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Tech innovations can turn around SA’s economy, livelihood<br />
Home > Tech innovations can turn around SA’s economy, livelihood

Tech innovations can turn around SA’s economy, livelihood

16 August, 2023
Technological innovation is a focus area that South Africa should prioritise for the nation to improve the livelihoods of people, and to grow the economy.

By Mandisa Ntloko-Petersen, Chief Marketing Officer, BCX.

BCX, a leading Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS) firm, believes that embracing and investing in technological advancements can lead to a brighter and more promising future for South Africa. This is because innovation is crucial for several reasons, and it plays a pivotal role in shaping the world we live in.

South Africa has been identified as one of the largest information and communications technology (ICT) markets in Africa.

The country shows technological leadership in the mobile software field, security software as well as electronic banking services. As an increasingly important contributor to South Africa’s GDP, the country’s ICT and electronics sector is both sophisticated and developing, data from Fitch Solution Industry Report South African IT Q3 2022 shows.

According to the Department of Science and Innovations, a coordinated and efficient national system of innovation will help the country achieve its national development priorities by promoting change through innovation. It explains that this will enable all South Africans to enjoy the economic, socio-political and intellectual benefits of science, technology and innovation.

The World Economic Forum says through investment in digital transformation, businesses can lay the foundation for long-term resilience to future crises.

Technology innovation drives progress by constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible. It leads to new discoveries, improved processes, and better products, as well as services that enhance lives and society as a whole.

Such innovations often lead to the creation of new industries and jobs, stimulating economic growth. Innovative technologies can also increase productivity, efficiency, and competitiveness, which, in turn, boosts economic development and prosperity. They can also revolutionise sectors such as healthcare, education, transportation, communication, and more, making these services more accessible and efficient.

Another benefit is that innovations can also contribute to environmental sustainability by offering solutions to reduce resource consumption, minimise waste, and develop renewable energy sources. This is crucial for combating climate change and preserving the planet for future generations.

At its core, digital innovation is the use of digital technology and applications to improve existing business processes and workforce efficiency, enhance customer experience, and launch new products or business models. We need to transform society economically by utilising technology. Digital innovation needs to be adaptable to all environments in South Africa.

With South Africa emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, digital innovations can also play a key role in getting the country back to its feet. Issues such as load shedding are also exacerbating the situation with several businesses, especially the small and medium-sized enterprises, feeling the pinch. 

However, amid all these challenges, technology innovations give a ray of hope. From these challenges, South African organisations have shown that they can rise to the occasion by digitally transforming their businesses.

As an example, with the energy crisis, some businesses are investing heavily in alternative energy solutions to mitigate against the challenges presented by power outages. So, in a way, the challenge has presented an opportunity in that local organisations are now making use of environmentally friendly energy solutions.

The COVID-19 pandemic also resulted in most companies making investments in technologies that enable employees to safely work from home with minimal disruptions to productivity. During the lockdown, employers relied heavily on video conferencing tools such as Zoom, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams. Instead of face-to-face learning, universities and schools moved online using various technological platforms.

As a result of COVID-19, there was also a significant uptake in the eCommerce sector as South Africans looked to maintain social distancing to avoid contracting the deadly virus. 

Since the way South Africans work, live and socialise has changed significantly thanks to the pandemic, South African firms were left with little choice but to embrace Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies.

The BCX Digital Innovation Report 2022 found that, on the micro level, digital innovation has undergone rapid acceleration by organisations of all sizes, globally. Initially this was for survival, but now it’s for building business resilience and continuity.

On the macro level, it found that there was a need to take this further, to create an environment where digital innovation can thrive through collaboration and competition.

In the spirit of driving innovations in the country, BCX has extended applications for the BCX Innovation Awards 2023 to 31 August.

The BCX Digital Innovation Awards are a stage created by BCX to celebrate and to recognise digital innovation excellence in South Africa. The awards have since grown in leaps and bounds and will continue being a stage and voice for innovation in South Africa.



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