There has been a significant adoption and growth of cloud computing in Botswana and the world at large. This adoption is embraced by all business sectors from Small and Medium Enterprises to giants of the industry.
According to Doherty and Conway (2014) in their research titled “The adoption of cloud computing by Irish SMES – an exploratory study” they advise that cloud technology market has been estimated to significantly grow in the next coming years with financial growth projection of up to $241 billion by 2020. This market growth findings concurs with other IT research institutes such as the Gartner and the 451 group.
Each organization has different reasons for this adoption ranging from the perceived cost reduction, speed to market, workers mobility, consolidation, business continuity and outsourcing of services just to name a few. In order to effectively and efficiently adopt cloud services each organization needs to access its readiness. Before progressing any further into the organizational assessment needs and how to prepare for the cloud adoption we need to touch base on the services offered on this magnificent technology. We have two main types or options of the cloud, being public and private cloud.
Private cloud is built exclusively for an individual organization and remains in the control of that organization while the public clouds is owned and operated by cloud service providers mainly outside the premises of the organization with less or no control of the individual or organization. Organizations using public cloud share the resources (servers, storage, applications etc.) with others while private cloud resources are dedicated to individual organizations.
Notwithstanding this, private cloud services might be offered centrally in the organization’s premises or they may be externally hosted. Adoption of either of the two is always driven by different reasons ranging from security to cost considerations and business continuity as mentioned earlier. Most organizations prefer the private cloud approach built centrally on their premises be it in-country or regionally with some organizations deploying a hybrid of the two. Both private and public cloud offer three main services, Platform-as-a-service (PaaS), Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), and Software-as-service (SaaS).
PaaS refers to the cloud service provider rendering rented service platform that encompasses both hardware and software tools mostly to aid the needs of developing and hosting application. As for the IaaS, only the infrastructure equipment or hardware is rented and hosted from cloud service providers and organizations application installed and hosted in them. For the SaaS, the software or applications are rented or licensed on pay per use basis and these are centrally hosted in the public or private cloud.
In an article that appeared in the press last week the decision points in adoption of the cloud technology was advised with focus placed on the organizational readiness and its environment as well as the role of Information Technology Department in this transition. Change is inevitable and it invariably presents challenges and opportunities. The IT Department must transform its role in line with the trending cloud technology and its development in order to remain relevant in a fast changing IT environment.
It is incumbent upon each IT professional to keep abreast with the ever changing technology if they are to remain relevant. These ethos are inherent to the professional code of conduct of IT practitioners and professionals as technological change in IT is constantly and rapidly evolving. It is a fallacy that an increasing number of organizations believe that the more they outsource their IT services or adopt cloud technologies the less they will be dependent on the enterprise of an IT Department. Many practitioners have been laid off at the behest of these misconceptions. However contrary to this believe more specialized roles and realignment is required with more emphasis on the security and governance. The role of the IT Department in this realignment can never be underestimated.
From a legislative point of view, Botswana has progressed significantly well in aligning its laws to the changing technology as evidenced by the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act, Cybercrime and Computer Related Act as well as the Electronic Records (Evidence) Act. The Electronic Communications and Transactions Act recognizes and validates electronic commercial transactions, while the Electronic Records (Evidence) Act recognizes and regulates electronic evidence and the Cybercrime and Computer Related Crimes deals specifically with crime related to the misuse of technology and its use outside the precincts of the law.
Botswana is part of the global community and must continuously work towards being at par with developments in the rest of the world. Technological issues are not peculiar to individual countries and it is imperative that Botswana’s IT legal framework must be aligned to those of the rest of the world to ensure that it remains relevant and fit for purpose.
Just this week we woke up to news that UK has committed £1.9 Billion to National Cyber Security Strategy for the next five years. Such huge expenditure is disproportionate to what Botswana spends in such matters and indicative of the massive spadework we still have to put in to raise our bar as a country. In short, companies have their work cut out for them to develop their policies, procedures and standards with regard to cloud adoption. These must be advised by the organizational strategy and the legislative framework for IT services.
The Head of Information Technology sometimes regarded as the Chief Information Officer should be at the forefront of emerging trends in cloud computing and advocating for the development of these policies and procedures as well as soliciting buy-in from other executives to ensure full implementation of these within an organization.
Cloud technology and other agile technology changes have changed the roles and duties of IT personnel significantly therefore individuals working in this department must be alive to the evolving terrain in the sector and continuously upskill themselves to remain relevant. Changes in this sector are rapid and gone are the days where one could assume they are a guru in this or that application.
