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CONTENTS CONTENTS E A S T

Cover Story

A F R I C A

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR CHIEF EDITOR TECHNICAL STAFF WRITERS EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS

COLUMNISTS

HEAD OF SALES & MARKETING BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER ACCOUNT MANAGER LAYOUT & DESIGN

Harry Hare Louisa Kadzo Dennis Mbuvi Peter Nalika Rebecca Wanjiku Michael Malakata Michael Odinga Bobby Yawe Sam Mwangi James Wire Lunghabo Ruth Kang’ong’oi Andrew Karanja Nicholle Myles Ivy Njerenga Samuel Jumba Navtej Dhadial Dhadialla

This year, IT experts continue to make investments in faster, efficient and targeted storage. With unstructured data accounting for about 80 percent of storage capacity, smart storage calls for investing in smart technology when choosing storage infrastructure, and blending this infrastructure with effective data management with relevant software processes and hardware resources.

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Contacts eDevelopment House : : 604 Limuru Road Old Muthaiga : : P O Box 49475 00100 Nairobi : : Kenya +254 20 374 16 46/7 Email: info@cio.co.ke

Disclaimer ALL RIGHTS RESERVED The content of CIO East Africa is protected by copyright law, full details of which are available from the publisher. While great care has been taken in the receipt and handling of material, production and accuracy of content in this magazine, the publisher will not accept any responsility for any errors, loss or ommisions which may occur. ©CIO East Africa 2011

FROM US

4 Editors Viewpoint www.

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6 From the Publisher

48 Last Word BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY LEADERSHIP


TRENDS Trendlines

12 13 14 16

The future for BPO, ITES operators

TOP TOPSTORIES STORIES 8

24

Future of fibre optics in South Africa The decline of ISPs HP printers support Google cloud print

International Trends

18 19 20

SITA launches community cloud

21

Facebook shares data centre secrets

New app manages Android devices BP employee loses data on oil spill

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Trend Analysis

28

46

CIOs now thinking business

TECHNOLOGY Security

36

Top 2011 security threats

Opinion

40 42

Mobile Number Portability, the debate is on Stop killing the technicians

Product Review

45

LinkedIn arrives on Android market

New Products

8

Be smart all round

Trends

24

Emergence of data centres in Kenya

Technology

38

Storage buying advice

Business Tips

46

Storage maps future of digital data


May 2011 | Vol 3 | Issue 2

Government right on track

T

he government appears to be getting its act right as seen i n i n it iat ives announced at Connected Kenya 2011. The treasury over the past two years has identified change management issues as it attempts to consolidate several of its systems into the Integrated Financial Management Information systems (IFMIS). By 2012, our counties and 24 ministries should be running IFMIS smoothly.

Editor’s Viewpoint

4

The ministry of immigration and registration is promising that the painful acquisition of various registration documents will be a thing of the past. A new system will consolidate all your data together, birth certificates, passports and national identity cards will neither bear different details for the same individual nor will the registration process require you to give details that the government already has in its databases. The national single window has centralised cargo clearance with requisite documents being presented in a single place. All stakeholders are accessing the documents and correspondence from a single system thus reducing time for clearance of documents and costs involved. What now remains is for us to perfect the system and our ports will be at the same level as those in Singapore. The above initiatives have an impact of simplifying service delivery which in turns impacts on a lot of things. Corruption is reduced as systems become centralised and transparent. Business is done faster and we end up been more productive resulting in more tax for the

government. Citizens will no longer spend long periods of time on these processes. Meanwhile, as telecoms exhaust voice as a revenue channel, they are now moving to exploit value added services. Here at connected Kenya we are seeing a great focus on ehealth initiatives. Orange has a system that determines the authenticity of drugs and health information services. Safaricom has an innovative and somehow ambitious partnership with Cisco whereby they are promising quality treatment to anyone walking into an ehealth equipped digital village. However, the implementation of this raises a few questions. Many hospitals are currently understaffed, especially with specialist practitioners. Most doctors in the country already have patients’ queuing out of their doors. It will be quite hard for them to be in a position to see additional patients remotely. Another difficulty will be in revenue as the patients who will use these services are typically low income earners who will be competing with high income earners for the doctor’s time. It also remains to be seen if patients will be skeptical of the remote approach given that a physical interaction is preferred in Africa. We have seen that email and telephone sales systems have failed here as we prefer the African culture of a physical meeting. Salvation though can come if Safaricom picks up the project as a Corporate Social Responsibility initiative where it employs a team of qualified doctors on the project. Another important usage can be in government hospitals where the few government doctors in the district (counties) can “see” patients in the district remotely without travelling from one end to the other. Clearly, our vision to a developed world lies in ICT.

Louisa Kadzo Louisa Kadzo CHIEF EDITOR

louisa.kadzo@cio.co.ke www.

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May 2011 | Vol 3 | Issue 2

CCK should be independent

L

ast month at the height of the leadership limbo at the Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK), I ran a poll on my linkedin network. The list is made up of of mostly people within the IT industry and the question I asked was “Is the Minister for Information and Communication justified in overturning the CCK Board decision to sack the Director General”. The result did not surprise me. Fifty percentage points of the respondents answered “yes” and the other fifty answered “no”. And talking and listening to what people are saying in the industry, this is representative of the general perception. The industry is divided right in the middle as far as the CCK fiasco is concerned.

From the Publisher

6

That notwithstanding, the Minister has revoked the Board’s decision, Mr Charles Jackson Njoroge is back at the helm of this very crucial organ not just in the sector but in the country; a few directors have been dropped or retired including the Chairman of the Board, Eng. Philip Okundi. The dust seems to have settled and all appears to be well again. But then I ask, what was all that about? A friend of mine tells me it’s about power and politics; another tells me its about government, read the Minister, meddling into the independence of an independent regulatory body; and another tells me its about a partisan Board overstepping its mandate and settling scores. Whatever it may have been, it appears to me that it had nothing to do with Mr Njoroge’s performance or lack of the same as a Director General. Globally, CCK is rated and regarded very highly. Last year for instance the GSM Association awarded Kenya the Government Leadership Award. The Award recognises the leadership role played by Kenya in extending the benefits of mobile technology to more consumers by cutting tax on mobile phones and information communication technology (ICT) equipment and promoting the early roll-out of mobile broadband.

Mr Njoroge’s problems seem to have begun when CCK started the implementation of the fi rst phase of the Telecommunications Network Cost Study recommendations that resulted in the reduction of interconnection rates by 37% and retail tariffs by between 30% and 50%. This sparked a downward spiral on mobile communication costs of upto 60% in some networks and this did not go down well in some quarters. Some legal minds have faulted both the appointing authority and the board in the manner in which they handled the situation. The Board was misled to purport to suspend the Director General without consulting the appointing authority and the appointing authority’s decision to ignore recommendations of the Board was equally wrong. From where I stand, this goes to question the independence of CCK in regulating the sector. Press reports indicate that operators opposed to the new tariff regulations and the introduction of number portability could be behind Mr Njoroge’s woes. They indicate that they may have reached out and compromised some board members to wage war against him. So the fight in CCK is more of external partisan stakeholder interests introduced into the commission and causing operational and governance issues. The importance of an independent regulator cannot be over-emphasized. It ensures a level playing ground where no single stakeholder interests are favoured at the expense of other stakeholders. The regulator should be able to make decisions without pressure from any single or group of stakeholders. But regulatory independence can only be achieved if CCK maintains an arms-length relationship with stakeholders including the Government, operators and the consumers, and have the organizational autonomy that allows it to operate within its realms. Looking at the circus last month, I am inclined to believe CCK is yet to achieve that state and our only hope is in the yet to be enacted Independent Communication of Kenya Bill 2010, that it actually provides for a truly independent commission capsuled from all the political and other partisan interests. Lest we forget, the independence of the commission can only be as independent as the people leading it. Harry Hare EDITORIAL DIRECTOR harry.hare@cio.co.ke

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May 2011 | Vol 3 | Issue 2

Be smart all round APC smart UPS

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he APC Smart-UPS 1000VA USB & Serial 230V by APC by Schneider Electric shows extremely high efficiency at low, medium and high load levels necessary for today’s multi-core or virtualised servers that have varying load consumption.

New Products

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The Smart-UPS model gives higher application availability by correcting low and high voltage conditions without using the battery through its boost and trim automatic regulation (AVR). Added to this is a periodic self-test, which ensures early detection of a battery that needs to be replaced and, because it is cold start capable, it provides temporary battery power when the utility power is out. Furthermore, a disconnected battery notification warns when a battery is not available to provide backup power. In terms of manageability, the model provides remote management of the UPS over the network. Audible alarms actively let the user know if the unit is on battery, if the battery is low or if there is an overload condition.

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The model’s user-replaceable batteries increases availability even more by allowing a trained user to perform upgrades and replacements of the batteries reducing Mean Time to Repair (MTTR) and Surname says that its hot-swappable batteries ensure clean, uninterrupted power that will protect equipment while batteries are being replaced. The product is also highly adaptable and maximise useful battery life by widening the input voltage window or tightening the output voltage regulation. From a safety point of view, the model is safety-agency approved, guaranteeing that the product has been tested and approved to work safely with the connected service provider equipment and within the specified environment.

BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY LEADERSHIP


May 2011 | Vol 3 | Issue 2

The Huawei S7 tablet The IDEOS S7 is a sleek device; only 12mm thick and super light at 400g. The 7-inch 800*480 TFT touch screen rans on Android 2.2 OS. The phone is built to be thin and light. It has 1 GHz processor, 512MB internal memory, 3G, front and back cameras, microSD card expansion of upto 32GB, and a docking port on the bottom edge. In addition, the phone has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 connectivity points, GD video and HiFi audio player. HDMI port for hooking the up to your TV Powerful 2200mAh battery to give you a rather long life even if you’re a heavy user of the tablet.

Save 50% with HP Officejet Pro printers Designed for home office workers and micro-business users looking for energy efficiency and network-ready all-in-one printers, the HP OfficeJet pro series delivers impressive performance and cost saving benefits, enabling consumers to print professional color at up to 50% lower cost per page than lasers. HP OfficeJet pro also enables businesses to have total control over how much print material it has in stock, and to quickly and cheaply make amends or updates when needed, in the event of an office move or change of phone number. This also helps increase a business’s Green credentials through reduced paper and printed business waste, as well as ‘dead’ stocks of marketing materials. Besides having direct cost saving benefits, the HP Officejet Pro printers enable customers to gain efficiency with its functional features; one can print, fax and scan all from one device. And now with web connected printers designed for

small businesses, customers have the freedom and convenience to print from mobile devices whenever business occurs. HP business customers can also print web content such as templates and stored documents without a PC by using HP print apps. The quality of printed marketing materials is crucial in earning credibility from customers; it has instant impact – for good or bad. Factors such as the depth of colour, the clarity of the typeface and the bright, colourful design of corporate materials will immediately resonate with potential customers. HP Officejet Pro series of printers reinforce business’s capacity to produce quality marketing materials in-house at reduced costs, enabling customers to produce marketing materials such as colour documents and photos that would traditionally be handled by an outsourced specialist and often incurring significant external spending. Web connected, the HP OfficeJet Pro provides the convenience and flexibility to print from any webenabled device and access to the web directly from a customer’s printer with special apps. Some of the recently introduced HP OfficeJet Pro printers include HP OfficeJet Pro 6500A e-All-inOne, HP Officejet Pro 6500A plus e-All-in one, HP Pro 8500 A e-Allin One , HP OfficeJet Pro 8500 A plus e-All-in-One and HP Office Jet 7500A wide format e-All-inone.

