The concept of digital transformation is gathering pace. When Gartner surveyed 388 CEOs, 56% said their digital improvements had already increased profits. But there’s also significant pressure, with 47% reporting challenges from the board of directors to make more progress in digital business.

Embracing digital transformation is challenging and it requires a considered strategy. To leverage real value, it’s important to focus on empowering people and fostering collaboration.

Many are moving to the cloud to enable their digital journey and want to embrace fuller more collaborative solutions, but in doing so run up against the balance of security vs flexibility.

Securing the cloud

As the initial rush of excitement about the scale of the opportunity that the cloud represents subsides, it’s time to address fundamental concerns about security.

The hybrid cloud market is expected to grow from $33 billion last year to more than $90 billion by 2021, according to MarketsandMarkets. Millions of new devices are connecting to cloud services every year and in too many cases, visibility is poor. The risks of shadow IT are tangible, and data breaches are potentially disastrous for enterprises. A lot of valuable data is still housed in legacy systems that must be maintained, but we need it to be available on modern devices.

On the one hand, we’re absolutely right to be empowering workers to work anywhere, but on the other, we must provide secure tunnels, remain vigilant for unusual activity, and protect our valuable data. We can join together people with the apps and data they need safely and build a truly integrated digital workspace by using something like Citrix Workspace

Working with Microsoft together Fujitsu and Citrix have partnered for many years and are now doubling down in their partnership to address the dilemma customers are facing.

Embracing the challenge

A great example of how we enable customers to forge ahead without compromise is our shared customer Nakilat. Qatar Gas Transport Company Ltd., known as Nakilat, which is Arabic for “carrier,” has 63 liquid natural gas ships and four liquid petroleum gas ships that operate as a “floating pipeline” carrying Qatari gas around the world. The fleet represents 15 per cent of total world carrying capacity.

To support this, Nakilat has a complex network of wholly owned and joint-venture operations in ship repair, construction, shipping agencies, warehousing, and other maritime support services.

“Our users love it. Whatever device they are using, they get the same familiar interface. Access to anything we publish from our data centre is secured by NetScaler, and any cloud resources are secured by NetScaler working with Azure ID Management.” Says Hamad Suwaid Information Technology Manager at Qatar Gas Transport Company (Nakilat).

Nakilat recently consolidated its IT operations into a single organisation. As CIO Hamad Suwaid explains, “The biggest challenge was bringing everyone together and enabling secure access to information from anywhere in the world.” After evaluating numerous vendors, Nakilat decided that Citrix, Microsoft and Fujitsu demonstrated the best technology, expertise and cost-effectiveness.  Together with Fujitsu, the firm rolled out SAP HANA® using Citrix and Microsoft Azure with the Fujitsu Integrated System PRIMEFLEX® platform, combined with Fujitsu FlexFrame Orchestrator for SAP, as the basis for a highly efficient cloud solution. Citrix and Azure provide secure access to hybrid cloud and on-premises resources.

The centralised IT operation serves a complex mix of recently acquired businesses and joint-venture operations. Because of this, it uses a hybrid IT environment that combines Microsoft Azure cloud resources with its own on-premises data centre. Citrix NetScaler provides secure access to Nakilat’s on-premises resources, including Microsoft SharePoint and SAP. Hamad explains, “All of our internal application publishing uses NetScaler, and it also provides load-balancing across our services.”

Visibility and Control

IT departments must have visibility and control to keep everything safe without applying lots of restrictions about the services people use. Smarter traffic monitoring and behavioral analytics add a whole new dimension to real-time defenses. A secure cloud is a solid foundation that allows your workers to focus on the task at hand without having to worry about the underlying infrastructure.

Collaboration is the cornerstone

Ultimately, this is human-centric innovation, enabling the use of advanced technology to empower people to innovate. We want to bring people, data, and applications, together securely. The cloud is enabling collaboration on a much grander scale than has ever been possible. We can share ideas in real-time, view our businesses holistically, and gain new insights and fresh perspectives by analyzing unprecedented volumes of data.

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