Organizations in every sector are either talking about, planning, or launching digital transformations. Whether it’s making a big move to the cloud, enhancing or expanding e-commerce applications, automating business processes, leveraging artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and advanced analytics or building an Internet of Things (IoT) environment, enterprises are using technology solutions in multiple ways to become modern digital businesses.

Many of these efforts have been accelerated by the pandemic. For example, organizations have had to quickly build and support remote and hybrid work models, launch more aggressive and extensive shifts to the cloud, and scale up their eCommerce infrastructures to accommodate the new realities of the market.

In the rush to keep up with the rapid changes and remain competitive—or even relevant—by transforming processes, many organizations might have neglected a key component of digital transformation: creating a strong cybersecurity program that defends them against the latest threats.

This oversight is a potentially costly one. Data, especially personally identifiable information about customers and employees, intellectual property, marketing strategies, and other sensitive content, is among the most valuable assets a company owns. Leaving it less than fully protected is an enormous risk, opening up an organization to possible hacks, ransomware attacks, regulatory fines, lawsuits, and system outages.

It’s somewhat ironic that the very initiatives that support digital transformation—placing data and workloads in the public cloud, increasing the number of mobile and remote endpoints, expanding eCommerce platforms, and building out IoT—are broadening the attack surface significantly and putting companies at greater risk.

Transforming security

This isn’t to say that organizations should stop or even slow their digital transformation efforts. That genie is out of the bottle, and what’s more, transformation can lead to enormous benefits for companies and their customers.

What organizations need now is a comprehensive and effective cybersecurity strategy designed to protect valuable data resources in this modern environment. Organizations typically don’t consider the visibility and vulnerability of their data when they embark on transformation initiatives.

With digital transformation, organizations deploy a variety of new tools and services. Prior to these changes, the typical IT infrastructure was a centrally-controlled environment with gated perimeters, enterprise-owned endpoint devices, and on-premises data centers in which much of the company-owned data was housed.

All of this has evolved into a sprawling, essentially boundaryless entity consisting of cloud services, mobile devices and apps, remote workplaces, edge computing components, and IoT.

Much of the focus of cybersecurity efforts today should be on the endpoints within an enterprise, which oftentimes are the weakest links of cybersecurity programs. Recent research has shown attackers often gaining access to companies’ networks through endpoints such as PCs, smartphones, and the growing number of connected devices.

Many remote workers are using their own devices for work and in many cases, those are not centrally managed by IT or security—leaving them at greater risk of being used for illicit entry into enterprise networks and systems.

It’s time for a convergence

This is why organizations need to consider deploying converged endpoint management (XEM) platforms as part of their security transformation strategies. XEM can help organizations secure vulnerable devices and enable security teams to detect and respond to threats quickly and effectively. It provides a unified approach to endpoint management needed in today’s environments.

XEM platforms provide IT and cybersecurity executives and teams with real-time endpoint visibility, including how many devices are on the network at any given time, where they are located, who is using the devices, and if they are sufficiently updated and patched.

Modern security tools such as XEM can replace outdated legacy products that can provide an entry point for hackers to penetrate networks. That’s because in many cases, support for these products has lapsed, and bad actors take advantage of those weaknesses.

In addition to deploying XEM and other modern solutions, organizations should ensure that there is close collaboration between the security and IT teams. This is especially important as infrastructures become more complex and diverse than ever, and it gets harder to know if critical security patches have been deployed effectively to all the systems that need them.

They should also take a proactive approach to security via efforts such as threat hunting and analyzing threat intelligence. Ultimately, organizations should aim for a zero-trust approach to security that helps to safeguard networks through continual verification of users and devices.

Another key practice is to promote cybersecurity awareness. Companies need to train employees not only in how to safely use their own and company-owned endpoint devices and other tools, but how to spot common attacks such as phishing.

Many ransomware attacks happen because employees click on malicious links they receive via email or other sources. For years, insider threats have been among the biggest security worries. Many of these are inadvertent and can be avoided through training programs. Investments in security awareness should include training at all levels of the organization, including the most senior executives. It’s these executives who often are the targets of attacks such as phishing.

In order to digitally transform their business operations without introducing new security risks, organizations need to make security part of the effort from the beginning, focusing on data vulnerability. They will then need to maintain strong security throughout a transformation initiative and beyond.

Once a company has been transformed into a digital business, everything relies on data—including information about customers, employees, business partners and others—and much of this data is sensitive. That means it will be targeted by hackers and other cybercriminals.

By ensuring strong defenses through XEM and other new security technologies, policies, procedures and training, organizations can experience a security transformation that will enhance their overall digital transformation.

Learn how Tanium XEM can deliver the security transformation you need to augment your overall digita transformation here.

Security Practices

More than 70% of US legal departments across enterprises spanning various industry sectors have not made any investment towards digital transformation in the last two years, according to a joint report from The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) and legal-technology company Disco.

The report captures insights from a survey of 278 law department leaders and legal operations professionals and shows that larger companies were more open to transformation initiatives than smaller ones.

Survey respondents from about half of companies with revenue of less than $1 billion said that they have not invested in, or have made only minimal investment in, digital transformation, according to the report. Respondents from only 7% of companies of this size reported making significant investments in digital transformation.

Thirty-four percent of respondents from companies with revenue of $1 billion-$10 billion said they had made no or minimal investment in digital transformation, with 10% of respondents in this category reporting significant investment in transformation.

