BY HAKAN GULDAG, VAHAP MUNYAR, SEREF OGUZ
Q: HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO KEEP DATA OF INDI˹ VIDUALS AND INSTITUTIONS INSIDE TURKEY?
A: Companies that securely store, back up and process data leave rivals behind. Data centers are rising in importance; data protection and its professional management are crucial. We are a regional technology group operating in Turkey and the Middle East and set out to store Turkey’s and the region’s data within the country and provide value-added services. We established the Star of Bosphorus Data Center in Tuzla with an investment of USD 150m, offering technology solutions in cloud computing, data centers, new technologies and system integration. We contribute to the economic value and development of local engineers by storing data in Turkey that is traditionally kept abroad. The rate of Turkey’s data storage abroad is 90%; this should be reduced for data privacy. We will move forward in terms of the economy, development and competition by investing in this area.
Q: WILL DATA STORAGE SERVICES BE AN EXPORT ITEM?
A: Data has become one of the most valuable areas in today’s economy. According to a report by the Informatics Industry Association (TUBISAD), the goal of Turkey is to become a technology leader. With fiber lines totaling 340,000 kilometers, Turkey can become the world’s data center with smart investments such as the Star of Bosphorus Data Center. Turkey has a young population. Turkey is among the world’s top three countries in internet and social media penetration, according to surveys.
Q: WHAT SHOULD TURKEY DO TO ACCELERATE TECHNOLOGICAL AND DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION?
A: Turkey has recently made progress in digitalization, including the e-nabiz and e-banking applications and productivity in agriculture through internet of things (IoT) solutions. These should be increased. This is a demand in a global sense and a must for global competition. Digital technologies contribute USD 1.4tr to the world’s 10 largest economies. The digital economy is expected to generate around USD 100tr in the coming decade.
Q: WHAT IS ‘NATIVE CLOUD’? WHAT WILL WE RISK IF WE DO NOT HAVE OUR OWN ‘CLOUD’?
A: We developed the native NGN Cloud that 100% meets regulatory needs and offers redundant and uninterrupted architecture. It is independent of foreign virtualization software and secured through its integrated safety module. It was the first cloud company from Turkey entering the CloudHarmony platform, where international cloud computing companies are evaluated. NGN Cloud serves customers from 12 different countries. Its use increased nearly five-fold after the pandemic. The cloud service market was estimated to exceed USD 208bn with a 17.2% increase across the world in 2020, according to Gartner. There is an increasing data in Turkey which should be securely stored in the country. The economic value and labor it will create should be kept in Turkey. That is why a ‘native cloud’ and local solutions are needed.
Q: HOW WILL THE TECHNOLOGICAL AND DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION ACCELERATED BY THE PANDEMIC AFFECT ECONOMIES AND BUSINESS WORLD?
A: Information technologies has become more important in the growth and development of countries. According to a report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD,) the global digital economy is estimated to generate 4.5% to 15.5% of the world’s GDP and digital services exports stand at USD 2.9tr. Digitalization is expected to create an extra revenue of USD 11tr in total by 2025, including USD 3.7tr in manufacturing, USD 1.7tr in smart cities and USD 1.6tr in health applications. According to the TING Digital Thinking Report, 70.3% of companies had a strategy for digitalization, 68.9% of which set it as the main business course. The rate of those who do not have any idea about their companies’ digital strategy is 11%. By lowering costs using data-driven algorithms, income and revenue models can be produced, needs and expectations can be understood, end user can be directed, quick and accurate decisions can be taken, and new products and services can be offered. The video conferencing and distance education sectors grew nearly 15-fold in this period. Hybrid working models with cloud technology, data analytics and IoT technologies became prominent. In the production line, product counting reached 99.7% accuracy in 30 seconds with our IoT and artificial intelligence solutions. We developed an application in four months that runs in smartphones and enables mobility. It was put into use in 11 worldwide factories. The companies adopting digital transformation and strengthening technological infrastructure and equipment will adapt to transformation more quickly. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) also play a vital role in economic growth and distribution of prosperity. There were 1,881,000 SMEs in Turkey as of 2020 that cover 21% of the total labor force. It is important for SMEs to integrate technology into their business models. They can benefit from opportunities through digital platforms to help their growth. We help SMEs use digitalization for productivity and competition.
Q: WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF DATA?
A: The world contains many more forms of data in terms of speed, variety and quantity on the existing platform. They are analyzed at the same speed with big data technologies. The number of devices that will connect to each other as a result of IoT solutions is estimated to be 30 billion in the next two years. However, 95% of data collected in the world cannot be analyzed. This data stock contains opportunities. Those who manage data will achieve economic success.
Q: WHAT ARE THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE PUBLIC, USERS AND DATA COMPANIES TO ENSURE THAT VITAL DATA IS NOT VULNERABLE TO THREATS?
A: Governments focus on data privacy, security and access issues. According to one of cyber security institution, cyber-attacks increased by 140% in Q4 of 2020. Cyber security issues became evident at institutions providing services through the internet. There is no 100% protection in digital security. However, we can get as close as possible to these levels if we take it as a process. We produce the latest technology products with the least vulnerability against cyber attacks. Our suggestion is to limit authorities to access data and provide security training for users. Turkey is active in this field; it has important resources and investments. The most important thing is to respond to these issues rapidly due to continuous change. That is why investment should be made continuously. We need more solutions and companies.