May 16, 2022

How businesses can capitalise on South Africa's growing digital economy

South Africa is a continental leader for regional digital development and the government is in the process of passing many reforms aimed at 4IR-readiness. A robust digital economy is critical for economic growth, from data-driven business to entrepreneurs and startups gaining access to new markets and using automation to lower operational costs.

Despite macroeconomic disruptions and volatile geopolitics in Africa, investment in tech will continue to expand. This is highlighted through a collaboration between the African Union and the World Bank, where the goal is to have every individual, business and government department digitally enabled by the year 2030. South Africa is ahead of the pack in the African context and while it still has some catching up to do when compared to more developed nations, investment in the digital economy has made an impact on closing the digital divide.

A key factor in creating this digital economy has been the roll-out of fibre optic networks and the accessibility of business-grade connectivity solutions for South African enterprises. SEACOM Business offers tailored solutions, which are scalable and flexible, allowing large organisations to enjoy benefits of B2B services that are on par with leading global providers. With these foundations in place, South African businesses can capitalise on South Africa’s growing digital economy.

Making the digital economy profitable

A company’s digital strategy must be aligned to their corporate strategy. Having a common culture and a cohesive understanding of stakeholders is fundamental to success. Without a vision and purpose, there is no direction. Digitisation needs to support the values and mission that underpin the company’s goals.

More than ever, with the migration to the cloud, the silo mindset is starting to shift. Not only is silo culture no longer necessary, it is also bad for business. It leads to ineffective decision making, low levels of agility and a lack of focus on both customer experience and employee experience. The cloud allows for seamless collaboration among different departments and geographical locations. It also offers businesses better performance in terms of networking and security solutions.

Research has shown that the biggest impact on profit growth is for companies to initiate digital disruptions. But experts warn that not all technologies lead to higher profit margins. Companies need to be aware of the return on investment (ROI) for digital services - some companies are investing in the wrong things, or too much or little in the right things.

While investing in digitising company processes, such as automating workflows or using big-data to drive decision making, a diversified digital strategy that targets different aspects of the business has proven to have the biggest impact on profitability. Forward-looking digital strategies touch on a variety of areas, including marketing, distribution, products and services, as well as the digitisation of supply chains.

Many enterprises still see supply chains as beyond the scope of their digital strategy, but research suggests that such investments have a massive impact on resource allocation and the stabilisation of the macroeconomic climate. Essentially, performance improves when companies have a diversified digital strategy that also focuses on the bigger picture.

Capitalising on big data

Big data has allowed notoriously sluggish large corporations to act more like startups in the sense that they are able to be more agile in response to changing market conditions. Leveraging business data can help enterprises to quickly respond to market trends, improve operations and manage supply chains.

Data-driven customer insights, business intelligence, data analysis and personalised service offerings are all made possible thanks to technological developments and machine learning software. Being able to strategically respond to change is largely attributed to capitalising on the power of digital migration.

A roadmap for South African digitisation

In his 2022 State of the Nation Address, President Cyril Ramaphosa spoke about the expansion of digital access in South Africa. With a promise to “revolutionise the country’s technological development, making faster broadband accessible to more people and reducing the costs of digital communications,” President Ramaphosa has paved the way for digital capacity building in the country.

Digitisation helps to modernise industries and makes South Africa an attractive destination for foreign direct investment (FDI). New opportunities for investment that rely on a robust digital ecosystem are essential for the South African economy. South Africa’s digital infrastructure is set to grow, with the expansion of both terrestrial and subsea fibre networks.

Looking at the rest of the continent, we can see the impact of poor telecommunications and the effect it has on FDI. South African businesses have a major advantage over their neighbours because of major strides towards digitisation. With new subsea fibre-optic cables in construction, this trend is on the rise. SEACOM’s fibre-optic network provides world-class internet access throughout the country, catapulting South African businesses into the next generation of digital transformation.

SA’s growing digital economy

SEACOM is a major player when it comes to supporting South Africa’s digital economy. Consumers, educational institutions, governments and large enterprises are able to capitalise on lower data costs, high-speed infrastructure and IoT technologies by partnering with us.

Digital transformation is made possible with this robust technological framework, that also includes connectivity solutions for cybersecurity and cloud migration. While it is important for businesses to conduct a thorough cost-benefit analysis of new technologies, the digital economy is putting pressure on all businesses to be digitally innovative in order to retain their market share and improve their profitability.

SEACOM Business has tailored solutions which support company growth, making it more affordable for any business to thrive in the digital revolution. For more information or to get a quote for our various digital services, email us at or leave us a message.

SEACOM owns Africa’s most extensive network of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure, including subsea cables and secure internet connections. We offer a diverse range of flexible, scalable and high-quality solutions for businesses that meet world-class standards for connectivity.

SEACOM is privately owned and operated, making it agile and adaptable to the needs of the customer. This makes us the preferred ICT and internet connectivity partner for African businesses and peripheral service providers. We can guarantee high-speed, low-latency and secure internet connections to corporates and small enterprises.

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