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Cloud innovation in Africa in need of improvement
19 April 2018, 9:00 AM

Africa may be the mother of innovation, but the continent is still not innovating on the Cloud.

“There is a tremendous amount of innovation happening in Africa, but it’s not yet leveraging the Cloud to the extent that it could,” says World Wide Worx’s Arthur Goldstuck.

Cloud computing refers to the use of remote servers on the internet to host, store, manage and process data as opposed to doing so on a personal computer.

Goldstuck says this is one of the reasons African innovation is not getting to the world on the scale or the speed that it could.

Research by World Wide Worx (WWW), commissioned by global networking application company F5, reveals how the use of cloud computing by medium and large organisations has more than doubled between 2013 and 2018.

“So we’ve seen it [cloud computing] go from being a differentiator or something that is regarded as cutting edge to something that is not just main stream, but it’s pervasive,” says Goldstuck.

In Silicon Valley, cloud computing is one of the leaders of innovation, says Goldstuck.

He says though there is growth in the amount of innovation happening on the cloud, only one in ten companies in Kenya and Nigeria and a quarter of companies in South Africa see cloud based innovation as a benefit.

“However, when we ask them what has been the impact of the cloud on innovation, we see massive impact in Nigeria in particular. So once they make the cloud available or once they become a part of the cloud the business functions, you see that there is in fact a major impact on innovation,” says Goldstuck.

[Watch] SABC Digital News chats to Arthur Goldstuck about innovation on the Cloud  in Africa.

Goldstruck says the research revealed the extent to which every country is different in its use of the cloud.

“Across Africa we like to say Africa is not a country.  What this research says is that Cloud is also not a country. So the main benefits of Cloud were different in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa,” says Goldstuck.

In Nigeria and Kenya,  businesses named “Business efficiency and Scalability” as the most important cloud benefits with 80% and 75% respectively.

Fewer businesses, 61%, South African cited “Business efficiency and Scalability” as the most important.

“The opposite happened with the most important benefit among South Africans: Time-to-market or speed of deployment came in as the most prominent, at 68% of respondents. In contrast, only 48% of companies in Kenya and 28% in Nigeria named it as a key benefit,” notes WWW.

The need for improvement in performance and performance in general was stated as the biggest need by organisations in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.

“Clearly in any given country, there are still drawbacks, there are still things that frustrate customers about businesses. The cloud helps a lot of these businesses overcome these drawbacks,” says Goldstuck.

He says companies in Kenya and Nigeria, where there had been a lot of infrastructure drawbacks, the cloud allows companies to leapfrog most obstacles and service their customers better.

F5 notes how it hopes the research will help educate the public about the cloud, cloud computing and the options available.

 Top Applications in African counties

When companies were asked which Applications (Apps) they deemed as the most  important,  68% of Nigerian companies and 67% of Kenyan companies said Service Apps were critical.

Only 40% of South African companies considered Service Apps as the most important.

South African companies deemed Human resources (HR) Apps as the more important compared to the Nigeria and Kenya.

“43% of South African respondents named HR apps as critical to business, compared to 19% in Kenya and 10% in Nigeria,” notes the study.

View Cloud Africa 2018 Report

 

How smart technology can ease SA’s water woes
18 April 2018, 11:55 AM

Technology company SAS believes better use of technology could help South Africa manage its water resources amid one of the most severe drought in recent history.

Using advanced data analytics, it is now possible to collect data about how South Africans use water on a more frequent basis.

South Africans generally receive data about their use of water at the end of the month when their water bill arrives. Using advanced analytics and Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) systems, it is now possible to know, in real-time, when a consumer’s water usage spikes.

The country has had a rollout of water meters that are enabled with Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) systems. This enables municipalities to collect data remotely and at a more frequent basis.

To date, municipalities in South Africa use the data mainly for billing purposes. SAS believes the AMR technology can help municipalities to use the data more effectively.

SAS South Africa Senior Business Solutions Manager Haroon Suliman says the country needs to look at multiple approaches in the fight against the drought.

“So typically, someone would go out to a household, there’s be a meter, they’d take a reading , and bring that back, log it into a system and a bill would be generated accordingly – and that’s one touch point within a month,” says Suliman.

By collecting and using data on a more frequent basis, municipalities would be able to notify consumers if there is a sudden increase in water consumption in their property that may be out of the norm.

“What smart meters and these kind of infrastructure allows us to do is collect data on a much more frequent basis – sometimes every minute, hourly, weekly at this various touch points and intervals.” Suliman continues.

Suliman says municipalities could  send an automated alerts via SMS to consumers in a similar way that cellphone providers send alerts to their customers when their usage suddenly increases.

 

 

Government continues to look for better ways to save water and help consumers to use the scare resource more sparingly

Johannesburg Water’ s  (JW) communications and marketing manager Issac Dhludhlu says the city is already  taking advantage of the technology in the AMR enabled water meters.

“Currently Prepaid Water meters are Mobile AMR enabled, this simply means through a drive by system we are able to collect data from the meters,” says  Johannesburg Water ( JW) communications and marketing manager Issac Dhludhlu.

The data can be used to gain insight  and understand usage behaviour. Municipalities can then use this to make predictions.

“The data analytics part assist JW in ensuring that we manage and reconcile revenue,” says Dhludhlu.

Dhludhlu says the JW also uses the data collected to measure consumption patterns.

“We can start mapping out consumption in relation to the system input in relation to what is consumed,” says Dhludhlu.

“The data collected on our part as JW is used to inform our future decisions and current decisions in trying to ensure that water is conserved and equitably distributed, says Dhludhlu.

City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member Councillor Xanthea Limberg says the City has been using more technology to help save water.“Since the 2 000s the City has already employed technology to reduce leaks and burst realising that water scarcity,” says Limberg.

This as Cape Town is experiencing one of the most severe droughts in recent history.

He says the City has used technology in their water systems for early leak detection and advanced pressure management.

“A “robotic crawler” helps to monitor the City’s water and sanitation infrastructure, a system that thousands of rands in repairs and improves service delivery by identifying cracks, leaks and obstructions inside a pipeline,” says Limberg.

The city also uses also uses an “IT-driven green dot map” .

Limberg says the map is  “a positive behavioural enforcement tool with analytical capabilities”.

“Through our efforts of proactive management of resources and technology to do so, we have the lowest overall water losses of any South African metro. As a City, our overall water losses is 16% versus the national average of 36%, “ says Limberg.

 

 

Live: DA Elective Congress: Day 2
8 April 2018, 8:18 AM

The Democratic Alliance’s  Elective Congress (Day 2) kicked off on Sunday in Pretoria.

Delegates at the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) 7th federal congress are voting for new leaders and the results are expected to be announced at around midday.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane was nominated unopposed and all eyes are on the battle for number two in the party.

The position is being contested by current federal chairperson Athol Trollip, Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga and the party’s Free State Chairperson, Annelie Lotriet

 

[Watch] DA Elective Congress: Day 2

WATCH: DA Elective Congress, Day 1
7 April 2018, 9:12 AM

The 5th Democratic Alliance (DA) congress kicked off  at the Tshwane events centre in Pretoria on Saturday morning for the party’s national elective conference

DA leader Mmusi Maimane is expected to be re-elected unopposed. Maimane says they will use the occasion to champion policies that will position the party as an alternative government during the 2019 elections

 

Watch Day 1 of the two day congress.

Book of condolence #RIPWinnieMandela
5 April 2018, 12:30 PM

ANC veteran Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has died. She was 81 years old.

Click below, login to Facebook and write your message in our Book of Condolence for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

Highlights

 

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