The relentless march of technology innovation shows no sign of halting. Recent history points to a future of technology, with the continued proliferation of social media, Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence all threatening to change our landscape for good, and the winners in this new landscape will understand and prepare for the implications of this technology. The massive increase in cybercrime and fraud over the years has highlighted the challenges businesses face across all industries.
The rise of Information Technology in the early 1990's promised massive efficiency savings and competitive advantages that we had not seen before. In reality, organisations of all shapes and sizes invested heavily in technology and waited for the benefits. Undoubtedly this investment did provide efficiencies that are rightly celebrated. Those that did not invest in technology often died, with widely quoted failures including Blockbuster not buying Netflix when they had the chance, and ToysRUs outsourcing their Internet sales to Amazon – ensuring the consumer became used to purchasing toys online.
However, while efficiencies were created, competitive advantages often did not materialise. Why is that? Well, it's because organisations ignored the fact that Information Technology wasn't just about Technology – in other words, they forgot the I in IT. In recent years we have seen the rise of the information age, where giants of the industry are information-based, rather than relying on technology. You're probably thinking of Google and Facebook as good examples of this, and you would be right. However, there are other examples that are not instantly recognised. Amazon house huge amounts of data on customer preferences, Uber know all about your movements, Airbnb know your favourite type of holiday and what you will typically spend, Dell have masses of information on the supply chain, and even Tinder has data on how good-looking people think you are and can advertise based on that information.
Hence, people now see information as the new oil. This comes with serious implications. Fraud losses are now in the tens of billions of dollars globally, with South Africa credit card fraud alone increasing to R436.7 million in 2017. The technology changes are partially to blame for this, as consumers seem very happy to share personal information online without any thought on how this can be used for bad. However, this alone is not to blame. The Internet of Things is becoming the norm, with Gartner predicting 95% of manufactured goods will be connected to the Internet by the end of 2020. Of course, security will not be part of the design for the majority of these goods as the rush to release new products tends to trump security. My current toothbrush has the ability to be connected to the Internet – is that really needed? What's the harm anyway? Well the sharp increase in Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks based on smart goods suggest there is harm. The first large DDoS attack only happened 2-3 years ago, but now these are commonplace and blamed for the massive rise in such attacks.
So as African economies continue to emerge and grow, there have to be lessons that are learnt. Firstly, to succeed, information is oil. Innovation without information is destined to fail, so be aware. However, the implications of processing large amounts of data are enormous, so be ready to protect and nurture that data. The future depends on it.
— Tim Ayling, Global Head of Fraud Prevention Solutions, Kaspersky Lab
This year did not begin the way most people expected it to, so what does the future of the telecoms sector look like in Africa in 2020? In this Connecting Africa online event, local analysts and industry stakeholders will discuss what African operators’ priorities for the year should be and the most significant market trends expected to dominate in 2020.
Will MNOs focus on sweating their current assets rather than investing in new technologies like 5G?
What impact will COVID-19 have on the continent’s networks?
What are the hot market trends in Africa when it comes to voice, data and mobile financial services?
The majority of 5G in Africa is still in the testing stage. However, as operators prepare their networks for the technology jump, what strategies are they deploying to ensure they gain the full value that 5G can offer Africa? This digital symposium will give you an insight into the opportunities and challenges facing Africa’s 5G rollout, with some country specific case studies unpacked.
How 5G-ready is African enterprise?
Is 5G a priority for in Africa, should it be? Or can operators and businesses focus on growing their 3G and 4G networks for enterprise instead?
What are the most significant enterprise business applications for 5G deployment on the continent, and where can 5G facilitate IoT applications?
Africa was the birthplace of Mobile Money and while it continues to rise in popularity, the industry is quickly evolving and launching more mobile-based financial services every day. In this Connecting Africa online event, local analysts and industry stakeholders will discuss how telcos are disrupting the financial services space and what the rise of Mobile Money 2.0 will look like for Africa.
From cash to mobile: heading towards a cashless society
Expanding MFS offerings beyond mobile money transfers
MNOs vs banks vs fintechs: an evolving competitive landscape
Unconnected and unbanked: fintech to improve financial inclusion
The rise of micro-loans and insurance through mobile platforms
Africa has the fastest growing population in the world and also the youngest, with 60% of Africans under the age of 25. It is clear that the next billion connected are going to be the mobile-only generation. This digital symposium will bring industry experts together to discuss Africa’s digital divide and how to get devices into the hands of young Africans and empower them to join the digital revolution.
Who’s Driving? The role of government & regulator, private tech companies, and public-private partnerships
Device affordability: are we reaching a tipping point?
Status check: Satellite vs Fiber and the enduring infrastructure gap
Exploring the wider societal and economic benefits of a connected, digitally literate continent