Tech trends in Namibia for 2023 and beyond
By Kehad Snydewel
MD Green Enterprise Solutions.
During the December holidays, whilst relaxing with family and friends, I am often asked; ‘What will the technology trends be in the new year and beyond.’ Usually, I just give a quick answer, I’m on holiday as well and I don’t just want to be talking about work. However, this year, I’ve decided to give it some serious thought, especially after President Geingob’s recent statement about how ‘Africa should get on the tech train.’ With his Excellency singling out Tech and the need to drive its development across the continent, I felt compelled to weigh in as MD of Green Enterprise Solutions.
Africa is certainly developing its technology, embracing the Internet as well as 4G and 5G.
Nevertheless, there are simply too few people across Africa with access to technology. We cannot fall behind; innovation moves so fast that any lagging behind will never be caught up again. The beauty of technology is that innovation, its application, and the leveraging of it can happen anywhere in the world. Mobile payment solutions were pioneered across Africa, as were remote and e-learning, but there are simply too many gaps in the development.
This happens for many reasons; lack of funding, lack of skills, and sometimes lack desire from businesses, Governments, and even the people to engage in new skills development. That is why having our President position ICT development right at the top of the agenda is so important.
As a business, we look at which developments, innovations, and technological implementations are realistic and likely to be embraced, initially across Namibia, and then further afield. The spectrum of innovation is expansive, I am not even going to mention the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the Metaverse, or Artificial Intelligence. Some fundamentals need to be in place. We know that we need to start the digitalisation of records, databases, and processes within corporations, SMEs as well as in Government and Municipalities.
Implementing Electronic Digital Records Management (EDRM) will mean processes can be sped up and be easily searchable and retrievable. By safely storing this type of data in the Cloud, organisations have access to information wherever they may be located within Namibia or beyond. Applying for loans, driver’s licenses, processing insurance claims, and a hundred other things will be made easier and more dynamic with the implementation of EDRM.
Another development that we are seeing and will continue in 2023 is Software as a Service (SaaS). A company, organisation, or a person no longer owns the physical software, they own a license to use it.
This removes the hassle, updates are done automatically, and new versions are installed automatically. Usually, there’s a level of service that you are entitled to if you use SaaS. This means that instead of buying exceedingly expensive software, through a monthly or annual subscription you get the software and the accompanying service that goes with it. Making the IT expenditure more manageable, is something all organisations pursue.
Another development that we believe will continue is ‘outsourcing’, it is not new, but it is certainly underutilised in Namibia. We outsource constantly without thinking about it, from hiring a mechanic, a plumber, or a cleaner. We do not keep a plumber on standby and neither does a mechanic living in our garage on the off chance that they may be needed. Companies often outsource their book-keeping needs but will still have a dedicated IT person. Networks can be managed remotely by using TeamViewer or AnyDesk, for example. There is usually no need to keep someone employed full-time. Through outsourcing, the pressure on the payroll decreases significantly freeing up resources that can be used for the core activities of the organisation.
This article immediately demonstrates why I try to give a short answer to family and friends about IT trends, as I get too excited about all the possibilities that are within arm’s reach. Opportunities that will improve service delivery, ease pressure on company expenditure and improve Namibia’s digital development. Innovation and the embrace and implementation of technology in all its forms are the catalysts to Africa’s growth. We need to stimulate, encourage and invest in this development in 2023 and beyond.