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Editor’s Comment: What are your key business priorities for the year ahead?

Editor’s Comment: What are your key business priorities for the year ahead?

AnalysisDigital TransformationIndustry ExpertMiddle EastThought LeadershipTop Stories

Yarob Sakhnini, Vice President, Emerging Market, EMEA, Juniper Networks explains what his business priorities are for the year ahead.

The year, 2020, has been a challenging year by many measures. Organisations around the world had to quickly, suddenly adjust to a ‘new normal’. Many of them had to rethink their digital strategies entirely to meet the demands of new working and operating environments. As a result, reliable and secure networks have become more important than ever (and track and trace capabilities for the workplace have become important too). I think these requirements are likely to continue into 2021.

With a relentless rise in the number of end-user devices and even more network connections as a result, it is unsurprising that security concerns have been top of mind for many organisations’ IT decision makers and will likely still be for the coming 12 months. In fact, a recent study commissioned by Juniper Networks found that 93% of Middle Eastern IT senior professionals are experiencing challenges when attempting to secure their organisations’ networks, especially in the current climate with larger than usual employee numbers working remotely.

Network reliability and performance is another important aspect for our customers as we contemplate 2021. As many as 80% of Middle East survey respondents felt that they needed to improve their network’s reliability and performance, as it is ‘the beating heart’ of an organisation that is undergoing or sustaining Digital Transformation. Interestingly, on average 45% of IT employees’ time in the Middle East (47% globally) is absorbed by ‘keeping the lights on’ in the network, instead of pursuing innovation.

Another trend we are expecting in 2021 is enabling companies to better monitor employee safety in the workplace. Juniper Networks’ Mist solution is designed around contact tracing methods that leverage AI analytics, Wi-Fi networks and Bluetooth technology to help keep employees safe. The technology offers a seamless and cost-effective deployment and can flag hot zones within the office, provides information on the movement of staff within its set parameters and traces interactions to help minimise future exposure to the virus. By leveraging Mist’s proven AI-driven Wi-Fi, patented virtual Bluetooth LE and Premium Analytics solutions, these use cases can be delivered in a scalable manner, while simultaneously providing customers with the controls to protect individual privacy.

Businesses know they must rapidly innovate, take advantage of new digital tools and leverage cloud services to navigate the crisis with momentum for the long-term transformation of their business in the altered global landscape. Extending visibility and enforcement to every point of connection on the network is essential. This is the premise of Juniper Connected Security: security starts with the network.

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