Workday gears for growth in South Africa
Financial and human resources enterprise Cloud Company Workday is upbeat about South Africa's near-term growth.
As a result, it is increasing its presence in the country this year, having recently moved into a larger office space as part of its expansion preparations.
Through its portfolio of applications, Workday intends to quicken growth for its telecom, professional services, retail, and financial solutions.
In an interview with ITWeb Africa, Kiv Moodley, managing director, Workday South Africa, says the company is focusing on growth at sustainable levels.
“We see ourselves growing and having more customers, over a period of time. But we are also very selective; we try to provide the right level of counsel,” he says.
While the company has growth ambitions for South Africa, he admits Africa is still a step away. “We haven't really thought about the rest of Africa yet, because we think there's a lot of traction in terms of what we need to do.”
In addition to 500 international businesses that use Workday locally, Moodley says the company serves at least ten blue-chip South African-headquartered companies.
"In South Africa, our go-to-market is primarily based on the private sector," he says.
“We don't have a go-to-market strategy for the public sector; instead, Workday excels in sectors like professional services; tech firms like Adcorp; financial services; high-growth healthcare companies; and even a little bit of manufacturing.”
Moodley says the focused approach is a key differentiator for the company.
He adds: “We don't want to be like our rivals, who claim to be everything to everyone. We are extremely picky about the industries we work in because, while it's important for us to win and generate revenue, completing successful projects is of greater importance to us.”
Despite the unpredictability and volatility of the current business environment for multinational companies, Moodley says many companies tend to concentrate on defensive strategies to weather the storm. But, he adds, ‘recessions can also bring about opportunities’.
"Leveraging digital is one of the ways that organisations can navigate uncertain and turbulent times. During slowdowns, it's a good idea to check that your investments in digital technologies are functioning properly to improve data visibility, support better working practices, and enable cost savings.”
Moodley issues a warning, however, noting that many businesses often lack the fundamentals to manage through uncertainty and prosper afterwards.
He says: “Finance leaders, in our most recent global survey, say that legacy ERP systems lack the power to adapt to shifting conditions quickly enough to serve their organisation’s needs. As concerns about a potential downturn continue, it’s worth considering whether your organisation has the right capabilities in place."
In future, Workday plans to deepen the use emerging technologies such as AI and machine learning (ML).
He tells ITWeb Africa: “Our vision is to have AI and ML embedded everywhere within Workday, enabling our applications to naturally evolve to be more intelligent, while maintaining a strict adherence to ethical delivery.
“We’re making AI and ML invisible by building it as a core framework upon which our applications work. Just like the applications used in our personal lives, AI and ML will just work to deliver that personalised experience that helps work get done more efficiently, all while providing transparency and control to our customers over how AI and ML is applied.”