South African Tourism is a statutory body whose main object is to promote tourism to and within South Africa, by marketing the country as…
Governments (at least South Africa’s) is perhaps the last place anyone would expect to find an ounce of innovation, but SAP Africa, the enterprise software leader’s continental subsidiary, is hoping to change this.
The company’s public sector innovation roadshow has today kicked off in Johannesburg, which offers solutions to specific government-level public sector issues, including “unemployment, quality of life, service delivery and economic opportunities for small and midsized enterprises.”
SAP notes that innovation in the public sector is key for governments in basic service delivery, filling economic craters and driving transformation in the private and public sectors. The company’s Cloud and Big Data portfolios aim to provide governments with the malleability and confidence to achieve these, and many other goals.
Although these list of factors may not seem the outright priority of governments, their ability to manage the information at hand and the plans thus implemented hold the country in a tense grip. Danny van Heck, Head of Public Services at SAP, reiterates this:
Governments are responsible for creating the proper environment for the private sector and businesses to engage, grow, and prosper, both socially and economically. Traditionally governments tended to focus on providing citizens monetary and non-monetary benefits, and a robust collection engine, thereby creating a welfare state.
SAP allows governments to better handle the mass of uncollated data, we like to call Big Data.
Handling, analyzing and understanding this digital goldmine will be key in government’s success in addressing pressing issues, like unemployment. Kudzai Dana, Head of Public Sector at SAP Africa explains this in greater detail:
It is clear that only innovative governments who embrace technology will be able to deliver meaningful transformations in the way they conduct their business and deliver services to citizens. There is dire need for innovative collaboration between public, private, and non-profit sectors to deliver services efficiently.
Proof of this can be witnessed in other markets too, notably the European Union and Kenya, where SAP technologies have been implemented in Academy Cube — an online portal for online training, employment opportunities and job listings. In Kenya, Konza Techno City is part of Kenya’s 2030 skills and development plan. It’s an IT training and development centre, that will hopefully kindle and fuel the country’s burgeoning tech sector.
SAP also has faith in the SA government’s ability to innovate, and thus, embrace the future. But this is without its challenges. Dana notes:
[…] the process requires successful partnership between government and private sector, inclusive of SMEs and our public sector solution portfolio fully supports the government and Labour market business imperatives to help close the gap between strategy and execution.