ICT professionals admit that 2016 was a tough year, but those who are positioned at the edge of technology trends application are confident the tide is about to turn. Next year South African businesses should prepare themselves for a digital wave spearheaded by smart payment systems and blockchain technology aligned with the growth in social networking and mobility.
This is according to Chris Daffy, chief commercial officer at MobileData, who believes that 2017 will be the year when connected consumers will be able to exploit critical changes and innovation within the financial services and related platform development.
Based on the company’s extensive background and experience in the market, the company has listed several predictions that it believes will characterise the year ahead and impact on virtually all businesses as they embrace digital:
* TradeSwitch will embrace agnostically multiple “Smart” or not so smart – digital wallets.
* VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) will move aggressively into the SmartApp space and onto game consoles.
* Blockchain and blockchain currencies will become mainstream.
* We’ll see the first manned Hyperloop trials.
* In the local South African market Turquoise will become the new orange.
* #Datawillfall, with voice becoming marginalised or anytime calling with suitable indenture.
* Talking about the elephant in the room enterprise Databases will look toward a freshening blue as dusky red fades.
* Even products not considered digital will become digitised. The era of VAS will look toward Digital Product Aggregator and Management Platforms.
* Banks will continue to look longingly at networks for inspiration and the exact mirror behaviour will make networks try to become banks, insurance companies, haberdasheries, etc.
“Most importantly, let’s say goodbye to 2016, a tough year but we know that we are in for a better, innovative and satisfying year ahead. It will be all about mobile, about cloud, analytics and the internet of things, about sensors and connectivity. We know that this will play out most predominantly in the prepaid and financial services space, and we look forward to seeing how the market advances,” says Daffy. “Let’s try to have some fun in 2017!”