Dave Stevens joins the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast to round up the latest sporting odds.The Coral spokesman tells Max Rushden, in for Alan Brazil, and Danny Murphy that Norwich are favourites to win the Championship Play-Off final aganst Middlebrough at Wembley, while Slaven Bilic is the front-runner to replace Sam Allardyce at West Ham.Coral is the official betting partner of the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast
The Warriors earned a 129-127 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday with Curry and Durant making plays when they needed them the most. Curry scored 42 points while … CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos or video on a mobile device* * *Subscribe to the Mercury News and East Bay Times for $40 a year and receive a free Warriors championship coffee table book* * *OAKLAND – When all else fails, the Warriors can rely on Stephen Curry or Kevin Durant.
16 July 2008Legislation which gradually lowers the age of eligibility for a state pension for men from the current 65 years to 60 years – similar to that required of women – has been signed into law, said Social Development Minister Zola Skweyiya.“This is certainly welcome news as it will bring much needed relief to over 125 000 senior citizens,” he said in Pretoria last week.“It is especially good news in the context of rising food, petrol and others basic commodities.”As of this week, men aged 63 and 64 will be able to apply for a state pension through the amended Social Assistance Act. Men who turn 61 and 62 this year will be able to apply for the pension as from April 2009, and by 2010 the eligibility age will be equal between men and women.Around 450 000 men will benefit from the passing of this legislation, with approximately 121 000 coming on board this year alone.The value of the old age pension was now R940, said Skweyiya, adding that the government had set aside R800-million to extend the pensions to those who qualify as a result of the amended law.Vital source of incomePoverty and unemployment caused many families to rely on pensions for their survival especially, where social grants were the only source of income in a household.Pensioners were also instrumental in caring for the needs of their children, grandchildren and orphans as a result of the HIV/Aids, and the Department of Social Development said that the legislation was aimed at acknowledging the role pensioners played in society.Constitution stipulates equalityEarlier this year, Skweyiya reported that during the many public meetings he had attended, people had asked him why men were only eligible for the old age grant from the age of 65, while women received the grant from 60 years, especially if the country’s Constitution stipulated equality between men and women.This led to Skweyiya introducing the Social Assistance Amendment Bill in Parliament in March this year.“In terms of the implementation, it is all systems go and I encourage those who qualify to visit their nearest South African Social Security Agency’s offices,” he said.Independent tribunal for appealsThe second objective of the amended legislation was focused on ensuring that access to grants, which are handled by the South African Social Security Agency, occurred in a fair and equitable manner.Where the department previously had no say in the processing of grant applications, the amended legislation allowed for the minister to appoint an independent tribunal to consider all appeals against the decisions of the agency.An independent tribunal consisting of appeals officers, to develop policies, and enlisted panel members to adjudicate decisions is being piloted in KwaZulu-Natal.There would be two phases of adjudication – at the pre-adjudication phase a matter would be investigated by medical practitioners and attorneys, after which civil society would provide specific contexts like poor socio-economic conditions.The independent tribunal would serve as a mechanism allowing citizens the opportunity to appeal the rejection of their social grant applications without the need to undertake a costly legal process.Social security has expanded from a coverage rate of 2.5-million in 1994 to over 12.7-million in 2008.Source: BuaNews
