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Data beyond boundaries

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Although disruptive technologies like cloud and mobile are driving transformation, they are putting CIOs under pressure to deliver a good combination of business value and competitive edge in the ever changing IT environment, says ANURAG AREN.

The latest disruptive technologies such as the cloud, social media, mobility and more are driving digital transformation, creating new and innovative ways of doing business. However, this prevailing trend, while it has the potential to be enormously beneficial, is putting increasing pressure on CIOs to deliver the right combination of business value and competitive edge in an ever-changing technology environment. In addition, customers increasingly expect a seamless, intuitive IT experience, which CIOs must then deliver. The data centre, as the heart of the modern organisation, needs to adapt in order to enable the delivery of agile, flexible services required for a customer-centric enterprise. The Boundary-less Data Centre (BLDC) has thus emerged as the catalyst for this change, driving a new model of ‘workload centric’ IT services that empowers the customer to sense and respond as per value and cost effective services to the business.

Current IT and data centre challenges

One of the most significant challenges today is that the data centre is not optimised, nor is it aligned with business strategy, requirements and outcomes. Organisations are constrained by legacy IT environments, operational issues, lack of appropriate IT compute resources, obsolete technology and more. The current IT landscape is not agile enough to enable faster time to market of new products and expedite release of applications, which reduces competitive advantage. Turnaround time on new releases is slow and the cost is prohibitive if the same hardware and software is used as it has been utilised in the past. Organisations are challenged with the need to reduce costs and cycle times while focusing on the end user experience, becoming predictive in their approach to business, and learning to become workload-centric.

The BLDC is the solution to these challenges, offering a software-defined data centre architecture that is responsive to business outcomes. It serves as underlying enabling technology to allow organisations to become more agile and cater to customer requirements. IT resources including networking, storage and compute can be commissioned in an instant through a self-service portal. Importantly, these resources can be decommissioned as necessary, allowing the organisation to only pay for what they use, when they use it. Utilising a BLDC, organisations are able to seamlessly deliver workloads using a combination of resources from a hybrid cloud-based environment. In addition, the BLDC is hyper-resilient for maximum uptime, and as a software-defined approach is at the core of the offering, it creates a cloud-ready architecture that enables organisations to embrace next-generation technologies such as social, mobile and the Internet of Things (IoT).

The advantages of the BLDC

Since a BLDC can be delivered in a variety of different models, including outsourced, in-house or a hybrid Data centres, a key advantage of a BLDC is that the business is not locked into a particular technology or vendor platform. In addition, organisations can leverage significant performance improvements and cost savings. Organisations can be competitive with hardware costs decreased between 30 to 70%, and software licences can be reduced by between 20 to 50%).

In addition, the BLDC facilitates improved alignment between business and IT, as well as pooling of resources for the seamless consumption of IT as well as reduced total cost of ownership. The end user experience is optimised, and the resources consumed by IT can be scaled up and down according to requirements. In addition, agility is improved for faster go to market as well as enhanced automation and automatic scaling of infrastructure to meet demand. This BLDC approach is coupled with role based security and Policy based governance.

These benefits enable organisations to become more flexible, more agile and ultimately more competitive. Costs are automatically reduced by virtue of ensuring optimal technology utilisation, and IT infrastructure is future-proofed. In addition, organisations can quickly launch applications, enhance the end user experience, and expand vertically and horizontally into existing markets with delta incremental cost compared to doing so utilising legacy infrastructure.

The journey toward BLDC

Many organisations have already begun to work towards embracing digitisation and cloud-based technologies, however, this often proves to be a ‘hit and miss’ learning curve as they work towards the desired outcome. Every CIO knows that cloud is successful but is worried about how to get there with minimal risk and assured outcomes. Partnering with an expert service provider can help organisations to reduce the time this process takes, assisting organisations to become more agile sooner, remain competitive and meet changing customer demand.

* Anurag Aren, Head of Global Infrastructure Services at Wipro.

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AppDate: DStv jumps on music bandwagon

In this week’s AppDate, SEAN BACHER highlights DStv’s JOOX, Cisco’s Security Connector, Diski Skills, Namola and Exhibid.

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DStv JOOX

DStv is now offering JOOX, a music streaming service owned by China’s Tencent, to DStv Premium, Compact Plus and Compact customers.

In addition to streaming local and international artists, JOOX allows one to switch to karaoke mode and learn the lyrics as well as create and share playlists. Users can add up to four friends or family to the service free of charge.

DStv Family, Access and EasyView customers can also log in to the free JOOX service directly through JOOX App, but will be unable to add additional friends and won’t be able to listen to add-free music.

Platform: Access the JOOX service directly from the services menu on DStv or download the JOOX app for an iOS or Android phone.

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

 

Cisco Security Connector

With all the malware, viruses and trojans doing the rounds, it is difficult for users and enterprises to ensure that they don’t become targets. Cisco, in collaboration with Apple, has brought out its Cisco Security Connector to protect users. The app is designed to give enterprises and users overall visibility and control over their network activity on iOS devices. It does this by ensuring compliance of mobile users and their enterprise-owned iOS devices during incident investigations, by identifying what happened, who it affected, and the risk of the exposure. It also protects iPhone and iPad users from accessing malicious sites on the Internet, whether on the corporate network, public Wi-Fi, or cellular networks. In turn, it prevents any viruses from entering a company’s network.

Platform: iPhones and iPads running iOS 11.3 or later

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit the Apple App Store for downloading instructions.

