Businesses risk missing major growth opportunities unless CEOs take immediate steps to pivot their workforces and equip their people to work with intelligent technologies, according to new research by Accenture (NYSE: ACN).
The Accenture Strategy report, Reworking the Revolution: Are you ready to compete as intelligent technology meets human ingenuity to create the future workforce?, estimates that if businesses invest in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and human-machine collaboration at the same rate as top performing companies, they could boost revenues by 38 percent by 2022 and raise employment levels by 10 percent.
Collectively, this would lift profits by US$4.8 trillion globally over the same period. For the average S&P500 company, this equates to US$7.5 billion of revenues and a US$880 million lift to profitability.
Impact of greater AI spending on revenue and employment growth, 2018-2022
Both leaders and workers are optimistic about the potential of AI on business results and on work experiences, according to the study. Seventy-two percent of the 1,200 senior executives surveyed said that intelligent technology will be critical to their organization’s market differentiation and 61 percent think the share of roles requiring collaboration with AI will rise in the next three years. More than two thirds (69 percent) of the 14,000 workers surveyed said that it is important to develop skills to work with intelligent machines.
Yet, a disconnect between workers’ embrace of AI and their employers’ efforts to prepare workers puts potential growth at risk. While a majority (54 percent) of business leaders say that human-machine collaboration is important to their strategic priorities, only three percent say their organization plans to significantly increase its investment in reskilling their workers in the next three years.
“To achieve higher rates of growth in the age of AI, companies need to invest more in equipping their people to work with machines in new ways,” said Mark Knickrehm, group chief executive, Accenture Strategy. “Increasingly, businesses will be judged on their commitment to what we call Applied Intelligence – the ability to rapidly implement intelligent technology and human ingenuity across all parts of their core business to secure this growth.”
The research suggests that there is a strong foundation on which to boost AI skills investment. Sixty-three percent of senior executives think that their company will create net job gains in the next three years through AI. Meanwhile, the majority of workers (62 percent) believe AI will have a positive impact on their work.
The report shows how pioneers are using human-machine collaboration not just to improve efficiencies, but to drive growth through new customer experiences. An online clothing retailer’s AI helps its stylists learn more about customers’ preferences so that they can offer a unique and highly personalized service. And a sports shoe brand set a new bar in customization and speed-to-market by aligning highly skilled tailors and process engineers with intelligent robots to design and manufacture in local markets.
“Business leaders must take immediate steps to pivot their workforce to enter an entirely new world where human ingenuity meets intelligent technology to unlock new forms of growth,” said Ellyn Shook, Chief Leadership and Human Resources Officer, Accenture. “Workers are impatient to collaborate with AI, giving leaders the opportunity to demonstrate true Applied Intelligence within their organization.”
To help leaders shape the future workforce in the age of AI, Accenture makes the following recommendations:
- Reimagine Work by reconfiguring work from the bottom up. Assess tasks, not jobs; then allocate tasks to machines and people, balancing the need to automate work and to elevate people’s capabilities. Nearly half (46 percent) of business leaders agree that job descriptions are already obsolete; 29 percent say they have redesigned jobs extensively.
- Pivot the Workforce to areas that unlock new forms of value. Go beyond process efficiencies and prepare the workforce to create new customer experiences. Fuel new growth models by reinvesting the savings derived from automation into the future workforce. Foster a new leadership DNA that underpins the mindset, acumen and agility required to seize longer-term, transformational opportunities.
- Scale up ‘New Skilling.’ Measure the workforce’s level of skills and willingness to learn to work with AI. Using digital platforms, target programs at these different segments of the workforce and personalize them to improve new skills adoption. Accenture has developed a ‘new skilling’ framework based on a progression of skill level and using a suite of innovative digital learning methods that maximizes training investment at speed and scale.
Cloud Market Poised for Adoption in Nigeria
COVID-19 has exposed Nigeria’s market to the advantages that cloud can offer a business, and there is a shift in mindset to embrace the cloud operating model (including from on-premise to colocation), with security now front-of-mind for organisations and businesses.
This is according to Laurel Onumonu, AGM & Head Cloud Business Unit at Lagos-based Cyberspace Limited.
Onumonu spoke during VMworld 2020, hosted recently and virtually by VMware, and said Nigeria’s cloud landscape is opening up and gaining momentum, with more interest from businesses in leveraging the technology.
VMware executives said from a broad market perspective, while the overall response to cloud services and adoption does depend on the size of the business and region, the general objective is to become cloud ready.
At VMworld 2020, the company unveiled Virtual Cloud Network innovations that it believes will help customers create a modern network that better supports current and future business initiatives.