Hp Officejet Pro 8500A Plus E-All-In-One Printer

BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY LEADERSHIP

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IN BRIEF May 2011 | Vol 3 | Issue 2

The full articles are available on the CIO East Africa Web site (www.cio. o.co.ke)

AROUND AFRICA

Nigeria looks to new licences to lower telecom costs By Michael Malakata

African countries fight flood of counterfeit products By Michael Malakata

While competition has caused the cost of mobile communications in many eastern and southern African countries to plummet, prices in Nigeria’s telecom sector remain high and the country’s regulators now say they may issue new telecom licenses in order to spur a more competitive market.

As counterfeit electronic products flood Africa, Zambia, Kenya and Uganda have stepped up the battle against the fake goods, including mobile-phone handsets from China. The three countries have increased anticounterfeit activities with the help of Chinese embassies, mobile handsets manufacturers Nokia and Samsung, the police, the Kenya Port Authority and the Zambian Bureau of Standards (ZABS).

Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) Vice President Eugene Juawah said because prices have not been coming down, the commission will bring in new operators by issuing more licenses. The NCC said it has no intentions of directly forcing operators to bring down prices, but that competition will force them to do so.

ZABS has introduced a pre-export verification-ofconformity-to-standards scheme, which makes sure that products imported in the country are first verified through physical inspections and laboratory testing by ZABS inspectors and two international companies, Bureau Veritas of France and Societe General de Surveillance of Switzerland.

Science, technology and engineering Advocates of scientific and technical research in developing countries have found champions in the innovation platforms of nanotechnology, biotechnology, information and communication technology (ICT) and geographic information system (GIS). Through these platforms technologies, Africa has the opportunity to promote it agenda concurrent with advances and scientific research while expanding storage, collection and transmission of global knowledge.

AROUND THE WORLD Urban gateway platform for enhanced development

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The United Human settlements programme, (UN-HABITAT) has joined forces with the social web service developer public zone to create a peculiar online tool for urban practitioners. ‘The new online urban development portal will provide a communication platform for cities, planners, NGO’s and professionals working in the field around the world. The urban gateway will be the first web platforms of its kind to leverage the energy and resources of the global urban development community. It will allow UN-HABITAT and its external partners to network, exchange knowledge, discuss issues and share opportunities related to sustainable urbanization worldwide.

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Nursery school children to get iPads By Allnews, Ghana Nursery school children in the US are using iPads to help with their ABCs and 1-2-3s, despite critics worrying that districts are spending too much on students too young to appreciate the technology. Next autumn, nearly 300 nursery-aged children in the central Maine city of Auburn will be given their own iPad2 tablet computer to learn the basics about letters, numbers, drawing and even music. They will be the latest batch of youngsters around the US using the newest technology to supplement their crayons, finger paints and flash cards.

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May 2011 | Vol 3 | Issue 2

The future for BPO, ITES operators by Michael Odinga

Interview with Mr. Munjal Shah General Manager, Business Development Techno Brain BPO ITES Limited

T

he business process outsourcing (BPO) industry has come a long way especially in Kenya, Techno Brain, previously operating in Kenya as Ken-tech Data Limited in one of the very few organizations taking up outsourcing of processes that are enabled by information technology. These services span over diverse areas like fi nance, HR, administration, health care, telecommunication, manufacturing among others. An interview with Mr Munjal Shah highlights some of the key issues involved in the BPO industry and his future expectations. Mr Shah points out that a BPO and ITES (Information Technology Enabled Service) process should begin with ‘Discovery’ at the client’s premises before quoting or even suggesting any necessary steps. This will ensure that solutions/services provided are tailored to meet the business needs of the organization. This will in turn enable an organization to focus on its core business and delegate support processes to a BPO services provider. Traditional bureaucracies especially by the government are among the challenges faced by organisations striving

to establish themselves as BPO providers in Kenya. Whereas the ministry of Information is stepping up gears to establish Kenya as a global BPO destination, a lot remains to be done by the supporting ministries such as Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Emigration. The importance of providing work permits for experts from globally recognized BPO destinations such as India and the Philippines cannot be over emphasised. “These people can provide highly required work experience in setting up of structures to support BPO processes,” says Mr Shah. Mr Shah also stresses on the importance of proper legislation which will govern the manner in which BPO firms operate in the industry and promote fairness particularly in awarding of tenders for government projects. The future for the BPO and ITES industry is indeed bright as other government ministries are expected to join the Kenya ICT Board as ICT is one of the pillars of vision 2030. Industry players expect the formation of an umbrella body which will manage trade and operations of IT-BPO industries in Kenya. This body will effectively present issues faced by BPO providers to the government.

Trendlines

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Munjal Shah, MD Techno Brain BPO ITES Ltd (right) with Catherine Ngahu, Chair Kenya ICT Board (left)

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May 2011 | Vol 3 | Issue 2

Future of fibre optics in South Africa by Joe Botha

bandwidth skyrocket. It is all about speed, performance and price.

W

e live on the continent that gave birth to the concept of the ‘Digital Divide’ – fast forward a few years, and we now have 7 active fibre optic submarine cables serving sub-Saharan Africa.

Today, the main interest and focus of telecom companies such as CellC, FibreCo, Neotel, MTN, Vodacom, DFA, Telkom, etc is on delivering this capacity to customers. Not forgetting i3 Africa, who is on the verge of rolling out a national optical fibre access network, using metropolitan sewerage networks - will customers get a free air sanitiser, I wonder? The deployment of long-haul and metro, high capacity terrestrial fibre networks, expands the size of the market plugging into super-fast Internet. Locally, requirements for high-speed electronics capable of delivering data rates greater than 10-Gbps have emerged at both submarine and terrestrial network level. ‘EASSy’ for example, recently reported that they beefed-up their 4-fibre optic submarine cable capacity to 3.84 Terabits per second (gasp!), utilizing 40-Gbps wavelength technology. Now then, 96 wavelengths of 40-Gbps each provide us with an aggregate capacity of 3.84-Tbps - utilising dense wavelength division multiplexing of course. Predictions are that this year we are likely to finally see 40-Gbps transceivers go mainstream, with prices shrinking as the demand for

BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY LEADERSHIP

In a nutshell, the current industry buzzwords are thus, high-speed electronics and high-capacity optical fibre infrastructures, right? But as you might expect, not everyone is thrilled. Frans Verwoerd, Managing Director of Atec and a Board Member of the FTTH Council Africa, point out that on the access side, things still looks a little grim. As he sees it, for a business (FTTB) or a residential end-user (FTTH) getting a last-mile fibre connection is not always straight-forward. Not everyone has access to a fibre distribution point within 50 to 100 metres of their premises. For extreme Internet connections supporting triple play services (Voice, Data and TV) problems exist with access to Telco distribution points and the cost of installing last-mile connections. The trouble is that local telecoms suppliers fi nd it too expensive to wire up a gated community with copper, never mind fibre. “But,” says Frans, “where one person sees challenges, another sees opportunity.” “In my mind,” he continues, “for new (or Greenfield) residential communities or office parks, the FTTx process is quite simple.” He recommends that property developers should make provision for community owned sleeves, cable, hardware, and equipment, at a cost of in the region of R10k to R15k per stand/office. This is not a significant investment from a property development point of view. Once this communal infrastructure is connected to a bulk Internet Supplier, all the owner needs to do is make a once off connection fee to the community network, select a service provider and he/she has a 70 - 100-Mbps fibre connection. “The cost of FTTH equipment has dramatically reduced in price over the last 3-4 years, now making FTTH solutions much more affordable,” he concludes.

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May 2011 | Vol 3 | Issue 2

The decline of ISPs By Peter Nalika

comes to brand identity, telecoms are flexing their muscles, maximizing on add-ons like email accounts and website hosting as a way of pushing their brands. The fi nancial implications of competitions weigh down heavily on ISPs. For instance, it would be easier for a telecom to offer 1mbps internet speed capacity to a retail customer from their network compared to an ISP giving the same on terrestrial network. ISPs will have a high capital on expenditure to deliver such compared to telcos who already own existing infrastructure and a customer base. ISPs market position

M

icheal E Porter (1979), Havard Business School, derived five forces that determine the competitive intensity and therefore attractiveness of the market. The Kenyan broadband market can be described by Porter’s Five Forces Model. Despite being pioneers of internet services in the country for a while, ISPs are facing a lot of competition from the telecommunication companies. Attractiveness in this case refers to the overall “profitability” of a company. He describes these forces as the micro environment, forces close to a company that affect the ability to serve customers and make a profit.

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Between 1995 and 1996, several ISPs like the African Regional Centre for Computing (ARCC), AfricanOnline, and FormNet Africa were set up in Kenya. Since then, more than 72 ISPs have been registered and in operation, among them Access Kenya, Internet Solutions, Wananchi Group, KDN, UUNET, Swift Global, KenyaWeb and many more. ISPs verses Telecoms Since 1995 the old and new ISPs in the market have managed to core exist as rivals before telecoms came in. The competitive rivalry within the industry has pushed the players to create value for their services so as to attract a customer base. ISPs have to battle against existing telecoms. The brand identity force plays a role too; local ISPs have tried branding to sell their products and services. But again they are still working towards a level where it will be obvious to pick them out and stand out with a cause or purpose that is clear to potential customers. When it www.

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Unified license framework has basically allowed telecoms to provide almost every service that ISPs are offering in the market. Therefore, ISPs have to sustain themselves not only in the retail market but also corporates. They have to be competive otherwise telecos will dominate the industry and eventually run them down . It is not a guarantee after all the investment that ISPs will break even, explaining why some dropped out of the market. The established telecoms have the capacity to wait for returns even if it takes several years for the mass market to embrace this technology. ISPs will need superior services or competitive pricing if they are to maintain whatever percentage of the market share they have. Way forward At the end of the day, it all boils down to quality of service. That’s what will determine customer loyalty to both ISPs and telecoms. Despite the competition, an ISP like Access Kenya remains focused on their three core business segments refusing to consider themselves as sidelines or second to telecoms. “We believe the market is significantly under penetrated with great potential, and our intentions is to capitalize on this and be a beneficiary of the growth in customer numbers,” says David Somen, Director Access Kenya. Although some of these ISPs have taken a quality approach to attract customers, they need to invest on an innovative management team that will drive the business towards maintaining the profitability even if they are market leaders.

BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY LEADERSHIP


G

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F

Pictorial

Swift Global stand, awards dinner sponsors

Emmanuel Kimeu, Managing director, ProTech

Justus Ndana, Chief Marketing Officer, Swift Global

Lady winner, Florence Wacuka Maina (left) being awarded by Nicholle Myles, Business Development Manager, CIO East Africa

Harry Hare, Publisher, CIO East Africa

Winner of the tournament, KD Mbatia (left), being awarded by Justus Ndana, Chief Marketing Officer, Swift Global

Golfers enjoying the dsy out at the CIO Golf tournament 2011


May 2011 | Vol 3 | Issue 2

HP printers support google cloud print By HP Staff

G

oogle cloud print app users can print directly to any HP ePrint-enabled printer from any computer or smart phone. HP’s portfolio of web-connected and cloud-aware printers for home and business are the first to support google cloud print out of the box.

The combination of google cloud print and HP ePrint printers makes printing from any web, mobile, or desktop app that supports google cloud print more intuitive, accessible and useful by eliminating the need for a print driver or PC connection to the printer. Apps supported by google cloud print currently include gmail for mobile, google docs for mobile and chrome OS, and will expand to include third-party apps. “Making it easy for our customers to print where and how they want is a top priority for HP,” said Stephen

Nigro, senior vice president, Imaging and Printing Group, HP. “With HP eprint and cloud-aware printers, you get the best experience printing via google cloud print.” Users simply add the unique email address of their HP eprint-enabled photosmart, officejet or laser jet pro to their Google account, which provides the ability to print easily and securely from Google apps to the selected HP printer. “Users are rapidly migrating to web and mobile apps, and google cloud print brings full-featured printing capabilities to these apps,” said Mike Jazayeri, product management director, Google. “We are excited that HP has brought the first generation of cloud-ready printers to market. While cloud printing is possible with any printer that is connected to a PC, users can achieve a more streamlined, intuitive experience by printing directly to a cloud-ready printer.”

