Tech@Work: “Data is Extremely Valuable and Very Versatile”

Antoine Harb, the Team Leader for Middle East and North Africa at Kingston Technology, speaks about how more and more data is being generated each day and how securing this data is of utmost importance

Which products and solutions do you offer for today’s workplace?
Kingston has products for all environments, our storage and memory solutions are needed for Working from home or office, learning from home or schools, data centers, and gamers. Kingston is with you wherever you are.

We have seen an increase in certain products. Memory and storage help with the smoother running of video calls whilst we have seen an increase in the demand for encrypted and USB and SSDs as people are out of their offices more.

How do you think technology today helps businesses grow?
Technology allows and requires a high level of digitalisation. It enables data to be shared very easily with anyone in the world at any given time. Simply imagine to be working in an international company without being able to share files in near to an instance and have multiple communication tools to reach people thousands of miles away to keep them up to date.

In today’s world data is extremely valuable and very versatile. It can be used for commercial reasons to better understand or target a specific customer group or in order to keep track of healthcare developments and much more. For these huge data chucks to make sense, however, we need to store the data, file the data, analyse the data and most of all keep safe from cybercriminals.

During 2020, 1.7MB of data was created every second by every person. And by 2025 it’s estimated that as a collective, we will generate 463 exabytes of data each day. A lot of this information will end up as digital detritus.

In other words, it will never get looked at and no insight will be derived from it. Because of this, companies undoubtedly need effective data management techniques at various levels as they collect, manage, and analyse that data to meet the most important part of the chain: customer expectations.

To achieve this, data center technology must evolve and operate with faster servers, widespread use of hardware encryption, optimised storage capacity, and more effective compression. Transitioning from serial attached SCSI (SAS) to solid-state drives (SSD) alone can have a huge impact on power reduction when extended to the entire data center.

How is tech driving our economic recovery?
First of all, technology should be mentioned in keeping our economy at float as due to technology it was possible for whole industries to switch to a completely remote work module when going to the office due to the pandemic, simply wasn’t an option. It has enabled us to stay in touch with our colleagues, business partners, and our children to receive an education.

Now, it is near to normal to have a virtual day in the office. Due to videoconferencing tools like Zoom, Teams and others, we can achieve more than just staying in touch. In fact, video calls have enabled us to join meetings all over the world, switch from one conference to the next without any delays and even hold online events such as Webinars. Video calls have enabled a new virtual normal.

How is tech shaping the infrastructure of tomorrow?
As a society, we’re on the cusp of experiencing a proliferation of IoT (Internet of Things) sensors and devices brimming with intelligence, designed to improve our quality of life in every way imaginable. But with all great opportunities comes significant challenges. For IoT, this includes Security and regulation, Data storage and management, and Bandwidth.

Are we ready for IoT? According to a study commissioned by Cisco, 75% of IoT projects are ultimately unsuccessful. The study further reveals that organisations that have been successful in these endeavors have involved, in each of the implementation stages, the ecosystem of specialized partners, which means that strong and competent allies, involved throughout the process, can smooth the learning curve.

Kingston Technology is undoubtedly an elite partner in the digital adventure. Anticipating general trends, Kingston has developed tailored memory and storage solutions to manage the volume, speed with which data will be transmitted, and to meet the extraordinary demands of new edge computing technologies.

How according to you, are women powering the tech industry?
Globally Kingston’s workforce is 58% female, even more, interesting as we are an IT company that is traditionally male-dominated industry. At Kingston, we have so many female role models in management and director levels, that we sometimes forget that this can still be seen as quite new development.

We further believe that as women have more access to study and follow a career in the science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths (STEAM) industries, companies have actively started to support diversity across their workforce, and we will see much more females coming into IT roles.

How is your company investing in the workforce of tomorrow?
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the world, including global business operations, protocols, and an employee’s every workday. In order to give our employees, the best start into this new working world, Kingston Technology believes that education, training, and listening to our employees is the key to a successful future.

Only through listening and evaluating this new form of working on a regular basis, will we be able to fully adapt our training and education processes to this new environment. Onboarding or training that may have once covered all bases, does not meet all the requirements anymore, since employees spent most of their days working outside of the office premises. Learning sessions that once focused on cybersecurity within the office will for example have to be adapted to the remote working scenario.

How is your company working towards a sustainable future?
Many businesses today are navigating within the position of ‘doing more with less’ – needing to recover from the pandemic’s impact on the one hand, but at the same time focus on the bigger picture of reducing our footprint on planet earth. When it comes to sustainability, every starting point is different.

At Kingston Technology, our CRS team is working hard to ensure we are meeting the sustainability standards we want to achieve. We have started to have the conversation with our partners on this topic and are educating them that regular fleet changes are not always necessary, investment in upgrades rather than totally new equipment can reduce operational costs both short term and over time.

For example, the DC500 SSD can reduce license and capital costs by up to 39%, improving productivity from AI, machine learning, and big data analytics to cloud computing, software-defined storage, operational databases (ODB), database applications, and data warehousing, no need for a brand-new system.

How do you think tech will shape the 2021 landscape?
5G network and its endless possibilities continue to create a buzz in a world that is steadily moving towards a future where mixed reality technologies are the norm. Smart cities and self-driving cars are two technologies seen to also dominate a world that will require 5G network as a standard.

Compared to today’s existing networks, the exponential 5G speeds are expected to be between 100 and 800 times faster. This will pave the way for a new age where systems, processes, and devices are interconnected for the rapid delivery of public services.

Arising from this 5G deployment is the creation of a chunk of data, far bigger than what we are witnessing today. This will require more spending on building modern data centers capable of storing and handling the expected data overflow while delivering the needed speed and flexibility with a lower risk of downtime and service interruption.

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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