Kathy Gibson is at Dell Technologies Forum in Sandton – In South Africa we are talking about transformation at so many levels.

And technology companies cant just be concerned about tech – they have to make a mark in social and economic transformation as well, says Doug Woolley, GM: South Africa of Dell EMC.

“It’s through our passion and involvement that we will be able to accelerate skills in this country , and set up our children for the future,” he says.

Dell EMC is still showing double-digit growth in South Africa, despite the constrained economic environment.

“The digital revolution is on us,” says Woolley. “It will facilitate change and disruption. As a developing nation, we have to grab it with both hands.

We have to all get involved in driving this change at an economic and social level.

“Sometimes companies get too inwardly focused on only what is good for their business; but we have to get involved at all levels.

You have to make a social impact as a business. You have to embrace social change, or we won’t be propelling this economy forward.”

Dell did a CEO study in 2019, which found that South Africa was ranked among the top countries worldwide in terms of digital readiness.

“There is a lot of up locked up in South Africa: we have to find ways to unlock it, and move forward.”

Haidi Nossair, marketing director: META at Dell EMC, explains that Dell has a number of initiatives for driving social impact.

“We care about creating a positive social impact that focuses on sustainability, diversity and transforming lives through technology.”

In terms of sustainability, the company designs with the aim of zero-waste packaging; it also includes a high percentage of recycled materials in its products.

“We also work on reducing the energy footprint, and have reduced energy intensity in our products by 65% since 2011. So every customer uses less power to achieve the same outcome.

“This means less pressure on the energy demand in the country; and lower costs.”

Inclusivity is the second pillar, and Dell addresses this through education and skills development.

“On a global level we focus on bringing underrepresented youth back into the economy,” Nossair says.

There is a massive skills shortage looming in the IT industry, so these underrepresented young people will help to fill the gap.

In South Africa, there are a number of initiatives aimed at reaching out to remote and previously-disadvantaged youngsters.

Importantly, Dell also ensure that at least 50% of the people reached through these initiatives are females.

Woolley points out that Dell South Africa’s team of youngsters recently won a global supercomputing challenge, testament to the latent talent that exists in this country.

Nossair points out that Dell strives to always perform ethically, and is consistently rated as one of the world’s more ethical companies.