 

Diski Skills

The Goethe-Institut, in co-operation with augmented reality specialists Something Else Design Agency, has created a new card game which celebrates South African freestyle football culture, and brings it alive through augmented reality. Diski Skills is quick card game, set in a South African street football scenario, showing popular tricks such as the Shibobo, Tsamaya or Scara Turn. Each trick is rated in categories of attack, defence and swag – one wins the game by challenging an opponent strategically with the trick at hand. Through augmented reality, the cards come alive. Move a smartphone over a card and watch as the trick appears on the screen in a slow motion video. An educational value is added as players can study the tricks and learn more about the idea behind it.

 

The game will be launched on 27 October 2018 at the Goethe-Institut.

For more information visit: www.goethe.de

 

Namola

With  recent news of kidnappings on the rise, a lot more thought is going into keeping children safe. Would your child know what to do in an emergency? Have you actually asked them?

Namola, supported by Dialdirect Insurance, is a free mobile safety app. Namola’s simple interface makes it an ideal way for children to learn how to get help in an emergency. All they need to do is activate the app and push a button to get help that they need, even when their parents are not around.

Parents need to install the app on their child’s phone, hold down the request assistance button, program emergency numbers that will automatically be dialled when the emergency button is pushed, and teach their children how and when to use the app.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

 

Exhibid

Exhibid could be thought of as Tinder, but for for art lovers. The interface looks very similar to the popular mobile dating app, in that users swipe left for a painting that doesn’t appeal to them, or swipe right for something they like. Once an art piece is liked by swiping right, one can start bidding or make an offer on it. The bid is automatically sent to the artist. Should he or she accept the offer, the buyer makes a payment through the app’s secure payment gateway and the two are put in contact to make arrangements for delivery.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

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New kind of business school

At a recent meeting, ALLON RAIZ, founder and CEO of Raizcorp, realised that in order for today’s youth to become entrepreneurs, teachers, the curriculum and the parents need continually expose them to entrepreneurial thinking from a young age.

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Several years ago, I found myself in a meeting with my business partner and two of my staff members. In front of us was a client who was sharing some of the frustrations in his business. At the end of the meeting, my partner and I were extremely excited about the prospect of two massive opportunities we had both independently identified while listening to the client. My two staff members, on the other hand, completely missed them. This led me to wonder what it was in my own and my partner’s backgrounds that allowed us to so easily spot opportunities while my two staff members remained oblivious … I realised that the difference was that my partner and I both had an early exposure to entrepreneurship while they didn’t.

Not long afterwards, I was delivering a lecture about how Raizcorp grows and develops small businesses at Oxford University’s Said Business School in my role as their Entrepreneur-in-Residence. I mentioned the above incident and spoke about my intention of going into children’s education with a view to providing an entrepreneurial perspective.

One of the professors in attendance asked me if I’d ever heard of a piece of research by Henrich R Greve called Who wants to be an entrepreneur? The deviant roots of entrepreneurship. It’s a pretty unfortunate title but a fascinating piece of research nonetheless. It highlights how certain contexts in childhood result in a much a higher probability of becoming an entrepreneur. For example, kids who participate in solo sports such as tennis or athletics are more likely to become entrepreneurs than children who play team sports like soccer and cricket. Conversely, your mother’s participation in the parent-teacher association has a negative correlation to you becoming an entrepreneur. I spent the rest of the afternoon in the professor’s office discussing other research papers that unequivocally proved that context during your childhood has a massive influence on whether or not you will follow the entrepreneurial route.

Another member of the lecture audience was a double-PhD from the USA who was completing her MBA at Oxford. After the lecture, she approached me and volunteered to help build a framework to incorporate entrepreneurship in the school curriculum without interfering with the formal requirements of the CAPS curriculum.

She spent nine months in South Africa working with me to build out a practical framework. The next phase of the plan was to find the right school at which to embark upon this journey. In December 2015, Raizcorp purchased Radley Private School and we began our entrepreneurial education adventure in earnest in 2016.

At the centre of the Radley philosophy is that the school (the physical building), the teachers, the curriculum and the parents are the “marinade” in which the kids need to soak in order to be continuously exposed to entrepreneurial thinking from a young age. The aim was that if, in future, the kids found themselves sitting in a boardroom with me and my partner, they too would be able to identify the opportunities that we did.

A big shift this year has been the launch of our Entrepreneurial Educator Guide (EEG) programme where we have been training our Radley teachers (whom we call guides) to understand entrepreneurship, business language, business concepts, financial documents and the like. (The EEG training makes use of Raizcorp’s internationally accredited entrepreneurial learning and guiding methodologies.) We have also employed a full-time staff member to ensure that these concepts are imbedded into all lesson plans and classroom activities.

Through my network at Raizcorp, I have been pleasantly surprised by the massive support we’re receiving from prominent entrepreneurs and businesses who want to participate in our Radley Exposure programme, where we take our kids of all ages on visits to different types of businesses so they can understand the difference between retail, wholesale, manufacturing, logistics and so on. Prominent businesspeople have put up their hands to come to the school and tell their stories of hard work, resilience and perseverance. This ties in beautifully with the 17 entrepreneurial concepts that we are instilling into our Radley learners (such as opposite eyes, lateral thinking and opposable mind), while never compromising on our quality academic offering.

As parents, we’ve all heard the terrible statistics about the probability of our kids finding jobs in the future. At Radley, we’re working hard to ensure that our kids have a legitimate and lucrative alternative to finding traditional employment and that is to become an entrepreneur. Radley is all about producing job creators and not job seekers!

To enrol your child or find out more about the school, please visit www.radley.co.za.

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