Cape Town was voted as Africa’s leading travel destination.(Images: Cape Town Tourism) The Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town was nominated in the World’s Leading Hotel category. MEDIA CONTACTS • Tammy White Account manager: Cape Town Tourism +27 21 671 2640 RELATED ARTICLES • SA improves tourism competitiveness • Grooming the future of tourism • SA’s wine tourism best in the world •SA becomes business tourism hubAneshree NaidooSouth Africa’s three major cities – Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg – shone at the World Travel Awards – Africa held on 16 October at the Safari Park Hotel & Casino in Nairobi, Kenya.Hailed as “The Oscars of the travel industry” the World Travel Awards celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and is acknowledged globally as the ultimate travel accolade, rewarding world-leading hospitality brands.Voting for the competition is online and encourages travel and tourism executives and business and leisure tourists to vote for their favourite destinations, resorts and game reserves, among others.The World Travel – Africa Awards turns the global spotlight on the continent’s leading leisure and commercial destinations, and sees some African nominees, like South Africa, breaking into international categories.South Africa ranked high in international category nominations, but stood out in the Africa heats, winning 32 awards out of 57 categories, including leading African airport, beach destination, family resort, city hotel, conference venue, safari lodge and spa resort.The awards also saw East African state Kenya score honours. Up in the air In the air travel category, South African Airways was Africa’s Leading Airline, while OR Tambo International Airport edged out Cape Town International, King Shaka International and Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta to be named the top airport in Africa. Destinations South African tourist attractions dominated in the Africa’s Leading Tourist Destination category with South African ports also racking up nomination honours in the Leading Cruise Port category.Breezy Cape Town was named Africa’s Leading Destination as well as the top destination for Meetings and Conferences. In a nominee coup, Durban and Johannesburg also garnered runner-up honours. The Durban International Convention Centre was named Africa’s Leading Meetings & Conference Centre. Durban city was hailed as the Leading Cruise Port in Africa. Other notable awards included Africa’s Leading Luxury Train for The Blue Train and Africa’s Leading Conservation Company for Shamwari Game Reserve. HotelsIn the hotels category, South Africa was strongly represented, winning 12 awards out of 25. Winners included Sandton, Johannesburg’s The Regent (Africa’s Leading Apartment Hotel); the Johannesburg Saxon Boutique Hotel, Villas and Spa (Africa’s Leading Boutique Hotel); Johannesburg’s Sandton Sun (Africa’s Leading Business Hotel); Johannesburg’s The Palazzo at Montecasino (Africa’s Leading Casino Resort); Cape Town’s Pepperclub Hotel & Spa (Africa’s Leading City Hotel); The Westin Cape Town (Africa’s Leading Conference Hotel); the North West province’s Sun City Resort (Africa’s Leading Family Resort); and the Limpopo province’s Legend Golf & Safari Resort (Africa’s Leading Golf Resort).The Taj in Cape Town was named Africa’s Leading Hotel Residencep; Thanda Private Game Reserve was named Africa’s Leading Luxury Lodge and Ellerman House Villa One, Africa’s Leading Luxury Villa.CEO of Cape Town Tourism, Enver Duminy, comments: “This is another feather in the cap of Cape Town and the Mother City’s tourism offering – right off the back of another accolade in the Condé Nast Readers Choice Awards for 2013.“This is really good news for Cape Town and its tourism businesses – these awards are great marketing opportunities as they assist in promoting our destination globally and keep the Mother City top of mind among potential travellers.“I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the winners in the Africa category, particularly those from our home town, Cape Town.” International nominations Cape Town scooped a nomination for World’s Leading Travel Destination and a nomination for World’s Leading Meetings & Conference Destination. Durban saw a nomination for World’s Leading Sports Tourism Destination 2013.Johannesburg’s Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa was nominated for World’s Leading Boutique Hotel; The Westin in Cape Town garnered nominee honours as a world’s leading conference hotel; Johannesburg received a nod as a leading business travel destination and Cape Town’s Mount Nelson Hotel was a World’s Leading Hotel nominee. Limpopo province’s Legend Lodges, Entabeni Private Reserve, received a nomination as a leading private game reserve.Graham E. Cooke, president and founder, World Travel Awards said: “We are proud to have held these awards in Nairobi after recent events, to not only show support for the Kenya Tourism Board but Africa as a premier tourist destination that creates jobs and drives a significant part of each country’s GDP (gross domestic product).“Africa is a very competitive region for our World Travel Awards, and these winners continue to serve as an example of the most luxurious and innovative brands with unique hospitality products and services. Tonight’s recipients strive to set the highest possible bar to raise the standards of excellence in travel and tourism and it has been an honour to hold our ceremony here in Kenya, regarded as one of the most beautiful countries in the world.”
