Karrie Ilagan Cisco Philippines

Cisco’s Ilagan champions digital resilience to achieve PH digital transformation

Having gone through months of lockdown and a continuous struggle to adapt to changes brought by the pandemic, IT adoption in the Philippines was done rapidly. In a study of the global workforce done by Cisco, 77% of organizations are promoting workplace flexibility, making a hybrid workforce a reality, where people have the option to work from anywhere or at an office. This radical change in the workplace has prompted many discussions on the digital journey that the Philippines is bound to take.

However, digital transformation goes beyond remote work. Karrie Ilagan, managing director of Cisco Philippines, grounds the discussion on the country’s digital journey to a more foundational concept: digital resilience.

“Digital transformation is inevitable, yes, but there are many missing pieces before we even begin to consider ourselves digitally transformed. The COVID-19 pandemic will not be the last challenge that will turn the world upside down, and we see every day what happens to the Philippines when we’re not ready,” said Karrie Ilagan, Managing Director of Cisco Philippines. “At Cisco, we focus on an organization’s digital resilience — the organization’s capability to readily adapt to disruptions not only be able to restore operations, but more importantly be able to find opportunities in these shifts in the environment.”

Cisco’s Ugnayan 2030 aims to build the foundation of digital resilience in PH

PH health department reinforces telemedicine with use of Cisco Webex

“The only way to do that is to have the right digital infrastructure in place that is flexible, agile, and innovative enough to keep our society running,” she emphasized.

Rapid innovation

While the sudden shift to digital brought rising technological complexity, organizations’ manpower and know-how are not always able to keep up with this rapid innovation. There is, therefore, a greater need for automation and simplicity in solutions that will help organizations be agile and secure despite uncertainty. While digital resilience is normally connected to crisis situations, the pace and frequency of disruption only increase over time. Early adopters of technology will always be best positioned to maintain and sustain operations during disruptions.

Due to learnings from the pandemic, research group International Data Corp. (IDC) revealed that digital resilience became a priority investment in 2020, and is expected to accelerate in 2021. This was seen in significant investments in cloud, collaboration, and security solutions despite the notable decline in overall IT spending due to financial constraints of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“The world is evolving from a product-led motion to an outcome-based approach, consumed as-a-Service more than ever. As a result, networking and security solutions are increasingly being combined and delivered from the cloud to support the needs of organizations — solutions that are dynamic, secure, and accessible. These are all possible in a cloud-first world where apps can be distributed from anywhere to anywhere, from small to large scale, and with security never compromised,” Ilagan explained.

Powering an inclusive digital future

As a world leader in IT and networking, Cisco was quick to respond to the almost-overnight evolution of the landscape. Within a year, the IT giant has released a series of products and innovations to support businesses in future-proofing their organizations.

On the security front, Cisco unveiled innovations to further its journey to radically simplify and deliver end-to-end security, across users, devices, networks, applications, and data. These new solutions improve Extended Detection and Response (XDR) with greater visibility across the network, endpoint, and the cloud. New innovations expand Cisco’s vision for Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) with enhanced threat detection in the cloud and redefine and simplify network security.

Most recently, as the hyper-connected, distributed world we live in now relies on the cloud more than ever, Cisco unveiled the Cisco UCS X-Series, powered by Cisco Intersight, and a full suite of solutions on hybrid cloud operations, observability, and insights, and customer service experience services for the cloud. These solutions enable customers to be cloud smart to advance their digital operating models to securely deliver new types of apps that live across on-prem, multiple clouds, and the edge.

“There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution, so technology has to be as flexible and agile as the businesses need them to be,” said Ilagan. “While the Philippines hasn’t fully realized its digital transformation, there are already signs and beginnings happening all around the country. If we continue to support and invest in the right technology that can deliver all this, there is a big chance that our country can stand head-to-head with our more advanced neighbors in the region.”