In the just concluded, 4th annual CIO100 Awards IT key players across the East Africa region came together to discuss the tech trends across the East Africa region.
The event themed as Measuring Enterprise Innovation also saw the launch of the CIO100 East Africa Mega Trends Report’ compiled by PwC. The report highlighted the behaviors of CIOs across the region.
Andrew Karanja, Director, CIO East Africa expressed enthusiasm to the future of East Africa. “We have noticed a trend where more organizations are making efforts to digitize process in their organizations. This is encouraging because it means that East Africa is quickly catching up with more developed nations.”
The technology experts were engaged in key discussions revolving the future of technology in East Africa. Key among the issues addressed include the new trends of technology across East Africa and the nature of support system needed to ensure that technology takes center stage in driving business strategies.
Speaking of the trends, Mucemi Wambugu, Partner, PwC noted that technology has actually evolved from being a support function to a strategic enabler. “The rules have changed significantly and CIO’s are having even a greater passion to innovate.”
Discussions further affirmed that there is more acceptance of the need to upgrade IT infrastructure almost every two years.
The discussion was based on the recently released 2014 CIO survey which to much relieve showed public and government run organizations increasingly consuming technology. Private institutions still lead at the rate of adopting technology. Nonprofit organizations were found to lag behind in investing in technology especially on short term projects which was attributed to the long-term nature of social based projects.
Innovation is on an upward trend as over 60% of the organizations that took part in CIO100 survey indicated that the technologies used in their projects are being used for the first time in the organization. The applicants listed IT Operations, Customer Support and Accounting and Finance as the business departments that benefit the most from the IT related projects.
From the same survey, technologies most important to the execution of the projects include mobile or wireless technology, Databases or data warehousing and virtualization of servers, reinforcing the effect that mobile technology has had on our region’s economy. Big data which most consider an important driver in businesses is still not influencing innovation to a great extent and is as a matter of fact only being applied by private organizations.
Focusing on the public sector revealed that almost 90% of the applicants were using the technologies for the first time in their organizations as compared to 50% and a 100% rate in the private sector and non-profit organizations respectively. Private organizations showed an inclination towards customer impact in their business goal for their project whereas government and non-profit organizations leaned towards operational impact. Public organizations portrayed an appetite for using ICT innovation to assist in security, regulatory compliance and risk management.
With 560 entries, this year’s submissions came in from Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Congo.