Most organisations are not ready to adopt digitisation or the Internet of Things (IoT).
This is according to the Cisco Digital Vortex: 941 Leaders whitepaper, which also outlines the vital key steps that South African organisations will need to implement to become fully digital and to embrace the IoT era.
The survey findings show that:
* Only one in four leaders globally, say they are being sufficiently proactive about digitisation. This means that only 25% describe their approach to digital disruption as proactive, or willing to disrupt themselves in order to compete.
* Likewise, digital disruption is not seen as worthy of board-level attention in about 45% of companies (on average across industries).
* In addition, 43% of companies either do not acknowledge the risk of digital disruption, or have not addressed it sufficiently.
* Nearly a third are taking a “wait and see” approach, in hopes of emulating successful competitors.
South Africa’s approach to digitisation therefore needs to change. The IoT should be part of every business discussion as digital transformation can drive operational efficiency, increase employee productivity, garner greater customer loyalty and create new revenue streams.
As digitisation accelerates, cutting edge infrastructure will increase the country’s GDP, reduce spending and create jobs. It will allow the government to extend the reach and impact of public services by converting insights into action. It will enable new and diverse groups of entrepreneurs to build businesses that will shape the world, whilst providing more accessibility and opportunities for education and technology-based careers.
As a result, it will ensure that countries become more competitive on the global stage, according to Cisco. Having the right digital ecosystem in place will be a necessity to achieve any of these things.
Findings from the most recent Cisco Midyear Security Report reveal that cyber-attacks are becoming even more sophisticated as adversaries seek to be innovative in their approach to accessing networks undetected.  An example of a key driver in security breaches is the reality that most apps developed are not secure by design as many developers use open source components, which result in vulnerabilities.
Cybersecurity solutions need to protect not just networks and devices, but also critical applications and data. Identity-based user and device authentication is critical to securing applications and data across mobile and cloud deployments.
Security is an important discussion within organisations and government bodies. While those discussions continue to evolve, it is important to note that threats to smarter and efficient operations exist right now.
Cathy Smith, GM at Cisco South Africa, comments: “As new industries emerge, spurred by smart investments in technology, the development of skills and talent will be critical for the economic success of the continent. Cisco is committed to working with governments and organisations in South Africa to help develop ICT skills and support job creation.
“Countries and organisations that do not drive their own digital business transformation will be left behind. Those that do will be pulled toward a ‘digital centre’ in which business models, offerings, and value chains are digitised, driving new revenue streams and substantive business outcomes. To be ready for this digital transformation, organisations need to transform their business strategy and IT, connect everything, embrace analytics, and secure their technology and operations.”