Otherwise, survey respondents from 9% of companies with revenue of more than $10 billion said they had made minimal or no investments in digital transformation, and 17% of those polled in this category reported making significant investments in digital transformation.

Resistance to change, lack of budget top barriers to transformation

Resistance to change and lack of budget were the top barriers to digital transformation in these legal departments. More than 70% of respondents who said that their departments had not made any investment in transformation initiatives explained that they were satisfied with how litigation-related work gets done presently. Of these respondents, more than 35% cited lack of budget as the second-biggest reason for lack of focus on on digital transformation, followed by issues such as lack of long-term strategy, lack of executive support for transformation, and lack of transformation expertise.   

More than 76% of departments surveyed said that getting the right mix of talent along with the right technology is key to serve the growing demands of the business. About 4% of these respondents voiced skepticism about technology being an asset to improving litigation and internal investigation outcomes.

Data and project management top transformation initiatives

Data and project management were ranked as top transformation initiatives by 30% of respondents who had said that they have made some investment in digital transformation over the last two years. More than 65% of these respondents said that data management and information governance was their top priority when it came to transforming digitally, followed by 47% of respondents saying legal project management was another important focus area.

Other focus areas include performance analytics and reporting, automation, and e-discovery—use of electronic means to gather and exchange information about evidence.

Data and project management top transformation initiatives

The legal departments that made investments into digital transformation initiatives said they reaped benefits such as increased efficiency, cost savings, increased productivity, minimization of risk and increased chances of better litigation outcome.

At least 48% of those respondents who said that they have made investments in transformation initiatives ranked increased efficiency as the most immediate benefit of their expenditure.

Around 35% of these respondents cited cost savings, followed by 28% reporting positive outcomes in data management and security as benefits of transformation initiatives, according to the survey.

Almost 13% of such respondents said that they saw an increased chance of better litigation outcome post digital transformation projects being undertaken.

Digital Transformation, Legal

IT leaders in EMEA are increasingly leading digital transformation efforts, with 84% of CIOs saying they’re responsible for these efforts, according to the Foundry 2022 State of the CIO study.

But significant challenges remain. Their most pressing issue: the need for technology integration/implementation skills to support digital business initiatives, according to the survey. Many organizations are also struggling to modernize their IT architecture to accommodate digitization. The talent gap affects these efforts, as do a lack of strategy and little sense of urgency.

Yet, there is risk in sidelining these issues and not moving quickly. Competitors may overcome challenges and gain an advantage, for example. Fast-acting companies may be winning the race to envision and realize their digital transformation objectives. That’s why CEOs are urging their IT leaders to upgrade IT and push digital initiatives forward.

How to avoid stagnation

It’s time for enterprises to take a fresh look at their transformation projects and set a new tone to accelerate their digital initiatives. That should start with examining their IT architecture and asking whether/how it enables the business to:

Use cloud services to achieve improved business outcomes such as efficiency, cost optimization, and speed to market;

Pivot to new ways of working, as needed. Evolving market forces combined with the hybrid workplace require business agility;

Modernize by adopting new technologies. Automation, artificial intelligence, and 5G require an open, flexible IT infrastructure.

In other words, does your IT infrastructure allow for easy integration of data sources to speed business decision-making? Does it allow for easy application migration to the cloud? Do your IT teams have automated processes and platforms to ease application modernization and development?

For example, the City of Madrid was facing an urgent need to deliver digital services to its citizens. However, it was challenged by the limits of its IT architecture, complex data regulation requirements, and the ever-increasing need to improve cybersecurity efforts.

Working with Kyndryl, the City deployed a hybrid cloud IT architecture, including a new data center with backup and disaster recovery capabilities. The results:

Accelerated digital services, with enhanced security measures, for citizensFaster processing of large data volumesEnhanced data protectionAn optimized IT infrastructure with room to scale and grow as needed

The next step

Organizations facing skillset and strategy challenges can benefit from working with an expert managed services and implementation partner. Kyndryl consults with its customers to understand existing resources and business needs, then helps define and chart the digital transformation journey.

For example, Kyndryl’s advisory and implementation services have helped customers unlock business value with a pragmatic, building-block approach. Its integrated portfolio of solutions and services address use cases ranging from cloud to the digital workplace and from security to the network and edge. And Kyndryl’s infrastructure practice has deep expertise in designing, building, and implementing all types of IT environments to accelerate digital outcomes.

Accelerate your digital transformation by starting here.

Cloud Management

Cyber risk is increasingly a top executive priority, due in large part to the rising number of unplanned outages, driven by the increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks and widening skills gap. Consider these facts:

69% of board of directors accelerated their digital business initiatives following COVID-19 disruption[1]73% of organizations are increasing spending for data protection because of ransomware threats[2]40% of board of directors will have a dedicated cybersecurity committee overseen by a qualified board member by 2025[3]

As organizations work to transform, many struggle to ensure security and resilience while balancing the requirements of legacy environments and enabling IT transformation efforts. And the problem can’t be ignored.

What’s the answer to coping with the dynamic nature of risks? Build cyber resilience characteristics into broader IT strategy that includes three principles:

Shift left: Build cyber resilience into digital initiatives, underpinned by cloud and zero trust principlesShift right: Since protection is not enough, establish and improve linkage between security and resiliencyChange approach: Radically streamline approach to security and resiliency leveraging partners to access expertise

To cope with the dynamic nature of risks, organizations need help from partners who can enable their digital transformation journey by supporting legacy infrastructure. Those partners must also build cyber resilience into newer initiatives, underpinned by cloud and zero trust principles.

