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Growth Meets Reality in Africa’s ICT In 2014, Predicts IDC

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International Data Corporation (IDC) on Thursday offered the first of its annual predictions for the coming year for the African information and communications technology (ICT) industry.

IDC’s predictions for 2014 were heavily influenced by the 3rd Platform, the industry’s emerging platform for growth and innovation built on the technology pillars of mobile computing, cloud services, Big Data analytics, and social networking.

“Africa seeks relevant technology that brings direct answers to the continent’s social, economic, and commercial issues,” said Mark Walker, director of Insights and vertical industries at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey.

“Solving challenges through innovative approaches and leapfrogging technologies and business models will be key themes across Africa in 2014.”

IDC’s Africa predictions for 2014, presented by Walker at a press conference on Thursday, include the following:

Africa will remain a key ICT investment destination, but reality is set to bite in 2014 – Strong GDP growth plus high ICT spend and investment means Africa will remain an attractive technology region in 2014, but users are becoming more sophisticated and demanding so suppliers must become more focused in the year ahead if they are to remain relevant.

Although some African countries are experiencing double-digit economic growth, the majority of local markets are small when compared with the mature markets of Europe and the U.S. Due to currency volatilities, labor issues, and reactions to global trends, short-term market outlooks are often turbulent.

Over the short term, regional offices of multinational companies will increasingly face the challenging task of managing headquarter expectations solely based on the relevant experience gained in developed markets.

Moreover, clients express a preference for providers with solid track records and continued local presence.

Service providers will have to display solid long-term strategies and commitment to African markets in order to gain confidence and increased market share in 2014 and beyond.

Keyboard-ready IT skills will be in high demand but short supply; academia and commerce to meet minds in 2014 – In 2014, commercial enterprises, government entities, and academic institutions will work together to produce ‘keyboard-ready’ graduates and young professionals.

According to a recent IDC survey, the majority of African CIOs (57%) believe that staffing issues (i.e., the recruitment, retention, development of IT staff) will be the number-one IT challenge for African businesses in the years ahead.

African CIOs believe that IT staffing shortages will result in an increased dependency on IT service companies (60%), delays to projects (48%), and decreased adoption of new and innovative technologies (42%).

Considering the ability to drive innovation internally in an efficient and timely manner has become a key factor of success for companies operating in the increasingly competitive African markets, IDC believes such organizations will increasingly include the need to directly address the IT skills challenge in their growth strategies. In order to fight the upcoming war on African IT talent, IDC expects companies to develop training programs aimed at adapting existing skills to meet business requirements.

Innovation will be the name of the game – African CIOs have been struggling with different challenges in 2013: staffing issues, limited IT budgets, the need to maintain IT security, and the requirements of governance, regulation, and compliance obligations. In spite of these constraints, however, African IT departments have been and will continue to be innovative in their approaches to newer technologies.

Governments’ focus on developing sustainable ICT sectors will shift up a gear – 2014 will see governments across the region re-examine or initiate policies regarding ICT sector development as a driver for economic growth.

The coming year will also see governments across the region heavily promote the creation and development of domestic high-tech sectors that will stimulate economic development, provide employment, and drive regional growth and investment.

3rd Platform technologies will shape the hustle and bustle of the African ICT landscape –Business models based on mobility, Internet, and cloud technologies will grow quickly in 2014, but local constraints will cause this to be in fits and starts and within regional pockets.

The key premise behind IDC’s worldwide ICT predictions for 2014 is that the most important events of the year will continue to cluster around what IDC calls the ‘3rd Platform’ for IT growth and innovation, built on mobile devices, cloud services, social technologies, and Big Data analytics.

Mobile technologies in particular are seeing rapid adoption, with mobile enterprise applications a leading investment priority for organizations across the continent, particularly in South Africa.

With undersea bandwidth already taken care of, the focus will shift to the terrestrial network – ICT infrastructure development will accelerate across Africa in 2014 as collaboration between the private and public sectors improves, demand for access grows, and competition heats up. Alternative technologies, including satellite and radio, will come to the fore in a new guise, while the regulatory environment will focus on spectrum allocation.


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E-Business

Join Inlaks Live TechTalk Edition on Hyosung’s Revolutionary MV 100 ATM Model

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Inlaks, the leading Information Technology Systems Integrator specialised in the deployment of highly scalable ICT Infrastructure solutions, will on Monday September 28, deploy the second edition of its virtual thought leadership segment called “TechTalk”.

Techtalk which was formerly a pre-recorded segment hosted on the organisations YouTube channel has now transitioned into a live virtual event across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The virtual edition kicked off in August 2020 with a segment on Financial Crime Mitigation, honing in on the superiority of Temenos Financial Crime Mitigation Solution with Emmanuel Orororo, Sales Manager, Financial Business, Inlaks.

The 2nd edition of Tech Talk promises to offer the same measure of insights as it dives into the world of Automated Teller Machines (ATM) with a focus on MoniValue 100, a revolutionary ATM solution by Hyosung TNS. The MoniValue 100 is especially adapted to the present times as it is a cardless, contactless and changeless solution.

