Following a tumultuous 2020, CIOs are likely to face a tough, albeit slightly more predicable 2021.
While COVID-19 forced countries and industries into prolonged lockdowns, the African IT industry played a significant role in ensuring much-needed resilience and continuity. A renewed focus on stability and continuity will be crucial in the coming months as FinTech companies remain paramount in facilitating transactions that support essential economic activities.
2021 will undoubtedly test IT leadership in transforming remote working into a sustainable practice.
Last year, some organisations experienced challenges with employees and managers struggling to adjust to collaborating and supervising virtually. With remote working likely to continue for some time, finding the right tools to ensure employees remain engaged under the circumstances is necessary. Virtual task-managers and performance management solutions are justifiably top-of-mind.
With the move to remote working, the threat landscape has undoubtedly evolved, and while CIOs need to enable productivity, they cannot let their guard down on IT security.
In the information security chain, humans are the weakest link. Technologies that assist CIOs and CISOs to enable a productive workforce securely will make a significant impact in the coming year.
As technology leaders turn to technology to define and secure new virtual offices, insider threat and automated endpoint detection tools are becoming helpful. Using automated endpoint detection and resolution tools helps identify vulnerabilities and allows leaders to respond to those vulnerabilities without direct oversight. Besides, insider threat detection tools and procedures will take centre stage in enabling automated detection and alerts against anomalous behaviours.
The protection of company and client data will remain in the spotlight as critical sections of the Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act come into effect in South Africa on 1 July 2021.CIOs should pay particular attention to technologies that assist their organisations with compliance. Data entry
ption, data access management, audit & monitoring, and data accuracy technologies are essential solutions to assess and consider.
We also expect the shift towards cloud-based technologies that solved some of the challenges faced in 2020 to accelerate as the year progresses. These technologies are cost-effective, scalable, and quicker to implement than traditional on-premises solutions with the added convenience of accessibility.
Another factor CIOs on the continent should keep an eye on is the reported rollout of the African Union (AU) passport and its changes to the business environment. COVID-19 sparked an African Tech Revolution, can an AU passport unite the continent and support economic growth in the 4IR for African organisations?
- Fikile Sibiya is CIO of e4