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Future Trends

  • 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,...

  • 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...