Wanyama backs Okumbi to steer Kenya to AFCON 2019

first_img0Shares0000Harambee Stars head coach Stanley Okumbi issuing instructions while on training.PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya.NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 8- Harambee Stars captain Victor Wanyama has called on football stakeholders to rally behind coach Stanley Okumbi with the team now shifting attention to qualifying for the 2019 African Cup of Nations.Okumbi’s appointment as the new national team coach on February 23 replacing former Uganda Cranes tactician Bobby Williamson was met with a lot of criticism especially with the former Mathare United head coach having had no other prior national team experience. Wanyama, who has termed the criticism as ‘harsh’ on the youthful coach believes the recent positive results posted by the team have vindicated the Okumbi’s appointment.“I think the criticism levelled on the coach when he took over was a bit harsh and most people never trusted him. But with the results the team has had in the recent past, he has shown he is the right man for the job and it is about time we give him the support,” Wanyama told Capital Sport.Okumbi started his tenure with twin losses against Guinea Bissau, ending Stars’ hopes of making it to the 2017 African Cup of Nations and building further doubt on his abilities to handle the national team pressure.But he managed to win support his way when he steered the team to a 2-1 victory over Congo Brazzaville in the penultimate AFCON qualification match, coming on the backdrop of two draws against Tanzania and Sudan in international friendlies.Last Tuesday’s 1-0 win away to African giants DR Congo was further testament of Stars’ rise, coming after two draws against Uganda and Zambia.“These friendly matches are very important in building any team and over time, we have seen the progress we have made. The Congo win was massive for the players and the team and it is what we have been missing for a long time,” said Wanyama.The team’s target will now be inclined into qualification for the 2019 AFCON with Wanyama firmly believing the boys will fly the Kenyan flag in Africa’s top competition after last doing so in 2004.“That is our target now and it is achievable if the momentum we have picked is anything to go by. It is the ambition of everyone in the team to make it there and the good blend of youth and experience we have is the right ingredient to steer us there. It is possible,” the combative midfielder added.The Football Kenya Federation said it will be planning two other friendly matches for the team before the year ends.More local based players are expected to be given playing time with Okumbi having one eye set on the end of year CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup and another on the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) to be hosted in Kenya.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Foreclosure aid may be on way

first_img“We are well beyond the point of this being simply a problem. The American dream of home ownership has turned into a nightmare for far too many Angelenos who find themselves face to face with foreclosure.” Alarc&oacuten’s motion came as J.D. Power and Associates released a study showing that lenders will work with homeowners in accommodating late payments, but are less understanding of these circumstances than a year ago. “Customers still feel as if their mortgage servicer is being less considerate of their specific circumstances,” said a statement by Tim Ryan, senior research director of finance and insurance at the Westlake Village-based company. “It is mutually beneficial for both borrower and lender to work through these difficult time periods, and lenders can support the majority of these customers by being even more considerate of their situation.” The mortgage market situation roiled Wall Street in recent weeks. DataQuick Information Systems reported last month that foreclosure activity had soared nearly 800percent in Los Angeles County and statewide. During the second quarter, 2,581 properties went into foreclosure, up from 287 a year earlier, the La Jolla-based company reported. Alarcón said most market watchers think the problem will get worse before it gets better, likely extending well into 2009. He also noted that the threat of foreclosure is looming over a variety of socioeconomic groups, not only those with bad credit or low income. The Housing Department will report within 30 days on creating the program, which would be financed by an allocation from the city’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund. Jack Kyser, vice president and chief economist at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., said government-funded bailouts are gaining popularity, but he wondered how far the $5million would stretch. “It makes perfect sense, though. People were trying to buy their first house, and they badly stubbed their toe,” Kyser said. greg.wilcox@dailynews.com (818) 713-3743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcón sought $5million in foreclosure assistance Wednesday for residents in danger of losing their homes as the housing market continues to unwind. Alarcón’s Emergency Foreclosure Assistance Program would be administered through the city’s Housing Department, providing loans and grants to residents threatened with foreclosure. The loans would likely average from about $5,000 to $10,000. “More people are losing their home today than were lost in the (1994 Northridge) Earthquake,” Alarcón said. “We responded to that emergency, and we need to respond to this one.” And $5 million is a reasonable amount to set aside for this program, he said. last_img read more

