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By 9 February 2022 | Categories: Trends

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Over the course of the last two years, companies of all sizes have had to invest in the acceleration of their digital transformation as a result of the advent of the fourth industrial revolution, coupled with the need to respond to the demands of hybrid working thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic and lockdown measures put in place to help curb its spread.

This fast pace of digital adoption is set to continue during 2022. Morné Laubscher, Chief Technology Officer at global IT solutions and managed service provider, Logicalis South Africa, unpacks some of the most prevalent technology trends that will help business leaders drive productivity, enhanced decision making and higher levels of success in 2022.

Weaving the fabric of continued business success

Data literacy within private- and public organisations is of the utmost importance during 2022 and beyond, as leaders historically had to understand only the finances to manage their business. But these days you need data savvy leaders that that can comprehend all the systems and all the outputs of the business, so they're able to quickly pivot, and make decisions that impact the organisation - its offerings, it's engagement with its staff, engagement with its market or clientele in a very dynamic manner.

While the big corporates with the bigger budgets certainly invest in big data platforms and analytics tools, mid-market organisations and even SMEs which don't necessarily have these big budgets also have the ability to drive access to those insights across structured and unstructured data, irrespective of its location inside the organisation or the platform that it resides on.

And there are really trend setting innovative platforms out there that do this including Microsoft Synapse, which is an interesting new approach to data and data warehouse management across a heterogeneous ecosystem.

Keeping corporate data secure and sensitive data private

The adoption of digital technologies has been exponential in the market, but with that comes a responsibility to make sure that we are able to transact in a secure manner. Data privacy is a big concern for a lot of organisations because having access to platforms across any connectivity medium creates a challenge in that, how do you govern their access to that data. With the Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act now having become a real concern in South Africa, it's become also quite locally relevant, so security and data governance is sort of a bundle deal. With regards to this, one of the biggest security pitfalls in cloud and cloud technologies is misconfiguration. Data platforms are so complex and have so many features that companies are quick to adopt, but it takes a certain core skill in order to properly run and manage these platforms in a secure manner. So, it’s not malicious intent from my external party that creates an exploit or some sort of risk in the business, but simply that there's a system that came with security features, however, these security features weren't configured.

To address this, companies can ensure that these fairly complex environments are secure through Security Operations Centre (SOC) service. Consequently, Logicalis invested heavily in a fully resourced security socket within South Africa, and we have a co-delivery model with our colleagues in Jersey, so it's also not a standalone SOC. So, this results in the capability to drive intelligence on the environment, doing the log ingestion, understanding what all the systems and platforms and technologies in the environment look like, whether they are secure and then adding to that the security, automation and orchestration component. One of the big SIEM/ SOAR Platforms that we focus on is Microsoft Sentinel, which allows for automation to significantly cut down on remediation times and costs of the service. It's quite efficient.

When IT met OT for a hyperconvergence rendezvous

In the 4th industrial era, Internet of Things is increasingly and quickly becoming part of the setup on factory floors, in manufacturing facilities, as well as within buildings for remote monitoring purposes. Where OT managers and IT managers previously might not necessarily had to sit around the same table, this hyperconvergence together with trends like robotics now necessitates close collaboration between Information Technology and Operational Technology.

Ultimately, 2021 brought a lot of challenges to companies including the needs to rapidly transform digitally to enable hybrid working, and 2022 will continue to introduce challenges and market opportunities. Organisations simply need to capitalise on technological trends like these mentioned above, in order to take these opportunities up and address any challenges experience throughout the course of the year.

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