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Future Trends

  • SA businesses rush to the cloud, expect 75% penetration in 2 years

    South African businesses are poised for massive adoption of cloud computing, with some 75% of all applications set to be in the cloud within two years. That's thanks to the fact that the promises made by the IT industry for cloud ring true. For decades, IT has served its own interests and not that of the business. With cloud computing, a corner is turned. Cloud delivers. It is secure, it is flexible, it scales -- and South African companies, like those in developed countries, are ready to take to the cloud en masse. Right now, cloud penetration is at...

  • From product to customer: Omni-Channel Retail next step in ecommerce

    In the early 2000s, online retail threatened the "bricks and mortar" stores with extinction. The talk was of being “Amazoned,” meaning Amazon.com would add your product line to its ever-expanding inventory and render you redundant. A lot changes in 15 years -- and equally, a lot does not change. Bricks and mortar retail extinction has been overstated and the concept of substitution of certain physical channels has given way to providing a complimentary experience that blends the digital and real world retail experience. As a result, omni-channel retail has become the focus as retail shifts from a product-centric mindset driven by...

  • From Kickstarter to exit: how Oculus made billions without building a single product

    Well this is interesting. Facebook has been on a Yahoo-cum-Google spending spree of late. As everyone who cares and some who don't now knows, the social network has doled out US$2-billion on a startup that hasn't actually finished building its product. Welcome to the "Unicorn Club" Oculus. "Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement following the acquisition announcement. The Oculus Rift project became a Kickstarter favourite after its debut on the crowdfunding platform, raising more than US$2 million from just more...

  • Project management: 3 myths debunked and the skills needed for the future

    One of the major hurdles companies face in being able to extract the maximum value from their project management infrastructure and strategies is perception -- or, in fact, misperception of project management in practice. It is time to debunk inaccurate theories and expose the myths. The cost The first of these is that only large companies can afford Project Management software. That may have been the case a few years ago, it certainly is not the case now. Today, small and medium sized enterprises can afford to invest. In the past larger enterprises had to invest hugely in server farms,...

  • 7 customer service trends that startups should know about in 2014

    Ask people about the state of customer service and there is a good chance that they will be able to tell you at least five stories of terrible experiences –- and not many positive ones. In a recent survey of more than 400 South African customers, 72% said that they had experienced rage with a business at least once in the last four months. Anyone who has tried to solve a problem with a bank, airline booking, or mobile phone service provider recently will know what this sense of powerlessness feels like. The horrendous state of customer care is not...

  • African startups take note: 3 trending technologies opening up new markets

    Technology: the great equaliser. It can empower so many players in an industry, from buyers and sellers to suppliers and competitors. It can cheapen infrastructure, and create new channels of distribution (think the internet and ecommerce). Technology has the power to change an industry's structure, which can also lower its profitability (such as the internet and ecommerce), but it also has the ability to open up new markets across all industries. If we look at say a five to 15 year horizon, new or improved technologies will create market opportunities for startups to tap into across the board. As...

  • Tips for personalised ecommerce and the savvy eshops that inspire them

    Personalised ecommerce. It's all about data. Every click, purchase, like, share or pin executed on a website has the potential to allude to your tastes. How eshops use that information effectively is a tricky business indeed. But now, the age of collected and then curated information, is upon us -- and we're here to help you. One could argue that there are two divisions of personalised ecommerce. They aren't necessarily distinct in that their end-goal is the same -- to get you to buy more things -- but that they operate in different manners, and play on...

  • The lean startup and the connected economy: trends to watch out for

    The rate of change is ever increasing. Consumers are adopting new technology faster than ever before and their behaviour and expectations are changing. As Per Sundin from Universal Music Sweden puts it, ‘Things have never moved this fast, and will never move this slowly again’. Businesses have to respond. And there are two trends emerging that will help companies do just that – the lean startup movement and the connected economy. Up until now the response has been a slow and measured one with businesses adopting a cautious approach to innovation trying to get things ‘as near to perfect as...

  • Google’s Page and Schmidt backing asteroid mining startup

    Wired is reporting that a group of intrepid billionaires will soon announce their new venture called Planetary Resources, Inc, “which plans to send swarms of robots to space to scout asteroids for precious metals and set up mines to bring resources back to Earth." Nope, this is not a movie, this is actually happening. “The resources of Earth pale in comparison to the wealth of the solar system," Eric Anderson who founded the commercial space tourism company Space Adventures, told Wired. Anderson is co-founder of Planetory Resources along with Peter Diamandis, who started the X Prize foundation, which offers prizes for...

  • 10 reasons why you should get your hands on some Bitcoins

    A previous Memeburn article on the well-known digital currency Bitcoin generated quite a bit of interest and debate from this site's readers. The article focused on some of the challenges Bitcoin faced as a global currency. But here's another side of the coin, so to speak. We now give some good reasons, ten of them in fact, why Bitcoin could be an option for the future. No transaction fees. Unlike many credit card...