Kyndryl’s cyber resilience framework and portfolio can help you anticipate, protect against, withstand, and recover from adverse conditions impacting cyber-enabled services across complex hybrid (cloud and legacy) environments.

Kyndryl’s differentiators include deep technical expertise across a broad array of technologies, a portfolio of IP enablers, and a broad ecosystem of partners. In addition, Kyndryl is no longer “biased” toward any vendor, their technologies, or toolsets. We help customers engage with broadest array of technologies in the field, enabling them to reuse existing investments while supporting the new.

Intrigued? Find more about it here.

[1] Gartner, 4 Major Sourcing Trends for a ‘New Normal’ World: Change, Outcomes, Risk and Agility | Published 23 November 2020 – ID G00733227| By Claudio Da Rold, Fabio Di Capua,  Katie Gove, Andy Rowsell-Jones

[2] 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence; Source: Voice of the Enterprise: Storage, Data Management and Disaster Recovery 2021

[3] Gartner, Predicts 2021: Cybersecurity Program Management and IT Risk Management Published 8 January 2021 – ID G00735901 | Analyst(s): Sam Olyaei, Katell Thielemann, Richard Addiscott, Khushbu Pratap

Cloud Management

Digital transformation is no longer a choice; it is an imperative. What’s more, speed is of the essence. While digital transformation enables the business, it also drives the business and IT.

COVID-19 drove the demand for new digital models that no one had imagined, at a scale and velocity not anticipated. The global pandemic also brought enormous disruption to the physical workplace. People shifted to working and making purchases from home, and many patterns changed. All of this had profound implications on how the digital world needs to be connected, especially the enterprise.

Transformation is not only business led, but IT leadership also has a key seat at the table. Adaptability and automation underpin people (culture), process, and technology. An aware, intelligent, and resilient IT infrastructure services is foundational. A new operating and management model embracing the new and the old (legacy) is critical.

While the COVID-19 pandemic slowed the physical world, it created a greater sense of urgency for digital transformation. Enterprises are shifting from immediate cost take-out to accelerating

digital transformation. According to IBV COVID-19 and the Future of Business, 59% of respondents surveyed accelerated digital transformation, and 66% completed digital transformation initiatives that previously encountered resistance.

In Kyndryl’s view, a new operating model is one of the three tenets underpinning digital transformation, along with foundational cloud adoption and embracing modernization technologies. Those three tenets are:

Manage cloud services anywhere, from any cloud.Pivot to new ways of working as needed.Modernize by embracing modern technologies as strategic assets.

Digital transformation acceleration lies at the juncture of digital business drivers and rapid technology adoption – and Kyndryl’s advisory and implementation services are designed to help. Kyndryl offers digital transformation acceleration with focus and scale on IT modernization, helping businesses & governments achieve rapid business outcomes and digital experiences.

Want to learn more? Start your journey here.

Cloud Management

NJ Transit’s digital infrastructure has come a long way since Lookman Fazal took the top tech post more than three years ago.

The chief information and digital officer for the transportation agency moved the stack in his data centers to a best-of-breed multicloud platform approach and has been on a mission to squeeze as much data out of that platform as possible to create the best possible business outcomes.

Aside from his own plans, Fazal is also engaged with CIOs and CTOs of partner agencies on several 10-to-15-year projects that involve purchasing new trains, building new tracks, and designing the proposed new tunnel between New York and New Jersey to add additional tracks. Collectively, the agencies also have pilots up and running to test electric buses and IoT sensors scattered throughout the transportation system.

But those are broad plans that involve several transportation agencies and multimillion-dollar capital expenditures.

Lookman Fazal, chief information and digital officer, NJ Transit

NJ Transit

Since joining NJ Transit, Fazal has primarily been chipping away at his major goal: enabling data innovation. To do so, Fazal devised a plan to transform the company’s IT operations into a world-class cloud-based platform that can offer up whatever analysts want — even what they didn’t know they could have — an evolution that sees NJ Transit moving from reports and pie charts to advanced chatbots, AI and machine learning (ML) models, and predictive analytics.

“We have shown out value,” Fazal says of the transformation. “What our team has produced in the last few years is keeping in mind how to make people’s lives simpler and reducing commute times.”

‘Data engine on wheels’

To mine more data out of a dated infrastructure, Fazal first had to modernize NJ Transit’s stack from the ground up to be geared for business benefit.

In early 2020, the company’s infrastructure was an amalgam of “everything,” Fazal says, including mainframe, client/server, and SaaS systems, as well as 140 applications of all “flavors,” some customized, some off the shelf, some from big companies and some from small companies, he says.

Data from that surfeit of applications was distributed in multiple repositories, mostly traditional databases. Fazal instructed his IT team to collect every bit of data and methodically determine its use later, rather than lose “precious” data in the rush to build a massive data warehouse. “We didn’t care about what the data was,” he says. “I just told them to think of yourself as a dump truck and collect everything.”

The approach is generating lots of practical business benefits and has improved customer service.  Today, NJ Transit is a “data engine on wheels,” says the CIDO.

