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General Tech

  • Gamification begins at home: the algorithms changing our everyday lives

    Reality: it's the worst game ever. The landscape of our lived experience is one that becomes so familiar over time that it disappears into oblivion. We walk the hallways of our offices, down the aisles of the grocery store and into different rooms of our apartments and homes, scarcely noticing them, lost in thought -- or, as is more common now, our cellular phones. Video games were once perceived by mainstream society as an escapist diversion, much like rock and roll and television were upon their introduction. But just as these cultural elements were eventually embraced and understood to be...

  • Smartphones make humans less efficient, study finds

    If you're reading this on your phone at work, put that damn thing down. Well, that's probably what your boss would say after reading this. According to a "new psychological experiment" conducted by the University of Würzburg and University of Nottingham Trent, smartphones may make humans 26% less productive at work. The experiment, commissioned by Kaspersky Labs, rounded 95 individuals between 19- and 56-years-old, and asked participants to "perform a concentration test under four different circumstances: with their smartphone in their pocket, at their desk, locked in a drawer and removed from the room completely". The researchers found that when smartphones...

  • Moore’s Law under threat thanks to silicon alternatives

    Moore's Law suggests that computational power should, in theory, double every two years; but that understanding is now being put under severe strain. Mardochee Reveil, a chemical and biomolecular engineering PhD student as well as a member of the Paulette Clancy research group, is one at the forefront of researching processes at the heart of computational power. Reveil's primary focus is researching new materials that could be used for semiconductors as an alternative to silicon. Progress in computing power focused on reducing transistors' sizes made of silicon, but now tech industries have to face the scalability limits of the element. For example, the...

  • Street-front businesses win with Pokemon Go, different story for those indoors

    I’ll admit: I’ve got to catch them all. And in all probability you do too. The last few weeks I’ve been reading the various takes on how businesses can capitalize on the Pokemon Go craze. Marketing media in particular seem to be trying to help brands and agencies understand the opportunities for them in the fastest growing mobile game of all time. Do you try to get your brand in Pokemon Go by working directly with Niantic? Do you buy hundreds of “lure modules” and tell players that the Pokemon in your outlets are for paying customers only? Do you offer...

  • How organisations can address the cultural shifts inherent in digital transformation

    In business, the purpose of digital transformation is to create a culture of innovation thereby enabling revenue growth in the new digital world. Many established companies are engaging in transformation strategies in an attempt to reach online buyers and the almost 19-million smartphone users in South Africa. However, not all digital transformation programmes that businesses launch are successful. Cloud technologies have the potential to enable rapid startup business growth at low cost. Startups are often better positioned to capitalise on this new digital market because they can begin with a clean sheet. Conversely, established businesses may be constrained by legacy technologies...

  • Is your organisation digitising the workplace in a healthy manner?

    Smartphones, 4G and cloud technologies have done wonders for our productivity and freed us from being desk-bound. We can now work from anywhere, at any time. These technologies have also unleashed a trove of information, and given us the capacity to process and analyse huge amounts of data to generate more information. But these blessings can also be a curse. Left unchecked, the ability to work from anywhere can, and has, blurred the important line between work and personal time. More and more people are also finding themselves overwhelmed by the deluge of new information coming their way daily. The result of...

  • Here’s how mobile apps are addressing ERP’s progression issues

    Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) has come a long way since theory about Material Requirements Planning was first published in the 1950s. Today most companies use big ERP systems from the likes of SAP and Oracle and some have even extended the reach of their ERP systems to field workers with mobile apps. Note: Have a look at the infographic at the foot of this article outlining the history of ERP. How mobile changes the game According to Kobus van der Merwe, an industrial engineer at Ardea with 35 years of experience in working with ERPs, resource planning systems haven’t evolved a great...