Melissa Javan12 August 2016Tebogo Suping of Kagiso in Gauteng is one of 50 young people who are featuredin the book Activate! Change Drivers that was recently launched inSouth Africa.“It’s our turn to change the world,” says the book’s first page. On another page,a woman is holding a placard that reads: “Our country. Our voice. Youth can changethings.”The book gives insight to what the members of the network Activate! SouthAfrica are doing across the country. The 50 young people are members of thenetwork. These members are called the Activators.Suping tries to improve the lives of school children in her community. She hasestablished a business called the Blaq Apple Communications and Events. Everyyear she and her team run camps for matric learners during the school holidays atthe local community centre.They help the learners with study support and personal mentoring. Throughoutthe process the learners must do communitywork to teach them to be sociallyaware, reads the book. They have also helped the learners with practical knowledgelike getting ready for university studies, applying for a bank account or an identitybook and bursary applications.At the end of last year, six of the learners who were helped by Suping and herteam were in the top two of their schools. The six obtained 33 distinctions betweenthem, including maths and science.“There is time to make money and there is time to makechange” – Tebogo Suping @ActivateZA @Ke_Geeman #Activating2030— Mr. PR (@collensthe) July 29,2016Benefits of the networkThe aim of the Activators in the network is to build the youth’s identity, createprojects, share ideas and collaborate with each other to drive opportunities.The book also says that in 2015 the Activate Community DevelopmentCertificate Course was piloted and applied to the South African QualificationAuthority to accredit the course. The aim is to offer an accredited qualification incommunity development at NQF level 5.This is to help the committed young people (the Activators) get a qualificationthat will be recognised in their communities and in society.Chris Meintjes is the chief executive officer of the network Activate!He believes that by June 2030, the future of South Africa will look good if theActivators are still busy with their community work. (Image: Activate!Leadership)The aim of the bookChris Meintjes, chief executive officer of the network, says in the foreword ofthe book: “The purpose of this book is to inspire all who read it. There’s not a wholelot of good news around, yet when you look at the challenges young people face,and see how the Activators are working together to create opportunities, youbecome aware that the future is filled with hope.”The network founded in 2011.Meintjes explains that each Activator has committed to a journey of service tothe public. “They work from within their own homes, communities and beyond.Many of them run their own initiatives and some volunteer in support of others.”The book launchThe book launch took place on 29 July 2016 in Johannesburg.At the launch, Meintjes says it has been a humbling experience working withthe Activators. “The past five years has been an incredible journey. The book is astep in theright direction for us.“It celebrates what is possible in the hands of a network of people. You[Activators] are the reason that there is rekindled hearts in this country.”He says the network started to build opportunities and create connections.“They [the Activators] give me hope. I see the value in the work they’re doing. Isee a future – it looks promising, that future – when I am working with thesepeople.”Meintjes says in 2011 when the network started, they worked with 20 to 30year olds. “Their energy is amazing.”He says if you flip over the book, you’ll see the possibilities of what the futurewill look like if these Activators continue with their good work in South Africa.”Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website?See Using SouthAfrica.info material
Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#E-Books#news#web frederic lardinois In a move that took most industry pundits by surprise, Sony today announced that it will adopt the open ePub standard as the default format for books in its eBook store by the end of the year. EPub is an XML-based standard for publishing eBooks that has been adopted by a wide variety of hardware manufacturers, publishers, and retailers – with the notable exception of Amazon and it’s Kindle store and eBook reader. Thanks to this, even owners of non-Sony eReaders will soon be able to read books they have bought in Sony’s store. It is important to note, however, that adopting this open format doesn’t mean that all the books in Sony’s store will now be DRM-free. Adobe DRMWhile it isn’t quite clear what the specifics of Sony’s DRM scheme will look like, the company did announce that it will use Adobe’s Content Server to power its DRM solution. Adobe’s server relies on a proprietary DRM solution. EPub is a very flexible format and allows developers to put a DRM-wrapper around eBooks. Publishers won’t have to wrap DRM around their offerings. However, it is unlikely that a lot of book publishers (who are just as fearful of piracy as most music executives) will be able to resist this. In effect, this gives Adobe a lot of power in the eBook industry, as our friends at TeleRead point out in more detail. Opening up the StoreStill, Sony should be lauded for adopting the ePub format and making its eBook store compatible with more devices from more manufacturers. All of Sony’s eReaders, including the first-generation PRS-500, will be able to read these books, but what is far more important is that users will not be locked into having to buy a Sony device just to make use of the Sony eBook store. In addition, as other publishers adopt this format, Sony’s own Reader will also be able to access books from a wider variety of stores. Sony is clearly taking the eBook market very seriously. Just last week, it brought the prices for most of the books in its store down to $9.99 and announced two new eBook readers that look very promising. