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Joburg, Cape Town, ranked among most connected cities

Johannesburg and Cape Town are recognised as part of the world’s top hyper-connected cities that are making progress on interconnecting urban ecosystem and realising benefits

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Data is at the core of successful smart city innovation, according to new research from Oracle and economic and urban research consultancy ESI ThoughtLab. The Building a Hyperconnected City study found that cities are drowning in data from advancements such as Internet of Things (IoT). The survey projected that there will be more than 30 billion connected devices generating data by 2020. The study notes that for cities to become truly ‘smart’, they must have a cloud infrastructure in place to extract, integrate, and analyze this data to glean the insights needed to enhance everything from citizen services to building projects.   

The report surveyed 100 cities across the United States, APAC, EMEA and LATAM. 

The hyper-connected multiplier effect

According to the study, the average return on investments in hyper-connected initiatives ranges from three – four percent. As cities become more interlinked, their ROI grows: cities just starting out realize a return of 1.8 percent for implementers and 2.6 percent for advancers, while hyper-connected leaders see a 5.0 percent boost. That can translate into enormous returns ranging from $19.6 million for implementers to $40.0 million for advancers and $83 million for hyper-connected leaders.  

Other key findings from the study include:

  • AI, Blockchain and biometrics are increasingly pervasive: Cities are using these technologies in key urban areas, such as IT infrastructure and telecoms, mobility and transportation, payment and financial systems, and physical and digital security. City leaders need the right technology platforms and applications to implement and leverage these tools and capabilities.
  • Cybersecurity requires careful planning and is expensive when not implemented properly: The study revealed that half of the 100 city leaders surveyed do not feel adequately prepared for cyberattacks.
  • Smart initiatives are bolstering constituent satisfaction: While physical and digital security top the list of priorities, citizen engagement and satisfaction have risen as a top five goal. 33 percent of innovative leaders in North America have appointed Chief Citizen Experience Officers. 

“The public sector, particularly at local level, is dealing with seismic technological, demographic and environmental shifts. Data is the rocket fuel for this transformation, and progressive cities are turning to cloud, data platforms, mobile applications and IoT as a way to scale and prepare for the future,” said Susan O’Connor, global director for Smart Cities, Oracle. “In contrast, not taking advantage of emerging technologies such as AI, Blockchain or virtual and augmented reality comes at a cost. Cities of the future need strategic, long-term investments in cloud data architecture, along with the right expertise to guide them through.”

Customer Commitment to Smarter Cities: 

“As a data driven organization, we integrate, manage and use data to inform how we improve services for our constituents,” said Hamant Bharadia, assistant director of finance at the London Borough of Lambeth. “Oracle Cloud Applications for financial planning and payroll are an integral part of our digital strategy, setting us up for a modern way of working and engaging with our communities. They are an essential enabler for us to support innovation, improve public safety and realize our vision of making Lambeth a connected, inclusive place to thrive.”  

“Approximately 50% of Buenos Aires sidewalks are in poor condition, and we previously used spreadsheets to plan the routes for our crew to fix them,” said Alejandro Naon, chief of staff of planning of the undersecretariat of pedestrian ways, City of Buenos Aires. “Today, with Oracle CX Field Service Cloud, we can identify and fix the sidewalks exponentially faster because we receive images and information in real time. Our sidewalks are safer, our workers are more productive, and we recovered our Oracle technology investment in 18 months.” 

“At the foundation of our smart government innovation is Oracle Analytics Cloud. It is both the heartbeat and hub for sharing information, enabling us to deliver data-driven citizen services and engagement with maximum impact,” said Chris Cruz, director and chief information officer, San Joaquin County. “Our entities throughout San Joaquin County, such as hospitals, law enforcement, transportation and public works, now partner more effectively and are better equipped to meet the health, social, safety and economic needs of our constituents.”  

Oracle’s Smart City solutions transform the ways cities can harness and process the power of data through the integration of modern digital technologies and channels. The platform integrates technologies spanning cloud, digital outreach, omni-channel service, case management, mobility, social, IoT, Blockchain, and artificial intelligence while helping ensure comprehensive security and information privacy. 

For more information, go to https://www.oracle.com/applications/customer-experience/industries/public-sector/

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Second-hand smartphone market booms

The worldwide market for used smartphones is forecast to grow to 332.9 million units, with a market value of $67 billion, in 2023, according to IDC

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International Data Corporation (IDC) expects worldwide shipments of used smartphones, inclusive of both officially refurbished and used smartphones, to reach a total of 206.7 million units in 2019. This represents an increase of 17.6% over the 175.8 million units shipped in 2018. A new IDC forecast projects used smartphone shipments will reach 332.9 million units in 2023 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.6% from 2018 to 2023.

