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Nigeria Commits to Nuclear Science

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Vice Presidnet, Namadi Sambo

Vice Presidnet, Namadi Sambo has stated Nigeria was committing to nuclear science enabling the country undertake rapid socio-economic development.

The Vice President stated this while hosting the visiting Deputy Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mr. Kweku Aning in Abuja.

Sambo noted that the importance of Nuclear energy could not be overemphasized as Nigeria was developing her nuclear science.

He said that with a vast population, there was the need to develop the country’s nuclear science to optimal utilization for, growth and development in all sectors of the economy.

Earlier, Mr. Kweku Aning took the time to elaborate on the areas of cooperation between IAEA and the Nigerian Atomic Energy Commission. Having stressed the importance of the nuclear technology in saving life and supporting credible performance in all sectors, he added that they were in cooperation with Nigeria in the Health sector as most people believed that HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis were the greatest health challenges in developing countries but that cancer being a complicated disease is expensive to diagnose and claims about 4.8 million people annually compared to HIV/AIDS 2.1million, malaria 700,000 and tuberculosis 900,000.

 He noted the normal standard for the diagnostic facility is one for 500,000 people and that everyone involved in this specialized technology; the doctors, nurses and other support staff must be specially trained.

 Other areas he elaborated on were areas of cooperation including food and agriculture, which technology could develop species that were resistant to certain pests, the use of radiation to extend or preserve the lifespan of food products.

 On nuclear power, he noted that Nigeria had energy deficit which needed to be filled and that they were working with his colleagues in the Atomic Energy Commission to provide the enabling environment for ensuring protection and emergencies.

He added that they were working together on technology that could determine the magnitude of water resources on the ground weather it is fossil or replenished water.

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Stakeholders Endorse SNEPCo’s Global Nigeria Forum

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Public and private sector players in the Nigerian oil and gas industry have described the annual Global Nigeria Forum (GNF) as a model worthy of emulation by the country’s local content regulator.

They spoke at the fourth edition of the forum held in Aberdeen, Scotland on September 9 with the theme: Enabling Competitive Local Content Through Sustainable Partnerships.

The forum, a brainchild of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo), the deep-water arm of Shell companies in Nigeria, aims to strengthen local content in offshore exploration by opening the opportunity space to Nigerian professionals in Europe, particularly in the United Kingdom.

In his keynote address, Mr. Simbi Wabote, executive secretary, Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), described the annual event as a huge success. “I am happy to see growth in a partnership that has continued to build capacity without compromising standards.”

Mr. Emmanuel Ekong, chairman of the Local Content Committee of the House of Representatives, who led some other members of the national assembly to the 2017 forum, proposed the takeover of the organisation of the forum by NCDMB. According to Ekong, saddling the local content agency with the ownership of GNF will ensure ‘inclusion of other international oil companies for greater impact and access to support from the Nigerian parliament’.

“This forum is unique and germane particularly at this time of the low oil price regime, and it aligns with the recent NNPC policy to increase participation of the private sector while attracting the right people with the right technology into the Nigerian oil and gas industry,” said the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation Exploration Manager, Mr. Marcel Amu, who represented the national oil company.

In his remarks, Mr. Kashim Ali, president of Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), pledged the continued support of his organisation to the forum and asked participants to take advantage of COREN’s new accreditation procedure for Nigerian professionals outside the country.

Reacting to the endorsement of the forum and the successes of the initiative in the last four years, Mr. Bayo Ojulari, managing director of SNEPCo, acknowledged the support of NNPC, NCDMB, National Petroleum Investment Management Services, and the co-venture partners – Total, NAE and Esso – in the strides by SNEPCo and called for continued support and collaboration to further unleash the country’s huge deep-water potential to build a better Nigeria with stronger economy for now and the future.

Ojulari, who was represented at the forum by Mr. Austin Uzoka, SNEPCo’s Acting General Manager, Nigerian Content Development, said, “Nigeria’s deep-water outlook indicates a high volume of activity in the building of FPSOs and drilling of new high performance wells with cutting edge sixth and seventh generation drilling rigs delivering unprecedented schedule optimisation. SNEPCo obviously has blazed the trail here and would continue its strive to be the best-in-class deep-water energy company generating top-end employment and boosting local capabilities.

“As a Nigerian engineer, nothing makes me happier than seeing indigenous vendors and service providers break new grounds and play up to the international stage in engineering and other seemingly complex jobs.”

Those present at the forum included the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Finance, Mr. Jones Onyereri; Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora (NIDOE) North UK, Dr. Paul Eke; General Manager for Contracting and Procurement, Shell Nigeria and Gabon, Mr. Antony Ellis; and his counterpart for the UK, Mr. Anthony Makenna.

