The interview with Albert Zammar by Cohesity.

One year after the launch of the recovery plan at European level, which led to the PNRR in Italy, 01net carries out an investigation, based on a series of interviews with the main companies operating in Italy in the ICT on their strategy for digitalisation of the

We talk with them about four key themes of digital transformation: resilience, cybersecurity, cloud, environmental and social sustainability and the answers allow you to build the ICT reality participation map for the country’s growth in the digital sense.

And there is one more theme, the fifth: in a spirit of consultation, we ask that Italian entrepreneurs be given an extra idea, capable of producing immediate value in terms of efficiency and competitiveness.

For Cohesity, the Regional Director Semea, Albert Zammar, responded.

A year after the Recovery Plan, where are we with the real transformation of the country: with what solutions, skills and services do you participate in the missions of the PNRR involving digital?

The PNRR represents a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between Italy and the other major European economies in the field of digitisation. More than 25% of the funds are earmarked for the digital transition, which involves investments in digital technologies, infrastructures and processes aimed at increasing the competitiveness of the country-system. One of the key points of the programme is the transformation of the PA into a digital key, a project for which more than €6 billion is earmarked. The main themes around which the plan’s implementation strategy has been built are cloud, interoperability of services between administrations with the creation of a National Strategic Pole (NPS) and the management, storage, storage and data protection strategy

Although the key points for effective digital transformation have been clearly indicated within the plan, we are still rather behind on the implementation front. During the recent health crisis, the need to ensure continuity of operation has accelerated sharply the digitisation of public administrations and companies: organisations had to equip themselves quickly with tools to enable users to continue working without having access to offices. However, this has often been the case without a central coordination plan. A structured approach is now needed, including infrastructure adaptation and solutions to ensure interoperability and security.

The solution and services offered by our company are able to address the issues described within the PNRR, making available to cloud providers and companies involved in the implementation of digital transformation projects a hyperconverging software platform, for modern data management distributed The solution includes a search engine capable of detecting and cataloguing all the data distributed between the various infrastructures, including those of which even existence (so-called “dark data” is sometimes ignored).

Through a very easy to use management console, these data can then be classified, protected (by backup), enlivened by one infrastructure to the other, secured with features that make them immutable (no longer editable), or moved Thanks to sophisticated analysis tools, the solution is then able to ensure interoperability, both at architectural and application level, to analyze the characteristics of sensitive data and apply all the policies necessary to ensure its processing in accordance with current regulations.

2021 was the year in which the theme of cybersecurity landed in all businesses. What concrete prospects did you give for 2022?

New technologies and new users have redesigned risk profiles. The expansion of the company perimeters has meant that an increasing number of data were produced and collected, making the definition of protection policy urgent.

Even in the coming months, new borders will be drawn, forcing companies to be even more responsible for the information they keep. The risks related to cybersecurity and data governance are now at the top of the priority of each board: uncertainty about security policies and data management will cause serious damage to corporate performance, if Ceo and business leaders do not adopt better and more transparent methodologies Businesses aiming for growth will necessarily have to start considering cybersecurity as other elements that are necessary for the company, such as human and financial resources.

The organisations that already operate successfully today are developing a strong security culture. They also use more performing tools to assess whether a cybersecurity practice is working effectively, adopting increasingly accurate security metrics. And this is all the more necessary now that rating agencies, insurance companies and regulators are beginning to consider the safety posture of an organisation as the decisive factors for assessing the overall health status.

In the current digital world, business requires alliance and cooperation. Business leaders need to find the right partners to defend their innovation, overcome threats and be competitive not only with competitors, but also with possible cyber attacks.

The key component of digital transformation is the cloud. What are the choices that Italian companies will have to make in 2022?

Digital transformation is today a requirement for the survival of every enterprise, whatever the sector of belonging. The exponential growth of data from connected devices and increased mobility will help to increase pressure on IT systems: transformation is not simple and requires effective investment, with a clear strategy in terms of data availability.

Many activities and many business processes can no longer work in manual mode today. The theme of digital dependence is central: to be fully transformative, modern organizations need to be anchored to key technologies, enabled by virtualization, modern storage systems and cloud technologies.

Having data available at all times is central to the digital transformation: in increasingly demanding and competitive markets, companies must be always on and they cannot run the risk of having to stop activities due to critical issues related to their infrastructure. It’s not just about adopting the cloud, it’s about investing in the right direction. There are still not enough businesses that exploit the benefits of the public cloud in terms of lower costs and greater flexibility and there is still a widespread belief that data should be stored on-premises for security reasons.

Driving an organization today essentially means guiding digital transformation within that organization. Choosing cloud solutions that ensure high levels of service availability, data protection and backup will be decisive in the coming years. Acting in advance, bringing innovative digital technologies into the company, is the best choice a leader can make for his business.

After the Cop26 it was understood that sustainability, both environmental and social, now affects not only all countries but also all companies. What is your strategy on these issues?

The digital economy has given data centers a leading role: this is where data are processed, collected and protected, a real lifeblood necessary for the success of the companies of the future. In view of the commitments made at Cop26, all sectors are now actively engaged in the implementation of carbon neutrality objectives. The construction of more environmentally friendly and energy efficient data centers is an important objective for the IT sector of any company. According to the latest forecasts, in fact, within 5 years the energy consumed by the data toner will come to represent almost half of the energy consumed by the entire ICT sector.

From the infrastructure point of view, the strategy we believe to be successful is to adopt hyperconverging software defined solutions, which allow to realize data centers extremely more efficient both from the point of view of the infrastructural dimensions › exploiting algorithms This would allow companies to achieve the carbon neutrality target by building more energy-efficient and low-carbon data centers. You can then choose infrastructure based on flash technologies, which offer high performance with a much lower energy consumption than traditional solutions. This would, for example, drastically reduce emissions from refrigeration of data center environments and from the electricity required for the operation of machines.

Cohesity’s ICT idea of 2022

If you were to offer a single investment (product, solution, methodology) to an Italian company, a choice that could produce an immediate benefit in terms of efficiency and competitiveness, what would your advice be about?

Data is the most valuable information each company has. We would recommend, therefore, a solution that would protect them and extract value from them. The first objective is to collect and catalogue all the information that the company has accumulated over time and that it sometimes has without fully realizing it, since it is not always easy to search. This is the problem known as data fragmentation: they multiply uncontrolledly and are often duplicated and distributed across different infrastructures, such as data centers, edge and cloud.

It is therefore necessary to have a platform that is simple to manage and that allows you to quickly search for, organize and consolidate all the data. Also going to search for those dark data that represent information acquired, but that remain ‘invisible’ and, therefore, unused.

The ideal is to collect data within a single hyperconverging platform, which simplifies IT architecture and reduces its operating costs, eliminating silos. The solution must allow you to perform self-consistent backup operations, to defend against ransomware attacks and to quickly start disaster recovery procedures.

This must be possible both on premise and in the cloud, in SaaS logic, which is increasingly appreciated by companies. Inside the same platform, tools must not be missing to prevent any attacks, using machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques to detect abnormal accesses or other typical signs of a ransomware attack, so that you can run to the shelter as soon as possible.

Another interesting feature is data masking, a data blurring procedure that allows technicians and developers to work on the infrastructure without having the possibility to access the information, which are precisely masked. This is useful when processing very sensitive data, such as personal, health or banking data. Finally, the platform must include advanced analysis tools, so that data can be used to gain a competitive advantage.

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