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A letter from the CEO
My dear fellow South Africans,
The year 2021 was not easy and like 2020, it was still overshadowed with COVID-19-related challenges. We are currently facing the last part of a fourth wave of infections and the latest variant, Omicron.
These years will be recorded in our history books, like the Spanish Flu of 1918 – 1920. They will always be thought of as the time when our global society was put to the test.
The social economic damage done by COVID-19 will stay with us for a long time. In South Africa, various industries have been heavily impacted and of those, the Tourism and Hospitality industry, has probably suffered the most damage and needs to rebuild.
Many companies closed and employees lost their jobs in a country already suffering extreme unemployment rates of about 35%. COVID-19 also had a considerable impact on the IT industry and in certain cases, fast-tracked certain technologies.
Work from home (WFH) has been forced on some of us; it has its own challenges, pros and cons for both employees and companies.
The move to WFH happened almost overnight and, although most companies already had VPN solutions in place, these connections now had to be measured end-to-end, both in stability and throughput. Failure to do so often resulted in overloaded helpdesks and internal IT personnel who could not keep up with service requests. This led to the rapid development of “agents” running on edge devices, equipped to provide the necessary instrumentation to measure the overall experience of the end-user.
The demand for electronics created a supply chain shortage, with the microchip shortage probably having the biggest impact across all industries. It is estimated that the chip shortage cost the US economy about $240 billion.
For Sintrex, it meant changing our procurement strategy and, in some cases, changing the vendors we historically used, along with relooking at our architecture. Cloud computing became an even more attractive alternative to traditional hosting.
In the past two years, digital transformation has also been accelerated and has pushed technologies, like AIOps, to the fore.
Gartner, who coined the term AIOps, states that: “AIOps combines big data and machine learning to automate IT operations processes, including event correlation, anomaly detection and causality determination.”
In 2020, the AIOps market size was around $2 billion – and by 2027, experts believe it will be worth more than $10 billion. Sintrex has embraced this new technology and produced our third-generation infrastructure management software in Q4 of 2021. This software was built from the ground up. It is based on big data principles, using state-of-the art technologies.
At Sintrex, we are still very bullish about the IT industry and we believe that, as much as COVID-19 has had a negative impact on our social economic environment, a lot of new opportunities have been created. New technologies have come into play faster, while some old (or even dated) methodologies and practices were revised.
So, maybe this is a search for the proverbial “silver lining” – or maybe it is just human nature to perform and re-invent itself under pressure.