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Will Amazon React?The question now, of course, is how Amazon will react to this. Amazon’s Kindle ecosystem is almost completely closed – starting with the proprietary eBook format up to the Kindle’s inability to display ePub-formatted books. In the press release, Steve Haber, the president of Sony’s Digital Reading Business Division, argues that ePub is “quickly becoming the de facto standard for eBooks.” If that is indeed the case, Amazon will have to adapt quickly if it doesn’t want to be left behind. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…
Guadalajara Chivas impressive in Necaxa thrashing but home form still a concern Jon Arnold Click here to see more stories from this author @ArnoldcommaJon 04:08 1/23/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Rocio Vazquez Guadalajara Liga MX Necaxa v Guadalajara Necaxa The Guadalajara side got a big victory even with several players out injured but still must learn how to get three points where it should be easiest Alan Pulido limped off at halftime with Chivas and Necaxa tied at 1-1 Saturday night. The forward had earlier finished off an excellent move started by Javier Lopez but now he could hardly walk much less run. In the Apertura, Chivas would’ve been sunk.Instead, the work the club’s directors did in the winter paid off. Ronaldo Cisneros, a 20-year-old signed from Santos Laguna in the offseason, cleaned up a goalmouth mess for his debut goal for the Rebano Sagrado. Rodolfo Cota, the goalkeeper who was set to leave the club and return to Pachuca but eventually was brought back to Guadalajara, made a critical save in the 74th minute to stop Carlos Gonzalez from doubling his total on the night. Edwin Hernandez added a third from a free kick that deflected off a Necaxa player and Chivas took a 3-1 victory back home.Matias Almeyda said earlier the week that he’d asked for three more signings that didn’t come through. Chivas do have plenty of weaknesses, but those are being addressed. The lack of depth that saw injuries force the team to limp to a 13th-place finish doesn’t feel as significant. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Pulido and Cisneros both left because of injuries, but Lopez and Carlos Cisneros have thus far created goals. Michael Perez’s injury curtails the options in the central midfield, but Rodolfo Pizarro performed well next to Orbelin Pineda on Saturday rather than his normal role further forward. And at center back, where Jair Periera injury updates can be a permanent fixture in Guadalajara newspapers and Carlos Salcido often shows his age, Oswaldo Alanis is getting closer and closer to a return after his contract dispute in the offseason.Don’t get me wrong, whatever signings Almeyda had in mind definitely would’ve helped. His comments last week seemed ominous, as the Argentine has been in demand in his home country since winning the league and the cup with Chivas in the 2017 Clausura. Chivas needed to do more this winter than sign a couple of promising players from Santos Laguna and bring back Cota if they wanted to lift trophies again. Tigres, Monterrey and America have done too much since then to be able to almost stand pat. But four points through three weeks is a good enough return for the club to get back into the Liguilla and at least have a chance.The depth will be needed as Chivas look to do more than just get back to respectable form in the league. The club is in the CONCACAF Champions League for the first time since 2012-13 when it failed to advance out of the group stage thanks to a defeat to Guatemalan side Xelaju. Reports from Guadalajara on Monday indicate Pulido’s injury isn’t serious and Perez may be set to rejoin the squad this weekend. Chivas can once again be respectable on two fronts if players are able to stay healthy.Strangely, the biggest issue may be how the team performs at home. There is nearly always an ‘invasion’ of Chivas fans to welcome the club into normally difficult road atmospheres. In the true home comforts of the Estadio Chivas, though, Almeyda’s team has struggled. Of the eight teams that made the Liguilla last tournament, just Leon had more than two home defeats. Chivas lost four times at home last tournament and took all three points just once. Chivas already has one home defeat this year, a demoralizing capitulation to Cruz Azul. This weekend brings an even tougher opponent.Monterrey travels to the Estadio Chivas fresh off a first-place regular season finish last tournament. This time around, the frustration of not winning a title looks to be hanging over Rayados, but they’re a better team than the Necaxa squad Chivas brushed aside Saturday.A strong performance from Chivas’ attack gives enthusiasm that things will be different than the Apertura, but Chivas must figure out a way to win at home to make sure last season was simply an aberration and that its current squad is good enough to compete.
