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Determinants of emerging technologies adoption in the South African financial sector

Nkhulang T. Matsepe    
Elma van der Lingen    


AbstractPurpose: The fourth industrial revolution (4IR) enables firms to leverage various emerging technologies to reduce operating costs, improve business efficiencies and gain competitive advantage. This article uncovers the determinants influencing emerging technology adoption, particularly artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing and distributed ledger technologies (DLT), in South African (SA) financial services firms.Design/methodology/approach: Seventeen technology experts from the SA banking, insurance, financial technology and financial regulation and compliance sectors were interviewed. A semi-structured interview was used to conduct one-on-one interviews, followed by a focus group interview. Qualitative data were analysed using a thematic network analysis.Findings/results: The results revealed that the determinants ? adopter traits, technology usability, industry characteristics, organisational leadership and organisational characteristics ? were influential towards technology adoption. It is suggested that the new model could be strengthened further by incorporating a new construct, leadership diversity, which had not been previously proposed in the literature.Practical implications: By understanding the influential adoption determinants, leaders can take bold, calculated risks in adopting AI, cloud computing and DLT. However, the importance, prior to adopting these technologies, of clearly understanding the need for them, and their business benefits is also emphasised.Originality/value: Research on the adoption of AI, cloud computing and DLT in the SA financial sector is limited. This article leverages the models of the diffusion of innovations (DOI), the technology?organisation?environment (TOE) and the technology readiness index (TRI) to propose a new model that illustrates technology adoption in the SA financial sector at individual and firm levels.

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