Lorreta Songola, Liquid Intelligent Technologies, Chief Business Officer for the Southern African Region writes about the intersection of technology, security and society as a catalyst for building a more resilient economy.
As a driver of disruption, the COVID-19 crisis upended our lives almost bringing the entire world to a standstill. As this disruption and transformation continues, Cyber Resilience and Security have emerged to be the key investment areas for organisations and this is further reaffirmed by the fact that the Government of Zimbabwe is soon to implement its ‘Cyber Security and Data Protection Bill’, which seeks to improve digital systems in all spheres for a stronger and digitally resilient Zimbabwe.
So where is the future headed for Zimbabwe with the intersection of technology, security and society?
ECO-SYSTEM THINKING – PATH FOR ZIMBABWE’S DIGITAL FUTURE
As one of the key technology players in the country, Liquid Intelligent Technologies has come a long way having transformed into a one-stop technology group. Today, we offer our customers intelligent services such as Cloud, IoT, Cyber Security, Digital Infrastructure to name a few. Our mission has always been to put Africa on the global map of connectivity and technology, for example we are the only independent service provider with more than 100,000 km backbone on the continent. Even before the pandemic, the organisation had already started selling cloud services to its customers, the pandemic just helped us reaffirm what we had already been saying to our customers: ‘Africa’s future is digital, and we are here to partner on your digital transformation journeys’. Our investments and strategic partnerships with hyper-scalers like Microsoft have fortified our digital offering portfolio allowing us to provide world-class solutions to our customers.
A CONNECTED WORLD – INCREASED CONNECTIVITY COMES WITH INCREASED COMPLEXITY
The six degrees of separation is more real today, than ever before, with technology enabling us to meet and interact with each other virtually, opening avenues and opportunities for better collaboration. The term ‘IoT’ or ‘Internet of Things’ largely signifies devices that wouldn’t typically be expected to be connected to the internet and communicate without human intervention. For example, the motion sensor bulbs lighting up as soon as there is movement. Businesses have immensely benefitted from IoT empowering them to connect different functional units like a large jigsaw puzzle, allowing seamless integration of data and information. Just like the puzzle pieces, more devices that are connected, allow for better understanding resulting in improved ability to make informed decisions. Likewise, we create tailor-made platforms for our clients who want to benefit from using IoT devices and services. Our solutions are catered in a manner that enhance innovative connectivity and upsurge productivity.
THE CLOUD CULTURE – ANYWHERE AND EVERYWHERE
Large amounts of data are created by humans, edge, IOT devices and machines every day. The only platform that can store such huge amounts of data is the Cloud. However, businesses on the continent are only now beginning to take advantage of this technology. With the cloud, not only can firms avoid the upfront cost and complexity of owning and maintaining their own IT infrastructure, and instead simply pay for what they use, when they use it but they can also integrate a myriad of benefits such as efficient remote working, disaster recovery, data backup as well as advanced security solutions.
NEW SOLUTIONS FOR NEW CHALLENGES
Our strategic partnership with Microsoft has allowed us to introduce a variety of cloud-based solutions in the market such as the Microsoft 365 which is an integrated solution that brings together the productivity of Office 365 business apps, intelligent cloud services, and advanced security. Through our Cyber Security research for 2021, we found out that 48% partakers reported data loss and recovery to be amongst the top three concerns whilst using Cloud-based services; whereas 43% highlighted managing user access to information as an issue.
Cloud-integration can seem like a daunting task for and especially so for SMEs, it is for this reason that we partner with companies on each and every step of this transition to make it a smooth and beneficial journey. Some of our solutions such as the Microsoft Defender for Office 365 covers spam, phishing and malware protection for users on the cloud whereas Microsoft Defender for Endpoints provides endpoint device protection (Antivirus). And, finally our back-up service compresses, encrypts and saves the data in an organisation’s secure cloud.
As we work collectively towards building this digital eco-system, securing it should come as a shared responsibility for the state, organisations and individuals. As the famous African proverb goes: ‘If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together. And, Zimbabwe needs to go far, so we completely believe in partnerships to ensure success.