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IT must go digital – or drag the business down

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Technology is driving change at a rapid rate and business leaders are constantly being warned about digital disruption, but there is an enormous opportunity for organisations that are willing to digitally transform, says MARK GESCHKE, CEO of Xuviate.

According to a study by Capgemini Consulting and MIT Sloan, large enterprises that committed deeply to digital transformation were on average 50 percent more profitable than companies that were only in the starting blocks of their transformation.

Considering that there are so many technology driven start-ups that begin small and show huge success in no time, there is no reason to believe that mid-sized businesses would not see similar successes.

Mark Geschke, CEO of the digital transformation company Xuviate, points to Relevant IT as the solution to digital transformation. “Relevant IT is a methodology developed specifically for SMEs to provide a clear, actionable roadmap of the developmental steps that need to be taken to rapidly increase the digital business DNA.”

Key to this methodology is the understanding that information technology holds the promise to add significant business value along four different dimensions. Xuviate coined this ‘The 4 Value Propositions of IT’.

Geschke says to unlock the promise of each Value Proposition, old skills have to be brushed off and new skills need to be acquired. “A breakthrough of our methodology is that we have not only been able to identify the 15 most important business technology competencies we need to master, but also prioritised them in the exact order they should be worked on.”

Digital transformation should be seen as a way of doing things, creating value at the new frontiers of the business world, creating value in the processes that execute a vision of customer experiences, and building foundational capabilities that support the entire structure.

As with most maturity frameworks, organisations aim to get as high up the ladder as possible in the shortest amount of time. Transitioning from one level to the next usually requires major mind-set changes, but is usually accompanied by significant increases in productivity and business value gained from IT investments.

Digital businesses create value for themselves by effectively harnessing modern technology and focusing intensely on improving customer experiences across all points of interaction. They achieve this by systematically upgrading their IT maturity through the Value Propositions of IT.

Relevant IT ensures a well-managed IT platform with appropriate supporting IT processes and if delivered well, IT costs are under control and the business users can generally depend on the platform to be available, as and when they need it.

After having established a reliable and cost-effective IT platform, the framework addresses automation and optimisation of business processes across the organisation.

“Once the low-hanging fruit of business processes optimisation have been sufficiently exploited, new opportunities open up to leverage technology expertise and differentiate in the market. Coming in the form of marketing or product innovations and usually involves significant step-changes that improve the overall competitiveness of the organisation,” says Geschke.

Organisations that have reached the highest level of maturity understand that technology provides an effective toolkit for continuously reinvention at the business model level.

“There is a gold-mine of opportunities waiting for service providers who realise that most mid-sized businesses are clamouring for customised solutions to support them on their digital transformation journey,” he concludes.

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Now download a bank account

Absa has introduced an end-to-end account opening for new customers, through the Absa Banking App, which can be downloaded from the Android and Apple app stores. This follows the launch of the world first ChatBanking on WhatsApp service.

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This “download your account” feature enables new customers to Absa, to open a Cheque account, order their card and start transacting on the Absa Banking App, all within minutes, from anywhere and at any time, by downloading it from the App stores.

“Overall, this new capability is not only expected to enhance the customer’s digital experience, but we expect to leverage this in our branches, bringing digital experiences to the branch environment and making it easier for our customers to join and bank with us regardless of where they may be,” says Aupa Monyatsi, Managing Executive for Virtual Channels at Absa Retail & Business Banking.

“With this innovation comes the need to ensure that the security of our customers is at the heart of our digital experience, this is why the digital onboarding experience for this feature includes a high-quality facial matching check with the Department of Home Affairs to verify the customer’s identity, ensuring that we have the most up to date information of our clients. Security is supremely important for us.”

The new version of the Absa Banking App is now available in the Apple and Android App stores, and anyone with a South African ID can become an Absa customer, by following these simple steps:

  1. Download the Absa App
  2. Choose the account you would like to open
  3. Tell us who you are
  4. To keep you safe, we will verify your cell phone number
  5. Take a selfie, and we will do facial matching with the Department of Home Affairs to confirm you are who you say you are
  6. Tell us where you live
  7. Let us know what you do for a living and your income
  8. Click Apply.

 

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How we use phones to avoid human contact

A recent study by Kaspersky Lab has found that 75% of people pick up their connected device to avoid conversing with another human being.

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Connected devices are becoming essential to keeping people in contact with each other, but for many they are also a much-needed comfort blanket in a variety of social situations when they do not want to interact with others. A recent survey from Kaspersky Lab has confirmed this trend in behaviour after three-quarters of people (75%) admitted they use a device to pretend to be busy when they don’t want to talk to someone else, showing the importance of keeping connected devices protected under all circumstances. 

Imagine you’ve arrived at a bar and you’re waiting for your date. The bar is busy, and people are chatting all around you. What do you do now? Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know? Grab your phone from your pocket or handbag until your date arrives to keep yourself busy? Why talk to humans or even make eye-contact with someone else when you can stare at your connected device instead?

The truth is, our use of devices is making it much easier to avoid small talk or even be polite to those around us, and new Kaspersky Lab research has found that 72% of people use one when they do not know what to do in a social situation. They are also the ‘go-to’ distraction for people even when they aren’t trying to look busy or avoid someone’s eye. 46% of people admit to using a device just to kill time every day and 44% use it as a daily distraction.

In addition to just being a distraction, devices are also a lifeline to those who would rather not talk directly to another person in day-to-day situations, to complete essential tasks. In fact, nearly a third (31%) of people would prefer to carry out tasks such as ordering a taxi or finding directions to where they need to go via a website and an app, because they find it an easier experience than speaking with another person.

Whether they are helping us avoid direct contact or filling a void in our daily lives, our constant reliance on devices has become a cause for panic when they become unusable. A third (34%) of people worry that they will not be able to entertain themselves if they cannot access a connected device. 12% are even concerned that they won’t be able to pretend to be busy if their device is out of action.

Dmitry Aleshin, VP for Product Marketing, Kaspersky Lab said, “The reliance on connected devices is impacting us in more ways than we could have ever expected. There is no doubt that being connected gives us the freedom to make modern life easier, but devices are also vital to help people get through different and difficult social situations. No matter what your ‘connection crutch’ is, it is essential to make sure your device is online and available when you need it most.”

To ensure your device lifeline is always there and in top health – no matter what the reason or situation – Kaspersky Security Cloud keeps your connection safe and secure:

·         I want to use my device while waiting for a friend – is it secure to access the bar’s Wi-Fi?

With Kaspersky Security Cloud, devices are protected against network threats, even if the user needs to use insecure public Wi-Fi hotspots. This is done through transferring data via an encrypted channel to ensure personal data safety, so users’ devices are protected on any connection.

·         Oh no! I’m bored but my phone’s battery is getting low – what am I going to do?

Users can track their battery level thanks to a countdown of how many minutes are left until their device shuts down in the Kaspersky Security Cloud interface. There is also a wide-range of portable power supplies available to keep device batteries charged while on-the-go.

·         I’ve lost my phone! How will I keep myself entertained now?

Should the unthinkable happen and you lose or have your phone stolen, Kaspersky Security Cloud can track and protect your device from data breaches, for complete peace of mind. Remote lock and locate features ensure your device remains secure until you are reunited.

 

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