Key technologies that could transform African businesses in 2014

Posted on January 9, 2014 09:02 am

Technology experts are predicting mobile Internet will be the key transformer of business and the way people live and transact in Africa together with automation of knowledge and adoption of the cloud technologies. In key main markets of sub Saharan Africa notably South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Angola organizations are striving to deliver powerful capabilities for consumers and employees who need secure and reliable technology infrastructure. South Africa businesses are moving towards converged systems that provide powerful, mobile Internet-scale applications and at the same time managing streamlining of operations, driving growth, cutting costs and improving business efficiency that is so badly needed in other African countries where more than 40-60% of businesses are making losses. With the connection of millions of consumer devices in Africa, communities ushering in new era where the technology lines of work, play and home may become blurred. Time has come for enterprise grade mobility that delivers manageability, serviceability and security with the experience customers and employees die for.

Increasing convergence of work and personal life, more and more people want to use their own smart phones, tablets and notebook PCs to access company data, instead of devices provided at their workplaces. A rising number of organizations in Africa are realizing that this practically unlocks the security features they have built up over the years. In Western World, smart device have become an essential component of everyday lives with consumers and employees accessing sophisticated personal and business services anytime and at any place. In Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria and South Africa recent research shows that organizations are primarily focusing on mobile applications that drive innovation and growth especially in financial services, where banks are burning the midnight oil trying to come up with advanced self-service mobile applications to develop customer loyalty and at the same time lowering the cost of customer acquisition and enhance brand visibility that have suffered following the huge popularity of mobile money platforms notably in East African region.

This year, business and governments in Africa are expected to focus towards building the applications, business process and services that realize the benefits to be gained from better customer and employee engagement. For African organizations to be successful they 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 one device bearing in mind the continent has one of the highest rates of device theft in the world. Me think companies in Africa will this year look to embrace core technologies across Big Data and operations management that could provide actionable insight into all aspects of their organization’s IT operations and enable optimal performance. There are powerful megatrends of mobility, security, cloud and Big Data that will change the way technology is paid for, consumed and delivered in Africa. The same trends could also transform what African businesses expects from IT and CIOs will have to play a leading role in developing strategies that can create opportunities for the business. We are likely to see a year where organizations embrace technologies designed to change the infrastructure economics and lay the foundation for the next 500 million devices connected in Africa.

Contador Harrison