The benefits of the fourth industrial revolution have recently come into the spotlight after a series of government and private sector efforts to usher in a digital era was witnessed across the country.
Despite the scores of projects and programmes seen by various stakeholders, industry experts believe an investment in fintech has the potential to alleviate hindrances facing greater and wider adoption of the 4IR while offering another avenue of study for learners in the digital sphere.
Fintech firm Signature Business Solutions COO told IOL that the fintech industry had evolved rapidly in the last decade, which resulted in a benefit to the end consumer and also highlighted the importance of data and data security within the industry.
COO Shikar Ajodiah believes that enhancements in infrastructure and technology, together with the skills and ability to communicate with the global community, would make South Africa an even more attractive place for start-ups and international businesses to set up or outsource.
“The financial services sector in South Africa can proudly hold its own compared to first world counterparts. South African businesses and technology are finally being recognised as a destination for innovation and services to more developed continents,” Ajodiah said.
He added that with more digitisation came the concern about the significance behind data security and financial control.
“Data is the ‘inventory’ for many businesses, especially financial services, in the same way, physical stock in a warehouse is for a retail business,” Ajodiah said.
“Implementing technology to ensure data strategies and financial control enables businesses to continue offering great value to the end consumer by ensuring backend data processing is cheaper and more efficient,” he said.
“We continuously strive to develop skills and technology within South Africa to ensure we play our part in this 4IR world.”
Most recently, the KZN government made its attempts to leverage digitalisation by pinning its hopes of economic recovery on a stronger push toward a digital economy and the fourth industrial revolution.
With the province marred by recent civil unrest and the impact felt by April’s flood disaster, the provincial government is making a stronger push toward digitalisation through a series of programmes.
KZN Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube announced the Connected Smart Province Project launch.
This long-term programme will be rolled out to the rest of KZN to digitise the local economy.
As the first step of the newly launched Connected Smart Province Project, the government opened the first Mobile Digital Analytics Skills Laboratory at Orient Heights Primary School in Pietermaritzburg last month.
During the launch, Dube-Ncube said that the Connected Smart Province Project is a long-term programme that will be rolled out to the rest of KZN to digitise the local economy.
“In a world characterised by technological disruptions, which has resulted in the biggest companies globally coming from the ICT sector, we have to assist our children from primary school phase so that they are ready for careers of the future.“