How Is Digital Transformation Impacting Our Daily Lives?

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Digital Transformation has significantly impacted every aspect of our businesses, economy and everyday life. This isn’t about just embracing new technology, but a change in thought process and culture of an organization.
From the way we communicate, learn, shop, financial transactions and navigate, has been changed by digital transformation. Smart phones, google maps, social media, online learning tools, online payment gateways and many of such apps and tools have largely impacted our daily lives.
Organizations urgently need to address the change in business model, dynamic business demands and innovative ways to adjust into the digital transformation. This is because,  Innovation, Science and Technology
have become the main drivers to economic growth at the global level.
For decades, Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) represent a way for developing nations to harmonize economic development, improve levels of education and training, as well as address gender issues within society.
According to Ýsmail Seki of Ege University in Turkey, “ICT sector plays an important role, notably by contributing to rapid technological progress and productivity growth. Firms use ICTs to organize transnational networks in response to international competition and the increasing need for strategic interaction. As a result, multinational firms are a primary vehicle of the over spreading process of globalization. New technologies and their implementation in productive activities are changing the economic structure and contributing to productivity increases in OECD economies.”
He said, Economic competitiveness depends on productivity level and in the knowledge economy, thus the ICT sectors determine the productivity level. This eventually means that the power of economic competitiveness of a country depends on the productivity of its ICT sector.
According to Brian Rashid, an international speaker and branding expert, “Since change is the only thing constant, digital transformation has become imperative for all businesses, small, medium large. Be it automation, logistics, software, retail or medical — digital disruptions is omnipresent. Delivering a good digital business experience to customers and employees requires the use of new innovative business application.

Enterprises should be able to deliver custom applications at the speed of ideas. That’s the way to stay ahead in competition in today’s world. Lowering operational costs and enhancing customer experience is the core of digital transformation.

Business Transformation is the real change that is causing a storm in the business world. Its impact is felt not only in operations but also in industry structures and also at all levels in the organization. Business leaders and CIOs are coming forward to ensure that digital transformation coupled with innovation is driving business and bringing in productive changes and delivering value.

The call of AI in Africa has been much later than most developed countries, meanwhile, reports says that across the continent from Zimbabwe to Ghana, there has been a socio-economic paradigm thanks to AI.

Based on this wake up call, Africa has also witnessed a rise in data science events such as Data Science Africa 2017 in Tanzania, the 2017 Deep Learning Indaba event in South Africa, and IndabaX events in 2018 which is a sign of continuing growth of the computer science research community in Africa.

In June, 2018, Google Senior Fellow Jeff Dean announced Google’s AI research center in Africa, expected to be open later this year in Accra, Ghana. The centre is expected to bring top machine learning researchers and engineers dedicated to AI research and its applications.

Again, the 2018 Ghana Tech Summit is currently ongoing at the Accra International Conference Centre for three days (18th-20th July, 2018). It’s a 12-year initiative of the Global Startup Ecosystem which conducts the largest online digital accelerator in emerging markets.

Speaking to the founder of the Ghana Tech Summit, Einstein Kofi Ntim, a Ghanian-British entrepreneur and startup ecosystem builder that connects innovators to AI, space, and others, he indicated that, the Summit aims to revitalize Ghana’s entrepreneurial economy and reposition it as a global study of catalyzed innovation within an emerging market country.

