Digital Transformation Journeys: Highlights from The Computing Conference 2018 First Breakout Session
By Daniel Rosenberg
At Alibaba Cloud’s Computing Conference 2018, there was no shortage of engaging presentations and breakout sessions on digital transformation and technological innovation. In the first breakout session of the conference, Alibaba Cloud experts and enterprises shard their strategy of digital transformation for the modern enterprise.
The first to speak was Derek Wang, Alibaba Cloud’s Chief Cloud Architect. He emphasized that more and more businesses are not just experimenting with cloud adoption but are initiating cloud strategies, such as multi-cloud and public cloud. For enterprises, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers like Alibaba Cloud are vital to all cloud strategies because they offer the freedom for enterprise innovation and guarantee the stability and security enterprises need. Alibaba Cloud’s Apsara Stack, for example, offers privacy and dedicated servers and enterprise features.
Dan McCormick, the regional CIO for Rentokil Initial, was the next to speak. As a pest control company, Rentokil is a prime example of how any company can use digital offerings and technology to improve and scale their business. Not only do they use Cloud to track and analyze business data but they also use the cloud to enhance their customer experience. They also use cloud computing to auto plan service visits, generate daily plans and gather customer feedback. In this scenario, they harness Alibaba Cloud’s custom AI to improve their business and customer experience.
Hitachi was one of the more global companies to present at the breakout session. In a riveting speech, Hitachi’s head of Fintech, Jiaqi Lou, explained how the company leverages Alibaba Cloud to innovate with today’s most revolutionary technologies like “blockchain and biological recognition.” Hitachi sees blockchain as one technology that can be replicated over a vast number of industries and businesses. Hitachi has already begun employing biological recognition and blockchain for identity verification. According to Hitachi, shoppers will register their biometric information as well as coupon credits when they enroll to use the system. This data will then be encrypted before being stored on the blockchain. In one example, Mister Donut, one of the largest donut chains in the world, uses biological recognition for store payments, recommending products and tracking loyalty points for customers. This all makes for a more integrated user experience and better business according to Hitachi and is further evidence of the range of industries that cloud can be applied in.
Next to present was DXC. DXC has been in the cloud business in Asia for many years and has the resume to prove it. Toting many Fortune 500 clients, they specialize in helping enterprises digitalize. According to their VP of Cloud Platform Services, Mark Diekmann, “No CEO in the world hasn’t inquired about going digital, and no enterprise doesn’t think of themselves as a technology business,” but of course for enterprises, there are significant challenges to digitalization. He highlighted the six most significant difficulties as innovation, a shortage of skilled personnel, a lack of productivity, poor IT governance, high complexity, and no local regulation expertise. And while going to the cloud is not easy for enterprises, both DXC and Alibaba Cloud make it easier. DXC regularly uses Alibaba Cloud’s monitoring, backup, endpoint protection, patch management, and cost optimization to consult with clients to launch, adopt, and run the best cloud environment for their customers. Together DXC and Alibaba Cloud have built an Insurance Innovation Lab with hopes to create a platform for insurance providers in China.
According to Equinix’s Solution Architect, Michael Dong, Equinix’s mission is to “Reach Everwhere, Interconnect Everyone and Integrate Everything,” which is no easy task. Nevertheless, Equinix has made strides. Notably, in the realm of digital transformation for enterprises which the next speaker Michael Dong pointed out. Their work is best shown through their work with Alibaba Cloud and Ant Financial another Alibaba Affiliate company. With dense interconnection points, they were able to leverage economies of scope and scale.
Simply put, by working together, mobile payments got faster. Latency was reduced to the physical minimum, while bandwidth increases exponentially without unnecessary extra costs. This has allowed, for mobile payments to be not just quicker but increasingly reliable, boasting a 99.999 percent availability.
Arguably, the most critical challenge for enterprises looking to digitalize is security. The next two speakers addressed how organizations looking to digitalize can do so in a secure manner as well as showed why Alibaba Cloud is first among equals in cloud security and how Fortinet and Alibaba Cloud work together to grant enterprises peace of mind when digitalizing their business or go to cloud. Larry Liu, Head of Security and Privacy Compliance for Alibaba Cloud, prioritized Alibaba Cloud’s commitment to their customers around the world and understood the importance of international data protection standards. Over many years, Alibaba Cloud security and compliance team have racked up the highest and most common data security certifications globally. From Alibaba Cloud’s foundation all the way up to client specific compliance standards, Alibaba Cloud continues to follow and set international data security and compliance norms.
Brian Page, a Senior Cloud Security Architect at Fortinet, ended the breakout session with valuable cloud security advice and best practices for enterprise cloud adoption. He highlighted that cloud security is tried and tested, decentralized and suggested that it needs to be heterogeneous, meaning it needs to use different cloud services from different providers to remain secure. He went on to explain, the Fortinet Security fabric that can be used on Alibaba Cloud and with other Alibaba Cloud security products. The Fortinet Fabric covers three main security pillars, management and automation, broad protection and native integration which helps streamline operations, adds multi-layer security and consistent security protection. In the future, more automation of cloud security will prevent human error making the cloud more and more secure.
For the latest news and video replays of The Computing Conference 2018, visit www.alibabacloud.com/the-computing-conference-2018.