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Future Trends

  • How do you keep the socially conscious, hyper-connected generation interested in your product?

    Short attention spans, flicking through multiple open internet tabs and having at least two windows open at once, this is the scenario your brand is competing with for your Generation Y audience’s attention. Born between 1980 and the early 2000s, this is a group born at a time when the Walkman was new and exciting, and long before Google became a commonly used verb! The members of Generation Y are unsurprisingly shaped by the massive developments in technology of the past few decades. To get your brand noticed, and to keep them interested long enough for them to absorb the...

  • Meet ArachnobeeA, the world’s first Zero G drone

    This year NASA, in collaboration with various other Space Agencies, held its fourth annual International Space Apps Challenge in Limassol, Cyprus. The event presented its applicants with a variety of complex problems to solve in either the fields of Earth Studies, Human Health Research, Space Exploration or Robotics. As part of the “Zero Gee Bee – Your friendly neighbourhood drone” challenge (under the robotics division), NASA tasked master hackers and engineers with designing a drone that would be able to assist astronauts in a zero gravity environment. The result of this challenge was ArachnoBeeA, which was also awarded...

  • Mobility, Internet of Things, ERP = the need to invest in business systems

    The enterprise resource planning (ERP) landscape is going through a period of accelerated change as end-user organisations and ERP vendors alike prepare for a world of mobile-first customers and employees, massive data volumes, and intelligent, connected sensors and devices in the workplace. Together, these trends mean that organisations across industries are under enormous pressure to embrace innovation and look for opportunities to better leverage business systems for a competitive edge. Many enterprises are seeking alternatives to the monolithic ERP packages of old, looking to replace these legacy systems with newer solutions that are architected for a new world. Here are...

  • These are the legacy issues preventing banks from moving to digital

    The legacy issues preventing banks from making the move to digital are predominantly related to skills, capacity, systems and strategies. These are all necessary for going down the route needed to integrate digital systems and legacy systems. Banks’ organisational structures need to be assessed for skills and development capacity, software implementation, IT infrastructure and IT teams. Overall, a bank’s organisational strategy needs to accommodate digital. Within banks there are various independently run divisions in an accelerated model. Banks need to connect all these divisions. However, they are faced with various issues which include the maturity of network infrastructures, process governance...

  • Analytics without borders: why SA businesses need to share data

    Analytics (or rather deriving insights from data) is an emerging field in South Africa. Due to differing strategic views, lack of infrastructure, or lack of skilled resources, few companies have fully capitalised on the information available in their local markets, much less so in subsidiary markets. Given both the emergence of the field, the first stab at getting analytics to grow would be to simultaneously ensure infrastructure is in place and hiring/retaining the skilled professional. Secondly, businesses need to start thinking with numbers in mind – ensuring that reasoning, figures and insights play a significant part in the...

  • 3 massive technologies set to define the next few years

    Last year saw some major technological advances in industry and further developments on the smart factory front. It was a year that demonstrated 3D printing's potential as more than just a prototyping method and saw cloud computing capabilities stretched and broadened as more companies sought to analyse and exploit big data. The list wouldn't be complete without mentioning the Internet of Things (IoT). Greater convergence allowed the creation of more intelligent networks in which machines are able to communicate with each other and perform self-diagnostics with minimum human interaction. On top of all of this, last year also...

  • On-demand on the rise, further down the retailing rabbit hole we go

    As the customer, I want you to kick-back and initiate spectator mode, which is when you step back and watch the chaos in front of you unfold. Clubs, the office, at home, this mode has served me some of the best seats in the house to things only life can supply. Now let's turn our attention to the corperate fat cats playing a game of truth or dare over who gets to serve you first. The plot thickens as a Game of Thrones scenario plays out between the delivery companies and the retailers they partner with. South Africa has...

