The South African public sector is seeing the value in the analysis of Big Data. With enhanced service delivery in mind, there has never been a better time for it to invest in suitable IT infrastructure, writes GARY DE MENEZES, NetApp Country Manager for Southern Africa.
Now that the dust around the local elections has settled, the spotlight will be on the various municipalities to prove that they are worthy of the public’s votes. Enhanced service delivery will no doubt be top-of-mind for all South Africans. One of the key approaches that government can adopt to meet their campaign promises is by making the most of the significant volume of data that they have.
There’s no doubt that the amount of data at our disposal is increasing every year. IT departments, including those of the public sector, have to be equipped to handle this volume. While smart cities present a huge opportunity to enhance metropolises, and provide considerable information about their inhabitants, the data they create needs to be properly managed and IT infrastructure must be robust.
This infrastructure needs to be able to integrate existing enterprise storage silos so that all data within the organisation can be processed. In addition, many companies use different storage tiers, such as disk and Flash, and use resources from the cloud. Here, integration is key to make sure all of the different platforms are optimised and working together. Cloud technologies enable the public sector to be citizen-centric, as they lend themselves to customisation, agility and effectiveness. In addition, the cloud enables new services and flexible scaling.
Many municipalities also collect a lot of private data on behalf of their constituents. Certain levels of domestic and international data storage and compliance standards therefore need to be adhered to, as the public sector can become a popular target due to the nature of the data it has. Losing this information would have a severe impact, losing trust and misusing tax money.
There are various levels of risk pertaining to different types of data, which will influence the IT infrastructure solution that public sector organisations should choose with regards to on-premises versus cloud. In any case, as a prudent IT strategist, each CIO requires airtight security and complete control over data, at all times. Organisations are searching for the right blend of availability, security, and efficiency. The answer lies in achieving the perfect balance of on-premises, private cloud, and public services to match IT and business requirements.
One of the suitable solutions for implementing a multi-cloud infrastructure for big data is NetApp’s Data Fabric concept. Organisations can use cloud resources from different vendors, while retaining full control over their data. The use of cloud resources puts IT departments in a position to integrate the most powerful data analysis engines without investing big money in a new on-premises IT infrastructure.
The technologies from NetApp support enterprise-wide data management and create a link between on-premises systems and resources from the public cloud. As a result, organisations achieve high flexibility in the use of their IT resources and can move data and workloads across all resources. This creates the basis for the efficient infrastructure that is necessary for big data projects that build the foundation for open data initiatives and enable smarter cities.
If a suitable IT infrastructure can be implemented to cope with the huge influx of data from smart cities, then it will have the ability to transform the way South Africa’s public sector organisations operate and what they are capable of doing in future.
AppDate: A security boost for schools
In his latest app round-up, SEAN BACHER features Karri, ChatBack, Charge Running, Bookings Africa and HomeChoice.
With large amounts of cash and very little security, schools are now becoming an easy target for criminals. Numerous schools across the country have already been raided, with several serious incidents and even fatalities.
In partnership with Nedbank, Karri has introduced a mobile payment app to address this growing problem. The app enables parents to send money securely to their child’s school. Hundreds of schools countrywide are using Karri, with most now refusing to accept cash payments from parents.
The app offers a simple alternative to children bringing cash to school by allowing parents to make payments via an app on their smartphone. It is free for parents to use and there are no hidden costs or sign-up fees for the school.
Platform: Android and iOS
Expect to pay: A free download
Stockists: Visit Karri here for downloading instructions.
Visit the next page to read more about ChatBack, Charge Running, Bookings Africa and HomeChoice.
ParkUpp is here to sell your unused parking spot
Prop-tech startup ParkUpp is helping residents and property owners to make some extra cash from their unused parking. This is proving to be a winner for JanuWorry, the month that often brings financial stress post the December holidays for many individuals and businesses across South Africa.
ParkUpp already has over 4500 listings on its platform, predominantly in Johannesburg and Cape Town. They include The Union Castle building owned by Izandla Properties, Design Quarter on William Nicol Drive, along with other commercial and residential parking facilities.
The app has also been awarded some accolades from property industry incumbents such as the Women’s Property Network (WPN) for Young Achiever’s category and South African Institute of Black Property Professionals (SAIBPP) for Disruptor of the Year. Also headed to Silicon Valley for a two week bootcamp with Kingson Capital, a South African based Venture Capital firm.
This award winning platform not only creates extra income from empty parking spaces, it also decreases drivers’ anxiety of parking in unsafe space and also saves them a buck. In the Cape Town CBD, with over 45% cars parked on-street: paying an average of R18/hour, amounting to R2880 a month, ParkUpp users are able to save up to 50% by renting out a parking for R1500.
ParkUpp co-founder Michael Savvides says home owners or businesses often get frustrated when they find someone illegally parked in their bay. “Instead of being frustrated, list your parking during the times it is unused for people to park in your space legally. No one really wants to knock on someone’s door to ask for parking so our platform is removing that uncomfortable feeling.”
“We create trust between owners and drivers through our vetting processes. We save drivers 50% on parking costs and generate extra income for the owners and we also provide access to spaces that were previously inaccessible,” he explains.
“Our current focus is to increase occupancy rate for the listing parking bays, businesses and individuals who need parking can visit the platform to make a booking or suggest a location where you need parking,” he concludes.
As a driver, should you not find your preferred parking, email the team with suggested locations at email@example.com in order for them to find you safe, secure and affordable parking for you.