Driver flees car, leaves dying passenger

first_imgMONTEBELLO – A driver who lost control of his vehicle hit at least one parked car and left his dying passenger inside the vehicle is in custody today, authorities said. The accident occurred at 6:16 p.m. yesterday in the 400 block of South Woods Street, near Eagle Street, in East Los Angeles, according to the CHP. The driver fled the scene on foot, leaving his unidentified male passenger in the vehicle bleeding from the head, officials said. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the CHP. 165Let’s talk business.Catch up on the business news closest to you with our daily newsletter. Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The driver was found soon after the crash and taken into custody without further incident.last_img read more

Fossett flight attempt delayed

first_imgMOJAVE – Adventurer Steve Fossett’s attempt at the longest nonstop flight in history will not take place until next week at the earliest because of an unusual hurdle: the Chinese New Year. The Mojave-built GlobalFlyer will stay on the ground at Kennedy Space Center in Florida through the week because of delays in getting clearance for flying over China. Because of the observance of the Chinese New Year, the earliest the GlobalFlyer team can get that clearance is Sunday. “After that, there is a strong possibility of good conditions as early as the 6th,” the GlobalFlyer team wrote in a mission update. “So we will be monitoring the round-the-world winds closely to establish if there is a launch window or not.” The GlobalFlyer team hopes to break the distance records of 24,987 miles for the longest aircraft flight, set by the Voyager airplane in 1986, and the 25,361-mile mark set by the balloon Breitling Orbiter 2 in 1989. james.skeen@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Burt Rutan designed the GlobalFlyer, built by his Scaled Composites company in Mojave. Rutan also designed the Voyager aircraft. The flight will be piloted by Fossett, who previously made a 20,373-mile solo nonstop flight around the world in the GlobalFlyer that concluded on March 3. During the longest-flight attempt, Fossett is expected to pilot the aircraft to altitudes of about 45,000 feet and at speeds faster than 285 mph. The attempt, described by the GlobalFlyer team as the ultimate flight, is expected to take about 80 hours to complete. Jim Skeen, (661) 267-5743 last_img read more

