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Smart data will dominate mobile SA

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A recent Cisco report has revealed that the worldwide shift from feature phones to smartphones, a revival in laptops with tablet-like capabilities, as well as expanding machine-to-machine applications are key factors supporting the increasing smart traffic trend.

According to the latest annual update of the Cisco Visual Networking Index Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast for 2014 to 2019, the ongoing adoption of more powerful mobile devices and machine-to-machine (M2M) connections combined with broader access to faster cellular networks are key contributors to significant mobile traffic growth. In 2014, 82% of South African mobile data traffic was “smart” traffic, with advanced computing/multi-media capabilities and a minimum of 3G connectivity, but that figure is expected to rise to 98% by 2019.

The worldwide shift from basic-feature phones to smartphones – combined with the continued growth in tablets, a resurgence in laptops with tablet-like capabilities, as well as expanding machine-to-machine (M2M) applications – are key factors supporting the increasing smart traffic trend.

“The remarkable uptake and adoption of mobile devices will be a key contributor to the country’s transformation, impacting industries like education, healthcare and government services therefore reaching all aspects of the society. The ongoing adoption of more powerful mobile devices and wider deployments of emerging M2M applications, combined with broader access to faster wireless networks is not limited to South Africa but across Africa as a whole. The findings of Cisco’s Mobile VNI 2015 comes as no surprise given the phenomenal growth of mobile traffic. This mobile-friendly environment will give service providers in South Africa a new landscape of challenges and opportunities to innovatively deliver a variety of mobile services and experiences to consumers and business users as the Internet of Everything (IoE) continues to take shape,” says Vernon Thaver, Chief Technology Officer, Cisco Systems South Africa

Key Highlights from South Africa

In South Africa, mobile data traffic is expected to grow 11-fold from 2014 to 2019, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 63% – two times faster than expected fixed IP traffic growth. This will be driven by the projected 48.2 million mobile users (88% of the population) by 2019, up from 43.4 million in 2014.

·         Data explosion: South African mobile data traffic will grow 2 times faster than fixed IP traffic from 2014 to 2019, and will account for 32% of South African fixed and mobile data traffic by 2019, up from 13% in 2014.

·         Smarter connections: In South Africa, 62% of mobile connections will be ‘smart’ connections by 2019, up from 21% in 2014.

·         Smarter traffic: In South Africa, 98% of mobile data traffic will be ‘smart’ traffic by 2019, up from 82% in 2014.

·         More traffic: Mobile traffic per South African user will reach 7,217 megabytes per month by 2019, up from 710 megabytes per month in 2014, a CAGR of 57%.

 

 Key Mobile Data Traffic Drivers in South Africa

From 2014 to 2019, Cisco anticipates that South African mobile traffic will grow at 63% CAGR. Trends driving mobile data traffic growth include:

·         More mobile users: By 2019, there will be 48.2 Million mobile users (up from 43.4 Million in 2014), a CAGR of 2.1%. The number of mobile-connected devices will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6% from 2014 to 2019. In 2014 there were 43.4 Million mobile users, nearly 82% of South Africa’s population, up 5% from 41.2 Million in 2013.

·         More mobile connections: By 2019, there will be approximately 112 million mobile-connected devices. In 2014, 6.9 million smartphones were added to the mobile network and there were 84 million mobile-connected devices in 2014.

·         Faster mobile speeds: The average mobile connection speed will grow 2.1-fold (16% CAGR) from 2014 to 2019, reaching 3,639 kbps by 2019.

·         More mobile video: By 2019, mobile video will represent 71% of South African mobile data traffic (compared to 51% at the end of 2014).

Impact of Mobile M2M Connections (and Wearable Devices) in South Africa

M2M refers to applications that enable wireless systems to communicate with similar devices to support global positioning satellite (GPS) navigation systems, asset tracking, utility meters, security and surveillance video. Wearable devices are included as a sub-segment of the M2M connections category to help project the growth trajectory of the Internet of Everything (IoE).

·         In South Africa the number of wearable devices will reach 2.4 million in number by 2019, up from 0.6 million in 2014, at 30% CAGR.

·         In South Africa, traffic from wearable devices is expected to fuel 20-fold growth in mobile traffic from wearable devices between 2014 and 2019.

·         In South Africa the average wearable device will generate 391 megabytes of mobile data traffic per month by 2019, up from 73 megabytes per month in 2014.

 

Growth of Mobile Cloud Traffic in South Africa

Cloud applications and services such as Netflix, YouTube, Pandora, and Spotify allow mobile users to overcome the memory capacity and processing power limitations of mobile devices.

·         In South Africa, mobile cloud traffic will grow 12.7-fold from 2014 to 2019 at 66% CAGR.

·         Cloud applications will account for 89% of total mobile data traffic by 2019, compared to 80% at the end of 2014.

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IoT at starting gate

South Africa is already past the Internet of Things (IoT) hype cycle and well into the mainstream, writes MARK WALKER, associate vice president of Sub-Saharan Africa at International Data Corporation (IDC).

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Projects and pilots are already becoming a commercial reality, tying neatly into the 2017 IDC prediction that 2018 would be the year when the local market took IoT mainstream. Over the next 12-18 months, it is anticipated that IoT implementations will continue to rise in both scope and popularity. Already 23% are in full deployment with 39% in the pilot phase. The value of IoT has been systematically proven and yet its reputation remains tenuous – more than 5% of companies are reluctant to put their money where the trend is – thanks to the shifting sands of IoT perception and success rate.

