Business has moved into the post-digital era, according to Deloitte, which this morning released its Technology Trends Report. 
Post-digital implies that all business planning and strategies going forward will be based upon digital technologies.
The new Deloitte report examines the top enabling and disrupting technology trends that will have a significant impact on business in South Africa over the next 18 to 24 months.
Now in its fourth iteration, the theme this year looks at elements of the post-digital enterprise. Specifically, it highlights how the growing convergence of analytics, mobile, social, the cloud and cyber are moving businesses into a new era.
“It is no longer good enough for South African companies to do things differently. The report highlights the need to do different things and to do them fast. Companies no longer have the luxury of sitting back and just following what the rest of the market is doing. The pace at which these trends are converging is significant and they need to prepare to change,” says Kamal Ramsingh, technology leader at Deloitte.
The 10 trends are grouped either as disruptors (technologies that can create sustainable positive disruption in IT capabilities, business operations, and even business models) or enablers (technologies that are more evolutionary than revolutionary and have already seen investment, but which warrant another look this year because of new developments).
The disruptors are identified as:
* CIOs as the post-digital catalyst – catalysing value from the elements of mobile, social, analytics, cloud and cyber;
* Mobile only (and beyond) – the enterprise potential of mobile is greater than today’s smartphone and tablet apps;
* Social re-engineering by design – how work gets done is no longer constrained by 19th century platforms;
* Design as a discipline – inherent, pervasive, and persistent design opens the path to enterprise value; and
* IPv6 (and this time we mean it) – ubiquitous connected computing is straining the underlying foundation of the Internet.
Deloitte identifies the enablers as:
* Finding the face of data – fuse people and technology to discover new answers in data – and new questions, too;
* Gamification goes to work – drive engagement by embedding game mechanics in day-to-day business processes;
* Reinventing the ERP engine – revving up data, hardware, deployment and business model architectures at the core;
* No such thing as hacker-proof – if users build it, they will hack it. How do enterprises deal with that; and
* The business of IT – after re-engineering the rest of the business, IT’s children deserve some shoes.
“It is important to note that these trends are not limited to any specific sector. They impact companies across the board. Decision-makers need to realise that technology has become completely integrated into business operations and not just relegated to the IT department,” says Mark White, chief technology officer at Deloitte in the US.
He feels that part of this is a growing awareness that the role of the CIO has changed, and continues to evolve within business models.
“The CIO is no longer the person responsible for ensuring desktops and mobile phones run properly. In the post-digital enterprise, the CIO fulfils an integral business role in helping drive the strategic direction of the organisation” he says.
However, White believes that the potential of post-digital can spur both offensive and defensive responses.
“On the one side lies opportunity for innovation. On the other, the existential threat of disruption. Every industry may be affected by the underlying digital forces. Every market may be reshaped by their controlled collision. It is no longer just about technology but about the underlying business principles that it can unlock,” he adds.