Salem saves day, Iditarod sled race

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE‘Mame,’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’ composer Jerry Herman dies at 88 Last week, while King was jockeying for first with four-time champ Doug Swingley, his team hit a snow drift. The bump sent King tumbling and unhooked one of his dogs. While King ran after it, the rest of his team disappeared down the Iditarod Trail, somewhere between the Yukon River village of Kaltag and the town of Unalakleet on the Bering Sea coast – hundreds of miles from Nome. King said he was ready to cry as he trudged onward, calling through the wind for Salem. Sled dogs are enthusiastic runners, known for abandoning fallen mushers in their eagerness to push ahead. But King said Salem helped stop the runaway team, which he spotted a few minutes later in the blowing snow. The musher arrived at the finish line of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race under a full moon and in first place. Hundreds of bundled-up spectators sent puffs of breath into the chill air as they cheered King along Nome’s main street. NOME, Alaska – Salem curled up beneath Nome’s burled spruce arch, a ring of yellow roses around his neck. Then, in the bright lights of the Iditarod winner’s circle, the star sled dog fell asleep. “He is one of the most incredible dogs I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing,” said musher Jeff King, whose headlamp was the first to pierce the darkness in the old gold-rush town early Wednesday, giving him his fourth Iditarod championship. To hear King tell the story, Salem’s nap time was well-earned. King won his fourth Iditarod with what he called his best-ever sled-dog team, completing the annual 1,100-mile race from Anchorage to Nome in nine days, 11 hours and 11 minutes. “They’re young, but they’re veterans and they’re real well-matched,” said King, who arrived at 1:11 a.m. in the finish chute. “It’s a wonderful feeling to have them come in this strong.” King, competing in his 17th Iditarod, pulled into Nome more than three hours ahead of runner-up Swingley, of Lincoln, Mont. King, of Denali Park, Alaska, joined Swingley, Martin Buser and Susan Butcher as four-time winners. “It’s a very short list of some very talented people,” King said. “The odds are good one of us will get five.” Rick Swenson, 55, of Two Rivers, who is also running this year’s race, is the Iditarod’s only five-time winner. At 50, King, originally from Montana, is the oldest musher to win the world’s longest sled-dog race. He also became the first winner from outside Alaska when he took his first championship in 1995. He recaptured the title in 1999, 2000 and 2001. For winning the Iditarod, King received $69,000 and a new truck. The top 30 finishers split a pot of $795,000. An additional $40,000 will be divided among remaining arrivals to Nome. “It seemed like I was due. It’s really good to be here again,” King said. King and Swingley traded the lead a few times during the third quarter of the Iditarod, but Swingley’s team faded Sunday as the two veteran mushers left the wind-whipped town of Unalakleet, the first race stop on the Bering Sea coast. Swingley’s bold push to catch King on the Yukon River likely sapped the energy of his team. King said he suspected that Swingley’s dogs might be slowing down as the teams came off the Yukon River at Kaltag, about 350 miles from Nome. The Iditarod passes through 24 checkpoints in villages and wilderness cabins strung along the trail, which meanders over two steep mountain ranges, the wide, windy Yukon River, and a final stretch up the iced-in Bering Sea coast. Deep, soft snow covered much of this year’s trail, which has been bare ground in many spots in recent years. Windblown snow on the Yukon nearly obscured the trail in some places, discouraging even the snowmobile drivers who break trail ahead of the dog teams. But winds were unusually light for front-runners navigating the Bering Sea coast, with the exception of ripping gusts near Unalakleet. Temperatures dipped to minus 45 degrees at the halfway checkpoint of Cripple. Paul Gebhardt of Kasilof, who finished ninth last year, arrived third in Nome at 5:23 a.m., followed by cancer survivor DeeDee Jonrowe, 51, of Willow, who has raced 23 times and has 13 top-10 finishes. John Baker of Kotzebue arrived fifth. Bjornar Andersen of Norway, nephew of last year’s champion, Robert Sorlie, arrived sixth. Sorlie, a two-time champ who plans to return to the race next year, has been following his nephew along the trail and tucking away information about his competitors’ strategies. “I’m watching,” he said. “I’m learning.” Sorlie, also of Norway, was barred by race rules from coaching his nephew along the trail. Eighty-three mushers started this year’s race and 11 have scratched so far. Most mushers were still working their way up the trail as of Wednesday and will trickle into town through early next week. The farthest back was rookie Ben Valks of Norway, who was in the Yukon River checkpoint of Galena, about 450 miles from Nome. Rookie Rachael Scdoris of Bend, Ore., could be the first legally blind musher to finish. Scdoris, 21, who scratched last year in her first attempt, was in 58th place Wednesday near Unalakleet, about 260 miles from the finish. Tim Osmar, a top-20 finisher from last year, is guiding her along the trail. The race officially started March 5 in Willow. The ceremonial start was held a day earlier in downtown Anchorage. It commemorates a dog-sled relay in 1925 that carried serum 674 miles from Nenana to Nome to stop a diphtheria outbreak. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

