Amy Wambui Njuguna
In African markets, information and communication technology are facilitating and improving the process of socioeconomic developments. However, large companies like Google and Facebook are making it difficult for African startups to make a profit. For example, WhatsApp has made texting and calling free which has disrupted the local telecom businesses. Facebook beame the second largest e-commerce company after Jumia, the industry leader in Africa. Facebook has made it possible for merchants to reach millions of potential customers at no cost without having the typical marketplace subscriptions and this causes traditional e-commerce to diminish. With large companies controlling the industry, African startups continue to suffer.
Should these startups focus on niche areas like agriculture tech and waste management? Another option they could consider is relocating to the U.S, specifically Silicon Valley, where they would have better access to enabling infrastructures like finances, talent, and legal systems. What are the benefits of either of these options and what could some potential implications be?
Many companies look for new opportunities to improve processes with new technologies. Cloud computing is seen as one of the most impactful informational technologies to date. One of the main ways information technology changes management is through changes in the way information is gathered. With cloud computing, information travels rapidly across computing systems and are able to handle larger workloads. This creates more flexibility in the work structure and moves IT away from being a cost center. When companies move to cloud, likely outcomes include changing how products are designed, closer collaboration between the IT department and other business units, and more customer interaction. Cloud Computing effects product design and customer experience because it become easier for companies to create products and services within the cloud. They are also able to model new products or marketing campaigns as cloud based software prototypes.
Do you think cloud computing is the best way to change management in terms of being innovative for companies?
Artificial Intelligence is rapidly evolving as it becomes more developed. AI is going to eventually change the way information is gathered and decisions will be made differently. AI already has the ability to automate tasks that are regularly completed thus increasing efficiency and leaders are starting to use it. However, the shift to the use of AI will greatly affect the consulting industry. AI will be able to use data analysis and presentation in order to advise these corporate clients and although consultants are very intelligent at they do, artificial intelligence is better.
AI and other machine learning applications can analyze large amounts of structured and unstructured data and produce advice in a short amount of time for a cheaper cost than consultants in the market. They are also capable of building computers models that contain complex information because it is able to detect patterns from data. This process is very difficult for even the most intelligent and largest consulting firms.
Many corporations are soon to also rely on AI to manage human capital. Many of decisions made within corporations for example, mentorship, promotion, and compensation, are political. These biases negatively affect how many groups of people are managed and it results in organizations lacking in the ability to appropriately recognize and reward performance.
What will happen to the consulting industry? Will consultants be completely eliminated due to artificial intelligence?