Five Steps SMBs Should Take To Ensure Both Short- And Long-Term Success

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1. Become a digital company


Digital transformation will enable them to innovate faster and achieve their desired business outcomes. Digitization should be across technology (data), people, and processes. Data analytics will be an important element to ensure availability of high quality, actionable, trusted, and complete data.

2. Develop a workforce for the future

Your business must become agile enough to compete in the IoE era, where employees must possess an optimal mix of technical skills, industry knowledge and business acumen.

3. Integrate IT and OT 

Companies could improve end-to-end business efficiency when they integrate the IT and OT segments of business. They must begin to build a culture of communication, collaboration and coordination between these teams, strongly supported by company leadership.

4. Ensure end-to-end cyber security

To help mitigate cyber security risks, as well as prepare for future industry developments, companies need to put a strong security policy in place and deploy threat-centric security solutions that will help them gain visibility of the assets, protocols, users, applications and traffic patterns on the control network to develop a picture of what is “normal” for that environment. They need to classify assets and systems based upon their value to maintaining operations and build out defenses for the critical assets and systems first. Regularly test, review and update defenses and policies. Being “secure” is temporal, as threats and attack techniques constantly evolve. Therefore, defenses should be regularly tested and modified, as needed.

5. Innovate for growth

SMBs must always look beyond their horizons for opportunities to innovate and create growth.

Rabih Dabboussi

Written By

Rabih Dabboussi is the General Manager of Cisco UAE. Dabboussi’s responsibilities also include driving and forging close relationships with the government and ensuring that Cisco’s business objectives and goals are closely aligned. With a key focus around smart and connected communities, Dabbousi is helping to drive Cisco’s Smart City strategy in the UAE as well as in the wider Middle East region as a whole. Along his journey, Dabboussi has achieved several U.S. technology patents that have helped differentiate Cisco’s products and solutions, and has lived and worked in the U.S., Europe, Asia and the Middle East. He holds a B.S. in Computer Science from North Carolina State University.