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Africa's biggest hurdle to fully realised, secure DX

By , Portals editor
Africa , 24 Apr 2018

Africa's biggest hurdle to fully realised, secure DX

In Africa, the ability to fully integrate systems and centrally manage devices with realtime collaboration is the biggest challenge faced by businesses that must digitally transform.

This is according to Paul Williams, Country Manager at Fortinet South Africa, who said certain countries on the continent are leading the race when it comes to changing business models to embrace the new digital age of security.

"Some are catching up and some are even being innovative in this space today," he said.

The Fortinet executive said the need to address legacy issues and integrate new systems is a market driver.

"Legacy systems in the PLC and IOT environments can be managed by digital devices in front of them which covert analogue to digital. Other drivers are integration of IOT with security, building management systems, motoring, shipping, air travel, transportation and many more," said Williams.

He believes businesses should aspire to establish device and system management across a single pane of glass.

"Planning is imperative with the approach to ensuring all systems have to become digitally enabled eventually. Another must is to also ensure once the digital transformation has taken place, you also have a network security transformation following the same approach," Williams added.

Fortinet suggests there is a sense of determination to upgrade and centralise infrastructure based on the mandate to comply with legislation including the Protection of Personal Information (POPI) and Cyber Security Act.

"Government needs to drive the regulation and define what compliance needs to be met with regards to all institutions and organisations that manage personal data and/or all sensitive data," he said.

Williams added that the digital security space today is characterised by the use of data analytics as part of information management and manipulation, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning also hugely influential.

"Cloud is a reality today and vendors have invested heavily in this to create flexibility and ease of use of business and commerce needs. Mobility is now more flexible with Wi-Fi and mobile networks ever expanding and providing application services to their consumer base," Williams continued.

He added that skills development remains an issue and exposure to digital transformation trends as early as possible is critical to Africa's ability to reach digital maturity.

"Universities can begin to teach practical business experience, allow students to create scenarios and projects which can benefit all members and also be seen t benefit the university that is teaching this skill. Skills development in network security as an example is vital and the gap in having qualified people in the sectors is becoming greater every year.

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