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For the past 10 years, we’ve been hearing about how new-generation mobile apps, wallets, tap-to-pay, NFC solutions and even the humble QR code are going to spell the end of the magnetic stripe card as a means of payment. And here we are, in 2021, and we’re finally taking big steps towards a brave new world of contactless payments.
Spaza shops are at the heart of many South African informal communities, selling small quantities of everything, from groceries and home care products to medication and cleaning supplies. For the millions of citizens who live hand-to-mouth, the role of the spaza shop as a bulk breaker is a lifeline.
The internet is disruptive by nature. It has transformed the way societies and economies work, communicate and play, businesses operate, and how governments deliver services to citizens. Digital technologies are paving the way forward for rapid innovation, economic growth, and job creation.
The recent announcement that heavyweight Wall Street bank, JP Morgan Chase has agreed to buy UK Robo-Adviser, Nutmeg, indicates the far-reaching effects of COVID-19 on the financial advice and wealth management industry as big business embraces this new model.
The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) found that South Africa has one of the highest business start-up failure rates in the world. In the GEM National Entrepreneurship Context Index (the NECI Index), South Africa ranks 49th out of 54 countries, ahead of only Croatia, Guatemala, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, and Iran. Often, people think that the number one thing an entrepreneur needs is a winning idea.
The value of resilience as a prerequisite for business success in fast-changing environments has long been clear. The pandemic, however, catapulted resilience to the forefront as indispensable to business sustainability and relevance.
If businesses have learned one thing during the pandemic it is that resilience, rather than being a tactic to respond to crisis, is a discipline cultivated over time. Today, to not have a digital strategy is to not have a strategy. To build resilience at work, organisations need to start thinking about virtual and remote models, provision of tools that enable collaboration from anywhere, and strategies to look after their peoples’ mental health and wellbeing.
Data protection challenges are undermining organisations’ abilities to execute digital transformation initiatives globally, according to the Data Protection Report 2021, which has found that 58% of backups fail, leaving data unprotected.
In an age where a business is now largely conducted online, access to reliable and fast internet connection is now more important than ever. Due to COVID-19, supply chain systems and customer service have moved online, and business broadband is playing an essential role in making this happen.
It’s hard to imagine a world without technology – the speed and ease of the internet, and daily innovation that continues to disrupt business models. Across industries, we are starting to notice businesses of all sizes embrace the digital economy to create value, increase efficiency, and adapt to stay ahead of competitors.
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