By Nelson Pereira, CTO of Noesis
Digital transformation is a buzzword we've been hearing about for a few years now and a very broad concept. Today, we can divide Digital Transformation into two fundamental concepts - digital resilience and digital acceleration, with the priority given to these new concepts depending on the level of Digital Transformation maturity of each organization. "At a first level of the digital transformation process, the concern is mainly centered on business continuity, protection of the organization's workforce and critical systems, recovery of systems in case of a disaster, among other focuses.
Once this first level is assured, the transformation then takes on a new dimension, closely linked to the business and creating value for it. The focus is now on the expansion and optimization of the business, giving relevance to what technology can add, whether in productivity, internal processes, distribution or revenue generation", explains Nelson Pereira, CTO of Noesis.
To get the most value out of the adoption of digital technologies and strengthen growth, the future companies are organizations that sustain their business processes with technology, driven by innovation and digitally resilient in their core. In essence, companies adopt a culture focused on technology and its use to become more efficient and competitive. "At this stage of maturity, the focus of digital transformation is to create an organization capable of "learning" and deriving value throughout the process: creating new agile business models and operations, redesigning and/or reinventing business models, optimizing processes.
In essence, digital investments aim to take advantage of everything that technology allows and focus on defining customer experience strategies, taking advantage of data, real-time analytics, etc. In this phase, organizations should give relevance to productivity, faster decision-making, in-depth knowledge of their customers, optimization of their distribution channels or supply chain, cost reduction, and increased efficiency," adds the responsible.
When it comes to technology, this is a challenging time for organizations. Companies must prepare themselves technologically for the economy's recovery and start proper transformation processes in their business and operation models. Only in this way will they be able to remain competitive.
The pressure to reduce time-to-market is growing, and the "traditional" approach, in which IT departments respond to the needs of their business by developing applications based on one or two programming languages, with business processes based on a single platform, is outdated. According to Nelson Pereira, it is necessary to evolve from a project management vision (typically far away from the concrete knowledge of the final need and the business) to a product management vision (closely linked to the business). It is essential to deliver fast, test, and adjust. "Fail fast", so you can correct, redefine and give feedback into the development cycle.
On the other hand, the shortage of professionals in the technology sector makes it necessary to equip IT teams with technology that ensures business continuity even when human resources turnover occurs. In this context, Low-Code solutions will be dominant in the coming years, whether we are talking about creating a system from scratch or support applications. Also, a strong bet on RPA (Robotic Process Automation) will solve communication problems between legacy systems, which are expensive and difficult to evolve.
Finally, the importance given to Digital Customer Experience. It is essential to look at the customer experience in different channels, physical and digital, and take advantage of the potential of Artificial Intelligence, personalization, chatbots, among other features, to significantly improve this experience and generate more revenue. Of course, all this evolution would be impossible to achieve without the cloud, and hybrid cloud models will be increasingly frequent scenarios in any medium or large organization in the coming years.
Finally, work models and the so-called Modern Workplace. The recent presentation of Microsoft's Windows 365 is an example that confirms the remarkable transformation that we will continue to see in this area. Today, a simple smartphone can have as much computing power as the user wants, based on the cloud and independent of the local machine we are working on at the moment.
SOLUTIONS AND SECURITY
Noesis operates under the motto - Helping your business grow faster, its great purpose. It is a reference player in implementing technological solutions and supporting clients' digital transformation processes. In this sense, the bet focuses on a set of performance areas within technology, ensuring an end2end coverage of each organization's needs.
"In this period and pandemic context, security issues were one of the areas that were strengthened, to be increasingly able to support and respond to the challenges that our customers face. Cybersecurity is fundamental and has to be at the center of any digital transformation strategy", says Nelson Pereira.
The company and its Cloud & Security unit increasingly bet on the specialization of its teams and the use of technological solutions that are at the forefront of cybersecurity and offer different approaches, using artificial intelligence, for example. Noesis bets on a world-leading technology in this area and is one of the main players in the Portuguese market, having several implementations in some of the largest organizations in Portugal and in such distinct sectors as Public Organizations, Defense, Telecommunications, or Transportation.