“With advancements across the VMware networking and security portfolio, customers will be able to more effectively manage the rapid shift to remote work, deliver traditional and modern applications faster and more securely, and reduce the cost and complexity of connecting and protecting the distributed enterprise,” the company added.
According to VMware businesses today, and the IT and application development teams supporting them, are racing to adapt to a new normal. Application architectures are more modern and cloud native; on premises datacentres are extending to include multi-cloud and edge compute environments; and the work environment is no longer a single campus or branch, but rather anywhere an employee can connect to the Internet.
This new reality introduces complexity that the network of the past 20 years was not designed to address.
“Customers tell us they want the same level of automation they have in the public cloud across their entire environment. But while they can automate some parts of their network, other parts such as firewalls and load balancers still require manual tickets for provisioning. That’s why partial automation is an oxymoron; it’s a half-built bridge that does nothing to get customers to where they want to be,” said Rajiv Ramaswami, chief operating officer, products and cloud services, VMware.
“The VMware Virtual Cloud Network delivers the automation and economics of the public cloud across every element of the network and spanning the entire distributed enterprise at a time when agility and cost matter more than ever.”
VMware will deliver new Virtual Cloud Network innovations across three areas – automation that enables the public cloud experience; modern application connectivity and security services; and solutions that re-imagine what’s possible in network security.
The company also announced Project Monterey—a technology preview focused on evolving its architecture for the datacentre, cloud and edge to address the changing requirements of next-generation applications, including AI, machine learning and 5G applications.
VMware is also announcing that it is collaborating with ecosystem partners to deliver solutions based on Project Monterey including Intel, NVIDIA and Pensando Systems and system companies Dell Technologies, Hewlett Packard Enterprise(HPE)and Lenovo.
“Organisations are introducing increasingly sophisticated applications from cloud-native to machine learning to streaming apps that are distributed and data intensive,” said Ramaswami. “We’re announcing Project Monterey to help customers address the shifting requirements of next-gen apps. By re-imagining the architecture of the datacentre, cloud and edge, we expect to offer customers the freedom to run these apps in the best environment.
According to the Cloud in Africa 2020 Report, released in early September by World Wide Worx, in partnership with F5, Dell Technologies, Digicloud Africa, and Intel, COVID-19 has pushed cloud computing to the front of decision-makers minds.
The study maps out latest cloud trends across continent, including South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana and Malawi.
It showed that 91% of surveyed respondents deemed cloud computing to be “important” in helping with business’ response to the crisis.
Furthermore, eight out of ten respondents (80%) believe that cloud computing has made a significant contribution to governments’ efforts in dealing with the pandemic.
The most common uses by governments were remote working (69%), public communications (55%), and crisis coordination (50%).
RexPay Drives Advancement in E-commerce and Online Payments
At the turn of every new decade, there is always a groundbreaking technology that comes to define that era. With the creation of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter in the 2000s, our world was never going to be the same again.
The addition of Instagram, Snapchat, Tinder, TikTok and the wholesale embracement of WhatsApp as a primary platform for communication and business in the 2010s meant that so many barriers in business had finally been removed, especially in developing countries, and with specific emphasis on Nigeria.
Anyone who might have visited Lagos, the economic capital of Nigeria, some ten years ago, would have noticed how retailers were doing everything to scale the hurdles that confronted them daily.
Overpriced shops, outrageous advertising budgets and several regulatory considerations that seemed to stifle their chances at business success were short-circuited or completely bypassed by the innovative spirit of these traders. The trunk and bonnets of cars became pseudo-shops for displaying their wares instead of renting shops that cost more than any profit they could ever have hoped to make. For marketing, word-of-mouth advertising came in handy. Anything that stood in their way of survival had to give way somehow.
As social media became commonplace and people began exploring all the possibilities that lay therein, these retailers were not left out too. They soon discovered that they did not actually need to display their wares on their cars anymore, as social media surely offered a better alternative for reaching even more people, and without the usual stress associated with screaming at the top of their voices on streets and in marketplaces.
By just posting their items on social media, they could get people to indicate interest in those items and then close out the sales offline or via DMs.
But in all of these, there seemed to be a missing piece in the online sales puzzle – the issue of payments. While some retailers made do with transfers, a number of them still insisted on collecting cash from their customers because of the perceived lack of trust with that option of payment.
RexPay, an online payment gateway by Global Accelerex, has just been launched to fix that problem. It is a platform that helps social media sellers receive payments in a fast, convenient and secure manner. The interesting thing is that they do not need to own a website for this to happen.
