I read an interesting report recently in IT News Africa about the growing focus on skills development in South Africa. As you know from earlier blogs, this is something I am very interested in, not least because I have been personally involved in working with BPeSA on several initiatives in this area.
The articles makes some great points; invest in ICT infrastructure, invest in fringe skills, and get universities working closer with industry, but one key point about exploring new mobile opportunities struck me as a stand out comment.
The landline telecoms network in South Africa was never developed to the extent that countries in Europe and the US are used to. This led to South Africans – and Africans in general – developing a very close relationship with mobile phones through necessity.
There is an enormous opportunity to explore niche areas such as this. South Africa has a great international reputation and fantastic skills are available, but if we only ever look at opportunities for job creation and growth as being more of the same, we will miss out because industry is changing.
The growth of mobile technologies is at the heart of managing customer service today because many retailers are using mobile tools as a way of improving how their staff interact with customers. It can be hard to convince a customer to make a purchasing decision when the customer knows they can probably find the product cheaper online – if retailers arm their sales teams with immediate information it can make all the difference.
I’m pleased to see the media exploring new niche opportunities for South Africa. We know that the opportunities exist here – and globally – so let’s change how we are working today and open our eyes to the business of tomorrow.
Photo by John Morris licensed under Creative Commons