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Digital disruption driving force behind 4th industrial revolution

SAP Vice President for IoT Evangelist, Tom Raftery Picture by Savious Kwinika
SAP Vice President for IoT Evangelist, Tom Raftery Picture by Savious Kwinika

 SUN CITY,(CAJ NEWS )- THE meteoric rise in connectivity, spearheaded by the internet of things (IoT) and digitisation, is set to revolutionise the face of manufacturing, energy, transportation, agriculture and healthcare,among crucial sectors in the next decade.This has been the prevailing theme at the Saphila 2017, this year’s edition of the African SAP User Group’s (AFSUG) biennial conference taking place at Sun City in South Africa’s Northwest province.The event is held under the apt theme, “Reimagine Infinite Possibilities.”“We are at the beginning of a revolution and are beginning to perceive the true potential of tomorrow’s world,” said Tom Raftery, Vice President of SAP. The self-styled ‘Futurist & Global Internet of Things Evangelist gave a presentation on “10 predictions of what digital will deliver by 2027.”Raftery reminisced in 2007, Apple founder (now late) Steve Jobs launched the first iPhone, which had 16gigs of memory and no 3G. Today, an AI-equipped Apple Watch can detect the signs of a stroke with 97 percent accuracy, he pointed out.“This is the context we are talking about regarding the level of change in the world of technology. And so let’s see what the world might look like in ten years from now.” Raftery predicted real transformation in the energy industry, particularly around renewable energy.“Solar is taking off. The price of batteries is coming down and the energy density is increasing. This means that batteries are holding more energy and becoming cheaper to buy. An increase in wind and solar energy will allow you to reduce the carbon footprint of energy generation.” Raftery projected changes in the transportation sphere.“Cars will have predictive maintenance and will become a lot safer, including driverless vehicles. This will have implications on insurance models and ultimately could see a reduction in pollution and congestion, as cars will drive you to your destination and then drive off. Further, we are also going to see the advent of flying motor cars.” The SAP executive also forecast changes in agriculture.“We will have to feed 9 billion people on this planet in just a few years’ time. There will be a need to change how we produce food. I see the advent of vertical, indoor hydroponic farming, which will use 95 percent less water, and also far less fertiliser as well as pesticides.” Healthcare would not be spared the disruption. Raftery anticipated the rise of business networks and Artificial Intelligence as the beginning of the industrial revolution.“This does not automatically mean job losses, but instead job creation as well, and the creation of different industries,” he assured.

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