The Year Ahead: Cashless systems, MVNOs to define Kenya’s tech space in 2015

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(L-R): Raphael Hukai, CIO, Equity Bank Group; James Muritu, CIO, Jubilee Insurance; John Muthiora, head of Technology Operations, M-Kopa Solar and session moderator Bobby Yawe.
CIO East Africa today held its annual ‘The Year Ahead’ event where vendors, business and professional associations among other stakeholders in the ICT sector will meet to learn and explore the latest IT trends and technologies that will benefit their business and help them drive their initiatives in the right direction during the year.

Among key trends identified to create traction all through the year especially in the Kenyan perspective were that adoption and uptake of cashless systems in the economy would increase while more entrants would get into the Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) space.

“Africa is still lagging behind in terms of MVNOs but seeing more organisation join the MVNO space is quite a game changer,” said James Muritu, CIO Jubilee insurance.

The forum also heard that most organisations will have to invest more and in better customer experience systems and platforms.

Other predictions included a continued increase in use of technology by both the Government and the Private Sector to carry out day-to-day operations.

It is estimated that by the end of 2015, 40 per cent of the world’s population will be using smartphones, leading to a tremendous increase in penetration of smartphones not only in Kenya but globally.

However, even with the high mobile penetration expected, we are also expected to see a rise in cyber crime incidences.

Another trend set to continue in the year is Big data.

Mr Muritu stated that Big Data is set to evolve ‘from what most organisations view as data mining to finding what value organisations can get from the data.’

A bigger focus however will be on the CIO, as many organisations look at whether the the holder of the title is in a position to face up to the challenge of the emerging technologies and digital revolution.

Other topics that tackled at the half-day forum were Mobility and how it is disrupting organisations and their operations.

“Mobility has disrupted how organisations and sectors interact with their clients. Mobility has led to less and less face interaction with the client. But I think the year’s slogan should be mobile on the hand and everything else in the cloud,” said John Muthiora former CIO , Sarova Groups and now Head of Technical Operations, M-Kopa Solar.

The forum further addressed issues around Cloud computing and its adoption in the country as well IT Security trends.

However, the five keys areas of traction in the tech space still stand and these include Big Data, Cloud, Social, Mobility and Security.

(For a comprehensive piece on ‘The Year Ahead’ Forum, get a copy of February 2015 issue of CIO East Africa magazine).

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