Device and network security vital for African businesses

Posted on February 7, 2014 07:15 am

The technology industry is betting big on the cloud, mobile Internet and the automating of knowledge to be the key technologies transforming the way people live and work in Africa. In South Africa home to the most technologically advanced organizations, firms are expected to deliver powerful capabilities for consumers and employees to create and connect through a secure and reliable technology infrastructures. According to latest business outlook, many businesses are expected to move towards converged systems that provide powerful, mobile Internet-scale applications. The adoption is expected to help organizations in the continent meet the pressure to streamline operations, drive their profit margins upwards and continued growth, trim their costs and improve business efficiency. Latest statistics from International Data Corporation showed that globally vendors are forecast to ship close to 2 billion mobile phones this year, growing to more than 2.2 billion devices in the next three years.

In order for African organizations to be successful, they will need to have the proper policies and processes in place to address data, device and network security, as well as the privacy issues associated with having personal and company owned data on device. Time has come for enterprise grade mobility that delivers manageability, security and serviceability with the experience customers and employees crave for.Smart devices being sold in African just like any other places around the world have become an essential component of everyday lives with consumers and employees demanding anytime, anywhere access to sophisticated personal and business services. With the connection of billions of consumer devices, industrial machines and communities we are entering a new era where the technology lines of work, play and home. African organizations are focusing on mobile applications that drive innovation and growth, such as in financial services with Kenya’s famed mobile money platform M-Pesa being a successful example.

However, banks like Kenya Commercial Bank, Uganda’s DFCU have developed advanced self-service mobile applications to ensure customer loyalty, lower the cost of customer acquisition and enhance brand visibility. In Nigeria, healthcare organizations have pushed the boundaries of mobile innovation by connecting medical devices to mobile phones for remote monitoring of patient health and the same technology is being tested by a Kenyan start up company. My prediction this year is that businesses across Africa will focus towards building the applications, business process and services that will realizes immense benefits to be gained from better customer and employee engagement.A growing adoption of mobile devices such as smart phones, tablets and increasing business on the go, customers in Africa are also looking for a more convenient, intuitive solution to print easily and securely from their mobile devices. Enterprises especially in East and Southern African regions where the security agents have joined forces and plans to collaborate to beat hackers at their own game through sharing of background intelligence on threats in real time, businesses in that part of African will now be able to create a unified industry defense and reduce the risk of financial, competitive and reputation losses that has characterized their businesses whenever they are hacked.

Contador Harrison