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Future Trends

  • Gartner: people are hungrier than ever for devices

    There's a video that's made its way around the web a million or so times: it shows all the devices we used to need on our desk and how every function they performed can now be done with a laptop and smartphone. It suggests that our lives are simpler now and that we need fewer things. It could be right too, but it doesn't mean we want fewer things. Not even a little bit. In fact, according to technology research house Gartner, we're buying more devices than ever and are unlikely to slow down anytime in the near future....

  • Smart cities will use 1.6b connected things by 2016

    According to Gartner, smart cities will use 1.6 billion connected things by the year 2016. This is an increase of 39% from 2015. By unifying facilities as well as advanced service operations through the collection of data and insights from a multitude of sensors, cities can function far more effectively. For example, in industrial zones, shopping malls, airports, seaports, office parks, the Internet of Things (IoT) can help reduce the cost of energy, spatial management and building maintenance by up to 30 percent. Bettina Tratz-Ryan, research vice president at Gartner, says in a recent press release that data collected in...

  • The Internet of Things is here, and it will revolve around the smartphone

    The falling prices and shrinking sizes of computer processors and sensors, coupled with a proliferation of mobile connectivity, is spurring the rapid growth of the Internet of Things (IoT). As connected cars, connected homes, and connected workplaces join the IoT, devices such as smartphones, tablet computers and smartwatches will serve as the primary interfaces through which people interact with IoT devices and equipment. The IoT is a network of intelligent devices and machines that can monitor themselves as well as gather contextual information (temperature or GPS location, for example) using sensors, and share it with other devices and services....

  • 2016 could be the year the branch router kicks the bucket

    2015 will likely be seen as the year when enterprises pushed aside their fears of cloud computing. Over 70% of companies now utilise cloud-based applications and services, according to Gartner and the Harvard Business Review, although these companies still keep some critical systems and information stored in the data centre. The widespread adoption of this hybrid IT infrastructure model will lead to 2016 becoming the year when the branch office ends its relationship with an old friend – the router. Technology is finally in a place that enables IT to help the business how it wants to be helped, not...

  • The world at work: are we on the brink of a fourth industrial revolution?

    Are we on the brink of a fourth industrial revolution? Before answering the question, it’s worth reminding ourselves of what the first three did. The first brought us steam power and early mechanisation, the second specialisation and mass production and the third revolutionised the work place by introducing computers. The fourth is about the introduction of wireless internet onto the factory floor so that machines can talk to each other and the use of artificial intelligence to allow them to re-configure themselves to produce tailor made products but on a mass production line. We’ve become accustomed to robots capable of...

  • How the IoT will change everything (and why it hasn’t yet)

    By the time the Internet of Things takes over, home won’t just be where the heart is; it will be where the brain is, too. Consider June, a provider of IoT-enabled ovens. By incorporating imaging features along with temperature sensors into the oven, June can identify the type of food being cooked and what the optimal temperature is to heat it at. While many non-IoT ovens have similar capabilities, June notifies chefs and home cooks when food is fully done; they don’t have to rely on a recipe-instructed timer to tell them. This means food comes out as desired...

  • What’s next? 6 top trends for the BI industry in 2016

    As the saying goes, change is the only constant. In the BI technology space, that rings especially true. But even with technology ever changing and data users’ demands morphing, we learned that some factors of our industry have remained status quo. BI and analytics were still the “#1 investment priority for CIOs” in 2015, according to Gartner. Broader use of predictive analytics remains an aspirational goal for most companies. Suboptimal data quality continues to be problematic. The requirement for information governance is high, but maturity is lower than it needs to be. These are a few items that didn’t...

  • The satellite internet landscape in Africa – developments and future scenarios

    Technology is forever changing; and change has become so constant and prevalent in the technology world that we sometimes don’t really appreciate the possible impact of these changes on our current and future business landscape. What is even more surprising is that the architects of these changing landscapes also sometimes don’t realise all the implications of the momentum they are creating. It is like a proverbial snowball effect where the process is started and then creates a momentum and direction of its own. The current satellite industry as a whole and in particular in Africa, is at the brink of...

