This report is an analysis of the digital economy evolution and the Coo’s in the South African CIT sector. The CIO does not have much influence in the areas of CIT such as, the CIT sector itself, research, CIT sector innovation, human capital development, CIT networks, services and software development, as hose areas are controlled by the government and global multi-national organization that have the capital to invest in innovation hubs, universities, research and development centers.
However, the CIO must consider their level of advancements of the IT areas in order to best serve their organization. The CIO does however have direct control over areas such as, innovation in the Coo’s organization, as well as, promoting the digital economy in their workplace as they are expected by their superiors to be innovative in order to add value and create a competitive edge over the organization’s competition.
As the digital economy is evolving, so will the Coo’s role evolve from being the traditional CIO that made sure that their organization’s infrastructure was state of the art allowing their organization to save more and being more efficient, to becoming more an innovative and strategic leader assisting the organization in attracting and retaining the ever demanding customers expecting on-demand information and services as the digital devices and social media is rapidly evolving. . Analysis Burrs (2013) mentions that the traditional CIO having the role of managing IT and costs is fast becoming irrelevant and obsolete in enterprise IT, and therefore must evolve to be an empowered technology business partner driving business transformation and creating platforms that enable new value chains and integrated systems.
Also a CIO needs to become more strategic focused and innovative in order to assist their organization to grow, this is the CIO role transformation reinforced by Baby, Grumman and Matisse (2011) where they found in a recent survey of Coo’s conducted by Price Waterholes Coopers (PWS) where 80 percent of Coo’s felt that innovation will lead to nominative advantages by driving efficiencies and continuously pushing and demanding that their Close add value through customer and market shifts analysis, as well as, the adoption of mobile technology and social networking.
A great example of this is noted in the publication compiled by Wedges, City of Cape Town and PWS (2013) which says that, First National Bank (FAN) spends a large amount of money on new product development in order to be competitive. FAN keeps a close eye by analyzing and researching social media as to what their customers are saying about their new products.
Linton (2014) says that as the IT department is very often exposed to business pain points, which at times are core to the business operations, the CIO who is expected to be the innovation enabler within his organization, he or she should create an environment where the team members are encouraged to develop innovative solutions to these pain points by using a reward system for example.
Also, as South Africa is seen as one of the preferred destinations for global Information and communication technology (CIT), many of the multinational corporate have partnered with government ND universities in South Africa to achieve this vision, as well as, this vision would develop our economy, create jobs and give us that international competitiveness that we desperately need as we have lost that competitive edge due to South Africa being complacent and losing its status as the gateway to Africa by the advanced CIT development in Nigeria and Kenya for example.
An example of this innovation drive is illustrated in an article on university World news (2015) which says that Africans second MOM research laboratory is hosted at University of the Watersides which specialties in innovation and development. This lab in Sautéing will focus on advancing Big Data technology that will assist the research in the international radio telescope AKA (Square Kilometer Array) project, cloud and mobile technologies. 3. Human capital development in the CIT environment All too often, we hear that there is a shortage of critical CIT skills within South Africa. The problem seems to lie within the schooling system. CANCAN (2015) found a survey conducted by Watersides University Jobber Centre for Software Engineering (JUICE), which showed that South Africans basic education and teacher skills need to improve dramatically. Also in order to equip our future tech savvy learners to adapt in today’s world, technology should be embedded within the schools so that they can familiarize themselves with CIT.
Furthermore, in the article found on the CANCAN (2015) website, Professor Barry Adulatory, director of the JESSE said in an interview that, due to the high number of youth unemployment, the CIT sector could absorb many of these youngsters through the internships, school and universities offering CIT education and training, thus creating new skills development and job opportunities. Global Multinationals such as IBM are eating involved in assisting students in acquiring the much needed Skills where it opened its next generation technology centre the IBM Client Centre in Johannesburg on the 29th of January 2014.
We know from the IBM website (n. D. ), that the IBM Client Centre is assisting in the building of South Africans reputation as an innovation hub for business and technology solutions, IBM is supporting and developing IT professionals in South Africa by partnering with 10 Universities across South Africa which focus on creating advanced educational and training environments. A second initiative that IBM embarked on is the IBM Innovation HUB in Cape Town to help in computer skills development, consulting services and training therefore adding to our GAP.
