Getting the Edge: Mobility and SMEs in East Africa
Around the world, businesses have empowered themselves by adopting cloud technologies. Now is the turn of East African enterprises.
East Africa is undoubtedly making great strides towards universal connectivity. With a population of over 120 million, it is encouraging to note that geographical coverage is estimated at around 85% of the population and that approximately 80% of businesses use basic mobile services. Coverage is at an all time high. The region set the pace globally for the adoption of mobile money, now comes the next step –comprehensive business mobility.
The future of mobility can already be seen in the European, Asian and North American contexts. Ubiquitous use of technology will become a reality and businesses will have to adapt or become obsolete. Small to medium-sized businesses are particularly vulnerable to lagging behind larger firms technologically. Converting one’s business to a mobility-based infrastructure is not only possible, but necessary in this rapidly evolving global marketplace. Yet the vast majority of East African SMEs have yet to tap into the potential that mobility offers. This is about to change. The technology is already here.
Imagine having immediate access to all of the relevant data about your business and operations at all times. Imagine having the speed and flexibility to run your business from any location, no matter how remote.These are the realities made possible by the cloud.
Mobile computing can revolutionise the way a company does business by boosting the ability of management to understand and run their business as efficiently as they can, as well as empowering employees to be able to do their job no matter the obstacles. Integrated mobile solutions, such as those
offered by a recognised global leader in the field like SAP, have sterling track records. Companies around the world have streamlined their businesses,
automated their processes, improved their customer relations and boosted their revenues after making the switch to a cloud-based infrastructure.
SMEs need that extra edge in order to be able to stay afloat against large multinationals. Cloud computing enables them to do far more than that – SMEs could compete on a global playing field without losing the more personal relationships they can offer customers.
The nature of information-sharing on the cloud is also a boon to innovation, the life’s blood of any growing business. The collaborative nature of mobile IT networks means that new ideas can be shared across time and space. The risk management associated with enacting new concepts is also minimised, as accelerated response times mean integration hiccups can be dealt with quickly and smoothly.
Employee management becomes a breeze with mobile technologies. Virtualisation networks mean anyone can connect and work, wherever they may happen to be. Yet these are secure enough that sensitive data is not compromised and there is no loss of control for management.
These end-to-end solutions are powerful enough that companies see positive results within weeks of implementation. Furthermore, choosing a globally recognised partner such as SAP ensures that businesses will have access to a local ecosystem of experts and fellow customers that understand the challenges of the regional business context.
East Africa is poised to enter a new age of connectivity. Those SMEs that take advantage of mobility and cloud technologies today will be well-positioned to become the industry leaders of tomorrow.