Paytronix CEO urges ICT sector to nurture women
The ICT sector must nurture and empower female talent and also increase board and management representation, says Joy Diphokwana, CEO of Paytronix Systems, a payments technology company.
In an interview with ITWeb to commemorate Women’s Month, Diphokwana says ICTs are emerging as increasingly valuable business tools for entrepreneurs in developing countries, and empowering women is critical for development.
Every year in August, SA marks Women’s Month, and this year’s commemoration is being held under the theme: “The year of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke: Realising women’s rights”.
“There is still more that needs to be done to empower women entrepreneurs. At Paytronix Systems, we are fortunate to be led by a black-owned and women-led ICT solutions provider founded in 2002. We at Paytronix Systems are biased towards nurturing and empowering female talent; we have female role-players in our boardroom and management team,” says Diphokwana.
“The world of ICT is ever-changing and highly dynamic. With the evolution of technology, it is essential to equip people with the necessary knowledge and skills to drive company continuity and growth. We believe that digital skills drive a competitive edge, and if South Africa wants to develop world-class solutions, it must train its young people.”
Diphokwana says digital technology is changing the job landscape by creating career models that never existed before, and it is important for SA to harness the opportunities.
“It would be an understatement to say that digital skills are a big deal. After all, the rapid advancement and evolution of technology are ever-present in our daily and professional lives. The shift from traditional ways of working to a more digitally focused workplace is clear.
“Therefore, we as a country and the ICT industry must continue to invest in new forms of work. If we do not invest in new skills, we will have a digital skills shortage, and as a country, we will not be able to compete in the digital world or embrace the fourth industrial revolution.
“Failing to embrace technological innovation can place a company at a competitive disadvantage to its peers. At the same time, a workforce that is not fully prepared for digital challenges may result in costly project delays.”
Additionally, she says, it is beneficial to identify and support small, female-owned businesses in the sector.
According to Diphokwana, as a company operating in the lottery, gaming and payments industries, Paytronix Systems is fully aware of the need to train more people and procure from female-owned entities.
“As we grow as a company, we continue to invest more into training software developers that continue to be innovative and enable us to remain competitive. As an ICT company, it is beneficial for Paytronix Systems to identify and support small, female-owned businesses focused on offering ICT services with the intention of future collaboration (supplier development).”
Since 2015, Paytronix Systems has been the ICT solutions provider for SA’s third national lottery operator, Ithuba.
Within the first three years of being appointed, Paytronix Systems managed the data operations of more than 1.6 billion transactions on Ithuba’s behalf, with a transaction value of more than R19.5 billion.
The company designed and continues to manage Ithuba’s mobile e-commerce platform, which enables lottery players to enjoy the online player experience.
Diphokwana says Paytronix Systems also designed and implemented two high-tier replicated data centres 350km apart, enabling full redundancy for the lottery system.
Paytronix Systems also ensures a stable and secure central lottery platform, which has retail network connectivity to more than 9 000 retailer terminals, 80 000 handheld terminals and more than 180 000 virtual POS devices.
“The lottery is highly regulated and technically complex. It needs to comply with stringent requirements by the National Lotteries Commission, World Lottery Association Standards and the Department of Trade and Industry. The successful operation of such an organisation has been entrusted to Paytronix,” says Diphokwana.