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SA companies 'slowly but surely' on digital transformation journey

By , Journalist
South Africa , 07 May 2019

SA companies 'slowly but surely' on digital transformation journey

Most of South Africa's large corporates are only starting to implement digital strategies that experts say will help them to shore up revenues claims a new study by Mckinsey.

According to research Digital reinvention can spur South Africa's economy, banking, high tech and telecom companies such as Absa, MTN, Vodacom, Discovery and others are already leading the way in digital transformation.

"Many of South Africa's large corporates, outside of banking, high tech, and telecommunications, which sit ahead of the pack, are in the early stages of their digitisation journey," said Tawanda Sibanda, a Johannesburg-based partner for Mckinsey.

ITWeb recently reported that enterprises around the world are forecast to spend around US$1.2 trillion on digital transformation products and services in 2019, according to the International Data Corporation's (IDC) Worldwide Semi-annual Digital Transformation Spending Guide.

This represents a 17.9% increase on the previous year.

The Dell Digital Transformation index ranks SA in ninth place, out of 41 countries that are home to firms leading the digital business maturity level across the globe.

But the Mckinsey study states that "from the mining and chemical industries to retail, many traditional businesses in South Africa are only just beginning to implement digital" strategies.

Digitally transformed SA corporates are described as "quick and adaptable" in in setting, executing, and adjusting to digital realities.

"There is much discussion across all industries about the various ways to speed up digital delivery and drive closer alignment between business and IT in South Africa. While most organisations are in the early stages of implementing agile at scale, financial-services firms lead the charge," added Sibanda.

The study refers to Standard Bank as an example of a financial service company that has embraced agile transformation across its 6000 IT professionals.

The bank has announced an IT Transformation Program that encompasses "agile transformation across its 6,000 IT professionals to enable faster software updates and rollouts" which involved "breaking down" silos.

"Instead of developing software in isolated teams and work streams, teams now work together to develop software in small batches," the report adds.

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