Taking the Internet of Everything to GovTech 2013



David Mphelo

With GovTech 2013 behind us, I've been reflecting on Cisco South Africa's relationship with the public sector, and I am proud of the impact we are making to help government achieve its national developmental goals.

GovTech's 2013 theme - Technology for 21st Century Government - was perfectly aligned with Cisco's vision for South Africa. Cisco is working with government to deploy data centre and virtualisation solutions that will simplify operations and lead to quicker responses for citizens. At the same time, we are assisting government to improve efficiencies by benefiting from cloud computing and infrastructure-as-a-service.

I'm passionate about supporting the country's education agenda through our various skills development projects. With only one engineer per 3,200 South Africans, Cisco is doing its bit through programmes such as our Networking Academies and Global Talent Acquisition Programme (GTAP) to accelerate learning and improve the skills base throughout the country.

To date, our Networking Academy has produced 28,000 ICT students. 30 percent of them are women. GTAP is fast-tracking graduates from underprivileged backgrounds into a 'technology MBA' that crams five to seven years of high-level network training and experience into a single year. This programme has already produced 198 Cisco Certified Internetwork Experts (CCIE).

The Internet of Everything (IoE), an initiative from Cisco, is also something I'm really excited about as it underpins all our activities and tackles some of the biggest challenges facing our nation, such as improving education, healthcare, rural development and the fight against crime.

IoE brings together people, process, data, and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before-turning information into actions that create new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunity across the public sector. For example, we could overcome school textbook distribution challenges by delivering the entire curriculum to devices in schools. Or we could take high-end specialist health services to under-resourced rural clinics through video conferencing.

If everything was connected, the possibilities are endless for South Africa's local and national government.

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