De Wet Bisschoff is managing director of Accenture’s Communications, Media & Technology group. He believes that the South African telecommunications market is at a critical point in its evolution as wireline and wireless services converge globally. “This convergence is a huge opportunity for Accenture to help its clients realise the huge potential inherent in this convergence,” he says.
Accenture’s experience in outsourcing and transformational IT projects will give it the edge, he believes.
Before assuming his current role, De Wet was the executive lead for Accenture’s Technology Consulting practice, an experience that has given him great insight into the challenges faced by the CIOs of South Africa’s blue-chip. Other experience within Accenture has included extensive work on transformational IT projects.
De Wet sees one of the big new challenges for businesses as redefining the role of CIOs. Traditionally CIOs have worked almost exclusively behind the scenes to support other business functions and control the information needs of the business. These days, CIOs have to play a much more strategic role, using IT innovation to contribute to the bottom line: “The traditional CIO’s role of keeping backroom systems running has changed—CIOs now need to be part of senior management.”
De Wet graduated with a degree in Computer Science from the University of Port Elizabeth before joining an insurance company, initially as a computer programmer and subsequently as a systems analyst.
He joined Accenture in 1994, attracted by the company’s global reach and its mission to use cutting-edge technology to help clients achieve high performance. His strong grounding in technology provided a secure foundation from which to extend his horizons across a variety of industries. He says, “My career has been a long road of continuous learning—working in new industries, new technologies and for new clients. The big plus has been working with Accenture people who are invariably well qualified and professional.
During De Wet’s time at Accenture two particular client experiences stand out as having been especially satisfactory: working with the Independent Electoral Commission in South Africa’s 1999 elections, and acting as strategic advisor for the National Census of 2001.
De Wet is a family man who enjoys being at home with his wife, his daughter and son. His idea of real relaxation is a weekend of fly-fishing at Dullstroom: “The peace and quiet that goes with it… the etiquette… and preserving the environment,” is how he explains his favourite pastime.