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Drones, cars and bikes to become the new normal of mobility


Johannesburg, 19 Jun 2020
Read time 3min 20sec
Professor Herman Singh, CEO of Future Advisory
Professor Herman Singh, CEO of Future Advisory

Enabling mobility, which until just a few months ago meant supporting road warriors, will soon entail connecting cars, bicycles and drones in new and innovative ways.

This is according to Professor Herman Singh, CEO of Future Advisory and adjunct professor at the UCT Graduate School of Business.

Prof Singh, who will address a series of Nutanix Connect webinars to help organisations adjust to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, says the mobile workforce environment is set to change in the ‘new normal’.

“Amid lockdowns, a dramatic reduction in the number of flights, and the soaring costs and risks of air travel, far fewer people will fly in future,” says Prof Singh. “There will likely be a drop in shared economy transport and public transport. So mobility will change its focus from enabling people to work while flying, or on a bus or in a cab. In future, we can expect people to use their own cars a lot more for safety reasons. There will be an increase in drive-through retail and fast food, and drive-in theatres and churches. This will lead to more designs enabling mobility in cars.”

Prof Singh also expects to see a dramatic swing to the use of bicycles both for exercise and daily commutes in future, presenting opportunities for a whole new wave of apps and connectivity solutions for cyclists. “We’re hearing from both in South Africa and abroad that bicycle shops can’t keep up with demand,” he says.

Drones are also expected to become increasingly important in the new environment, he predicts. “We can expect to see a lot more use of drones for critical, valuable and lightweight cargo as transporting goods by road becomes challenging due to unexpected regional lockdowns from time to time. While people can’t move, documents and things will still need to be transported, so there will be more focus on drone innovation and track and trace technologies.”

Prof Singh says an important new focus area in the mobility space is cyber security. “We will see a massive increase in cyber attacks because there’s been such a significant move of commerce online. There are a lot of organisations suddenly running immature systems with little training and high-value transactions. This is a juicy target for cyber crime, so we will see a huge increase in cyber security solutions.”

Preparing for, and enabling, business to thrive in this new environment can be challenging, says Paul Ruinaard, Regional Sales Director, Sub-Saharan Africa at Nutanix. “Organisations are starting to come to terms with the fact that they can’t put the genie back into the bottle, and that technology will be the enabler to help them pivot.

”To add value for customers and South African businesses, Nutanix is hosting a series of webinars, entitled Nutanix Connect, outlining the changing environment and helping organisations to transition. Focusing on a broad range of topics, including cloud, mobility, blockchain and leadership, the series is attracting an audience of up to 250 attendees weekly.

The Nutanix Connect webinar on mobility will touch on how mobility has impacted all aspects of a company’s operations, and the value in adapting quickly to mobile needs in a time where we are required to be connected remotely. 

Prof Singh, Paul Ruinaard and an expert panel will address the new emerging mobile needs, the implications of changing physical and data traffic patterns, and the new value propositions for consumers and businesses in this webinar on 1 July.

For more information, and to register click here.

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