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Hardware to drive SA’s IT spend

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ICT spending in 2016 will largely be driving by software, IT services and mobile devices. In South Africa though, hardware infrastructure will also be a big driver as a result of current market expansion.

ICT spending in 2016 will largely be driven by investments in software, IT services and mobile devices. In South Africa specifically, overall hardware infrastructure will also be a big driver as a result of current market expansion. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), line of business or decision-makers from departments other than IT will rise to become major influencers of IT spending, making the CIOs role even more complex and demanding.

Over the years, data centres, in particular, have undergone a strategic transformation to become an IT and business enabler rather than a mere business support function. IDC expects that by 2017 and beyond the conversations will move solely to the cloud with all data centre infrastructure spend utilised towards the creation, adoption and optimisation of 3rd platform technologies. Metering and chargeback will become mainstream in the move to create hybrid cloud environments.

Until last year, the infrastructure conversations were still skewed towards servers, storage and networking investments. While there was some overlap between these technology purchases, the majority of purchases were still made in silos on an ad-hoc and needs-base.

Yonela Nkinti, Senior Research Analyst Enterprise Systems, at IDC says: “Our latest research showed a lot of standardisation, consolidation and server virtualisation as enterprises began to understand the need to simplify infrastructure.”

The market has also matured to a stage where the conversations have clearly shifted to virtualised, converged and software-defined infrastructures. “Based on our CIO surveys and industry insights it is evident that enterprises are moving to an automated management phase within their infrastructure, introducing automation and orchestration within their environments,” she says.

Virtualisation

IDC says the percentage of virtualised servers in South Africa will grow 50% by 2018, while servers’ shipments will increase by 3% in the same period. This indicates much faster growth in virtualisation and, as a result, virtualised server environments may reach saturation.

Virtualisation reaching saturation may become a cost saving item due to management complexity. Once the market is saturated, the only way to continue to realise cost savings will be to move to Private/Hybrid cloud solutions or to extend virtualisation capabilities to client and storage infrastructure.

“Software-defined infrastructure may result in as much as six times the cost-savings of pure server virtualisation. This includes the virtualisation of servers, storage, desktops and networking, all underlined by a software management layer which manages all operations,” says Nkinti.

According to IDC’s South Africa CIO survey, 16% of CIOs have already implemented Software-defined Networks, while 38% are planning to implement it before the end of 2017. As for client (desktop) virtualisation, 27% of companies are planning to implement it before the end of 2017.

She adds that many end users were planning to standardise on integrated systems. “We anticipate that, in North Africa and Europe, as much as 50% of all computing, storage or network resources and workloads will run on converged systems by the end of this year. While this hasn’t been the case for South Africa so far, there are indications that a lot of data centres in the region may standardise on converged systems, considering there aren’t too many legacy systems to overcome.”

Agility, productivity, flexibility, and cost saving requirements will largely drive the adoption of converged systems within META. In South Africa, from a vertical perspective, the banking industry will be the main adopters.

“In Africa, the adoption will be higher due to lack of legacy systems and an inherent skills shortage. Organisations in the region will also leverage converged systems to leapfrog older IT setups,” says Nkinti.  “The rising adoption of converged systems will set the base for software-defined environments moving forward and blades will outgrow other form factors as a result of the fast adoption of integrated systems. These technology changes will continue to drive the evolution of data centres if they are to remain relevant.”

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As selfie cameras rise, so must selfie etiquette

Selfies were once a sign of narcissism or self-obsession. Now they are the new normal, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

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You can blame Oxford Dictionaries for making the “selfie” respectable. After all, being named Word of the Year, as it was in 2013, does tend to soften some of the self-consciousness in this most self-conscious of actions.

Once seen as a symbol of narcissism and self-obsession, it is now the new normal, to the extent that most smartphones are sold on the basis of the front camera. Or, as that feature is now almost universally named by manufacturers, the “selfie camera”.

I was one of the hold-outs, having a near-allergy to the selfie. I still resist, but succumb more often than I would like. The reason for continued resistance is that it remains a big leap from the word becoming respectable to the action itself shedding its narcissistic image. 

For most, it’s already happened, and for that you can blame Ellen DeGeneres. She  choreographed the most famous group selfie yet at the 2014 Oscars, when she roped a bunch of actors into a group selfie, using the then-new Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone. Her tweet of the photo became what was then the most retweeted posting ever on Twitter, and was estimated to have been worth a million dollars in marketing value to Samsung.