DO M N’T IS S

Get more on: www.cio.co.ke co.k

• In our COVER STORY

16

• Consumerisation of IT

• Feature • Document Management

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JUNE edition of

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May 2011 | Vol 3 | Issue 2

SITA launches ‘community’ cloud By Anh Nguyen

Vendors and customers are invited to distribute services over the SITA network

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ITA, the air transport IT specialist in the UK, has announced plans to launch a community cloud designed specifically for the air transport industry, in an effort to cut costs and improve efficiencies. The Air Transport Industry (ATI) cloud will be built on SITA’s existing network, which connects 17,000 sites across the world. Ninety percent of the world’s airlines are also connected to the network, while SITA has a direct presence at 320 airports. Depending on the level of demand for cloud computing services, the ATI Cloud will be based on six, large, regional virtual data centres located across five continents, with additional virtual data centres based at large airports.

International Trends

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“The data centres will allow us to be close to our customers,” said Gregory Ouillon, SITA’s VP of the ATI Cloud Programme. SITA wants the cloud to deliver high quality end user experience, by ensuring that end users see a response time of no more than 100 milliseconds.

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SITA plans to deliver desktop virtualisation, Infrastructureas-a-Service (IaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) over the cloud. But as well as providing its own IT services on the platform, the organisation is encouraging customers and independent vendors to distribute their own services over the ATI Cloud - hence referring it to ‘community cloud’. The air transport IT specialist estimates that the industry has the potential to save between USD 40 million and USD 50 million a month if all the players in the industry moved their server infrastructure to the cloud, for example. SITA will introduce Desktop-as-a-Service by June this year, followed by IaaS. Towards the end of 2011, a SaaS catalogue offering generic applications as well as industry-specific ones will be available. This will include SITA software, such as its baggage management application, and Common Use Terminal Equipment (CUTE) application. So far, SITA has invested USD 50 million in its data centres, and over the next few years will invest up to another USD 50 million in the cloud programme.

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May 2011 | Vol 3 | Issue 2

U.S. grants search at borders By Jaikumar Vijayan

Appeals Court judge reaffirms government’s authority to conduct warrantless searches of digital devices along U.S. borders

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aptop computers and other digital devices carried into the U.S. may be seized from travelers without a warrant and sent to a secondary site for forensic inspection, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled last week. The ruling is the second in less than a year that allows the U.S. government to conduct warrantless, offsite searches of digital devices seized at the country’s borders. A federal court in Michigan last May issued a similar ruling in a case challenging the constitutionality of the warrantless seizure of a computer at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport. The defendant in a child pornography case also contended that a subsequent search of the device at a secondary computer forensic facility violated the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution.

Several other courts, including the Ninth Circuit itself, have ruled that warrantless, suspicion-less searches of laptops and other digital devices can take place at U.S. border locations. Privacy advocates and travel groups have expressed concern that searches of such laptops could expose such sensitive corporate or customer information, especially citing the Department of Homeland Security’s policy of copying or downloading the data if necessary. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said that according to government documents it has obtained, U.S. customs officials searched electronic devices belonging to about 6,600 travelers between October 2008 and June 2010. The ACLU also said that U.S. officials confiscated more than 220 devices between October 2008 and June 2009.

New app manages Android devices By Brad Reed

R

support have launched a new application that will let IT departments remotely support and manage their users’ Android-based devices.

The RemoteCall application can come preloaded onto Android phones or it can be downloaded from the Android Market. Once it has been installed, IT departments can use their desktop computers to remotely view the users’ Android home screens in real time and to remotely control the devices. Rsupport, which made its name developing remote support software for desktop computers, says that the application is useful for any IT department that wants to screen Android applications before allowing users to install them onto their company devices. The app lets IT workers see a list of all the applications installed on the device and gives them the option of remotely uninstalling unwanted apps from their desktops. The security of Android applications and the Android Market came under scrutiny in March this year when Google

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had to remove around 50 malware-infected applications from its Android Market by activating an Android app kill switch. Google has traditionally allowed any and all applications onto its Android Market and has only removed malicious applications if they have been flagged as dangerous or suspect by market users. In addition to managing applications on Android devices, IT departments can also use RemoteCall to text chat with end users to give them updates on what they’re doing. Conversely, end users can lock the screen view on the IT worker’s side if the end user is using the device to send private messages. The application is also able to stay connected to the network when switching between 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity, the company says. Rsupport CEO Hans Seo says the company plans to approach U.S. smartphone manufacturers and wireless carriers in an effort to convince them to preinstall the application onto their devices. He says the company already has similar agreements in place with Samsung and LG.

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May 2011 | Vol 3 | Issue 2

BP employee loses data on oil spill By Jaikumar Vijayan

Names, social security numbers, addresses other personal data potentially compromised

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1 by an employee while on routine business travel. The spokesman is quoted as saying that BP waited nearly a month to notify victims of the breach because it was doing “due diligence and investigating.”

The information, which had been stored in an unencrypted fashion on the missing computer, included the names, social security numbers, addresses, phone numbers, and dates of birth of those who fi led claims related to the Deepwater Horizon accident.

BP said the missing laptop is equipped with a security capability that allows security administrators to remotely disable the computer “under certain circumstances.” However the company offered no further details on what those circumstances might be or whether it has actually disabled the system so far.

he personal information of 13,000 individuals who had fi led compensation claims with BP after last year’s disastrous oil spill may have been potentially compromised after a laptop containing the data was lost by a BP employee.

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BP said in a statement that the personal information had been stored in a spreadsheet maintained by the company for the purposes of tracking claims arising from the accident. “The lost laptop was immediately reported to law enforcement authorities and BP security, but has not been located despite a thorough search,” BP said. The information was part of a claims process that was implemented before BP had established its Gulf Coast Claims Facility. The statement makes no mention of when the laptop was reported as lost. But an Associated Press report quoting a BP spokesman notes that the laptop was lost on March

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BP has sent written notices to victims informing them about the potential compromise of their personal information and to offer them free credit monitoring services, the statement noted. The BP compromise is only the latest in a very long list of similar breaches involving the loss of unencrypted personal data stored on laptops, and mobile storage devices. Such losses have prompted Massachusetts to pass a law mandating the need for companies to encrypt sensitive personal data stored on mobile devices. Although numerous encryption technologies are readily available these days to mitigate the risk, many companies still don’t use them.

BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY LEADERSHIP


May 2011 | Vol 3 | Issue 2

Facebook shares data-center secrets By Robert McMillan

The company wants its new Open Compute Project to help improve data-center designs everywhere acebook is sharing some of the secrets that help make its Prineville, Oregon, data center one of the world’s most efficient.

F

The company has released specifications for its Open Compute Project -- Facebook’s secret data center recipes for rack-mounted servers that weigh less and power systems that are more efficient -- and also is talking about its methods for cooling lots of computers without air conditioning. Call it an open-source data center design. Facebook thinks that by sharing information it can help make data centers better. That will be good for Facebook, but also good for new businesses that crunch a lot of data, said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “We’re trying to foster this ecosystem where developers can easily built startups, and we think that by sharing this we’re going to make it more efficient for this ecosystem to grow,” he said. Data center needs are only going to get more intense for Facebook as it adds more real-time applications, Zuckerberg said. “So being able to design more effective servers, both from a power-efficiency perspective and a cost perspective, is a big part of us being able to build all the stuff we build,” he said. The company has been tweaking and tuning its data server specifications for about a year now: cutting out big uninterruptible power-supply systems, designing a building that doesn’t need air conditioning, and working with server makers to build lighter and cooler systems that are easy to repair. Facebook has partnered with Advanced Micro Devices, Intel and Quanta on the Open Compute Project, and is also

BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY LEADERSHIP

21 Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook

working with Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Rackspace, Skype and Zynga on new designs. The bare-boned boxes may not be much to look at -Facebook calls the design “vanity free” -- but they get the job done. Citing a standard measurement of data center efficiency, the Power Usage Effectiveness rating, Facebook says that Prineville is a 1.07. That’s far below -- and therefore much more efficient -- than the industry standard of around 1.5. Facebook’s servers are about 6 pounds lighter but thicker than a typical 1U (1.75 inch) rack-mounted system. At about 1.5U thick (2.6 inches), they can squeeze in taller heatsinks with more surface area and larger, more efficient fans. That, in turn, means that less air has to be pumped through the servers to cool them. And they can be opened and serviced without tools -- snaps and spring-loaded plungers hold everything in place. There is one luxury in the vanity-free design. Blue LED lights, which give Prineville a Facebook look, glow in the data center. They cost 5 cents more per light than the cheapest alternative.

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May 2011 | Vol 3 | Issue 2

$12 million to build car telematics By Nancy Gohring

Microsoft and Toyota together invest $12 million toward the effort

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icrosoft and Toyota plan to use Windows Azure, the software giant’s cloud offering, to build a telematics service that will initially serve people who have the car maker’s electric and plug-in hybrid cars. The companies said they will together invest USD 12 million in Toyota Media Service Co., a Toyota subsidiary that offers digital information services to Toyota customers. The goal is to build a global cloud platform by 2015 “that will provide affordable and advanced telematics services to Toyota automotive customers around the world,” they said. Telematics technology combines communications technology, like mobile networks, with other information technology like GPS and energy management systems. During a press conference to discuss the deal, executives from the companies described examples of applications that could become available based on the new system. Applications could link cars, homes, the electricity grid and people to let users monitor the number of miles to the next charging station, use a smartphone to check battery power and instruct the car to charge at the time of day when energy is least expensive. www.

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Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota Motor Corp., described a scenario where he might use speech technology to tell his car his daily schedule. The car would then give him the best route to his meetings based on traffic and weather conditions. While in the car, he could tell the system to turn on the air conditioning in his house before he returns home. He could control home lighting, heating and appliances too. The applications that do this will become available to buyers of forthcoming electric and plug-in hybrid cars from Toyota and will initially serve customers in the U.S. and Japan because those are the countries that will get the cars first. The companies will be focused on “getting the platform right,” which will open up the possibility of a wide range of telematics programs built by Toyota or companies that partner with the car maker, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said. Even though the companies said the cloud platform wouldn’t be completed until 2015, they said the fi rst applications would become available in cars sold next year.

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THE BEST RUN BETTER WITH SAP SAP HELPS THE WORLD’S GREATEST COMPANIES DO WHAT THEY DO BEST, EVEN BETTER. Whether it’s helping companies out-compete, out-innovate, out-serve or out-transform their competitors, SAP has but one goal – to make every business a best-run business. Our software is designed for it. Our company revolves around it. Our people are obsessed with it. Find out what SAP can do for your business at sap.com For more information, call 0800 720 111 www.sap.com/africa/east

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May 2011 | Vol 3 | Issue 2

Emergence of data centers in Kenya By Dennis Mbuvi

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emand for data center is rising in the East African Market. Dan Kwach, data centre product manager at Kenya Data Networks (KDN) says the demand is driven by several factors such as the country being IT savvy. Others are regulations by the Central Bank of Kenya who now require banks to have disaster recovery centers outside their physical premises. This is expected to even rise further in the future as enterprises adopt data intensive cloud computing to offer services to their consumers. “We import content from the west – there were innovative ideas in the west that brought in content. In a few years we will have local content that will need to be hosted locally. We already have an invention culture, fuelled by the huge push for development of mobile applications. These apps are usually mission critical and will require data centers to host them,” says Kwach. Kenya has been leading in the implementation of data centers in the East Africa region, with a few big projects already set up and a few others coming up. Gestalt Gild is one player already offering solutions from Essar’s data center while Safaricom has also been offering corporate solutions from its own data center.

