Top 5 IT Conferences/Expos to attend in 2020 in South Africa

C-level execs, high-level managers and sales people alike are continuously spammed to attend numerous conferences that focus on everything from CISCO Routers all the way to the latest and greatest in Virtual Reality. Today, I will attempt to summarize the top 7 conferences that I believe are worth a visit for CIOs and Sales people alike in order to be in formed of the latest and greatest that technology has to offer.

1. CISO Africa 2020

Cyber security is becoming an ever increasing topic that both small and large businesses need to be taking very seriously. With hackers attacking every 39 second, on average, business leaders have to have a defined strategy that they are confident will protect them from unforeseen attacks. Further, steps are finally being taken, to enforce the POPI act which was first proposed in 2013 (Read more about the enforcement dates here). As such, besides mass PR implications in the event of a data breach, organisations will be subject to hefty fines that will further underline the need for a steadfast cyber security strategy and enforces the need to attend the CISO conference to be informed of the best strategies that are being implemented.

2. DataCon Africa 2020

You hear it time and time again, data is the new gold. Understanding how to architect your data, sort your data, and transform your data into useful information should be a priority for every single organisation across the globe. From gaining insights into your whether your new marketing strategy is working or not to understanding material usage trends in your factory, the significance of data is apparent in every industry. Further, with machine learning and by extension artificial intelligence becoming ever more important to remain competitive, understanding your data strategy should be an integral part of your organisations growth plan. DataCon is understood as the biggest and most well attended data conference in Africa and should be on the agenda for all data-centric positions within organisations.

3. BlockChain Africa Conference 2020

The hype of Bitcoin in 2017/18 launched blockchain is an important technology that should not be neglected. Its usage within industry includes: election security, business hiring and legal agreements. Rick Martin covers that top 10 use cases for business and government alike in his article. By attending the event you will gain insights into how several organisations are utilising blockchain to create more secure transactions. The event has been running since 2015 and has always received a positive review from all its attendees.

4. AI Expo

Artificial Intelligence is a massive "buzz word" in both consumer and business spaces. Its uses are still not fully understood, however, the general consensus is that its possibilities are endless. However, the biggest struggle that businesses are having is.... "Where do I start?" Don't worry if this is you, you not alone. Messy data, automation failures and fear of change are all obstacles that have slowed the implementation of a stead fast AI strategy within organisation. However, by attending this event, which is in its 3rd year, you will gain insights into what has and hasn't worked in organisation that have attempted to implement AI. Automation as well as data science are also part of the expo as they are necessary when wanting to implement a successful AI strategy.

5. RPA Conference 2020

If you have not yet heard of RPA or Robotic Process Automation, then you are already falling behind competitively. RPA was the fastest growing enterprise technology in 2019 with Deloitte stating that they believe it will reach market saturation by 2023. I find that a bit optimistic due to the hurdles such as loss of control, change management initiatives, job loss, etc that are all creating barriers to wide scale implementation. RPA applies to every business unit across an organisation in every undustry from HR to Procurement, from manufacturing to aviation, RPA has a big part to play to utilise your current resources better and drastically effect your bottom line. As such, attending an event such as the RPA summit is crucial to remain relevant in tomorrows business world no matter if you have a technical or business background.

The 4th industrial revolution is like no other seen before as its scalability within all industries has followed an exponential implementation vs the previous ones that were more linear. As such, business and technology leaders alike have to ensure that they stay on top of the latest development and full understand how to integrate these technologies into daily operations. My hope is that by attending one of the aforementioned conferences you will stand a better chance of success by networking with others to clarify what your adoption strategy should look like.

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