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IDC's top tech predictions for 2016

IDC's top tech predictions for 2016

As 2015 draws to a close, the International Data Corporation (IDC) has issued a list of technology trends and developments it says will make 2016 a significant year for Africa. These trends will define the continent's IT landscape, impact on CIOs and IT professionals as well as end users, according to the global research and analysis firm.

George Kalebaila, senior research manager at IDC Sub-Saharan Africa spoke to ITWeb Africa about the challenge of predicting the future and offered further insight into some of the key trends to look out for next year.

The IDC predicts that digital transformation will lay the foundation for Africa's smart future, with 2016 seeing smart city successes around the continent.

Kalebaila says more will be done by smart cities in the new year in order to interact with their citizens more closely and transparently through more widespread connectivity and the migration of services to digital platforms.

"Almost every mature citizen in South Africa for example has got a mobile phone and that creates a big opportunity for municipalities and metros to use that platform to engage their citizens and move into the 3rd platform, to use mobility and cloud services."

Kalebaila cited initiatives in Kenya's capital Nairobi and the development of the Eko Atlantic city project in Abuja as examples of initiatives that will also make broadband ever more affordable and digital services more prolific.

Reinforced security

The IDC also predicts that Africa's IT security and physical security will become more connected in 2016 and that convergence could lead to a safer environment and the use of better tools to ensure security.

"In 2016 we will see biometrics, access security and IT security becoming integrated with mobile security. Security is now moving to the cloud especially with mobile because of the externalisation of business processes because of mobile devices. Security and threat management will see a more integrated approach as the latest technology will evolve from the cloud and will be replicated across enterprise systems as it were."

Africa's public and private sector will shift to tighter, more digitised supply chains in 2016 according to the IDC's predictions. Kalebaila says the implementation of e-procurement systems in Zambia and South Africa will find favour across the continent as regions try to curtail corruption.

The IDC predicts that African businesses that are willing to create small wins with analytics, will win in the 2016 IoT space and that the African sharing economy will accelerate alongside eCommerce and mCommerce development in 2016.

Kalibalia says great examples include the use of analytics by Discovery Insurance in South Africa to track driver behaviour which then informs an a more personalised insurance policy.

"Technology and the African Ubuntu culture are converging and eCommerce and mCommerce are providing an outlet, and it is this, together with the changing demographic dynamics within African countries with more millennials coming into the economy who value sharing. We are starting to see business leveraging this aspect," he adds.

Ensuring trustworthiness

Kalebaila says the IDC's predictions are preceded by a rigorous process that is part of a collaborative effort on the ground.

"We have a number of analysts in the major hubs that we are talking about. In South Africa we have analysts who are based here and understand this environment. We have an office in Kenya as well, in Nigeria, Morocco and three in Egypt. All these predictions or trends that we bring forth are compiled after consultation and contribution from analysts across Africa. IDC predictions are a little bit different because we bring the local context. They are not decided in London, or in Dubai or the US. They are decide by a team of core experts within the African context who understand the environment better than our competitors who are outside."

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