Fazal and his team have moved most of NJ Transit’s data to the cloud, evolving from simple reports to advanced analytics and AI/ML models that generate insights that transportation business analysts could only dream about in the past, he says.

“We created a data warehouse and data lake to get all data in one centralized space, which then enabled us to create reports, analytics, prediction, and prescription, therefore maturing the organization,” Fazal says.

As NJ Transit built up its data warehouse, the business value from the data insights and discoveries improved, from initially assessing on-time performance of trains and buses to analyzing crew and employee availability, mechanical and engineering factors leading to transportation delays, pinpointing the number of trains on tracks at a particular time, identifying factors that slow service, and predicting the impact of incoming storms and weather events on the performance of the company’s transportation services.  

To date, NJ Transit has hired about eight data gurus to support these endeavors, with a goal to hire even more top-tier data experts in an effort to accelerate business insights and predictive analytics to help transform the business.

As a result, NJ Transit’s data maturity as an organization has grown. Instead of soliciting business analysts for information that would be useful to them, Fazal and his team now have a backlog of requests from those analysts who are hip to the data innovations the IT team can produce.

“When we see that, it now appears the business analysts are talking amongst themselves and sharing what the IT folks can create for them,” he says. “We’re just making sure the company is aware that this capability does exist, and that we are ready to build whatever business challenge or business problem that’s been identified using data. That’s how we measure success.”

Moreover, NJ Transit’s IT team is now able to anticipate the needs of the business analysts. While many corporations are still trying to align IT goals to match the business goals, Fazal and his team are driving insights and business outcomes analysts never even imagined in the past.

IDC analyst Sandeep Mukunda says NJ Transit’s approach to data analytics has been very advanced.

“Maturity is defined by how effectively the data is leveraged,” Mukunda says, noting that the core goal of a transportation entity like NJ Transit is improving departure and arrival performance and quality of service of the commuters and the employees behind the scenes.

“Data from connected public transit vehicles can be leveraged for vehicle health and condition monitoring. It is also leveraged for further analysis, such as understanding traffic patterns and peak hour service, identifying congestion and accident-prone areas, and integrating with other services such as the application for multimodal journey planning,” he says.

Multicloud as enabler

None of these data innovations would have been possible without NJ Transit’s migration to the cloud, Fazal says.

“We selected a multicloud strategy from the very beginning because there’s not one cloud for everything,” he says. “We found that there are different specializations that these cloud providers provide.”

NJ Transit will continue to evolve its cloud infrastructure in service of data innovations.

“The benefit of the cloud is that we get out of the space of maintaining all the infrastructure on which the application sits on,” says Fazal, freeing up NJ Transit IT to move beyond upgrades and patches, and instead contribute new data-fueled insights to deliver more sophisticated data-fueled functionality to improve and modernize transportation.

Analytics, Data Management

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, airlines have struggled with bad weather, fewer air traffic controllers, and a shortage of pilots, all leading to an unprecedented number of cancelations in 2022. According to Reuters, more than 100,000 flights in the US were canceled between January and July, up 11% from pre-pandemic levels.

American Airlines, the world’s largest airline, is turning to data and analytics to minimize disruptions and streamline operations with the aim of giving travelers a smoother experience.

“Touchless, seamless, stressless. We’ve always had this vision, but it’s been hard to realize with the legacy systems and infrastructure we have,” says Maya Leibman, outgoing executive vice president and CIO of American Airlines. “As we modernize, we make more and more strides towards our vision. In the future, maybe airports will just be called Sky-Stops because, just like your average bus stop, they’ll require no more effort or stress than just simply showing up and getting on board.”

Leibman, who stepped down on Sept. 1 in favor of incoming Executive Vice President and Chief Digital and Information Officer (CDIO) Ganesh Jayaram, drove a major transformation of the 86-year-old airline to embrace data-driven decision-making.

“We have been on this transformation journey for a few years now, and prior to the pandemic we implemented a product mindset by restructuring our squads around our newly developed product taxonomy,” Leibman says. “This was a huge change for our teams. But because we had laid the foundation in 2019 for a product-oriented DevOps culture, we were able to pivot and reprioritize our work to quickly address pandemic-related customer issues, such as making it easier for customers to use travel credits from canceled flights.”

Leibman notes that American Airlines operates every hour of every day. It always has planes in the air around the world.

“We are an industry where our product is being consumed as it’s being produced,” she says. “The biggest challenge is turning that data into actionable insights that can be acted on easily and seamlessly in real-time in this 24-7-365 environment.”

Taking to the cloud

Luckily, Leibman has had an ace on her side. Poonam Mohan, vice president of corporate technology at American Airlines, oversees many of the airline’s AI and data analytics initiatives and has been fundamental to implementing Leibman’s vision.

Poonam Mohan, vice president of corporate technology, American Airlines

American Airlines

“We moved our major data platforms to the cloud and implemented data hubs for Customer and Operations,” Mohan says. “These systems allow real-time data from many of the massive moving parts of the world’s largest airline to be used not just for understanding how events affected us in the past, but rather allowing us to improve customer and operational outcomes as they happen.”

Mohan notes that her team simultaneously created DataOps frameworks that have improved the airline’s ability to ingest and consume new data sources in a matter of hours rather than weeks.