This growth can be attributed to an uptick in demand for used smartphones that offer considerable savings compared with new models. Moreover, OEMs have struggled to produce new models that strike a balance between desirable new features and a price that is seen as reasonable. Looking ahead, IDC expects the deployment of 5G networks and smartphones to impact the used market as smartphone owners begin to trade in their 4G smartphones for the promise of high-performing 5G devices.

Anthony Scarsella, research manager with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, says: “In contrast to the recent declines in the new smartphone market, as well as the forecast for minimal growth in new shipments over the next few years, the used market for smartphones shows no signs of slowing down across all parts of the globe. Refurbished and used devices continue to provide cost-effective alternatives to both consumers and businesses that are looking to save money when purchasing a smartphone. Moreover, the ability for vendors to push more affordable refurbished devices in markets in which they normally would not have a presence is helping these players grow their brand as well as their ecosystem of apps, services, and accessories.”

Worldwide Used Smartphone Shipments (shipments in millions of units)

Region2018
Shipments
2018 Market
Share
2023
Shipments*
2023 Market
Share*
2018-2023
CAGR*
North America39.022.2%87.226.2%17.4%
Rest of World136.877.8%245.773.8%12.4%
Total175.8100.0%332.9100.0%13.6%

Source: IDC, Worldwide Used Smartphone Forecast, 2019–2023, Dec 2019.

Table Notes: Data is subject to change.
* Forecast projections.

Says Will Stofega, program director, Mobile Phones: “Although drivers such as regulatory compliance and environmental initiatives are still positively impacting the growth in the used market, the importance of cost-saving for new devices will continue to drive growth. Overall, we feel that the ability to use a previously owned device to fund the purchase of either a new or used device will play the most crucial role in the growth of the refurbished phone market. Trade-in combined with the increase in financing plans (EIP) will ultimately be the two main drivers of the refurbished phone market moving forward.”

According to IDC’s taxonomy, a refurbished smartphone is a device that has been used and disposed of at a collection point by its owner. Once the device has been examined and classified as suitable for refurbishment, it is sent off to a facility for reconditioning and is eventually sold via a secondary market channel. A refurbished smartphone is not a “hand me down” or gained as the result of a person-to-person sale or trade.

The IDC report, Worldwide Used Smartphone Forecast, 2019–2023 (Doc #US45726219), provides an overview and five-year forecast of the worldwide refurbished phone market and its expansion and growth by 2023. This study also provides a look at key players and the impact they will have on vendors, carriers, and consumers.

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Customers and ‘super apps’ will shape travel in 2020s

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Customers will take far more control of their travel experience in the 2020s, according to a 2020 Trends report released this week by Travelport, a leading technology company serving the global travel industry.

Through independent research with thousands of global travellers – including 500 in South Africa – hundreds of travel professionals and interviews with leaders of some of the world’s biggest travel brands, Travelport uncovered the major forces that will become the technology enablers of travel over the next decade. These include:

Customers in control

Several trends highlight the finding that customers are moving towards self-service options, with 61% of the travellers surveyed in South Africa preferring to hear about travel disruption via digital communications, such as push notifications on an app, mobile chatbots, or instant messaging apps, rather than speaking with a person on the phone. This is especially important when it comes to young travellers under 25, seen as the future business traveler, and managing their high expectations through technology.

Mobile takeover

With the threat of super app domination, online travel agencies must disrupt or risk being disrupted. Contextual messaging across the journey will help. Super app tech giants like WeChat give their users a one-stop shop to communicate, shop online, book travel, bank, find a date, get food delivery, and pay for anything within a single, unified smartphone app. Travel brands that want to deliver holistic mobile customer experiences need to think about how they engage travellers within these super apps as well as in their own mobile channels.

Retail accelerated

In the next year, research shows, we will see an accelerated rate of change in the way travel is retailed and purchased online. This includes wider and more complex multi-content reach, more enriched and comparable offerings, more focus on relevance than magnitude, and an increase in automation that enables customer self-service.

“How customers engage with their travel experience – for instance by interacting with digital ‘bots’ and expecting offers better personalised to their needs – is changing rapidly,” says Adrian Roodt, country manager for Southern Africa at Travelport. “We in the travel industry need to understand and keep pace with these forces to make sure we’re continuing to make the experience of buying and managing travel continually better, for everyone.”

Read the full 2020 Trends report here: 2020 Trends hub.

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