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Realise your digital future

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The future holds many uncertainties when it comes to business. But companies need to embrace these uncertainties, using technology to help them along the way, writes DOUG WOOLLEY, GM, Dell EMC South Africa. 

In the future, when historians look back at our age, I believe they will characterise it for its mix of progress and uncertainty. We are currently undergoing some of the greatest shifts in humanity’s story. From individual rights to new political ideas and ideals, it’s remarkable how every day our world seems less and less like the one we’ve experienced before.

Technology has always been a part of the conversation, but in the past few decades it’s accelerated our world in unbelievable ways. This has added to that uncertainty, but also to the potential and progress, creating a delicate balancing act for IT leaders inside their organisations.

The demands on IT

Technology is supposed to represent stability. Businesses do not like uncertainty, which they typically define as problems. Technology is often the way that problems can be solved or at least eased. Technology is meant to do things better and faster. But when they also introduce change, things can get tense.

You know that these uncertainties hold great potential if you can harness them. You are not alone: the world’s top companies all wrestle with this transition, some more successful than others. It’s a matter of pride that I can say many of the success stories are relying on Dell EMC. But this isn’t a surprise, because the Dell Technologies family is built on the principle that these changes are happening and those who don’t embrace them will be the losers.

Our Chairman and CEO, Michael Dell, draws this insight right back to his childhood, when his father brought home a pocket calculator. The young Michael could scarcely believe what he saw: a small machine that took complex numbers and comfortably delivered simple answers. He thought it was magic and represented an overwhelming opportunity to amplify his skills and creativity.

Today that opportunity is now available to everyone, in particular companies. Business opinions reflect this: CEOs want their companies to be a technology company and business units want to be platforms. Agility is the focus, but the burden falls on technology leaders to find that balance.

Yet what to the business is magic comes down to very real technology. With that comes the need for IoT, cloud, workforce and security strategies. You have to focus on data and its tangible uses for the business. You have to realise your company’s digital future, and it is not a simple task. If it were, we’d not even need to have these conversations.

Striking a balance

Digital Transformation needs IT Transformation. You have a datacentre full of applications and infrastructure, carefully planned and deployed over the past few decades. Updating these into a cloud-native, platform-anchored and data-driven world is not easy. But with the right partners and strategies, your IT transformation can fund your company’s digital transformation.

Dell EMC has been walking this journey for a while and today many companies trust us with their transformation. Ninety percent of the top 20 IaaS providers, seventy percent of the top 100 cloud companies, all of the top 20 automotive retail and insurance companies, and the vast majority of the 100 fastest growing companies in the world use our services, insights and innovations to advance their futures.

Join us at the upcoming Dell EMC Forum event at Sandton Convention Centre on the 27th March 2018 (Register Here) where we will be looking at the challenges and opportunities for IT leaders to get transformation going. Uncertainty is a fact of our age, but uncertainty also translates into potential. Like two people arguing over a glass being half full or empty, we believe the right conversations with the right people can shift a business to see the promise in uncertainty, made possible through technology.

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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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