For Marcel Brands, Everton’s director of football, the team is focused on the transfer market window of the summer, not on the one from this month.Everton director of football Marcel Brands has ruled out a “big” transfer window for the team in January.According to the executive, the team is focusing on the summer transfer window instead.Premier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…“We don’t have big plans. It’s a very difficult period to bring players in,” he said to Sky Sports.“We don’t want to let our best players go, also other clubs don’t. I’m more focused on the summer window than the January window.”“If we sell or loan players, then maybe we have to do something, and if we do something, it has to be good,” he concluded.
7:17 Now playing: Watch this: Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 4: The good, the bad… Game of Thrones HBO 187 Photos Tags Share your voice What about the representation of women in front of the camera? As a viewer, there have been moments that have been very uncomfortable to watch for me as a woman.Riley: I’m only there to service the story, to serve the directors and the showrunners. Women throughout history have not always had an easy time, and I have no problem whatsoever with showing that in all of its ugliness. The showrunners always have known there would be characters like Cersei and Daenerys that would rise. I’ve always had faith in them, and my job as a production designer is not really to ask.So you know how the show ends?Riley: I think I know how it ends, but I haven’t seen episode 6. I first received an outline of season 8 a year and a half ago, so I had a secret for a really long time. It’ll be fascinating. The great thing is people have no idea how far the show still has to go. 0 TV and Movies See all the Game of Thrones season 8 photos Post a comment If you think watching Game of Thrones is a grueling emotional experience, try working on it. For Production Designer Deborah Riley, season 8’s Battle of Winterfell was just one of the tough assignments in her time on the show. “To re-create death and violence like that over a long period of time … it’s wearing,” she says. “It really saps your soul.”Despite being “traumatized and exhausted” by the scale of the job, Riley describes Game of Thrones as a “fantastic” experience she’s sad to leave behind. As production designer, it’s her role to define the look of the show through sets and props. both physical and created with CGI. Having learned the ropes working on The Matrix and Moulin Rouge, the Australian has led the production design of the dragon drama since its fourth season, winning four Emmy Awards, a Bafta and several Art Directors Guild gongs along the way. Production Designer Deborah Riley and Art Director Paul Ghirardani in September 2018 with their Emmy for Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Period or Fantasy Program (one hour or more). Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images As the eighth and final season builds to a climax, viewers of season 8’s third episode The Long Night complained they couldn’t see much of the dramatic Battle of Winterfell. Riley defends the creative decision of cinematographer Fabian Wagner. “We always received lots of criticism before about Game of Thrones being dark,” Riley told me over the phone. “I actually thought it added an extra layer — the fact you couldn’t see everything made it all the more terrifying. To me, it enhanced rather than detracted.”Here’s a lightly edited transcript of my chat with Riley. Q: You’ve been the production designer of seasons 4 to 8 in Game of Thrones. What was it like to inherit the world of Westeros rather than starting from scratch?Riley: I always thought I was incredibly lucky to get the job on Game of Thrones. It never bothered me at all that this show had three seasons beforehand. Frankly, I didn’t have enough experience at that point in time to start a whole show myself. And the show kept growing throughout the years, so I was able to go and establish my own [designs].The Meereen audience chamber as seen on season 5 of Game of Thrones. HBO What locations and sets are you most proud of?Riley: I was always very proud of the Meereen audience chamber in season 4, purely because that was the first major set we built for season 4. There was a lot of pressure, a lot of people looking at me to see what I would do. So I felt that once that audience chamber was established, hopefully people felt it was in a sure pair of hands.Deborah Riley on the set of Game of Thrones. Macall Polay/HBO What were the biggest challenges?Riley: The frozen lake of season 7, episode 6, Beyond The Wall. That was an absolutely astonishing thing we had to create. A certain part was shot on location in Iceland, but also because of the large amount of stunts and visual effects we had to bring the