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CIOs and IT Departments: Profit Centre or Profit Center?

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bola-adisa, country manager, IDC.jpg

In business, an operating unit is either making money or it’s detracting from a company’s profits. In simple terms, it’s the difference between a profit center and a cost center.

IT Departments worldwide face the difficult task of demonstrating the ROI that they provide to their parent companies.

IT Departments provide essential support services to other departments within a company, however; these contributions are often not easily quantified into revenue.

Most IT departments traditionally function as cost centers, a business model in which funds are invested but an obvious return on investment is not easily visible.

There’s an increasing need to transform IT Departments into a revenue contributing business. The impact of IT on business is deep, pervasive, and growing.

We literally can’t separate IT and general business. The better any company exploits technology, the better they are at their jobs, knowing customers, working with partners, capturing markets, growing profits.

IT is being called on to transform business, and to do so IT must transform itself, too.

As the developing markets e.g. Nigeria matures, executives becomes wiser and sees the need to focus more on their core business.

And these we have seen with decreasing IT budgets, or outright outsourcing of all IT function. We can broadly say that enterprise in Africa are at a cross-road and are facing typical business challenges – which are changing the way IT function is organized.

Then Role of CIO is also changing – with the change in the IT requirements and model of IT engagements.  IT is getting more and more aligned to business functions – and is seen as a critical enabler for conducting operations.

Traditionally enterprises in the Africa have taken a CAPEX centric approach, – however they now starting to realize the need for and benefits of – OPEX based models.

What this means is that organizations are looking at means to improve ways in which business is conducted.

This may be true for all functions within an organization like Supply Chain, sales and marketing etc.

In the current context of business transformation, including IT departments, CIOs need to innovate in order to stay relevant. Based on survey amongst CIO in the West Africa region, the top priorities for CIOs and IT Managers are getting executive buy-in and support for strategic/innovative IT projects; obtaining budgets for IT investments and managing growing expectations and service needs. I strongly believe CIOs can take advantage of these challenges to re-invent themselves and be seen differently by the business. CIOs need to more from IT productivity to business productivity.

IDC had in different forum highlight the advent of disruptive technology with the 3rd Platform: Cloud, Mobility, Big Data & Analytics and Social technologies had impacted the way IT is consumed. This in itself provides both opportunity and a threat to CIOs and their IT Departments.

An opportunity, if the CIO takes advantage of these to reinvent his IT department by showing value beyond that been seen as a cost center to becoming a profit center.

And the 3rd platform could be a threat if The CIO does nothing other than “keeping lights on” and just maintaining IT systems. Some CIOs can hardly leverage IT to unlock real value and profit, and as a result, most businesses treat IT as a cost center, because that is what it is to them. CIOs need to take advantage of exploits in technology, knowing the business, knowing the business’ customers, working with partners and to growing profits, thereby maintaining their relevance to the organisation.

Already a new class of strategic IT organization is emerging, one that uses the business of the 3rd Platform in cloud, mobile, mixed-sourcing, strategic souring, and e-commerce as core components by delivering business services even better and cheaper than some IT departments.

How Can CIOs transform their IT Departments from a Cost Center to a Profit Center?
The process of transforming a cost center to a profit center is not a simple one, but it’s very achievable.

The first step in transitioning to a profit center is performing a gap analysis. IT leaders should take stock of what they really need to transit, that is, judge what the current position is and decide on the eventual goal of the department.

IT leaders must be certain to ensure that they identify and assess all barriers to transforming the IT department as well as discover what variety of the profit center model is most suitable to the company. Questions that could be asked during the gap analysis are the following:
•    Is there a market or how can I create a market for the IT department to sell identified services to external companies?
•    Do I have resources or partnerships to evolve the transition? 
•    Do O I have a sellable transition business plan to the business?

Take a stock of your IT investments in Licenses or infrastructure, there is a service you probably can compartmentalize and extend to provide and sell to small businesses?

CIOs and IT Managers may also consider a “Charge Back” model to internal sister departments within the corporate depending on the size and structure of the parent company.

A charge back method would strive to frame and describe the means in which an IT department’s sister departments can compensate IT for “extra” or “additional” or “add-on” services delivered e.g. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) implementation for enterprise mobility.

Creating a charge back method requires participation from all of IT’s internal business partners. Developing a compensation or charge back has the potential to be politically explosive within a corporate, but the benefit to IT is that it can help dispel the notion that it is a cost center by enabling IT to prove that it can generate obvious revenue or at lease save significant cost by regulating technology consumption.