Ghana’s Communication Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, indicated at the just ended 2018 ITU Regional Development Forum (ITU RDF 2018), in Ghana at the Accra International Conference Centre, that “In 2016, the global Digital Economy was worth $11.5 trillion or 15.5% of the world’s GDP and Mckinsey estimates that the internet could contribute $300bn to Africa’s GDP by 2025. With more than 60% of its population under the age of 25, Sub-Saharan Africa is the world’s youngest region. With its dynamic, young population, vast natural resources and untapped internal markets, Africa is uniquely positioned to maximize the unprecedented opportunities the digital revolution offers. We are the last frontier.  The emerging technological landscape in Africa is an opportunity to accelerate inclusive growth across the continent. Exponential technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, Robotics and 3D Printing are already playing a critical role in helping Africa address age-old developmental challenges across various sectors including health, agriculture, education land administration and financial services.”
She highlighted on the World
Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-17), held in Buenos Aires, Argentina in October 2017, which acknowledged the crucial role of ICTs in accelerating efforts to attain the Sustainable Development Goals. Adding that, the same commitment was made at the 2018 World Summit of the Information Society, WSIS Forum in Geneva earlier this year.
“The message that resonated throughout was clear: in a world in which information and communication technologies play an increasingly important role in socio-economic development, no one should be left behind, regardless of their circumstances or the remoteness of their place of origin,” The Minister said.
She said, a major outcome of WTDC-17 was the ITU-D Action Plan comprising five regional initiatives expected to be implemented by Regional member States. The initiatives she mentioned were:
Building digital economies and fostering innovation in Africa, Promotion of Emerging Broadband Technologies, Building trust and security in the Use of Telecommunications/ICT,
Strengthening human and institutional capacity building, and Management and monitoring of the radio frequency spectrum and transition to digital broadcasting.
This according to her, needed to be collaborated effectively in order to fully reap the benefits of the digital economy for Africa
within the scope of the ITU rolling Strategic Plan for 2017-2020.
The Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, also indicated that, Africa’s mobile money market had expanded and diversified in recent years and SubSaharan Africa is leading in the adoption and use of mobile technology to enhance financial services and promote financial inclusion.
Mobile, she said, has emerged as a vital tool to extend key services to underserved communities, complementing the efforts of governments and that by 2020 there will be over 500 million unique mobile subscribers in the African region and the penetration rate will have risen to 50% according to GSMA. “Mobile technologies contribution to Africa’s GDP is expected to rise to $142 billion, equivalent to 8.6% of GDP, by 2020. Africa must reap the rewards of the digital revolution,” She added.
“Joint action by policymakers, multilateral organizations and all stakeholders in our vibrant ICT sector is required to realize the full potential of ICT and utilize ICT’s to achieve the SDGs by 2030,” Ghana’s Communication Minister reiterated.

In a publication by Opeyemi Kehinde, on a Nigeria’s online portal Daily Trust on 19th July, 2018, NIIT International’s head of Product and Delivery for International Education Business, Mr. Pankaj Sharma, reacted to the critical question “Won’t robots take over most human works in the nearest future, thus making human workforce redundant?”

Mr. Pankaj said, “While digital transformation will take away some jobs, many new jobs will also be created in the digital economy. According to The World Bank, 600 million new jobs will need to be created by 2030 worldwide. The future jobs will require new skills with more problem-solving abilities and critical thinking. The skills that will be in demand in future include Virtual Reality, the Internet of Things, Big Data Analysis, Robotic Process Automation, Cloud Computing and grasping the tools that make Social Media an effective ally in promoting their careers.”
He also said, businesses should first determine what “Digital” means to their firm. Adding that, “While digital transformation is important, the first step is to understand how it is impacting your company and business model. Since digital transformation is the means to solve a problem, each organization depending on its maturity, industry, competition, value chain, and ecosystems, can use digital transformation differently. Therefore, it’s critical to diagnose the challenges and determine what digital solutions are suitable for their companies to achieve its goals.”

According to a World Economic Forum (WEF) Skills report, “Africa has a strong growth potential for jobs in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector and hard and soft infrastructure. ICT jobs will open up opportunities in digital design, creation and engineering. And to build a pipeline of future skills, African investors, government and tech entrepreneurs are designing a future-ready curricula to encourage acquisition of STEM skills that would help pave the way for Industrial Revolution 4.0. There is also a rise in public-private dialogue between the industry and government bodies to bridge the skill gap with reforming education systems and preparing workforces for the future of jobs.” Find out here what future of the workforce looks like

The report also said, “With rapid advancements, there are also a host of risks associated with it. The African Government is battling with a host of developmental issues, from lack of skilled talent, legal problems to infrastructure woes. There is a need for massive investment if Africa wishes to emerge as a key player and reform sectors such as healthcare, agriculture and manufacturing.”

Arcon Technologies also said, “the abundance of cloud computing, AI and internet of things (IoT) are driving massive growth in IT opportunities in Africa. The IT sector in South Africa is expected to reach 175 billion by 2022, at a five-year compounded annual growth rate of 4.25 percent, according to the IDC’s latest Economic Impact Model report. Not only that, the gradual increase in adoption of cloud services are expected to create numerous job opportunities too in Africa region. There is also the risk of cyber breaches.”

Meanwhile it added, experts said both private and public sector organisations had started to rebuild the cyber security strategies to combat the larger and emerging concerns in cyber world, because protecting business information is highly crucial under any circumstances and IT security development is the only way out.

Source: Sammy Adjei || ghananewsonline.com.gh

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