08 Feb Smarter Thinking Africa
ICT is an important enabler of growth and development. This is true in the context of socio-economic development with the well-worn correlation between broadband development and GDP growth. It is also true in the area of business improvement where ICT supports innovation, engagement, service improvement and client retention. Technology for the sake of it is a poor investment and Top down solutions designed for perceived problems are often ill received and unused leaving a disconnect between vendors/ service providers and consumers/ citizens.
‘Smarter Thinking’ can be applied to the development of Smart Cities, Smart Infrastructures, Smart Services and Smarter Organisations. ‘Smart’ is a generic term which conjures up a variety of images depending on individual experience but when we talk of ‘Smarter Thinking’, in the context of IAD 2017, we talk of connected thinking. We talk of Engagement, Collaboration, Innovation and Feedback loops. We talk in terms of co-created solutions to actual needs and we talk of feedback mechanisms to ensure we adjust technologies to evolve alongside solution needs. Three themes will prevail throughout the IAD summit:
Innovation – Innovation is a critical element of ‘Smarter Thinking’ and leads directly to ‘Smart’ solution development. We will look at how governments are or could be, improving engagement in the development and implementation of solutions supporting Smart Cities, Smart Government and Smart Utilities, developing solutions to address real life, localized challenges or improved quality of life. We will also assess how the private and third sector are doing the same to engage clients and their own solution partners in order to offer smarter services with increased efficiency, effectiveness and reliability.
- Crowd Sourced information, Innovative Marketing Strategies, Data Analytics, Open Data strategies etc. combine to provide effective insights into solution needs.
- Web portals, Collaborative Partnerships and Alliances, Innovation Hubs and User Groups provide the opportunity for collaborative solution development and co-creation of localized solutions.
- IoT, M2M, PPP, Cloud, Open Data, Open Access Infrastructures, Outsourcing of non-core services and infrastructures are just some of the approaches to improving affordability, efficiency and reliability.
Reliability – Robust infrastructures are essential to ensure the reliability of services. IoT, M2M, OTT services, Value Added Services, Video on Demand and Data Services are putting pressure on existing infrastructures and reliability is essential to attract continued inward investment.
- Network Monitoring, Backhaul and Redundancy, Fibre, Satellite, 3G, 4G, WiFi, LTE etc. are essential to ensure the delivery of services.
- Power, Data management, High speed networks, International connectivity, and Security are challenges that must be addressed to ensure continuity of service.
- CRM, Billing, ERP, Supply Chain Management, Central Control Centres, Call Centres etc, are essential components to enable Smarter integration and improved services.
Efficiency – Efficiency savings from Smarter thinking, justify investments in technology, training and engagement.
- Hybrid power, Colocation datacenters, Shared infrastructures, Asset Management, Heterogeneous networks, Open access networks and other collaborative strategies can share resources and costs to prevent under-utilization of resources and over exposure to prime time costs.
The carefully planned, multi-format IAD summit will optimize exposure of projects and opportunities while highlighting technology developments:
Day One – EXPOSE, will incorporate sessions designed to expose African best practices and case studies across a range of ‘Smarter Thinking’ themes including Smarter Policy, Smarter Infrastructure, Smarter Data, Smarter Connectivity and Smarter Security. 3 case studies will be invited for each theme and audience members will be encouraged to vote for their favorite case study in each category with the winner of each category receiving an ‘IAD Smarter Thinking’ award.
Day Two – ENGAGE, will employ session formats which will encourage and enable peer to peer connections, solution sourcing and direct engagement between solution providers and those sourcing solutions.
Day Three – EVALUATE, will provide an opportunity to evaluate differing perspectives on key and contentious issues such as the value, opportunities and risks of employing Open Data strategies? Where are the risks and threats in Data Security? How can Public Private Partnerships accelerate growth? And how important is the development of a national Innovation strategy?
Attendees will leave the summit with a clear vision of how ‘Smarter Thinking’ will result in increased efficiency, improved service, happier citizens and customers and improved social development.
The IAD summit will be attended by a unique blend of around 350 high level decision makers from across Africa, including those people responsible for the development and implementation of Smart public sector projects e.g Smart Cities, Smart Government, Smart Healthcare, Smart Education. These CIOs, Project leaders, State Governors, City Mayors etc. will be joined by Policy Makers and Regulators from across Africa who are responsible for creating the facilitating environment. Communication Service Providers, Financial Institutions, UN Agencies and NGOs who are looking to Smarter Thinking as a way of improving services, profitability and efficiency will represent Civil Society and the Private Sectors and we are also inviting the best in class, global Consultants, Vendors, Solution Providers and Investors who will represent an effective solutions community who can facilitate Smart transformations.