The interview with Alessandro Ballerio by Elmec Informatica.

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 Elmec Informatica, the CEO and Technical Director, Alessandro Ballerio, 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 National Transition Plan 4.0, evolution of the Industry 4.0 programme, represents the main flywheel of change for Italian companies that are today called to face different challenges: the shortage with the consequent increase of the costs of raw materials and logistics that are reducing the availability of products to

In this scenario, the possibility for companies to be competitive in the coming years at international level is closely linked to digital transformation. To stimulate investment in this area, within the National Transition 4.0 Plan, several tax credits have been set for capital goods, Research & Development, technological innovation, design, aesthetic design and training 4.0. In summary, everything that allows the digitisation of production processes and the enhancement of workers’ productivity.

With the PNRR and the National Transition 4.0 Plan, a range of opportunities open up not only for public bodies, but above all, for private companies. Elmec is part of this context in support of medium and large enterprises to guide them towards Digital Transformation with awareness and effectiveness. A path that the company carries out alongside its partners to maximize every opportunity.

Thanks to the skills acquired in 50 years of history, we can offer a complete service from the beginning to the end • the professionals define it • end-to-end • • thanks to which we intervene on several We also deal with green energy supply solutions through photovoltaics with Elmec Solar, while with Elmec 3D, thanks to its disrupting approach, we bring to the world of manufacturing the same paradigm change that digital transformation is A revolution, that of 3D printing • today also metal, with flame retardant resins and polymers of high mechanical resistance • that redefines the entire production process of the companies, guaranteeing a reduction of costs up to 97% and a freedom in forms

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

2021 was the year in which Italian companies started a risk-awareness path and experienced the concreteness of the attacks. 2022 will be an important year as it will bring two trends. First, a further increase in attacks on companies of all types and sizes, not only enterprise, but also SMEs, which we estimate to be 25% compared to 2021. Then an increase in the attack surface by exploiting the adoption of cloud services as an additional entry point. Finally, an increase in the complexity of attacks on infrastructure and employees.

The business unit of Elmec Informatica dedicated to IT security, CybergON aims to accompany companies in evolution through the protection and advanced detection of the entire perimeter of the customer, including the cloud. The company’s protection also goes from training employees, but with the customization of content according to the role in the company. We have, for example, created a specific training course for the apical and managerial figures that are most exposed to targeted attacks. We also remember that if properly trained, they can bring awareness within the whole company. The real challenge of 2022 is to remediate: it is no longer sufficient to identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses, but the real protection is obtained with security operations performed in times consistent with the criticality. For example, the application of security updates on the various business systems must be carried out both on a recurring basis (on a quarterly basis at least) and in an emergency (pushed by new vulnerabilities).

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

Every year we address the potential that migration to a cloud infrastructure can provide to Italian companies in terms of efficiency, cost savings and data protection security. But 2022 will bring a further breakthrough in cloud-enabled services to the service of our production fabric, thanks to the development of the Gaia-X project.

And if there is a choice to be focused on in the future, it is to enter into the perspective of data sharing interoperability to exploit the services that will be developed through this project. Initially, presented as the European cloud, Gaia-X is much more than a infrastructure that respects data sovereignty: it is a shared market intelligence that never existed before thanks to the common governance policy • a data Elmec joined Gaia-X last March by creating a team to develop a compliant offer and support companies to understand the opportunities offered by the use of data space.

2022 will be the year of the development of a service offering by service providers that will comply with Gaia-X standards and will be based on effective data space for the different industrial sectors • health, finance, agriculture just to give some examples.

After Cop 26 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 first and most important strategy is a change of mindset, that is a change of method: designing in terms of IT green. Elmec has taken this approach to generate changes in macro and micro.

Macro changes include, for example, the design of business structures that can reduce energy consumption and environmental impact. For example, we have built our strategic asset in green mode to support Elmec’s cloud solutions offering: the proprietary Gazzada Data Center (Varese), one of those structures that are usually among the most ‘energy’ A green data center can be built by adopting a series of solutions in the design phase: an intelligent cooling system, led lights and solar panels for energy supply through photovoltaics. In 2021 we also took a big step towards a sustainable future: we bought enough renewable energy to meet 100% of the annual electricity consumption of our Green Data Center.

We then designed our Innovation Center that houses 200 employees, providing it with both a bio-adaptive lighting that manages the levels of light intensity taking into account the presence of people in the environments, and 228 high-efficiency photovoltaic panels. Thanks to the total power of the plant equal to 82.08 kWp, the annual production of 88.200 kWh means that 90% of the energy produced of the building will be consumed by car.

Developing a sustainable approach is also about sharing values within the company. We try to involve our employees in every possible way in the dissemination of a culture of sustainability. We want to allow people to feel part of a common goal: to make our environmental impact more and more positive. For this reason we encourage car pooling and use of electric cars through the installation of charging stations, we provide our employees with environmentally friendly detergents on the plug that contribute significantly to the saving of plastic and we are particularly attentive to responsible disposal thanks to some Ecoboxes, In addition, 2022 will see the inauguration of the new company canteen that, in terms of savings and attention to the environment, will only make available to our employees… sustainable food……………..

Elmec ICT idea 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?

In an economic context that has accelerated the need for flexible solutions to allow remote work and access to services and data at any time, the adoption of cloud services has become crucial for the recovery and development of business activity.

Using a cloud infrastructure and managed services allows you to maintain business continuity by also having an analysis capability on data related to production processes or customer requests and feedback through an Erp. We cannot forget the services that allow you to update and protect notebooks and mobile phones connected to business networks, through device-as-a-service solutions.

For example, a great Made in Italy sweetie company has been able to remotely manage and improve the production of snacks thanks to the hybrid cloud based on our Tier IV data center: the new solution has allowed to have real-time data on

I would add that this last word will be crucial in the coming year and cloud services will play a crucial role in protecting data, projects and innovations that make Italian SMEs unique.

We see from the news a daily escalation of threats to cybersecurity: the multiplication of ransomware attacks in public and private bodies challenges any company to adopt first a solution of backup and disaster recovery. Being able to duplicate and save your data on the cloud using a Data Center Tier IV with the assurance of 24/7 assistance is an advantage in terms of information protection. Added to this is the importance of adopting automated solutions to recognise any threats that allow us to identify clues to the development of a ransomware attack before their data is taken hostage. The digitalization of its systems through cloud solutions and the support of Security Operation Center that monitors the systems automatically represent an inseparable combination for the protection of Italian entrepreneurial heritage.

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