classic | mobile



A new world
1st Quarter 2019, News & events

The soft side of IoT

At the start of a new year it’s fun to have a look at what’s in store for us technology-wise, and Gartner Group generally has something to say. Its latest report on Top Strategic IoT Trends and Technologies Through 2023 identifies the ten technology trends that are expected to have the most impact worldwide. These are artificial intelligence; social, legal and ethical IoT; infonomics and data broking (the buying and selling of IoT data); the shift to intelligent edge and intelligent mesh (from centralised and cloud to more complex edge architectures); IoT governance; sensor innovation; trusted hardware and operating systems (security is a huge technical concern in IoT systems); new user experiences; innovation on the chip; and new wireless networking technologies.

Some of these are already well on their way – artificial intelligence, wireless networking, edge computing – but Gartner says that the softer trends are also affecting IoT’s future. Human concerns such as social, legal and ethical IoT and IoT governance are equally important, as is user experience. Some of the issues to be faced are ownership of data and the conclusions that are drawn, privacy and compliance with regulations. Governance frameworks also need to be drawn up to draft rules about the creation, storage, use and deletion of information in order to manage people’s behaviour.

Gartner also says that user experience is a critical trend. IoT is radically changing the way people and companies interact with technology, and IoT solutions need to be socially acceptable as well as technically effective. User experience design is becoming a key element of competitive advantage. Before, all that was needed was a web design. Now you also need innovation in product development, customer strategy and business transformation. Human/IoT interactions are increasingly without screens and keyboards, and user experience designers must use new technologies and adopt new ideas to create interfaces that reduce friction, lock in users and encourage their use and retention. All this will be driven by four building blocks: new sensors, new algorithms, new experience architectures, and socially aware experiences. The conventions are still being drafted. How they develop will determine the future of IoT.

Unlocking the value of digital transformation

Closer to home, another recent research report, this one by Accenture together with the World Economic Forum, says that digital technologies could unlock over R5 trillion in value in South Africa by 2026. In recent issues of Motion Control we have covered how South Africa is responding to 4IR through the impressive Intsimbi Future Production Technologies Initiative. This drive is aimed at changing the face of automation in South Africa in a partnership between government and industry. The Accenture report is right in line with this programme.

Unlocking Digital Value for Business and Society in South Africa finds that by implementing digital technologies in government services and key industry sectors, value to society and industry amounting to R2 trillion and R3,6 trillion respectively could be unlocked in the next decade. Drawing on expert interviews, local statistics and industry reports, the research measures the impact digital technologies such as analytics, blockchain, virtual reality and artificial intelligence could have on the environment, consumers, labour and government.

What the research does is to highlight major areas in which South Africa can unlock value. It is also intended to lay down groundwork, stimulate dialogue, encourage public-private sector collaboration, and offer recommendations for national digital transformation strategies and investments that can lead to economic growth.

Accenture says the three core digital technologies and enablers that have the greatest potential for value creation are IoT and connected devices, artificial intelligence and platforms. The potential value of IoT will be the highest as a result of the combined effect of greater affordability of smart devices together with their widespread adoption.

Digitalisation in agriculture, manufacturing and financial services has the highest potential for growth. In the agricultural sector, for example, the combined use of autonomous vehicles, drones and sensors can make precision agriculture possible, improving the use of resources and increasing yields. In the manufacturing sector there is the opportunity to improve response to demand and introduce added value services, turning product companies into service companies; and Accenture says that digitalisation of public infrastructure maintenance, public administration and healthcare alone could add over R1.2 trillion to society over the next decade through its impact on economic activity, productivity and service delivery.

However, the report warns that progress will require effort and investment in connectivity, as well as public-private partnerships. Skills development will also be critical. Let’s see what happens, for now I think I will look at this as a glass half full.

Kim Roberts


Supplied By: Technews Publishing
Tel: +27 11 543 5800
Fax: +27 11 787 8052
Share via email     Print this page  

Further reading:

  • Siemens launches digital mining incubator at Wits
    1st Quarter 2019, Siemens Digital Factory & Process Ind. & Drives, News & events
    The Digital Mining Incubator is a co-creation space focused on developing mining engineering competence.
  • New efforts bring hope for Industry 4.0-ready SA workforce
    1st Quarter 2019, Reed Exhibitions, News & events
    Industry 4.0 – smart new automation tools and technologies – are rapidly changing the face of manufacturing and industry around the world. Without a concerted effort to change industry processes and infrastructure, ...
  • Schneider Electric participates in French-South African Business Forum
    1st Quarter 2019, Schneider Electric South Africa, News & events
    Albert Fuchet, Cluster President for Schneider Electric Anglophone Africa, recently participated at the French-South African Business Forum, where he took part in the panel discussion ‘A New Approach: ...
  • Parker’s latest products and system solutions
    1st Quarter 2019, Parker Hannifin - Sales Company South Africa, News & events
    Parker Hannifin demonstrated its latest products and system solutions that help drive increased productivity and profitability in the oil and gas industry at this year’s ADIPEC. With many decades of experience ...
  • Konecranes and Demag become one company
    1st Quarter 2019, News & events
    As of January 1st 2019, Konecranes and Demag in South Africa will become one legal entity under the new name of Konecranes and Demag.
  • BMG celebrates Fenner’s 90 years of business in SA
    1st Quarter 2019, Bearing Man Group t/a BMG, News & events
    BMG is celebrating Fenner’s 90th year of business in South Africa this year.
  • Cummins plays key role in SA integrated transport strategy
    1st Quarter 2019, News & events
    Cummins is set to play a key role in the integrated transport strategy for South Africa through its partnership with Real African Works (RAW).
  • Massive precision lathe for Marthinusen & Coutts
    1st Quarter 2019, News & events
    One of the largest lathes on the African continent has been installed at Marthinusen & Coutts’ power generation equipment repair facility in Benoni.
  • New product launches for Bearings International
    1st Quarter 2019, News & events
    Bearings International (BI) has a few product launches planned for Q1 2019 aimed at ensuring sustainability and even stronger growth.
  • Appointments
    1st Quarter 2019, News & events
  • Hope for the future
    4th Quarter 2018, Technews Publishing, News & events
    There is a tendency to think that IIoT is an overseas phenomenon, but I was recently happily surprised to discover that things are happening here as well.
  • Festo celebrates 45 years in South Africa
    4th Quarter 2018, Festo, News & events
    In celebration of 45 years of successful growth and development in this country, managing director of Festo South Africa, Brett Wallace paints a picture of the company’s rich history, global heritage and ongoing pursuit of new improved automation solutions for Africa.

Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd
1st Floor, Stabilitas House
265 Kent Ave, Randburg, 2194
South Africa
Publications by Technews
Dataweek Electronics & Communications Technology
Electronic Buyers Guide (EBG)

Hi-Tech Security Solutions
Hi-Tech Security Business Directory

Motion Control in Southern Africa
Motion Control Buyers’ Guide (MCBG)

South African Instrumentation & Control
South African Instrumentation & Control Buyers’ Guide (IBG)
Terms & conditions of use, including privacy policy
PAIA Manual


    classic | mobile

Copyright © Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved.