JUST 29 percent of data centre user decision-makers say their current facilities are meeting their needs, and just 6 percent say their data centres are updated ahead of their needs.

These are among the findings included in a new report from Forbes Insights and Vertiv.

The Modern Data Centre: How IT is Adapting to New Technologies and Hyperconnectivity examines the results of a survey of 150 data centre executives and engineers from various industries around the world. 

The survey results indicate a troubling lack of planning and preparation for today’s evolving data ecosystem. A closer examination of the results reveals a stark contrast between executives and engineers: 11 percent of executives say their data centers are updated ahead of current needs while just 1 percent of engineers say the same.

“As today’s data centre evolves to incorporate enterprise, cloud and edge resources, thorough planning and foresight is needed to meet organisational computing requirements and business objectives,” Vertiv Global Edge Systems vice president, Martin Olsen said.

“It is clear, however, that many organisations are lagging on that front. With that in mind, we anticipate considerable investment and activity among businesses trying to catch up and get ahead of the changes.”

Tony Gaunt, senior director for cloud, hyperscale and colocation at Vertiv in Asia and India said, "In Asia, we are seeing growing interest and attention among organisations in future-proofing their critical infrastructure to adapt to the expanding connectivity and network requirements.

"But there is much work that still needs to be done. There is a need to re-examine existing strategies and continuously improve upon them to achieve business success."

Other notable results from the survey included: 

  • 92 percent of CIOs and CTOs say their business will require faster download and response times in the near future.
  • 63 percent say they have difficulty meeting bandwidth needs at all times.
  • Security (45%) and bandwidth (43%) are the two areas most in need of upgrades.
  • Security (43%), backup and emergency preparedness (33%), the ability to implement new technologies (28%) and bandwidth (27%) were the most commonly identified features that will give businesses a competitive advantage.
  • Respondents are bullish on self-configuring and self-healing data centers. 24% said more than half of their data centers will be self-configuring by 2025, and 32% said more than half would be self-healing.

www.vertiv.com

ends

WORLD-RENOWNED global futurist, Roey Tzezana, will today speak at QODE, a Brisbane-based virtual  conference broadcast on YouTube, discussing the impact of coronavirus on the world.

Dr Tzezana is a futurist and foresight expert who lives in the United States. He uses data to predict global events and has appeared on radio and television networks around the world discussing the future of technology and society.

Dr Tzezana will be conducting a keynote presentation at the virtual QODE Brisbane conference titled Global Impact of Coronavirus which will be streamed live on YouTube. 

With physical gatherings now banned in Australia, the organisers behind a Brisbane technology conference partnered with YouTube to stream the conference live, and in what’s believed to be an Australian-first, attendees will be able to visit exhibitor booths using virtual reality.

With more than 4000 people having been expected to attend the conference yesterday and today, QODE Brisbane was quick to team up with the world’s best-known video site, taking the event to the global stage.

QODE’s focus is the future of technology, and chief QODE officer Jackie Taranto said they’ve also teamed up with a Brisbane VR company, Visitor Vision, to offer a new way for people to view the conference exhibits.

“One of the key reasons people attend conferences is to visit the exhibitor booths to gain further insight into the products and information available, and for those exhibiting, it’s a really important way to access that market,” Ms Taranto said.

“We wanted to ensure attendees could still have that experience, and now they can. Using virtual reality, they can walk through the exhibitor booths as though they’re at the convention centre and can even jump on a call to chat with the exhibitor as they would face-to-face.”

As a result of the program being online, the exhibitor can access information about who has visited the booth, the company they’re from and if they’re interested in chatting further, which is often more information than they might be able to gain about a potential customer in a traditional expo setting.

Queensland Innovation Minister Kate Jones said moving the event online was in the best interests of all Queenslanders.

“No one can think outside the box quite like an entrepreneur or a small business person,” Ms Jones said. “The organisers of QODE have been clear – the show must go on. Or in this case, go online. In the true spirit of this event, rather than cancelling the festival, they’re taking the entire program online.

“This festival is about showcasing our best and brightest to the world. What better way to achieve that, than by sending the world a message – we have the resilience and the brains to keep this show on the road.”

Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said it was fitting that a technology-based solution would see QODE Brisbane proceed.

“These extraordinary circumstances call for innovative solutions and what better way to ensure this important global event goes ahead than by embracing the latest technology,” Cr Schrinner said.

“While it is unfortunate that thousands of world-leading experts and delegates will not experience our great city at this time, I am pleased that Brisbane will still facilitate discussions on the technology trends and issues shaping the way we live and work.”

Speakers from the US and Israel are among those taking part in the virtual event, while some local speakers include Nine CEO Hugh Marks and Queensland Chief Scientist Paul Bertsch. QODE is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland and the City of Brisbane. All those who originally purchased a ticket to attend the event in person will be refunded.

The live-stream YouTube link is here.

www.qodebrisbane.com

ends

By Leon Gettler >>

EUGENE Dubossarsky, head of the Analytics Academy and the chief data scientist at AlphaZetta believes the big challenge for companies was knowing how to manage their data.