Trend Analysis

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Equity Bank is a major end user of data center services with its own tier 4 data center which is currently the largest in operation in East Africa with a current installation of 77 racks with a further capacity of between 50 - 70 racks. Equity Bank has plans to lease off excess capacity on its data center, which the bank build after its demand for data center space outmatched offerings in the market. Kwach says that institutions like Equity Bank were forced to build their own data centers as existing ones did not meet their demand. This is about to change with KDN’s new solution. “IT is not a core service for banks. This gives an opportunity for KDN and other technology industry players to set up data centers and lease them out to such institutions.” There is also a lot of interests from overseas companies who have been looking for physical space in the country to host their data centers. KDN has also set up a tier 3/tier 4 data center. Kwach clarifies that the data center is not fully a tier 4 as the

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Dan Kwach, data centre product manager Kenya Data Networks

country has only one power distributor, Kenya Power and Lighting Company. For a data center to be fully tier 4, it must source power from 2 independent distributors. The data center is located at Sameer Park along Mombasa road. Kwach says that the data center occupies the basement, first, second and third floors of one of the six blocks that make up the business park. The ground floor forms an operational, staging and training area – customers who want to perform scheduled maintenance’s of their data centers do it from this area. Usable data center is 50,000 square feet per floor to give total usable space of 200,000 square feet or 20,000 square metres. Each floor carries 150 racks, with each rack consuming about 5 kilowatts. Additionally, KDN had the building specifically constructed to data center standards, with concrete walls and enhanced security. This is in contrast to most other data centers in the region which usually occupy the same building as other commercial tenants. This compromises the security of the data center and also poses a hazard to other users of the building from the electrical infrastructure of the data center. Unlike what is currently on offer in the market, Kwach says that KDN’s data center offers space and does not consist of servers. This means that the KDN provides and manages

BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY LEADERSHIP


May 2011 | Vol 3 | Issue 2

“The ITPAC utilizes air flow to reduce the cost of cooling of a data centre. It makes the cost more affordable,” says Richard Kiplagat, Global Strategic Accounts Manager at Microsoft. The ITPAC is built by Savier, an Italian firm and has advanced heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems. Kiplagat says that the data centre, part of the new generation 4 data centres, is not restricted to Microsoft products/ technology and can be fitted with servers from competitors. “The ITPAC presents a phenomenal opportunity for Africa where energy costs present a challenge,” he adds. Architects Impression of KDN Data Center

everything in the data center down to the rack level, however, clients bring in their own servers which they manage and operate. Kwach explains that KDN’s strategy is more focused on whole sale than retail offerings. Clients will mainly be corporates and other data center resellers who will in turn focus on retail customers. To complement their strategy and make it more attractive to consumers, the company’s customers will not be involved in interfacing. This will be achieved by allowing other connectivity providers to provide fiber links from the data center to their customers, thus providing a data neutral environment.

The ITPAC is located in the open on a concrete platform. This, according to Kiplagat, does not presents a security challenge as one would treat the environment the same way they would do to a conventional data center. Another great advantage of the ITPAC is its modularity and can be shipped and installed in less than 2 weeks. This means that it can be used in a situation where an immediate deployment is required or in addition to a data center that has run out of capacity. While Kenya has ideal altitudes of 1800 meters and ideal weather for deploying the ITPAC, it can also be deployed in hotter countries and is designed to withstand weather elements.

The main challenge so far has been getting power connectivity to the data center which usually takes several months. In addition, an assessment and survey is important prior to setting up a data center in an area. “Some areas like Mombasa do not have sufficient power infrastructure to support data centers,” he says. Data centers can still run off the power grid in Africa. The United Nations Offices in Nairobi are the first such clients of Microsoft’s IT pre assembled components (ITPAC) data center. The data center resides in a 7 meter x 3 meter x 2 meter container that is similar in size to a 20 foot container and with a capability to hold 4 racks hosting up to 460 thin blade servers depending on the configuration.

BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY LEADERSHIP

A Microsoft ITPAC data centre at UNON, UNEP offices

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May 2011 | Vol 3 | Issue 2

Steady growth of mobile as media in TZ Russell Southwood

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ntermedia has released the latest in its Audiencescapes series of surveys of media use in African countries. The survey was carried out in July 2010 in Tanzania and contains a number of tantalizing clues as to how that country’s consumers are making use of different media.

Internet use in Africa used to be about a limited number of internet search activities and sending e-mail but as the table below shows, Tanzanians are now doing a much wider range of things:

Internet use has clearly grown in Tanzania but not at the same rate as in neighbouring Kenya.

Activity

The table below shows percentage household access amongst those surveyed:

Send or receive e-mails Latest news Research topics Social networking site Listen to radio Play games

Media All sample Radio 85% TV 27% Computer 3% Internet 4% Mobile phone 62%

Urban 85% 59% 8% 8% 82%

Rural 84% 14% 1% 2% 54%

Television access is 71% in Dar es Salaam. The figure of 4% sounds small but if you translate that into people, there are around 1.5 million people who have household access to Internet.

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Mobiles are increasingly becoming a media in their own right and in urban areas, their penetration levels are as high as for radio which the universal African media. And as the table below shows, Tanzanians (like many Africans) are using their phone’s built in radio and in small numbers, watching what they describe as live TV (probably streamed via You Tube). Radio listening on mobiles is highest amongst those under 34: Activity All sample Radio 13% Send SMS 61% Watch live TV 1%

Urban 18% 68% 3%

Rural 10% 57% 1%

Mobile TV has yet to find the right business model and where it is offered as a service, has only acquired tens of thousands of subscribers. Furthermore the DStv version requires a special DVB-H handset and these are expensive and not many are on the market. Nevertheless, if relatively slow tech-adopters like Tanzanians are already watching live streams, there’s going to be a market out there. What else can you do when you’re sitting in Africa’s ubiquitous urban traffic jams and can’t get home for a live TV programme? www.

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% of sample using Internet 57% 51% 32% 41% 7% 13%

The figures reflect the rise and rise of Facebook use in the early adapter markets across the continent but it’s worth noting that Tanzania’s Facebook user numbers are significantly lower than those in neighbouring Kenya. Again, there is a significant percentage of Internet users who are choosing to listen to radio over their Internet connection. If you look at media use on a once a week basis, to some greater or lesser extent, it reflects the overall household access figures above: Media Radio TV Newspaper Mobile Internet

% of total sample 91% 41% 22% 62% 3%

But when those sampled, were asked what were the important sources of news and information on a weekly basis, the results look rather different:

Source Radio TV Newspapers SMS text Internet

% of total sample 83% 41% 21% 35% 4%

BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY LEADERSHIP


May 2011 | Vol 3 | Issue 2

In other words, mobile is a news and information media with greater reach than newspapers and this is particularly true amongst lower income groups and those in rural areas. The position of newspapers is also threatened by Internet access: 4% vs 21% is a rather uneven fight but amongst the top income tier (who are among the key purchasers of newspapers) the percentage using the Internet is 17%. Interestingly, when those surveyed were asked about trustworthiness of different sources, they rated SMS and newspapers more or less equally. So what do these results tell us? Tanzania is not one of the continent’s early tech adopters so it is perhaps more representative of the middle range of countries. Nevertheless, it has a sizeable and growing economy. Therefore it is possible to draw some of the following conclusions: *

There is a steady build up of Internet use towards a “critical mass”, something much encouraged by the use of mobile Internet. It’s not a case of if it will grow further but when. On the basis of these figures, it is not hard to

see Internet use going up to 7-10% in the next two years, particularly as prices to consumers continue to fall. * Mobile is a media that is rapidly establishing its position with both SMS and Internet. In two years time, 20-40% of users may have either smartphones or feature rich phones. But there is no sign yet that mobile operators have grasped the significance of this shift and started to work with key content partners to create specific local (in Swahili) products. *

The same point can be made about delivering radio and TV to mobile users. Operators can either stream their own output to users or work with local media providers to build an audience through the mobile channel.

Why do this and the news content development suggested above? Because mobile will slowly become an advertising medium and because of its wider reach and better colour presentation, it will take these revenues from poorly printed, expensive to produce newspapers and bad radio channels.

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BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY LEADERSHIP

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May 2011 | Vol 3 | Issue 2

CIOs now thinking business By Harry Hare

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any Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) we have spoken to in the past shared their frustration of having their IT chiefs not being able to translate their technical competences into business value creation. CEOs have been complaining that CIOs do not understand their businesses and therefore not in a position to articulate how the IT function can benefit business results. As a result, the CIO is relegated to technical operational areas and do not have the same clout as other C-Level executives. In fact in many cases they are forced to report to other C-Level officers other than the CEO.

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Ambitious innovators CIOs have their eyes on innovating for business; this is what they told us they want to be doing in 2015.

Developing and refining business strategy

90%

Driving business innovation

84%

Cultivating the business/IT partnership

81%

Re-designing business processes

68%

Aligning IT initiatives to business goals

64%

These CIOs are normally technology-focused IT managers who do not understand all aspects of the business value proposition. They cannot be expected to fully develop the initiatives the organization needs to derive from its IT function.

they report to the CEO. Twelve percent report to the Chief Finance Officer (CFO) and about ten percent report to a group CEO. Just a few years ago most CIOs in East Africa reported to the CFO, a few to the Chief Operations Officer (COO).

What this comes down to is the positioning and possibly the experience of the CIO, plus the organisation’s definition of a C-level position. In other words, there are CIOs who hold the title but aren’t really considered to function at the C-level.

A C-level CIO is not just technically competent. Such CIOs are also proactive in their technical competence, display business leadership abilities and are skilled in collaboration, communication and persuasion. They know how to create relationships out of a community of interest in profitably growing the business, and they are able to jump-start initiatives to move the business to higher competitive levels.

This is however changing, and changing fast for that matter. Fifty-one percent of CIOs who responded to the CIO East Africa’s State of the CIO Survey, indicated that

Beyond technology CIOs anticipate increasing responsibilities for business areas outside IT, especially strategy, security and administration and operations.

Procurement

30%

55%

Strategy Risk management

37.5%

Valued service provider

47.5% Administration & Operations

52.5%

In other words, they have considerable business acumen and are able to talk about their specialty in the business terms that their peers understand. Our survey indicates that this this caliber of CIOs is increasing and they are getting the attention they deserve in their organisations. This awakening has pushed CIOs to start thinking strategy and execution. When we asked them what other non-IT areas they are involved in leadership capacity, fifty-one percent indicated that they are also involved in strategy p development, forty-six percent said they are involved in d ssecurity and risk management and another fifty-one percent iin operations and administration. T shows that CIO have broken out of their comfort zones This aand are championing areas that IT can really make a ddifference. Operations, risk management and strategy can aall benefit immensely from ITand these are the areas that most CIOs are spending their time on. m

NB: Multiple responses allowed.

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BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY LEADERSHIP


May 2011 | Vol 3 | Issue 2

The Way Others See You How you think business leaders perceive IT Competitive differentiator

12.50%

10%

Cost centre

Trusted partner/ business resource

27.50% Valued service provider

50%

When we asked them, which areas they would like to spend their time on in the next 3-5 years, a whooping ninety-one percent indicated that they would like to spend time developing and refining business strategy. This is up from thirty-nine percent who are currently involved in strategy. Eighty-two percent said they would like to spend time cultivating the IT-Business partnership and alignment. This again is up from the current fifty-two percent. What is interesting though is that only sixty-seven percent of CIOs say they will not be involved in Aligning IT initiatives with business goals, this is down from eighty-four percent. This is very telling. For the last three years or so CIOs have been singing alignment, something that endeared them to management. Will CIOs moving their attention to other areas other than aligning business with IT? Twenty-two percent of the CIOs indicated that their organizations spend between ten and fifteen percent of their total annual revenue on IT. This is a huge investment given that the average global spend on IT is normally about five percent. What is interesting here is that smaller organisations are spending more, probably using IT to increase efficiency and productivity to become more competitive. Eighty-five percent of the organisations have not more than 24 IT staff. Five percent have a about twenty-five to fifty and another five percent have between fifty to one hundred. So most organisations still have small IT teams and they deliver about eighty percent of the IT services in their organisations. What is interesting here is all the companies indicated that they will be outsourcing fifty-one percent of their IT services to third-party vendors including outsourcers and cloud providers in the next three to five years.None of the organisations have plans to totally outsource the IT function.

BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY LEADERSHIP

Seventy three percent of the CIOs who responded to our survey said that developing IT strategy to accelerate business goals is their top priority. Others are Aligning IT and business goals, controlling IT costs, leadership development and staff training and IT governance and portfolio in that order. Again what is obvious here is that CIOs are thinking how they should be thinking – interfacing between IT and business. Sixty-eight percent of the organisations would like to improve end-user workforce productivity as a key accomplishment this year, this is followed closely by improving security and risk management with sixty-five percent of CIO saying that this is a key result area. Sixtyone of CIOs say that they hope to improve the quality of products and/or processes. When we asked the respondents how they best characterize the way business stakeholders perceive the IT in their organization, forty-eight percent said they are view IT as valued service provider while twenty-six percent said they are perceived as a trusted partner and business peer. There are still people who look at IT with suspicion, with nine percent saying IT is a cost centre. CIOs consider mobile computing, cloud computing and technology as a service (TaaS) as trends that will have the most profound effect on the future role of the CIO. Others are software as a service (SaaS) and consumerisation of IT. This is in line with a lot of what is already happening in the sector with a myriad of mobile applications being development and deployed at the enterprise level. The survey also indicated that ninety percent of CIOs in the region are male. 29

What’s driving change Mobile computing, cloud computing and Technology as a Service are the top three trends that will profoundly inuence the role of the CIO this year.

Cloud computing

26.8%

Mobile computing

29.3%

Software as a Service

7.3%

Ubiquitous data

2.4%

Social media

4.9%

Next-generation workforce

4.9%

Technology as a service

22.0%

Consumerization of desktop/devices

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2.4%

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March 2011 | Vol 2 | Issue 12

Where should your ERP data rest? By Tirus Kamau

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quick look at the majority of ERP vendors (A1 ERP, Oracle, SAP) shows the use of relational database management system (RDBMS) for storing ERP data internally. The leading RDBMS products are Oracle, IBM’s DB2, Microsoft’s SQL Server Postgres and MySQL from the open source community. Despite repeated challenges by competing technologies, as well as the claim by some experts that no current RDBMS has fully implemented relational principles, the majority of new corporate databases are still being created and managed with an RDBMS. Relational databases are currently the predominant choice in storing data like financial records, medical records, personal information, manufacturing and logistical data. This is most probably the reasons that companies implementing ERP’s mostly store their database in internal data centre and not on clouds.

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A good CIO should ask the following questions before advising on moving the ERP data to the cloud: • Will there be any performance issues (like latency, access speed) if the ERP databases are stored in the cloud? • How secure will the ERP data be on the ‘cloud’ compared to an internal data centre? • Can the firm rely on the ‘cloud’ as they will not be having complete ownership of the data? • Could hosting ERP database on the ‘cloud’ help firms save enough money and will it be beneficial to the firm’s bottom line? • Are non-relational databases a better solution for ERP data storage on the ‘cloud’ compared to traditionally used RDBMS? In the cloud landscape, the conventional relational database is something of an alien. Unpredictable resource contention means that sharing server resources between customers is risky beyond very small workloads. Because of this, cloud platform providers are offering relational

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databases as dedicated servers running on virtual machines, e.g., Amazon’s MySQL-based RDS. This somehow takes care of data security in the ‘cloud’. Leading ERP vendors like A1 ERP, SAP and Oracle are well established in providing on-premise ERP solutions. It may be a big risk for some of these vendors (in terms of data security, database compatibility, less revenue) to move their ‘BIG’ client databases on clouds rather than using the traditional internal data centre storage. Although lately the above major ERP vendors are introducing Cloud based ERP solution which CIO’s need to take note of, SAP has introduced Business ByDesign, a business management software solution designed for midsize companies. Oracle On Demand is a solution that provides Cloud Services for Oracle Software and Hardware. A1 ERP has introduced A1 eXpress a fully featured complete business management software solution designed for small- midsize companies looking for the benefits of large-scale business applications without the need for a large investment in IT infrastructure will now also be available from the cloud. They are many storage avenues for firms’ ERP data on the cloud. Google App Engine comes highly recommended. It is a platform for developing and hosting web applications (such as web based ERP’s) in Google-managed data centers. It virtualizes applications across multiple servers and data centers. Other ‘cloud’-based platforms include offerings such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft’s Azure Services Platform. Most companies are generating data faster than they can store. Cases of internal or competitor sabotage are real. Moving your ERP data storage to the ‘cloud’ will transform the management of large collections of data, making the process cheaper, easier, secure and more flexible. You can always start ‘small by backing up your ERP data on the clouds. Kamau Tirus heads the Innovation Arm of Alliance Technologies and is responsible for driving and providing Leadership for the Research & Development (R&D) team.

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By Louisa Kadzo

We are not about to see the last of the tape – this is the message passed by three experts who share their opinion on the top storage trends in East Africa. This year, IT experts continue to make investments in faster, efficient and targeted storage. With unstructured data accounting for about 80 percent of storage capacity, smart storage calls for investing in smart technology when choosing storage infrastructure, and blending this infrastructure with effective data management with relevant software processes and hardware resources.


Understand your business needs Internet solution is a corporate ISP that falls in the category of next generation service providers, connecting businesses with multiple branches. The company is a wholly owned division of Dimension Data Middle East and Africa, itself a subsidiary of Dimension Data, a global systems integrator. Internet Solutions offer connectivity – linking organisations internally and externally, people, media, access and device on a person-to-person communication model. The company also offers cloud and carrier services. The company maintains its own tier one international network and its own network nodes in North America, Europe and Asia, where it interconnects with the foremost Internet backbone providers. In Africa, the company’s international bandwidth lands at multiple points. The company has more than 7000 square metres of data centre space in South Africa and small and growing data centres in East and West Africa and in Europe. Loren Bosch, CEO Internet Solutions shares his forecast on the key trends within the storage industry. An increase in virtualized storage Storage virtualization is the process of abstracting logical storage from physical storage at any layer of the software and hardware stack. A virtualized storage system can be host based software virtualization – whereby you can mirror your drives through software if you have a workstation or two. A hardware based virtualized system is where you have an onboard raid controller in the server that allows mirroring of drives. According to Loren, the integration between server and storage virtualization will become closer, and there will be an increase in server, storage and network infrastructure. Virtual storage will indeed form the platform for the adoption of cloud storage. Loren cites several challenges that virtualization brings about, hence the slow intake of this service in East Africa. The one major challenge to storage is that many CIOs are shy of hosting their sensitive data outside their enterprises. Storage virtualization is also an expensive venture to undertake individually as a company. This trend will grow with the growing appetite for private network that has accelerated over the past two years. Vendors are now offering integrated cloud stacks which provide pre-packaged cloud building blocks ready for use. Such solutions can help small to mid-sized enterprises implement private clouds easily as they provide infrastructure as a service – instant hardware and software solutions that provide virtual machines, virtual disks and virtual networks.

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Loren Bosch, CEO, Internet solutions

Wide acceptance of storage-as-a-service Loren predicts that there will be a much broader scale of review and adoption of data storage solutions. Already, there is a growing push away from companies maintaining their data. This has partly been driven by the legacy equipment and legacy environment coming from some sectors of the economy, especially the financial sector. Storage as a service is being driven by the need for data backup and data recovery. Businesses are looking for the minimal loss in terms of recovery time, money and data loss. From the vendor point of view, storage as a service is taking the main business focus in the solutions being offered to companies.

Choosing a storage partner According to Loren, CIOs need to spend more time understanding what their requirements are than shopping for a storage product or service provider. “Products originate around a specific environment and need, and they grow on that. If a business understands their requirements, be it accessibility, recovery time and so on, a lot of options are available,” he says. Businesses can have requirements ranging from basic solution requirements, to ERP enterprises and various layers of need. It is hard for CIOs to justify the spending to all solutions. This, according to Loren, has created the push towards software as a service whereby a targeted solution is stored at a central location where all softwares are rented. Infrastructure-as-a-service is also riding on this push. The data storage space, variable space, software as a service space has so many options and it is a very flexible environment. Understanding a need helps companies spend less on what they don’t need.

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May 2011 | Vol 3 | Issue 2

None the less, many companies in East Africa are still in the low level phase of getting their connectivity right and getting their networking right.

Know where your data is stored For over 10 years, MTN Business has run data centers in many countries where customers can collocate servers and communication equipment. In March this year, the company launched its first server virtualization and virtual storage solution in Kenya that will enable various businesses lease “virtual servers” and also to remotely store data at the company’s data centre. This is an upgrade from the present server collocating set up, where customers move servers from their respective offices to the MTN Business Kenya data centre. These servers replace the need of having stand-alone physical hardware which has high maintenance costs to an enterprise. MTN Business is providing companies with various access channels to their data, for instance through IP-MPLS private links, among others. In addition, the company is supporting all mainstream operating systems and applications. MTN Business has also developed a pay per use billing system which moves infrastructure costs from a capital expense to an operational expense, enabling clients to only pay for resources and licenses they use. According to Davidson Thaba, Technical Operations Manager at MTN, the general trend in the industry is to have automated data backup to a remote location to reduce restoration time. For decades most businesses have relied upon tape-based backup processes. Now, business demands have altered backup and recovery requirements and operational importance.

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As a result, disk-based backup has been recognized as a faster and more reliable backup and restore strategy. It has become an essential component of the best data protection and recovery plans. Tape backup can have long cycles, even up to 24 hours. Real time disk-based backup into a data centre provides speed and efficiency as the data is in an active state and can easily be accessed remotely.

Davidson Thaba, Technical Operations Manager, MTN

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Thaba shares his insights on the top storage trends 2011 in East Africa as follows. Shift towards consolidated storage Thaba predicts a shift to a more centralised enterprise storage systems that move away from the traditional storage approach of direct attached storage system (DAS), where every server has its own internal storage system. “DAS creates “islands of information” and results in inability to share data or unused resources with other servers,” says Thaba. Most businesses end up utilizing only about 80% of their storage capacity, leaving unutilized portions. Consolidated or centralized storage eliminates this waste by having a common buffer of free space for all the servers. Acceptance of cloud storage as a valid infrastructure model As more data becomes consolidated, the next step is movement to the cloud. Thaba predicts that cloud computing will increasingly revolutionize the storage of data in East Africa, building on storage-as-a-service. Many enterprises are demanding for the right IT service level to each application or business unit, in terms of availability, performance and recovery. To do this, service providers set up a link between the enteprise servers platform to the data center as well as an agent software that will allow their data to be backed on to the remote storage platform. Cloud-based storage is increasingly being considered as a crucial infrastructure for facilitating disaster recovery and business continuity. Adoption of multi-tier storage systems Enterprise storage systems typically contain multiple storage tiers, each having its own performance, reliability and recoverability. The primary motivation for this multi-tier organization is cost, as storage tier costs vary considerably. “Tiering enables the enterprise to strike a good balance between performance and the cost of storage,” he says. High-end tiers use the expensive and highly reliable disk arrays and typically provide remote mirrors, snapshots, and daily backups; middle storage tiers may use cheaper midrange disk arrays and might only provide snapshots and daily backups; and low-end tiers might use inexpensive disk appliances protected by weekly backups to decrease operational cost. Virtual tiering has the ability to assign a volume to a pool of storage containing multiple tiers of cost and performance, and has the intelligence to move parts of that volume to different tiers based on access counts and activity. This automates and optimizes data access performance and storage capacity throughout the entire data life cycle.

