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Gartner says businesses need to build digital skills for new era

Gartner says businesses need to build digital skills for new era

Following the prepertion of the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo Africa 2014, which will take place at the CTICC from 10-12 September, Gartner - an information technology research and advisory company - estimates that by 2020, there will be 7.3 billion personal devices and 30 billion sensors in things ranging from jewellery to appliances. This is up from 1.6 billion personal devices and 0.9 billion sensors in 2009.

“The digital business is the coming together of possibilities in the physical and virtual worlds to create new business designs that can drive competitive advantage,” said Jeffrey Mann, Gartner research Vice President.

“As the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart objects meet cloud, mobile, social and information, the IoT will create entirely new combinations of technology at accelerated speeds. This will disrupt existing business models, reshape entire industries and redefine the role of IT.”

Gartner projects that by 2020 the total economic value-add for the IoT will be US$1.9tn in this digital industrial economy.

Mann added that it’s not about using technology as an enabler, but as a source of innovation for what the business could do. “Businesses need to put technology at the heart of how they generate revenue, seize competitive advantage and produce value.”

This digitalisation will completely change business technology and information architecture, what it needs from vendors, and how it deals with cyber security and risk. It will also require every business leader to have digital leadership skills.

“Especially in South Africa there’s been a lot of emphasis on cutting budgets to the bone,” Mann said. “A lot of the decisions that were made to ‘do more with less’ can hurt digital business efforts if there isn’t enough flexibility to react to and take advantage of new opportunities.”

This year’s Gartner Symposium/ITxpo Africa will focus on emerging technologies, defining strategy, what leaderships skills are going to be necessary, and what you have to be ready for in the new digital industrial economy. It will also look at the more practical short-term challenges of how to run the business better, like how to decide on a collaboration platform or how to design an application portfolio.

As part of the agenda, vice president and Gartner Fellow Mark Raskino’s 2015 digital business scenario will look at the most important digital business actions each senior executive must take. Principal research analyst, Will Hahn, will explain why you need 53 African Strategies for success on the continent. Research vice president Brian Burke will look at how gamification motivates people to do extraordinary things. In addition, research vice president Frank Buytendijk will explore digital ethics at the centre of the digital business.


“Businesses can’t rely on old practices, safe relationships, legacy technologies and known vendors anymore in the new digital era,” said Rene Jacobs, Gartner Africa managing director. “They have to explore, adapt and adopt new digital realities.”

Gartner Symposium/ITxpo Africa 2014, the foremost gathering of IT leaders on the continent, will equip and inspire senior executives with new digital knowledge from our specially crafted agenda, peer networking and one-on-one discussions with Gartner analysts.”

The Gartner Symposium/ITxpo Africa 2014 will take place at the CTICC from 10-12 September. A team of 18 of Gartner's research analysts will spend three days sharing more than 50 presentations with new global research and in-depth studies. The ITxpo will also showcase some of the latest service provider offerings. 

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