“While machine to machine (M2M) solutions have been in use in some sectors in South Africa for several years, many industries and small- to mid-sized businesses have not been able to harness the potential of IoT due to data costs, complexity, and critically – the battery power required to run the devices,” says Neil Hamilton, VP for Business Development of international low power IoT specialists Thingstream.
Thingstream, now expanding into South Africa via a local partner network, delivers a global IoT connectivity platform which connects via GSM networks using a unique combination of MQTT and USSD messaging protocols. “The beauty of this new technology extends beyond cost-saving,” says Hamilton. “Its simplicity and low power consumption is making it a compelling proposition or where IoT devices might be dispersed across a vast geographic area or situated in inaccessible locations. Because a low-power IoT field unit might need a new battery only every five years, low-power IoT systems become a feasible option for sectors such as agriculture, forestry, mining and logistics.”
Hamilton expects significant adoption of low-power IoT systems in South Africa, based on the reception Thingstream has received since its arrival in the country earlier this year. “Many companies have been waiting for the right IoT solutions to arrive, and we see massive opportunities for IoT growth in the country, as well as across Africa,” he says.
Sectors showing particular interest include vehicle tracking firms looking to update and reduce the cost of their existing systems; the manufacturing sector; and supply chain and logistics firms seeking enhanced security and more efficient supply chain and asset management. In addition, other new business cases are appearing practically weekly,” he says.
By 2025, more than 100 billion Internet of Things connected devices are predicted to be live, generating an overall revenue of close to $10 trillion, says Hamilton. This unprecedented growth looks poised to continue globally over the next few years, he says, with Africa moving quickly to leapfrog legacy technologies and capitalise on IoT’s potential too.
According to IDC, the Middle East and Africa (MEA) IoT market is set to grow 15% year on year, reaching $6.99 billion in 2018 and $12.62 billion by 2021, led by the manufacturing, transportation, and utilities industries.
“Everyone is excited about the business innovation low-power, low-cost IoT can enable, and Thingstream is now providing this revolutionary boxed connectivity to enable businesses to deploy more IoT devices, faster and more cost effectively,” he says.
Thingstream, building on parent company Myriad Group’s legacy of USSD expertise, harnesses the ubiquitous GSM network to deliver simple and secure IoT connectivity with international coverage and mobility, even in areas and sectors lacking internet connectivity. With out-of-the-box coverage in South Africa, no cross-border roaming costs and a fixed monthly cost as low as only $1 for 10,000 IoT messages, Thingstream makes IoT available to any size business.
Thingstream is fast growing its channel partner network in South Africa, collaborating with a range of partners who have existing large customer bases keen to harness IoT to reinvent and optimise their businesses.
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
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.
Serious about security? Time to talk ISO 20000
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.