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Failure to address IT issues could hamper growth

July 10, 2014 • Opinion

Johnny Karam Vice President MEA Citrix1

Johnny Karam, Regional Vice President, Middle East and Africa, Citrix.

A recent local study by Citrix reveals that South Africa’s IT sector is at a crossroads – one complicated by skills and integration conundrums, compounded by the constantly changing role of IT.

Citrix spoke to CIOs and CTOs at major South African businesses about the things that keep them awake at night. The apparent lack of IT skills across the country – in particular the skills required to support and maintain emerging technologies such as virtualisation, networking and cloud services – is a pressing issue that has to be addressed quickly. Failure to do so will effectively jeopardise the country’s ability to innovate, grow and emerge as a flourishing centre of business. Choosing the right path is key.

“In short, South Africa is at a technological crossroads. Connectivity is improving, and consumer devices are infiltrating the enterprise. Things are changing for the better,” commented Johnny Karam, Regional Vice President, Middle East and Africa, Citrix. “The report insight, above all else, demonstrates a dedicated, talented cross section of senior IT decision-makers conscious of the desire to innovate and excel, as South Africa continues to evolve and transform into a hub integral to the advancement of Africa.”

Key findings from the report include:

A lack of skills set to jeopardise the South African IT industry

- The report reveals a stark warning from the IT community – South African IT professionals run the risk of being superseded unless they “skill up” fast

- Respondents indicated that the government has to take responsibility for introducing a new generation of IT professionals

The cloud conundrum

- Cloud computing is no longer just hype

- 70 per cent of businesses interviewed are trialling cloud technologies

- 50 per cent of respondents reluctant to move services to the cloud

- Data security is the biggest hurdle to cloud adoption

Bring your own… everything

- 60 per cent of the interviewees are experiencing BYOD within their organisations at present

- None have a formal policy for managing its adoption

- Security and compliance issues prevail, despite plethora of secure solutions available

Citrix conducted a series of qualitative face-to-face interviews with some of the country’s top industry leaders. The CIOs and CTOs represented nine different industry sectors which included healthcare, financial services, security, consulting, public services, property, aviation, transport and banking and with a user base ranging from 250 to over 100,000. Some of the key participants represented companies such as Growth Point, McKinsey, Altron and Eskom.

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