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May 2011 | Vol 3 | Issue 2

Where is your data stored? With storage, a CIO has to be sure where the data is being kept. Storage has different categories of service provision that all storage decision makers ought to know. A provider can provide you entry level storage only with a certain amount of space in their data centre. You need to know how reliable and resilient the storage platform is, how it will meet your needs. The data centre has to meet your standards of security, and that the storage system is reputable. Since outsourcing storage means that your data will be stored in a different location, the software used must be up to date. The service provider should employ high levels of encryption of the data both in transit and at rest. Internal checks a company can employ for efficient storage include embracing latest storage technologies including deduplication, reducing the redundancy of data so that by the time data is backed up, it is not duplicated and redundant. This saves on bandwidth and makes storage-as-a-service being accessed via communication links a viable option.

Efficiency and effectiveness for long term storage VirtualWorks is a Value-Added NetApp Distribution Company operating in 18 countries within East, Central Africa and SADC regions. VirtualWorks specializes in consultation and designing of data center solutions. VirtualWorks offers unified storage solution from NetApp, which is a combination of hardware and software to address data management challenges in the data center. Sunil Varghese, Director Operations, Virtual Works states that organizations increasingly rely upon data to run their business, rapid and ongoing explosive growth in storage capacity is often the root cause of many infrastructure and data management challenges faced by organizations today. CIOs should have a strategic storage plan focusing on the bottom up design approach during data center implementation, which in turn is cost effective, efficient, policy driven and simplified approach to manage your data. Enterprises should focus on bigger picture by aligning the IT infrastructure to the business demands, and not siloed project based solutions, which can turn out to be costly and complex to manage. Sunil shares his foresights into the top storage trends 2011 as follows: Recovery Time Objective (RTO)/ Recovery Point Objective (RPO) If anything happens to a company’s data, the first question is how much time does it take to recover data once it is lost, what minimal transaction lost. According to Sunil, downtime

Sunil Varghese, Director Operations, Virtual Works

introduces higher risk for missed business opportunities, employee or customer dissatisfaction, lost data, lost revenue, damage to the company’s reputation, lost productivity, and even legal liability. Controlling the risk of downtime will continue being a key trend that will influence a CIOs buying decision in the coming years. Business applications and data are both important aspects in the data center and any disturbance on the data storage layer can cause the application downtime which in turn affects the service it offers to your client. The ideal RTO/RPO objective should be to recover your data in minimal time with minimal losses. Adoption of efficiency techniques for data centres – more data being put in fewer amounts of hardware’s Storage efficiency is maximizing the use of storage capacity. Sunil predicts that storage efficiency will be a topic on every IT administrator’s mind. Taking advantage of storage efficiency techniques to better manage data growth allows IT to, ultimately, save money. Budget savings may be realized through deferring new storage systems or capacity expansion purchases, or by lowering operating costs. The issue of storage efficiency is not limited to primary storage capacity. Copies of production data made for backup, mirroring, test and development can amplify storage efficiency issues.

Storage trends 2011 1. An increase in virtualized storage 2. Wide acceptance of storage-as-a-service 3. Shift towards consolidated storage 4. Acceptance of cloud storage as a valid infrastructure model 5. Adoption of multi-tier storage systems 6. Recovery time objective/ recovery point objective 7. Adoption of efficiency techniques for data centres – more data being put in fewer

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8. Amounts of hardware’s

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May 2011 | Vol 3 | Issue 2

Top 2011 security threats By McAfee labs

Hacktivism will become the new way to demonstrate your political position in 2011. Exploiting social media Social media connections will eventually replace email as the primary vector for distributing malicious code and links. The massive amount of personal information online coupled with the lack of user knowledge of how to secure this data will make it far easier for cybercriminals to engage in identity theft and user profi ling than ever before. Spear phishing—targeted phishing attacks—will move to Twitter and like technologies because choosing users and groups to exploit through these channels is simple. Two related areas of social media will also attract attention this year: short URLs and locative technologies abuse. Short URLs make sense when used in social media as well as in other forms. Short links are easier to paste or type. The trouble—and abuse—follows because users do not know where these shortened links actually lead until they click them. This is a huge opportunity for abuse. Under locative service abuse, the use of global positioning system (GPS) information to individual social media updates leaves the users badges vulnerable to scammers who can potentially leverage this information.

McAfee Labs has seen malware of increasing sophistication that targets Mac last year; we expect this trend to increase this year. The popularity of iPads and iPhones in business environments and the easy portability of malicious code between them could put many users and businesses at risk. We anticipate threats of data and identity exposure will become more pronounced. The lack of user understanding regarding exposure on these platforms and the lack of deployed security solutions make a fertile landscape for cybercriminals. McAfee Labs expects to see botnets and Trojans move from a rare encounter to a more common occurrence on Apple platforms in 2011. Applications In addition to malicious code, McAfee Labs expects to see apps that target or expose privacy and identity data. This danger will eventually lead to data exposure and threats through new media platforms such as Google TV. As home, work, and device-controlling apps become more popular, they will increasingly become targets. These tools have historically weak coding and security practices, and will allow cybercriminals to manipulate a variety of physical devices through compromised or controlled apps. This assault will raise the effectiveness of botnets to a new level.

Mobile

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McAfee Labs predicts that 2011 will be a turning point for threats to mobile devices. Last year we saw many new, but low-prevalence, threats to mobile devices: rootkits for the Android platform, remote “jailbreaking” exploits for the iPhone, and the arrival of Zeus (a well-known banking Trojan/botnet). Apple Any security professional who cruises online InfoSec forums or attends conferences will know that the Mac OS X platform is a favorite target of the whitehat and blackhat communities.

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May 2011 | Vol 3 | Issue 2

In 2011 McAfee Labs expects to see increasing numbers of both suspicious and malicious apps for the most widely deployed mobile platforms and operating systems. Apps that are poorly developed have already exposed identity data. We expect developers and marketers to succumb to “rush to market” thinking as these apps become more commonplace. Platforms that have undersupervised models of app development and distribution are particularly at risk. This haste to sell insecure products will eventually lead to more app-centric privacy and data attacks in 2011. Sophistication mimics legitimacy “Signed” malware that imitates legitimate fi les will become more prevalent this year. This will cause an increase in stolen keys as well as the techniques and tools to forge fake keys to use in these types of attacks. “Friendly fire”—in which threats appear to come from your friends—from social media such as Koobface and VBMania will continue to grow. This will go hand-in-hand with the increased abuse of social networks, which will eventually overtake email as a leading attack vector. We also expect to see an increase in “smart bomb” attacks, those designed to trigger under certain conditions but not others. These threats require victims to follow the designated attack path—thwarting honeypots, crawlers, and security researchers—while greatly impacting designated and vulnerable targets. Such threats will create an even greater need for Global . Botnet survival Botnets continue to be one of the greatest and most sophisticated threats McAfee Labs faces. In the coming years, we expect to see more data exfi ltration capabilities. Through this year we have seen cybercriminals engage in a growing number of targeted attacks; we anticipate a greater focus on botnets removing data from targeted machines and companies, rather than the common use of sending spam. Botnets will also engage in advanced data gathering functionality as well as focus more on targeting and abusing social networking. Hacktivism Attacks motivated by politics are not new, but we encounter them more and more regularly. And they will be far more numerous in 2011. In addition to defacement (the primary

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activity of hacktivists) and distributed denial of service (DDoS, the latest “fashionable” activity), new kinds of sophisticated attacks will appear. Information theft, stolen and then disclosed to discredit political opponents, will certainly increase. More groups will repeat the Wikileaks example, as hacktivism is conducted by people claiming to be independent of any particular government or movement. Whether governments drive these manipulations and activities covertly is open to debate, but it is likely enough that states will adopt a privateer model. Advanced persistent threats Advanced persistent threats (APT) attacks are highly advanced and sophisticated, just as not every highly complex and well-executed targeted attack is an APT. The motive of the adversary, not the level of sophistication or impact, is the primary differentiator of an APT attack from a cybercriminal or hacktivist one. APTs also are not launched by a single adversary. There are numerous APT attack teams located around the world, all with varying degrees of capabilities and expertise. Just as there are A teams and B teams in the organized cybercriminal hierarchy, the same holds true for APTs. Some have access to massive amounts of resources (hardware, software, and human) and even traditional intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities. Others borrow, steal, or purchase ready-made tools offered and frequently used by established cybercriminal gangs and conduct themselves in a similar manner to gangs, except for the type of data they try to exfi ltrate from their targets. www.

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May 2011 | Vol 3 | Issue 2

Storage buying advice By Andrew Harrison

Internal, external, network, optical and SSD explained speed of most 2.5in disks is 5400rpm, although 7200rpm versions also available for higher performance applications. Most 3.5in disks run at 7200rpm, with some low-power ‘green’ drives designed to run around 5400-5900rpm. Gradually replacing the HDD is the solid-state drive (SSD). This uses NAND flash solid-state memory, and is now available in 2.5in SATA form factors up to 512MB capacity - at a price. Most practical SSDs are sized from 60GB to 256GB. SSDs are faster than most HDDs, whether looking at read/ write speeds or response time (latency). They run silent and are resistant to shock. When looking at either hard-disk or solid-state internal storage, look at the generation of the SATA bus. The later versions are faster.

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e live in a world fuelled by data, and PCs and modern digital gadgets need to store their data somewhere. Data is stored inside a PC, laptop or similar device, and is often expanded with external storage for backups or simply to expand on internal capacity.

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Until relatively recently, nearly all data was stored on hard disks. These come in two main types: 3.5in Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) disks, most often used in full-size desktop PCs; and 2.5in SATA disks, fitted to notebook PCs. The 3.5in disk is evidently physically larger, but will be cheaper, when comparing capacity, to 2.5in hard-disk dirves (HDD). The 3.5in HDD is also generally available in larger capacities: in March 2011, 3.5in disks are available in capacities up to 3TB, while 2.5in drives are usually available in capacities only up to 1TB. The 2.5in disk runs cooler and quieter than the 3.5in disk, but is also slower to access data. Rotational spindle

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First generation SATA had a nominal transfer speed of 1.5 gigabit per second (Gb/s); second generation SATA - the most common type in use in 2011 - is specified to 3Gb/s. The latest storage devices and PCs are built to SATA 6Gb/s specifications. These three generations of SATA are sometimes erroneously referred to as SATA 1, 2 and 3; or I, II and III. To avoid confusion (such as SATA 3Gb/s vs SATA 3) we always use the transfer speed to pinpoint SATA version. Outside of your PC or digital device, data can be either directly attached and stored locally on a desktop or portable drive; or on a local network; or beyond the local network on what is colloquially termed ‘the cloud’. For best GB-per-pound, the desktop hard drive with 3.5in is the most cost effective. The disadvantage is a slightly larger and noisier external drive, and one that will require its own mains power, usually with a wall-wart-style power supply. Laptop users or those wanting to free the desk of large drives and more mains wires may prefer an external drive using a 2.5in notebook drive. These are much more compact, but maximum storage is limited to typically 750GB, sometimes 1TB, and price is commensurately higher.

