04 Sep 2018

TECHNOLOGY AS THE KEY DRIVER OF BUSINESS IN GHANA, BOND CEO

TECHNOLOGY AS THE KEY DRIVER OF BUSINESS IN GHANA, BOND CEO

•The amount of technical information is doubling every two years. For students starting a four year technical or college degree, this means half of what they learn in their first year of study will be outdated by their third year of study.

•There are 6.8billion individuals on the planet, 4billion of them use cell phones but just 3.5 billion of them use toothbrush.

•The World’s first camera took eight hours to snap a photo in the mid-1820s (1826 -1827).

•There is a factory in Japan which can run unsupervised for 30 days at a time – it is almost entirely manned by robots.

•In 1999, Paypal, with its original business model, was voted top 10 worst business ideas. As of 1st of January, 2018, they are a $102.0 billion dollar business.

A business driver is a resource, process or condition that is vital for the continued success and growth of a business. A key driver in any organization is something that has a major impact on the performance of its operations.

For example
•Human Resource – Leadership
•Positive Culture – (Productivity, Congenial Work environment, Empowerment and Engagement)
•Customer Service Oriented Culture
•Innovation and technology
•Networking
•Efficient Operational Capabilities
•Effective measurement (KPIs) and institution of corrective measures
•Training/Capacity Building

A company must identify its key drivers and make a conscious effort to maximize what is within its control. There are always extraneous business drivers that a company cannot influence, such as economic conditions or trade relations with other nations etc.

Technology has literally changed every aspect of the way any business operates and never before in history has that change occurred so fast. It is now the key driver.
In 2017, Baker McKenzie and Merger Market conducted a survey involving 150 Asian-pacific business leaders on how technology is driving businesses.

•66% reported that the pressure to absorb and adopt new technology as a means to business innovation was one of the biggest challenges facing their businesses.

•The results of this year’s Asia Pacific Business Complexities Survey rank internal technological innovation as the most prevalent complexity for business in the region, above cost pressures (64%) and shifting regulation/compliance issues (62%).

•62% of respondents cited externally-driven disruption via technology as one of the greatest challenges they currently face.

•84% of businesses are expecting to be unsettled by competitive technology within the next two years.

•This figure rises to an almost unanimous 97% for financial institutions, and 96% for consumer and retail companies.

The foregoing gives us an indication of how technology has become indispensable in business. The world is constantly going through a technological revolution. It is an extremely difficult task to keep up with the exponential advances in science and technology, but this is what separates the rapidly growing businesses from the stagnant businesses which have refused to acknowledge the importance of upgrading their technical infrastructure. The world is one big village and Ghana cannot be isolated from developments on the global scene.

Futurists have predicted the different ways the workplace of the future will evolve
•A workforce dominated by freelancers and contractors
•Mobile and agile office spaces
•Emergence of super, mega-corporations who will be more powerful and larger than some national economies.

FINANCIAL INTERMEDIATION

In Ghana, one area that has significantly felt the impact of technology has been financial intermediation and that is only on the payments and settlements side. The contribution of technology to the achievement of a cashless or cash-light society cannot be overemphasized. Mobile Money has become the order of the day and the rise of FinTechs has disrupted the way banking is conducted.

Statistics from Bank of Ghana indicate the following
•52.86% growth in 2018 alone in terms volume of mobile money transactions moving from 428 m transactions in 2017 to 655m transaction in 2018.

•Value of transactions moved from GHS 68billion in June 2017 to GHS104 billion in June 2018 representing 53.31% growth.

•Registered mobile money accounts as at June 2018 was 29.9m probably more than Ghana’s population.

MARKETING

Marketing and advertising have also benefited significantly from the use of technology. The advent of internet with its benefits has created platforms such as facebook, whatsapp, LinkedIn, Pinterest etc. These platforms serve as ready avenues for the marketing and advertising of products and services at minimal costs and yet have an advantage of reaching millions of individuals within the shortest possible time. The impact of these platforms has been felt across cultures, geographic locations, industries etc. These platforms have become too strong to ignore in the scheme of things. All successful businesses don’t have a choice but to explore the use of electronic media to advertise their products and services.

BUSINESS PROCESS AUTOMATION
Business process automation is yet another area that continues to leverage on technology to thrive. Whether it is having your coworkers and employees available via text/video chat at a moment’s notice, or being able to send targeted promotional email blasts to prequalified customers or using the power of technology to detect consumer buying pattern, the rise of mobile technology has blended almost seamlessly with communication software to create a hyper-real web of real time information.

GLOBALIZATION
Technology has increased the level of contact between local businesses and the world and vice versa. National and Continental barriers are now non-existent.

E-COMMERCE
Jumia, Tonaton, Zoobashop, OLX, Melcomonline are but a few e-commerce sites that have leveraged on technology to establish huge online shops in Ghana. One can place an order and have it delivered to your doorstep within a considerable short time. Some businesses have capitalized on this technology to help them deliver goods and services promptly.
The main objective in all these is the convenience and comfort of the customer!!

FUTURE OF TECHNOLOGY
The future of technology will be hinged on the following pillars
•Imminence
Ability to do business everywhere around the clock. Like it is said, anywhere that the head is active, that place is an office.

•Integration
This refers to the ability of businesses to efficiently and effectively connect their processes. For instance, going to the bank to process an order and once payment is done; the manufacturer delivers the product to the consumer.

•Fragmentalization
Breaking down the company into small units and operating from different parts of the globe to ensure efficiency

•Bridging the gap between producer and consumer (PROSUMERIZATION)
This is essentially taking out the middleman and consumers being able to get in touch directly with the producer

•Convergence
Everything is now moving towards one thing – technology

•Digitalization
Rapid conversion of information into bits and moving them around quickly and analyzing within seconds.

CONCLUSION
To say that technology is evolving will be an understatement, technology is actually galloping. In this century, it is not how much we think technology can improve one’s business, but the broader issue is whether it is possible to conduct business without relying heavily on technology.

According to McKinsey Global Institute, Two billion individuals and 200 million small businesses in emerging economies lack access to basic financial services and credit currently. However, broad adoption of mobile banking in developing nations could create 95 million new jobs and increase GDP by $3.7 trillion by 2025.

Companies today are 460% more likely to fail within five years than they were in earlier decades. Creative destruction is accelerating as companies invest in intangible assets such as databases, proprietary algorithms, expert workers etc. instead of physical assets such as factories and inventory.

Businesses that possess the capability to adopt emerging technology and manage through the complexities have a greater chance to achieve 83% higher market cap, 78% earnings per share and 18% more revenue.

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