Africa's Trend in Tech for Business
The role of technology in business walks hand in hand with the management of information systems. Businesses use technology to manage their information systems for internal cost reductions which allows them to improve their products and services. What is the role of technology in business?
• Technology allows the business to stay competitive by allowing extensive research. Businesses need research to keep growing and developing. Technology’s role as a researcher allows businesses to travel the globe and discover new markets and also allows businesses to compete with other products and services available in the global market. Researching new opportunities will enable businesses to stay a step ahead of its competitors. For a business to survive, it must grow to acquire new opportunities which can be done through virtual travels into new markets via virtual meeting.
• Technology is used for almost every marketing need in today’s business world. It provides analysis for targeted market, targeted consumer behavior data and their triggers for purchases and also targets what mode of advertising works best with customers plus more.
• With the use of technology comes easier communication to a number of customers. It allows you to communicate with your staff and make sales to customers that are far away from your location, for example, the use of online marketing, Websites, virtual meetings e.g. Zoom and Skype. Without an effective communication system in your business, you cannot be efficient or timely. In today’s busy business environment, it is necessary for employees to interact with clients quickly. Websites allow customers to find answers to their questions even after a long while. When customers use technology to interact with a business, the business benefits because better communication creates a stronger public image.
• It is not cost-efficient to have subsidiaries across African countries. The reason being, regulations are unstable, political environments are also unstable and the lack of infrastructure means that doing business on the continent requires companies to invest in basic amenities. Hence, the best option would be to operate from a convenient base and ship across. This has brought about a generation of startups in the African logistics game that have the ability to provide supply chain which run across several countries and have multiple divisions and end-to-end. Again this would not be achieved without the use of technology.
• Companies use technology for its analysis and decision making, for example, use of digital data collection to make decision on what works best for them: the same digital data will be used to determine customer satisfaction level and make critical and strategic changes that are required in production.
• Lastly, the use of technology helps your business to grow in capacity using various internet tools such as Webinars, Blogs, E-mail ads and E-newsletters which can easily be sent to potentials customers via email or any other social media accounts.
Africa’s late arrival to the digital economy comes with certain competitive advantages. It benefits from advances and mistakes already made by Silicon Valley. Its population is younger than that of any other continent and hence amounts to a new frontier. It’s largely untapped labor force presents an appealing potential for tech- assembly plants. Thanks to the mobile money transfer innovations launched in 2007 by Kenya’s Mpesa offered by Safaricom, Africans with a cellphone can deposit and withdraw cash at any Mpesa agent shop without having to visit a bank. Transport are now characterized by Uber, Bolts which are digital taxi services that can be ordered at the comfort of your phone. Kenya has advanced quickly as a hotspot for some of the continent’s most innovative digital enterprise through embracing digitized services offered countrywide such as Huduma center which is an online government- to- citizen services platform otherwise known as eCitizen. Also Rwanda has played a role in the region in exploring technologies such as using drones to deliver critical supplies to inaccessible areas. When you look at Egypt it is a region where skilled digital jobs creation with online freelancers in multimedia, software development and writing and translation are majorly found. With 50% of its population under 30 years plus a massive E-commerce market, Egypt is also fast developing into an entrepreneurial hub. In Nigeria you can find the headquarters for e-commerce start-ups like Africa internet Group and digital payments, Paga, that is near other school of tech developers such as Andela. Africa’s most recognized startups for online business include Jumia, Konga and MallfofAfrica, which were founded in Nigeria.
There are many ideas for technology related businesses out there that allow entrepreneurs who are tech-savvy to put their experiences into building their own companies. Technology continues to change at a fast rate and people might need help to adapt to those changes, so why not make money in the process? Business such as Computer repair which you can do if you have an expert understanding of computers plus you can supplement your income with sale of computer items e.g. hard drives, monitors and any other computer related items; computer training, data entry which you can do if you are an exceptional and detailed typist; video production that is widely used in today’s marketing; web design and blogging.