by Rudi Briedenhann

It is with great momentum that SmartPalm has kicked off the 2019 year. But as a business owner, I must consider why now, after 3 years of slogging through the minefield of what a start-up is, the hours of hard work, financial pressures, navigating the regulatory environments all to carve out, amongst other well-established players, a unique space within which SmartPalm operates. Looking back now seems, quite literally, like a lifetime ago.

Back in 2016 (chuckle), things were very different, we found ourselves in a business landscape that could not understand, nor comprehend what we were about. Now come on, that is a death statement for any business, right?

Back then, the priorities for a CEO were very different. The business landscape was rife with instability, uncertainty around regulation and policies, geo-political uncertainties, corporate debt, increased tax-burden combined with an increasing realisation that we are all part of a global economy, all this contributed to the fairly ‘beige’ CEO outlook for 2016.

From a digital perspective, globally, business was only now (2016) realising that the consumer is more connected, more educated, better informed and therefore bolder and more empowered. Suddenly the ‘’madmen’’ mentality was gone, and business was confronted with an entirely new breed of consumer whom it needed to target. The 2016 PWC Annual CEO Survey captured this with great accuracy by observing ’To successfully address the expectations of a super-connected and technologically smart society, companies are looking to technology (of course) for answers.’

Bringing us to 2019 and now considering the 22nd PWC Annual CEO Survey for 2018 (outlook to 2019) we find the report detailing a very different outlook. The uncertainty within the policy and regulatory space, geo-political instability etcetera resulted in an outlook that shows that CEO’s don’t see growth in 2019 being driven by penetrating previously un-tapped markets or creating new and exciting products or services for consumers or an increased sales revenue. CEO’s, in 2019 will drive growth from within.

In other words, CEO’s will look to utilise more technologies to drive process automation and digitisation. They will further look at the extraction of intelligence from their data and how to best utilise this to achieve the goals of the organisation.


Ok. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, not so fast. As the report goes further to detail another key concern for CEO’s, it becomes clear that this is not as easy as one might think. The key to success here is to ensure that organisations have access to the right skills. The report details this in observing ‘There is a shortage of skilled talent to clean, integrate, and extract value from big data and move beyond baby steps toward artificial intelligence (AI). One of the more striking findings in this year’s survey was the fact that — despite billions of dollars of investment and priority positioning on the C-suite agenda — the gap between the information CEOs need and what they get has not closed in the past ten years.’

So, the report highlights 3 primary concerns for CEO’s in 2019; which are:

  • looking internally to drive profits;
  • Data intelligence; and
  • Skill shortages.

Now, in understanding these sentiments it becomes clear why SmartPalm’s offerings are addressing the needs of organisations in 2019 and beyond.

  • SmartPalm offers unique technologies that enable the effective digitisation of outdated and expensive paper-based processes. This drives process efficiencies and greatly reduces operational costs.


  • SmartPalm offers a unique skill set through a ‘’technology first’’ team. A combined 25 years in corporate environment, heading up both digital and CRM system environments, allows for a unique understanding of your organisations digital and technology needs; irrespective of the size of your organisation. The team comprises of compliance and process thinkers which will identify the critical compliance check-points that your technologies must observe in the digitisation journey, data specialists to identify and understand your data analytics needs and goals and 1st class developers to realise your digitisation and automation technologies.


  • SmartPalm offer market leading data solutions through its trade marked technologies. Our technologies and services are aligned to your business need and requires no costly re-developments of systems. Our data solutions provide both data analytic services and data centralisation solutions, coupled with real-time abilities to assist and guide your business teams to maximise the value of your data.


It is within an African context that one must interpret the PWC Annual CEO Survey and how its sentiments and findings are to be applied. We find South African business to be severely behind the curve in adopting new digitisation and automation technologies. They are, in very certain instances only starting to contemplate the digitisation and automation journey. It is crucial that business understands that it is not within the expertise of the traditional developer to map your digitisation and automation technology. Most traditional developers lack the complex understanding of the wide variety of issues that must be considered in the digitisation and automation journey. It is a complex network of considerations spanning, corporate governance, compliance, technology, data, legacy systems, branding, business intelligence, sales, admin and billing. With all these factors it is simply irresponsible to leave your digitisation and automation journey in the hands of any developer.


Finding the right technology partner that can steer your business thinkers through the complexities in creating a digitisation and automation roadmap that is clear, concise and above all else financially viable for the business, is vital to success. The roadmap shall identify each area of cost reduction through adopting digitisation and automation and provide a measurable result of operational cost savings.

SmartPalm is your digitisation and automation partner, our technologies and services are deployed across a wide variety of industry sectors such as Industrial, Financial, service and call-centre environments. Our technologies and solutions are used by financial advisors, critical impact centre agents (control rooms), call-centre agents, logistics, business managers and customers.

Are you looking for that technology partner that will understand the digitisation and automation journey required for your business? A partner that can provide targeted solutions that speak to the unique wants and needs of your operational environment, without encumbering your business with technologies and solutions that just does not meet your need? Contact SmartPalm today for a no obligation meeting, we are waiting for your call!

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