After a brief cocktail reception, Brainstorm editor Samantha Perry addressed the guests, saying the death of print has been greatly exaggerated and the magazine has, in fact, been growing from strength to strength over the last ten years.
David McMurdo, ISS Sales and BU manager at HP, spoke about the ‘instant-on’ world we are entering. He explained that the consumer is now the ‘prosumer’, who uses one device for both professional and personal matters. “If companies don’t leverage this, they will get left behind,” he said.
Workplace mobility was a recurrent theme of the evening, as it was also a topic of ex-De Beers CIO and entrepreneur Patrick Monyeki’s talk.
Monyeki, the current ITWeb and CSSA Visionary CIO of the Year, spoke about the emerging business and technology trends that are keeping CIOs awake at night. Among these, he listed mobility and the employee expectations and security risks that come with it.
“There continues to be a revolution in mobile computing, and with it a growing expectation that one should be able to access one’s work IT systems and information from anywhere,” he said. “The move towards greater home-working, with the expectation that staff can operate as if in the ofﬁce, is part of this trend.”
Some of the other emerging trends Monyeki listed were globalisation (and the emergence of multinational corporations that span continents), ever-declining IT budgets, the challenges of cloud computing (and the changing role of the IT department as a result), information security, the transformation of business processes, the increasing demands of storage and networking, green IT considerations, the growing importance of business continuity, and the ﬁght for talent.
“Today’s new recruits, or what we call the ‘Google generation’, are young people who have grown up with computing as ubiquitous communication and information-searching tools,” he said.
The onus, Monyeki explained, is now on organisations to sell a ﬂexible working environment to these individuals.
The ﬁnal speaker was Richard Mulholland, entrepreneur and proliﬁc blogger, who spoke about legacy, citing Apple as an example. While important, he stressed the need for innovation to carry business forward.
He had two more pieces of advice for SA’s business leaders. The ﬁrst was to ban social networking in the workplace (except in designated zones, at designated times).
“Social media is the Solitaire of today,” he said, speaking about its use in the workplace.
He suggested creating company ‘internet cafes’, where staff could access their social networks during their lunch hours.
The other piece of advice was to ‘ban the reply-to-all e-mail button’ to cut down on the amount of mail employees have to deal with. “The burden of mail used to be on the sender, now it’s on the receiver,” he said.
While Dr Victor and the Rasta Rebels played to a lively dance ﬂoor, conversation ﬂowed deep into the night about diverse topics such as mobile applications, tablet and smartphone adoption, content and ad delivery, social media... and rugby.
The party was sponsored by HP South Africa.