“Why Africa’s Economy Needs a 360 Degree Digitization Approach”


By Juliet Umeh

By all indications, digital transformation increases productivity and this in turn increases the economic development of any nation that fully embraces it.

Higher degrees of digital transformation are believed to be associated with higher levels of per capita gross national income, GNI.

Interestingly, the global economy is undergoing a digital transformation and it is happening at breakneck speed. With digitization, the economies of these nations are undermining conventional notions about how businesses are structured, how businesses interact, and how consumers obtain services, information, and goods.

Unfortunately, the technology expert, Microsoft Regional General Manager, Multinational MEA Cluster, Ibrahim Youssry, believes that Africa has yet to fully explore the benefits of digitization despite large digital transformation efforts being adopted and implemented across the continent.

According to Youssry, Africa is in a well of potential that, if harnessed, could lead to substantial growth and development along with a complete transformation of the continent.

He said that most of this potential is at the dawn of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, 4IR, across the continent.

He noted that with a rapidly growing young population, a growing need for new skills and high levels of unemployment, it is imperative to accelerate the digital transformation in all industries and sectors in Africa.

He stated that through the power of technologies such as the cloud, artificial intelligence, artificial intelligence and machine learning, digital transformation will also allow the continent to reap the many benefits that 4IR presents to African economies, including obtaining a share of the digital economy, which is estimated at between 4.5 and 15.5 percent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, which is $ 3.6 trillion to $ 12.4 trillion.

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Why is Africa slow towards a digital economy?

Youssry believes that in an attempt to pursue transformation, organizations often lose sight of the holistic view of how technologies are integrated to allow transformation to fit into current systems and operations.

He said: “This means that Africa must begin to view digital transformation as an all-inclusive and managed enterprise, and leaders must ensure that they are not overwhelmed by a plethora of ‘shiny objects’ when choosing which technologies to follow to enable change. .

Creating a more efficient adoption of transformative technologies

According to Youssry, a holistic approach to digital transformation is the key to its success because it ensures a culture that accepts and resists change, while allowing technologies to be used more economically and deliver the best result.

He said: “Microsoft believes that a holistic approach seeks to use technology to improve communication and collaboration among employees, leverage company-generated data to make better decisions, increase efficiency and ensure robust security, while maintaining relevant digital skills in staff.

“Migrating to the cloud is an effective way to drive operational efficiency. A complete understanding of your landscape and the urgent execution of those triggers that require immediate attention is the first route to a successful migration to the cloud.

“Microsoft Azure has the ability to support businesses to manage and optimize costs, create a unique cloud strategy for their business, and most importantly, meet local, global and industry requirements with a portfolio of compliance. fully comprehensive that is continuously updated.

“As we support more and more companies to remain productive during this pandemic, using collaborative tools like Microsoft’s Teams can ensure that employees can interact with each other at any time, securely, while working with Productivity can enable employees to share, comment, and co-author their work effectively.

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Analytics platforms like Microsoft PowerBI can turn data into opportunities by analyzing business data for insights and presenting it through easy-to-understand data visualization tools.

“Using technology to close gaps or inefficiencies in an organization and improve key areas in a business will facilitate greater agility, reduce inefficiencies, and allow the continent to quickly adapt to disruptions. A comprehensive digital transformation strategy will also lead to optimized functionalities, minimize risks or errors, increase productivity, and foster fresh and innovative ideas or perspectives.

“Doing so will provide Africa with a competitive advantage on a global scale and enable the continent to realize as the power that it could be.

How to implement a 360 degree approach

To ensure that African organizations derive real value from emerging technologies, they must be used to fundamentally redefine business strategies and operations. In essence, they cannot be adopted as an object or mechanism separate from the day-to-day systems of a business or organization.

Microsoft’s Regional General Manager further said: “Technology must be implemented through an inside-out strategy, and not the other way around. Organizations must first define what it is they want, be it technologies like AI and the cloud, to change or create and then develop an environment that is conducive to those goals by integrating the right technologies and combining them with the human capabilities that already own. .

“Microsoft believes that digital transformation is about bringing people, data and processes together and can create value if organizations make the most of their journey by focusing on empowering people to accomplish more with the right technology. Microsoft is committed to its role as an enabler of transformation in Africa and will continue to support the continent throughout its transformation journey so that it can reach its potential, ”he stated.

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