Addressing social inequality crucial in SA's digital transformation

Lungile Msomi
By Lungile Msomi, ITWeb journalist
Johannesburg, 09 Oct 2023
Dr Claudelle Von Eck, founder of Brave Inflexions.
Dr Claudelle Von Eck, founder of Brave Inflexions.

Businesses must acknowledge that they play a crucial role in guiding people through a complex digital landscape, causing a significant societal shift. Overlooking the human element of this transformation can have serious consequences.

This is according to Dr Claudelle Von Eck, founder of Brave Inflexions, who delivered the opening keynote address at the ISACA SA chapter conference at Emperors Palace, Johannesburg, this morning.

Themed 'The Digital Dilemma', the ISACA conference is being held on 9 and 10 October.

Von Eck said South Africa faces challenges of inequality and limited access to quality education, and this impacts its digital transformation. While new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) hold potential, they need to be thoroughly understood before their value can be realised.

To save our institutions, we need to clean them up. And here I think AI can play a huge role.

Claudelle Von Eck

She emphasised the vital importance of robust institutions in the public sector, suggesting that AI can contribute significantly to their strength through necessary reforms.

“In the public sector, for example, the strength of our institutions is vitally important. And to save our institutions, we need to clean them up. And here I think artificial intelligence can play a huge role,” said Von Eck.

She also acknowledged the potential of new technologies, if implemented responsibly, to enhance human capabilities but cautioned against neglecting inclusivity and leaving people behind in this transformation.

“[In] South Africa, we can start to use the technology wisely to help us to accelerate the wealth of the country and the health of the country. But … if we leave our people behind, we're going to be in serious trouble in the future. There are vast possibilities for young people to start their own businesses and technology can make it easier for them.”

As a global non-profit organisation, ISACA provides independent guidance, certifications and education to IT professionals and enterprises in the areas of IT governance, security, audit and risk management.