American Airlines has partnered with Microsoft to use Azure as its preferred cloud platform for its airline applications and key workloads. The partners are applying AI, machine learning, and data analytics to every aspect of the company’s operations, from reducing taxi time (thus saving thousands of gallons of jet fuel per year and giving connecting customers extra time to make their next flight) to putting real-time information at the fingertips of maintenance personnel, ground crews, pilots, flight attendants, and gate agents.

“When the pandemic started, all of a sudden we were canceling thousands of flights as travel bans were implemented. As a result, we were issuing a lot of refunds to customers who had their travel plans canceled because of the pandemic. To handle the incredible volume that our customer service agents were dealing with, we used machine learning and automated ingestion and processing to help with the volume and to get our customers their refunds processed faster,” Mohan explains by way of example.

When it comes to taxi times, an intelligent gating program deployed at the airline’s Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) hub, is providing real-time analysis of data points such as routing and runway information to automatically assign the nearest available gate to arriving aircraft, reducing the need for manual involvement from gate planners. The program is currently reducing taxi time by about 10 hours per day.

The airline is migrating and centralizing its strategic operational workloads — including its data warehouse and several legacy applications — into one Operations Hub on Azure, which it says will help it save costs, increase efficiency and scalability, and progress toward its sustainability goals.

“We are focused on automation in every function of the company,” Mohan says. “Robotic process automation has allowed us to automate a large number of repetitive manual processes in Finance, Loyalty, Revenue Management, Reservations, and HR, just to name a few. Combining automation with machine learning for natural language processing is very effective in helping solve many customer-facing issues.”

The importance of culture

Mohan also notes that the company has just scratched the surface of how digital twin and AI can help its operations and enhance the customer travel experience. Two of its more recent ML programs, started this spring, include HEAT (short for Hub Efficiency Analytics Tool) and the aforementioned intelligent gating program.

HEAT has already played a key role during severe thunderstorm events. It analyzes multiple data points, including weather conditions, load factors, customer connections, gate availability, and air traffic control to help American Airlines adjust departure and arrival times on hundreds of flights in a coordinated way.

“So far, we’ve been pleased with the results as it has reduced the number of cancelations during a weather event,” Mohan says. “While customers may be delayed, we are able to get them to their destinations as opposed to canceling their flights.”

As for the intelligent gating program at DFW, Mohan says that in March American Airlines was able to save nearly two minutes per flight in taxi time, which totals 10 hours per day.

“We have reduced the instances where gate separation is more than 25 minutes by 50%,” she says. “This is directly related to the scenario we all have to face: Our flight actually arrives early but then we sit on the tarmac waiting for our gate to be cleared. Spreading the time out between when the previous flight leaves and when the next one arrives reduces that frustrating scenario.”

Mohan says the program has also helped the airline reduce the number of “close in” gate changes by 50%. These events are particularly annoying to customers who then have to hustle to a new location in the airport.

To drive all these changes throughout IT and the wider company has required building and maintaining the right culture. Leibman notes that she has an entire team dedicated to delivery transformation within the company. That team’s primary focus is to build the company’s culture around continuous learning and to engage business partners to adopt DevOps and product-based practices. Internally, they’ve developed an immersive coaching environment called “the Hangar,” to create space for product teams to work closely with coaches.

“We’ve also been building a developer experience platform, called Developer Runway, to create a frictionless experience for our developers to build and deliver applications,” Leibman says.

The platform enables teams to build and expose their services. Teams across the technology organization work directly with the Runway platform and the developer community is then able to leverage what is exposed on the platform to simplify their delivery experience.

“What is hard with a big company is that people like consistency, standards, and predictability, so processes get built around those things and it’s like a fence that prevents innovation,” Leibman says. “We can’t hire people and put them in a tiny pen because they’ll never achieve what we hired them for. As leaders, we need to have the judgment to understand that while we need standards and consistency, we can’t have it at the expense of people thinking their best thoughts, spreading their wings, and producing new, innovative approaches — not just to what we are doing but how we are doing it.”

Analytics, Digital Transformation, Travel and Hospitality Industry

Despite all the buzz about digital disruption, according to McKinsey, 70% of company transformations fail. A primary reason is that although technology gets a lot of priority, the aspects that make technology work – such as awareness, trust, and culture – get overlooked. Enterprises can tap into the true potential of cloud by harnessing change management in a digital transformation.

The digital transformation-led business shifts are likely to play out over three horizons: digital core, innovative business models, and new ecosystems. Across these three horizons, the value created by cloud will be differential and based on hyper automation and hyper engineering, which require different human skill sets. For digital transformation to be successful, organizations must adjust to new norms and collaborative ways of working.

Organizational change management in the dynamic digital era

Organizational change management (OCM) is about how an organization manages the transformation of its processes and technologies. This includes the strategies for enabling the transformation to take place on the people’s side, as well as plans for adjusting processes and making the organization ready for transformation from a technical standpoint.

Organizational change management is the methodology of tools and processes used to minimize the impacts of the change and increase business adoption. When the change management process is planned well in advance, it can help mitigate employee concerns about digital transformation. This might include:

Clear communication about the need for transformation and the vision and goals behind itUpdates regarding changes in plans and processesInformation about retooling and upskilling employees for the new technology

Driving cloud adoption through innovation, culture, people, and leadership

If you are looking to drive innovation on an enterprise-wide level, you cannot ignore the people, culture, and leadership aspects. Establishing your cloud readiness and implementing migration will impact your entire organization and its culture. To build an effective cloud adoption approach, be sure to consider the following factors:

An organization’s readiness to welcome changeThe prior impact of change on successes and failuresCommunication patterns across your organizationYour organizational structureYour organization’s leadership alignment and executive commitment

To be successful on an enterprise-wide migration to AWS cloud, you will need to have a dedicated pool of staff with production experience in AWS cloud, as well as established operational processes and a leadership team dedicated to mobilizing the correct resources and preparing your organization to overcome the transformational challenges.

