Budget 2017 shows importance of digital transformation

PoPI requires effective data management structures
Claude Schuck, regional manager for Africa at Veeam.
Claude Schuck, regional manager at Veeam Africa
Claude Schuck, regional manager at Veeam Africa

As indicated by South African Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan in his recent Budget speech, the country finds itself in an era of rapid technological change. With job creation a major focus for government, local business development is of utmost importance. Digital technology has shown it can drive growth and change, putting technology companies at the fore to help the transformation of South African businesses for a new era.

The evolution towards creating digital enterprises, and the country’s clear focus on embracing technology for improved efficiencies as indicated in the Budget speech, creates new and exciting business and societal opportunities.

Embracing technological change

This is reflective in how governments throughout Africa are looking at ways to improve their service delivery to citizens. Connectivity has become a fundamental imperative in this regard especially when examining the number of smart solutions on offer. The Budget speech also shows us how continuous technological change is contributing to a more efficient environment for government, the private sector, and citizens.

And while technology is important, companies should not lose sight of the need to establish effective support systems that cater for specific customer needs. Quite often, this takes on the form of partnerships that see local companies trained by large multi-nationals to empower them with the skills they need to develop innovative and always-on solutions. Activities such as these are contributing to the economic growth of the country and the development of our country’s workforce as employable people for digital businesses.

Mentorship, support, and a stimulating work environment are three pieces of an increasingly important recipe for businesses looking to attract the new breed of employee. These employees, who are comfortable with technology, are looking for opportunities with companies that embrace digital. Multinational IT organisations are in a strong position to work with local stakeholders and combine technology innovation with the need for more specialised jobs and the creation of a more diverse workforce.

Becoming digitally transformed

With the South African government earmarking significant funds for enterprise programmes that support economic growth, Minister Gordhan mentioned how private and public investment in social and economic infrastructure, new technologies, and new activities are imperative, and need to be mobilised rapidly.

To this end, digital transformation must be embraced more fully across all industries to help drive the country into a strong economic future. Part of this is also to make sure that systems and data are available to provide the services required for this connected environment.

Reducing a digital business’ unplanned downtime should be a strategic priority tightly woven into the fabric of these plans. According to the IDC, such unplanned downtime has a significant financial impact. It has found that Fortune 1000 companies are experiencing anything from $1.25bn to $2.5bn in costs on an annual basis as a result of this downtime.

Care should therefore be taken that the correct approach is in place to assist the business with business continuity and disaster recovery services in its quest to becoming fully digital.

If companies are to actively drive change as directed in the Budget, digital transformation and all that comes with it, needs to guide them for a better, and more economically bright, future.

By Claude Schuck