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Digital mapping use 'on the rise' in SA

76% of South African corporations spend more than 2% of their information technology (IT) budgets on digital mapping services such as tracking, navigation and marketing.

This according to a survey by South African technology research firm World Wide Worx and digital mapping provider mapIT.

The two organisations conducted interviews with 111 information technology (IT) and logistics decision-makers in South African corporations and 400 business decision-makers at small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across the country.

And according to the survey, 38% of small to medium enterprises (SMEs) spend more than R50,000 a year on digital mapping, while 79% of corporates have higher budgets, with 22% of corporates spending more than R500,000 every year.

These digital mapping services include asset tracking services, such as fleet management, vehicle tracking and recovery and navigation.

“The biggest surprise in the findings was the extent to which budgets are growing,” said World Wide Worx managing director Arthur Goldstuck.

“Two-thirds of large corporations and SMEs alike – 69% and 66% respectively – intend to increase their spending on digital mapping services in 2013,” he continued.

It was further revealed that a third of SMEs are using digital mapping for location-based marketing (LBM), while a further 19% plan to do so this year.

In the coming year, there could also be a similar take-up in the corporate environment, with 41% already using LBM, and a further 15% intending to do so, says the survey.

“Digital mapping is proving to be the hidden secret weapon of South African business,” said mapIT chief executive officer, Etienne Louw.

“Those who invest more are gaining greater advantage,” he concluded.

Original article published on 22 January 2013 by Simnikiwe Mzekandaba

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