Fadi Kanafani, Middle East Managing Director and General Manager, NetApp, speaks to Anita Joseph about GITEX, leading trends in data management and the future of data.
How would you describe this year’s GITEX, and what are your expectations from it?
GITEX represents a global platform for some of the leading buzzwords in technology today. For instance, cloud is becoming popular in the region. It is every CIO’s top agenda, to leverage cloud to drive better business outcomes. There is also a lot of buzz around AI to utilize it for maximum revenue, competitiveness and better business decisions, and GITEX showcases all of these. This is our fifth year at GITEX, and we find it the ideal platform to build connections with our clientele, partners and the entire data ecosystem.
How would you describe the technological trends as far as data is concerned, in the Middle East?
The Middle East market has proven to be an ideal playground for adopting new technological trends. Some of the biggest trends in the region right now are AI and machine learning, and efforts are on to get these technologies rolled out to the customers in a smooth and seamless manner, so that people can get the most out of their data and come to the right intelligence to drive the right business outcomes. There are other trends related to analytics and physical security, of course, and another key trend is the consolidation of data centres.
How much awareness is there in the Middle East, about security and the need for up-to-date-security measures?
Security is at the heart of digital transformation and technological growth. If your data is not secure, you compromise on all the information that you use, to drive your business and its progress. So most of our customers pay very close attention to security, as do our partners. At NetApp, our data, from a data management point of view, can always be encrypted, even if it is the cloud. We have an intellectual property and algorithm that would allow our data to be secure at all times, giving customers peace of mind and assurance about cloud security.
How does NetApp differentiate itself from the rest of the competition?
Gartner has recognized NetApp’s data fabric as trend No 7, in top ten trends globally. If anything, this is a testimony that NetApp knows and has what it takes to help organizations in their digital transformation journey through the data fabric architecture that would allow customers to securely access their data wherever it is-be it on premises, in the hybrid cloud set up, public cloud, or in between cloud-anywhere and everywhere.
How do you think 5G is going to impact the whole technological footprint?
5G will bring more data into the mainstream, and so technology will gear up to protect this data better. NetApp will be a prominent player in ensuring data security and making sure customers are provided with a seamless technological experience.