The hub will also help start-ups and existing businesses to bring new technologies to market, (Wedges et. Al. , 2013). Besides corporate, government needs to get involved and they doing just that, reading the Sautéing CIT development strategy draft (n. D. ), the Sautéing Administration is driving an initiative to develop new capabilities such as e-literacy, e-skills and specialized technical skills in order to sustain the knowledge economy wrought CIT Also, the Sautéing CIT development strategy draft (n. . ) states that the Sautéing administration, is pushing for households and classrooms to have wireless broadband internet connectivity in order to supplement educational development for both teacher and learner use. We have seen there is a great drive from government and corporate to develop skills but, this is not enough if the youngsters are not getting the proper training in math’s, science and CIT from a very young age.
However having said this, government has to intervene as there are many teachers out there that are caking teaching skills, we know from the news that there are teachers that lack mathematical skill and knowledge for teaching mathematics to learners. Government must improve the schooling environment, as well as, the level of education by giving learners better equipped teachers in order to stimulate these young learners so that they can enjoy and develop skills such as math’s and CIT. 3. 3 Level of advancement of CIT networks and services Analyzing the South Africans telecommunication level of advancement, the website Southeaster. Info (2012) States that mobile telephony and broadband inactivity is one of the fastest growing sectors of our economy, making South Africans telecoms network the most developed on the African continent. Some South Africans telecommunication facts: Fixed-line telephony -Telecoms fixed lines numbers are declining from 3. 4 million in 2014 to 3. 6 million in 21 05, (Telecoms, 2015). Mobile – South Africa currently has around 75. 77 million mobile subscriptions and is expected to rise to around 78. 39 million by 2018.
We can also note that from these numbers, subscribers have more than one mobile number for the voice and data needs, Statistics from (Effective measure, 2014). There are four licensed mobile operators I. E. Voodoos (53. 3% AS market share), followed by MET (29. 9% AS market share), then Cell C (12. 9% AS market share), and finally ATA (2. 6% AS market share). Undersea cables and connectivity – South Africa has 5 undersea data cables with a total throughput of in excess of TPTB. Linking South Africa to the rest of the world, (inevitabilities. Et, 201 5) WAS (throughput 5,HTTPS), SAT/SAFE (throughput gasps), Main one (throughput 1 ,gasps), SEASON (throughput 1,gasps), Easy (thought put 1 Tops) Coal connectivity – (About Fibbers. N. D. ), states that 1 2,000 km fiber-optic network is planned and will link major cities and towns across South Africa. Internet users ?South Africa has around 28,68 million internet users and expected to rise to 30,94 million by 2018, Statistics from (Wedges, 2015). With the laying of more and more undersea cables over the last few years, Telecoms lost control of its telecommunication monopoly forcing voice and data costs down.
Also, as there is a trend that mobile users are increasing year on year, there is a clear indication that fixed line users are becoming less and less. This is clear evidence that as the digital economy is evolving; more and more users are using the internet via smart phones, tablets and personal computers in order to tap into the internet and access information on demand when and where they require it. Now, in order to meet this broadband demand, the Department of Common actions, (2013) developed the AS Connect policy having following key targets: 1 .
Broadband connectivity at schools, clinics, small businesses and governmental offices. 2. Achieve 50% broadband penetration by 201 6 and reaching 90% by 2020. However, even Hough these targets are very impressive and needed in South Africa, we can see that from the article South Africa broadband vs. the world (2014), that South African mobile broadband penetration was 26% in 2013 and the fixed broadband penetration was reported to be 4. 4% in 2014, we will not achieve the 50% by end of 201 5 and very unlikely we will also achieve the 90% by 2020.
It is quite clear, that the government needs to take action and deliver on the promises made in all these “nice to have” reports and policies, if South Africa has any chance to still be one of the telecommunication leaders on the African continent. Now analyzing South Africans level of service, the website of IBM-Technologies, the South African IT services forecasted that (n. D. ) IT services market size is on an upward trajectory where in 2013 the overall IT service market was ROR billion and 201 8 is predicted to be worth ROR billion. The two areas of significant growth will be IT outsourcing and systems integration.