scene back to Belfast. So we created a complete frozen landscape in a quarry up in the hillside of Belfast. It was extraordinary to see an entire quarry concreted and turned into a frozen lake. It was so convincing. It was months and months of work in really punishing weather, but the result was absolutely fantastic.How hard is it to keep the secrets of Game of Thrones, and how much do your family and friends nag you for information?Riley: If you worked on the show, we care for it so much that we just don’t want to spoil it for anybody. Really the only time I’ve struggled [was] when I finished season 8. I was quite traumatized, I was so exhausted, and there were so many things that I wanted to talk about but I couldn’t. How was your experience in the show?Riley: It was absolutely fantastic, the five and a half years that I worked on the show. But at the same time, the story was told. So there was also a resignation to it … and I was incredibly proud as well. Such a mixture of feelings, but the main one I remember was just absolute exhaustion. The mandala left by the Night King that we saw in episode 1 of season 8. Helen Sloan/HBO Does it help a little bit that now you can finally start talking about it? The show hasn’t ended yet, but at least we’ve seen some of the episodes.Riley: Yeah, well, I mean I’ve been able to show photographs, because I’ve never shared with my friends or family photographs from July 2017 to July 2018. So, for instance, the mandala that the Night King left, I have pictures of us putting it up on that wall. And it’s such a macabre thing.Can you talk about some of the other women who worked behind the scenes?Riley: There are a lot of women behind the camera. The executive producer, Bernie Caulfield, was more or less head of the show. She’s an extraordinary personality. A lot of the production office were also women. Michele Clapton, the costume designer. There were women in all of the departments. In Australia, the shooting crews would probably have more women. In construction, you would see more women. Certainly, in the art department, we had a lot of women [in Game of Thrones] in the drawing room and in set decoration. It’s a great place to be — it’s also a punishing place to be. There’s a lot of long hours and often in dreadful conditions.
6 min read Register Now » Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global March 14, 2019 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Ten years ago, it would have been strange to stand alone in a room and tell that someone named “Alexa” to order pizza — but today, most of us take in stride the virtual assistance that AI provides. With the Internet of Things (IOT), consumers can now take on impossible tasks with ease. Answering the front door from a beach hundreds of miles away is easy; feeding the dog during a long night at the office requires only a few quick taps on a smartphone. With all of the feats it makes possible, IOT tech has developed a reputation for redefining how ordinary consumers enjoy their at-home experience. However, smart home devices constitute only a small tip of the overall IOT iceberg. Advances in technology stand to revolutionize the business world as much as if not more as they have our personal lives. That said, while the commercial opportunities in IOT are well-hyped in the media, many corporate executives have so far been cautious, remaining on the sidelines of this developing field. Today the question remains: Is it finally time for company leaders to take part in the technological revolution and integrate the Internet of Things into business life? Or is the commercial world still too wary of IOT’s strange potential to take advantage of it?Related: 25 Innovative IoT Companies and Products You Need to KnowWhat is the Internet of Things, exactly?Understanding what IOT can do for business starts with understanding IOT itself. Most laypeople know what these devices can do in their daily lives; however, providing a technical definition is often an entirely different challenge.Analysts describe the Internet of Things as “the interconnection of machines and devices through the internet, enabling the creation of data that yields analytical insights and supports new operations.” IOT solutions use these connections to cross-utilize wireless communications, networks, the cloud, and data storage. In doing so, they offer considerable opportunities for handling and analyzing massive amounts of data across geographically disparate locations. Related: 4 Reasons to Be Excited by the ‘Internet of Things’What can it do for business?The primary benefit IOT provides business lies in its capacity for boosting day-to-day efficiency. These solutions use data collected from social networks, traditional media, and internal and external networks to provide actionable intelligence that empowers machines and people