Generative AI sparks AI investment across South Africa
The majority of South African IT leaders expect generative AI to have a high impact on their organisations shortly, surpassing other emerging technologies.
This is according to Salesforce, which recently released its latest State of IT report with key trends from IT leaders across 28 counties, including 200 from South Africa.
The report surveyed over 4 000 IT leaders worldwide to uncover the trends, priorities, and challenges shaping the business and IT landscape.
It highlights trends impacting IT organisations, such as shifting approaches to application development, the widening gap between IT services demand and supply, and the transformative impact of automation and artificial intelligence.
One of the key findings of the report is that generative AI is set to transform IT, with 83% of South Africa’s IT leaders saying the role of AI in their organisations is already well-defined. That figure poised to grow as 87% believe generative AI, specifically, will soon have a prominent role in their organisations.
The report comes as AI and generative AI have already begun transforming industries and more companies are embracing the technology.
Among those punting the technology is the consulting firm Deloitte, which recently launched a generative AI practice for the African market.
The company says it is bringing together industry experience, skilled AI engineers and alliance partners to build generative AI solutions to accelerate the pace of business innovation.
The Salesforce report notes however that IT leaders are proceeding with caution, as 74% concerned about generative AI’s ethics. This comes as ongoing digital transformation projects are sapping IT capacity; 67% of South African IT organisations have trouble keeping up with demands from the business, with the situation anticipated to worsen as 78% project increased demand over the next 18 months. In response, 88% of South African IT leaders say they’re increasingly focused on “driving operational efficiencies”.
It adds: “Teams seek to scale app development. Only 35% of South African IT organisations can support all app development requests they receive. To scale their capacity, 69% have adopted low-code or no-code tools, and 57% use composability.
“Teams take an ‘all of the above’ approach to security as threats loom. 75% of
South African IT leaders have trouble balancing business and security objectives, prompting them to adopt an array of defence measures. 59% of South African IT organisations use data encryption, for example, and 50% use multi-factor authentication.”