Connect with us

E-Business

Platform Economy Of The Future, Pathway To Drive Growth, Jobs Across Africa

Published

on

William Mzimba, Chief Executive of Accenture South Africa and Chairman of Accenture Africa

By William Mzimba

Many companies, whether they realize it or not, have already taken steps to embed themselves into the digital ecosystems that will drive their growth in future.

However, the pace of adopting new digital platforms for doing business needs to increase – especially in Africa. These platforms are business models that create value by facilitating exchanges between two or more interdependent groups, usually consumers and producers.

According to the Wall Street Journal platform companies are major drivers of innovation as the top companies set the standards for the digital transformation taking place around the world. Traditional companies are challenged to keep up or risk being left behind. As platforms become the new normal for how business is done, African companies must seize this opportunity to begin to build a new digital value chain.

Already, more than a quarter (27%) of the executives Accenture recently surveyed report that digital ecosystems are transforming the way their organizations deliver value. And we found that 81% of executives say platform-based business models will be core to their growth strategy within three years.

The mandate for leaders is to capitalize on new relationships, building a network of digital partners that will not only enhance their existing business, but also allow them to forge their way into newly emerging digital ecosystems.

What we are seeing is that entire ecosystems of customers are aggregating around several new digital platforms, and businesses are more motivated than ever before to take advantage of these entry points.

Communication platforms like WeChat and WhatsApp, and Artificial Intelligence intermediaries like the Google Assistant, Alexa, and Siri represent distinct ecosystems delivering unprecedented access to customers – and businesses are flocking to them.

A couple of examples include Hyatt Hotels, which uses Facebook Messenger to let guests do everything from booking and checking existing reservations to ordering room service during a stay, while Capital One bank developed a ‘skill’ for Amazon Echo’s Alexa, allowing people to check their accounts and pay credit card bills via the Echo device.

It is little surprise that the trend two of our Tech Vision 2017 study highlights that in the State of the Cloud survey 95% of respondents reported using public, private, or hybrid cloud technology, while the CIO Strategic Partner Index run by the IDC reports that 29% of IT leaders are spending more than half their IT budget on external providers. Each platform commitment means easier future engagement with other companies on the platform using the same infrastructure.

However, of the 176 platform companies included in a recent report, The Rise of the Platform Enterprise: A Global Survey led by Peter Evans and Annabelle Gawer and sponsored by the Center for Global Enterprise, Asia has the largest number with 82, 64 of which are in China. North America has 64, with 63 in the US.

Europe is a major consumer of platform services, but it’s home to relatively few platform companies –27 spread across 10 countries, 9 of which are in the UK.

It is concerning Africa and Latin America have a number of small platform companies, only 3 of which have met the $1 billion valuation threshold for inclusion in the survey.

More African companies need to decide which ecosystems to join and which roles to play as the technology changes are only the beginning.

How do African companies begin to close the gaps? An important way to get moving on this journey is to conduct an audit identifying how many internal and external platforms you are using and the goals for their use. Identify and address unnecessary overlaps.

Determine the platforms your organization most relies on, as well as those that most depend on you. These are the ecosystems where your organization should hold its strategic and market strengths.

Over the next 100 days, look to essentially develop a comprehensive strategy to establish the foundation for your platform business model and ecosystem.

During this phase you should appoint a C-suite sponsor to oversee a team that is responsible for championing your new ecosystem and digital partnership strategies.

Then ever the next year, leadership should have achieved comprehensive understanding of the new rules of business, developed a platform business model strategy, and started to test it with the launch of a small pilot program.

Companies should keep expanding the conversation: for instance, in the first 100 days have a strategy summit with your closest partners to understand their goals for the future. Uncover shared goals and commit to developing a strategic plan for achieving them together.

Consider your organization’s future through the lens of the biggest disruptions shaping your market, from inside and outside your industry.

Craft the ideal role of your company in this future, and develop a shortlist of partners who can help make it a reality. And remember to develop metrics to quantify the results of ecosystem participation.

Many global brands are already taking the bold steps needed. The digital ecosystem is, for instance, totally redefining what automakers do. Rather than just building cars, they’re engaging with customers throughout the vehicle lifecycle, directly managing software upgrades, diagnostics, and safety.

In the insurance industry, pulling down driving data from connected car platforms has enabled new services such as pay-per-mile insurance with newcomers like Google and Metromile to challenge the industry status quo. The opportunities are endless, no matter what industry you are in.

General Motors kicked off 2016 with a $500 million investment into ride-share platform Lyft. The move gave GM the inroads to launch their Express Drive service, an exclusive offering for successful, but car-less, Lyft driver applicants to rent a car directly from GM and get to work right away.