  • Gamification in the workplace: appeal to younger workforce and drive motivation

    A workplace development that’s gaining traction is the use of gamification as a means of monitoring and motivating workforce efficiency. Gaming principles in a non-gaming environment can alter how individuals, teams and managers interact with each other, and have some unusual applications, too. While gamification technology is very different to popular game Pokemon Go, the effect is just as interesting: motivating a primarily younger workforce likely to have grown up with console gaming by simulating a gaming environment at work so that they will relate to it. All across the US and other countries, millennials have surprised their communities by heading...

  • IAB salary survey reveals highest-earning roles in SA’s digital agencies

    IAB SA today revealed South Africa's "first-ever" digital industry salary survey, which itself revealed some interesting statistics about payrolls in the country's agency scene. The survey, completed in partnership with Millward Brown, "benchmarks the salaries of specialist skills in a way that is relevant to the South African digital marketing and communication industry". "This is the first time that the IAB SA has conducted a survey that focuses solely on the dynamic roles in the South African digital industry and their compensation," explains IAB SA's head of agencies Fred Roed. As for the results, there are some interesting findings. If your key driving...

  • T-Mobile giving free data for Pokemon Go, but is this a good thing?

    US mobile network T-Mobile has also decided to jump on the Pokemon bandwagon. The network has announced that from tomorrow 19 July, it'll be zero-rating Pokemon Go mobile data usage for a full year (until August 2017). This offer is available to both new and existing users, redeemable by downloading the T-Mobile Tuesdays app. The promotion will also see T-Mobile subscribers getting US$15 in Lyft credit and free Wendy's goodies to fuel their hunts. However, as good as it sounds, the promotion might be seen by some experts as a slap in the face to net neutrality. That is, having all...

  • Brexit, volatile markets should not affect customer experience investments

    The global economy entered 2016 under a cloud of uncertainty that has been further exacerbated by the Brexit shockwave. Now more than ever, company leadership will need to develop meaningful strategies to win new business, despite the growing global volatility. But businesses should be cautioned that now is not the time to cut back on customer experience improvement programmes. Companies are sitting on more than US$7-trillion worth of cash -- double that of just a decade ago. In an effort to garner returns in a low interest rate global economy, companies will look for investments. Venture capital and hedge funds now...

  • From sound bites to software solution: defining the role of today’s business analyst

    For most of us, the title of Business Analyst conjures up an unexciting image of a suited professional pouring over numbers and flowcharts in an isolated corner of the office. While there certainly may be elements of truth in this perception, the role of the Business Analyst in the world of enterprise software development bears closer resemblance to the storyteller than to the statistician. Indeed a business analyst's daily work is far more creative and people-centric than the job title suggests. A business analyst is essentially the bridge between clients and the software development team. Very often, they become...

  • 4 telltale signs that its time to change your ERP software

    In tough economic times, it becomes tempting to sweat your assets. But running an outdated enterprise resource planning (ERP) system may become more of a liability than a saving in the long run. Here are four telltale signs that indicate its time for a change in ERP software. Functionality gaps If the software you’ve been using for years starts becoming outdated, you will start noticing functionality gaps, particularly when your business ventures into a new industry or embarks on new business models. Many businesses may try to address these gaps by adding external components to the system, or moving functionality outside...

  • The skill of delivering real business value through ERP

    Key to the successful implementation of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) project is ensuring that the entire project value chain is aligned with the business purpose of the relevant venture. ERP is a combination of software and activities that many companies use to manage operations. Defining a business' purpose for the ERP project will enable companies to ensure delivery of that purpose through the chosen systems. Clients and vendors need to be part of the same value and supply chain to ensure real business value is delivered through ERP. It is therefore critical to ensure that the project team -- whether...

  • This resource is essential for online business development in every company

    Whilst the heading of this article discusses the need for a specific resource for online business development, I only discuss this at the end of the article. Please indulge me and read the following content first which provides context and a motivation for my recommendation. According to a recent report by Larisa Bedgood of Customer Think, titled The Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics You Need to Know for 2016: 76% of digital marketers will produce more content (Source: Top Rank Marketing). 51% of digital marketers will increase their content marketing budget (Source: Top Rank Marketing). 67% more leads will be...