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Multicloud as a Service

Three years on from the start of the COVID-10 pandemic, hybrid working remains a challenge as organizations look for intelligent ways of blending old and new ways of working.

Office-based work first shifted to work-from-home and then to a hybrid model, both of which had implications for technology and employee and customer experience.

Establishing smart ways of working that support employee wellbeing, talent recruitment and retention but don't compromise productivity or security will remain a priority in 2023 as organizations look for fresh solutions to the challenges posed by the hybrid workplace.

Relying on technology and people to manage risk

CEOs, CIOs and CTOs have accelerated the execution of their digital transformation roadmaps to keep up with the market and avoid the volatility often seen during periods of economic recovery. They want to reduce risk dramatically in their efforts to disrupt and compete.

This is reflected in their use of technology that provides simple but robust security, and systems focused on the people who will help them achieve their digital transformation.

In Kenya, a skills shortage and the migration of skilled workers both internally and out of the country are compelling organizations to create work environments that will attract and retain the best talent while optimizing their productivity.

These trends are driving the development of robust and agile hybrid-workplace technology solutions that meet many of these needs. What follows will be a concentrated effort to reshape hybrid-work policies, systems and methodologies to reduce the risks that have emerged over the past year.

Using managed services to counter new cyberthreats

Hybrid working and a diverse workforce have significantly expanded the threat landscape. Organizations are dealing with greater complexity in their infrastructure and the seemingly constant need to increase security.

Amid rising cybersecurity concerns, evolving governance and compliance needs, and evolving risks, more organizations are reviewing their business continuity plans and investing in solutions and partnerships that will help them to refine and modernize their networks, infrastructure design, and redundancy and backup solutions. They are also turning to managed service providers (MSPs) to strengthen their ability to mitigate disasters.

Building collaborative partnerships to disrupt and innovate

The complexity and uncertainty inherent in the changing nature of work have created gaps for opportunity and innovation, leading to a rise in collaborative partnerships between MSPs and organizations that want to disrupt rather than be disrupted. Investing in campus networks, managed SD-WAN, managed connectivity and managed private 5G has become popular among organizations looking to innovate and embed stability while turning the conversation back to their employees.

Leading with purpose

Perhaps the most positive impact of the past few years has been the renewed focus on how leaders lead their organizations. Leading with purpose is critical in creating the ideal business environment for employees and customers – and links to the sustainability of the organization.

Shining the spotlight on the deeper areas of an organization and making people central to conversations about stability and sustainability is a positive step that will help redefine the ethos of many organizations.

AI, the cloud and economic optimism

In addition to a focus on cybersecurity and resilience, in 2023 the Kenyan market is likely to see the wider adoption of AI, particularly in manufacturing and agriculture, and a move to the cloud as technology continues to play a central role in industry, helping CEOs stay ahead of disruptions, cyberthreats and supply-chain complexity. There will also be an increased focus on the data centre space to align with the need for more data centres in East and West Africa.

Last year, Kenya emerged from the pandemic and held national elections that went extremely well. A stable economy and a relatively stable inflation rate and currency mean that CEOs can plan more effectively and invest wisely. This has created renewed hope for economic growth and consistent public- and private-sector investment in business and the region.

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Richard Hechle is CEO: East and West Africa at Dimension Data