IBM a well-known computing brand recently held a technology road show at a local hotel where it announced its strong interests of not only doing business in Zimbabwe but having its official offices returning back to Zimbabwe years after it had packed up.
This has been necessitated by serious potential which Zimbabwe poses not only to the local community but internationally too.
This happens on the background of International recognition which Zimbabwe got from International Telecommunication Union (I.T.U) as the world`s second fastest ICT developing country.
IBM regional representative Mr Francis Mateyo-Makayi said “ For the past years we have been closely working with our Business Partners and official distributors to push our business in Zimbabwe and we are impressed by the serious opportunities presented by here and have seriously considered coming back to Zimbabwe”
Mr Mateyo said after due consideration with the IBM executives a due notice will soon be issued on the actual dates when such a move would be initiated.
To most people especially in Zimbabwe , IBM is just a company that sells desktop computers, but after the technology road-show which availed the full powerhouse of the computing giant, there is a lot to learn and share about the company which has been in the business for more than 100 years now.
IBM is not just a computer hardware company, there is more to the computing giant which has been in the industry for a century now. IBM is also a solution provider company for end to end, support and maintenance.
“This falls under our Global Business Solution where we technically advice the client for the best package for their requirements from the hardware servers, storage solution, desktop or the best customer related system they should be setting up.
Another vital organ is our IGF, which is the IBM Global Finance. This is the solution for big deal which some governments may not be able to finance, this goes to our financial partner. We are basically the IBM bank for government and large corporates when they want to buy without enough funds” said Francis.
IBM`s research arm has been instrumental worldwide for making predictions and assessments about emerging technologies that will change our lives over the next five years with a very high accuracy rate.
IBM thinks that in the next 5 years, “we’ll be able to touch things and feel their virtual surfaces through our devices; get diet help from digital taste buds; give our computers their own sense of smell; and get new help in the sight and hearing departments as well. Collectively”, IBM calls it cognitive computing
The IBM representative said most of their clients are in the banking sectors, government, mining and large corporates. This is where the IBM trademark has made a serious imprint.
When asked why the IBM laptops are virtually disappearing from the market, he said that their laptop brand is now being sold under the Lenovo trademark a deal that saw IBM moving out of the laptop business.
On the same event, IBM was unveiling a stream of its state of the art trademarks from high end servers, storage racks, super computers and cloud based services.
The road show was attended by a number of organisations, from the public and private sector, individuals and the academia who witnessed the new innovations being unveiled.
Mr Francis Mateyo also affirmed that during his past experience in the African region, Zimbabwe scoops a first in terms of real technology implementation and the general understanding of technologies by most Zimbabwean IT Managers is averagely high and well-polished compared to other regional neighbouring countries.
During an interview on constantly updating hardware and infrastructure the IBM representative, said it is of paramount importance that heads constantly update and upgrade their infrastructure to make tasks easier and aids efficiency.
He was however quick to say issues of upgrading or replacing old systems should not be done as a culture but rather when the circumstances demand so.
“I know of some entities who are running old servers but because their data requirements and network capabilities are not demanding, it does not make sense to advocate for new hardware for them in the name of catching up, needs will differ ”
This is however contradicted by most IT heads not in Zimbabwe only but due to financial constraints and uninformed heads of departments, some organisations are still going at a snail pace productivity rate due to old computers and servers which the powers be are not willing or capable to change hampering production and directly also affecting the entity`s profit margin.
Issues of hardware security and back up were perfectly dealt with too. A good example was raised when the IBM head asked what happens to the national data if there is an accidental fire which quickly blazes down the Zimra head offices.
“Do we lose all the data, what kind of back up is being done there, even if it was on other storage media devices a strong fire will leave everything to ashes? Suppose they had another back up office just close by is it good enough against natural disasters like earthquakes or floods?” he asked
The possibility of such disaster should make our IT heads much more proactive and reinforce the need to protect assets in an increasingly connected world. Options like cloud based storage which is basically backing up data on the internet should be seriously considered without compromise.
Because it is unrealistic to avoid new connection-enabling technologies, business executives can address emerging security risks by building a proactive security intelligence capability; developing a unified view of all endpoints, including mobile devices, protecting information assets at the database level and creating safer social habits too.
Using trusted and tried brands saves the decision makers from the selection head aches and possible brand associated risks.
While wrapping up the interview, Mr Francis Mateyo-Makayi said he was so confident of the IBM brand that in their century years of trade “ Not a single IT head was ever fired for buying an IBM product”