ON THE VERGE! Tottenham agree deal for Ajax defender Davinson Sanchez

first_img1 Tottenham are closing in on their first signing of the summer after agreeing a deal with Ajax for defender Davinson Sanchez.According to The Independent, the north London club reached a breakthrough in negotiations for the Colombian international on Thursday afternoon.Spurs are set to pay the Eredivisie outfit £28million for Sanchez as well as a potential £14million in add-ons.LISTEN: ‘Raw and quick’ Davinson Sanchez would be a hit in the Premier LeagueReports on Wednesday suggested Spurs were struggling to agree a fee with Ajax, with Sanchez later being named in the Dutch side’s Europa League squad to face Rosenborg.But with a breakthrough in negotations, Sanchez has since been removed from the 18-man squad as he prepares to complete his switch to north London.The 21-year-old had been a target for Barcelona and Real Madrid, but he looks set to play alongside former Ajax defenders Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld. The north London club have agreed an initial fee of £28million last_img read more

Wolves advance to knockout stages, Celtic seal top spot in Group E, Rangers draw

first_imgWolves booked their place in the knockout stages of the Europa League after playing out a thrilling 3-3 draw with Braga in Portugal.Nuno Espirito Santo’s side arrived at the Estadio Municipal de Braga a point behind the hosts and Group K leaders, needing a point to progress with a game to spare. MOST READ IN FOOTBALL Wolves are through to the knockout stages of the Europa League latest SORRY PAYBACK And they claimed the point they needed from an exciting encounter that saw them fall behind early after Andre Horta’s opener.Goals from Raul Jimenez, Matt Doherty and Adama Traore then saw the visitors race into a 3-1 lead.But second-half goals from Paulinho and captain Fransergio rescued Braga to also send them into the last 32.Meanwhile, Rangers climbed to the top of Europa League Group G in another exciting clash as Alfredo Morelos’ record-breaking double secured a 2-2 draw with Feyenoord. Gerrard launches furious touchline outburst as horror tackle on Barisic sparks chaos Liverpool transfer news live: Mbappe latest, Lille star wants to join Reds in future 3 Guardiola-inspired tactics: Is this how Arsenal will line up under Arteta? The Colombian became the first Rangers player to score in four consecutive European clashes when he cancelled out Jans Toornstra’s opener in Rotterdam.Morelos then left De Kuip stunned as he struck his 13th European goal of the campaign shortly afterwards to smash Henrik Larsson’s 16-year-old record for the most goals netted in a single season for a Scottish club.Steven Gerrard’s men were on the brink of securing a place in the knock-out rounds but Morelos’ international colleague Luis Sinisterra grabbed an equaliser for Dick Advocaat’s team.The Gers will reach the knockout stages if they draw with Young Boys at Ibrox. appointed revealed Getty Images – Getty Getty Images – Getty center_img The average first-team salaries at every Premier League club in 2019 scrap LATEST Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ Sky Sports presenter apologises for remarks made during Neville’s racism discussion Meanwhile, Celtic ensured they will top Group E with a game to spare after a 3-1 victory over Rennes at Parkhead.The victory, coupled with Lazio’s 1-0 victory over CFR Cluj, means Neil Lennon’s side will avoid Champions League dropouts in February’s last 32.Lewis Morgan and Ryan Christie put the hosts in complete control, before Mikey Johnston added to their tally with a superb one-two finish.Adrien Hunou’s glancing header provided a late consolation for the French side. Getty Images – Getty Steve Round reveals how Mikel Arteta convinced him to join Arsenal staff changes Steven Gerrard’s Rangers side have their destiny in their own hands Ryan Christie celebrates scoring Celtic’s second goal of the evening against Rennes 3 3 ‘I’ll get him’ – Robertson further endears himself to fans with revenge vow to Manelast_img read more