Customers also get to enjoy the freedom to choose between multiple payment options – card, account transfers (internet banking), USSD or QR. This means people can go with their preferred mode of payment and pay seamlessly from the comfort of their homes or offices rather than being boxed into one option only.
Custom-built with the sole objective of bridging the gap between online businesses and their customers, any seller can easily sign up to the RexPay platform in less than five minutes, then begin to receive payments immediately. This is a significant departure from the practice of keeping sellers waiting till the next day before their accounts can be activated.
The safety of the platform guarantees peace of mind to customers who choose to pay with their cards, because there is no chance that their card details will ever be compromised. When considered alongside its quick sign-up process and ease of use, signing up to RexPay becomes a no-brainer for entrepreneurs who intend to scale their businesses in the shortest possible time.
For small businesses that have not grown to the point of hiring accountants, RexPay assists them with easy financial reporting, as all their payments can be simply viewed either on their mobile or desktop devices. With this in place, it is easier for sellers to gain business insight from the reporting tool, which will further help them with planning and forecasting. This, together with the other highlighted features, makes the payment product every online retailer’s best friend.
Big businesses like airlines, e-commerce platforms, revenue-collecting agencies, power distribution companies; educational institutions like schools and vocational centers; and religious organizations like churches and mosques are not left out. End users can easily buy tickets online, settle bills, pay taxes and fees, and also make donations to worthy causes, using this payment gateway.
With RexPay, online sales have come full cycle. A new vista of opportunities is now within reach for online businesses who were hitherto faced with limitations around receiving payments and balancing of books. This new payment gateway by Global Accelerex takes away all that trouble and gives them the liberty to focus on what is most important: scaling their businesses in this rapidly evolving times.
Samsung Launches the Incredible Crystal UHD TV
TV has become a massive part of our lives from those must-watch series to the sports matches that have us glued to the screen. World-renowned for pioneering innovation in this popular category of technology, Samsung has now launched Crystal UHD TV.
Featuring Samsung’s cutting-edge Crystal Display, the new Crystal UHD TV will bring high-resolution content to life in a whole new way, delivering a viewing experience like never before in a mainstream UHD TV.
Controling all function with Voice Assistant and enjoying multiple contents on one screen with Multi View are just some of the welcome advancements on this incredible TV.
“Samsung TV has been constantly paving the path for technological innovations by offering consumers a new TV experience and a future for global TV industry. This is the core driving force that makes Samsung No. 1 TV for 14 consecutive years. Crystal UHD builds on this success in ways that people will truly love.” said Dudu Mokholo, Chief Marketing Officer at Samsung Central Africa.
Crystal UHD is the purest form of picture quality with 1 billion rich and vibrant colours with guaranteed crisp and vivid images time over time. Its features include:
Real 4K UHD Resolution – 4K UHD TV goes beyond regular FHD with 4x more pixels, offering your eyes the sharp and crisp images they deserve. See it like you’re really in the scene.
Lifelike colour expression – Immerse yourself in the picture with a wider range of colour. Dynamic Crystal Display delivers lifelike variations so you can see every subtlety.
Crystal Processor 4K – Experience picture quality that moves you, made possible by a single chip that orchestrates colour, optimises high contrast ratio, and masters HDR.
See the picture, not the TV – A sleek and elegant design that draws you to the purest picture. Crafted with an effortless minimalistic style from every angle and a boundless that sets new standards. You will see only the most immersive cinematic experience ever.
Get what you want just by speaking up – Everything is so much easier with voice control. Now you can quickly access favourite content, get answers, and even control your TV and other connected devices around your home. Just tell it what you want.
See multiple contents at the same time – Multi View splits your TV screen in two, putting the content you’re watching on one side, and mirroring your mobile screen on the other. This means you don’t have to look away from the TV screen to glance at your phone anymore.
Get gaming faster – Get into the game faster with Game Enhancer, which optimises your screen so you have more control with barely noticeable input lag. Experience smooth gaming in its most impressive form without motion blur and judder.
Decorate your space with your favourite photos – When you project your favourite photos onto the TV screen, the TV itself blends into your décor elegantly. You can lay out multiple photos in a beautiful collage or place them in a slide show for to keep the visual fresh and on point.
Clean up the clutter – Samsung UHD offers a neat solution for keeping all your TV cables tidy, hiding them away right in the stand. This helps you reduce your clutter so you can fully enjoy your TV’s beautiful design.
Samsung Crystal UHD clearly does what many TVs cannot, in the most amazing ways.
The Crystal UHD TV is now available at various retailer stores and retailer online pages. For extra peace of mind, Crystal UHD TV comes with a 24 month warranty.
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