  • 5 jobs ripe for automation

    The digital revolution is transforming the way businesses operate, and its effects will be most keenly felt in developing markets. Businesses in emerging markets like in all the rest of the world need to embrace the automation opportunities brought by new technologies, like Internet of Things and cognitive systems, as it is destroying traditional business models and lowering the barriers to entry from competitors in other parts of the globe. Almost every industry stands to be affected by these developments and those who do not adopt new technology early will become irrelevant Is yours one of the 5 jobs ripe...

  • The future of HR: it is more about humans and less about resources

    Human Resources Management… Isn’t it strange to still use a 20th century phrase to describe the complex and delicate art of trying to get the best from the people who drive our businesses? The terminology is rooted in industrial age thinking - leftover from a time that organisations thought of their workers as commodities, at worst and as assets, at best. It reflects a bureaucratic mindset of enforcing policies and shuffling paperwork. It’s furthermore out of line with the dynamic modern working world where leading companies see their employees as stakeholders, even as partners, in their success. This is why we are...

  • What will the African tech landscape look like in 2019?

    Over the past 50 years, Internet technology has rapidly and profoundly changed the way people work, live, play and learn. The power of the Internet is allowing African citizens to do more things, from more places, faster and better. Computers, mobile devices, homes, cars, clothes, businesses and even cities are all being connected to the global network. Today’s pace of technology change is akin to a vortex, relentlessly sweeping everything into its spiral path, demanding digitization. The force of this change is too strong to ignore, and anything that fails to adapt, such as outdated business models, will break apart...

  • From Aristotle to AI: the evolution of storytelling

    Story is the organizing principle of reality. The world around us is made of atoms - protons, neutrons and electrons – but it is with story that we give them their shape and their meaning. Story is the primary tool of self-awareness and as such the basis of our humanity. From the creation myths that form the foundation of every civilization, to the rich mythologies that define our culture, story sits at the heart of what it means to be human. Aristotle to Artificial Intelligence Two and half thousand years ago, the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle added structure to...

  • How are you paving your road to be a digital world leader in Africa?

    By 2020, more than seven billion people and businesses, and at least 30 billion devices, will be connected to the Internet.* Predictions on the future of digital consumption no longer shock me and as an enterprise leader, it shouldn’t shock you either. Business IT professionals own a minimum of three devices connected to the internet viz. mobile, tablet and laptop – it’s not a statistic I pulled from a survey, but rather my own observation at every ICT conference I’ve attended in the last 12 months, including AfricaCom 2014 and VAS Africa 2015. At the VAS Africa 2015 conference, Nevo Hadas,...

  • 10 massive online security predictions for 2016

    A year in cybersecurity can seem like an eternity. But despite the rapid changes, many things remain constant. Check Point’s top three predicted security threats for 2015 were the rapid growth in unknown malware, in mobile threats, and in critical vulnerabilities in commonly used platforms (Android, iOS and others). These were fully realised, and are likely to remain a significant threat. The cat-and-mouse game that has typified cybersecurity in recent years continues, with hackers constantly finding new ways in which to attack networks – as this year’s high-profile breaches at Anthem, Experian, Carphone Warehouse, Ashley Madison...

  • Singularity University and the philosophy of the moonshot

    Michael Fichardt recently spent 10 weeks at Singularity University. Located in Silicon Valley, the institution is part university, part think-tank, and part business-incubator, which aims is to "educate, inspire and empower leaders to apply exponential technologies to address humanity’s grand challenges." In a series of five articles, Fichardt details his experiences at Singularity University, ranging from the ideas and technologies he saw to the lessons he learned there. In this, the fourth article in the series, he outlines the "moonshot" mentality that's changing the future of technology and humanity as a whole. On 12 September 1962, in a famous...