May 19, 2020

Five future changes in Africa's entertainment industry

Entertainment
Media
PwC
Polycarp Kazaresam
2 min
Five future changes in Africa's entertainment industry

The November issue of African Business Review is all about entertainment. From video games to video distribution, our special theme explores the current state of Africa’s entertainment and media industry.

To coincide with the issue’s release, we bring you PwC’s breakdown of the sectors future. Here’s PwC’s “five shifts to shape the future of Africa’s entertainment and media industry”, based on its Entertainment and media outlook: 2016 – 2020 report (South Africa – Nigeria – Kenya) .

Demography

PwC’s analysis of global media markets reveals that younger consumers are the new primary drivers of global growth. The study of the world’s 10 youngest and 10 oldest markets in demographic terms showed that entertainment and media spending in the 10 youngest markets is growing three times as quickly as in the 10 oldest markets.

Competition

It’s easy to assume that content is becoming more globally homogeneous. According to PwC, content is being redefined by forces of globalisation and localisation simultaneously. While much of the sector is becoming increasingly global, content tastes and cultures remain steadfastly local.

Consumption

The bundle is far from dead. Video and cable incumbents are fighting extinction by providing content on an integrated omnichannel basis (on TV, laptop, tablet, and smartphone). PwC believes that as take-up of these new-style bundles grow, “the bulk of digital OTT mass-market services will gradually be reabsorbed into aggregated offerings that will echo the traditional analogue-style bundle, but that will be more flexibly priced and available on a full range of devices.” This will take the competitive battle to a new level, as cable, technology, and telecom players fight over gaining access to distribution.

Geography

Disruption is pushing markets to develop in different ways. Generally, entertainment and media companies had a single set of expectations about developed markets, i.e. slow growth, low regulation, easier to access. However, “opportunity” economies (even within the same region) can display significantly varied growth patterns.

Business models

Hybrid content and technology companies are becoming more popular. The growth of digitisation isbreaking up existing relationships; pushing large, generalist entities to give way to smaller specialists; and allowing smaller, nimble competitors to beat out incumbents.”

African Business Review’s November issue is now live.

Stay connected: follow @AfricaBizReview and @WedaeliABR on Twitter.

African Business Review is also on Facebook.

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May 28, 2021

Automation of repetitive tasks leads to higher value work

Automation
UiPath
technology
repetitivetasks
Kate Birch
4 min
As a new report reveals most office workers are crushed by repetitive tasks, we talk the value of automation with UiPath’s MD of Northern Europe, Gavin Mee

Two-thirds of global office workers feel they are constantly doing the same tasks over and over again. That’s according to a new study (2021 Office Worker Survey) from automation software company UiPath.

Whether emailing, inputting data, or scheduling calls and meetings, the majority of those surveyed said they waste on average four and a half hours a week on time-consuming tasks that they think could be automated.

Not only is the undertaking of such repetitious and mundane tasks a waste of time for employees, and therefore for businesses, but it can also have a negative impact on employees’ motivation and productivity. And the research backs this up with more than half (58%) of those surveyed saying that undertaking such repetitive tasks doesn’t allow them to be as creative as they’d like to be.

When repetitive, unrewarding tasks are handled by people, it takes time and this can cause delays and reduce both employee and customer satisfaction,” Gavin Mee, Managing Director of UiPath Northern Europe tells Business Chief. “Repetitive tasks can also be tedious, which often leads to stress and an increased likelihood to leave a job.”

And these tasks exist at all levels within an organisation, right up to executive level, where there are “small daily tasks that can be automated, such as scheduling, logging onto systems and creating reports”, adds Mee.

Automation can free employees to focus on higher value work

By automating some or all of these repetitive tasks, employees at whatever level of the organisation are freed up to focus on meaningful work that is creative, collaborative and strategic, something that will not only help them feel more engaged, but also benefit the organisation.

“Automation can free people to do more engaging, rewarding and higher value work,” says Mee, highlighting that 68% of global workers believe automation will make them more productive and 60% of executives agree that automation will enable people to focus on more strategic work. “Importantly, 57% of executives also say that automation increases employee engagement, all important factors to achieving business objectives.”

These aren’t the only benefits, however. One of the problems with employees doing some of these repetitive tasks manually is that “people are fallible and make mistakes”, says Mee, whereas automation boosts accuracy and reduces manual errors by 57%, according to Forrester Research. Compliance is also improved, according to 92% of global organisations.

Repetitive tasks that can be automated

Any repetitive process can be automated, Mee explains, from paying invoices to dealing with enquiries, or authorising documents and managing insurance claims. “The process will vary from business to business, but office workers have identified and created software robots to assist with thousands of common tasks they want automated.”

These include inputting data or creating data sets, a time-consuming task that 59% of those surveyed globally said was the task they would most like to automate, with scheduling of calls and meetings (57%) and sending template or reminder emails (60%) also top of the automation list. Far fewer believed, however, that tasks such as liaising with their team or customers could be automated, illustrating the higher value of such tasks.

“By employing software robots to undertake such tasks, they can be handled much more quickly,” adds Mee pointing to OTP Bank Romania, which during the pandemic used an automation to process requests to postpone bank loan instalments. “This reduced the processing time of a single request from 10 minutes to 20 seconds, allowing the bank to cope with a 125% increase in the number of calls received by call centre agents.”

Mee says: “Automation accelerates digital transformation, according to 63% of global executives. It also drives major cost savings and improves business metrics, and because software robots can ramp-up quickly to meet spikes in demand, it improves resilience.

Five business areas that can be automated

Mee outlines five business areas where automation can really make a difference.

  1. Contact centres Whether a customer seeks help online, in-store or with an agent, the entire customer service journey can be automated – from initial interaction to reaching a satisfying outcome
  2. Finance and accounting Automation enables firms to manage tasks such as invoice processing, ensuring accuracy and preventing mistakes
  3. Human resources Automations can be used across the HR team to manage things like payroll, assessing job candidates, and on-boarding
  4. IT IT teams are often swamped in daily activity like on-boarding or off-boarding employees. Deploying virtual machines, provisioning, configuring, and maintaining infrastructure. These tasks are ideal for automation
  5. Legal There are many important administrative tasks undertaken by legal teams that can be automated. Often, legal professionals are creating their own robots to help them manage this work. In legal and compliance processes, that means attorneys and paralegals can respond more quickly to increasing demands from clients and internal stakeholders. Robots don’t store data, and the data they use is encrypted in transit and at rest, which improves risk profiling and compliance.

“To embark on an automation journey, organisations need to create a Centre of Excellence in which technical expertise is fostered,” explains Mee. “This group of experts can begin automating processes quickly to show return on investment and gain buy-in. This effort leads to greater interest from within the organisation, which often kick-starts a strategic focus on embedding automation.”

 

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