Research backs up South Africa’s good story

first_imgAt Brand South Africa’s Gauteng Stakeholders Workshop in Sandton in August, results from its research projects and insights from global surveys were discussed. The research offers some positive outlooks for the country and the population, with the numbers to back it up.Dr Petrus de Kock discusses the results from Brand South Africa’s latest research at a stakeholders gathering in Sandton, Johannesburg, during August 2015. (Image: Priya Pitamber)• Brand South Africa calls for a single national narrative • Overview: the Gauteng Stakeholder Workshop • Africans abroad keen to return – Homecoming Revolution report • Lead SA’s #Changemakers encourages teamwork • South African economy and business CD AndersonA presentation by Brand South Africa’s general manager for research, Dr Petrus de Kock, as part of the general discussion during the workshop on South Africa’s global and continental competitiveness, examined various internal and global research projects. These included the Domestic Perceptions project, the South Africa Incorporated (SA Inc) initiative, as well as various global economic and reputation indexes on how South Africa was comparing to the rest of the world. Domestic Perceptions This research found the emerging South Africa middle class (the LSM 7-10 group) had increased by 15% over the last 10 years. People were focused on developing their economic standing and choosing to spend what free time remained on family life rather than being involved in the community. A general distrust of government was found among the respondents, particularly when it came to job creation, policy implementation and economic growth, even though respondents believed the country still embodied the spirit of diversity and democracy. The feeling was however, that South Africa was capable of achieving great success.Also, South Africans were generally more positive about the future of the country, particularly for the next generation, hoping that living standards would continue to improve for their children. Over 50% believed in committing (or continuing to commit) to staying in South Africa, no matter the circumstances. Notably, 13% believed in that national commitment, despite not considering it before. Most respondents also committed to the country no matter the situation in the future (74%), but 20% may consider a move out of the country should economic, social and political situations deteriorate.Overall, loyalty remains strong in South Africa, yet younger people may consider moving out of the country to explore better options. The majority of these, however, strongly consider this a temporary move and will ultimately return to South Africa.According to the 2015 Domestic Perceptions research report by Brand South Africa, the emerging middle class (LSM 7-10) has increased by 15% over the past 10 years. (Image: Brand South Africa)As part of Domestic Perceptions, a number of topic-specific papers have been published this year, these include: PatriotismPatriotism is still strong among South Africans. Social and cultural diversity is cited as the main proponent driving this national pride. Of the respondents, 57% believed the media added to the negative perceptions of the country. Other external social influencers, such as TV/radio news and non-digital social interactions, seem to have a more positive effect on the population than online news and social media, despite these being more popular. Most gather the insights and information that form their opinions from traditional media such as television, radio and newspapers, as well as from family and friends.Pride The South Africa pride index is at a considerably healthy 80%, with 61% considering themselves “extremely proud of being a South African”. Respondents cited diversity and democracy, cultural and sport successes and the country’s tourism as the main driving factors of this pride. Detractors of pride, predictably, included crime, corruption and perceived government ineffectiveness.OptimismIn the published research on optimism, titled South Africa: A Brand of Optimists?, measures of national optimism found overall there was a strong sense of hope and confidence among the population, particularly about the future.Despite what the report called “a confrontational public discourse”, most respondents professed that the strides made in education, health care, religious and social tolerance helped to build optimism. The research found most wanted to continue living in South Africa and contribute to the country’s success, with constructive solutions to social, cultural and economic challenges. A quarter of respondents had optimistic outlooks for the future of the country.With an overall Pride Index of 80, the majority of South Africans show a strong devotion to their country, according to the Brand SA Domestic Perceptions report in 2015. (Image: Brand South Africa)Youth The publication A Youthful Population in a Young Democracy, measuring pride, social cohesion and active citizenry among the country’s young people, found the current generation – those who would be upholders of the National Development Plan’s Vision 2030 – showed hope and aspirations for the future. Yet, with 29% of the sample surveyed unemployed – or at least not in full-time employment – naturally concerns about job creation, education and economic growth loomed large for young South Africans.De Kock emphasised that achieving a significant youth optimism percentage was key to helping solve these issues, with over 74% indicating that they wanted to live and work in South Africa and find positive outcomes for these issues.Another point from the research was the youth’s lack of trust in the current political leadership regarding solving the challenges of crime, education, poverty and economic development.Xenophobia After increased xenophobic attacks in the country, Brand South Africa looked to quantify the atmosphere around the issue and among the citizenry regarding foreign nationals and their role in South African life. Titled A Nation against Xenophobia, the report showed a majority of South Africans condemned any and all attacks on foreigners.Most of the respondents said they wanted to continue to embrace the principles of ubuntu and respect for all people, and take positive action against the violence, including public demonstrations, donating money, time and other relief to those affected by the violence. Most also wanted to create a proactive discourse with the public and the government to deal with the challenges of xenophobia.Respondents felt that the media had profiled South Africans as unwelcoming and violent, which they thought was inaccurate. The social activation of the country’s citizens in response to the xenophobic attacks, most respondents