"In this area, the main message that we tried to transmit to our customers is that it is essential to bet on Security Architecture, and that is, perhaps, the main challenge that companies face today. Re-evaluate their IT ecosystem and seek to empower themselves in a structured way with cutting edge technologies and services that allow them to safeguard themselves against these threats," stresses the specialist.
On the other hand, in the last two years, they have developed particular solutions thinking about the difficulties and problems organizations face in this pandemic context. Solutions applicable to different company profiles, sizes, and activity sectors, such as Virtual Queue Management and Smart Space Manager. Virtual Queue Management focuses on queue management and waiting times using artificial intelligence. It is intended for any physical space, such as museums, shopping centers, stores, restaurants, public services, among many others. Among several functionalities, it allows the identification of mask usage, issuing and managing virtual attendance passwords, or counting the number of people, thus efficiently controlling the capacity limits of space and avoiding crowds, for example.
Smart Space Manager is intended for corporate environments, namely office management. It is a good solution for the periods of controlled deconfinement we live in and to address the new models of hybrid work that are now being foreseen. This solution allows any company to efficiently manage its spaces, for example, an open space with a reservation and check-in system for its employees. This solution ensures, once again, the capacity control of a space, allowing the establishment of a maximum capacity number and the monitoring and control of the use and occupation of these spaces. Likewise, it will ensure its ecological, efficient, and conscious use, leading to new forms of use and the reduction of associated costs.
"In the team management component, for example, we've also developed several applications that support managers in this mission, monitoring and promoting collaborative work and even the psychological and moral state of their teams", says Noesis' CTO.
Noesis has also been developing projects for the main organizations operating in our market, using Darktrace technology, a world leader in cybersecurity solutions using artificial intelligence, of which they are one of the leading partners in Portugal. These solutions reveal much higher effectiveness when compared to traditional protections, as they use all the potential of artificial intelligence and machine learning to detect behavioral pattern changes.
First of all, they represent a paradigm shift from traditional solutions because they focus on searching for abnormal behavior instead of searching for malicious behavior. On the other hand, they add analysis capability and answer the limits of human capacity. Analyzing information and possible anomalies without the burden of human resources is one of the perspectives that the intelligence-assisted view makes it possible to achieve. With little effort, it becomes possible to monitor networks comprehensively and thus act in real-time on external or internal threats affecting organizations.
Finally, they respond to the increasingly complex and sophisticated attacks themselves, which are also using artificial intelligence. The use of artificial intelligence in cybersecurity solutions is an excellent response to the growing levels of cyber threat because it allows organizations to protect themselves and prevent possible attacks in a much more efficient way since it can analyze the data and visualize the organization's network, outlining security models in real-time, besides also being based on predictive models, monitoring and analysis, using Machine Learning (ML) and Behaviour Analysis.
Artificial intelligence is a strong ally in the service of cybersecurity and an essential investment to increase security in organizations and empower the IT teams themselves, removing much of the effort of analysis and allowing them to focus more on what is essential, the business, and the goals of the organization. This type of assistance, based on AI and ML models, will be the future for organizations that want to stay at the forefront of technology with security, and predictions for the next decade point to the consolidation of this vision. According to a study by Trend Micro, artificial intelligence algorithms will be one of the key pillars for automating cybersecurity.
"Thus, our bet is to provide advanced security solutions, advanced monitoring, observability, and automation, which prove to be more efficient, not only in terms of detecting threats but also in solving and nullifying them," concludes Nelson Pereira.
AI IN COMPANIES
In terms of Artificial Intelligence, the evolution in areas like Computer Vision is increasingly pertinent, for example, for sectors like Distribution and Logistics, responding efficiently in areas like stock management. Also, at the level of the use of natural language, with solutions for bots and conversational AI, it is possible to increase and improve the levels of interaction and relationship with customers and buyers. Finally, augmented reality, Machine Learning, or the development of predictive models and forecasting, will also continue to be significant drivers for introducing AI in organizations.