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Where digital and creativity meet

WAYNE HULL, Managing Director for Accenture Digital South Africa, emphasises that businesses have a new opportunity to capitalise on the rise of digital capabilities, with it set to act as a growth catalyst across a broad range of industries, both B2B and B2C.

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On one hand, changes to the market have been consumer-driven. Consider everything from online shopping to banking apps to IoT-enabled wearables – in the new experience-driven landscape, users demand both personalisation and the most sophisticated, intuitive digital interfaces. Liquid expectations mean, moreover, that the benchmarks continue to rise – the best-in-class, hyperpersonalised experiences offered by the digital giants lead consumers to expect equally seamless offerings everywhere else.

Moreover, there are deep drives around integration. Promotion, service, purchasing and advertising were once siloed concepts – no longer. Today, end-to-end consistency is what drives consumers’ immersion in products and services.

On the other hand, increasing volumes of data, decreasing costs of storage, virtually unlimited cloud computing power, open source platforms, machine learning and more have also caused far-reaching ripple effects. These capabilities have not only led to the digitisation of more and more business areas, but the creation of entirely new business models – consumption is becoming dematerialised; ownership decoupled from both service provision and production.

According to Accenture research, the result is that many executives face a dilemma: investment in digital has become a clear business priority, yet a large number in the C-suite unsure of where, specifically, to invest to promote growth. This is despite the fact that 54% of executives cite digital technologies as the direction they would most likely reinvest cost savings. (Digital is followed by launching new products and services, at 46% and expanding into new product or service lines or customer segments, at 45%.) Yet, new routes to realising today’s digital imperatives are opening up. For consumer-facing industries, for example, tapping the capabilities of experience architecture is coming to redefine not only customer interaction, but the entire purchasing process.

One part creative agency, one part business consultancy and one part tech powerhouse, experience architects focus on integrating specialist skills across once-isolated domains spanning user interface, design, data and machine learning. The result is the ability to provide creative, engaging content of an agency standard backed by the data and artificial intelligence capabilities that only specialists embedded in digital are able to provide.

Recent Accenture research underscores the need for a rethink – particularly when it comes to marketing. The numbers reveal that a mere 18% of the consumers CMOs reach through digital and traditional channels are actually in-market. As such, less than a fifth of people reached by a marketing message are in fact the right people for the product or service on offer – four-fifths of marketing budgets are wasted spend.

Consumer-facing industries are not the only ones being remade. Other industry-specific solutions are also developing in both sophistication and ubiquity. Consider financial services institutions, for example, many of which now make use of a host of anti-money laundering, finance and risk tools. The communications, media and technology (CMT) space has seen growth through the rise of omnichannel customer service optimisation at the levels of both B2C and B2B. Within the resources space, intelligent retail solutions, upstream corrosion management, fuel retaining and predictive asset maintenance are seeing increasing uptake, as are niche solutions in health and the public sector. Meanwhile, in manufacturing, growth is being driven by Industry X.0.

Essentially, Industry X.0 refers to the application of new technologies including blockchain, machine learning, autonomous vehicles and ‘digital twins’ within a manufacturing or industrial environment. Under this new paradigm, everything from high-tech wearables to consumer staples to the manufacturing process itself becomes dynamic, reactive and responsive.

This approach to production allows real-time data from consumers, the supply chain and more to create not only ‘smart’ products, but an entire intelligent industrial ecosystem, capable of predicting and reacting to changing consumer tastes and trends and optimising operations on the plant floor. Although many executives face certain barriers to sustainable execution of growth-oriented programs, many remain certain that reinvesting savings in digital is the right strategic move, viewing digital as an enabler for both growth and advanced operating models.

With c-suite alignment and a willingness to operate at the digital-creative edge, forward-thinking companies may stand poised not only to access the growth they seek, but to drive industry-wide innovation.

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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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