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No digital empowerment without social inclusion - Dell

No digital empowerment without social inclusion - Dell

While South Africa is listed among the top 15 countries globally in terms of its digital readiness (or the will to embark on a digital journey) according to Dell Technologies research, the country must focus on social transformation to fully embrace the digital revolution and drive economic development.

At the Dell Technologies Forum 2019 in Johannesburg this week, Doug Woolley, GM of Dell EMC SA said: "If South Africa doesn't embrace this digital change, we'll be left behind... and I think companies like ourselves, yourselves need to embrace this whole change that is grabbing us and move this forward. It is through our passion, through our involvement that we'll be able to accelerate growth in this country, create the right skill levels, set up our kids to digital citizens of the future."

Channel-centric Dell Technologies, which in 2019 marks its 35th year of operation, is understood to have spent US$20-billion on R&D over the last five years and continues to underline the idea that every organisation needs to be a digital organisation, powered by data, running in a multi-cloud environment.

Woolley said the digital revolution is going to facilitate a lot of change and disruption. "As a developing nation we have to grab it with both hands...that is my call to action, how do we all get involved in driving this change, not only at an economic level, but at a social level."

Dell executives agree that the shortage of technical skills remains a key challenge within Africa's channel ecosystem.

To this end the company has confirmed that it will launch its global Restart Programme in South Africa.

The programme is designed to support women who had to take a break from their careers in technology and reintroduce them into the work environment.

"On a global level we are focused on bringing under-represented groups of youth back into the economy. If you look at the rate of graduation of STEM degrees and the expected number of computing related jobs by 2024, at this rate we will only be able to fill 45 percent of these jobs... why? We have a shortage of talent, so this is where we are working globally to make sure that we bring in talent back into the economy. We are soon to launch the restart programme in South Africa," said Haidi Nossair, Marketing Director - META region, Dell EMC.

Woolley added: "You have to make a social impact as a business, especially in South Africa. We have 51 percent youth unemployment and 27 percent unemployment in the country, the world is moving forward at a rapid rate in terms of its transformation. Organisations like Dell, our partners and customers need to embrace this social change because without this social change, we are not going to be propelling this economy forward."

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