16 February 2018

South Africa: SA Firms Trail Global Peers in Leveraging Technology

Johannesburg — SOUTH African businesses, outpaced by global peers, have been encouraged to embracethe power of technology to transform into intelligent enterprises that can integrate into people's daily lives.

The instruction is from Accenture, a leading global professional services company, which has proposed some key trends to enable the companies attain those objectives.

Accenture Technology Vision 2018, the annual report that identifies technological trends most likely to disrupt business, highlights how rapid advances in technologies-including artificial intelligence (AI), advanced analytics and the cloud -- are enabling companies to not just create innovative products and services but change the way people work and live.

Willie Schoeman, Managing Director for Accenture Technology in Africa, says South African businesses and information technology executives are increasingly embracing the power of technology with 80 percent of those surveyed agreeing that it can help companies weave themselves seamlessly into the fabric of daily life.

"Many people may not even realise that they are interacting with new innovations like AI. If you've received an automated telemarketing call or interacted with a Chabot online then AI has already influenced your life," Schoeman says.

Amazon, Apple and Microsoft are highlighted as good examples how companies can use the power of technology to integrate into their customers' lives, not only through the company's extensive online presence but also through its Echo device and AI assistant Alexa.

Schoeman says an excellent local example of a company that is successfully integrating itself into customers' lives through the power of technology is Discovery.

By embedding its Vitality programme into its insurance products it encourages its customers to interact with the company by rewarding them for positive behaviour.

The Accenture Labs and Accenture Research develops the Accenture Technology Vision annually.

This year's report surveyed more than 6 000 businesses across 19 industries in 25 countries including South Africa, making it the largest-ever sample size in the history of the report. - CAJ News

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