Could automation be the answer to SA's skills shortage?

According to a 2018 Pew Research report, some 900,000 people born in South Africa were living abroad in 2017, most of who were skilled professionals. South Africa's skills shortage is preventing the country from achieving the 5% annual GDP growth that is its only real chance of making a dent in poverty levels. All is not lost, however, as independent telco believes technology will continue to help solve South Africa's myriad challenges.
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“From anti-crime cameras deployed with great effect in our cities, to world-class computational systems that ensure we run better elections than much of the developed world, information and communications technology (ICT) is becoming the bedrock of our society upon which future SA growth will be based,” says Riaan van Stryp, general manager.

Much of this growth, however, will depend on local companies’ success in automating ICT systems. “By automating, you’re essentially freeing up human resources to focus on their own growth and development,” explains Van Stryp.

Upskilling staff

“Business automation is the catalyst to upskill entry-level staff. Why have a human being repeatedly undertaking the same routine tasks when a machine will do, leaving the person to be developed by the organisation into a much more valuable, and fulfilled, resource?”

When it comes to the regular ordering of ICT services by reseller small and medium-sized enterprises that on-sell them to business and end-user consumers, automation really comes into its own. This is particularly true when the reseller knows what it needs and can easily place these regular orders via an online system. “A few clicks can cut out unnecessary quotations and paperwork that only serve to waste time and money,” says Van Stryp.

Automating the ordering system frees up the sales team to focus on customer service and training new resellers to focus on the sale of services without getting tied up in manual processes. Machines can process while humans can focus on after-sales client happiness.
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