felt, helped to increase the exposure of the violence and pace of relief and positive reinforcement of the ideals of ubuntu.Competitiveness In the publication Can Competitiveness be Africanised?, competitiveness in the African context was analysed and addressed. The research found that in the definition and conceptualising of competiveness in mere economic terms, there was no consideration for the associated human and environmental factors, as well as the importance of the cultural and social relationships between South Africa and the rest of Africa. According to the report “…in an era of global warming, rising inequality, social displacement and dislocation, competitiveness can ultimately not speak to, or reflect a world of rational market choice”.Competiveness needs to consider and encompass education, health, environmental sustainability and food security in order to enhance the economies of countries, communities and individuals.The economic relationships between the country and the continent are further explored in the section on South Africa Incorporated, below. Other Brand South Africa reports published include Evolving Nation-brand through Collective Heritage and Active Citizenship and Social Cohesion. These can be found on the Brand South Africa website.TV news, friends and family are some of the external influencers that have the most positive impact of the average South African’s national perception, according to the Domestic Perceptions research report by Brand SA in 2015. (Image: Brand South Africa)  Overall, De Kock said, regarding the various research gathered in the Domestic Perceptions project, “you can’t sell the brand of the country without inside buy-in of its people”, and the numbers in the research indicated that, despite their concerns, “South Africans are willing to take action, rather than wait for someone else to do so”.  South African corporate governance, managerial and technical prowess, according to Brand South Africa’s SA Inc study, has built a positive reputation for the country in the rest of Africa. (Image: Pixabay)South Africa Incorporated: doing business with Africa SA Inc is another Brand South Africa research project. Designed to examine the country’s exposure in and strategic economic relationships with other African countries, SA Inc measures the impact of South Africa’s economic, social and cultural footprint on the continent.• SA Inc found South Africa was the third largest direct foreign investor in Africa, after the UK and USA, according to the most recent Ernst & Young Africa Attractiveness Survey.• Between 2008 and 2013, the South African Reserve Bank approved 1 000 new investments by South African companies into 36 African countries.• The Industrial Development Corporation alone invested in 41 projects, with an investment portfolio of over R6-billion in 2012.South African corporate governance, managerial and technical prowess, according to SA Inc, built a positive reputation for the country. And South African cultural exports – music, art, cinema and literature – enjoyed a popular presence in the rest of Africa. This resonance went a long way to enhance economic and political relationships between countries.However, one negative aspect gathered from the research found South African businesses and representatives were viewed negatively, as imposing and aggressive, compared to the relatively more tolerant and culturally astute African nations. From a business perspective, more attention should be paid to how South African businesspeople conduct their inter-personal relationships and interactions, specifically when creating market entry strategies, designing an understanding of the diverse business and cultural environments according to the specific country targeted.To curb this challenge, bi-national business chambers should exist where business relationships between countries could be more effectively made and understood. Already the Ghanaian and South African business chamber, assisted by the government, has lifted South African business presence in Ghana. Through the business chamber relationship, partnerships can be more easily initiated, advisers consulted and supplier and service provider relationships strengthened. Knowledge can be shared and networks built in order to create mutually beneficial economic relationships.For more about SA Inc and its findings, find the full report here. South African global reputation and competiveness The Nation Brands Index The Anholt-Gfk Nation Brands Index 2014 – a measure of global perceptions based on six key areas (exports, governance, investment, culture, people and tourism) – places South Africa down one position from last year, at 37 out of 50 countries surveyed. While the country’s overall reputation score improved from 2013, there were perception challenges regarding the tourism economy and the country’s influence in Africa.According to the report, South Africa was still a model consistency, with reputation gains in exports and governance. Investment, too, had gained, but there was still concern over the country’s slow growth in environmental, heritage and technology sectors. Germany, India and the UK viewed South Africa the most favourably.The Ibrahim Index The Ibrahim Index is an annual evaluation of governance of countries in Africa, combining over 100 variables, assessed by various independent African and global bodies. The data collection is the most comprehensive and authoritative source for governmental authority. The data are used for economic purposes but also for assessing the rollout and success of government policies. This year, the South African Ibrahim rating was a mixed, but ultimately balanced assessment.Ranked fourth overall, South Africa was the best in public management and third in gender equality, and it maintained good records for rule of law, human development and health care services.Improvements had been made regarding infrastructure, sustainable economic development and rights participation. There had been a significant drop in confidence regarding national security and personal safety issues. Ultimately, though, South Africa maintained a sustained and reputable presence on the continent.Other global research projects include the World Bank Ease of Business Index (South Africa: 43rd overall), UNDP Human Development Index (South Africa: 118th globally) and the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook (South Africa: 52nd out of 60 countries – it made overall improvements for competitiveness, infrastructure and economic performance, while dropping in the rankings for government and business efficiency).These reports are available to read on the Brand South Africa website, along with detailed breakdowns of all the research mentioned in this article.last_img read more

