WINDHOEK, MAY 1 – In previous columns I have written about the Fourth Industrial Revolution and I will continue to do so, as I believe it provides the solution to uplift Namibia and Africa as a continent. We can fully embrace new technology, innovations, cloud services and avoid mistakes that the early adopters made. We can engage and implement best practices and adapt them for our own needs and circumstances. We must engage and implement the best possible solutions, hardware and people to continue to improve our ICT rankings in the coming years. We must let technology and innovation work for us in our quest for economic development.
However, I realize people are hesitant. Since the first Industrial Revolution people have been wary of change. It’s human nature to be wary of change, the status quo is safe and secure. However, not developing and not innovating will not keep us safe and secure in the long term. It will certainly not lead to economic prosperity and development, something we so desperately need.
One of the major issues we all seem to have and which is a tough nut to crack, is the need for water-tight security when it comes to truly embracing the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Do we trust the financial technology applications, online payments, ordering online and perhaps not even being a client at a bricks and mortar bank or insurance company. Can we trust that robots will not be hacked by people with dubious intent? Will our car, crammed full of software and Artificial Intelligence (AI) take over our decision making process, or will we remain safely in the driver’s seat? Truly embracing the fourth industrial revolution and letting it work for our benefits as individuals, businesses and Government in the broadest sense of the word means we need to fully trust and buy-in to it.
In Europe, which is much further along in development and tech innovations, their number one priority is Cyber-security and securing the Cloud, and is where the major investments are made according to the well-respected magazine, ComputerWeekly, 2019. Chief Information Officers and companies in Europe and actually across the globe realize that people want convenience and basically run their lives from their smart devices. However, they will not do this if they are not confident of their data, their information and their digital footprint has been secured. Not being sold to third parties or being accessible to hackers who may use their financial data for illicit gains. The same goes for their medical records and data.
Securing the data in the Cloud, making networks impenetrable, improving user experience, whilst keeping them secure and giving them access and ownership of their own data and storing all of this data correctly according to International data protection Acts is vital. Not, only is it of paramount importance, it can become the Unique Selling Proposition USP) of an organisation if your organisation adheres to the rules and regulations. Your clients are more likely to use the services of an organisation which is secure and that takes data privacy very serious, as recent years has shown us. The same can be said for Governments. Offering an online tax-service or applications for passports, drivers licenses, birth certificates, you name it…can only be done through a safe and secure connection, application and one that is customer friendly.
All in all there’s a lot to take into account and at stake. Investment in security whether you are large or small company, Government or local municipality is essential. Online services, new smartphone driven applications and online payment solutions are the future. We can go kicking or screaming or we can embrace this Revolution. Benefit from this revolution and as a nation of young people, learn to innovate and develop apps and Tech-solutions ourselves. Making sure we don’t get left behind and create whole new business sectors for our economy. Government and business in Namibia can streamline and secure their processes, offer real solutions to their stakeholders that will be less time intensive, no need to stand in lines anymore and create a more digitally advanced and enhanced society where data is secure and convenience is the name of the game. If only we stop fearing the revolution and start embracing the next exciting phase in which we find ourselves. – Llewellyn le Hané
Green Enterprise Solution (PTY) Ltd.