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Gartner says businesses need to build digital skills for new era

30/06/2014 by


Following the prepertion of the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo Africa 2014, which will take place at the CTICC from 10-12 September, Gartner – an information technology research and advisory company – estimates that by 2020, there will be 7.3 billion personal devices and 30 billion sensors in things ranging from jewellery to appliances. This is up from 1.6 billion personal devices and 0.9 billion sensors in 2009.

“The digital business is the coming together of possibilities in the physical and virtual worlds to create new business designs that can drive competitive advantage,” said Jeffrey Mann, Gartner research Vice President.

“As the Internet of Things and smart objects meet cloud, mobile, social and information, the IoT will create entirely new combinations of technology at accelerated speeds. This will disrupt existing business models, reshape entire industries and redefine the role of IT.”

Gartner projects that by 2020 the total economic value-add for the IoT will be US$1.9tn in this digital industrial economy.

Mann added that it’s not about using technology as an enabler, but as a source of innovation for what the business could do. “Businesses need to put technology at the heart of how they generate revenue, seize competitive advantage and produce value.”

This digitalisation will completely change business technology and information architecture, what it needs from vendors, and how it deals with cyber security and risk. It will also require every business leader to have digital leadership skills.

“Especially in South Africa there’s been a lot of emphasis on cutting budgets to the bone,” Mann said. “A lot of the decisions that were made to ‘do more with less’ can hurt digital business efforts if there isn’t enough flexibility to react to and take advantage of new opportunities.”

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