Tech trends in Namibia for 2023 and beyond

Kehad Snydewel
During the December holidays, whilst relaxing with family and friends, I am often asked: “What will the technology trends be in the new year and beyond?”
Usually, I just give a quick answer: I’m on holiday as well and I don’t just want to be talking about work. However, this year, I’ve decided to give it some serious thought, especially after President Geingob’s recent statement about how Africa should get on the tech train. With his Excellency singling out tech and the need to drive its development across the continent, I felt compelled to weigh in as MD of Green Enterprise Solutions.
Africa is certainly developing its technology, embracing the internet as well as 4G and 5G. Nevertheless, there are simply too few people across Africa with access to technology. We cannot fall behind; innovation moves so fast that any lagging behind will never be caught up again.
The beauty of technology is that innovation, its application and leveraging thereof can happen anywhere in the world. Mobile payment solutions were pioneered across Africa, as were remote and e-learning, but there are simply too many gaps in the development.
This happens for many reasons: Lack of funding, lack of skills, and sometimes a lack of desire from businesses, governments and even the people to engage in new skills development. That is why having our President position ICT development at the top of the agenda is so important.
As a business, we look at which developments, innovations and technological implementations are realistic and likely to be embraced, initially across Namibia, and then further afield. The spectrum of innovation is expansive. I am not even going to mention the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the Metaverse or Artificial Intelligence.
Some fundamentals need to be in place. We know that we need to start the digitalisation of records, databases and processes within corporations, SMEs as well as in government and municipalities. Implementing Electronic Digital Records Management (EDRM) will mean processes can be sped up and be easily searchable and retrievable.
Remote access
By safely storing this type of data in a cloud, organisations have access to information wherever they may be located within Namibia or beyond. Applying for loans, and driver’s licences, processing insurance claims and a hundred other things will be made easier and more dynamic with the implementation of EDRM.
Another development which we are seeing and will continue in 2023 is Software as a Service (SaaS).
Basically, a company, organisation or a person no longer owns the physical software, they own a license to use it. This takes away the hassle, updates are done automatically, and new versions are installed automatically.
Usually, there’s a level of service that you are entitled to if you use SaaS. This means that instead of buying expensive software through a monthly or an annual subscription, you get the software and the accompanying service that goes with it. Making the IT expenditure more manageable – something all organisations pursue.
Another development that we believe will continue is “outsourcing”. This is not new, but it is certainly underutilised in Namibia. We outsource constantly without thinking about it, from hiring a mechanic, a plumber or a cleaner. We do not keep a plumber on standby and neither does a mechanic living in our garage on the off chance that they may be needed.
Companies often outsource their book-keeping needs but will still have a dedicated IT person. Networks can be managed remotely by using TeamViewer or AnyDesk, for example. There is usually no need to keep someone employed full-time. Through outsourcing the pressure on the payroll decreases significantly freeing up resources that can be used for the core activities of the organisation.
This article immediately demonstrates why I try to give a short answer to family and friends about IT trends, as I get too excited about all the possibilities that are within arm’s reach; opportunities that will improve service delivery, ease pressure on company expenditure and improve Namibia’s digital development.
Innovation and the embracing and implementation of technology in all its forms are the catalyst to Africa’s growth. We need to stimulate, encourage and invest in this development in 2023 and beyond.
* Kehad Snydewel is the managing director of Green Enterprise Solutions.
**Opinion pieces and letters by the public do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial team. The editors reserve the right to abridge original texts. All newspapers of Namibia Media Holdings adhere to the Code of Ethics for Namibian Media, a code established jointly with the Media Ombudsman.