However, the organizations enjoying these healthy revenue and profits are the many major international CIT vendors such as Accentuate, Siemens, IBM and Microsoft to name a few that have a presence in South Africa supplying most of the country’s CIT needs, world class software and services to the South African government and industries. Traditionally, South Africa has been known to be the gateway to Africa as many South African companies were quite successful in providing IT services which tailored cost effective sustainable solutions by understanding the local business environment in other African countries.
Also many of the these global companies use South African companies as service delivery partners both locally and in Africa as we have excellence infrastructure, as well as, our local Barbour is far cheaper than bring the talent from outside of our borders. 3. 4 Level of advancement of the IT and software industry sectors From the Wedges publication (201 5), the South Africa IT market is valued at RI 01. 1 ban in 2014 and is expected to grow 6% year on year to RI 25. Ban by 2018. The IT sector is divided into three sub-sectors I. E. Computer hardware sales which generated ROR. Ban, software sales ROR. 21 ban and IT services sales ROR. Ban in 2014. One of the South African IT sector success stories is that South Africa is ranked a world class leader in the electronic banking services such as pre- moment, revenue management and fraud prevention and many of these services have been adopted world-wide, (The Local Government CIT network, n. D. ). There are several global multinational IT companies such as SAP, Oracle, IBM, Unison to name a few that have presence within South Africa that are adding to our economic growth.
Also we have some key players such as Allocate, Althea Siemens, and Ericson competing in the electronics market producing high value-added electronic products which also add to our GAP. On the negative side, Neckband (2014) states that a research firm the International Data Corporation there is a great deal of concern when it comes to South Africans government weak leadership position when it comes to the CIT industry going into 2015.
The government continuously write and release white papers and green papers, workshops and summits over the last couple of years, but there©s been a lot of talk, planning and straightening, but not much work is being done about it. Anally, Neckband (2014) revealed that South Africa was always seen as the leader with an CIT edge and as mentioned earlier a gateway to Africa, this fact is no longer true and shows hat South Africa is now lagging behind sub-Sahara African counterparts like Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia.
The cause of this I believe is that we have become complacent; we always believed we were better than the rest of Africa in terms of skills and infrastructure, but with the laying of undersea cables in Nigeria and Kenya, these countries are catching up quickly and now competing with South Africa for the top spot. Also, a multinational global company like IBM has invested millions of dollars in the opening of the IBM development and innovation laboratory in Nairobi.
Kenya in order to foster innovation, as well as, developing CIT skills which would create competition in the CIT service and innovation space, therefore resulting in the erosion of South Africans leading role in this area. Now looking at the South African software industry, we see that in a market analysis performed by International Data Corporation, Mudguard (2014) states that SAC’S software market was forecasted to increase by 10. 5% to RE. Ban in 201 3, however even though this growth is impressive, the bulk of this revenue will leave South Africa and go to global multinational software vendors with presence in South
Africa such as SAP who have 48% of the South Africans market share followed by Oracle with of the South Africans market share, followed by Sage with 18% of the South Africans market share, Microsoft Dynamics with 5. 3% of the South Africans market share, and Spoor which is a wholly South African owned software company having 3. 5% of the South African market share. However, it is important to note that, even though international software vendors dominate the South African market, many of these vendors are using local developers to assist them therefore adding to South Africans GAP. Also,
Garner found in a research done in 2014, South African software developers are very sought after globally as they are ranked among the world’s top 30 countries for software development. In fact the government has amended the Income Tax Act in 2012 to give software development companies 150% tax rebates on research and development expenses in order to stimulate the software development industry, (Mudguard, 2014). Also reading through the South African Electromechanical Export Council (2012) article, it highlights that in the centre of Johannesburg, in Fragmentation to be exact, Professor Barry
Adulatory, the head of Jobber Centre of Software Engineering (JESSE) established a tech hub dedicated to digital content, as well as, software and game design, which will be known as the Technologist Precinct, which has a vision of making Fragmentation the tech centre of Sautéing and perhaps even of Africa. As the future of the CIT sector lies in the creation of small businesses, the hub will act as a start-up incubator with the hope of growing these businesses to a level where their services could be exported internationally. . 5 The role of CICS in promoting digital economy evolution As we are now fining in a digital economy which is rapidly evolving, the traditional business models are now obsolete as customers including people in the lower income bracket are increasingly using more mobile devices, social media and online application than ever before and therefore expect much more from their providers in terms of online services and on demand information.
