Cisco: For a secure hybrid workforce, adopt SASE

Cisco: For a secure hybrid workforce, adopt SASE: Source – Shutterstock

Smart IT infrastructure crucial for the future workplace

Having a future-proof IT infrastructure is ideally what every organization would hope to have. As the COVID-19 pandemic has led to new work practices, most organizations are now having to cope not only with the demand of their employees but also with the technology that is available to them.

When it comes to IT infrastructure, changing and upgrading frequently is something organizations would want to avoid. Not only will the upgrades and changes be costly, but the adoption of the tech would also take time as well. As such, some businesses are already looking at ways they can future-proof their IT infrastructure by deploying optimal infrastructure to cater to their business needs.

To understand how organizations can future-proof their IT infrastructure, Tech Wire Asia speaks to Sumir Bhatia, President of Lenovo Infrastructure Solution Group (ISG), Asia Pacific.

How complicated is it for organizations to integrate and future-proof their IT infrastructure?

Every successful transformation journey begins with the right mindset. Similar is the case with the evolving business and IT landscape. IT infrastructure requirements are evolving every 12 to18 months, adding to the pressure of keeping up with the speed of innovation.

IT infrastructure

Sumir Bhatia, President of Lenovo Infrastructure Solution Group (ISG), Asia Pacific. (Source – Lenovo)

Organizations operating on a Capital Expenditure (CapEx) model, where investment towards the physical assets that they set up and maintain, are increasingly finding themselves trailing behind their competitors. While the investment looks good in the books, not much room is left to scale up the infrastructure without impacting top-line business growth.

This rigidity gets eliminated with an operational expenditure (OpEx) or as-a-service. For example, Lenovo TruScale is a pay-as-you-go, scalable model, offering the functionality of the cloud. This means businesses get to choose how and when to use it, turn it on or off based on requirements, and only pay for the service rather than investing in an entire infrastructure, thereby optimizing the business ROI. This arrangement, coupled with Lenovo professional services offers businesses the flexibility and control to focus on improving business instead of managing IT.

In Southeast Asia, one of the most prominent retailers partnered with Lenovo to deliver value and deploy an optimal infrastructure for specific business needs. Without being tethered to a lease, the retailer focused on the bigger picture. This included addressing tight profit margins, growing competition, and evolving customer loyalty while reaping potential benefits like predictable, renewable revenue streams and deeper insights into customer consumption patterns.

As the workforce shifts to remote and hybrid models, we see an increased demand for more dynamic and cohesive solutions that support and prioritize employees. At the same time, these solutions must comply with ESG guidelines and ensure businesses can still deliver value to achieve their business goals efficiently.

How is Lenovo ISG helping organizations reimagine a hypermobile and hybrid workplace – is it that simple?

Built on reliability, imagining a hypermobile and hybrid workplace that is flexible, controlled, and secure is not simple, but is definitely achievable. As thought leaders and IT partners of choice, we believe the future is service-led. With our everything-as-a-service portfolio under TruScale –end-to-end offering from pocket to the data center to the cloud – we are enabling businesses of all sizes to leverage flexible, on-demand support and customizable infrastructure solutions to easily address the requirements of a hybrid work environment.

A unified experience in a hybrid work commands an infrastructure that can seamlessly manage data, applications, and workloads between connected computing environments. The hybrid cloud provides businesses with this opportunity.

There are three key areas in the IT infrastructure that businesses need to consider when it comes to hybrid work. They are:

  • Flexibility – Deployment of hybrid cloud will only accelerate workflows, strengthen workforce collaboration, and improve budget flexibility for further infrastructural investments. Such flexibility is known to improve efficiency, lower costs, and enhance business agility.
  • Control – Not being in control of IT solutions to manage data efficiently and as per business requirements continues to be a challenge. A hybrid cloud management approach makes use of cloud infrastructure making it efficient, secure, and adaptive to modern-day requirements; allows IT leaders to quickly scale up existing servers and online infrastructure and remain in control of whatever digital solutions they put in place next.
  • Security – Increasing cyberattacks and their cost implications are top concerns today. As per Check Point Research, Asia-Pacific (APAC) region saw the most number of cyber attacks in 2021. With a hybrid cloud, organizations will be able to enhance data protection and security to de-risk businesses by helping mitigate security-related challenges attributed to vulnerable activities. Adopting a Zero Trust approach is the ideal way to maintain security & privacy.

In this Smart Normal era, the importance of harnessing real-time AI insights to address business challenges and capture a competitive advantage is key. Keeping speed and agility at the top of mind, edge AI solutions are able to minimize business complexities and enhance computing power in remote locations to support a wide variety of workloads by delivering an AI platform directly at the edge.

Outside of corporate enterprises, high-performance computing as-a-service (HPCaaS) for research organizations, enables easy access to supercomputers to solve humanity’s greatest challenges.

Is the as-a-service approach the best solution to subdue the challenges of a Hybrid workplace?

Organizations are increasingly realizing the benefits of investments in as-a-service or OpEx models. It enables them to leverage world-class and specialized infrastructure with managed costs and cater to the key enablers that can become the hurdles.

From what I observe, leaders are struggling to achieve a balanced allocation of resources across their workforce, mainly because of remote working. Misallocated resources can adversely affect both a business’ workflow and employee productivity. As-a-service offerings enable organizations to effectively control the movement of confidential information and manage data exchanged between end-point devices, thereby keeping cyberattacks and data breaches at bay.

In the second part of our interview, Bhatia shares how organizations can implement a zero-trust policy to deal with cyberattacks as well as the role of the metaverse in the future of work.