The program was remarkably successful in the short term, opening a new line of business for GM: by July, 30% of new Lyft drivers were requesting an Express Drive vehicle in their sign-up.

In addition to partnering with Lyft, GM also made a $1 billion-plus acquisition of the autonomous vehicle software company Cruise Automation, and another billion-dollar investment in building an autonomous vehicle testing facility in Detroit.

This shows how platforms are rapidly becoming the central hubs for the rich and complex digital ecosystems that companies want to access. Consider the fact that 70% of ’unicorn’ startups (over $1 billion!) are platform companies.

Other companies such as personal car-rental app Turo and group dining experience Feastly have introduced their own offerings, as have dozens of start-ups, each with their own angle and offering. LiquidSpace, which lists offerings in more than 500 cities across the US, Australia and Canada, offers a platform for renting workspaces and meeting rooms by the day or hour.

In South Africa, a good example of a company embracing the platform economy and reaping rewards is Discovery Vitality, while Discovery’s proposed bank is another example of the evolution of this concept into other exciting sectors.

The retail market for consumer goods in SA received a shot in the arm in 2015 when Kalahari was merged with Takealot, with the technology platform cleverly harnessed to drive growth since then.

Remember the sharing economy brings people together through technology to exchange or rent access to goods and services, so entrepreneurs are building this economy by leveraging emerging digital technologies to meet customer needs in new and disruptive ways.

Digital and mobile technologies have combined with public support to create a host of opportunities to transform the way government manages the infrastructure it has already acquired. For instance, through MuniRent, six local governments in Michigan are already renting equipment to and from each other.

How African companies and governments react to this change brought about the platform economy will define their prospects going forward.

The platforms they use will serve as the pathways to the new digital economies that will drive growth and jobs across the continent. They will form the pillars of entire value chains in the future and so African companies need to ensure they make these decisions wisely – and fast because there is no doubt that the digital partnerships African companies make today will determine how successful they will be tomorrow.

Platform economy is one of the topics to be discussed at the Accenture Innovation Conference taking place on 17 October in Johannesburg.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Comments

E-Business

Why and How Government Should Encourage Coding Education

Published

on

Coding education has been identified as critical to prepare young people with requisite skills for future jobs and that is why governments must embrace the programme to reduce unemployment,

 

Mr. Olajide Ajayi, ambassador Africa Code Week Nigeria, in a chat with Nigeria CommunicationsWeek underscored the benefits of learning to code at a young age.

 

Ajayi said, “…cannot be overemphasized. Yes, it is agreed that not all future jobs would require you to be a coder, what’s certain is that most would require collateral skills and competencies that can be acquired through coding education”.

 

“Such essential skills”, Ajayi noted” are as logical and critical reasoning, patience, attention to detail, self-reliance, language and memorization are all examples of skills one can gain through coding Education”.

 

Launched in 2015 by SAP EMEA, in partnership with the Cape Town Science Centre and the Galway Education Centre, Africa Code Week is an initiative that brings together hundreds of schools, teachers, governments, businesses and non-profit organisations with the aim to empower young people across Africa with digital literacy skills.

 

In the report released earlier in the week, Claire Gillissen-Duval, director of EMEA Corporate Social Responsibility at SAP and global project lead for Africa Code Week, explained “We also saw unprecedented collaboration between our public and private sector partners, as well as from NGOs such as Code For Change that leveraged their participation in Africa Code Week 2017 to scale coding classes across 100 secondary schools in SA over the next 12 months.”

 

The initiative, which took place in October, is now actively supported by UNESCO YouthMobile, Google, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, 15 African governments, over 100 partners and 100 ambassadors across the continent.

Continue Reading

E-Business

Experts task NASS on Legal Framework for Data Protection

Published

on

African Academic Network on Internet Policy has requested that the National Assembly inserts the following in data protection framework or bill, “the use of personal data must be in accordance with the purpose for which it was collected, consent of the individual must be obtained prior to collecting his/her personal data; rights of the individual to seek legal remedies for misuse and or unauthorized access to his/her personal data must be guaranteed”.

This was the submission at the two day seminar/Colloquium of the African Academic Network on Internet Policy held at IITA, Ibadan recently.

The theme of the two day seminar was, ‘Privacy and Security: Building the Evidence Base and a multi-stakeholder action base for Personal Data Protection in Nigeria’. It was revealed at the seminar, that most African countries including Nigeria do not have data protection laws.

