Africa Beckons with Huawei $3.4trl Digital Transformation Agenda

Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei is planning to spend $3.4 trillion by 2026 to boost its digital transformation initiatives.


So said Meng Wanzhou, vice chairwoman, rotating chairwoman, and CFO at Huawei, yesterday at the company’s 20th Global Analyst Conference in Shenzhen, China.

At the event, Meng, shared how digitalisation is a common opportunity for industry, but emphasised that the strategic objectives of industry should drive digital transformation, rather than the technology itself.

“In this new era of digital transformation, the ways in which people understand the world and create are changing,” she said. “This is having a deep impact on industrial innovation and economic development.

“Digitalisation is a new blue ocean for the whole ICT value chain. Enterprises that are going digital and enterprises that are helping others go digital will have huge addressable markets and huge economic benefits. Huawei will keep investing in domains like connectivity, computing, storage, and cloud.”

According to Meng, the world is embracing this opportunity, with more than 170 countries and regions developing their own digital strategies.

By 2026, she said, Huawei expects that spending on global digital transformation will reach $3.4 trillion.

She pointed out that Huawei is enabling productivity and efficiency improvements across industries such as mining, healthcare, ports, transportation and many others.

It has built in-depth partnerships with nearly 200 power enterprises worldwide and provided digital services for more than 20 leading oil and gas enterprises and 800 mining enterprises.

The company says it is building the digital infrastructure that will support these increasingly diverse and complex industrial scenarios.

These networks require ultra-reliable and fast connections between people and intelligent objects, and between home and factories.

Meng outlined the four distinct characteristics of digital infrastructure that Huawei is delivering to help customers go digital.

“We aim to provide our customers with digital infrastructure that has the simplest possible architecture and the highest possible quality, delivering the best possible experience at the lowest possible costs.

“Our goal is to help organisations go digital in four stages – digitising operations, building digital platforms, enabling platform-based intelligence, and putting intelligence to use. The time is ripe to thrive together in this new and exciting digital future.”

Meng went on to share three major takeaways from Huawei’s nearly 10 years of digital transformation experience.

“First, strategy is essential. At its essence, digital transformation is about strategic planning and strategic choices. Any successful digital transformation has to be driven by strategy, not technology.”

“Second, data is the foundation,” she continued. “Data only creates value when it flows across an organisation, so methodical data governance is key. Integrating data across different dimensions will create even greater value.

“Third, intelligence is the destination. Data is redefining productivity. Digitising operations and building digital platforms helps clean, visualise, and aggregate data, laying the foundation for digital transformation. Putting intelligence to use makes data on-demand, easier to understand, and actionable, taking digital transformation to the next level.

“Going digital has to align with an organisation’s strategic direction – help realise its strategic vision and predefined business goals. During the digitalisation process, organisations will inevitably start incorporating new tools and technologies into their business, but these are only a means to an end.”


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