The future of workflow

Latest News

10 steps to application transformation

Applications in business are being transformed at a faster rate than any time in history. According to the 2013 Cisco Global IT Impact Survey, 71% of companies report IT is deploying more applications than in 2012. ...

Bringing woman back to programming

In the 1960s, computer programming was still viewed as a lucrative career choice for many young women. Cosmopolitan magazine at the time even ran an article entitled: ”The Computer Girls”, which depicted the ...

Build fans, not audiences

Gone are the days of the passive audience that is willing to receive marketing messages at the whim of the advertiser. The new, more demanding, generation of consumers, has been exposed to so much advertising that they ...

Design, programming for a multi-device future

Developers already have a difficult time with device manufacturers pushing their own development environments to reach consumers. Do developers specialise in one or two, or should they work across all of them? Not to ...

Interested in computer science dwindling

In a country already fraught with a lack of adequate IT skills, it is alarming to see that interest in science and maths at school level seem to be at an all time low, says Richard Firth, Chairman and CEO of MIP ...

Parents and teachers: Beware tablets

There is no doubt that technology has changed the way we live – from smart fridges to cloud computing and the Internet of Things, technology permeates every aspect of our lives. It therefore makes sense that ...

Putting power in the members' hands

The advent and implementation of new technologies is seeing transparency and control of health, pensions and life insurance schemes being put back in the hands of the schemes’ members or policy holders. Richard ...

Tablets in schools - a hindrance or a help?

Technology in the education sector is a flourishing market. As tablets have become more prevalent, a debate has risen over whether South African schools should switch from print textbooks to digital textbooks on ...

The future of workflow

In the last 20 years, workflow has been significantly influenced by three technological growth phases, and these evolutionary steps will continue to make an impact on how work is automated for years to come. The first ...

The payslip of the future

Today's employees are increasingly important in light of the social world. Social media is giving them a stronger voice than ever before, and this can be daunting for the companies they work for. Disgruntled and ...

Workflow essential to IoT success

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the IT industry’s latest buzzword. The confluence of the physical and digital worlds enabled through smart, connected devices may still be a far cry from the all-connected, ...

The future of workflow

In the last 20 years, workflow has been significantly influenced by three technological growth phases, and these evolutionary steps will continue to make an impact on how work is automated for years to come.

The first growth stage involved the convergence of devices, which gave rise to smartphones and, more recently, tablets. Separate technologies such as voice, data, video, music and a camera are now found on a single multi-functional handheld device. These devices have made workflow faster and more convenient, as many processes can now be executed on a single device that isn't geographically-bound to the office.

The increasing uptake of these devices, for both personal and professional use, led to the emergence of an ever-growing app ecosystem. This is phase two – and the increasing accessibility to these devices and the Internet means app ecosystems will continue to grow, especially since mobile application development is not restricted to professionals, but open to the community at large. The sharing of information has made workflow more efficient and the use of workflow-related apps has greatly enhanced the user experience. Finally, the Internet of Things (IoT). An emerging trend, IoT refers to the network of physical objects/devices accessed through the Internet that contain embedded technology which is designed to interact and communicate with other objects/devices.

According to analyst firm Gartner, the number of IoT devices will grow from 0.9 billion in 2009 to 26 billion by 2020. The International Data Corporation believes this market will generate $7.1 trillion in annual sales by 2020. As can be seen from these numbers, this is not a technological wave that should, or could, be ignored.

Many leading industry players believe almost all businesses have an IoT future. The benefits IoT can bring to the corporate arena are vast and undeniable, so IoT-enabled businesses of the future are inevitable.

Business information and analytics, for example, can be greatly enhanced by IoT, and this can lead to more accurate and complex decision-making. Businesses can track behavioural data of products (via sensors), get enhanced situational awareness of real-time events and make use of sensor-driven decision analytics.

When it comes to workflow, the IoT is establishing new frontiers for optimising processes. Through the use of sensors, processes can be monitored, analysed and adjusted optimally. This leads to major savings in time and cost, as well as reduced human interaction. One of the most appealing uses of the IoT involves the rapid, real-time understanding of unpredictable conditions and instantaneous responses demanded by automated systems. This kind of machine decision making mimics human reactions, but does so at vastly enhanced performance levels.

Because people have limited time, attention spans and accuracy, replacing certain human-based processes with automated ones will positively impact the bottom line. Having the ability to automatically transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction will greatly reduce cost, time, and risk within the enterprise.
Companies should already be taking steps to ready themselves for the positive changes IoT can bring to the business – especially with regards to optimising business processes. Energy consumption efficiency and process optimisation are both good places to start for business that have traditionally not received satisfactory returns in these areas.

Richard Firth

Chairman and CEO of MIP

I have been involved in the technology arena since 1989, and have enjoyed holding various roles that included programming, IT implementation, as well as a number of management positions. I am a serial entrepreneur and have been involved in the formation and growth of a number of companies, including MIP, Itemate, Waytag and Automate.

Get in touch

Head Office

Building 9, Parc Nicol
3001 William Nicol Drive
Bryanston, Johannesburg

Phone: 0861 MIP MIP (0861 647 647)
Intl: +27 10 005 3700