Kathy Gibson at IDC’s CIO Summit in Johannesburg – Cloud take-up is likely to save companies $100-billion over the next few years.

Meanwhile, employee productivity will double, recommendation-oriented device interactions will triple and customer experience will be redefined.

However, there is also a downside. At least one-third of business leaders will no longer be around. “They will be disrupted,” says Mike Rosen, vice-president: research strategic architecture at IDC.

The rate of change is accelerating all the time, Rosen says. “Speed of change is one of the primary indicators of whether a company will survive.

“Architecting for change is now more important than architecting for performance.”

In South Africa there will be a big uptick in cloud adoption, Rosen says. IoT will also start to move to the mainstream, while mobility will also have a big impact in the financial industry.

“We expect the number of mobile applications to double,” says Rosen. And technologies like NFC will take off.”

On the downside, there will be security issues – and IDC expects at least one major event to happen in South Africa this year.

Itayi Mandonga, cloud champion at Oracle, points out that digital is everywhere and its impact is almost pervasive.

“For years, digital was considered as just an appendage to the economy,” he says. “But digital is actually the new economy – an economy of endless possibilities.”

The main impact of digital is that it has lowered the barriers to competition, Mandonga says.

With digital capability, round-the-clock business is now expected, he adds. It has also raised customer expectations, and they also have more choices.

However, Mandonga agrees that security is a major issue in the digital world. This must happen while the customer expects the company to know him and understand him.

“We also have the capability to enter new markets. If you start a service today, you can sell it to anyone that has access to your digital assets.”

More importantly, Mandonga says, us the issue of speed. “If you come up with an idea, you have to implement it before someone else does it. If you wait, trust me, someone else will do it.”

But is what we are experiencing digital transformation of digital disruption? Mandonga believes that if the CIO is in control of the process it is transformation – but it’s negative disruption if they aren’t.

“If you wait for the market to tell you where you are going ,you will be disrupted.”

The CIO is the person who will make this call, he adds.

“By definition, digital disruption is about embracing technology to change the business.”

For instance, the Department of Public Works is implementing Internet of Things (IoT) technology to help it manage its buildings and reduce consumption.

“We are already seeing impact,” says Sulieman Patel, CIO of the Department of Public Works. “But we need to become more proactive in managing our buildings.”

However, he believes there is an opportunity for South African businesses to come up with innovative ways to provide the technology for IoT.