Brainstorm celebrates its tenth birthday

In September, Brainstorm magazine celebrated its tenth birthday at a glittering event at The Venue, Melrose Arch, attracting some of SA’s top IT players and analysts.
1 November 2011
Brought to you by
David McMurdo, HP

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.

Patrick Monyeki, Visionary CIO of the Year

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.

Brainstorm’s tenth birthday party played host to SA’s top IT players and analysts.

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.