By Ahmed El Saadi, Director Networking & Security Sales, METNA & SSA

I’m often asked which changes I feel have been most significant last year and I always step back and say the answer is change itself. Change characterizes the year 2020. The digital – and workplace- transformation that has come about puts an unprecedented emphasis on VCN and security, or as I like to call it, modern networking and security.

Working remotely is one of the major changes to impact businesses, individuals and society globally. This brought with it a myriad of shifts in our perceptions, expectations and behaviors and in companies’ priorities, strategies and concerns.

There’s been a tremendous and impressive effort by everyone to adapt.

Individuals not only had to adjust to where they work from but also to how to work from home. The very notion of a meeting shifted from face-to-face or on-site to virtual. How we connect and how we collaborate is very different from one year ago.

Processes to do with planning and control that ensure continuity had to be reviewed. Companies had to understand how to maintain a singular unified culture among a distributed workforce and how to on-board and train new employees. Policies had to be revised to enable companies to react with speed and flexibility to scale to current needs. Workloads had to be moved onto the Cloud. Access and Security moved to the top of CIOs agendas. Departments not used to working with each other had to suddenly cooperate. Budgets had to be reprioritized and business models were tweaked.

All this bring us to now, looking back on 2020 and forward to 2021, where we see that the new normal in the business world is to be more and more distributed: remote infrastructure, remote employees, remote operations, remote branches. Companies and institutions need the right tools for their distributed teams in this new environment.

At VMware, we are big believers in a multi cloud and multi environment strategy: any application, any cloud, for any user. We believe in giving our customers the flexibility and freedom to build what they need the way they need it; to have their infrastructure on premise, or on the cloud, or hybrid; to run any application on any device irrespective of operating systems; to virtualize these devices; and of course to have the necessary security, without blind spots, equally distributed among all applications, regardless if they’re legacy or modern.

Our customers may have different needs and objectives but the commonality among them is the accelerated pace – brought about by the pandemic – with which they had to address their digital transformation. And central to this transformation is modern networking and security.

One example of the work we have done last year is in a sector that was perhaps the most suddenly – almost overnight – and dramatically affected: education.

In Qatar, we are working with Ooredoo to help accelerate the digital transformation of The Ministry of Education and Higher Education. With our VMware SD-WAN product, we can help enable the best quality of online learning experience and ensure effective application performance and delivery.

Moving forward, I believe the application trend will continue and will build on the growth we saw in 2020. Research we conducted revealed there are 19 million app developers today. 19 million! And they’re all looking for the same thing: the infrastructure that will support their application so that their companies gain a competitive edge. The most likely innovations to be seen will come from this focus on applications and from IT leaders’, like ourselves, work on the networks, security and infrastructure that enable applications.

Applications have been an obvious game-changer for businesses and customers but less well-known is their impact internally within organizations. Applications are uniting departments such as networking, security and operations that previously worked in silos with little interaction and driving different priorities and objectives. While networking teams are typically concerned with the efficiency-side of their operations; security teams are more concerned with responses to attacks and minimizing the distractions of false alarms. These teams have had to come together and include each other across all the phases of development, not just in the execution.

The synchronicity we are seeing today between business and IT will become even more pronounced as we move through 2021.

At VMware, we look back at 2020 with pride at what we have helped our customers accomplish and their impact on society. We are excited about the future opportunities we can provide through modern networking systems and security, and we’re ready should change remain the theme for the next 365 days.

Learn more about implementing modern networks for your organization in the eBook.

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