TCS has a dedicated and varied set of change management services aligned to the specific culture and leadership of an organization to drive change management spanning enterprise-wide transformation efforts. At TCS, we educate, engage, and upskill the workforce, drive employee adoption, and instill the readiness for change. This encourages actions that foster behavioral change in performance management, stakeholder engagement, and business management. The solution does not just speed up the adoption process by educating the decision-makers, but it also makes your organization prepared to adopt the shift positively and holistically.

Author Bio

TCS

Ph: +91 9818069874

E-mail: renu.parihar@tcs.com

Renu Parihar is the global head of cloud consulting and value advisory at TCS’ AWS business unit. She has worked with global customers to assess, define, and implement their cloud adoption strategy. She is responsible for curating strategic offerings for cloud enablement, ways of working and cloud value measurement. She holds several accreditations in AWS and Azure, DevOps, Site Reliability Engineering and is Design Thinking certified.

To learn more, visit us here.

Digital Transformation

Many people associate high-performance computing (HPC), also known as supercomputing, with far-reaching government-funded research or consortia-led efforts to map the human genome or to pursue the latest cancer cure.

But HPC can also be tapped to advance more traditional business outcomes — from fraud detection and intelligent operations to helping advance digital transformation. The challenge: making complex compute-intensive technology accessible for mainstream use.

As companies digitally transform and steer toward becoming data-driven businesses, there is a need for increased computing horsepower to manage and extract business intelligence and drive data-intensive workloads at scale. The rise of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and real-time analytics applications, often deployed at the edge, can utilize HPC resources to unlock insights from data and efficiently run increasingly large and more complex models and simulations.

The convergence of HPC with AI-based analytics is impacting nearly every industry and across a wide range of applications, including space exploration, drug discovery, financial modeling, automotive design, and systems engineering.

“HPC is becoming a utility in our lives — people aren’t thinking about what it takes to design this tire, validate a chip design, parse and analyze customer preferences, do risk management, or build a 3D structure of the COVID-19 virus,” notes Max Alt, distinguished technologist and director of Hybrid HPC at HPE. “HPC is everywhere, but you don’t think about it, because it’s hidden at the core.”

HPC’s scalable architecture is particularly well suited for AI applications, given the nature of computation required and the unpredictable growth of data associated with these workflows. HPC’s use of graphics-processing-unit (GPU) parallel processing power — coupled with its simultaneous processing of compute, storage, interconnects, and software — raises the bar on AI efficiencies. At the same time, such applications and workflows can operate and scale more readily.

Even with widespread usage, there is more opportunity to leverage HPC for better and faster outcomes and insights. HPC architecture — typically clusters of CPU and GPUs working in parallel and connected to a high-speed network and data storage system — is expensive, requiring a significant capital investment. HPC workloads are typically associated with vast data sets, which means that public cloud might be an expensive option due to requirements regarding latency and performance issues. In addition, data security and data gravity concerns often rule out public cloud.

Another major barrier to more widespread deployment: a lack of in-house specialized expertise and talent. HPC infrastructure is far more complex than traditional IT infrastructure, requiring specialized skills for managing, scheduling, and monitoring workloads. “You have tightly coupled computing with HPC, so all of the servers need to be well synchronized and performing operations in parallel together,” Alt explains. “With HPC, everything needs to be in sync, and if one node goes down, it can fail a large, expensive job. So you need to make sure there is support for fault tolerance.”

HPE GreenLake for HPC Is a Game Changer

An as-a-service approach can address many of these challenges and unlock the power of HPC for digital transformation. HPE GreenLake for HPC enables companies to unleash the power of HPC without having to make big up-front investments on their own. This as-a-service-based delivery model enables enterprises to pay for HPC resources based on the capacity they use. At the same time, it provides access to third-party experts who can manage and maintain the environment in a company-owned data center or colocation facility while freeing up internal IT departments.

“The trend of consuming what used to be a boutique computing environment now as-a-service is growing exponentially,” Alt says.

HPE GreenLake for HPC bundles the core components of an HPC solution (high-speed storage, parallel file systems, low-latency interconnect, and high-bandwidth networking) in an integrated software stack that can be assembled to meet an organization’s specific workload needs.

As part of the HPE GreenLake edge-to-cloud platform, HPE GreenLake for HPC gives organizations access to turnkey and easily scalable HPC capabilities through a cloud service consumption model that’s available on-premises. The HPE GreenLake platform experience provides transparency for HPC usage and costs and delivers self-service capabilities; users pay only for the HPC resources they consume, and built-in buffer capacity allows for scalability, including unexpected spikes in demand. HPE experts also manage the HPC environment, freeing up IT resources and delivering access to the specialized performance tuning, capacity planning, and life cycle management skills.

