Earlier this year some predictions about the top tech trends in Zambia for 2015 were made and this is the progress report, sort of, about each of them:
1. Gadgets Will Become Smarter: Ofcourse there have been moves by major tech companies to make every gadget as smart as possible, even if the new ‘features’ are not even necessary, and there is probably an app you can install that does the same job. Household gadgets don’t have the old functions. They are all getting connected to the internet through your mobile devices. An example is the SPDS printer by Samsung whose problems can be diagnosed through an app on your phone.
2. Mobile Money Will Become More Viable: Almost very business you may know of that requires payment for a service is now setting up a mobile money account to improve ease of pay from its clients who may not be of the banked group, or who may be too far to make payments to pay cash in person. With the eCommerce industry also booming we know they have mobile money as the top priority for payment payments as other payment gateways like through VISA or MasterCard are still far from applicable on local servers.
3. Access To MNOs Will Be Countrywide: MTN, Airtel and Zamtel have kept the growth of their networks to cover the remotest parts of the country. What’s a big issue is the quality of the network provided in all areas. Call drops and lack of network in areas ‘covered’ are still a major complaint by subscribers to date.
4. Cloud Service Usage Will Increase: Cloud has become the go-to place to keep information. Apps like Dropbox, Google Photos, OneDrive, iCloud, Samsung and Microsoft accounts are the most common backup cloud storage facilities being utilised n Zambia at the moment. These cloud providers are also working hard to ensure that security features for their services are kept hack-proof, which is a really tough war in modern times.
5. Internet of Things (IoT) Will Be More Alive: Like in trend 1, everything is getting connected to the internet in a way. Ordinary items like fans or printers can be operated straight from your watch or phone.
6. Internet Security Will Tighten: With hacking on the rise, this is a no-brainer. Even app makers themselves are adding more security features to their products to ensure that users’ data is not easily accessible to others.
7. Increased Analytics Applications: More and more businesses and entrepreneurs are taking to social media to market themselves and the platforms on which they are operating on are now making analytical resources available to measure the impression that these businesses and entrepreneurs’ products are making on the potential consumers. These numbers can be used as a progress report on how well a product or service is being received and offers real time data in seconds, well, depending on your internet connection. It’s a faster market research tool, and cheaper than sending out field agents to carry out paper surveys.
8. More Tech Startups Will Shroom: The tech scene in Zambia is still pretty slow, with many startups not finding the right tools or platforms to host their product, not enough capital to get it started and little space to work from to perfect it before presentation to the world but we have faith for next year.
I’ll be going through all these trends again at the end of the year to see what’s changed or improved, or what new thing has taken over. For now that’s your tech update…