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Looking Back at 2019, We Can Make the Most Out of the Next Data Decade in 2020

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By Mohammed Amin

It’s hard to believe that we’ve started the year 2020 and that a very interesting decade has come to an end. With every end comes a new beginning and we view 2020 as the start of a more intelligent and connected world enabled by technology.

In the interest of learning from looking back, I revisited our 2019 predictions, some of which I am happy to report have come to fruition faster than others.

The implementation of 5G across the region is one such example. Many telecommunication providers in the region are already offering 5G connectivity to their customers, transforming experiences significantly. And who knows, we could also start hearing about 6G networks!

On the back of this, cities in the region are becoming more connected than ever, paving the way for Smart Cities and digital infrastructure that we predict will be thriving come 2030. And it will be a game-changer for industries such as healthcare and manufacturing, where data and information generated from the field can be quickly processed and analyzed in real-time, and then readily shared with those who need it.

All of this requires skilled talent and as we predicted, 2019 has seen a new generation of digital natives enter the workplace and organizations have begun to step up to modernize infrastructure, inspire employees and integrate the relevant applications will have an advantage over those that struggle with legacy systems, data deluge and workforces that are resistant to change.

Another prediction was about the data gold mine and the ‘Gold Rush’ in tech investment, with data valued as a primary resource. In 2019, we saw the importance placed on data, leading to regulations are now being set to protect this valuable resource. Organizations are now addressing challenges of data management and analytics and leveraging their data to bring AI and machine-learning to life.

At the root of all this innovation and advancement are – you guessed it – massive amounts of data and compute power, and the capacity across edge, cloud and core data center infrastructure to put data through its paces.  With the amount of data coming our way in the next 10 years – we can only imagine what the world around us will look like in 2030, with apps and services helping us do and know things we haven’t even thought of yet!

2020 marks the beginning of what we at Dell Technologies are calling the Next Data Decade, and we are no doubt entering this era with new – and rather high – expectations of what technology can make possible for how we live, work, and play.

So, what new breakthroughs and technology trends will set the tone for what’s to come? Here are our top predictions for the year ahead.

2020 will be the year to simplify IT

This year we will see organizations accelerate their digital transformation by simplifying and automating their IT infrastructure and consolidating systems and services into holistic solutions that enable more control and fuel data automation.  All of this enables better, faster business outcomes that the innovation of the next decade will thrive on.

 Accelerated multi-cloud journeys to store and protect data

As 5G and edge deployments continue to rollout, organizations will expect more of their cloud and service providers, to ensure they have better data management and visibility, while also ensuring that their data remains accessible and secure. IDC has predicted that by 2021, over 90% of enterprises worldwide will rely on a mix of on-premises/dedicated private clouds, several public clouds, and legacy platforms to meet their infrastructure needs.[i]

Choose how you pay

In 2020, flexible consumption model and as-a-service options will accelerate rapidly as organizations seize the opportunity to transform.  As a result, they’ll be able to choose the right economic model for their business to take advantage of end-to-end IT solutions that enable data mobility and visibility and crunch even the most intensive AI and Machine Learning workloads when needed.

‘The Edge’ rapidly expands to the enterprise

2019 has showed us that the edge is everywhere around us and is only going to expand with enterprise organizations leading the way, delivering the IT infrastructure to support it. So, we will see new advancements in software-defined networking. Open networking solutions will also prevail over proprietary, as organizations recognize that the only way to successfully manage and secure data for the long haul is with the flexibility and agility that only open software defined networking can deliver.

Intelligent devices change the way we work and collaborate

A recent study by Gartner revealed that spending on disruptive technologies will increase. Artificial intelligence (AI) was seen as the primary game-changing technology in 2019 by 38 percent of GCC CIOs. Data analytics is second, identified by 22 percent of respondents.

Software applications that use AI and machine learning create systems that now know where and when to optimize power and compute based on your usage patterns. Over the next year, these advancements, will turn our PCs into even smarter companions. They’ll have the ability to optimize power and battery life for our most productive moments – and even become self-sufficient machines that can self-heal and self-advocate for repair – reducing the burden on the user and of course, reducing the number of IT incidents filed.

Innovating with integrity, sourcing sustainably

With a view to achieving zero waste tolerance in Nigeria, the Federal Government through the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) has set in motion dynamics for the implementation of the Extended Producer Responsibility Programme(EPR).

The programme is a framework of action for a collaborative and partnership approach between Government, Business and the larger society towards achieving a zero waste society in the near future. The overall objective of the EPR programme is to ensure a decreased in the total environmental impact from a product including its packaging

Such laws prove that sustainable innovation will continue to take center stage, and Dell Technologies wants to ensure the impact we have in the world doesn’t come with a dangerous impact on the planet. Greater investments in reuse and recycling for closed-loop innovation will accelerate – hardware becoming smaller and more efficient and built with recycled and reclaimed goods.

