By Emeka Aginam
African leaders have been advised to leapfrog to the new technology of Internet of Things (IoT),to be able to withstand the disruptions that may happen in world technology. The advise was given during the opening ceremony of the ongoing 35th GITEX Technology Week in Dubai, where Nigeria is represented, through the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
NITDA used the GITEX event to showcase Nigerian technology start-ups, who displayed various technology solutions that were developed by them locally, in the Nigerian pavilion at GITEX. Local technology from Nigeria was also promoted by NITDA at the GITEX with a view to attracting offshore partnerships and investment to Nigeria.
Accordingly, the call for African countries to embrace the technology of IoT by the technology forum, became necessary, following new technology innovations that are driving business efficiency and profitability that are invariably disrupting the old ways of doing businesses globally.
Vice President of Alibaba Group, Mr. Sicheng Yu, who spoke on ‘The Future of Innovation and the Converging Forces of Change,’ said “the world is currently experiencing a number of converging forces that will both rewrite the rules of business and redefine the world of innovation. Each of these driving forces has the potential of blind siding us if we do not spend time crafting stories about the world to come.”
According to him, the technology of IoT would in the future, help cars to communicate with other cars on the roads and help in de-congesting traffic caused by vehicular movements. He said more innovations were on the way, and urged African countries to key into the innovation, by promoting big data, cloud computing and the internet. “We are already experiencing increase in the demand for big data services across the globe but big data cannot work effectively, without cloud computing that is largely driven by the internet, Yu said.
He assured that that Alibaba Group would continue to use its platform to make system and applications work faster for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), in order to create business efficiency that will drive down cost of business. Also speaking on ‘Transformation in the Digital Business Era, the Chief Technology Officer of Accenture, Mr. Paul Daugherty, ‘ said “Global companies are reimagining and strategically transforming into digital businesses in order to achieve internal efficiencies, external growth and return to the role of disrupters.”
Highlighting the need for digital transformation across globe and explaining that the globe needed three mega trends that would shape businesses, he said that the trends would include connected world, data connectivity as well as intelligence and automation. He said over 3.5 billion people were already connected to the internet, but that the figure would double very soon, following the innovations that the IoT technology would bring.