The Dell EMC Africa Forum: helping South Africa realise our digital future

It’s time for South African businesses and institutions to realise their digital future. They know this and are eager to do so, which is why they converged on the 27th of March at the Sandton Convention Centre for the 2018 Dell EMC Africa Forum. The event attracted companies both large and small, packing the centre with delegates looking at how they can lead their businesses into the future.

“Everyone has got an opportunity to grab onto the digital future,” said Doug Woolley, GM of Dell EMC South Africa. “How do we showcase to customers how to revolutionise their businesses? That’s what this event is about.”

He was unequivocal that the digital future is now. During an onstage conversation with renowned public speaker Michael Jackson, Woolley said the country was ready:

“From a South African perspective, we’ve got the skills, the tech and know-how. There’s no reason why we can’t start that journey. This is not an American or European concept. This is something we can deliver today in SA.”

He urged companies not to delay their digital transformation plans: “My view is you should have started this yesterday. There is no end date – you will constantly evolve, especially at the applications level.”

Attendees clearly realised this and enjoyed the numerous opportunities to learn how to bring technology and strategy together, get closer to their customers and expand their profits. The Forum presented several opportunities to do so, from meeting with Dell EMC companies and partners on the exhibition floor to attending the many different tracks of specialised presentations, through to the captivating opening ceremony and keynote.

Embrace geometric thinking

Nigel Moulton, ‎EMEA CTO of VCE, took to the stage to talk about the way companies have to think differently:

“We see IT as a fundamental piece of investment, because it drives the way organisations behave. In the past we focused on systems of record. Systems of engagement were reasonably hard to do because it involves people talking to people. But as you digitise, you allow people to interact through a piece of software, internal or external. So the way you offer systems of engagement changes when you do software.”

A critical aspect to understand about digital transformation is that it completely changes the rules, he continued. Humans think in a linear fashion, but technology is geometric. It expands exponentially, which is why polling a handful of people at a certain social network ended up with millions of people’s details. The power and scale of digital goes well beyond traditional business thinking, so companies must digitise if they want to stay with the pack:

“If you think about embedding these systems in a linear way, you’re doing it wrong. That’s not how we get insight. There will be billions of things, using microservices to gather, measure, monitor and report. It’s not monolithic, it’s distributed. Digest massive amounts of data and apply mathematical functions to it to learn and drive a result.” 

The Dell EMC Africa Forum offered many opportunities for companies to engage these themes according to their own needs. As part of a group that offers end-to-end choice and insight across its portfolio of companies, products and partners, Dell EMC touches everything from the user to the edge to the cloud and to the core.

From cutting edge IoT devices to the latest laptops, the Dell EMC Africa Forum showcased the best digital has to offer – and showed that South Africa is keen to take the reigns and realise its digital future.

If you missed the #DellEMCForum. You can watch the live broadcast of the event here:

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