 To conclude:

As we enter 2020, I’m optimistic and excited about what the future holds. The steps our customers will take in the next year to get the most out of their data will enable new breakthroughs in technology that everyone will experience in some way – whether it’s a more powerful device, faster medical treatment, more accessible education, less waste and cleaner air.

And before we know it, we’ll be looking forward to what the following decade will have in store.

Mohammed Amin is Senior Vice President, MERAT, Dell Technologies

 


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FG Launches Central Database for Stolen Asset Tracing

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Federal government has launched a Central Database under the Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations (ARTM), 2019 and the Central Criminal Justice Information System (CCJIS) under the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) 2017 – 2011 to assist in the fight against corruption.

FG Launches Central Database for Stolen Asset Tracing

Mr Abubakar Malami, AGF

Mr Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF) and minister of Justice, at the launch in Abuja, said the database will ensure uniformity of process, access and information feeding to deepen transparency and accountability in the management of recovered assets.

To ensure compliance, he said his office is developing legislation for the full implementation and operation of the CCJIS.

“We will work together to establish and re-enact transparency and accountability in governance and management of our resources which we have committed to do by way of strengthening International Cooperation of our membership of Open Government Partnership,” he said.

In his speech, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the House of Representatives, represented by Mrs Ugonna Ozurigbo, chairman, House Committee on Justice, said the regulation on Asset Tracing, Recovery and proper management of proceeds of crime was signed on October 24, 2019, and took effect from November 1, 2019, replaced the proceeds of Crime Regulation of 2012.

The new regulation titled Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations 2019 empowers the AGF to take charge of the custody and management of all final forfeited assets, approval and appointment of asset managers and operating and maintaining a database for the records of all recovered assets within and outside Nigeria.

He said, the AGF’s office, under the new regulation, is also required to coordinate inter-agency investigations into recovery matters within and outside Nigeria from all law enforcement agencies whose law empowers them to undertake recoveries and maintaining a depository for all forfeiture orders issued by the Nigeria courts and courts outside Nigeria.

Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management, according to the Speaker, is a core value of good governance and its effective management will serve as a deterrent to would-be fraudulent minded individuals who may find themselves in public offices.

According to him, states resources must not be allowed to be stolen but if that happened by fraudulent individuals, efforts must be taken to trace the proceed, recover same and manage for the interest of the generality of the people.

“When the proceeds of crime are traced and recovered but again looted by government officials, I dare to say such act amounts to the crime of tertiary capacity and must be avoided.

“Assets not accounted for are assets lost; loss of assets undervalues the economic potential of a country and will negatively impact on the net worth of a country. Accordingly, Asset Tracing Recovery and Management is a panacea to rekindling of the value system of a nation,” the Speaker noted.

 


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Konga Bulk Debuts Monday

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Konga, Nigeria’s foremost ethical and innovative composite e-Commerce brand is set to unveil a revolutionary new solution – Konga Bulk – which the company says will represent the new normal for forward-thinking businesses and consumers in the Nigerian corporate space.

Equally important, Konga Bulk, the latest innovation from the e-Commerce giant, is set to go live on Monday, September 21, 2020.

Through this initiative, Konga is rolling out a mega platform which has been touted a potential game-changer, offering manufacturers, distributors, resellers as well as Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) an opportunity to take advantage of Konga’s world class assets including its secure regional warehouses, smart offices, cutting-edge technology, advanced logistics capabilities through an internally-owned subsidiary, Kxpress and its Central Bank of Nigeria-licensed payment platform known as KongaPay.

This is in addition to leveraging Konga’s e-Commerce engine and extensive marketing expertise in bringing their products and services to the consciousness of millions of Nigerians nationwide.

In other words, Konga is taking a huge burden off the shoulders of manufacturers and other business owners in Nigeria through this ambitious project.

By allocating physical office and warehouse spaces to partner businesses and placing its many other cutting-edge assets at their disposal, Konga is ushering many into the new normal by bringing succour to corporate entities, many of whom have been encumbered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Furthermore, Konga Bulk will play a very important role, bridging the gap to genuine products and services between manufacturers, distributors, resellers, bulk buyers and consumers.

Resellers and other bulk buyers can also take advantage of best prices available for genuine products exclusively through Konga Bulk.

Kalu Johnson, vice president, Strategic Business, said businesses who sign up on Konga Bulk have a lot to gain.

‘‘Konga Bulk is a very ambitious project which we have positioned as the new normal.

“It is a unique opportunity for manufacturers to take advantage of the huge assets and real estate, both physical and virtual, available at Konga.

‘‘We have invested significantly and strategically in various areas of our operations.

“Today, Konga owns arguably the largest single warehouse space in Lagos in addition to other similar massive infrastructure in other parts of the country such as Onitsha, Port Harcourt, Uyo, Abuja, Owerri and other locations.