Gone too are the days where one considered themselves the know-it-all wise guy in the field who impeded any change that threatened to displace him or her from their comfort zone. In a rapidly changing world, IT professionals must adapt or either swim or sink. IT practitioners must assume their rightful role at the forefront of technological change as facilitators of new technologies such as cloud computing. Failure to do so renders them redundant.
Word of advice to IT practitioners is that it is entirely upon them to remain relevant in their chosen professional field, transform from being just a support personnel to being a business enabler. The IT practitioner’s role is transitioning to security and governance role where once services are outsourced or hosted on a cloud somewhere else, they need to periodically review security compliance, Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) and system logs in addition to their daily duties of ensuring there is no breach.
The IT practitioner’s role now requires them to protect the company’s most sort after assert being data. According to an IBM-sponsored study by the Ponemon Institute average cost of a data breach to companies has risen to $4 Million in recent times highlighting the importance of bridging this loophole. As custodians of data, it is the IT practitioner’s role to plug this gap as studies show that very few companies or organizations survive after these breaches and should such a scenario arise, it is the IT practitioner who is liable.
In conclusion I would like to state that cloud innovation is here, are you ready? Please also know that adoption of cloud technology is not an individual decision but an organizational one. It is important for organisations to develop policies, standards, procedures and strategies for this adoption. Once these are in place the organization can successfully implement and reap the fruits of the cloud.
At Botswana Innovation Hub we advocate for the adoption of technologies that improve output and enhance the quality of life and as a parting shot I would like to once again say, cloud innovation is here, are you ready? This is synonymous with our motto at Botswana Innovation Hub, Innovation is here….. Come and join us.
Seventy-seven years ago, on the evening of December 2, 1943, the Germans launched a surprise air raid on allied shipping in the Italian port of Bari, which was then the key supply centre for the British 8th army’s advance in Italy.
The attack was spearheaded by 105 Junkers JU88 bombers under the overall command of the infamous Air Marshal Wolfram von Richthofen (who had initially achieved international notoriety during the Spanish Civil War for his aerial bombardment of Guernica). In a little over an hour the German aircraft succeeded in sinking 28 transport and cargo ships, while further inflicting massive damage to the harbour’s facilities, resulting in the port being effectively put out of action for two months.
Over two thousand ground personnel were killed during the raid, with the release of a secret supply of mustard gas aboard one of the destroyed ships contributing to the death toll, as well as subsequent military and civilian casualties. The extent of the later is a controversy due to the fact that the American and British governments subsequently covered up the presence of the gas for decades.
At least five Batswana were killed and seven critically wounded during the raid, with one of the wounded being miraculously rescued floating unconscious out to sea with a head wound. He had been given up for dead when he returned to his unit fourteen days later. The fatalities and casualties all occurred when the enemy hit an ammunition ship adjacent to where 24 Batswana members of the African Pioneer Corps (APC) 1979 Smoke Company where posted.
Thereafter, the dozen surviving members of the unit distinguished themselves for their efficiency in putting up and maintaining smokescreens in their sector, which was credited with saving additional shipping. For his personal heroism in rallying his men following the initial explosions Company Corporal Chitu Bakombi was awarded the British Empire Medal, while his superior officer, Lieutenant N.F. Moor was later given an M.B.E.
Remember: bricks and cement are used to build a house, but mutual love, respect and companionship are used to build a HOME. And amongst His signs is this: He creates for you mates out of your own kind, so that you may find contentment (Sukoon) with them, and He engenders love and tenderness between you; in this behold, there are signs (messages) indeed for people who reflect and think (Quran 30:21).
This verse talks about contentment; this implies companionship, of their being together, sharing together, supporting one another and creating a home of peace. This verse also talks about love between them; this love is both physical and emotional. For love to exist it must be built on the foundation of a mutually supportive relationship guided by respect and tenderness. As the Quran says; ‘they are like garments for you, and you are garments for them (Quran 2:187)’. That means spouses should provide each other with comfort, intimacy and protection just as clothing protects, warms and dignifies the body.
In Islam marriage is considered an ‘ibaadah’, (an act of pleasing Allah) because it is about a commitment made to each other, that is built on mutual love, interdependence, integrity, trust, respect, companionship and harmony towards each other. It is about building of a home on an Islamic foundation in which peace and tranquillity reigns wherein your offspring are raised in an atmosphere conducive to a moral and upright upbringing so that when we all stand before Him (Allah) on that Promised Day, He will be pleased with them all.
Most marriages start out with great hopes and rosy dreams; spouses are truly committed to making their marriages work. However, as the pressures of life mount, many marriages change over time and it is quite common for some of them to run into problems and start to flounder as the reality of living with a spouse that does not meet with one’s pre-conceived ‘expectations’. However, with hard work and dedication, couples can keep their marriages strong and enjoyable. How is it done? What does it take to create a long-lasting, satisfying marriage?
