South Africa is slow to adopt international trends within the ICT Industry, despite the eagerness to accept automation. There are several reasons for this.
A predominant reason which has been hindering South Africa’s ICT growth is a non-trusting nature: an ‘old’ mindset that is resistant to change. The chief information or technical officers also need to take on the responsibility to understand and manage the software, as well as training their team to do the same. This presents several open-ended risks that can be taken advantage of, which will further make the change undesirable in their eyes.
Another reason is that South Africa’s infrastructure is not able to support fully automated ICT environments. Unfortunately, most of our networks are unstable. You will very seldom find an ICT environment with a SLA in place to support your business and allow you to work efficiently.
Lack of skills in the industry
The third component that is hindering South Africa’s adoption of automated processes is a lack of skills in the industry to understand that environment. There are little skilled individuals that will be able to make sure that the process runs smoothly and have the ability to audit and analyse the automated processes.
Unreliable electricity provision
The fourth reason is unreliable electricity provision in South Africa. If you are reliant on an automated environment and a tower loses power and its battery runs out, you are dead in the water with no control over your environment. This makes a fully electronic mechanism difficult for a CIO or CEO to accept.
The majority of technologies that have been put in place to support the ICT industry in South Africa are not homegrown technologies. They are often bought overseas from trusted manufacturers. This presents an issue in the dollar to rand exchange rate, as it puts financial pressure on the South African ICT industry that needs to import these technologies. There is also a prevailing opinion that overseas technology, such as from America or Europe, are more reliable than local technologies.
In conclusion, there are several hurdles hindering the acceptance of international ICT trends. Despite these issues, the acceptance of automation as the future is a given.