Study identifies how African businesses can overcome the technology adoption gap

Jan 28, 2014

IBM today announced the results of a new study entitled 'Setting the pace in Africa: How IT leaders deliver on the potential of emerging technologies', which found that while nearly 87 percent of African IT leaders rank new technologies such as analytics, cloud, mobile and social media as being critical to business success, only 53% are pushing forward with adoption.

IBM's survey findings also confirmed that 36% of the African businesses embracing emerging technologies could be considered "Pacesetters" amongst their peers in terms of their focus on prioritizing and rapidly adopting technologies. The survey of 180 Africa-based IT leaders across 29 industries in Egypt, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Morocco was conducted by IBM's Center for Applied Insights, in collaboration with the IBM Center for CIO Leadership*.

African economies are expected to sustain high levels of economic growth over the next decade, boosting consumer-facing industries by an estimated US$400 billion by 2020. Sectors pegged for growth include retail/wholesale, retail banking, telecommunications and tourism.1 This represents an enormous opportunity for African businesses – if they are prepared to seize it.

However, the IBM study found that a lack of technology adoption is preventing many African businesses from achieving growth and progress. "The primary reasons for not moving on adoption were a need for technology leaders to play a greater role in strategic business leadership, a lack of IT skills development across the continent, and information security concerns," said IBM General Manager for East Africa, Nicholas Nesbitt.

African businesses identified as Pacesetters in the IBM survey take a very different approach to addressing IT concerns. For example, 85% of Pacesetters link IT investments to business outcomes, compared with 67% of their peers. 79% of Pacesetters use metrics and scorecards to assess IT risk, compared to 46% of their peers. 46% of Pacesetters develop IT skills to meet future business needs, compared to 26% of their peers.

Forward-thinking African companies have found ways to empower their IT leaders through a cultural shift, the report adds. The Pacesetters also garner management support and view IT as integral to business strategy, not just a supporting player in the company's success. This level of internal engagement requires clear, open communication and collaboration between IT and their business peers, something the Pacesetters do 40 percent more often, according to the IBM survey.

"Africa is characterised by an innovative mindset, and a billion-strong market ready for innovative products and solutions," Nesbitt said. "Regardless of individual realities, the opportunity for business growth through IT adoption cannot be denied. The Pacesetters in Africa's community have seen the potential and taken action to help them realise it. With the right strategy, their peers can follow suit."

Explore further: IBM to invest over $1.2B in cloud services

More information: To access the study, see www.ibm.com/ibmcai/africa

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

IBM combines local IT systems with cloud storage

Nov 27, 2013

IBM today announced that its inventors have patented a technique for combining Big Data from distributed cloud services with data stored on local IT systems to gain new insights that can enable businesses ...

Analytics study reveals big data equals big payoff

Oct 30, 2013

While more than 75 percent of the highest performing organizations cite growth or innovation as the chief value of business analytics, almost two-thirds of them say some form of political or executive resistance ...

Recommended for you

Venture investments jump to $9.5B in 1Q

7 hours ago

Funding for U.S. startup companies soared 57 percent in the first quarter to a level not seen since 2001, as venture capitalists piled more money into an increasing number of deals, according to a report due out Friday.

Weibo IPO below expectations, raises $285.6 mn

Apr 17, 2014

Sina Weibo sold fewer shares than expected in its US IPO which was priced below expectations ahead of a Thursday listing that takes place after tech selloffs on Wall Street.

'Chief Yahoo' David Filo returns to board

Apr 17, 2014

Yahoo announced the nomination of three new board members, including company co-founder David Filo, who earned the nickname and formal job title of "Chief Yahoo."

User comments : 0

More news stories

Under some LED bulbs whites aren't 'whiter than white'

For years, companies have been adding whiteners to laundry detergent, paints, plastics, paper and fabrics to make whites look "whiter than white," but now, with a switch away from incandescent and fluorescent lighting, different ...

Researchers uncover likely creator of Bitcoin

The primary author of the celebrated Bitcoin paper, and therefore probable creator of Bitcoin, is most likely Nick Szabo, a blogger and former George Washington University law professor, according to students ...

Continents may be a key feature of Super-Earths

Huge Earth-like planets that have both continents and oceans may be better at harboring extraterrestrial life than those that are water-only worlds. A new study gives hope for the possibility that many super-Earth ...

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...