Transformation of African business by mobile phones
Africa is in the midst of a revolution where mobile phone are upstaging personal computers, laptops to emerge as the device of choice for Internet connectivity in the continent of more than 1 billion people. With the convenience and accessibility offered by mobile phones, Africans entire user experience is undergoing a dramatic change. Especially with its ease of use interface, mobile is almost ubiquitous in African’s lives. To be specific, the sub Saharan African market is a huge contributor to the global mobile boom with the region contributing to around 650 million active mobile subscriptions in the year 2013 alone. As the technology wave catches on, Ethiopia, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda,Ghana, Tanzania and Nigeria are slated to be the next big mobile commerce markets and it’s only a matter of time before mobility trend shapes the future of Africa’s overall business landscape. What’s more, customers become more demanding when it comes to their business expectations around mobility.
With an ever growing young population entering the workplace, there is clearly a need for business apps to move to the mobile to harness productivity and business efficiency of this young demographic. While the need to go mobile has entered boardroom discussions in countries like Kenya, Rwanda and South Africa, what remains imperative is charting out a mobile roadmap. In Angola,businesses are said to convert their complete suite of apps at one go and me thinks a well thought out roadmap can help prioritise their portfolio. Starting with the most critical apps that can deliver the most value in the initial stages, African businesses need to gradually move into a mobility mindset. This would teach businesses to think of mobile at the inception stage of a new application and solution and also consider the use case when developing the mobile app. Indeed, if African businesses adopt a long term vision that the future is mobile, they can translate this into crucial brainstorm sessions at the initial product development stage to ensure mobile experiences are integral to all their applications.