South Africa, with its highly regarded technology incubators in Cape Town and Johannesburg, is attracting investor attention. “Tech innovation hubs are gathering momentum and offer phenomenal potential when it comes to the numerous technology areas where South Africa is a regional leader,” says Frank Rizzo, technology sector lead for KPMG in South Africa in the consulting firm’s Global Technology Innovation Hubs report.
So, what are some of the most promising tech disruption segments in the market?
For starters, all South African banks are looking into blockchain, both to fend off fintech start-ups getting ahead of them, an as an offensive move to get to grips with working without their current big in-house systems.
And there’s artificial intelligence. A number of outfits are busy in data and analytics, but are still in the descriptive phase of reporting and visualising. IBM has a Watson presence in South Africa and its possible that collaborations with firms in the corporate and healthcare sectors will leverage the power of Watson’s AI capabilities, says KPMG.
A number of local organisations have been using robotic process automation to improve operations. Plus there’s robotic process automation in the financial services sector.
The use of drones has exploded in South Africa. Players in the forestation and agricultural industries, as well as organisations with stockpile-intensive operations are using drones to increase coverage, efficiency, and safety for workers.
KPMG in South Africa says it also uses drones to perform maintenance on the solar panels that power its entire Johannesburg campus.