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Future Trends

  • Why chatbots won’t replace humans

    Fear-mongering is everywhere, in every industry. And most recently, the contact centre has experienced its own dose of this with the announcement that Facebook will be making use of chatbots via Messenger to deal with customer queries. The concern, of course, is that the development and inclusion of intelligent tech will replace humans in a contact centre. There are many opinions on the matter, but many industry experts maintain that while the advancements of technology are remarkable, for the foreseeable future there will remain an important place for people, with the help of automation, in a contact centre. The reality is...

  • 5 of the latest advancements in nanotechnology

    Nanotechnology is rapidly gaining traction across a range of industries, from agriculture to water treatment to energy storage. While nanotechnology was first developed in 1959 as a way of manipulating matter at the atomic and molecular level, it wasn’t until the early 2000s that it really began to flourish. Today, nanotechnology is one of the most innovative, cutting-edge areas of scientific study and it continues to advance at staggering rates. From scientists at technology-focused companies and institutions like NASA or Lockheed Martin, to students pursuing a nanotechnology degree, leaders in nanotechnology are creating the latest breakthroughs in the field. These...

  • What will it take to drive mainstream smart home adoption in SA?

    The results of the Intel Security International Internet of Things Smart Home Survey are in. The survey polled over 9000 consumers in nine countries of various economic and developmental standings, and the results show that people are excited about the prospect of bringing IoT solutions into their homes, but that they also have concerns about the safety of these devices. And rightly so. Smart homes offer many benefits for homeowners. Firstly, they can reduce the admin associated with managing your home, giving you valuable insights into the running costs of your water and electricity, for example. Secondly, by automating...

  • Smart cities: 5 security areas CIOs should watch

    Car navigation systems that can predict where and when traffic jams might occur, by siphoning data from sensors in roads and other vehicles. Cameras that can spot litter in public places and call in the cleaning crew. Self-adjusting street lamps. These are just a few of the scenarios that could become commonplace as smart cities take hold over the next few years. Driven by rising urbanisation and fuelled by technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and data analytics, smart cities are on the cusp of explosive growth. Glasgow, Barcelona, Nice, New York City, London and Singapore have...

  • Will digital service delivery improve your life in 2019?

    A quarter of the way through 2016 and it’s clear that service delivery is set to be one of the main topics of conversation in political circles. In his State of the Nation address, President Jacob Zuma was careful to highlight the importance of delivering municipal services. “Our Back to Basics local government revitalisation plan was launched in September 2014, and 2015 has been the year of intensive implementation. In this second phase of implementation, national government will engage in more active monitoring and accountability measures.” In light of the upcoming municipal elections, it’s the perfect time to ask exactly how...

  • Fibre to everywhere is in South Africa’s near-term future

    South Africa’s telecoms industry is on the cusp of its next wave of growth, thanks to the growing uptake of bandwidth intensive applications such as Cloud services and Internet TV streaming from businesses and consumers alike. Fast-changing user behaviour is putting pressure on telecom operators to evolve their business models. It’s thanks to competition from innovative start-ups and small operators that the larger players have had to step up their game in fibre, Ramdhani says. We’ve been talking about the cloud and Internet TV for years but didn’t have the infrastructure to support the concepts. Now it’s finally coming to fruition...

  • Cutting through the digital transformation hype and jargon

    Words… words … words ... When I speak to clients, I hear many different interpretations of what “digital transformation” is, illustrating that the term confuses as often as it clarifies. Some believe that it’s simply a matter of using digital channels to sell and service clients more effectively, more efficiently and in a more personalised manner. A significant number think it is about a new application or digital marketing initiative. Many regard it as a matter of using technology to drive business process innovation. And others say that their goal is nothing less than to be the Uber of...