He said data was very important for some businesses – and critical for some that don’t even realise it. Data should be used to help companies make the best possible decisions, Mr Dubossarsky said.

The greatest challenge for business owners and executives is data literacy. 

“I don’t think I need to convince anyone that anyone adding any economic value as a professional today is massively computer literate,” Mr Dubossarsky told Talking Business. “They would have been considered a total computer nerd 30 years ago.

“This is everyone from the age of eight onwards and everyone from an entry level graduate to a CEO in a large organisation.

“Something that hasn’t happened yet, but is in the way of coming, is the advent of data literacy where, in order to be economically useful and economically productive as a professional, people are going to need to know how to turn data into decisions, how to infer insights from data, how to be curious with data, how to self-served with data, in ways they currently aren’t now.”

DATA LITERACY ADDS VITAL VALUE

Mr Dubossarsky said a lot of productivity and value is being held back by the lack of data literacy on the part of most professionals, including most leaders today.

He said the way leaders can develop data literacy is to engage with data for the purposes of making decisions. Data analytics, he said, helps them make good decisions.

Mr Dubossarsky said managers needed to look at data in an interactive and curious way, identify opportunities and threats and turn those into business actions.

He is critical of companies resorting to hiring data scientists and avoiding doing the work themselves.

“Is hiring a bunch of very competent people in a particular field the right first step when you don’t know how to tell if they’re good or not, when you don’t know how to assess their work, when you don’t know what to do with their work?” Mr Dubossarsky asked.

“The sort of people who couldn’t tell a good data scientist from a bad one without a certificate, are they the sort of people who would know what to do with a good data scientist if they had one?”

HOLD OFF ON DATA SCIENTISTS

Mr Dubossarsky said hiring data scientists should not be the first step. What executives should do, instead, is engage with the data themselves and learn – then bring in expertise on an ad hoc basis.

“People who want to get into data analytics in a serious way need to spend a lot of time exploring and very honestly saying ‘I don’t even know where to start’ and very honestly accepting the fact that they will hit a lot of dead ends,” Mr Dubossarsky said.

“People need to be able to engage directly with this task of making better decisions and learning and growing towards it.”

He said one of the best historical examples of this was Winston Churchill.

“My favourite data enabled manager was Winston Churchill in World War Two,” he said. “One of the first things he did in his underground bunker office was to put another office right next to his, where his statistical unit was.

“Their job was to provide him with graphs of fighter plane production, ship production, ships sunk, troops lost, all the things he needed to run the war, because the stakes were high.

“He knew he had to make good decisions and good decision support was one of the first things he required.

“That bit of analytics, done with paper and pencil and stuck on walls, was way more effective than a lot of stuff being done with cloud technology these days.”

www.alphazetta.ai

www.leongettler.com

 Hear the complete interview and catch up with other topical business news on Leon Gettler’s Talking Business podcast, released every Friday at www.acast.com/talkingbusiness.

ends

AUSTRALIA has slipped one place to 14 in a global ranking of the digital competitiveness of 63 nations released and commented upon by the Commitee for the Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) on September 27. CEDA identified Australia's key weaknesses including business agility, 'tech skills' and communications.

In releasing the Australian results of the IMD World Digital Competitiveness ranking, CEDA CEO Melinda Cilento said the results showed Australia had more work to do if it were to keep pace with other economies.

“The results highlight that we need a broader national community discussion around the importance of R&D, investment in technology, and tech skills and how the benefits of these flow back to the community,” Ms Cilento said.

Ms Cilento said under future readiness, Australia ranks just 45 for agility of companies, down three places from last year.

In addition, she said, in the technology area, Australia’s communications technology ranking was still poor at 54. 

The ranking rates performance in three areas: knowledge, technology and future readiness, with further subfactors considered under each of these elements.

TECH SKILLS CONCERN

Ms Cilento said another area for concern was the development of tech skills in Australia..

“While the Australian community has an appetite for new technology with a high uptake of smartphones and tablets, ranking ninth and third respectively, we don’t rank well in terms of higher technical skills,” she said.

“Australia ranked 44 on digital/technological skills and employee training, and 53 on graduates in sciences.

“We also need to be aware that economies in our region are making big gains in digital competitiveness with Hong Kong and South Korea entering the top 10 while Taiwan and China have moved up to 13 and 22 respectively from 16 and 30.

“Our Asia Pacific neighbours are making serious investments into skills and technology infrastructure, both areas where we have dropped off in key areas, and we need to ensure we keep pace. These are the drivers of future competitiveness and opportunity.

“CEDA’s Company Pulse nationwide poll of more than 3000 people released this month showed that investment in technology and R&D were areas of disconnect between the community and business leaders.

“The poll examined business priorities and business leaders rated the importance of research and development (R&D) and investment in new technologies much more highly than the general public.

“We need a stronger national conversation around how R&D and adoption by business of new technology can deliver broader opportunities and benefits to the community.

“In reality R&D and investment in technology will underpin Australia’s future prosperity.

“It will help drive productivity that in turn will help drive higher wages, something that our poll showed was a priority for the community.

“However, if there isn’t broad community support, it will make it hard for government to provide the policy environment to support and encourage business to keep investing and developing in this area.”

