from DION HENRICK in Cape Town
CAPE TOWN – POLICYMAKERS have been urged to speedily embrace the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) to enhance the realisation of smart cities.
The encouragement comes ahead of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa set for Cape Town this week, under the theme, “Shaping Inclusive Growth and Shared Futures in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
Taru Madangombe, Vice President of Power Systems, Anglophone Cluster for Schneider Electric, said the theme for this 28th meeting was apt as the key technologies powering 4IR were reshaping business processes, unlocking opportunities and encouraging new business partnerships.
Such technologies are artificial intelligence (AI), mixed reality (AR & VR), and the internet of things (IoT).
However, he said at present, those in charge of running cities, particularly at the operational level, were too focused on reducing costs, rather than on improving quality of life or service.
“We need to widen our vision, and see the potential of smart cities built on the latest technologies,” Madangombe said.
He said as urbanisation increased, cities and suburbs would undergo significant transformations to create sustainable living conditions for their residents.
Madangombe said energy and mobility were the twin pillars of these transformations and both would require radical adaptation to meet the demographic and economic growth, without increasing congestion and pollution.
He, rhetorically, asked whether policymakers and business leaders could harness and combine energy and mobility in ways that maximise their benefits for environment and create greater efficiency and economic growth.
“The 4IR offers an unprecedented opportunity to do so,” said the official.
Meanwhile, at the just-concluded Johannesburg ICT Infrastructure Conference, said despite earlier predictions that data centres would disappear, as cloud computing proliferated, without data centres, video streaming, remote control of operations, transformation and digitisation across the board, this would not be possible.
George Senzere, Schneider Electric’s, Pre Sales Manager Anglophone ITD Global, was presenting a paper on, “How to effectively monitor and manage IT infrastructure in a distributed environment.”
This was in line with the conference theme, “ICT Infrastructure to fuel the growth of South Africa’s economy.”
“It is clear that the IoT will soon produce more data than can be transported to large, centralised data centres and 100% cloud architecture will not be enough,” Senzere said.
– CAJ News