‘‘As a manufacturer, distributor or business owner signed up on Konga Bulk, you no longer have to worry about owning your own office or warehouse space. Nor do you have to bother about the heavy investment in logistics, delivery, payment solution, technology, marketing or activations.
“You can rely on Konga’s world class competencies and assets in these areas.

‘‘Businesses must find a way to rebound from the difficulties occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Konga Bulk, which is focused on ushering in the new normal, is one of the innovations we have come up with to provide a way out,’’ he concluded.

Konga Bulk goes live online at www.konga.com and offline in every Konga retail store nationwide on Monday, September 21, 2020.


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Access Bank Reaffirms Support for An Innovative, Smart Lagos State

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Mr. Herbert Wigwe, managing director and chief executive officer of Access Bank Plc, has said that Access Bank Plc will not relent in supporting innovative programmes aimed at transforming Lagos into a 21st century State driven by technology innovations.

Wigwe spoke yesterday during the finals of the Lagos State Smart Meter Hackathon design held at the Bank’s Corporate Headquarters in Lagos.

An initiative of the Lagos State Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, the Hackathon is aimed at providing affordable electricity meters to the populace by facilitating the design and production of meters that will accelerate efforts towards achieving improvement in energy distribution, monitoring and prevention of revenue leakage.

Wigwe who was represented by Mr Ade Bajomo, executive director, IT & Operations at Access Bank, said that supporting the Hackathon once more reinforces the Bank’s commitment to leveraging technology for the betterment of the society.

“Having Hackathon and innovative programmes like this, has always been part and parcel of our DNA in Access Bank. We are forever looking for new things to do to solve real problems in Africa and beyond; new things that would move the life of our people forward.

“We are always looking forward to doing things that would make more people financially independent, driving and enhancing the well-being of the entire society,” he said.

He noted that now the world is witnessing the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and there are Africans working with the rest of the world and using technology to solve the problems of the people.

Wigwe stressed that Access Bank does not exclude the rest of the world when it comes to using technology innovations to address the problems of the people.

“That is why this Hackathon is very important because it’s our people solving our problems and leveraging global solutions to finding our answers to our own problems.

“And that is why at the Africa Fintech Foundry (AFF), which Access Bank is promoting, we want to have more innovators and innovations that will help in transforming our society for the better,” he said.

The Access Bank boss stated that to see this Hackathon come to light shows the commitment of the Lagos State Government to not only the project, but to the actualization of a smart Lagos, where electricity is accessible and affordable.

He pledged Access Bank’s continued support to the Lagos State Government’s efforts at building a smart state.

Mr. Olalere Odusote, convener of the Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon and the State’s Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, said that there were very many talented people who applied for the Hackathon, noting that there were 65 submissions in all, out of which its panel of experts reduced the number to the five finalists that participated at the finals of the Hackathon.

“We had the hardware yesterday and we were very impressed with what we saw. We are expecting no less from the software side. We are going to get engaged, look at what they have to offer and then integrate it into our future.

“We are trying to solve our own problems by ourselves. This is just the start; it is not a one-off project. At the end of the event, we will take the product to our prototype mode; we will take the product to a commercial development process,” he said.

The Commissioner said they were not just doing the Hackathon for the sake of it but are looking for solutions that will contribute to making Lagos a 21st Century economy.

He thanked Access Bank for its generosity, support and partnership with the State government. He also thanked other partners for joining in the journey of making Lagos a great state.

Five contenders each emerged from both categories of the competition, and the two winners are expected to share the prize money of seven million naira.

Finalists were shortlisted after a transparent, rigorous and competitive process.

The Hackathon attracted 274 registrations or entries, 127 of which bid in hardware category, while 147 competed in software group.

The five software finalists for the Hackathon on Thursday were Magnitronics, Vectorians, Zeena Platform, Chosen Soft Tech and Gideon. 

It would be recall that during the launch of the programme on July 30th, 2020, the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu noted that the Smart Metre Hackathon Initiative marked a significant milestone in the implementation of the State Government’s plan towards improving access to electricity.

He said it aligned with the Sustainable Development Goal 7 of the United Nations, targeted at achieving universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all by 2030.

The Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon 2020 was convened by the Lagos State Ministry of Energy & Mineral Resources, curated by Eko Innovation Centre, and sponsored by Access Bank Plc, Egbin Power, and Ikeja Electric Distribution Company.

Other sponsors include Mojec International, Eko Electric Distribution Company, MOMAS Electricity Meters Manufacturing Company, ElSewedy Electric, Royal Power & Energy, Venture Garden Group, InfraCredit, and Axxela Limited.

They were supported by the Lagos State Office of Innovation and Technology, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA), Africa Fintech Foundry (AFF), Oracle, IBM, General Electric, Business Day and Accelerate TV.

The Grand Finale of the Hackathon holds on Friday, September 18, 2020 at Eko Innovation Centre, Ikoyi, Lagos.


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