To meet the needs of the most demanding compute and data-intensive workloads, including AI and ML initiatives, HPE has turbocharged HPE GreenLake for HPC with purpose-built HPC capabilities. Among the more notable features are expanded GPU capabilities, including NVIDIA Tensor Core models; support for high-performance HPE Parallel File System Storage; multicloud connector APIs; and HPE Slingshot, a high-performance Ethernet fabric designed to meet the needs of data-intensive AI workloads. HPE also released lower entry points to HPC to make the capabilities more accessible for customers looking to test and scale workloads.

As organizations pursue HPC capabilities, they should consider the following:

Stop thinking of HPC in terms of a specialized boutique technology; think of it more as a common utility used to drive business outcomes.Look for HPC options that are supported by a rich ecosystem of complementary tools and services to drive better results and deliver customer excellence.Evaluate the HPE GreenLake for HPC model. Organizations can dial capabilities up and down, depending on need, while simplifying access and lowering costs.

HPC horsepower is critical, as data-intensive workloads, including AI, take center stage. An as-a-service model democratizes what’s traditionally been out of reach for most, delivering an accessible path to HPC while accelerating data-first business.

For more information, visit https://www.hpe.com/us/en/greenlake/high-performance-compute.html

High-Performance Computing

Alors que les cyberattaques se multiplient contre les entreprises énergétiques occidentales, Hydro-Québec vient de réaliser une première mondiale : un « confinement électrique ». Pendant quatre heures, la société d’État s’est complètement détachée du web et d’Internet sans interrompre ses services. Un exercice rassurant pour sa clientèle québécoise, mais aussi pour le Nouveau-Brunswick, l’Ontario, la Nouvelle-Angleterre et l’État de New York – pour qui elle assure jusqu’à 15 % de la consommation d’électricité.

Où et quand a eu lieu cette expérience ? « Nous sommes obligés de tenir ça secret, mais je peux vous dire que j’étais nerveux », confie Jean-François Morin, vice-président – Technologies de l’information et des communications, qui a supervisé l’exercice du début à la fin. « Ce qui m’empêchait de dormir, c’était d’oublier une machine quelque part, ou de couper des clients par inadvertance. »

Cet exercice secret est plus qu’un simple jalon en matière de cybersécurité : il s’inscrit dans le projet d’Hydro-Québec d’accélérer son virage numérique, élément essentiel de son nouveau plan stratégique 2022-2026. « Nos compteurs génèrent un milliard de données par jour et ce sera beaucoup plus très bientôt. Nous développons de gigantesques matrices pour gérer cette information et la faire parler. Mais ça ne marchera pas si nous ne sommes pas très scrupuleux sur le plan de la sécurité. »

Ethan Cohen, vice-président et spécialiste – Transformations et Innovation dans les services publics chez la firme-conseil Gartner, ne cache pas son admiration pour la société d’État propriété du gouvernement du Québec. « Un tel exercice a un côté spectacle, bien sûr, mais il démontre un niveau de compétence qui fait rêver la plupart des services publics. Il montre qu’Hydro-Québec n’est pas seulement durable, mais résiliente. Bien des entreprises publiques formulent de grandes stratégies. Mais le problème, c’est l’exécution. Ce qui importe, c’est ce que le DSI fait réellement. »

Pour Hydro-Québec, l’enjeu du virage numérique est de réussir la seconde phase de sa transition énergétique. La première remonte aux années 1970 lorsqu’elle a pu utiliser sa grosse production d’hydroélectricité verte pour électrifier la quasi-totalité de la consommation résidentielle, incluant le chauffage. Mais en 2022, elle doit s’affairer à la nouvelle commande du gouvernement du Québec – électrifier les transports d’ici 2040.

« Pour répondre à la demande, nous devrons bâtir un système d’information qui nous permettra de prédire et mieux contrôler la consommation mais aussi de mobiliser les capacités de production des clients résidentiels, commerciaux et industriels, dit Jean-François Morin. Il va y avoir de l’intelligence artificielle partout et nos techniciens opérateurs vont devenir des techniciens informatiques. »

Transformation : phase 2

Hydro-Québec produit, transporte et distribue quelque 180 térawattheures par an – plus que presque toute autre compagnie en Amérique du Nord. C’est dire l’ampleur du virage numérique qu’elle prépare.

« De toutes les avenues possibles, dit Jean-François Morin, la plus rentable sera l’utilisation de la donnée. Pour optimiser l’entretien et la consommation, mais aussi pour automatiser des éléments de production et de décision, incluant l’analyse de nos orientations en matière d’infrastructures. »

Le double diplômé en informatique et en finance des universités du Québec et de Sherbrooke donne l’exemple de l’entretien, qui coûte des milliards chaque année. Ces entretiens suivent « à l’aveugle » des protocoles préétablis.

