When we discuss digital transformation, we mean creating competitive advantage. In today’s world a company that does not integrate technology does not do well and gets left behind. We are not only talking about applying technology to your business, we are also focused on creating a new business model on the backbone of technology.
In Today’s digital Business they are 3 big revolutions, artificial intelligence, product platform and crowd searching.
Artificial intelligence is a machine with the ability to solve problems that are usually done by us humans with our natural intelligence. Product platform is a set of building blocks that enable teams within a firm to more easily build multi products or services. Crowd searching is technology that helps you find the right crowd.
Today many companies see themselves in product business. Most companies offer goods or services and as we head into the future, those products are going to be increasingly accessed to consumers via digital platforms, and the platforms are becoming dominant. Africa has to take advantage of the digital platforms and online crowds to create a huge amount of value and deliver excellent resources to people.
As African entrepreneur the question I need to ask is are we driving change or are we being driven by it?
With the revolution of technology on business the world is adjusting being more efficient and Africa needs adjust in order to have more efficient companies. Business need to show more information that everyone can have access to it. Business also need to Innovate as fast as they can and helping find the right crowds for our products.
Digital transformation is the use of technology that helps you improve your business, that could be network infrastructure, cyber security, ,research software, customer relationship management, financial accounting software, could be robotic, artificial intelligence ,health software ,data analytics etc. When we talk about it we are talking about any source of technology that allows your business to be more productive and more efficient. That is what Africa needs in order to exponential increase company’s productivity.
Even though technology is a driven transformation for some of the digital transformation at the end of the day is more of a business transformation that the organizations are trying to accomplish, be more effective. Companies are trying to make jobs easier for their employees by implementing a better more simplified processes in order to stay competitive. This will only succeed when you invest heavily in the people and on the process side of things correspondent with the investment in technology. You don’t want to invest in a technology and have people not qualified to use it or vice versa. In other words, Africa really needs to focus on the most valuable resource that we have, which is our people and make some big investments preparing them for the future. Digital transformation will continue to accelerate for two main reasons exponential growth of technology and data availability.
There is a good quote by Charles Darwin “it’s not the strongest of the species that survive not even the most intelligent, it is the one that it’s most adaptable to change”.
Digital platform is a business model not a technology. A platform serves to distinguish two types of roles: Technology architecture which is a foundational interface upon each other .Can build products , services and a market intermediary ,a mechanism to significantly reduce the search and transaction costs that allow different type of customers and other players to interact with each other.
The main goal of a platform is to be an infrastructure where the operations happens. In a world where information is just increasing fast, in a world where the necessity of being connected is becoming more important, the importance of a platform model will increase even more.
Now days even if you are not building a platform you need to understand how platforms really work. I think that part I have to thank MIT(Massachusetts institute of technology)for helping me figure out a road map to build my digital platforms, because they taught me the rights steps to build a platform and to constant innovate it.
As the CEO and founder of a Crijaza, we’ve created two platforms Meumerkado.com (which means My market in Portuguese) is an Angolan digital marketplace and simplesMila.com which is a new concept where you connect the insurance brokers with the clients in the same infrastructure.
The name My market, I came up because once you login you really feel like you own the market and it is on the palm of your hands, so the market is literal yours. So, on Meumerkado we solving a problem which is the lack of information, it is one of African problems we don’t know who has what, who sells a product and who is willing to buy it. MeumerKado gives the sellers access to the market , something that in Africa is very hard to have and the buyers access to sellers. It saves Angolans time and money. Reduces the Searching time for a product, many sellers or stores don’t have a digital store or if they have it not many people knows about them. We also save money because you can compare prices at real time from sellers. In some African countries we have the inflation problem so the vendors have the opportunity to adjust prices in real time. With Meumerkado we are giving a fighting chance for small business to compete at the same level with the same or better visibility as major enterprises.
Simplesmilais, a platform named after my mother, is a new concept for the world. By putting all the insurance brokers integrating with the clients on our platform it allows you to save time and money, because you can insert the minimum of your personal information , request a quotation for insurance and you have brokers bidding for the lowest price with the better conditions for your insurance. Additionally, for the brokers they do not need a conventional office anymore ,all they need is to have the app on their phone and they can find people interesting on getting an insurance . Simplesmila can save brokers money by not renting an office and not hiring too many agents to look for clients, paying cars ,gas ,electricity office bills so Simplesmila saves all of those expenses .For clients saves time and also money for some of the same propose. You don’t have to leave the house to get a competitive pricing and you receive as many insurance proposals as you want in a short period time.
To conclude, the all African continent economic DNA is undergoing a transformation it is important for African enterprises to invest in digital transformation as well on their people.