to optimize their behaviors. Well-integrated IOT technologies can offer company leadership valuable feedback into how a company might improve their product functionality and better their user experience, as well as streamline production processes and supply chain management.Because these solutions can process more real-time data in a set period than a human could ever hope to, they also play a crucial part in developing financial decisions by providing real-time insights into the state of the business as a whole. The actionable intelligence sourced from IOT solutions complements that from a company’s accounting systems and enterprise resource planning (ERP) and, when taken together, can provide executives with a bird’s-eye view of the venture’s state and provide insights into potentially lucrative financial strategies. The benefits that IOT solutions provide are invaluable — however, some researchers have managed to put a number on the potential financial gain. According to a 2015 McKinsey study, IOT stands to save global businesses up to $11 trillion annually by 2025. Other experts in the field project that the technology will boost corporate profits by as much as 21 percent by 2022. Statistics like these command interest; a survey found that 45 percent of executives said that IOT-enabled manufacturing was a high or very high priority for their ventures. Interestingly, only 21 percent of those involved in the study worked directly in the manufacturing sector — a detail which implies that the interest for IOT goes far beyond its surface capabilities. Related: Blockchain Technology can be Critical to IoT Infrastructure SecurityWhy is IOT so underutilized?Unfortunately, interest doesn’t always equate to usage. Many executives have opted to observe the IOT field as it develops rather than actively integrate the potentially valuable technology into the day-to-day workings of their business. According to a study conducted by Capgemini, fewer than “four out of 10 organizations are deploying IOT in operations at full scale.” Moreover, those that do implement IOT technology center in a few choice industries; leaders include industrial manufacturing (62 percent), retail (46 percent), and telecommunications (38 percent). Their hesitancy is understandable, even if it does hold ventures back from potential gain. According to a study put forth by Hitachi, 32 percent of surveyed companies were unable to present a compelling return on investment for integrating IOT, another 32 percent struggled to keep potential solutions secure, 31 percent saw problems with cross-departmental cooperation, and 30 percent were unable to process the influx of data effectively. For all of its promise, the Internet of Things doesn’t readily or immediately lend itself to daily use. Integration demands strategy, troubleshooting, and countless hours of work; executives will undoubtedly face growing pains. The sheer amount of work and consideration that goes into applying IOT solutions stands as a strong deterrent to those who might otherwise leap on the chance to take advantage of the technology’s potential. Does this mean businesses shouldn’t use IOT?Every step towards progress demands some heavy lifting. Businesses should not steer clear of IOT solutions because they are imperfect or because they require company leaders to overcome logistical hurdles; the potential payoff is far too high. Moreover, IOT solutions will likely become a norm in business, making integration less of a tech-forward decision and more of a necessity for keeping up with the competition. Integrating IOT technology can and should be a priority; however, companies will need to have advanced analytics and development platforms in place to handle the influx of IOT data, as well as cyber security solutions that address any vulnerabilities that IOT technology creates in a company’s day-to-day systems. As the CEO of a tech-forward steel manufacturer, I have seen the value that IOT solutions can provide to modern businesses firsthand. At Pacesetter, we’ve already taken basic steps to integrate IOT into our operations. To date, we have integrated sensors in our production lines that connect to our networks and create live dashboards for our operators. This update allowed us to optimize our reaction time and boost our understanding of our day-to-day efficiency. By analyzing data trends, we were able to determine what proactive steps we could take to improve our processes.Pacesetter is in the midst of exploring more ways to integrate technology and further optimize our operations — and it certainly isn’t alone in doing so. Staying on the cutting edge of technology has become inarguably vital to remaining competitive in nearly every industry. One point is for certain for all: the advances we see today are only a hint of what could benefit businesses in the future.