Africa: Call On Businesses to Augment Digital Dexterity

BUSINESSES must embrace the ability and desire to exploit emerging technologies for better outcomes as society and organisations increasingly consume as well as produce digital goods and services.

The call on enterprises to adopt digital dexterity was made on Tuesday at an annual global technology summit held in Cape Town, hosted by Gartner, the world's leading research and advisory company.

"The digital component of most jobs is increasing. Technical skills are important, but are not enough to steer a successful digital business transformation," said Helen Poitevin, research vice president at Gartner.

"Business and IT leaders need to employ the right talent with a specific set of mindsets, beliefs and behaviours -- which we call digital dexterity -- to launch, finish and capitalise on digital initiatives."

During Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo, a leading gathering of CIOs and senior technology executives, analysts explained how organisations could create a digital dexterity programmes to lead successful digital business initiatives.

Poitevin said employees with high levels of digital dexterity were more than thrice more likely to gain value from digital initiatives than those with moderate dexterity.

"They are quicker to launch, finish and obtain the outcomes they seek from digital initiatives," she said.

According to Gartner, in 2019, 29 percent of chief information officers (CIOs) in the Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region viewed digital business as a top priority.

Hence, the research and advisory company, advises improving digital dexterity throughout the organisation is crucial.

Officials said to help their employees to develop digital dexterity traits, business leaders must build them up by enabling enterprise agility and developing digital competencies.

"Mindsets and practices shape culture, and technology acts as an amplifier of that culture. Technology by itself seldom changes an organisation's culture," said Daniel Sanchez Reina, senior research director at Gartner.

He said technology was often the backbone of how work gets done and reinforced the company culture.

"... which is why culture change is becoming an increasing responsibility of IT," Reina said.

Gartner has introduced the PRISM (purpose; rituals; identity; support and merit) framework to enable organisations "change cultural traits that prevented a culture change."

"PRISM works because it allows organisations to raise employee's awareness on the need for change. That is the one and only key to success," Reina concluded.

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