By charging internal business partners for IT services, IT would be able to clearly show the benefits their services provide. For bigger corporation where departments are responsible for their own IT budgets, IT departments need to determine competitive differentiation in delivering its services. Competitive differentiation in this context means that IT should realize that they are not guaranteed to win all contracts put up for bid by internal departments.

IT departments must ensure that they are competitive with their outside competition and must display this competitive advantage by completing projects in an efficient and timely manner.

It is important to know that transforming IT departments from cost center to profit center is a new paradigm that is essential because of the way technology usage is changing. While it may not be popular now does not mean it’s not worth considering.

One phenomenon that we already see putting threat on the job and relevance of CIOs and IT Departments is Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). It’s gradually permeating the IT space as well. Locally, we’ve seen where a whole IT department is outsourced.

You may argue that that is on bigger scale and only big companies can possibly do that. The truth is that when Cloud Computing is at its best, and regulations permit, small and mid-size companies may decide access ERP, CRM services from the cloud on a subscription basis and move from CAPEX to OPEX model as far IT is concerned.

Ten years ago, CIOUpdate.com columnist Sourabh Hajela states that “IT cannot work as a profit center because it fails to meet the requirements for a department to function as a profit center because of the following reasons:
•    Revenues and costs: Accurately quantifying revenues and costs.
•    Market: A focus on customer relationships that are generating higher profits and either discontinue or deemphasize those that aren’t.
•    Product Mix: The creation of a portfolio of products and services driven by market demand.
•    Product pricing: Price products and services to maximize profits.
•    Timing: It is often said that, in business, timing is everything. Profit centers are profitable when they can quickly respond to a market opportunity.”

Mr. Hajela general surmises that IT departments cannot work as profit centers because of its close alignment with other business departments. “An ITO cannot work as a profit center because it has a captive relationship with its “customers,” 

I am sure this suggestion by Mr. Hajela has been over shadowed by the advent of the disruptive technology in the 3rd Platform and the emergence of new models and options for businesses to consume.

In a short while, there will be an increasing pressure to transform IT Departments into a business, a revenue generating entity. CIOs should be prepared to answer the question, what kind of transformation makes the most sense for my business?

I’ll close this article with a quote from Charles Darwin that “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

Bola Adisa
Email: bola.adisa@outlook.com
Phone: 07061547518

Continue Reading

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CIOs and IT Departments: Profit Centre or Profit Center?

Published

on

Bola Adisa

In business, an operating unit is either making money or it’s detracting from a company’s profits. In simple terms, it’s the difference between a profit center and a cost center.

IT Departments worldwide face the difficult task of demonstrating the ROI that they provide to their parent companies.

IT Departments provide essential support services to other departments within a company, however; these contributions are often not easily quantified into revenue.

Most IT departments traditionally function as cost centers, a business model in which funds are invested but an obvious return on investment is not easily visible.

There’s an increasing need to transform IT Departments into a revenue contributing business. The impact of IT on business is deep, pervasive, and growing.

We literally can’t separate IT and general business. The better any company exploits technology, the better they are at their jobs, knowing customers, working with partners, capturing markets, growing profits.

IT is being called on to transform business, and to do so IT must transform itself, too.

As the developing markets e.g. Nigeria matures, executives becomes wiser and sees the need to focus more on their core business.

And these we have seen with decreasing IT budgets, or outright outsourcing of all IT function. We can broadly say that enterprise in Africa are at a cross-road and are facing typical business challenges – which are changing the way IT function is organized.

Then Role of CIO is also changing – with the change in the IT requirements and model of IT engagements.  IT is getting more and more aligned to business functions – and is seen as a critical enabler for conducting operations.

Traditionally enterprises in the Africa have taken a CAPEX centric approach, – however they now starting to realize the need for and benefits of – OPEX based models.

What this means is that organizations are looking at means to improve ways in which business is conducted.

This may be true for all functions within an organization like Supply Chain, sales and marketing etc.

In the current context of business transformation, including IT departments, CIOs need to innovate in order to stay relevant. Based on survey amongst CIO in the West Africa region, the top priorities for CIOs and IT Managers are getting executive buy-in and support for strategic/innovative IT projects; obtaining budgets for IT investments and managing growing expectations and service needs. I strongly believe CIOs can take advantage of these challenges to re-invent themselves and be seen differently by the business. CIOs need to more from IT productivity to business productivity.

IDC had in different forum highlight the advent of disruptive technology with the 3rd Platform: Cloud, Mobility, Big Data & Analytics and Social technologies had impacted the way IT is consumed. This in itself provides both opportunity and a threat to CIOs and their IT Departments.