Cloud Computing: A Fast Ticket to Data Silo Sprawl (DSS)?

first_imgA recent survey from ScienceLogic found that a majority of IT executives expect that cloud computing will reduce the number of their company data silos.  Only 17 percent worried that cloud computing will actually increase the number of islands of isolated data repositories within their organization.  That may be wishful thinking.With the current state of cloud computing, silo-ing information has never been easier.  Now in addition to silo-ed information residing in on-premise applications and repositories, the rapid setup, roll-out and provisioning of  cloud-based locations makes it even easier to create new silos of information — now residing external to the organization.  The low cost of cloud computing applications is actually complicating the problem because it allows and almost encourages line-of-business managers to by-pass their lumbering IT groups and get almost instant access to cloud-based applications.  The result is that some organizations are creating very complex patch-works of internal and external applications, and any attempt to unify data across the different repositories has become more difficult than ever before.David Linthicum in an InfoWorld blog commented on the problem saying that “siloization counters any efficiencies gained through the use of better-virtualized and sharable infrastructure, as provided by public and private clouds. Indeed, in many instances the use of cloud computing actually makes things worse.”  Linthicum advocates strongly studing your data and processes before building out any new applications to avoid data silo sprawl (DSS) — good advice, but probably easier said than done.A report from Appirio found that 75 percent of organizations rate cloud computing as a top priority, but only 4 percent of organizations with cloud-based application have actually tried to integrate cloud-based data.  Part of the problem is that many SaaS-based applications don’t offer good APIs or tools for data integration — something which is bound to improve going forward, but which is still clearly a weak point with cloud applications.An InformationWeek survey found that while companies using cloud-based applications love the ease of deployment and use, most are challenged when trying to integrate or access the data created by the cloud applications.  Michael Biddick, author of the survey report, comments that “you’d think IT teams would have learned their lesson, given our sad history with siloed data sets and today’s identity management and user access requirements.”The InformationWeek article outline side effects of cloud computing and data silo sprawl:SaaS/Cloud apps often lack integration with centralized identity management, making it difficult to consistently control access to dataReporting across multiple repositories is difficult, especially for compliance, often requiring the aggregation and reformatting of reports made with the different systemsBusiness Analytics and Business Intelligence by definition requires a complete data set to analyze — siloed data works against this goalIntegration with Business Process Management (BPM) in a similar way cannot easily flow between data siloed in multiple applicationsSiloed data makes security and governance more difficultlast_img read more

