SA embraces the fourth industrial revolution 

The digital revolution is changing how work is getting done in corporate South Africa, says FNB's Yudhvir Seetharam.

According to Dr Yudhvir Seetharam, Head of Analytics, Insight and Research at FNB Business, this year is going to be a big one as far as the digital revolution is concerned. Moreover, countries such as South Africa will start to come to terms with the rise of the 4th industrial revolution. He says: 

“2018 rotates around strategic action – being aware of your surroundings yet narrowly focused on doing what you need to do. I also expect ‘digital’ to be the new ‘analytics’ – the capability of businesses to harness data in a customer-centric way will be the key to thriving this year.”

Dr Seetharam has identified several key themes that will drive analytics in 2018:

  • Regulating the rise of alternative currencies – With the rise of cryptocurrencies, many countries have had to start working on regulatory frameworks to govern mainstream adoption.
  • Cashless environment – Consumers are moving towards a cashless environment. We are most inclined to pay for what we buy digitally as opposed to cash these days. We’ve seen an increase in this trend as these payment solutions are often coupled with banking apps. It’s often easier and more convenient to pay using your smart phone or via a card swipe that does not require pin authentication.
  • Improved competition – Competition is also heating up, with fees and value propositions at the forefront of the customer’s mind. Businesses and customers want value for their money and ideally this comes in the form of lower fees or an increased perception of value. With many new start ups in the banking space, we are likely to see more competition on rates and fees – all being driven by a digitally offered value proposition.
  • The 4th industrial revolution – Businesses of all sizes are moving towards the “4th industrial revolution” – where automation in the form of robotics underpins higher efficiency and lower costs. Software vendors offer many of these solutions, which can assist your business in producing more for less, resulting in increased efficiency.

According to him, ultimately, the use of data and analytics is becoming more prevalent in running a business than previously thought possible. He says:

"Data-driven decision-making is required for companies to succeed in a time where volatility and uncertainty run high. Going digital is not just about keeping up with the Joneses but about keeping up with the times.”