Join this virtual event live by logging on to any of the social media pages below on Monday, 28th September 2020. YouTube: Inlaks, Facebook: InlaksNg, Twitter: Inlaks, Instagram: InlaksNg

Inlaks is a leading system integrator in Sub-Saharan Africa. The company partners with leading OEMs in the technology industry to provide world-class information technology solutions that exceed the needs of its customers.

Over the years, Inlaks has built a reputation as the foremost ICT and Infrastructure Solutions Provider, helping customers effectively seize new market and service opportunities.

With an impressive customer base that includes six Central Banks in West Africa, 18 of the 24 banks in Nigeria and other major customers in the West African region, Inlaks has become the dominant Information Technology Company in Africa.

Inlaks’ customers cut across various segments including Banking, Telecommunication, Oil/Gas, Power, Utilities and the Distribution sectors of the economy. For more information, please visit www.inlaks.com


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Millions of Cyber Attacks Launched on Nigeria, Others- Reports

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There were 3.8 million malware attacks and 16.8 million Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUA) detections over a 7-month period in Nigeria, according to Kaspersky security solutions.

Millions of Cyber Attacks Launched on Nigeria, Others- Reports

Elsewhere in South Africa, there were almost 10 million malware attacks and a staggering 43 million PUA detections, showing the growing desperation of the attacks.

The company reported on 28 million malware attacks in 2020 and 102 million detections of potentially unwanted programs (pornware, adware etc.) accounted for by the beginning of August 2020.

These numbers show that it’s not only the malware that attacks users but also the “grey zone” programmes that grow in popularity and disturb their experiences, while users might not even know it is there.

Potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) are programmes that are usually not considered to be malicious by themselves.

However, they are generally influencing user experience in a negative way. For instance, adware fills user device with ads; aggressive monetising software propagates unrequested paid offers; downloaders may download even more various applications on the device, sometimes malicious ones.

calculating interim results of threat landscape activity in African countries, Kaspersky researchers noticed that PUAs attack users almost four times more often than traditional malware.

They also eventually reach more users: for instance, while in South Africa, the malware would attack 415,000 users in 7-months of 2020, the figure for PUA would be 736,000.

“The reason why ‘grey zone’ software is growing in popularity is that it is harder to notice at first and that if the programme is detected, its creators won’t be considered to be cybercriminals. The problem with them is that users are not always aware they consented to the installation of such programmes on their device and that in some cases, such programmes are exploited or used as a disguise for malware downloads,” said Denis Parinov, a security researcher at Kaspersky.

By taking a closer look at PUA, it becomes apparent that they are not only more widespread but also more potent than traditional malware.

Evaluating results over the same 7-month period in Nigeria, there were 3.8 million malware attacks and 16.8 million PUA detections – which is four times as much.

Kenyan and South African threat landscapes have been more intense. In South Africa, there were almost 10 million malware attacks and a staggering 43 million PUA detections.

Kenyan users faced even more malware attacks – around 14 million, and 41 million PUA appearances, Kaspersky said.


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Tech Giants Strike Deal with Advertisers over Hate Speech

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Web giants including Facebook have struck a deal with advertisers on how to identify harmful content such as hate speech, after an impasse over the issue which led to boycotts of the platform.

Tech Giants Strike Deal with Advertisers over Hate Speech

The agreement — which also included Twitter and YouTube — laid out for the first time a common set of definitions for hateful statements online.

In July, hundreds of advertisers including big-name consumer brands suspended advertising with Facebook as part of the #StopHateForProfit campaign, saying the social-media titan should do more to stamp out hatred and misinformation on its platform.

And earlier this month a group of celebrities — including Kim Kardashian, Leonardo DiCaprio and Katy Perry — stopped using Facebook and Instagram for 24 hours, to push a similar message.

The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) said in a statement Wednesday: “Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, in collaboration with marketers and agencies through the Global Alliance for Responsible Media have agreed to adopt a common set of definitions for hate speech and other harmful content and to collaborate with a view to monitoring industry efforts to improve in this critical area.”

The alliance was founded by the WFA and includes other major trade bodies.

According to the WFA, key areas of agreement included applying the alliance’s common definitions of harmful content; developing reporting standards for such content; establishing independent oversight; and rolling out tools for keeping advertisements away from harmful content.

The WFA said that properly defining online hate speech would remove the current problem of different platforms using their own definitions, which it said made it difficult for companies to decide where to put their ads.

“As funders of the online ecosystem, advertisers have a critical role to play in driving positive change and we are pleased to have reached agreement with the platforms on an action plan and timeline in order to make the necessary improvements,” said Stephan Loerke, chief executive of the WFA.

Luis Di Como, executive vice-president of global media at Unilever, a major advertiser, sounded a note of cautious optimism.

He said: “The issues within the online ecosystem are complicated, and whilst change doesn’t happen overnight, today marks an important step in the right direction.”

Speaking in July, Facebook’s founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said he remained adamant that the company did not want hate speech on the social network.

On Wednesday, the company’s vice-president for global marketing solutions, Carolyn Everson, said the agreement gave all parties “a unified language to move forward on the fight against hate online.”

 


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