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Digital-wary drawn to etail

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Although e-commerce is taking the world by storm, its uptake is still rather slow in South Africa. VUYO MPAKO of Standard Bank believes this is mainly to do with our high broadband costs and limited Internet access.

E-commerce may be taking the world by storm, but South Africans remain wary of shopping online, with only three million making regular use of electronic shopping trollies to meet their daily requirements. But, with online purchases expected to near R10 billion in 2016, indications are that changing socio-economic factors will increase the use of digital shopping as technology becomes more accessible.

According to Vuyo Mpako, Head of Digital Channels and eCommerce at Standard Bank, two of the major problems facing South Africans are limited access to the internet and the cost of broadband. Mpako adds that although uncapped access to fibre networks is increasing in homes across the country, the cost – usually more than R600 a month – restricts access to those in higher-income brackets.

“As making homeowners’ access to fibre a viable economic proposition relies on high consumer take-up numbers, suppliers naturally target major urban areas. Thus, it is the cities and higher-income neighbourhoods that receive services. For e-commerce to become popular beyond city limits, the traditional barriers of large distances and poor infrastructure have to be overcome.”

Factors impacting on e-commerce sales locally include:

·         A lack of trust in making online transactions

·         The belief that internet purchases can only be made if the shopper has a credit card

·         The internet may not be cheaper than local retail outlets

·         Local buyers tending to buy non-food items only, such as music, videos, gifts, clothing and software online

“The true potential of e-commerce in South Africa can be seen from the fact that, although there are only about three million people using facilities regularly, the value of purchases made annually is increasing steadily,” Mr Mpako continues. “World Wide Worx indicates that a milestone of 1.03% of total retail sales of nearly R10 billion will be expected to be made online in 2016.

“Increasing use of e-shopping will be made by young South Africans who have high levels of computer literacy and are comfortable with using applications, or apps, that make access to services easier.

“Presently, this sector, comprising people between the ages of 25 and 35, makes up the bulk of e-commerce users. Not surprisingly, young South Africans between the ages of 25 and 34 make up the bulk of e-shoppers, followed by those between 35 and 44 – about 16% of the total.”

As predicted by experts, adds Mr Mpako, the increasing market penetration of smartphones is set to add further impetus to the use of e-shopping channels.

“While South Africa’s internet penetration lies at 34%, mobile phone penetration lies at 86%, according to World Wide Work numbers, and probably more than 50% of the adult population. As these mobile devices become more sophisticated, they bring easier access to streams of information and opportunities.

“Every facet of life is impacted by smart technology. Phones are used for everything from banking transactions to monitoring fitness levels and ordering groceries. It is inevitable that with the high penetration of smartphones in the market, more South Africans will be drawn to use their phone’s offerings.

“There is no doubt that as more services converge on smartphones, adoption levels will increase. Local consumers may at present be slow to adopt the technology, but more will see the value e-commerce offers. As this occurs, more people will come to trust the medium, realising the time saving benefit and potential for the medium to add real value to their lives. This will boost e-commerce and see larger numbers of South Africans moving into a digital shopping environment.”

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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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