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Blockchain conference will reimagine business

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The Blockchain Africa conference next March will include insights from event sponsor SAP on the unlimited potential for reimagining both businesses and industries.

Blockchain is a great way to get companies to rethink and reimagine how a business or industry operates, says Lucy Channing, SAP Africa’s marketing manager for strategic industries, explaining why SAP wll be an official sponsor of the Blockchain Africa Conference 2017.

The event, organized by Bitcoin Events, will be held in Johannesburg from 1 to 3 March 2017.

SAP is working with various blockchain technologies, including Ethereum and Bitcoin. Its Hana Cloud Platform allows its customers to connect blockchains to the platform, providing an online database where its customers can add new functions to their SAP systems.

“We see the Blockchain Africa Conference 2017 as an opportunity to collaborate and network with like-minded business people on a topic that is at the forefront of today’s technology changes,” says Channing. “We want to help businesses and our customers to re-envision their business operating model and the potential impact of Blockchain.  This means we need to think broadly about change.”

Darrel Orsmond, industry head for financial services at SAP Africa, will discuss how, though blockchain technology may only just be emerging, the potential is unlimited for reimagining business and industries.

The conference will be showcasing many blockchain and digital currency opportunities and use cases, from identity, payments, and remittances to smart contracts, Blockchain-as-a-Service, and settlement and clearing. In addition to the opportunities that exist, industry experts will discuss the challenges, such as regulation, security, scalability and tax compliance.

A diverse range of local and international speakers from various industries will attend the conference. They include Tanya Knowles, executive director of Fractal Solutions, a division of Strate, a central security depository company doing the settlement and clearing for the Johannesburg Stock Exchange; Farzam Ehsani, leader of Rand Merchant Bank’s Blockchain Initiative; Llew Claasen,  executive director of the US Bitcoin Foundation; and John Karanja, founder of BitHub Africa, a blockchain accelerator in Kenya that provides consultancy and incubation services for individuals and firms interested in Bitcoin and blockchain technology.

Bitcoin Events will also hosting a Blockchain workshop on 1 March 2017, focusing on giving delegates a good understanding of digital currencies such as bitcoin, its underlying technology and why this technology is being referred to as the next industrial revolution. The workshop will cover smart contracts, smart property, side chains, decentralised services, world computers, and other innovative services and opportunities being used around the world. It will also look at current regulation and compliance globally and in South Africa.

Gadget will be a media partner of the Blockchain Africa 2017 conference.

* For more information on the conference, visit www.blockchainafrica.co or email info@blockchainafrica.co.za 

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Legion gets a pro makeover

Lenovo’s latest Legion gaming laptop, the Y530, pulls out all the stops to deliver a sleek looking computer at a lower price point, writes BRYAN TURNER

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Gaming laptops have become synonymous with thick bodies, loud fans, and rainbow lights. Lenovo’s latest gaming laptop is here to change that.

The unit we reviewed housed an Intel Core i7-8750H, with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. It featured dual storage, one bay fitted with a Samsung 256GB NVMe SSD and the other with a 1TB HDD.

The latest addition to the Legion lineup has become far more professional-looking, compared to the previous generation Y520. This trend is becoming more prevalent in the gaming laptop market and appeals to those who want to use a single device for work and play. Instead of sporting flashy colours, Lenovo has opted for an all-black computer body and a monochromatic, white light scheme. 

The laptop features an all-metal body with sharp edges and comes in at just under 24mm thick. Lenovo opted to make the Y530’s screen lid a little shorter than the bottom half of the laptop, which allowed for more goodies to be packed in the unit while still keeping it thin. The lid of the laptop features Legion branding that’s subtly engraved in the metal and aligned to the side. It also features a white light in the O of Legion that glows when the computer is in use.

The extra bit of the laptop body facilitates better cooling. Lenovo has upgraded its Legion fan system from the previous generation. For passive cooling, a type of cooling that relies on the body’s build instead of the fans, it handles regular office use without starting up the fans. A gaming laptop with good passive cooling is rare to find and Lenovo has shown that it can be achieved with a good build.

The internal fans start when gaming, as one would expect. They are about as loud as other gaming laptops, but this won’t be a problem for gamers who use headsets.

Click here to read about the screen quality, and how it performs in-game.

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Serious about security? Time to talk ISO 20000

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By EDWARD CARBUTT, executive director at Marval Africa

The looming Protection of Personal Information (PoPI) Act in South Africa and the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union (EU) have brought information security to the fore for many organisations. This in addition to the ISO 27001 standard that needs to be adhered to in order to assist the protection of information has caused organisations to scramble and ensure their information security measures are in line with regulatory requirements.

However, few businesses know or realise that if they are already ISO 20000 certified and follow Information Technology Infrastructure Library’s (ITIL) best practices they are effectively positioning themselves with other regulatory standards such as ISO 27001. In doing so, organisations are able to decrease the effort and time taken to adhere to the policies of this security standard.

ISO 20000, ITSM and ITIL – Where does ISO 27001 fit in?

ISO 20000 is the international standard for IT service management (ITSM) and reflects a business’s ability to adhere to best practice guidelines contained within the ITIL frameworks. 

ISO 20000 is process-based, it tackles many of the same topics as ISO 27001, such as incident management, problem management, change control and risk management. It’s therefore clear that if security forms part of ITSM’s outcomes, it should already be taken care of… So, why aren’t more businesses looking towards ISO 20000 to assist them in becoming ISO 27001 compliant?

The link to information security compliance

Information security management is a process that runs across the ITIL service life cycle interacting with all other processes in the framework. It is one of the key aspects of the ‘warranty of the service’, managed within the Service Level Agreement (SLA). The focus is ensuring that the quality of services produces the desired business value.

So, how are these standards different?

Even though ISO 20000 and ISO 27001 have many similarities and elements in common, there are still many differences. Organisations should take cognisance that ISO 20000 considers risk as one of the building elements of ITSM, but the standard is still service-based. Conversely, ISO 27001 is completely risk management-based and has risk management at its foundation whereas ISO 20000 encompasses much more

Why ISO 20000?

Organisations should ask themselves how they will derive value from ISO 20000. In Short, the ISO 20000 certification gives ITIL ‘teeth’. ITIL is not prescriptive, it is difficult to maintain momentum without adequate governance controls, however – ISO 20000 is.  ITIL does not insist on continual service improvement – ISO 20000 does. In addition, ITIL does not insist on evidence to prove quality and progress – ISO 20000 does.  ITIL is not being demanded by business – governance controls, auditability & agility are. This certification verifies an organisation’s ability to deliver ITSM within ITIL standards.

Ensuring ISO 20000 compliance provides peace of mind and shortens the journey to achieving other certifications, such as ISO 27001 compliance.

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