  • What you need to know about 2016’s biggest tech trends

    Every year we see players in the business, technology and media space vying to outdo each other in predicting the digital trends that are likely to hold sway in the coming year. One of the best collections is put together by the online business publication Business Insider, which performs months of research and deep investigations before putting together a sober and realistic prediction for the year. Its latest list has just been released, and you can download it right here. But if you’re stressed for time and patience, we’ve gone to the trouble of digging out the gems for you....

  • We can’t predict where tech will go next, only prep for the evolution

    A decade ago, it would have been impossible to envisage exactly how the internet was to change the way we live, interact and operate. The only safe prediction for the decade to come then is that the evolution of internet-based technology isn't over- it is happening - and will remain in a constant state of evolution. All we can do now, is ensure that we are prepared for it. As internet based technologies and applications proliferate the marketplace, changing us socially, we continuously experience a greater demand for enabling these platforms to run faster and more efficiently. So, whilst we...

  • Industry 4.0 — manufacturers must embrace tech to remain ahead of global competition

    The first industrial revolution happened back in 1784 when the age of mechanical production dawned; it was followed by a second industrial revolution sparked by electrical energy in 1870 and a third based on the automation of production through IT in 1969. Now we’re on the cusp of Industry 4.0 – a fourth industrial revolution driven by connected devices and sensors, cloud computing, advanced robotics, intelligent software, and a range of other technologies. Industry 4.0 is defined by Deloitte as the merging of the real and virtual worlds on the factory floor – a world of smart factories where cyber-physical...

  • 10 massive tech trends changing education

    For many of the people reading this article, the pinnacle of technology in the classroom was the school's computer room. But if they stepped into a classroom today, they most likely wouldn't recognise it. It's big business too, with educational bodies spending more on technology than ever before. In fact, according to technology research house Gartner, higher education sector spending will grow 1.2% to reach US$38.2-billion in 2016. A large part of that spend comes from the fact that for institutions to thrive in the increasingly competitive education ecosystem, they must become more innovative and it is often technology...

  • South Africa’s quest for smart cities: Today’s journey into tomorrow’s reality

    In the past, the concept of smart cities may have been a lofty consideration for a Sunday afternoon, but smart cities are no longer a preference—they are quickly becoming a critical necessity. This is due to the confluence of increasing urbanisation, greater pressure being placed on the successful management of a city due to a rising population, and climate change. The latter in particular means that a city needs to have the wherewithal to manage a sudden natural crisis, such as flooding, and be able to dispatch emergency and medical units without delay to save lives. Compounding matters is...

  • I bet you don’t even know your bank manager’s name

    When was the last time you spoke to your bank manager? Better yet, do you even know your bank manager’s name? You don’t know because you never go into your local branch. Almost 40% of the US population use mobile banking according to the Federal Reserve - a trend growing year-on-year. Banks are simply not keeping up with this tremendous social change, and treating customers as though they access services the way their parents and grandparents did. If you want to obtain a loan or financial advice, get a mortgage, why do you need to go to a branch?...

  • How IoT can improve risk management for insurers

    While the insurance industry has traditionally been driven by vehicle theft to embrace telemetry, the time has come to utilise the Internet of Things (IoT) for relevance in the digital age. South Africa has a very mature telemetry industry thanks, in part, to the high risks people face around theft. The skills we have here means insurers are looking at new ways of customising solutions to benefit their customers in a more meaningful manner. Enter IoT. Increased, relevant real-time data This promises much more than just monitoring the location of a vehicle, the temperature of its load, and the performance...

  • Digital economy or Big Brother in disguise: are you being watched?

    In a world shaped by digital convergence, it is no longer realistic to expect a high level of privacy. If you consider just how connected the world has become, you realise that the digital economy doesn’t support anonymity. I remember standing in a foreign hotel and agreeing to draconian Wi-Fi conditions, more than willing to entirely forgo my privacy to avoid massive mobile charges. I’m not unique, we all do it. Anonymity in a connected world is a façade. Older generations still battle with this new reality, but Millennials were born into this, not knowing otherwise. Privacy comes at a cost,...