Digitisation of everything: it's a brave new world with infinite promise

Absa Insights is a portal where the bank’s sector experts share essential learnings and new developments with its clients and other businesses. The world is changing; so in 2019 Absa has introduced a series of events featuring high-level thinking around Consumer Goods and Services, Agriculture, Telecommunications, Mining and Energy and Infrastructure. Bookmark Absa Insights, where the bank shares insights from discussions designed to help you navigate the ever-shifting trends that are shaping the economy.

Listen to the audio below (or scroll down for a summary of it).

Digitisation is affecting every business in every industry.

We see an ever-increasing number of digital banks without physical infrastructure. Platforms such as Airbnb and Uber disrupt their industries and thrust the sharing economy into the mainstream. Media will never be the same again. Insurance, healthcare, transportation... the list seems endless.

For communication service providers, it's an opportunity. They are providing the enabling environment for all these industries and users. They understand what it takes to leverage that knowledge and turn it into new revenue streams.

Bora Varliyagci, CEO - DigitalThings

In future, says Varliyagci, we will increasingly see telcos playing a critical role in the development of other industries.

5G; the future is not quite now, but soon

5G is the technology that will enable mobile connectivity for everyone and everything. It will supercharge the capacity of wireless connections without requiring more spectrum and will provide ultra-reliable, low-latency communication for use in applications such as self-driving cars.

5G is sometimes overstated, in my opinion. It's really good marketing for communication service providers... The reality is it's a combination of techniques...

Bora Varliyagci, CEO - DigitalThings

Because of its reliability, the single-most revolutionary application of 5G tech will be in self-driving cars, according to Juanita Clark, CEO of FTTX Council Africa.

A digital South African economy

It's not a question of whether we are ready or not. The digital economy is there already... We're past the tipping point... The implications in terms of jobs and skills are massive...

Bora Varliyagci, CEO - DigitalThings

We have a massive digital skills gap in every industry; the economy requires "re-skilling".

It needs to start at our basic education system... Our children have to learn at a very young age how to code... Digital maturity is a concern... Lots of work needs to be done.

Juanita Clark, CEO - FTTX Council Africa

Digitisation promises to lower the cost and accessibility of education, but only if data itself becomes more affordable and the internet more accessible.

It promises to plug a gap in healthcare and lead to greater financial inclusion.

The opportunities that the digital world brings us are endless. We must learn how to capitalise on them.

For more detail, watch the video below. Premeshin Naidoo (Absa Corporate and Investment Banking) in discussion with Bora Varliyagci (CEO, DigitalThings) and Juanita Clark (CEO of FTTX Council Africa) on the evolution that the Fourth Industrial Revolution will bring and opportunities around digitisation.