Provincial ICT market assessment research case study
One of the larger provincial governments required specific research, analysis and assessment of the IT and telecoms sector
in the province.
A lack of information about the key economic sectors within the province was restraining policy makers from taking appropriate decisions in growing the economy. The ICT study thus intended to determine the available IT and telecoms services for the people in the province, whether telecommunication policy and the monopolistic nature of Telkom is hindering development of the sector in SA and the province, whether the province has the necessary skills in IT and telecoms, and what measures and initiatives and interventions could be put in place to improve the performance of the IT and telecoms sector.
The research methodology
The study focused on the contribution of IT and telecoms to the provincial economy and how the sector is used by individuals, households, communities, government, business and civil society to improve their livelihood or operations. BMI-T’s proposed solution involved an in-depth study to determine the performance of the sector, gaps and barriers, the contribution of IT and telecoms to economic growth, economic opportunities, IT and telecoms employment rates in the province, the financial contribution of IT and telecoms services, the geographic distribution and demographic participation of IT and telecoms in the province, the access, usage and impact of IT and telecoms infrastructures, performance gaps on implementing IT and telecoms development strategies and the recommendation of development strategies to improve the IT and telecoms infrastructure and services. This project required a particular approach, which consisted of a combination of primary and secondary research, including stakeholder consultation within the province, and extensive qualitative evaluation of all of this information in the context of the emerging national e-readiness strategic framework. The study used a combination of primary and secondary research to reach the goals and objectives of the study. Secondary research focused on existing public domain documents and research. Primary research was conducted amongst communities, businesses, government departments and civil society to establish the usage and impact of IT and telecommunications. This took the form of structured surveys.
Outcome of research project
The main research findings indicated that there are major gaps in the market with regard to ICT skills, ICT infrastructure and available funding for ICT. The outcomes from the research helped to inform the ICT strategy being developed by the provincial government and it will be used as a planning tool by government in developing intervention strategies to grow the economy, guide the IT and telecoms infrastructure development projects and highlight the impact of IT and telecoms activities to the socio-economic and economic policy requirements. The client, which was the department responsible for economic development, was extremely satisfied with the project, considering it to be of a high quality and, being delivered on time, it could be utilised as an aid in strategy development.