As South Africa battles a fourth wave of Covid-19 infections, all eyes are on how businesses will stabilize the ship and continue to prepare for future shocks and disruptions. This, coupled with a global increase in cyber attacks, means that digital transformation and acceleration remains as relevant and important, if not more, than ever.
Lisa Strydom considers the digital transformation, the IT industry in general and the channel in South Africa. She examines the opportunities, where change and movement are likely to occur, and how partners can build successful long-term partnerships with clients. Lisa is particularly passionate about skills development.
Is it possible to have a sector conversation without talking about digital transformation or digital acceleration?
My question would be, why don’t you talk about digital transformation given what we’ve been through over the past 20 months and how the pandemic has affected our lives? Without the digital transformation and acceleration strategies, we would not have had the ability to access our data from anywhere. Organizations that were forward thinking and started the journey before Covid-19 turned our world upside down were well equipped when the pandemic struck. Their businesses were able to continue to be close to normal in a not-so-normal world.
We talk all the time about digital transformation in the industry, such strategies have gone from a two-year strategy to a two-month reality due to the pandemic. When we talk to our clients, it’s about making their business sustainable, allowing them to be more strategic (this frees them up time) instead of constantly fighting operational battles and being reactive. This is not possible if they are only running legacy systems. Instead, businesses should look for platform-independent Opex solutions that give them the freedom to choose over cloud and native platforms for them, while helping them support pockets of still infrastructure. on physical or legacy environments. Another priority is protection against ransomware, which today constitutes a major threat to any organization. We have seen a significant increase in threats to various types of organizations, and anyone can be a target. .
What do you think 2022 and beyond have in store for your channel?
The future of IT is always exciting as this industry relies on constant and rapid change. I foresee a brighter future for the chain as customers have settled in and found their goal – they know what they need to accomplish internally. They are also aware that the pandemic cannot stop our lives from moving forward and that business ventures must move forward.
In addition, for clients who adopt a digital transformation strategy, it means that our partners must be there to support these initiatives and with that, understand how and what it means for their clients.
The way we work has changed and ransomware attacks are at an all time high. Protecting customer data is of the utmost importance, so these kinds of initiatives need to be supported by the channel.
Finally, customers are made aware of the POPI law, so compliance is of the utmost importance. How they manage their data, as well as their customers’ data, is of paramount importance – and regulatory.
If you could give your channel one tip right now, what would it be?
As with customers, our partners need to prepare for the future, so it’s important that they understand what the future IT landscape will look like, what their customers should see as strategic initiatives, and then make sure they are able to support and implement them. their customers.
Partners must adopt hybrid cloud initiatives to know how to support their customers in this space at the consulting and technical level. Customers want partners with the skills to effectively support them and support them in their choices of where they want to keep their data (i.e. where it resides, on what, etc.). Veeam wants our partners to be trained and ready to market these exciting new offerings with us, working with our industry alliance partners.
What advice would you give to someone new to IT today?
First, my post would be if you have an interest, take it. IT is the future and can open countless opportunities if you have the motivation and dedication.
Schools are starting to offer more computer science in their curricula, but it is not available for everyone for free. If you are lucky enough to have access to these offers in school, consider adopting them as a way to invest in your future.
Nowadays we have a lot of information at our fingertips that we can also use for education. Apps like Udemy or LinkedIn offer reasonable or free online empowerment, which is a great way to educate yourself.
Also spend time reading what is going on in business, in IT in general, in the local and global economy. This will allow you to build a perspective on the types of skills in high demand.
As a chain manager for SA, what is the biggest change you would like to see?
I would like to see more investment in education in the computer industry, coming from collaboration between government and the private sector. We need more initiatives to tackle the skills shortage, made worse by the brain drain.
Who are you? Your hobbies and passion?
I am a wife, a mom and a mountain bike enthusiast. Family means everything to me and having a work-life balance is extremely important. Mountain biking is my stress reliever.
What’s the coolest thing about South Africa?
The beauty of our country. We are fortunate to have wonderful weather most of the year and to be surrounded by breathtaking scenery, abundant wildlife and majestic oceans.