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Deep dive into SA’s DX prospects reveals need for collaboration, innovation

Acting-Director General of the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies, Nonkqubela Jordan-Dyani.
Acting-Director General of the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies, Nonkqubela Jordan-Dyani.

Investing in digital transformation is key to establishing South Africa’s digital economy, and requires collaboration among stakeholders with innovation a central objective.

This is one of the main takeaways from the Huawei Connect Summit 2021, held virtually in September.

“Investing in digital transformation generally holds the potential to establish a foundation for interminable entrepreneurship and business dynamism, towards establishing South Africa’s digital economy,” said Acting-Director General of the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies, Nonkqubela Jordan-Dyani. “We believe that by partnering with stakeholders from the private sector we can together firmly establish technologies such as cloud computing in our digital economy for the benefit of our people.”

Huawei asserted that while the technology required for digital development is already in place – including cloud, AI, robotics, machine learning and 5G, collaboration is central to create an open industry ecosystem and drive shared success.

“So many organisations around the world have recognised the value of digital transformation and are moving ahead at full steam,” said Eric Xu, Rotating Chairman, Huawei. Technologies like 5G, AI, and cloud are here already. And although these technological underpinnings are essentially the same for everyone, there's no one path to get there. We still have a long way to go before we reach true digital transformation.”

“You can't have digital development without digital technology, and you can't have digital technology if you don't keep innovating and creating new value,” he added.

Spawn Fan, CEO, Huawei South Africa.
Spawn Fan, CEO, Huawei South Africa.

Spawn Fan, CEO, Huawei South Africa, added: “We believe that new growth opportunities have arrived - innovative technologies are increasingly being used in more industries and diversified ecosystems are driving a more dynamic market. Digital technologies are becoming an important measure to increase effective investment and stimulate the development of the digital economy.”

Explaining how Huawei is working to help players in both the public and private sectors, he pointed out that, “the fundamentals of digitalisation are connection technologies represented by 5G, all-optical communications and IOT, and intelligent data represented by technologies such as cloud, big data, and artificial intelligence.”

Huawei is focused on several areas including native cloud service rollout, AI clusters to drive adoption, as well as autonomous driving networks or networks that run themselves.

It also recently set up a subsidiary called Huawei Digital Power that will focus exclusively on powering low-carbon development with digital technology.

The cloud-native service is positioned as HUAWEI CLOUD: Everything as a Service. 

During Huawei Connect 2021, the company announced the launch of several services including MacroVerse aPaaS, OptVerse AI Solver, HUAWEI CLOUD Stack 8.1, Pangu drug molecule model, and SparkRTC. 

According to Huawei, four years into its development, HUAWEI CLOUD has attracted 2.3 million developers, 14,000 consulting partners, 6,000 technical partners, and released 4,500 Marketplace products. 

Zhang Ping'an, CEO of HUAWEI CLOUD and President of Huawei Consumer Cloud Service, said: "For the past 30 years, Huawei has been relentless in connecting the world. For the next 30 years, we build the cloud foundation for an intelligent future – Infrastructure as a Service for global accessibility, Technology as a Service for flexible innovation, and Expertise as a Service for shared excellence. Digitaliasation is a wealth of opportunities, and we call on all to think cloud native, act cloud native." 

South Africa’s e-Government strategy

Jordan-Dyani’s Department is entrusted with the roll out of South Africa’s e-Government strategy which is based on the use of scalable digital platforms to enhance service delivery.

The goal is to have digitised, automated services rolled out by 2024.

“Digital transformation is a long-term process that won't happen overnight. Fortunately, the tech sector is more dynamic and vibrant than ever,” Xu concluded.

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