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Digitisation is the turnaround tool for Africa growth

Africa is sitting on a well of potential that if tapped could lead to substantial growth and development along with a complete transformation of the continent.
Africa is sitting on a well of potential that if tapped could lead to substantial growth and development along with a complete transformation of the continent. PHOTO | COURTESY 

Africa is sitting on a well of potential that if tapped could lead to substantial growth and development along with a complete transformation of the continent. The largest share of this potential lies within the dawning of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) across the continent.

With a rapidly growing youth population, a growing need for new skills, and high levels of unemployment, there is an imperative to accelerate digital transformation across all of Africa’s industries and sectors. But, through the power of technologies such as Cloud, AI and machine learning, digital transformation will also allow the continent to reap the many benefits that 4IR presents, including securing a share of the digital economy which is estimated to be between 4.5 to 15.5 percent of world GDP.

However, Africa’s potential has long been a point of discussion despite vast digital transformation efforts being adopted and implemented.

So, why do we continue to be sluggish in demonstrating progress in moving towards a digital economy? To pursue transformation, organisations can often lose sight of the holistic view of how the technologies integrated to enable transformation fit into systems and operations.

This means that Africa must start to look at digital transformation as an all-inclusive and targeted undertaking and leaders need to ensure that they are not overwhelmed by a plethora of “shiny objects” when choosing which technologies to pursue for change.

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A holistic approach ensures a culture that embraces and withstands change while also allowing for technologies to be used more economically and provide the best outcome.

A holistic approach looks at using technology to improve communication and collaboration between employees, leverages the data generated by the business to make better decisions, increases efficiencies, and ensures robust security, while maintaining the relevant digital skills in the workforce.

In addition, migrating to the cloud is an effective way to drive operational efficiency. A full understanding of their landscape and urgently executing those triggers that require immediate attention is the first route to successful cloud migration.

Some products support business to manage and optimise costs, create a unique cloud strategy for business and meet their local, global and industry requirements.

Making use of collaborative tools can ensure employees engage with one another at any time, securely, while working in productivity can allow employees to share, comment, and co-author their work effectively.

Analytics platforms can turn data into opportunity by analysing enterprise data for insights and presenting them through easy-to-understand data visualisation tools.

Using technology to close the gaps or inefficiencies in an organisation and improve on key areas in a business will facilitate increased agility, reduce inefficiencies, and enable the continent to adapt rapidly to disruption.

Digital growth is about bringing together people, data, and processes and can create value as organisations empower people to achieve more with technology.

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