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When ‘optimise’ beats ‘disrupt’

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These days, businesses need to search through thousands of bytes of data in order to formulate trends and build new business models based on these trends. However this analysis is moving away from disruptive innovation and more into a balanced approach.

Every 60 seconds, the world creates an average of 98 000 tweets, 695 000 Facebook updates, 11 million instant messages, 168 million emails and over 1,820 terabytes of data. The modern day business has to search through all of this to find trends to build products and services to respond to, so more and more, business analysis is moving away from the “disruptive innovation” fad and more into a balanced approach where business uses data and information to decide on whether to optimise the systems and models they already have, or to totally disrupt markets.

“We often view innovation from a funnelled perspective, where we perceive disrupting markets with new propositions as the only form of innovation. This is not true. Innovation should not simply always entail disruption, sometimes optimisation is the ultimate form of innovation simply because it looks to solve the core problem by fixing what is broken with it rather than replacing it all together,” says Dr Yudhvir Seetharam, Head of Analytics at FNB.

Seetharam believes businesses need to first have a deeper understand of how optimisation differs from disruption.

Disruptive innovations are defined as technologically straightforward innovations that are often not appealing to the mainstream market at that time. The first automobile was not mainstream as people back then were used to horse-drawn carriages. The telephone replaced the telegraph, the PC replaced the typewriter and Wikipedia replaced encyclopaedias, all these fit the definition.

“Businesses that survive and thrive need to understand what actually drives their business – demand and supply factors; and also be able to create customisable sales conversations to enhance customer experience. These all talk to optimisation. Disruption would then come in the form of extracting insights from data, combined with research to build new business models and enable experimentation of new ideas,” explains Seetharam.

Successful implementation of disruptive ideas often comes with viewing data as a flow of information as opposed to at a point in time – do not view each customer event as an isolated incident, but rather consider the entire lifecycle of that customer to enhance your next interaction with them.

Essentially, there needs to be a paradigm shift in the approach to the use of data in informing decisions. Disruption may not be the most ideal or cost effective approach, even though it is the current talk of the town.  What businesses may have to consider going forward is that the successful use of data and analytics relies on data not being considered an IT function, but rather a business function that requires IT input and support.

Once data is viewed as a function that can inform all decision making in a business rather than reserved to a single business function, a business will achieve a more practical approach to making business decisions.

“At the core of it all though is that business thinking needs to start moving away from using data simply to innovate through disruption. In most cases, the most effective way to innovate is to use data to understand what is currently not working and simply optimise that, ” concludes Seetharam.

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AppDate: DStv taps Xbox, Hisense

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DStv Now for Xbox and Hisense

Usage of DStv Now, the online DStv service available free to DStv customers, is increasing rapidly with more than two million plays of live and Catch Up content per week. In addition to using DStv Now to watch TV on tablets and smartphones, an increasing number of DStv customers are also opting to use it as their primary method of getting DStv on additional TVs in the house. This is set to increase with the release of two new big-screen TV apps, one for Xbox gaming consoles (Xbox One, Xbox One S, Xbox One X) and another for Hisense smart TVs (2018 and newer models).

Expect to pay: A free download.

Platform: Any of the Xbox One range of gaming consoles and 2018 or later Hisense smart TVs.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your Xbox console or HiSense smart TV.

Santam Safety Ideas

Start-up businesses that have a FinTech or InsurTech business venture brewing are called to enter the third annual Santam Safety Ideas competition. Safety solutions or InsurTech ventures that are ready for piloting could win up to  R150 000 worth of incubation support and R200 000 in seed funding. 

The Safety Ideas competition was launched two years ago in partnership with LaunchLab,  Stellenbosch University’s startup incubator that facilitates valuable connections for corporates and startups sourced from the startup ecosystem and partner universities in South Africa. The previous winners are Herman Bester and Anton Swanevelder, co-founders of MyLifeLine – a wearable panic device that won the competition last year; and Ntsako Mgiba and Ntandoyenkosi Shezi, co-founders of Jonga – a cost-effective security system for low income families, which won the competition in 2017.

Entries close on 28 February 2019. For more information on how to enter, visit: www.santam.co.za/safetyideas/

Click here to read about the FNB Snapchat lens, Spotify Free with data saver, and 00:37.

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Fortnite fixes hackers’ hole

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Epic Games has repaired a vulnerability that exposed Fortnite, the world’s most popular game of the moment, to hackers. The hole, which was left in Epic’s web infrastructure,  allowed hackers to target players with email that appeared to come from Epic Games, but would have led them to a phishing site, where their log-in details would have been stolen.

Researchers at cyber security solutions provider Check Point Software alerted Epic to vulnerabilities that could have affected any player of the hugely popular online battle game.

Fortnite has nearly 80 million players worldwide. The game is popular on all gaming platforms, including Android, iOS, PC via Microsoft Windows and consoles such as Xbox One and PlayStation 4.  In addition to casual players, Fortnite is used by professional gamers who stream their sessions online, and is popular with e-sports enthusiasts.

If exploited, the vulnerability would have given an attacker full access to a user’s account and their personal information as well as enabling them to purchase virtual in-game currency using the victim’s payment card details. The vulnerability would also have allowed for a massive invasion of privacy, as an attacker could listen to in-game chatter as well as surrounding sounds and conversations within the victim’s home or other location of play. 

While Fortnite players had previously been targeted by scams that deceived them into logging into fake websites that promised to generate Fortnite’s ‘V-Buck’ in-game currency, these new vulnerabilities could have been exploited without the player handing over any login details.

Click here to read how the Fortnite hack would have worked.

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