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There are several ways to directly connect a drive to a laptop or desktop PC. By far the most common is USB 2.0. This also provides the necessary power (‘bus power’) for most portable drives too. The USB 2.0 standard is somewhat slow by today’s standards. The nominal transfer speed is 480 megabits per second (Mb/s) but don’t be fooled by this spec - actual transfer speed is closer to 240Mb/s. (Note that data transfer is usually expressed in megabytes per second (MB/s), where 1 Byte equals 8 bits.) FireWire is available in two versions: the original Firewire 400, specified for 400Mb/s operation, and FireWire 800, to 800Mb/s. These equate to real-world figures of around 280Mb/s and 720Mb/s. USB 3.0 is now becoming more popular, with a spec that promises 4.8 gigabit per second (Gb/s) operation. Again, expect real-world through put to be much slower, although even half that speed represents 300MB/s, which is in line with the speed of a good modern SSD. Another high-speed connection type to look out for is eSATA, an external version of SATA with the same potential speed as the internal version (although not to SATA 6Gb/s at present). The fastest connection type just launched is Thunderbolt, formerly known as Light Peak. This is only present on Apple MacBook Pro notebooks at present, and external drives to support the format will not be ready until later in 2011. Thunderbolt promises speeds of two channels of 10Gb/s, in both directions at the same time. A network-attached storage (NAS) drive is simply storage such as one or more hard disks in a single box, connected to a network and accessed like a data server. Consumer NAS drives tend to have just one or two hard disks, and low-power processors in order to keep cost and heat/noise down. These will tend to be slower when accessing data, especially in write speed performance. Business and professional NAS drives typically have four, six or more hard disks, configured in a system known as Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID). Different types of RAID array are available, and the user usually needs to set up as required before use. RAID 0 is often used in performance applications. Typically, two disks are ‘striped’ together to create

a total capacity the sum of the two disks. If one drive fails, all data is lost. RAID 1 provides good security for data, by mirroring the same data on two drives. Total available storage is equal to the size of one disk. RAID 5 combines some of the speed of RAID 0 with the security of RAID 1. You need three or more drives. If one drive fails, data is preserved although you should replace this drive immediately in order that the NAS unit can reconstruct redundant data across the array. RAID 6 is like RAID 5, but allows for the failure of up to two disks at the same time. Requires four or more disks to configure. As well as providing a simple repository for storing data, NAS drives can also be configured for a multitude of everyday applications. These include FTP server, iTunes or media server for home entertainment devices. Setup can be far more complex than simply plugging into a PC though. Most NAS drives are configured through a webpage interface. Most people already use cloud storage, in the form of popular free email services such as Google mail or Hotmail. Your email is stored on a remote server, and accessed by your PC, laptop or Smartphone over the internet, on demand. Cloud storage is also offered by some companies to store your other personal or business data; for example, automated remote backup such as Carbonite, Mozy, or Dropbox. Such services typically use encryption to safeguard personal data in transit. Operation is slow, limited principally by the slow upload speeds of most people’s ADSL broadband connections (circa-0.5-1Mb/s).


May 2011 | Vol 3 | Issue 2

MNP, the debate is on James Wire Lunghabo | CIO Uganda Bureau

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few years ago, mobile number portability (MNP) seemed a distant dream for mobile phone users in East Africa and arguments were advanced by some mobile operators against its feasibility. However, the year 2011 has heralded a revolution in East Africa with Kenya taking the leap to effect it. Across the border, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) in the year 2007 launched a study into the feasibility of introducing this service on the local market. The then executive director of UCC stated that, “At this stage, number portability is not something we see as a remedy in this market, we carried out a study into this and we have the conclusion that there is a certain subscriber sum we need before we introduce number portability because of the costs involved.�

to the intense competition that has led most players to open up new avenues to win subscribers. We still await signs of a porting agreement between the telecommunication providers. However, it is worth noting that few people do understand what MNP is all about. While it may appear like a service worth dying for, if not well marketed or without adequate consumer education, MNP is likely to become one of those still born services. For those that do understand what MNP is all about, their appreciation of the service rotates around the desire to have less SIM cards, maintaining a standard number that reduces the hustle of constantly moving contacts and fi les from one SIM card to another.

That subscriber sum was later put at 10 million users.

MNP puts the operators on guard to improve service provision as opposed to being protective of their network prefixes. Implementation of MNP is also likely to help ease the entry of new players into the telephony market since the yardstick will hinge more on the need for Value Added Service provision and reduced service costs.

While at the time of doing the study the market had only 3 million subscribers, four years down the road, subscribers have surpassed the 10 million mark thanks

As we watch the adoption of number portability in Kenya, what is certain for now is that the UCC is gearing to learn from their experience before diving into the deep end.

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May 2011 | Vol 3 | Issue 2

The ICT month that was Ruth Kang’ong’oi | CIO Rwanda Bureau

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he month of April is always a sad one for Rwanda. It’s that time that we all remember our heroes, young innocent women and children who died during the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. It is a time when we honour those that survived and lived to tell the story. As the headlines read, this is a period where Rwandans say “never again.” Despite her History, Rwanda today is a budding nation, a country in an advanced stage of rehabilitation, and one looking to a brighter future. Rwanda’s noticeable growth only proves that progress can occur even when the enabling conditions are still weak.

In the same breath of ‘never again’, Rwanda Utility Regulatory Authority (RURA) has decided to say never again to companies that have failed to meet their license requirements.

It has been a rude awakening for the telecommunications industry after the shocking cancellation of Rwandatel’ GSM and 3G license. RURA regulates certain public utilities, namely: telecommunications, electricity, water, sanitation, gas and transportation. RURA is now proving that when political will and good management are present, results will definitely be achieved in the country. Rwandetel has for a long time been the second largest telecom company after MTN in terms of market share, though TIGO Rwanda overtook Rwandatel immediately after its inception in November 2008. Rwandatel is a subsidiary of Green Network, which is part of the Libya Africa Investment Portfolio (LAP), a $5 billion foreign investment. LAP Green has 80 per cent stake in Rwandatel while the Social Security Fund of Rwanda holds the

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remaining 20 per cent. Libyan telecommunications company Lap Green officially became the majority shareholder of Rwandatel on 1 November 2007. According to RURA, Rwandatel had failed to implement its license requirements that included coverage rollout obligations, quality of services and investment plan. Their license was privatized in the 2007 after LAP Green won the bid, having paid USD100 million (RWF 54.5 billion) for the financial proposal. Mr Francois Regis Gatarayiha, the acting director general of RURA told the press that Rwandatel’s mobile services (GSM Voice and 3G Data) was to remain operational until April 8, 2011 midnight when the service will be switched off – and indeed it was. This stern step that RURA took on Rwandatel will to our advantage change the way Telecom companies work as far as meeting their required standards is concerned. With the hard heated competition between TIGO and MTN, they both have to work extra hard to please a key audience they hadn’t thought of – RURA. MTN Rwanda has in the past been fined by RURA for failure to meet contractual obligations as well. The company, a subsidiary of the South African based MTN Group, paid an amount of USD 140,000 for a period of two weeks for failing to upgrade their network as predetermined in their license. Rwandatel’s lost subscribers now have to decide between good old MTN or the new Tigo Rwanda. According to information published on RURA’s website, TIGO Rwanda claims the bigger percentage of the sector’s market growth. The company only launched its operations in November 2009; it has over 600,000 subscribers while MTN Rwanda has just over 2 million yet it has been operating for over 10 years. That statement in itself speaks a lot for TIGO. Marketing teams in both companies are not sleeping in a bid to lure the lost Rwandatel subscribers. As a result, MTN Rwanda is now offering free SIM cards with Rwf 500 loaded airtime. MTN are only offering this to anyone who takes with them their Rwandatel SIM card whereby your SIM contacts are transferred from your old card to your new MTN SIM card. Indeed, only the consumers stand to benefit from this showdown.

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May 2011 | Vol 3 | Issue 2

Stop killing the technicians HARD TALK | Bobby Yawe

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here is a systematic elimination of technicians from the phase of the country for which we shall soon pay the price as has happened in other fields. A technician is a worker in a field of technology who is proficient in the relevant skills and techniques, with a relatively practical understanding of the theoretical principles. When working on a structured cabling project a few years ago I had the pleasure of working with a contractor who had an advanced degree in joinery – yes you read right – an advanced degree in joinery. Myself, having had the great pleasure of going to a technical high school where we where taught drafting, turning (using metal and wood lathes) and materials technology allows me to understand in depth about joinery. The firms’ workmanship under his able hands continues to be second to none, he would come up with solutions to the architects design requirements that left the rest flabbergasted. How my life might have turned out differently had I known that even as a technician I could get an advanced degree unfortunately my parents where obsessed with the traditional theoretical qualification but the truth be told they did not now any better.

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Now back to issue of the total and systematic annihilation of the technician in the IT field whose ultimate effect we can already see from the field of accounting and finance where the accounts technician was sidelined for cheaper and more qualified finance graduates. The engineer is principally a theorist, it takes the technician and actualise and maintain the ideas of the engineer. Even Cisco has a clear appreciation of this with its multiple levels of certifications from administrator to engineer. The engineer can design complex networks but it requires technicians to go out into the field to deploy and maintain the solution with the administrator doing the day to day baby sitting. So when we convert all middle level colleges to universities in principle what we are implying is that we are more interested in the theoretical areas of technology but we

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have no intention of actually actualising the designs. It was therefore we glee that I read the new directive from the ministry of education that middle level colleges courses shall have no more than 30% as degree programs and the rest as certificate and diploma. This is still very high especially for a developing 3rd world country but at least it is a start. “How many engineers does it take to change a pub? Don’t know they are still working on the schematics”. We need to stop pushing for too many graduates in none practical fields and appreciate that like with any structure in nature the triangle is the strongest and most stable. By concentrating on the top end we create an inverted pyramid which is highly unstable. As we funnel more and more graduates out of our institutions of higher learning we propagate and ever worsening case of underemployment which, as per a UNDP study of Kenya, is worse than unemployment. In a company in China this had led to over 30 staff members committing suicide as a result of the work they had to do relative to the perception of what they should have been doing based on their qualifications, most where graduates in their twenties. Walk into any bank, cyber, mpesa outlet and chances are the person who serves you is a university graduate who is being underutilised. In IT departments in organisations you have all this highly trained staff with degrees in various fields carrying out work based left to the technician with corresponding pay. We need to give the job to the optimally trained person as giving it to the most educated results in skewed results. I have mentioned this statistic in many forums and even in other articles I have written 1-10-100-1000. That for every graduate we train we in addition need to train 10 advanced diploma holders, 100 diploma holders and 1000 certificate holders if we are to get the maximum return from the graduate. In the direction we are going where we are inverting the pyramid we shall experience a total shutdown in our education and social structures where in the jua kali garage the owner is a form 2 drop out, the manager a form 4 leaver, the mechanic a polytechnic diploma holder or grade 3 certified and the spanner boy an engineering graduate. So let’s be clear just because the job offers a high pay but requires a technician is no justification for employing a graduate who will be underutilised, underappreciated and finally unproductive, stop killing the technicians.

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May 2011 | Vol 3 | Issue 2

The dilemma of an app developer SECOND OPINION | Sam Mwangi

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couple of months ago, the cheapest Android smartphone was released into the Kenyan market. The proliferation of cheap Smartphones in the market is paving way for a lucrat ive mobi le sof t wa re development industry that is steadily picking up in the country. Traditionally, SIM application toolkit (STK) has been commonly used to provide Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) subscribers with various value-added services such as mobile money services. On the other hand, mobile computing embraces a host of portable technologies that makes Internet access on the go not only possible, but integral to every day life. There are many different hardware components found in mobile devices therefore their applications are developed using different software architectures. Some application software platforms including Java ME, Symbian platform, Android, Windows Mobile, Qt framework, BREW and Palm OS. Symbian OS, Palm OS, Windows Mobile and iOS support typical application binaries as found on smartphones with code which executes in the native machine format of the processor. A mobile application developer develops software by using different platforms and programming languages based on the target mobile device. Android applications for instance, are written in the Java programming language, a common programming language among developers. In addition, the Android software development kit can easily be downloaded from the Internet for free and installed in a Windows, MacOS or Linux workstation. Kenya has provided a conducive environment for mobile software developers so far. The popularity of the Android and Symbian OS mobile devices has been growing steadily. Better yet, application developers in Kenya can now publish and distribute their mobile applications directly onto Nokia’s OVI Store. To encourage local developers, companies like Google organized a G-Kenya event in September 2010 to talk about Android and the emerging mobile opportunities for African developers and to meet with software

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developers, entrepreneurs and students in Kenya. One of the sessions involved training on localized tools to spur economic development for people in Kenya. Google has also added some intuitive apps that developers can leverage on. For instance, Voice Actions, a Google voice search for Android presents an awesome new way to search, control, and communicate on your phone faster than ever before, by using your voice. One of these new Voice Actions lets users find and automatically play music, users can quickly find the music they want online and play it. Samsung on the other hand has been running a mobile applications development competition based on their Bada platform to encourage developers to use this platform. One of the winners of the previous competition is Mikul Shah who developed an ‘Eat Out’ mobile application. The app is Kenya’s first mobile restaurant guide, allowing users to search for restaurants using location, cuisine and budget. For a Kenyan developer, one dilemma is choosing a platform to develop mobile apps. For many developers, their decision is based on the popularity of the mobile device, and what the trend is in terms of mobile apps development. Another dilemma is how to make money from the applications developed. Considering the fact that most Kenyans do not have credit cards to facilitate the purchase of applications from the app stores, this is quite a challenge. To address this issue, mobile operators in Kenya are working on a billing mechanism that deducts the charge of an application from the airtime, once a subscriber downloads it from an app store. This means the developers can easily track their revenues and access the funds comfortably from local providers. The developer has to cater for the users’ preferences such as language, appearance, working tools, app library and so on. For most users, the value is in the integration of the app to their business processes and the day-to-day life. For instance, a centrally controlled dispatcher for a Courier Service Company can use several mobile smart phones or PDA units or a mobile device the can control you TV set just like a remote control.

