Africa and the Winter Olympics – two topics that aren’t often thought of together. But in Sochi this year, five athletes will be representing three African nations – Morocco, Togo and Zimbabwe. For Togo and Zimbabwe, it’s their Winter Olympic debut.
As Africa figures more prominently in the world economy, its nations are stepping onto all sorts of world stages – even some as surprising as the Winter Olympic games.
In 2014, the IBM Center for Applied Insights also had its own African debut – publishing, for the first time, research involving 180 IT leaders from six African nations, including Morocco, Egypt, South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.
In our study, we identified a segment of African IT leaders – who like Africa’s Olympic medal hopefuls – are preparing to compete on a different plane by capitalizing on mobile, social, cloud and analytics technologies. We call them pacesetters. And they too are navigating tough courses – around challenges such as the need for greater strategic business leadership from IT leaders, IT skills development in emerging technologies, and effective information security as the use of mobile, social, cloud and analytics skyrockets.
As you watch Africa’s athletes compete at alpine and cross-country skiing this week, give some thought to the impact Africa’s businesses – and its growing middle-class – will have on our global economy.