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2022 TO BE DRIVEN BY TECHNOLOGY

By KWANELE DHLADHLA | 2022-03-06

The consensus among Eswatini chief executive officers (CEO’s) was that the year 2022 and beyond will be led by technology, speed and convergence.

Talanta.co Managing Partner Dumi Jere in the CEO outlook report launched by Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade Manqoba Khumalo disclosed that 65 per cent of the over 100  interviewed captains of industry were either concerned or extremely concerned by the pace of technological change.

Jere pointed out that business models would be upended significantly, requiring a different way of thinking.
For CEOs, Jere noted that the goal was crystal clear: to create a more intelligent, data-driven experience for their customers, innovators and partners.

“Creating this experience requires a radical digital transformation exercise across the board,” said Jere in the unprecedented report which they collated in collaboration with strategic stakeholders.

As a result, Jere mentioned that 100 per cent of the leaders indicated their intention and plan to increase their spending over the next three years in digital transformation.
Jere stated that their observation thus far had been that policies and organisations in Eswatini had been slow to adjust to the transformations taking place.

As a result, he advised that policies ought to be more innovative to realise the promise of today’s smart machines.
Moreover, he said they must be more responsive to change to fully capture potential productivity and economic growth gains and address rising inequality as technological disruptions create winners and losers.

“Technology is reshaping the markets and changing growth and distributional dynamics.
Therefore, policies must ensure that markets remain inclusive and support broad access to new opportunities for firms and workers,” Jere noted.  

In addition, Jere stated that the digital economy ought to be broadened to disseminate new technologies and opportunities to smaller firms and more overall segments of the labour force.

Undeniably, Jere stated that digital technologies offer large productivity pay-offs; however, he mentioned that they also create new challenges for firms as production processes, sources of competitive advantage  and market structures shift.

Be that as it may, Jere said fresh thinking and adaptations were needed to realign policies and institutions with the digital economy.

“That is the only way forward. More needs to be done to create standards and grow partnerships to ensure people aren’t left behind in this brave new digital world. Work to modernize and expand access to the digital economy shouldn’t be done to prepare for the next calamity or pandemic. Instead, it’s a way to power the Eswatini economy and empower people right now,” he said.

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