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Future Trends

  • 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,...

  • Smart machines = smart business

    Technology has changed the way customers engage with retailers and the days of simply adding an online site to an existing bricks and mortar business are long gone. Today’s consumers expect an instant response and use a multitude of channels to search and interact with retailers, from the internet and mobile applications to digital TV, social media and online gaming. By doing so they are revealing an increasing amount of information about themselves and their shopping habits. With the shopper’s consent retailers are using cloud and big data technologies to collect, store and analyse some of this information, but...

  • IT in 2016: it’s all about digital transformation and IoT

    With 2016 in full swing, it’s never been more important for the IT industry to evolve in order to remain relevant. From an increasing shift to the cloud and third platform technologies, to the development of the Internet of Things (IoT), the International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Worldwide IT Industry 2016 Predictions centre on digital transformation. In South Africa, while we are certainly seeing similar trends, we still need to address the skills and awareness necessary for us to excel. Digital transformation at the heart of corporate strategy According to the IDC, by the end of 2017, the majority of...

  • Smart cities for sustainable, sharable energy

    Smartphones have transformed how we engage with almost every aspect of our daily lives. Now the outward progression of this technology – the so-called “Internet of Things” – has begun to encapsulate even more of our everyday interactions. Today entire cities are striving to perform in a way that harnesses the benefits of “Big Data” and digital technologies, promising residents a more eco-efficient and sustainable standard of living. Digital communication tools are being used to around the world to better improve municipal services and enhance the capabilities of basic city infrastructure. By bringing formerly analog services and devices online,...

  • The latest addition to the ‘C Suite’? That would be the Chief Data Officer

    Companies today are in a race to drive competitive advantage and improved efficiency through better use and understanding of data. That makes sense. We live in the era of the Zettabyte, with the devices we carry around with us producing reams and reams of data. Someone has to make sense of it. Enter the Chief Data Officer (CDO) According to technology research house Gartner, there's been a sharp spike in companies with chief data officers (CDOs) over the past few years. So sharp has the rise been that Gartner predicts that 90% of large companies will have a CDO...

  • 2016: the year of multimedia convergence

    It’s about that time of the year where digital marketing experts and industry leaders pen their thoughts on what we can expect over the course of 2016. Granted, the end of 2015 saw our screens layered with tab after tab of blogs and articles, all opened in the hopes that we’d catch onto the trends before we rang in the New Year. What we didn’t account for were the ideas and statistics that have only come to light within the first month of 2016 and so, we’ve seen a number of new predications, new ideas and new concepts...

  • Customer-centricity and DIY : how tech will shape the life insurance market in 2016

    South Africa’s life insurance market is performing well by global standards, with healthy premium growth, new business and return on equity in recent years. But our environment is changing as digital technologies transform the landscape, as new regulations come into effect and as customers begin to seek more value from their life insurers. Here are a few of the trends that will shape life insurance in South Africa this year: 1. New technology enables more customer-centricity Thanks to big data and the power of the cloud, life insurers are today able to gain a more complete view of their customers and use...

  • Gartner: government more likely to embrace cloud for security reasons than convenience

    Governments are moving the cloud faster than ever but, according to Gartner, they're not doing so for the sake of convenience, cost saving, or agility. Instead, the technology research house says, increased security will displace cost savings and agility as the primary driver for government agencies to move to public cloud within their jurisdictions. "Many cloud service providers, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and Google, invest heavily in incorporating higher levels of security into their products to continue building confidence that their data is more secure," said Neville Cannon, research director at Gartner. "Many of these providers can invest...

  • 10 reasons why now is the right time to upgrade to SSD

    Your computer has a new choke point that can be easily remedied with a single hardware upgrade. At one time computers were slowed by weak processors or dial-up Internet connections. Now that multi-core CPU’s and broadband access are ubiquitous, the rate-limiting step is your spinning mechanical hard drive. Booting up your computer is a normal expected inconvenience…two to three minutes of idle time wasted as you stare at the hour glass icon while your computer diligently reloads the operating system and programs from the hard drive to system memory. Hard drive maintenance (defragging, error checking, and virus scans)...

  • Enabling every light bulb to transmit data: get ready for Li-Fi

    In the near future, you can expect to sit or stand under a light bulb and use wireless internet through the light of that bulb only. The revolutionary technology that has become the talk of the internet town these days is known as Li-Fi which enables data transmission through visible light communication. Li-Fi (light fidelity) is a high speed wireless communication technology similar to that of Wi-Fi that was coined by Professor Harald Haas as a replacement of data transmission technologies. Haas first experimented the successful transmission of data through a single LED back in 2011 at the University...

  • 2016: the year of technology for the people

    It’s that time again – when we look back at the year that has passed and throw our predictions into the ring for what lies ahead. If anything was clear in 2015, it’s that advancements in technology showed no signs of slowing down. Apple Pay launched in the UK, smart watches took off and 3D printers were made affordable for the average consumer to use – to name just a few innovations. But one of the most common events to hit the news headlines in 2015 was data breaches and hacks across various industries, such as the Ashley Madison...