There are several reasons behind why IoT implementations are failing. The biggest is that organisations don’t know where to start. They know that IoT is something they can harness today and that it can be used to shift outdated modalities and operations. They are aware of the benefits and the case studies. What they don’t know is how to apply this knowledge to their own journey so their IoT story isn’t one of overbearing complexity and rising costs.

Another stumbling block is perception. Yes, there is the futuristic potential with the talking fridge and intelligent desk, but this is not where the real value lies. Organisations are overlooking the challenges that can be solved by realistic IoT, the banal and the boring solutions that leverage systems to deliver on business priorities. IoT’s potential sits within its ability to get the best out of assets and production efficiencies, solving problems in automation, security, and environment.

In addition to this, there is a lack of clarity around return on investment, uncertainty around the benefits, a lack of executive leadership, and concerns around security and the complexities of regulation.  Because IoT is an emerging technology there remains a limited awareness of the true extent of its value proposition and yet 66% of organisations are confident that this value exists.

This percentage poses both a problem and opportunity. On one hand, it showcases the local shift in thinking towards IoT as a technology worth investing into. On the other hand, many companies are seeing the competition invest and leaping blindly in the wrong direction. Stop. IoT is not the same for every business.

It is essential that every company makes its own case for IoT based on its needs and outcomes. Does agriculture have the same challenges as mining? Does one mining company have the same challenges as another? The answer is no. Organisations that want their IoT investment to succeed must reject the idea that they can pick up where another has left off. IoT must be relevant to the business outcome that it needs to achieve. While some use cases may apply to most industries based on specific circumstances, there are different realities and priorities that will demand a different approach and starting point.

Ask – what is the business problem right now and how can technology be leveraged to resolve it?

In the agriculture space, there is a need to improve crop yields and livestock management, improve farm productivity and implement environmental monitoring. In the construction and mining industry, safety and emergency response are a priority alongside workforce and production management. Education shifts the lens towards improving delivery and quality of education, access to advanced learning methods and reducing the costs of learning.  Smart cities want to improve traffic and efficiently deliver public services and healthcare is focusing on wellness, reducing hospital admissions and the security of assets and inventory management.

The technology and solutions selected must speak to these specific challenges.

If there are no insights used to create an IoT solution, it’s the equivalent of having the fastest Ferrari on Rivonia Road in peak traffic. It makes a fantastic noise, but it isn’t going to move any faster than the broken-down sedan in the next lane. Everyone will be impressed with the Ferrari, but the amount of power and the size of the investment mean nothing. It’s in the wrong place.

What differentiates the IoT successes is how a company leverages data to deliver meaningful value-added predictions and actions for personalised efficiencies, convenience, and improved industry processes. To move forward the organisation needs to focus on the business outcomes and not just the technology. They need to localise and adapt by applying context to the problem that’s being solved and explore innovation through partnerships and experimentation.

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ERP underpins food tracking

The food traceability market is expected to reach almost $20 billion by 2022 as increased consumer awareness, strict governance requirements, and advances in technology are resulting in growing standardisation of the segment, says STUART SCANLON, managing director of epic ERP

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Just like any data-driven environment, one of the biggest enablers of this is integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions.

As the name suggests, traceability is the ability to track something through all stages of production, processing, and distribution. When it comes to the food industry, traceability must also enable stakeholders to identify the source of all food inputs that can include anything from raw materials, additives, ingredients, and packaging.

Considering the wealth of data that all these facets generate, it is hardly surprising that systems and processes need to be put in place to manage, analyse, and provide actionable insights. With traceability enabling corrective measures to be taken (think product recalls), having an efficient system is often the difference between life or death when it comes to public health risks.

Expansive solutions

Sceptics argue that traceability simply requires an extensive data warehouse to be done correctly, the reality is quite different. Yes, there are standard data records to be managed, but the real value lies in how all these components are tied together.

ERP provides the digital glue to enable this. With each stakeholder audience requiring different aspects of traceability (and compliance), it is essential for the producer, distributor, and every other organisation in the supply chain, to manage this effectively in a standardised manner.

With so many different companies involved in the food cycle, many using their own, proprietary systems, just consider the complexity of trying to manage traceability. Organisations must not only contend with local challenges, but global ones as well as the import and export of food are big business drivers.

So, even though traceability is vital to keep track of everything in this complex cycle, it is also imperative to monitor the ingredients and factories where items are produced. Having expansive solutions that must track the entire process from ‘cradle to grave’ is an imperative. Not only is this vital from a safety perspective, but from cost and reputational management aspects as well. Just think of the recent listeriosis issue in South Africa and the impact it has had on all parties in that supply chain.

Efficiency improvements

Thanks to the increasing digital transformation efforts by companies in the food industry, traceability becomes a more effective process. It is no longer a case of using on-premise solutions that can be compromised but having hosted ones that provide more effective fail-safes.

In a market segment that requires strict compliance and regulatory requirements to be met, cloud-based solutions can provide everyone in the supply chain with a more secure (and tamper-resistant) solution than many of the legacy approaches of old.

This is not to say ERP requires the one or the other. Instead, there needs to be a transition provided between the two scenarios that empowers those in the food supply chain to maximise the insights (and benefits) derived from traceability.

Now, more than ever, traceability is a business priority. Having the correct foundation through effective ERP is essential if a business can manage its growth and meet legislative requirements into the future.

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