SAP Research aims to bridge ICT gaps

SAP Research Pretoria, the South African branch of SAP’s global research centre, has partnered with world-renowned computer science expert, Professor Jose Luis Encarnacao, to bridge the gaps in ICT uptake inherent in the socio-economic fabric of emerging economies in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and Southern Africa) region.

ICT is, undoubtedly, one of the major enablers of economic development, and in recent years, innovation in information and communication technologies has transformed and re-shaped business and public service delivery worldwide. The sector’s impact on the socio-economic status of developing countries, however, remains muted, and it is this fact that the SAP Research lab in Pretoria is planning to address.

According to Danie Kok, Director of SAP Research Pretoria: “ICT, perhaps more than any other sector of the economy, has the potential to improve the efficiency with which societies in developing countries operate. We are thrilled to be working with Professor Encarnacao to establish a blueprint for ICT related research specifically targeting the BRICS region.”

This blueprint comes in the form of a strategic research agenda that will seek to establish the developmental challenges emerging economies face in the context of ICT service adoption. Professor Encarnacao, who is a key advisor to the German government on their ICT policy, will work with the SAP Research lab in Pretoria to draw up the agenda that will dictate a region-wide research programme.

“The BRICS economies are characterised by vast gaps between various sectors of society, and the level of infrastructure development can differ significantly depending on which part of a country you find yourself in,” explains Professor Encarnacao. “ICT has the potential to play a huge part in bridging these gaps, but before it can do so, we need to have a clear understanding of the issues that have delayed the advancement and appropriation of technology thus far.”

Our ultimate objective with this agenda is not only to establish the basis for a sound research study, but also to promote and foster the growth of ICT related research activities in the BRICS region. I look forward to working with SAP Research Pretoria on this and am very excited to be taking part in what will surely be ground breaking research.”