An opportunity, if the CIO takes advantage of these to reinvent his IT department by showing value beyond that been seen as a cost center to becoming a profit center.

And the 3rd platform could be a threat if The CIO does nothing other than “keeping lights on” and just maintaining IT systems. Some CIOs can hardly leverage IT to unlock real value and profit, and as a result, most businesses treat IT as a cost center, because that is what it is to them. CIOs need to take advantage of exploits in technology, knowing the business, knowing the business’ customers, working with partners and to growing profits, thereby maintaining their relevance to the organisation.

Already a new class of strategic IT organization is emerging, one that uses the business of the 3rd Platform in cloud, mobile, mixed-sourcing, strategic souring, and e-commerce as core components by delivering business services even better and cheaper than some IT departments.

How Can CIOs transform their IT Departments from a Cost Center to a Profit Center?
The process of transforming a cost center to a profit center is not a simple one, but it’s very achievable.

The first step in transitioning to a profit center is performing a gap analysis. IT leaders should take stock of what they really need to transit, that is, judge what the current position is and decide on the eventual goal of the department.

IT leaders must be certain to ensure that they identify and assess all barriers to transforming the IT department as well as discover what variety of the profit center model is most suitable to the company. Questions that could be asked during the gap analysis are the following:
•    Is there a market or how can I create a market for the IT department to sell identified services to external companies?
•    Do I have resources or partnerships to evolve the transition? 
•    Do O I have a sellable transition business plan to the business?

Take a stock of your IT investments in Licenses or infrastructure, there is a service you probably can compartmentalize and extend to provide and sell to small businesses?

CIOs and IT Managers may also consider a “Charge Back” model to internal sister departments within the corporate depending on the size and structure of the parent company.

A charge back method would strive to frame and describe the means in which an IT department’s sister departments can compensate IT for “extra” or “additional” or “add-on” services delivered e.g. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) implementation for enterprise mobility.

Creating a charge back method requires participation from all of IT’s internal business partners. Developing a compensation or charge back has the potential to be politically explosive within a corporate, but the benefit to IT is that it can help dispel the notion that it is a cost center by enabling IT to prove that it can generate obvious revenue or at lease save significant cost by regulating technology consumption.

By charging internal business partners for IT services, IT would be able to clearly show the benefits their services provide. For bigger corporation where departments are responsible for their own IT budgets, IT departments need to determine competitive differentiation in delivering its services. Competitive differentiation in this context means that IT should realize that they are not guaranteed to win all contracts put up for bid by internal departments.

IT departments must ensure that they are competitive with their outside competition and must display this competitive advantage by completing projects in an efficient and timely manner.

It is important to know that transforming IT departments from cost center to profit center is a new paradigm that is essential because of the way technology usage is changing. While it may not be popular now does not mean it’s not worth considering.

One phenomenon that we already see putting threat on the job and relevance of CIOs and IT Departments is Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). It’s gradually permeating the IT space as well. Locally, we’ve seen where a whole IT department is outsourced.

You may argue that that is on bigger scale and only big companies can possibly do that. The truth is that when Cloud Computing is at its best, and regulations permit, small and mid-size companies may decide access ERP, CRM services from the cloud on a subscription basis and move from CAPEX to OPEX model as far IT is concerned.

Ten years ago, CIOUpdate.com columnist Sourabh Hajela states that “IT cannot work as a profit center because it fails to meet the requirements for a department to function as a profit center because of the following reasons:
•    Revenues and costs: Accurately quantifying revenues and costs.
•    Market: A focus on customer relationships that are generating higher profits and either discontinue or deemphasize those that aren’t.
•    Product Mix: The creation of a portfolio of products and services driven by market demand.
•    Product pricing: Price products and services to maximize profits.
•    Timing: It is often said that, in business, timing is everything. Profit centers are profitable when they can quickly respond to a market opportunity.”

Mr. Hajela general surmises that IT departments cannot work as profit centers because of its close alignment with other business departments. “An ITO cannot work as a profit center because it has a captive relationship with its “customers,” 

I am sure this suggestion by Mr. Hajela has been over shadowed by the advent of the disruptive technology in the 3rd Platform and the emergence of new models and options for businesses to consume.

In a short while, there will be an increasing pressure to transform IT Departments into a business, a revenue generating entity. CIOs should be prepared to answer the question, what kind of transformation makes the most sense for my business?

I’ll close this article with a quote from Charles Darwin that “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

Bola Adisa
Email: bola.adisa@outlook.com
Phone: 07061547518

Continue Reading

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