On the positive side, Ms Cilento said the areas in which Australia had strong rankings were: flow of international students (1), country credit rating (1), tablet possession (3), and e-government (2).

Overall the top five remained unchanged to last year with the US holding on to the number one spot, followed by Singapore, Sweden, Denmark, and Switzerland.

The ranking is produced by the Switzerland based IMD World Competitiveness Centre. CEDA is the Australian partner.

By Leon Gettler >>

COLIN ANSON created Pixevety, a photo management system designed to provide families and schools with a secure but accessible means of sharing photos and videos, in a way that protects children’s right to privacy.

His challenge: selling solution to a problem that people don’t know exists. 

But according to Mr Anson, a growing number of schools are becoming aware of this need, with hundreds of thousands of images stored by schools these days. The schools might have a desire to use those photos in all sorts of ways from a brochure, to a yearbook to Facebook.

“It’s been designed with privacy at its core and it enables a school to efficiently collect, organise and share media,” Mr Anson told Talking Business.

He said this applied to photos and videos.

“It’s a digital asset management system at its core so it will handle any file type,” Mr Anson said.

“The interesting thing is schools are becoming more and more aware of this. Some are choosing to stick their heads in the sand and others are embracing it and really running with it.

“What we’ve seen is that technology has created a situation that only technology can handle.”  

LACK OF POLICY, PROCESS

Mr Anson said schools tend to have few policies and processes for where the images are kept, whether they are shipped offshore and who has access to them. There were also enormous issues around privacy laws.

“Really what it’s boiling down for schools is consent management,” he said. “Consent has to be voluntary, current and specific and that poses a reasonable challenge for schools when you have hundreds of children, multiple parents all with different opinions and it is just too hard to manage day to day photo permissions effectively in relation to Australian privacy principles.

“So Pixevety was created with a consent module that takes care of that for them.” 

He gave an example of a school wanting to use the photos on its Facebook page, with name tags.

“You couldn’t possibly deal with the variables unless you had something like Pixevety behind you,” Mr Anson said.

“We’ve had many schools saying this is going to open a can of worms. Effectively, there are incidents where content has been shared without permission, and that’s caused concern.”

Mr Anson said Pixevety provides a simple solution that gives families a choice.

He said most of the schools Pixevety works with at present are in Victoria and Queensland. The education departments in those states are more active in the space.

However, he said, Pixevety was expanding to New South Wales and Catholic dioceses around the country. It has also moved into New Zealand and Singapore. .

He said a school in San Francisco had already been in touch with Pixevety and the company was opening an office in Los Angeles.

“Without a doubt, it is a global problem,” he said.

www.pixevety.com

www.leongettler.com

Hear the complete interview and catch up with other topical business news on Leon Gettler’s Talking Business podcast, released every Friday at www.acast.com/talkingbusiness.  

ends

By Leon Gettler >>

DOCUSIGN, the company behind the e-signature, is leading the way to help companies fight climate change.

Environmental benefits are part and parcel with DocuSign’s product offering for over half a million customers worldwide, ranging from Wal-Mart and Unilever to the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

DocuSign CEO Dan Springer is taking the company’s corporate social responsibility pursuits to new levels. 

He said it makes a lot of sense to have environmental benefits as part of DocuSign’s product offering as the e-signature removes a lot of the paper.

“At a certain point, we started to become a pretty big business and we realised we were obviating the need for people to use so much paper, and in saving paper, one of the obvious benefits from an environmental standpoint is you don’t have to cut down as many trees,” Mr Springer told Talking Business.

“So it became a natural component of what DocuSign was all about, to be saving our forests and having a positive impact on the environment.”

BILLION OF SHEETS OF PAPER SAVED

Mr Springer said DocuSign had found evidence that it was saving customers billions and billions of sheets of paper.

He said DocuSign had now developed a counter to show customers how much of an impact their company was having on the environment.

“We measure it in terms of pounds of wood, how much tree, they have saved,” he said. “But also we take a look at the water savings because production of paper is quite water intensive and it also uses a lot of energy so it’s carbon emissions related.”

It also eliminates waste, that the company uses as part of its tally. All that from an electronic signature.

DocuSign has also set up a foundation that makes grants. In addition to that, the company was focused on getting its employees to do volunteer work in their communities. 

Every year in November, the company has a DocuSign impact day

“Across the globe in all our offices, our employees do volunteer efforts in their communities,” Mr Springer said.

“We also give our employees three days off in addition to that where they can work in charitable organisations in their communities across the globe.”

DocuSign has also joined an organisation called Pledge One Per Cent where companies take one percent of the value of their business and donate that to not-for-profit causes.  At the time, DocuSign had a market cap of $3 billion so DocuSign took $30 million and made a commitment to contribute that over a 10 year period.

It has subsequently been working with the Jane Goodall Foundation, which focuses on the inter-connectedness between people, animals and the environment.

www.docusign.com.au

www.leongettler.com

Hear the complete interview and catch up with other topical business news on Leon Gettler’s Talking Business podcast, released every Friday at www.acast.com/talkingbusiness.  

Contact Us

 

PO Box 2144
MANSFIELD QLD 4122