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ICT can ease economic crisis

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 20 – IT practitioners have been asked to respond to the economic challenge facing the country by focusing more on the customer.

Hewlett Packard (HP) Managing Director for Southern-East Africa, Kennedy Mbwaya, said on Thursday that consumers are looking for value for their money in the wake of the economic crisis.

“With the economic downturn customers want to stretch the little money they have. We therefore need to offer more but ultimately cost less,” he said.

Mr Mbwaya is urging IT practitioners to come up with new and innovative products and solutions that address the short term cost reductions because of the changing economy, while laying the ground work to exit the downturn stronger and more competitive.

The economic crisis brings with it opportunities that require to be addressed for instance coming up with innovative products that change the economics of customer infrastructure by reducing costs, and leveraging existing technology investments.

Already HP has come up with storage virtualisation solutions that address the issue.
The arrival of the fibre optic cables is expected to bring with it diverse opportunities especially to ICTs but at the same time provides major challenges. One of the biggest challenges that arises is data storage.

Fibre optic cables are meant to increase the rate of data reception but with lack of proper infrastructure to store the data, this would prove worthless.

According to Mr Mbwaya, technology plays a major role in determining the success of any organisation before, during and after an economic downturn.

“People should view the current economic climate as an opportunity to restructure technology environments for the future,” he said.

HP has come up with virtual data storage arrays (Work Enterprise Virtual Array 6400 and 8400) that seek to help companies leverage current technology infrastructure by reducing costs and simplifying the management of rapidly growing storage resources.

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He urged organisations to focus more on strategic cost reductions, while supporting long term business growth, with a view of creating winning management formulae. “It’s not about spending more instead strategically spending and prioritising technological investments.”

Organisations are also urged to be more innovative in the way they carry out business and be creative enough to fashion niche markets that offer more customer-based products and services.

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