• Saturday, March 02, 2024
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BusinessDay

Maximizing info-tech to your business’ advantage

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The ability to elevate and change the business paradigm no longer resides with people who have the experience rather growing evidence shows that only those open to putting novel software applications to use will seize the future.

As the boundaries for privacy and incomprehension diminish with the younger generation, the rising inclination towards swift communication processes is reflective in the amount of time people spend using electronic gadgets as well as the premium they place on their social media existence.

If projections by the World Bank are anything to go by, Nigeria which currently is the third largest user of cyber-facilities in the world with about 48 million active internet subscribers and a penetration rate of 30 per cent is set to experience a meteoric rise in data consumption over the next ten years – a trend that experts state will defy age, culture and psychological predisposition.

With this growth trend expected in the ICT sector, business analysts emphasize the need for forward-thinking executives of indigenous and global enterprises to strategically encourage higher levels of cyber user engagements among staff as a means to increasing their bottom-line.

Impressing the need to pay close attention to the shift in global information processing trends, Tani Fafunwa who is the Managing Director at Resourcery PLC, Africa’s leading mobile technology company, says, “It is important to take what professionals have predicted will happen in the near future and apply it to [improving the local] market by translating the language of technology to the language of business in order to show the executives where the financial value is going to come from.”

However with glaring infrastructural deficiencies serving as a deterrent in the expansion of business entities, investors are constantly faced with challenges that are relatively non-existent in other climes.

Highlighting some of the inhibitors for the nation’s technological advancement, Andrew Alli, Chief Executive Officer of the Africa Finance Corporation stated, “Until recently, broad-band availability was a problem [even though] we now have a number of [fiber] cables  coming into Nigeria, I think that the last mile is still an issue because it is costly and slow. So, to be able to fully tap into this we need to have proper broadband connectivity.”

Although utilizing the changing universal dynamic towards information technology for the local business sector is a necessary course of action for venture capitalists, addressing the core issues associated with the inadequate provision of technological facilities across board is of the essence.

In addition, he states that the paucity of skills among purportedly IT-savvy indigenous technicians is a recurring bane as the country has seen a high influx of expatriates who are required to efficiently execute job functions that can be carried out by the citizenry at a lower price tag if they had the expertise.

As is common with government policies, stakeholders reveal that cases of heavy-handedness in the form of high taxes and stiff sanctions in telecommunications and ICT sectors have added to the difficulties associated with generating business value within the industry.

Addressing the call for increased yet balanced government interventions, Alli expressed, “I think government, in a lot of areas, needs to provide the enabling environment to allow people to develop naturally; that means providing the regulatory frame work and infrastructure like constant power.”

Some of the innovative tools that can be applied for organizational benefits are crowd sourcing and marketing which involves the collection and deployment of intelligence from a large group of individuals for the sole purpose of completing business related tasks.

Additive manufacturing, cognitive analytics and industrialized cloud computing for long term information storage are other tools that can be maximized for higher returns on investments.