by MTHULISI SIBANDA
CAPE TOWN – STAKEHOLDERS must make the most of modern technologies to overcome prevailing economic challenges bedeviling South Africa, experts said at the opening of a key information technology summit in Cape Town.
The Gartner Symposium/ITxpo opened on Monday in the midst of economic and political upheaval, including rising unemployment, the receding Rand currency, downgrades as well as the fallout from the so-called state capture.
“Despite that, this is our biggest Africa symposium ever,” said Paul
Morrison, Gartner regional Vice President: Sales, at the opening session.
The conference in Cape Town attracted over 1 000 attendees,
including more than 200 Chief Information Officers.
Morrison said South Africa needed technology to address the aforementioned challenges.
“We need to tap to technology to reduce unemployment and uspkill our youth with the relevant digital skills for the 21st century,” he added.
The opening keynote was held under the theme, “From Digital Transformation to Continuous Next.”
“The transition to digital is undeniable and accelerating,” explained Mike Harris, Gartner Executive Vice President: Research.
“Companies have to prepare their workforce for a new future and make them digitally fluent,” Harris added.
He said such technologies as Artificial Intelligence (AI) would disrupt
the way industries operate.
“It is untrue AI will be detrimental to the workforce,” Harris said,
adding organisations that had adopted AI technologies showed far fewer job reductions than expected.
The Gartner Symposium/ITxpo is the organisation’s flagship event for chief information officers (CIOs) and senior IT executives charged with technology decisions.
Some 24 companies are exhibiting.
– CAJ News