Cloud Consumption Model Countdown: The Top 10 Insights (part 1)

first_imgInsight No. 10: A Wake-up Call for IT.Respondents foresee both growing influence for LOB (line of business) decision makers, as well as a leadership role for IT. They also anticipate a greater focus on metrics such as return on investment, and, ultimately, on improved business outcomes. Shared accountability for business outcomes may become the norm for IT. Yet many IT leaders expect to retain (and indeed, increase) a reliance on traditional funding mechanisms such as chargebacks, which could curb adoption of innovative capabilities, positioning IT less as an enabler of growth and more as a conventional cost center. This is just one example of how the operating models of old may conflict with emerging expectations from the LOBs.To be sure, the bar for how IT adds value to the organization is being raised. The growing influence of LOBs should serve as a wake-up call for IT: the ability to move at speed, to foster innovation, to enable new end-user experiences, and positively impact business outcomes in a measurable way will be instrumental. Insight No. 9: A Renewal of the Business-IT Partnership.Whether centralization and greater resourcing for IT is realistic remains to be seen. What is clear, however, is that IT and the LOBs will shape IT consumption together, and to a far greater degree than ever before. As LOBs look to partner with an IT organization that is both flexible and business savvy, attempts to mandate monolithic, top-down consumption models — that is, from IT to the business — may prove less viable.While the IT respondents do not envision a diminished role for themselves, retaining a central role will require an increased level of partnership with the LOBs across all stages of IT consumption. Insight No. 8: Lines of Business Are Gaining IT Influence.The influence of lines of business (LOBs) will extend across all IT lifecycle stages and create unprecedented complexity for IT organizations as they grapple with security issues and technical support across far-flung organizations. Overall, 44 percent of IT funding is already coming from LOBs, either directly or as chargebacks to IT. Sixty-nine percent of respondents believe that authority over buying decisions will increasingly reside with LOBs.Given the much-increased influence of LOBs across all lifecycle stages, it is imperative for IT to rethink its strategy. Indeed, LOBs can no longer be considered as buying centers alone. The LOBs are clearly moving into areas such as planning and governance, and IT will need to partner with them on a deeper level than ever before.Insight No. 7: IT Views Itself as Being Front and Center. IT leaders in the survey believe they will retain much of the oversight and authority that has characterized their relationship to the business in recent years. Indeed, increased centralization and coordination of IT resources is top of mind for respondents. Fifty-six percent saw IT becoming more centralized (in Asia Pacific, this rose to 79 percent), rather than more fragmented as LOBs’ role in IT consumption grows. Insight No. 6: There Is No “One-Size-Fits-All” Approach.The cloud market is evolving rapidly, and companies today can choose from many different approaches for sourcing, deploying, and operating cloud solutions. There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach. Rather, companies will need to formulate an approach that enables them to meet the overarching goals for their organization. In crafting their strategy for cloud, IT leaders should consider how they can best partner with key stakeholders, such as the LOBs and third-party providers, to pursue an approach that is tailored for their unique needs.In our next installment, we’ll count down the top 5 insights from the cloud consumption study!In the mean time, check out Intel’s planning guide for virtualization and cloud computing.Opens in a new windowIn the comments, or on TwitterOpens in a new window, tell us: What has changed your view of cloud computing over the past year?To join the social conversation, tweet using the hashtags below:http://bit.ly/1ci4yGWOpens in a new window#ITCenterOpens in a new window #cloudcomputingOpens in a new window I have a confession to make – I love the surge of best-of lists that get published at the end of every year.I think they’re a great way to reflect on the year behind us, and to contextualize what’s coming in the year ahead. Because of my fondness for lists, I was excited to see this recent Cisco and Intel study on cloud consumption modelsOpens in a new window, where 4,226 IT leaders in 18 industries were surveyed on IT’s relationship with the cloud.  The study covered the past, present and future projections of how IT will be utilizing cloud computing models in the upcoming year. For the sake of brevity, I split this list of Top 10 Cloud Consumption Insights into two posts – I hope you enjoy the first 5. – IT Peer Network Administrator  last_img read more