Below are some of the points that have been taken from a marriage guidance article I read recently and adapted for this purposes.
POSITIVITY Spouses should have far more positive than negative interactions. If there is too much negativity — criticizing, demanding, name-calling, holding grudges, etc. — the relationship will suffer. However, if there is never any negativity, it probably means that frustrations and grievances are not getting ‘air time’ and unresolved tension is accumulating inside one or both partners waiting to ‘explode’ one day.
“Let not some men among you laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor let some women laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames.” (49:11)
We all have our individual faults though we may not see them nor want to admit to them but we will easily identify them in others. The key is balance between the two extremes and being supportive of one another. To foster positivity in a marriage that help make them stable and happy, being affectionate, truly listening to each other, taking joy in each other’s achievements and being playful are just a few examples of positive interactions. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “The believers who show the most perfect faith are those who have the best character and the best of you are those who are best to their wives”
Another characteristic of happy marriages is empathy; understanding your spouses’ perspective by putting oneself in his or her shoes. By showing that understanding and identifying with your spouse is important for relationship satisfaction. Spouses are more likely to feel good about their marriage and if their partner expresses empathy towards them. Husbands and wives are more content in their relationships when they feel that their partners understand their thoughts and feelings.
Successful married couples grow with each other; it simply isn’t wise to put any person in charge of your happiness. You must be happy with yourself before anyone else can be. You are responsible for your actions, your attitudes and your happiness. Your spouse just enhances those things in your life. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers.”
Successful marriages involve both spouses’ commitment to the relationship. The married couple should learn the art of compromise and this usually takes years. The largest parts of compromise are openness to the other’s point of view and good communication when differences arise.
When two people are truly dedicated to making their marriage work, despite the unavoidable challenges and obstacles that come, they are much more likely to have a relationship that lasts. Husbands and wives who only focus on themselves and their own desires are not as likely to find joy and satisfaction in their relationships.
Another basic need in a relationship is each partner wants to feel valued and respected. When people feel that their spouses truly accept them for who they are, they are usually more secure and confident in their relationships. Often, there is conflict in marriage because partners cannot accept the individual preferences of their spouses and try to demand change from one another. When one person tries to force change from another, he or she is usually met with resistance.
However, change is much more likely to occur when spouses respect differences and accept each other unconditionally. Basic acceptance is vital to a happy marriage. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “It is the generous (in character) who is good to women, and it is the wicked who insults them.” “Overlook (any human faults) with gracious forgiveness.” (Quran 15:85)
COMPASSION, MUTUAL LOVE AND RESPECT
Other important components of successful marriages are love, compassion and respect for each other. The fact is, as time passes and life becomes increasingly complicated, the marriage is often stressed and suffers as a result. A happy and successful marriage is based on equality. When one or the other dominates strongly, intimacy is replaced by fear of displeasing.
It is all too easy for spouses to lose touch with each other and neglect the love and romance that once came so easily. It is vital that husbands and wives continue to cultivate love and respect for each other throughout their lives. If they do, it is highly likely that their relationships will remain happy and satisfying. Move beyond the fantasy and unrealistic expectations and realize that marriage is about making a conscious choice to love and care for your spouse-even when you do not feel like it.
Seldom can one love someone for whom we have no respect. This also means that we have to learn to overlook and forgive the mistakes of one’s partner. In other words write the good about your partner in stone and the bad in dust, so that when the wind comes it blows away the bad and only the good remains.
Paramount of all, marriage must be based on the teachings of the Noble Qur’an and the teachings and guidance of our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). To grow spiritually in your marriage requires that you learn to be less selfish and more loving, even during times of conflict. A marriage needs love, support, tolerance, honesty, respect, humility, realistic expectations and a sense of humour to be successful.
The past week or two has been a mixed grill of briefs in so far as the national employment picture is concerned. BDC just injected a further P64 million in Kromberg & Schubert, the automotive cable manufacturer and exporter, to help keep it afloat in the face of the COVID-19-engendered global economic apocalypse. The financial lifeline, which follows an earlier P36 million way back in 2017, hopefully guarantees the jobs of 2500, maybe for another year or two.
It was also reported that a bulb manufacturing company, which is two years old and is youth-led, is making waves in Selibe Phikwe. Called Bulb Word, it is the only bulb manufacturing operation in Botswana and employs 60 people. The figure is not insignificant in a town that had 5000 jobs offloaded in one fell swoop when BCL closed shop in 2016 under seemingly contrived circumstances, so that as I write, two or three buyers have submitted bids to acquire and exhume it from its stage-managed grave.