This is confirmed by an article written by BecomeјHal, Felled, Gourd©Fitch and Helm (2012) where they say that consumers now have the ability to interact with the world and expect information any”here and anytime they desire, which means that for businesses to gain valuable customers insight they must change their way of doing things if they are to survive in this very competitive digital environment.
Therefore, the CIO must partner with business so as to come up with new ways to attract new customers, keeping the existing and being ahead of their competitors. Some examples of these customer retention strategies include: Having the right infrastructure in place so that customers connect via social media and intact with the organization. Create a VII online customer experience where customers can have access to 24/7 on emend service or information when they desire it. Create online loyalty programmers.
Client interaction should be researched and analyses so they get to know their clients and understand their needs and improve services where needed. It is important for Coo’s to know that they can no longer control their clients or employees when it comes to their digital needs, if the organization fails to satisfy their needs, the customers will simply switch to their competitors and employees will then join an organization that is more digitally prepared, resulting in organizations losing good employees in this already talent scarce arrest.
Some of these needs could include as mentioned before, clients needs for “on demand service” when and where they desire or with regards to the employee needs, have infrastructure and policies to accommodate the service of “bring your own device” (BOYD) so that employees are free to use their own technology to do their work. Hence, Garner (2014) has defined three ways a digital CIO together with their organization could prepare for their digital future I. E. Creating powerful digital leadership.
A CIO must be a digital leader with a clear digital strategy in order to exploit digital opportunities and ensure that core IT services such as, social media or websites for online interaction are in place. Renovating the core of IT so as to be “digitally ready”, this could include the deploying public and private clouds, creating the capabilities and the information architecture required to exploit big data. Building bimodal capability which as Pooh-Ling (2014) defines it as providing a safe, reliable and integrated IT, so that the organization is able to pilot and capture value from new technologies and trends at high speed.
Jason and Title (2015) highlights that as information is becoming more and ore valuable to organizations; security breaches such as cybercafé is becoming more prevalent in our digital economy. Therefore, it is up to the CIO to ensure that data is protected and secured in order to mitigate against data theft during an attack which could cause damage to reputation and litigation. Finally, a CIO needs to be up to date, understand and comply with the latest Digital legislation as it could cost their organizations millions of Rand’s if they don’t comply.
An example of this is the Protection of Personal Information Act (POOP) which aims to set conditions on how to treat Mayans customer information. Poi’s intention is to bring South Africa in- line with international protection of personal information standards. In order to successfully implement POOP, the CIO together with business will need to: Establish processes and practices in order to get the organization POOP ready. Understanding how POOP relates to other legislation like for example Electronic Communications and Transactions Act. The legal implications on the sharing and storing of personal data.
Examine the implications of the sharing and storing of personal data outside the borders of South Africa. Develop and implement Risk and safety strategy in order to protect personal data. Now that we have looked at the various areas of CIT, we have seen that South Africans CIT is in trouble due to lack of skills, challenged network infrastructure and services. South Africa was once seen as the gateway to Africa, but is rapidly losing this status as countries like Nigeria and Kenya starting at a lower base than South Africa are rapidly catching up.
Both the private sector, as well as, the South African Government needs to change this quickly in order to restore the status quo of South Africa. However, having said this, it al starts with leadership, our government must take initiative and lead the digital economy, put competent leaders in charge Of the CIT sector, we cannot afford to have a continuous change in telecommunications and Postal Services leadership, expect to catch up to countries such as Kenya and Nigeria where they have good governance and leaders in charge of their CIT space.
Coo’s are constrained in terms of giving good service to their clients, as they constantly have to struggle with slow communication and with lack of skilled staff both internally, as well as, externally of their organizations. At times even the most prestigious service providers give bad service delivery due to staff being ill skilled. Therefore the CIO will need to be innovative, strategically driven and a leader in order to navigate through the various challenges discussed above.
The CIO will need to make sure that his/her staff are well trained and skilled, understand what their customers want in terms of services and products and deliver on these expectations. A CIO will need to constantly update him/herself with the latest developments in digital technology, software and services available on the market in order to incorporate these into their bouquet of services already existing within their organization. Also they would need to be proficient in digital security, as well as, digital law of our country.