By Habib Mahakian, Vice President – Emerging Africa, Dell Technologies
Our world needs technology now more than ever. The future of the economy and our communities depends on the ability of government, business, and stakeholders to address many societal issues, and investing in digital transformation is the key to success.
In countries across Emerging Africa, governments continue to lead the way in recognizing the critical role of technology in reimagining society and enabling human progress. With the global digital transformation market size set to grow from $521.5 billion in 2021 to $1247.5 billion by 2026, we’re seeing some important shifts that are driving the continuous evolution of the public sector.
- Data driven decision making: Gartner predicts that by 2022, 75% of enterprise-generated data will be created and processed outside the traditional, centralized data center or cloud – an increase from the less than 10% generated today. In our increasingly urbanized world, as data becomes both more voluminous and business-critical, organisations need data management solutions that can fill a broad range of objectives. In Morocco and Kenya, the government is already working to streamline all innovations to help solve modern-day challenges. The scope of action is broad – public health, mobility, housing, security, schooling, waste management, culture, tourism and more – with the final goal being quite simple: to improve the quality of life for everyone in the country.
- Turning government IT operations into agile and efficient innovation engines: From the edge device to the core data center, to the cloud, governments today are consolidating storage and server infrastructure with hyperconverged and multi-cloud capabilities to reduce costs and improve operational efficiency. In addition, technologies such as AI, ML, IoT and data analytics continue to be at the forefront of IT investments and are rapidly changing how governments will operate and succeed in this hybrid digital era.
- Building interactivity into the public sector: From citizen-focused digital identities to hybrid cloud adoption and facilitation of remote services, digital transformation is integral to driving the public sector of the future. As the government invests heavily in ‘omni-channel’ touchpoints, they are reimagining citizen experience. This means using APIs (Application Programme Interface), machine learning, and intelligent processing to enable efficiency and fulfil the needs of citizens.
- Modernizing cyber security: Around the world, a cyber-attack takes place every eleven seconds. Cyber-attacks on government organizations can have far reaching impact given their importance to the national security, citizen safety, and sources of economic competitiveness and wealth generation. It’s now more important than ever that public sector infrastructure empowers business resilience to help identify, protect, detect, respond, and recover from a cyber-attack and enable a rapid return to fully functioning operations.
In fact, the African KnowBe4 2020 report, which examines the state of cybersecurity in emerging African countries, found that 52% of the audience surveyed does not know what ransomware is. This is troubling, given the financial losses that ransomware attacks are known to cause for both individuals and businesses. This is compelling local governments to take stringent action against future attacks. For instance, Kenya has kick-started the process of developing up-to-date cyber security strategies that are geared towards safeguarding and strengthening the country’s e-commerce and digital ecosystems, as more Kenyans tap into the niche space.
It’s clear that digital disruption caused by the current environment offers policymakers the opportunity to fully utilise digital technologies to adapt as well as respond rapidly to unforeseen external pressures. The continued digitalisation of governments will be a crucial steppingstone when it comes to driving change in the medium and long-term – and if we can take anything from 2020 it should be pace of innovation and hunger for change. This is the digital mindset that will drive public sector transformations beyond the 4th Industrial Revolution.