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May 2011 | Vol 3 | Issue 2

Lenovo H320: slim and speedy By Sarah Jacobsson Purewal, PC World

The H320 performs very well for its category, and features Blu-ray and HD support

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he Lenovo H320 is a slim rig that greatly resembles the rest of the budget desktop pack. But although it’s lacking a little in ports and graphics support, it brings a lot to the table--including 6GB of RAM, a Blu-ray combo drive, and excellent performance for the category. It features a 3.2GHz Intel i5-650 processor, an Nvidia GeForce 310 discrete graphics card, and 6GB of RAM. This slender desktop also holds a Blu-ray drive and runs the 64-bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium. The H320 is housed in a slim black chassis with mattealuminum siding and metallic-orange trim. The case has a shiny, black plastic front that gives access to a vertically oriented tray-loading Blu-ray drive, a multiformat card reader bay, two USB 2.0 ports, and microphone and headphone jacks. The back of the computer offers two PS/2 jacks for a mouse and keyboard, one HDMI port, one VGA connection, four USB 2.0 ports, one ethernet port, and support for 5.1 surround sound.

A light, two-button optical deal with an orange scrollwheel, the mouse is ergonomically designed and comfortable to use. The keyboard is flat, with matte-black keys that are very light and very loud--they make an audible click when you type. The keyboard also has a few dedicated media buttons (volume up/down, play/pause, stop, fast-forward, and rewind). The 18.5-inch D186 widescreen monitor has a native resolution of 1366 by 768 pixels. The monitor is analog and sports a matte finish with a black bezel. Five physical buttons are available on the monitor, for powering it on and navigating the menus. The D186 delivers a bright but oversaturated picture. Horizontal viewing angles are decent, but vertical viewing angles are much less impressive: Tilting the screen just slightly back produces a dark, muted picture. If you’re interested in getting a bundled monitor, keep your desk’s layout in mind. The lack of feet for setting the computer on its side is also a bit annoying, but that’s likely a matter of individual preference.

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The Nvidia GeForce 310 graphics card provides an additional HDMI connection and an extra VGA port, for a total of two HDMI ports and two VGA ports on the system. Unfortunately, the video connections on the

motherboard cannot be used at the same time as those on the graphics card.

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BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY LEADERSHIP


May 2011 | Vol 3 | Issue 2

LinkedIn arrives on Android Market By Mikael Ricknäs, IDG News Service

The first version has basic features, but more will be added in the coming months

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he professional networking site LinkedIn has finally announced the availability of an application for Android-based smartphones.

For the first version of the application the company focused on core features, wrote Chad Whitney, senior product manager at LinkedIn, in a blog post. The main menu allows users to access six features: updates, search, connections, invitations, messages and reconnect. The last feature presents brings suggestions for new connections. The application is free and can be downloaded from Android Market. LinkedIn already has applications for the iPhone and Blackberry devices.

BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY LEADERSHIP

In the coming months, LinkedIn will be updating the application with more features that have been requested by users during the beta testing phase without getting into any specifics. Users who want to influence how the application is improved should join the LinkedIn for Android Group. In a second blog post, LinkedIn listed how users can “spring clean” their account, including changing keywords describing personal qualities and staying away from the most commonly used descriptions on LinkedIn while doing that. Terms like innovative, motivated and dynamic “can appear empty or meaningless to a potential employer or networking contact,” according to the blog post. Users should also get more involved in the many groups available on the network, the blog post said.

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May 2011 | Vol 3 | Issue 2

Storage maps future of digital data By Manfred Gramlich, storage solutions specialist sales for open storage and tape archive, Oracle South Africa Today’s typical data centre is migrating from a physical, static, and heterogeneous set-up, to a grid-based virtualised infrastructure to a cloud computing environment that enables self service, policy-based resource management, and capacity planning. Along the way, the storage solution must be able to support this style of data centre, so it is critical that the storage system is dynamic enough to support the difficult to predict demands of these application environments through a tiered approach.

Manfred Gramlich

Business Tips

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T

he one consistent theme in the digital world is that growth is a constant. As the digitally-enabled business world evolves, the mix of data and its anticipated usages are going to change as well. Already, there is an increased diversity of data types with 80 percent of today’s data being unstructured and the reuse of data is shrinking, with 80 percent of data never being used after 90 days. However, regulation and compliancy dictates that data is adequately archived for long periods of time, sometimes up to triple digits in number of years.

Reducing cost was at the top of the CIO’s agenda yesterday, now business growth and profitability is. The storage strategy must fall in line with these objectives. So, regardless of an organisation’s size, the storage solution must be able to scale to solve the larger, more complex business problems and it has to perform in real-time so organisations can react and make business decisions immediately. Likewise, the infrastructure has to be efficient so complex business problems can be effectively solved at a reduced cost and improved speed, and there must be data integrity built in to meet long-term business and regulatory compliancy. Finally, there is the liberating act of creating a ‘storage nirvana’, should cost and incumbent infrastructure not be an object. For a CIO, this would probably include on-demand secure data access, application aware storage optimisation, unlimited capacity, scalable performance, appliance-like rapid deployment, and integrated application, system and storage management. Although, this nirvana is a distance away, these ideas must be taken into consideration to guide organisations onto a path of accelerated performance, profitability and lower IT costs. A pyramid strategy

Striving for nirvana

To make the strategy a reality, companies must shift away from the traditional approach of managing islands of storage and move to an automated, tiered and unified storage infrastructure. By adopting a formula whereby certain data to be stored is assigned to certain storage pools, organisations will improve the price, performance, capacity and functionality of their storage infrastructure.

There are three essential elements that must be considered when formulating a storage strategy to meet growing data demands – the evolving function of the data centre, business drivers, and the ‘nirvana’ storage solution.

A typical tiered storage model has four tiers. Newly emerged, tier 0 uses flash memory storage, is extremely high performing and stores high value information that needs to be captured, analysed and presented at high speed. Primary storage,

Looking forwards, the future of storage management must be simple, easily accessible, cost efficient, environmentally friendly and streamlined, so organisations can function and perform quicker and better.

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May 2011 | Vol 3 | Issue 2

classified as tier 1, is based on fibre channel disk systems and should have high performance, high availability with near zero-downtime and fast recovery to support customerfacing and revenue-based applications. Tier 2 storage should be managed on low cost high capacity disks, with the capability to manage broad business applications such as databases, backup, email, and fi le systems. Finally, tier 3, which is based on the more cost effective, energy efficient tape technology serves the purpose to store high volume archival data for regulatory purposes and doesn’t require immediate access. To optimise the tiered storage architecture, companies must classify and value the data of the business, then map and assign it to the best-fit tier. Data can be classified into four categories with I/O intensive data, being assigned to tier 0 storage; mission critical data, such as revenue and customer based applications to tier 1; vital data that doesn’t require immediate recovery for the business to continue operating to tier 2; and archival data with low activity, long term retention periods to tier 3. Leveraging economic prosperity Leveraging upon a tiered storage environment has significant economic advantages. Research has shown that a single

tiered storage environment has an average lifetime cost of $15,000 per terabyte; a dual tiered one of $8,000 per terabyte; and a four tiered storage structure, $4,000 per terabyte. With the majority of the data residing in the archival data tier 3, which is built on tapes, costs will naturally depreciate. Likewise, an automated systematic data-value mapping and distribution approach requires less administration and maintenance at the low end of the storage pyramid, thus reducing costs and freeing up staff time to focus on the mission critical data. Such an approach to storage also reduces compliancy risk and improves business continuity as organisations will be able to more easily satisfy legal and audit requirements, which in turn, improves service levels. Ultimately, organisations will witness their performance improve as upgrades will become easier, stale data will be removed from production resources and there will be less disruption to the production environment. With growth, performance and profitability high on the C-level agenda, storage management can play a significant role in helping organisations to achieve these objectives.

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May 2011 | Vol 3 | Issue 2

What does it take to be innovative?

I

t requires individuals with IQ of close to 200, an expansive lab complex equipped with full time staff and a budget to match. Well, that’s a myth.

We knew mice would eat the insulation off the wires, so we got samples of all the wires that were available and put them in a cage with a bunch of mice to see which insulation they did not like. We only used wire that passed the mouse test.” Cancel out the noise

Ask the mice One story I love to tell is based on an actual Computer world Interview with J. Presper Eckert, co-inventor of the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC). ENIAC was the first general-purpose electronic computer. During the development of ENIAC, the inventors had one major hurdle to deal with – mice. These little rodents were a menace; they kept eating cables inside the computer.

Last Word

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How would your typical firm approach this problem? We would arrange for a meeting next Monday to discuss the mice problem. In a heated 2 hour meeting, we would resolve to hire consultants who would be in a better position to advise us. The consultants would then undertake a detailed one month study on the best approach to take before recommending that the company should hire a rodent eradication company. We would then set another meeting on the coming Monday, where we would sit for 2 hours and decide to shortlist at least 3 rodent eradication firms. This would then be advertised with a 1 month tender submission period. 2 months later, a rodent eradication fi rm would be selected and commissioned to eradicate mice on an annual renewable contract.

My second story comes from Stanford, the source of Google. Telephones are full-duplex devices which means that you can speak and listen to the person you are communicating with simultaneously. This is in contrast to half-duplex, present in the long distance radios that one has either to speak or listen at one time, not both. However, for the luxury of full-duplex communication, we have to pay the expense of communicating on 2 channels, one for the outgoing signal and one for the incoming signal. If a single channel could handle both channels well, it would result in freeing up of frequency, and probably lesser equipment. Engineers from Stanford University have come up with a simple solution for the above. The reason that a mobile phone needs two channels to communicate is because the signal from the device is very powerful, overpowering the weak incoming one. Since the mobile phone knows what it is communicating, why not simply block out that signal and use a single channel for communication? The engineers are still researching on the simple solution to a complex problem. Grassroots innovation

Work would then get back on track after a 4 month delay. Furthermore, all customers would be advised to hire pest eradication firms with each deployment. There would still be frequent reports of downtime due to a few mice still getting to the cables.

The one question I ask is: Where does your next innovation come from? Before you hold a complex boardroom meeting to brainstorm on your next innovation, why not ask your customers fi rst? In our previous (April) issue, we have a feature on crowd-sourcing. I get surprised that very few fi rms ever bother putting a mechanism for consumer suggestions. It is an outright way to get innovative ideas at almost no cost – no one has to be paid to go through the suggestions.

That is us, but what would Eckert and his group do? Simple, ask the mice. “The mouse cage was pretty funny.

Innovation is right in front of you, do not lose out because you ignored it.

Dennis Mbuvi

Dennis Mbuvi

dennis.mbuvi@cio.co.ke www.

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CIO East Africa