​Reconnecting with humanity in a tech-filled world

Media keeps showing us pessimistic views of the future where it becomes all too easy to buy into the idea that tech is out to rob us of our humanity. However, current trends from global thought leaders and data reveal that technology is allowing us to reconnect with our humanity. It is believed that, as part of the continued evolution of technology, 2020 will be a very considered and introspective year for the use of technology in South Africa.
Amidst a tough economic environment, businesses are expected to make more judicious calls on the technology that will be adopted and in many regards, they will focus less on the technology for its own sakes but rather focus on how we seek to rediscover our humanity whilst technology is advancing at a rapid pace. Some of the key technology trends that we expect to see go mainstream include edge computing, which will be tightly linked to further release of spectrum allowing telecommunications players to start providing 5G communications to citizens across the country.

5G known for both its speed and ability to capture vaster coverage areas will force both businesses and the government to reimagine how we engage with citizens and consumers. A connected digital society will help us leapfrog some of the legacy that held us back and give rises to use cases for government services, farming, safety and other localised edge computing solutions.

Some of the other key trends include preparing for consumer data privacy POPIA legislation coming into effect as of this year, and consequently trust becoming central to most business strategies.

Given the well-held concerns around technology and its impact on the future of jobs, as well as concerns around data leaks and implications of using social media, we expect businesses to focus on making strategic choices linked to the well-being of employees and customers. The Internet of Things will see businesses include sensors into all aspects of their operations from improving productivity of crop farms to better management of vital water and electricity resources. IoT implies more data being shared and provides the opportunity for businesses to understand people and situations better.

One of the key players in this digital transformation - TransUnion - continues to build solutions that talk to changing needs and expectations of consumers and the economy. This includes services that they need to transact within a 24/7 manner and in the channel that they prefer. The trend is to focus on leveraging automation, big data technologies and artificial intelligence to leverage the increased volumes of data we have already started to see in the local market to improve value proposition to customers. Also, the focus is placed on leveraging automation to allow consumers to self-service their needs without having to always use traditional contact centre channels. This is an ongoing journey to partner with technology to find optimal ways to deliver work and create value for all concerned.

Date published: 
Friday, 21 February, 2020

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