Identifying digital business opportunities in Africa

Posted on July 31, 2014 09:35 am

Experts say that moments are very short when it comes to duration in business even seconds counts, depending on the nature of the opportunity which nowadays are interconnected with both enterprise’s business model and business processes, all of which are being disrupted by digital technologies. They not only are not only about a customer but also impact the entire organisation. I expect these moments to occur more and more frequently as African enterprises migrate from current world to the digital business world of tomorrow. In the context of digital business, a business moment is a brief everyday moment in time and the catalyst that sets in motion a series of events and actions involving a network of people, businesses and things that spans or crosses multiple industries and multiple ecosystems. In Africa’s economic powerhouse Nigeria, these events and actions have unleashed a loose set of sequences of observe, orient, decide and act loop activities where many processes are executed by many resources in many different companies. In one case that happened mid last year, a Lagos based business smart house detected when a room had to be repainted and collaborated with the homeowner and the local retailer to identify, select and obtain the necessary supplies and services to get the room repainted and a similar concept has since been copied in other African countries.

The retailer’s system then solicited bids from painters on behalf of the consumer. In Angola, a business demonstrated how a laundry machine chimed in when detergent was running low. Business moments are important, because they do force enterprises to rethink the role they play in a value stream. Business moments, by their very nature, illustrate a wide variety of possibilities and players and help companies envision and design new businesses that integrate people, businesses and things to do things not possible few years ago. Leaders in information and technology, chief information offices and business executives will have to use business moments to highlight digital business opportunities. Every industry in Africa has business moments that will be critical to an enterprise and to customers. These moments of opportunity and competition that lead to the gain or loss of a sale, or the transformation of an industry, can happen in an instant. What remains is how enterprises will handle these momentary opportunities and challenges in the digital future. The trademark of a digital business will be the ability to spot these opportunities, however fleeting.

Contador Harrison