IDC expert looks reviews Digital Transformation in South Africa in 2018

By Paul Rogers   19 December, 2018
IDC expert looks reviews Digital Transformation in South Africa in 2018

The start of 2018 saw global technology research and advisory firm International Data Corporation (IDC) predict that South African channel partners would have to evolve strategy and platform to meet the growing demand for Digital Transformation. With more than 90% of organisations already embarking on a Digital Transformation strategy at the beginning of the year, the pathways to digital integration and implementation were under pressure to perform. A year later and the old adage ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same’ has never been more apt.

Mark Walker, Associate Vice President for Sub-Saharan Africa at International Data Corporation, (IDC), explains that vendors, service providers and channel partners have had to focus on building long-term partnerships and on building richer narratives around digital transformation initiatives and solutions.  Strategies have had to evolve throughout the year to meet the increasingly rigorous demands made by organisations and industry.

“The Middle East, Turkey and Africa region will see annual spend on Digital Transformation initiatives exceed US$20 billion by the end of 2018,” said Walker.

“Market leadership roles are being continuously disrupted and there is a new ICT world order, one that is built around innovation and new business models.”

Yet these are the same pain points that have influenced the industry since Digital Transformation became an acronym (DX).

“The as-a-Service trend continues to grow rapidly across software, infrastructure and data centre,” added Jon Tullett, Research Manager for IT Services at IDC South Africa.

“This has complicated vendor service offerings and how customers view their investment. Organisations don’t want vendor lock-in anymore. They want to be able to engage with solutions on a strategic and cost-benefit level, not be tied into silos and caught in vendor territory wars.”

The shift to digital requires that there be a compromise from both the organisation and the channel partner to ensure that the results map back to the expectation. The arrival of multiple international hyperscale cloud providers (Microsoft, Amazon and Huawei) is having a noticeable impact on the transformation within South Africa and across the continent.

“Organisations are showing greater confidence in accelerating their cloud strategies, and the services market is rapidly realigning to offer complementary hybrid services to take advantage of this momentum” said Tullett.

“The public sector has finally taken positive steps towards a government cloud as a service delivery enabler.”

However, the level of cyber risk has heightened, with organisations continuing to be exposed to threats, with theft of customer data and financial fraud the primary target for criminals.

“Unfortunately, security still lags DX, and the rate of successful attacks has increased in frequency, impact, and cost: a trend which is not likely to reverse in 2019,” said Tullett.

Kieran Frost, Research Manager for software at IDC Sub-Saharan Africa, added: “The problem is that most organisations are still going about Digital Transformation in the wrong way. Not just in South Africa, but globally. The goal is to have an independent digital enterprise and only a few organisations have managed to achieve this.

“IDC has found that by the end of 2019, 60% of digital services will fail to meet customer experience targets due to performance, utilisation and the degradation of core infrastructure. This is as much due to a lack of investment into the right digital infrastructure as it is to the growing conflict between IT and the business.”

“Over the next year, both channel and organisation need to look to leveraging infrastructure and putting metrics in place that are easy to adopt and understand.

“Build IT modernisation battle plans, innovate within your space, and evaluate technology through new lenses that ask different questions such as – where is this best deployed, how quickly can that change, who should own its value and how will it integrate with our standards?

“The channel remains crucial but needs to invest in skills and solutions that engage with the demands of the digital business. The business, on the other hand, must focus on becoming more integrated from within so its digital strategy can be effective without.”

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