“But we see a lot of focus on the ‘sexy’ stuff like the applications and the features. Schools, for example, use Zoom, Teams, Google Classroom. Those are the flashy stuff – the things at the interface user level. But what we’ve also seen is a lack of thought and interest in the infrastructure around making those things work.”
He said some organisations and schools may have started using Zoom, for example, and two months down the road they’ve had security concerns. Companies may have “transformed”, but six months down the road they have security concerns.
“They now ask, ‘is my data saved to the cloud? How do I get my users to the cloud? I’ve invested in laptops to make my users mobile, but how do I manage these laptops?’ Those are all infrastructure components. There is no shortage of companies coming to tell you to move your data to the cloud, use Teams or Office 365. What we are seeing is a shortage of is organisations asking what are your infrastructure concerns?”
Paul told Business Day the walls, as it regards network architecture, have been blurred as more people are working from home. That means companies have to pay attention to getting supporting infrastructure to facilitate this.
“Ten thousand people from government agencies are working from home. Does the existing infrastructure support that move to the cloud? Fifty per cent of my staff is working from home on laptops and I want them to be productive and communicate. How are they going to communicate? Is the wireless infrastructure at home going to support their continuous access to the cloud?
“I have now moved my data outside of the traditional walls of the organisation because employees are working from home. From where is the data being accessed? The walls of the organisation have stretched to the home and the home is now considered the enterprise. Who is securing that? What are the infrastructure components to secure that? How are you managing the risks? It is done using the right infrastructure?”
He said usually those questions only pop up when there is a problem and some organisations only think of it when they experience ransomware attacks and other performance issues, which is something he has seen happening a lot for the past year. Blu Networks, he said, offers end to end service in digital transformation – telecom, infrastructure and connectivity and security.
“There is a normal way and there is a safe way to do it. We do it the safe way.”
He said, some people still tend to mix up digital transformation and moving from a manual to computerised system.
“You can move to a computerised system and not digitally transform your business.”
For example, Paul explained, there are many government offices that are computerised but into which members of the public still have to walk and stand in line to be served, even in a pandemic, because some services are still not being offered online.
Digital transformation of government agencies, Paul said, means everybody has to come to the table and look at leveraging data across many organisations and stop operating in a silo. He said it is happening, but not fast enough.
“And not just government. Private institutions and schools as well. We (Blu Networks) worked with a school to bring it onto a platform to be able to deliver online learning. We know that services like that are still needed out there. It’s not easy to transform a school.”
He said during the first six to eight months of the pandemic his company especially focused on security breaches, as most companies may have had firewalls but never implemented the most basic of security – two factor authentication.
“You log into an organisation and you are presented with some sort of challenge or situation where you can verify who you say you are on another device, like your phone. That’s a simple fix with proper infrastructure. And it’s now the de facto standard for any type of remote access.” He said people overlooked it before, but took notice when the Caribbean started to be hit by cybersecurity issues.
“We are trying to work with organisations to try to mitigate that by pushing the thought process up front. Consider it now before you run into problems.”
On June 25, from 9 am to 12 pm Blu Networks Consultancy Ltd will host Infrastructure Solutions – Enabling the Transformation, a virtual event for business owners and staff. Topics will include:
• Secure cloud connectivity
• Work from home/BYOD (personal and corporate devices)
• End point security and management
• Secure and consistent wifi connectivity
• Network visibility
• Network support and management
• Voice and collaboration
This is not a sales event and not a webinar. It is a paid event that can help participants invest in technology that will last,” Paul said.
He said Blu Networks wants to work with organisations to ensure they integrate and implement the right telecommunications infrastructure into their environment.
“Normally you have organisations working with companies to design and deploy technology. We are a little more refined than that. Our focus is on the technology responsible for passing your data in the network space, we call it traffic, from one point to the next… We focus on being able to sit with you as an organisation, work with you to recommend and integrate the proper telecommunication solution for your business. Integration being very important because you may implement a system but it doesn’t function properly in the business or deliver the required results. So integration is critical… We focus on understanding where you need to go first and then we put the relevant options in front of you based on what your business needs are, and then we recommend the relevant devices.”
To register for Infrastructure Solutions – Enabling the Transformation visit https://www.blunetworks-tt.com/infrastructure-solutions-virtual/