International Data Corp believes that digital innovation is defined by the terms “disruptive”, “differentiating” and “unique”. Done well, it can deliver value beyond its original intent. The World Economic Forum believes digital innovation is key to introducing transformative change to the economy and society and that it can embed resilience and future-proof the economy. To further South African growth and economic development, it’s imperative that there remains a focus on digital investment and innovation through intelligent initiatives and consistent investment.
“There is a need to transform society economically through the innovative use of technology – to help communities, entrepreneurs and individuals participate in the economy from wherever they may be. Digital innovation has to be adaptable to all environments in South Africa,” says BCX chief marketing officer Mandisa Ntloko-Petersen.
While the past two years have taken their toll on economies and organisations due to Covid-19, they have provided a boost for innovation and transformation. There has been a rapid and unprecedented rise in technology adoption and a surge in solutions designed to fill the gaps created by remote and hybrid working, cloud-first strategies and rapid digital adoption. From the start-up to the enterprise, companies have found inventive ways of overcoming the challenges faced by their business and employees.
“This innovation has the potential to be key to driving economic growth in the country, but there has to be more conversation around how this can be effectively delivered – how this can be realistically achieved,” says Ntloko-Petersen. “A starting point is to understand the current state of digital innovation at both the macro and micro levels. These insights can be used to find innovative solutions to our local challenges.”
The BCX Digital Innovation Report 2022 found that, at the micro level, digital innovation has undergone rapid acceleration by organisations of all sizes, globally. Initially this was for survival, but now it’s for business resilience and continuity. On the macro level, it found that there was a need to take this further, to create an environment where digital innovation can thrive through collaboration and competition.
“There has been something missing – something that pushes innovation and that gives digital solutions the platform they need to gain visibility and expand their footprints,” says Ntloko-Petersen. South Africa is fertile ground for innovation, where our unique sets of challenges require innovative thinking and digital technologies can play a role in resolving many of these, such as access to services. “This is why it’s important for industry leaders, academics and government leaders to focus on creating opportunities to bridge this gap between digital and its full potential.”
This is the ethos that underpins the BCX Digital Innovation Awards. Now in their fourth year, the awards celebrate South African success stories and the accomplishments of local companies with the goal of becoming a key enabler for economic and social transformation in the country. Winners of the 2022 event will join a long list of success stories that have redefined the South African landscape such as Ozow, Checkers Sixty60, Pargo Pickup Points, Bottles, RTT Logistics and SMEgo.
“By recognising the talent and inventive spirit of South African entrepreneurs, start-ups and organisations, we are ensuring that we remain a driver of digital innovation in South Africa,” concludes Ntloko-Petersen.
To enter the BCX Digital Innovation Awards, go to www.bcx.co.za/digitalinnovationawards or follow #BCXDIA on social media.
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