It was revealed at the panel sessions that there are five primary concerns around the collection of the use of personal data both online and offline in Nigeria, they include, the use of personal data may be incompatible with the purpose for which it was collected; individuals have no rights in relation to the collection, use and storage of their personal information; Nigerians are not offered adequate opportunities to consent to or opt out of data collection.

More so, there is limited to no transparency around the processing of personal data and there is limited information available around how this personal data is used and stored, leading to greater risk of a personal data breach; children are exposed to privacy risks online and often lack the legal capacity to give valid consent and may unknowingly disclose personal information to online platforms due to the appealing nature of their visual content.

In his opening remarks, the Executive vice chairman of ISGPP, Dr. Tunji Olaopa said that African continent is touted as fertile ground for Netpreneurs, Mobile institutions, increasing use of technology and leveraging the internet to address developmental challenges.

He added that, with the exponential increase in the use of personal information by businesses in technology age, data protection has become such a defining compelling agenda for priority attention in many countries worldwide.

Olaopa emphasized that it is high time that Africa aligns itself with this global movement by coming up with sufficiently strong and intelligent data protection policy to drive the growth of the African Digital Economy.

While giving a brief overview of the African Academic Network on Internet Policy, member of the steering committee, Dr. Temitope Aladesanmi said that the formation of the group was as a result of the poor and low level of African voices specifically to Internet Policy and governance.

He explained that the European Union General Data Protection Rule (GDPR) would come to effect May 2019 and as such, it has significant impact for some local organizations who are in business with the EU maybe required to conform with the standard.

“One of the direct output of the main conference was the imperative of the need to begin an immediate discourse with respect to data protection and security in Africa.”

According to Co-creation Hub Nigeria, Emmanuel Okochu, said that the biggest challenge in Data Protection in Nigeria is that most users do not have a detailed understanding of positive sides of data protection entails.

“The people you seek to protect are the ones who don’t understand why they should be protected. When you try to explain to people how dangerous it is to keep posting every thing about them online”.

Several representatives came from other African including, Nigeria, South Africa, Mauritius, Kenya, Ghana, Code voir to mention a few.

According to Tope Ogundipe of Paradigm Initiative, “it is dangerous to exist in an environment where you don’t know how your information is used. It is possible you are put under surveillance without any legal framework”.

Dr. shyllon suggested that targeted national interventions and advocacy should be dependent on accessibility to ongoing or future national processes for the development of laws and policies on the protection of personal information.

Interventions could involve technical guidance for states to ensure proposed laws adopt a balanced approached with human rights consideration, assistance with amendment of laws and policies or addressing implementation challenges”.

Continue Reading

E-Business

Ibadan’s Tech Ecosystem Set to Host Stakeholders at IBPulse’s After5ive

Published

on

IBPulse, Ibadan’s leading online platform, will host tech startup founders, entrepreneurs and other tech industry players and enthusiasts at the Homecoming Edition of After5ive on Thursday December 21, at Latitude Lounge, Ventura Mall Ibadan, Oyo state, by 5pm.

 

It’s an interactive informal networking event where startup founders, entrepreneurs, industry players, government, media and other stakeholders discuss issues, developments, challenges and growth opportunities for the ecosystem.

 

This edition is supported by partners including Oyo state government, GberaTinrin Studios and TinklinD.

 

It is targeted at attracting tech founders, developers and other tech players that will be in Ibadan for end-of-the-year festivities.

 

Attendance at the event is free, while registration is required and this could be done by visiting ibpulse.com/afterfive

 

Speakers billed for this edition includes Abimbola Adekanmbi, Oyo state Commissioner for finance and budget, Seun Onigbinde, Co-founder at BudgIT, Niyi Ajao, Special Adviser to Oyo state government on ICT, Wole Odetayo, Executive Director, Wennovation Hub, Adewale Yusuf, CEO of Techpoint.ng, Adewale Oladipupo, Team Lead at TechCityNG and Ayobami Oyaleke, Founder, Placements.ng

 

Others include Olanrewaju Abidogun, Curator, ForLoop Ibadan, Oluwamayowa Oshidero, Head of Digital Strategy, TinklinD, and Tony Rowland Awobode, General Manager, thirtytwo FM.

 

Paul Adepoju, host and convener of After5ive, Speaking about the event said, “While tech in Nigeria had been adjudged by what is happening in Lagos, latest developments are convincing individuals in other parts of the country that they can successfully launch startups in any part of the country.

 

“We have several of such success stories in Ibadan and we look forward to connecting the various players and advancing various topical issues.”

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2017 Communication Week Media Limited.