Internetix 2011 helps prepare for disruptive change

Now in its twelfth year, Internet Solutions’ 2011 Internetix technology conference (21stJuly in Cape Town and 26thJuly in Johannesburg), will focus on the role of online commerce in the new era of disruptive business change being driven by technology.

July 19, 2011

“There are periods in the evolution of technology when incremental adjustments to business models and strategy are enough to keep companies competitive,” says Internet Solutions MD, Derek Wilcocks. “That’s been the case since the dot com bubble burst in 2002. Simply adding something to your website or offering customers an sms channel as a means of contacting your organisation is about all you needed to do to stay in the game.

“Now, however, organisations are needing to ride the commercial rapids caused by social media, unprecedented mobility of consumers and employees, the demand for collaboration at every point in the value chain, the need to collect, understand, and deliver content in many different formats, the need to figure out how to exploit the cloud, and the need to function within and serve a vast range of interest groups commonly called communities.

“All of which is extremely disruptive and, at the moment, condensing itself into a trend towards using the Internet for commerce rather than simply communication. We’ve seen this trend before, but the dot com bubble interrupted it.

“Steadily, however, some very large organisations have been building out commerce platforms. Procter &Gamble, for instance, runs more than US$ 1 billion of logistics through a web interface.Peresys, a South African company with global clients, bases its entire business on connecting financial trading communities.

“So, if you understand the potential of new technologies, there’s new money to be made – or the same money to be made in more efficient ways. It’s a hugely exciting time to be in business. It’s also a very dangerous time. And that’s what Internetix will be discussing this year.”

Internetix is designed to be a forum in which the future is interpreted through the latest technology lens, with specialist speakers providing insight in the morning and breakaway and lab sessions in the afternoons enabling delegates to meet Internet Solutions technologists in sample working environments.

“It’s a rare opportunity for some 1 000 of our clients to meet the people in Internet Solutions who actually design and implement their solutions,” Wilcocks says. “In the process, clients get a sense of the depth and range of talent we are able to put at their disposal.

The two keynote speakers at Internetix 2011 are Miles Hilton-Barber and Pranav Mistry.

Miles Hilton-Barber is a blind adventurer and motivational speaker. His most recent adventures include flying from London to Sydney in a micro-light, climbing Mont Blanc, and running across the Gobi Desert.

Pranav Mistry is the inventor of SixthSense, a wearable device that enables new interactions between the real world and the world of data. A PhD student in the Fluid Interfaces Group at MIT’s Media Lab, Mistry’s work includes intelligent sticky notes, Quickies, that can be searched and can send reminders; a pen that draws in 3D; and TaPuMa, a tangible public map that can act as a Google of the physical world. His research interests also include Gestural and Tangible Interaction, Ubiquitous Computing, AI, Machine Vision, Collective Intelligence and Robotics.

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