« On change donc des pièces qu’on n’aurait pas besoin de changer. En installant des capteurs partout, on va pouvoir surveiller ce qui passe, établir des historiques et intervenir là où c’est vraiment nécessaire. »

Presque toutes les tâches des 20 000 employés seront affectées. Depuis l’installation de compteurs communicants, le métier de releveur de compteurs a disparu – mais Hydro-Québec a embauché davantage de techniciens informatiques. Cette technologie a permis, notamment, de mieux détecter les vols d’énergie en analysant la consommation des clients en temps réel et en la comparant à celle du voisinage. « Mais ce n’était qu’un début. Un de mes rôles est d’identifier les métiers du futur – tout ce dont nous allons avoir besoin côté analystes et ingénieurs en IA et TI. »

« Hydro-Québec a une tradition d’innovation et de R&D, dit Ethan Cohen. C’est une compagnie très entrepreneuriale à un niveau que l’on ne voit pas ailleurs. Et ils sont prêts à bousculer leurs façons de faire pour réaliser de vraies percées. »

En finir avec le gaspillage

Jean-François Morin, vice-président – Technologies de l’information et des communications d’ Hydro-Québec

Hydro Québec

Le virage numérique sera la clé pour régler le plus gros problème d’Hydro-Québec : le gaspillage. Car la société d’État est victime de son propre succès : parce qu’elle offre l’énergie la moins chère et la plus verte du continent dans des quantités inouïes, elle a créé une catégorie de consommateurs ultradépendants et hypervoraces qui accaparent des masses d’énergies qui pourraient être mieux utilisées – dans l’électrification des transports ou des procédés industriels par exemple.

« On a des maisons où l’on réchauffe l’asphalte pour faire fondre la neige et des Jacuzzis chauffés sur des balcons à longueur de semaine tout l’hiver », dit Jean-François Morin – qui jouera un rôle clé dans les décisions pour amener la clientèle à consommer mieux, notamment aux heures de pointes, qui coûtent très cher.

Actuellement, les clients résidentiels d’Hydro-Québec ne reçoivent aucun avertissement quant au coût réel de cette consommation débridée. « Il faut développer des manières de mieux leur signaler leur consommation. Un peu comme Tesla, qui excelle à dire à ses utilisateurs combien ils ont épargné lors d’un trajet. Mon rêve serait que tous nos clients reçoivent à 16 h des notifications sur ce qu’ils dépensent et combien ils épargneraient en débranchant leur chauffe-piscine ou en cessant d’utiliser leur chauffe-eau quelques heures. »

Un tel travail n’implique pas que la gestion de données : des drones à infrarouge, par exemple, pourraient produire un outil de visualisation saisissant du profil de consommation des clients les plus énergivores. La tarification serait également un puissant outil de conscientisation si les changements d’habitude sont assortis d’économies réelles, explique le vice-président – qui a gravi tous les échelons d’Hydro-Québec depuis ses débuts comme chargé de projets informatiques en 1999.

Et le numérique ne concernera pas que les applications : le bureau de Jean-François Morin est désormais engagé dans toutes les décisions d’orientation fondamentales de l’entreprise. Hydro-Québec aura de grands besoins énergétiques à combler d’ici 50 ans, et sa direction a promis de considérer toutes les avenues pour retarder le lancement de nouveaux mégaprojets hydroélectriques.

« Nous jonglons avec plein de nouvelles idées, comme les rehaussements de barrages existants, des turbines plus performantes, mais aussi les toits solaires, qui sont très jolis, ou de petites éoliennes domestiques, qui vont permettre aux clients de produire leur propre électricité et même d’alimenter le réseau à certaines heures. »

« Hydro-Québec a beau être plus avancée que d’autres dans la transition énergétique, dit Ethan Cohen, il lui reste à répondre au besoin actuel d’autoproduction. Il existe beaucoup d’occasions nouvelles qui demandent à être analysées. »

Une transition radicale mais prudente

Jean-François Morin croit qu’Hydro-Québec pourrait aller beaucoup plus vite dans sa transformation numérique, mais il la freine intentionnellement à cause des enjeux de cybersécurité et de protection des renseignements personnels. Ce qui n’est pas une mauvaise chose, selon Ethan Cohen : « Il y aurait de gros avantages à bouger vite, mais pour les services publics, l’environnement réglementaire est une réalité incontournable. »

Une entreprise qui vend des électrons est particulièrement sensible aux électrons malveillants. Et plus elle multiplie les capteurs ou les services de domotique, plus elle s’expose aux cyberpirates. « Ça va demander de la clairvoyance, dit Jean-François Morin. On pourrait contrôler la consommation dans tous les foyers. On pourrait embaucher de grosses têtes à Paris et New York en télétravail. Mais notre participation au marché de libre-échange énergétique nord-américain nous oblige à nous conformer à des règles strictes de fiabilité. »

Maintenant qu’il a réalisé l’expérience ultime de confinement électrique, Jean-François Morin s’attend à ce que la cybersécurité soit l’un des premiers champs d’application de l’intelligence artificielle dans la gestion et la conduite du réseau.

Il doit aussi composer avec le nouveau régime québécois de protection des renseignements personnels, le plus avancé en Amérique du Nord. Comme toute entreprise qui gère des données portant sur les Québécois, la société d’État devra garantir que ces informations soient protégées. Et la négligence ou la nonchalance peut coûter cher : jusqu’à 4 % du chiffre d’affaires mondial d’une entreprise.

Les décisions de Jean-François Morin doivent donc satisfaire également la vice-présidence aux Affaires juridiques et réglementaires. « Est-ce que j’ai le droit d’utiliser telle donnée, demande-t-il, et pour quelle fonctionnalité ? » – tout en expliquant avoir dû ralentir intentionnellement la progression de la filiale de domotique Hilo en raison de ces enjeux.

« Nous avons besoin d’une gouvernance des données très robuste, pour nous assurer que nous respectons la loi mais aussi pour déterminer quelles données sont réellement utiles. Même avec l’intelligence artificielle, la vieille loi de l’informatique s’applique : Garbage in, garbage out. »

Digital Transformation, IT Leadership, Utilities