Last Tuesday I attended the ITWEB Executive Forum in partnership with MWEB & Microsoft at the Southern Sun Hotel in Sandton.

I have been out of corporate life for some 6 years now and work as a WSI Internet Marketing consultant. My own franchise. Its great to be a business owner and have the freedom to make your own decisions.

I say that because the event was aimed at making corporate companies understand how hosted applications can help them reduce costs and in many cases improve uptime and service. Having worked in corporate for some 30 years and in the technology game I know how difficult it is to convince the rest of the company, when you suggest some radical change such as giving up control of your Data centre and changing over to a hosted solution.

In my small environment we have a team of 10 and initially I implemented Exchange and did all the technology things I leant in corporate but I soon fell victim to IT Related problems and having to rely on desktop & server support on call. I had many frustrating moments because I felt out of control.

I have since moved over to GMAIL Apps and that was the best decision I made as my email is always available and backed up.

Some great points I took away from the event were:

  • South Africa’s Internet infrastructure is improving and Arthur Goldstuck presented some great stats
    • 10% of South Africans are connected to the Internet this year
    • In 2015 we could expect some 20% of South Africans to have Internet access
    • In 2009 there were 800,000 ADSL users
  • Craig Rodney shared some interesting hosted applications that he uses in his business
    • Dropbox for sharing of files, photos and the like. Its free so all small businesses should have a look and see how they can use this service to stay online
    • Mobile Me for Mac users. Keep your calendars, emails, files & photos in sync on all your PCs, Laptops, computers and Iphone
    • Basecamp – A great service for project collaboration. I have been using this service for over 4 years now
    • Flickr to share all your photos online

It was an interesting morning and I think that many of the corporate companies that attended should have a much better understanding on how hosted applications can help their business.

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