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IITPSA discusses SA's IT capability

By , ITWeb
South Africa , 07 Nov 2014

IITPSA discusses SA's IT capability

South Africa is well known as the economic hub of Africa, but the question remains as to who fills the spot as the continent's IT hub.

This was one of the questions posed by Wellington Matope, President of the IITPSA (Institute of Information Technology Professionals of South Africa) when he addressed delegates at the organisation's annual President's Awards held in Johannesburg on 06 November.

Matope outlined a number of challenges faced by the industry and asked if enough was being done to promote South Africa as an attractive destination for IT multinationals. The country was behind other African regions in terms of IT budget spend.

In October 2014 local media reported that South Africa was ranked 56th out of 144 countries, according to the World Economic Forum's 2014/2015 Global Competitiveness Index.

Matope believes the Southern African country should be competing amongst Africa's leading nations in ICT. "When will we go beyond politicking and ensure that sectors work together like a machine... we have to identify the capabilities in the industry."

Tony Parry, CEO of IITPSA, said there were a number of issues that form part of the overall focus of the ICT industry including affordable broadband, with at least 50% of South Africa not connected, the rollout of fibre networks to replace copper, as well as speed of connectivity.

He mentioned the prevalence of hotspots to enable connectivity through backbone infrastructure and the internet, and stressed the need for the market to familiarise itself with technology and explore the various options to ensure affordable and sustainable connectivity. "We need to find a way to get connectivity to the people."

Matope spoke of the need to drive professionalism within the industry, to protect it from malpractice and foster skills development and career opportunity.

The event also focused on the importance of digital strategies, the role of the CIO as an innovator in organisations, the impact of regulation and compliance, as well as the strategic value in Research & Development/ Innovation.

Sal Laher, CIO at Eskom, said there was a need for companies to push the return on investment in IT to the market and that sourcing strategies have to change.

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