As South African enterprises grapple with the changes presented by the big four disruptive technologies, one of the most pressing issues emerging locally is how to monetise business data, and how to keep it secure.

Hannes van Vuuren, director: Software Group at IBM South Africa, comments: “Data is becoming the basis of competitive advantage, so using it well and securing it are now of critical importance. Most local enterprises know this, but
many are falling behind in optimising the value of their data because they simply don’t know where to start.

“IBM has identified cloud computing, big data and analytics, mobility and social as the major change-drivers for enterprises in the next 12 month time frame and beyond,” he says.

“Locally, enterprises are well aware of these trends and we see various levels of adoption and maturity among our South African customers.

“However, many are still challenged in implementing solutions that deliver measurable business benefits. In addition to questions about how to embrace these trends to improve business, we see two common concerns across all verticals and all sizes of enterprise in South Africa: how to use data for business benefit, and how to secure the enterprise and its data in an age of increasing risk.”

As local enterprises face increasing competition and the need to find a strong business case for new IT spend, they are also being challenged by the fact that control of IT has moved beyond just the IT department and across the enterprise.

“Now, IT must demonstrate real business value. Management plays a role in IT decision-making; while the CIO plays a greater role in strategic business,” says Van Vuuren. With the lines between IT and business blurring, the focus for the entire enterprise is to embrace the new technologies and using them to innovate, for better business results.

“Globally, we are seeing enterprises across all verticals using the power of big data to deliver significant bottom line benefits. The scope for innovation is immense. Locally the same opportunities exist but enterprises need to make that first step, enabling them to make the most of their existing infrastructure, and innovating on the back of new technologies.

“These major changes in the IT landscape and our client’s needs to leverage them , mean we are keenly helping our clients the four major pillars of big data in the smart future. And our security brand addresses security across all four pillars.” says Van Vuuren.