Security: uncertainty in digital transformation

The wider movement towards digital transformation, and all of the component parts, provides significant sales opportunities for most of the channel. Digital transformation also moves forward organisations by infusing and integrating technology across more business processes, with the theory it makes them more efficient, agile and profitable. Every organisation is different, and so too is their digital transformation journey. However, the one certainty of this increased digital estate is that the potential attack areas for cyber criminals have also increased.

Cyber security is one area of concern that’s obviously not going away. You only need to look back at the past two to three years of news headlines and you’ll see that the number of high-profile companies that have fallen foul of hacks continues to grow at a frightening pace – from the old-fashioned bricks and mortar companies like Marriott hotels and Liberty, through to the tech and digital players that you’d imagine had the best cyber security available, such as Apple and Facebook.

In this edition of The Margin, our main theme is around cyber security, as it’s an area that will only continue to grow in demand, and offer potential opportunities for the channel.
The subject under investigation in our analysis piece in this edition is also something that the channel needs to keep an eye on. We look at the ongoing trade wars between the US and China. Both ZTE and Huawei have suffered in different ways thanks to the administration of US president Donald Trump. And then there’s Kaspersky Labs, which was subject to a ban of its solutions being used on US government equipment, thanks to its actions in Ukraine and rising paranoia about interference from Russia in US political issues. While there’s some interest locally about how this escalates, we need to consider how much any of this might affect us in South Africa. Can we expect any local clients to start following suit and making decisions based on their connection to a particular nation state?

Another topical issue is the ability of the channel to deal with shortages, which will continue to remain in focus as Intel struggles to supply sufficient 14nm and 10nm CPUs for entry-level PCs into 2019. We’ve seen it before with GPU shortages last year when crypto miners started buying up the components, leaving gamers frustrated with the lack of stock available, and pushing prices up. Of course, with the CPU market, there are more competitors so this opens up opportunity for other CPU players.

There are some other great stories in these pages, including a look at IoT and blockchain and its impact on the logistical side of the channel. And because it seems no issue of The Margin would be complete without dipping into the impact of the cloud, we also look at the market for selling servers in the cloud era, what serverless is all about and our roundtable focuses on Software-as-a-Service.

My final note here is literally my final note here, as the time has come for me to hand over the reins of the publication to our online editor Matthew Burbidge. I’ve been involved with The Margin since inception in 2012, and  it’s a publication I’ve got great affection for and had great fun working on, because the channel is such a fascinating area and one I’ve thoroughly enjoyed digging into. I‘m sure I’ll still be working on some stories for The Margin, and Matthew will continue to bring you topclass, relevant stories. In closing, I’d like to wish each and every one of you a happy and prosperous new year.

Happy reading


Adrian Hinchcliffe


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