Zambia hints at fifth telco operator

A fifth telco
for Zambia?

Enough room says
industry regulator.

Wednesday, Feb 19th

Tech users holding enterprises more accountable

Tech users holding enterprises more accountable

There is a growing demand for digital enterprises to be more socially responsible in leveraging the latest technologies and focus on establishing citizen AI, extended reality, data veracity, frictionless business and internet of thinking.

This according to Accenture's annual research into tech trends – the company's Technology Vision 2018, announced yesterday in Johannesburg.

Accenture Technology Vision 2018 surveyed more than 6300 executives from 25 countries, including South Africa, the only country from Africa that took part.

The research focused on key tech trends including IOT, AI and Cloud.

Based on its research and the emphasis on the impact on users, the company has categorised these trends as establishing citizen AI, extended reality, data veracity, frictionless business and internet of thinking.

Willie Schoeman, Managing Director for Technology in Africa at Accenture said technology consumers now demand a level of responsibility from companies, more so than before.

"For the first time people are now looking back and saying if I'm connected to this ecosystem or industry of connected companies maybe I should just double click on what I am connected to or read the label as I would the label from the product on a shelf. Is it safe? Is it secure? Is it socially responsible? Is it intrusive? People are checking this...," said Schoeman.

"Citizen AI as we call it is all about organisations realising that they have to lift their artificial intelligence agents to get them to a level where they are socially responsible and trusted advisors. As soon as there is mistrust in the AI of an organisation it will fail. Extended reality is all about using technology to do away with the distance between people and technology or information and this can be especially useful in Africa if we do it at a decent price point. Data veracity talks to the notion that organisations today are changing their strategies, changing their interaction with us and their product suite based on real-time data analysis and in doing that, they open vulnerability where they can make incorrect decisions," he explained.

Frictionless business refers to the management of legacy systems in order to make way for and integrate next generation technology to optimise business functions.

The internet of thinking speaks to the creation of an ecosystem of organisations that think, act, and react without having to send large volumes of data back and forth over the internet.

According to the research 72% of executives reported that over the past year their organisations have sought to gain customer trust and confidence by being transparent in their AI-based decisions and actions.

84% of them agreed that through technology, companies are weaving themselves seamlessly into the fabric of how people live today.

Kabelo Makwane, Managing Director for Cloud Business practice at Accenture, said "Why should an app that only makes use of your lighting capability require details around your credit card or your birth date, location and all those type of things. Clearly there is an incongruence between the functionality that is required and the type or information that an app is gleaming from you. The question is how these things mitigate us from sharing too much information and potentially exposing ourselves to vulnerabilities."

Accenture Technology Vision 2018 recommends for business leaders focus on forging strong, trusted relationships with partners, customers, employees and even governments going forward.

250 respondents from nine different industries in South Africa (with an annual revenue of more than US$1 billion) participated in the survey.

Schoeman added, "What we're doing is duplicating this research in different African countries. We've been at this for quite a while and we don't always get the right volume out of Nigeria, Kenya, Botswana. To come back with a survey of twenty or thirty responses means nothing and that is quite interesting. The response rate in South Africa is poor but it is near zero in the rest of the continent. It is quite a challenge."


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