Micro Focus pivots, helps stakeholders adapt and thrive in the new normal

Run, transform and adapt – the new priorities for CIOs.

Johannesburg, 07 Sep 2020
Read time 4min 20sec
Micro Focus CMO, Genefa Murphy
Micro Focus CMO, Genefa Murphy

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on businesses around the world, with some pressing pause on their transformation initiatives so they can focus on maintaining business continuity and cost optimisation, and many more accelerating their transformation plans.

This is according to Micro Focus CMO Genefa Murphy, speaking ahead of the Micro Focus Realize 2020 virtual customer forum to be staged in South Africa next month.

Murphy says: “A recent Digital Transformation survey that we did with our customers showed that more than 30% of enterprises were looking to fast-track their digital transformation initiatives as a result of the pandemic. We have seen a large number of customers accelerating their digital transformation plans so that they can respond appropriately to the increased demand on their IT systems either from internal stakeholders – aka employees – or their external customers. This means that in certain areas there has even been an influx of spending, although this is often done by optimising in another area.”

Murphy cites the example of Micro Focus customer Carante Groep, a healthcare provider in the Netherlands, which was supporting approximately 2 000 home-workers when COVID-19 struck in March 2020. The group needed to securely add over 3 000 additional work from home staff using advanced identity authentication. Micro Focus immediately provided all of the NetIQ Advanced Authentication licences needed to ensure the remote employees could access the data and services they needed to continue providing client care. This allowed their hands-on caregivers (about 80% of staff) to deliver client care anywhere, any time, and with any device without a reduction in service.

Navigating the new normal

Speed and a clear set of priorities will remain crucial for surviving and thriving through the pandemic fallout, Murphy believes.

“As CIOs navigate the new normal, they have to ensure they focus and have a clear set of priorities that they can share back to the business. The demands on the CIO are only increasing as a result of COVID-19, but having clear priorities and established success metrics will ensure that the CIOs of today will be trusted to create the enterprises of the future,” she says.

“Once the immediate tactical needs of the organisation are met, CIOs – like their peers – will still be held accountable to a number, so balancing agility, spend and short- and long-term planning will be key.”

On a more tactical level, Murphy says CIOs should be looking at their infrastructure and asking:

  • How do I prepare for additional online traffic, can our application scale?
  • How do I pinpoint and resolve issues quickly?
  • How do I get information out quickly to remote workers?
  • How do I prepare for added stress on my network and network operations?
  • How can I make sure remote workers can access the data and systems they need?
  • How do I protect employees’ data as they work remotely?
  • How can I leverage AI/ML to help me proactively tune operations as requirements evolve?

Run, transform and adapt

Murphy says Micro Focus has always believed that enterprises need to run and transform, it’s never been about an either/or strategy. “However, now more than ever we are speaking to our customers about how they can run, transform and adapt. This has meant that we are spending more time with customers and taking a smart digital transformation approach. This focuses on a prescriptive way to help customers: Prioritise the outcomes that matter most; run IT like a business; embed security analytics and automation for scale; and manage an open ecosystem to maximise efficiencies and optionality. This, we believe, will ensure they have ongoing enterprise agility and resiliency.”

Micro Focus is embracing this own approach internally, as evidenced by its pivot to deliver its hugely popular customer forum as an interactive virtual event this year.

Says Murphy: “Having the right technology infrastructure is critical to support business demands – we have been able to successfully pivot from a 60/40 F2F/virtual plan to 100% virtual. Having the right technology in place to support that has undeniably been critical, but likely more important has been having a culture of agility and adaptability among the team, which has acted as a driving force behind change.

"In the past few months, in addition to hundreds of 1:1 and 1:few events for our customers, we have successfully executed major online events in each of our key regions covering key topics from overall digital transformation to business continuity and the secure enterprise.”

Genefa Murphy, CMO at Micro Focus, will address day one of the Micro Focus Realize 2020 virtual customer forum, to be staged in partnership with ITWeb on 15, 16 and 17 September.

Click here for more information and to secure a place at this event.

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