[Survey] What the Internet of Things means to South Africans
Fortinet a global leader in high-performance network security, released the results of a global survey that probes homeowners about key issues pertaining to the Internet of Things (IoT).
Independently administered throughout eleven countries, the survey titled, Internet of Things: Connected Home, gives a global perspective about the Internet of Things, what security and privacy issues are in play, and what home owners are willing to do to enable it.
Perry Hutton, Fortinet’s Africa Regional Director, said: “The battle for the Internet of Things has just begun. According to industry research firm IDC, the IoT market is expected to hit $7.1 trillion by 2020.
“The ultimate winners of the IoT connected home will come down to those vendors who can provide a balance of security and privacy vis-à-vis price and functionality.”
Completed in June 2014, the survey asked 1,801 tech-savvy homeowners questions relating to the Internet of Things as it pertains to the connected home. These were the top findings among South Africans:
The Connected Home is a reality –In South Africa, 60 percent said that the connected home is extremely likely to happen in the next five years.
Homeowners are concerned about data breaches –Almost 40 percent of South African respondents said that they were “extremely concerned” and 40 percent was “somewhat concerned.”
Privacy and trust are concerns –Fifty eight percent in South Africa agreed with this statement.
Data privacy is an extremely sensitive issue –The strongest responses came from South Africa, Malaysia and the United States. Eighty three percent South Africans agreed with this statement.
Users demand control over who can access collected data Almost 80 percent of those in South Africa wanted personal control over collected data. Additionally, 21 percent of South Africans felt that either the device manufacturer or their ISP should have access to the collected data.
Consumers look to their government for data regulation –In South Africa only 25 percent agreed that the government should regulate collected data.
Device manufacturers are mostly on the hook for security - Fifty three percent of South Africans put the responsibility on the device manufacturer.
The next looming battle: secure home routers versus clean pipes –Twenty two percent of South Africans indicated that a home router should provide protection and 25 percent said that the internet provider should provide protection.
Homeowners are willing to pay for a connected home –More than 15 percent South African homeowners indicated that they would not pay more for their Internet service and for a new wireless router.
Price is the primary factor – Although homeowners report a willingness to pay more to enable their connected home, when asked what factors impact their buying decisions of connected home devices, the number one answer that was consistent in all countries was price, followed by features/functionality and then manufacturer brand.
Hutton concluded: “The Internet of Things promises many benefits to end-users, but also presents grave security and data privacy challenges.
“Crossing these hurdles will require clever application of various security technologies, including remote connection authentication, virtual private networks between end-users and their connected homes, malware and botnet protection, and application security − applied on premises, in the cloud and as an integrated solution by device manufacturers.”
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”