  • 10 strategic technology trends governments need to be paying attention to

    Earlier this week, we reported on a partnership between the city of Accra and Microsoft and about how this partnership will ease the backlog of Accra’s everyday operations. Gartner has in its latest research identified the top 10 most important technology trends for governments in 2015. Other governments can like the city of Accra benefit from integrating technology more into their day to day operations. Technology research house Gartner says that these trends are important in order to help CIOs and IT leaders assess critical strategic technologies and plan their enterprises' or agencies' IT roadmaps better. There is no doubt...

  • 5 big questions about the Internet of Things’ impact on business answered

    Machine-to-Machine is about the ability to remotely collect data from devices and use this data in real-time to make more informed business decisions which will inevitably lead to new business models, new business revenues and a more enriched user experience. IoT interconnects devices, assets, processes and systems to improve business models and profits, increase efficiency, and optimise the use of resources. In today’s challenging economic times, it offers enterprises across a wide spectrum of industries an opportunity to improve productivity and cost efficiencies to gain competitive edge. Here are answers to five of the biggest questions currently being when it...

  • The Internet of Things could see massive changes to logistics in South Africa

    Recently, research firm Gartner released a report on the importance of the Internet of Things (IoT), a buzzword that simply refers to the connectivity of physical objects, devices and products not technically considered computers. Many of these connected devices are, in fact, elements found along the supply chain – including smart palettes, trucks, refrigerators, home alarm systems, forklifts, even watches and other wearable technology. Based on the latest available stats, there are currently 15 billion connected devices, with this number set to increase to about 50 billion by 2020. In its research, Gartner points out that this massive...

  • Technology in 2025: 5 reasons it’ll be the same, but different

    Technology is an amazing thing, for many it’s miraculous, and once enjoyed, the benefits are hard to give up. Ten years in technology is a long long time. Many are predicting a technological utopia that will bring solutions to many of the problems the world is experiencing right now, with big data, the internet of connected everything, and new advanced gadgets fixing many of the ills facing society at present. The reality will most probably be far more mundane. Technology will race ahead and many will benefit. Overall, the next 10 years will bring massive advances, but they will be...

  • 9 massive predictions for how tech will impact ‘the next billion’

    Quartz held an impressive event this week with speakers from Uber, frog, and EVRYTHING to name but a few. Titled "The Next Billion", the conference focused on the challenges and the opportunities society faces with the "new world" we are fast seeing emerge. With a heavy vein of mobile and emerging markets peppered throughout, the morning was packed with insight and data on the opportunities the next billion people who come online will pose - some only emerging in the last few months based on new coding and political technology barriers being removed. I spoke with several of the...

  • Worldwide mobile data usage expected to double over the next four years

    According to a new research by Juniper Research, data mobile traffic generated by smartphones, featurephones and tablets will double over the next four years, approaching 197 000 Petabytes by 2019. The research estimates that 41% of all mobile data traffic will be carried over cellular networks by the same year. The rest of the data traffic will be offloaded via Wi-Fi networks which the research points out as a major player in data usage. The consumption by mobile users will continue to rise, impacted heavily by the rise in 4G adoption and factors such as HD video usage. Video already...

  • Netflixification in full force: 330m to subscribe to OTT TV services by 2019

    If your idea of watching TV involves the terms "binge-watching" and "Netflix", and if you're completely baffled by the sight of ad break, then well done: you're ahead of what is set to be a massive wave of people subscribing to over the top video services. New data from Juniper Research has shown that subscriber numbers to 'over-the-top' (OTT) TV services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime will increase from 92.1-million in 2014, to 332.2-million globally by 2019. Continued growth in the North American market will see it remain as the leading region in terms of subscriber numbers, but...

  • Forget the quest for a single gadget, the use of multiple devices is here to stay

    There is a school of thought that the future will see us using only one digital device to meet all our needs. However, this is counterintuitive given the ubiquity of these devices and the many and varied roles they play. Digital devices are an increasingly integral part of our lives and there is an abundance of options offering various functions that improve productivity in some way. In our consumer-centric world, it is not at all uncommon for one individual to have in their possession an array of these devices – from laptop, to tablet, to smartphone, to desktop PC –...