Ironically, it was Samsung’s up-and-coming challenger, Huawei, that came up with a new word for this type of selfie: the “groufie”. Thanks to an 8 Megapixel front camera on the new Huawei Ascend P7 camera that year which took the highest quality selfies – and groufies – possible on a smartphone at the time.

It didn’t end there, and selfies and groufies have morphed into variations like selfscapes (selfie in a landscape), skyfies (selfies from the air, using remote controlled devices) and jerkies (selfies to make an idiot out of yourself). I invented all of those on the fly, so it’s easy to imagine a new word emerging for every type of selfie.

Continue reading about selfie improvements through the years.

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Mickey’s 90th for SA

Disney Africa announced the local launch of the Mickey the True Original campaign, joining the global festivities honouring 9 decades of Mickey Mouse, his heritage, personality and status as a pop-culture icon.

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As 18 November 2018 marks 90 years since his first appearance in Steamboat Willie in November 1928, a series of world-wide celebrations will be taking place this year and South Africa is no different.

The campaign will come to life with engaging content and events that embrace Mickey’s impact on the past, present and future. The local festivities kick off in earnest this month, leading up to Mickey’s 90th anniversary on 18 November 2018 and beyond:

  • An exclusive local design project where ten highly talented South African artists will apply their own inspiration and artistic interpretation on 6-foot Mickey Mouse statues.
  • Once revealed to the public, the statues will form part of the Mickey the True Original South African Exhibition, inspired by Mickey’s status as a ‘true original’ and his global impact on popular culture. The exhibition will travel to 3 cities and delight fans and families alike as they journey with Mickey over the years. Featuring 4 sections highlighting Mickey’s innovation, his evolution, influence on fashion and also pop culture, the exhibition is in collaboration with Samsung and Edgars, and will visit:

o   Sandton City, Centre Court: 28 September – 14 October

o   Gateway Theatre of Shopping, Expo Explore Court: 19 October – 11 November

o   Canal Walk Shopping Centre. Centre Court: 16 November – 26 November

  • Samsung continues their collaboration with Disney as they honour Mickey’s 90th anniversary nationally at all Samsung and Edgars Stores. Entitled Unlocking the Imagination, fans are encouraged to visit these stores, take a selfie with a giant Mickey plush toy using their Samsung Galaxy Note9 and stand a chance to win not only a giant Mickey plush, but also an international family trip. Visit www.Samsung.com for more information
  • Mickey’s 90th Spectacular, a two-hour prime-time special, will be screened on M-Net 101 later this year. The elegant affair will feature star-studded musical performances, moving tributes and never-before-seen short films. Superstars from music, film and television will join the birthday fun for the internationally beloved character.
  • In addition, look out for special programming on Mickey’s birthday (18 November) across Disney Channel (DStv, Channel 303), Disney XD (DStv, Channel 304) and Disney Junior (DStv, Channel 309).
  • In retailers, Edgars will be stocking a complete collection of trendy fashion, accessories and footwear for the whole family, inspired entirely by Mickey Mouse.
  • Mickey will be the central theme of an in-store campaign nationwide this November and December, with brand new products, apparel, toys, as well as titles from Disney Publishing Worldwide, including books, arts & crafts and comics
  • Discovery Vitality and Disney are celebrating healthy, happy families this festive season by offering helpful and exciting tips and tricks on how to eat nutritious, yet delicious, foods, all inspired by Mickey. There’s also a trip to Disneyland Paris up for grabs. Log on to www.discovery.co.za/vitality for information.
  • And much more – check the press for updates

“Binding generations together more than any other animated character, Mickey Mouse is the “True Original” who reminds people of all ages of the benefits of laughter, optimism and hope,” says Christine Service, Senior Vice President and Country Manager of The Walt Disney Company Africa. “With his universal appeal and ability to emotionally connect with generations all over the world, no other character quite occupies a similar space in the hearts and minds of a global fan base and we are thrilled to be sharing these local festivities.”

Mickey’s birthday is celebrated in honour of the release of his first theatrical film, Steamboat Willie, on 18th November 1928, at the Colony Theatre in New York City. Since then, he has starred in more than 100 cartoons and can currently be seen on Disney Channel (DStv, Channel 303) in the Mickey Mouse cartoon series and on Disney Junior (DStv, Channel 309) in Mickey and the Roadster Racers.

South African fans are encouraged to share their Mickey Mouse moments on social media using the hashtag#Mickey90Africa.

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