Symantec has begun the first leg of its CIO Africa Round Table tour in Lagos recently, hosting a meeting with chief information officers from government and the private sector.

“Understanding and Managing the Art of Complex Environments” was the topic of discussion, which examined the role of standardisation and optimisation in improving IT availability and performance.
“Symantec's State of the Data Centre Report, conducted in April 2007, found an increase in data centre complexity,” says Patrick Evans, South African MD of Symantec. “This is particularly true in the data intensive environments common to telecommunications and financial services.
"Businesses in these sectors can decrease data centre and IT infrastructure complexity by standardising their software and optimising their IT infrastructure. This ensures the availability of information while securing sensitive data and providing business continuity. These are critical factors for those companies wishing to effectively manage organisational risk and comply with corporate governance best practices.”
With two platinum partners in Nigeria, Global InfoSwift and Dimension Data, and a list of clients including MTN and Celtel, Symantec is the fourth largest independent software company in the world, and a global leader in business risk and IT infrastructure management.
According to Evans, business leaders in financial services and the telecommunications sectors in particular are recognising the value of IT solutions that focus not only on antivirus and intrusion detection and prevention software, but also risk management and the standardisation and optimisation of infrastructure.
“Nigeria counts for some 40 percent of Africa’s direct foreign investment,” he says. “There is no doubt that IT infrastructure is a key element of good corporate governance; CIOs are being asked by business how IT can help companies achieve greater levels of transparency and accuracy of reporting, while securing the data environment and ensuring business continuity.  For this reason Symantec has met with IT leaders to explore these challenges."
Through its consulting and services division, Symantec is able to assist Nigerian business leaders in developing infrastructure and risk management policies – another vital element in adhering to corporate governance best practices. These policies also allow companies to decrease the costs and complexity inherent to managing large IT environments, enhancing performance and reducing risk.
“Symantec is one of the world leaders in delivering this manner of business solution and is a leading global company at managing IT infrastructure. This is due to the company's ability to deliver global best practices gained from its experience in major international markets,” Evans adds.