T-Systems South Africa, a digital transformation specialist and leading provider of ICT solutions, collaboration with Business Engage, hosted the fourth annual 30% Club Southern Africa members’ dinner at its head office in Midrand.
The 30% Club is an international group of Chairmen, CEOs and senior executives that are committed to increasing the number of women featured on the boards of large organisations, in the context of broader business transformation and sustainability.
As one of the founding members of the local 30% Club, T-Systems led the discussion on how gender parity at executive levels, and indeed throughout organisations, forms a crucial part of one’s business sustainability strategy.
T-Systems MD, Gert Schoonbee, welcomed guests and spoke about the importance of ‘sustainability’ with gender equality as well as transformation in South Africa. He says, “We need to think beyond the short-term and collectively work towards building a new future for South Africa. One way we are contributing to this goal is through our Nation Building journey with transformation and sustainability at its core and a strong focus on skills development.”
It was apt for T-Systems’ CFO, Dineo Molefe, to continue with the discussion by referencing the head of social innovation at Airbnb, Cameron Sinclair who said: “When sustainability is viewed as being a matter of survival for your business, I believe you can create massive change”.
She explained that this year’s dinner aims to set the tone for conversations among influencers and leaders on creating sustainability for this country.
“Having sustainability at the core of your business strategy is the right thing to do. It is not about compliance or codes, or anything else other than simply being the right thing to do for a better future of all”.
She cited the example of T-Systems’ local partnership with The Good Work Foundation in creating the Hazyview Digital Learning Centre in Mpumalanga – which equips women as well as men with new skills in disciplines such as technology, language, tourism and life skills.
“Education is the cornerstone of any community, any society. In Hazyview, we went in there looking at bridging the great digital divide in rural communities, and to ensure that our people do not get swept aside as the 4th Industrial Revolution gathers momentum.”
“This was motivated by a desire to create shared benefits as well as shared value. It’s all about doing the right thing for the development of ICT Skills for South Africa and to be able to contribute to the sustainable future of the Hazyview community – which has a 57% unemployment rate”.
To truly embed this initiative into T-Systems’ business, the company created an IT service desk within the Hazyview Centre, which provides internal desktop and technical support to T-Systems’ own staff and clients. In time, this model will be extended to provide IT support to many more of T-Systems’ clients.
Schoonbee adds, “For companies, making use of the ‘nears shore’ Service Desk service, they are contributing towards our Nation Building initiative, ensuring these skills stay in South Africa and provide job opportunities to locals in rural areas.”
Molefe reiterated that these businesses have an opportunity to leverage technology and digital transformation to create a better and more sustainable future – leaning on the following pillars:
• Technology sustainability – As the world embraces Industry 4.0, how are we making sure that as corporate South Africa we do not find ourselves and our business lagging behind and missing out on opportunities that come with using technology to keep our businesses relevant.
• Commercial sustainability – as corporates grow and evolve, diversity continues to be a significant element to transformation and equality and ultimately sustainability.
• Sustainability of people and their jobs – This is a very personal element to sustainability, understanding how roles will change as new and different job categories emerge with digitisation. The question we need to ask is, is corporate South Africa doing enough in terms of understanding the changing face as well as look and feel of talent required in an era of Industry 4.0?
Molefe encouraged delegates to focus on nation building and to create opportunities for South Africans to be able to participate in the economy.
About Deutsche Telekom
Deutsche Telekom is one of the world’s leading integrated telecommunications companies with around 151 million mobile customers, 30 million fixed-network lines and more than 17 million broadband lines (as of December 31, 2014). The Group provides fixed network, mobile communications, Internet and IPTV products and services for consumers and ICT solutions for business customers and corporate customers. Deutsche Telekom is present in more than 50 countries and has approximately 228,000 employees worldwide. The Group generated revenues of EUR 62.7 billion in the 2014 financial year – more than 60 percent of it outside Germany.
Deutsche Telekom considers the European business customer segment a strategic growth area. Deutsche Telekom offers small, medium-sized and multinational companies ICT solutions for an increasingly complex digital world. In addition to services from the cloud, the range of services is centred around M2M and security solutions, complementary mobile communications and fixed network products, and solutions for virtual collaboration and IT platforms, all of which forms the basis for our customers’ digital business models.
With approximately 47,800 employees worldwide, T-Systems generated revenue of around EUR 8,6 billion in the 2014 financial year.
Since the inception of T-Systems in South Africa in 1997, the company has cemented its position as one of the most successful T-Systems companies outside of Europe. A leading ICT outsourcing service provider locally, T-Systems offers end-to-end ICT solutions in both the ICT Operations and Systems Integration markets. Their extensive portfolio of services covers the vertical, horizontal, IT and TC space. T-Systems South Africa’s head office is located in Midrand with another major office in Cape Town, and 20 further representative offices in locations throughout southern Africa