In March, rating’s agency Moody’s warned that the water crisis affecting Cape Town would cause the city’s borrowing to rise sharply – and the provincial economy to shrink – the longer the situation lasted. As it stands, Cape Town is the first major metropolitan to face the possibility of running out of water. The City’s residents are bracing themselves for “Day Zero” in late August, when Cape Town’s taps could literally run dry.
For Cape Town’s business owners and managers, it is now imperative to find ways to alleviate not only operating costs in a stressed local economy, but overall pressure on the City’s infrastructure. Arguably, enabling employees to work remotely – either from home or from a different province, is one way to ease both of these burdens.
Although remote working has been topical for some time, it has now become critical that businesses in Cape Town start to explore feasible remote working solutions. From a technology/IT perspective, this means putting the right IT infrastructure in place to ensure that employees and managers have the right tools, platforms and support to make the strategy a success.
To begin with, robust connectivity is key. If your company’s Internet connection is not already both fast and reliable, this must be addressed as a matter of urgency. Secondly, every business should be looking to harness Cloud based tools and platforms to bolster collaboration, productivity and overall communication as the company embraces worker mobility….
Making the Shift
By moving enterprise systems, software and processes to the Cloud – and away from locally hosted environments [on-site servers and exchanges] SMEs in particular will automatically be enabling themselves to succeed during and after the water crisis. Indeed, with Cloud based platforms in place, SMEs can achieve a new level of independence, responsiveness and agility – as employees will be able to safely access key data anytime, and from anywhere.
Let’s take email, for example, which is the lifeblood of today’s SMEs. Without properly functioning email connectivity, any small business will be brought to a halt.
For SMEs looking to support a host of remote working capabilities, they must immediately consider their email solution. So, do they choose a Cloud-based product, or rather to ‘insource’ email and go with an on-site mail exchange service?
From an efficiency and remote working point of view, the Cloud-based option is a no-brainer. By adopting the Cloud, SMEs can rest assured that their email will be up and running 99% of the time, and employees will have simple, secure and easy access from anywhere – as long as they have reliable connectivity.
Streamlined Cost Structures
Without doubt, there is also a huge cost implication for SMEs that wholeheartedly embrace Cloud computing and, simultaneously, mobility. With most of today’s Cloud computing platforms and services, there are no expensive licensing costs to deal with nor long term contracts– which allows each business to scale up or down according to their current needs. This can free up operating capital to spend more on new mobile devices and mobile connectivity that promotes and supports the shift to remote working.
As Cape Town’s businesses explore ways to cut costs, drive efficiencies and reduce pressure on the City’s water infrastructure, embracing a more mobile and streamlined working culture can certainly make a major difference…
Welcome to world of 2099
The world of 2099 will be unrecognisable from the world of today, but it can be predicted, says one visionary. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK met him in Singapore.
Futuristic structures tower over the landscape. Giant, alien-looking trees light up with dazzling colours amid the hundreds of plant species that grow up their trunks. Cosmetic stores sell their wares via public touch-screens, with products delivered instantly in drawers below the screens.
This is not a vision of the future. It is a sample of Singapore today. But it is also an inkling of the world we may all experience in the future.
Singapore was the venue, last week, of the World Cities Summit, where engineers, politicians, investors and visionaries rubbed shoulders as they talked about the strategies and policies that would enhance urban living in the future.
As part of the Summit, global payment technologies leader Mastercard hosted a small media briefing by one of Singapore’s leading thinkers about the future, Dr Damian Tan, managing director of Vickers Venture Partners. The company’s slogan “We invest in the extraordinary,” offers a small clue to Tan’s perspective.
“We look as far forward as 2099 because, as a venture capital firm, we invest in the long term,” he tells a group of journalists from Africa and the Middle East. “Companies explode in growth because there is value in the future. If there is no growth, they won’t explode.”
The big question that the Smart Cities Summit and Mastercard are trying to help answer is, what will cities look like in the year 2099? Tan can’t give an exact answer, but he offers a framework that helps one approach the question.
“If you want to look at 81 years into the future, and understand the change that will come, you need to double that amount and look into the past. That takes us to 1856. The difference between then and now is the difference you can expect between now and 2099.”
Click here or on the page link below to read on: Page 2: Soldiers and Health in 2099.
- Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee and on YouTube
Street art goes electric
Kaspersky Lab and British street artist D*Face have unveiled the first-ever “art helmet” design at the Formula E finale for electric cars in New York.
The ‘Save The World’ helmets will be raced by DS Virgin Racing’s drivers, Sam Bird and Alex Lynn, as they traverse the New York street circuit during the final races of the Formula E season.
The announcement signals the first art helmet by a Formula E team, continuing the heritage of art in motorsport and the cybersecurity brand’s commitment to contemporary art, creativity and innovation. D*Face took inspiration from Kaspersky Lab’s tagline, “A Company To Save The World”, and hopes that his colourful work will inspire people to take positive action.
D*Face will announce his first-ever art car design with a custom-made livery for the DS Virgin Racing Team. Its design will be released at the “Art Goes Green” event after Saturday’s race. The helmets and art car are the latest installations in the “Save the World” collection, following a major permanent public mural that was installed in Brooklyn, New York, in May.
D*Face, whose real name is Dean Stockton, said: “It is exciting to work with Kaspersky Lab on this project and create art with a real message of hope for a better future. After all, this is our world and we need to look after it. It will take every one of us to make a real lasting, impactful change. I love the mentality of the DS Virgin Racing Team and that of Formula E by showcasing sport in a way that doesn’t harm the environment, but is still just as exhilarating and fun.
“It is time for us all to stand together and make a change… be that stopping data steals, climate change, plastic waste or using damaging fuels. I want everyone to make a pledge to do one thing that will help make a change.”
As a sponsor of DS Virgin Racing Team, Kaspersky Lab is responsible for protecting the team’s devices against cyber threats. The company sees the technical environment in the global sport of Formula E as the next frontier in furthering its research and development of new technologies to keep vehicles secure in the digital world.
Sylvain Filippi, Managing Director at DS Virgin Racing, said: “The whole team fully supports this great initiative and our thanks got to Kaspersky and D*Face for their collaboration. It’s an honour to have such an innovative artist bring his talents to bear in our team ahead of the season-finale; the car, drivers’ crash helmets and mural all look amazing.”
Aldo Fucelli Pessot del Bo, Head of Global Partnerships and Sponsorships at Kaspersky Lab added: “There is a need for innovation on a global scale, both in contemporary art and in the fast-growing sport of Formula E. Now, for the first time ever, Kaspersky Lab is proudly bringing together the two sectors in an effort to Save the World and unleash creativity, encourage freedom of expression and further innovation.”