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What is challenging Africa's digital transformation capability?

What is challenging Africa's digital transformation capability?

While businesses will leverage digital transformation to lead in their markets, the consensus among executives at the IDC CIO Summit being held this week in Johannesburg is that joint ventures are imperative – as is connectivity and a solid roadmap to manage transformation.

The cost of data and the need for more widespread access to the net via mobile channels have been named as two key factors that continue to impact on businesses in Africa in their embarking on digital transformation journeys, and their ability to optimise service delivery to clients and customers.

Additional hurdles that CIOs have to negotiate in order to fulfil their understood role in digital transformation – which is to help guide and steer their companies on their respective journeys – include skills, management buy-in and available financial resources.

Thagaran Govender, Head: Support Services, Mercantile Bank, added that compliance with regulation and the interlinking and alignment of security and cybersecurity in terms of digital presence are additional considerations.

Other challenges raised in discussion include the depreciation of the currency and cost of technology, and cost containment, as well as the alignment/ management of an organisation's culture transformation and that of its technology transformation.

The development of new ecosystems and realising the value of these is not going to be driven by individual companies, but through joint ventures and partnerships, according to Yannick Decaux, Country Manager – South Africa, Sales Director –Sub-Saharan Africa, Orange Business, and Antonio Raposo from the Volkswagen Group.

Orange has a keen interest in the development and transformation within the automotive industry and according to Decaux, the forecast is that 30% of cars in Europe will be connected.

There is also extensive use of data processing using realtime connectivity within car fleet management at UPS, for example, and regulating aspects such as fuel consumption and tyre usage.

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