Technology: bridging the gap between business & consumers - CNBC Africa

Technology: bridging the gap between business & consumers

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Mobile applications have changed the way businesses and consumers communicate. PHOTO: e27

Greg Vercellotti, from Dariel, says there is no doubt that innovative technologies have decreased the gap between customers and businesses allowing customers to be more involved in the product or service they are consuming.

These technologies include the likes of banking applications, insurance applications (which allow consumers to make a claim within 24 hours) or health monitoring applications.

“Technology was solely used for internal stuff before, now that we’ve got the internet and mobile applications we’re able to engage and bring the customer into our world or be part of his world, so it’s a lot more engaging. I think the customer is very involved in what we do and you give him a much better experience or your organisation,” said Vercellotti.

(READ MORE: Africa a big technology industry player)

He adds that although there are many exciting innovations coming out of Silicon Valley, it’s important for Africa to create technologies that cater to its people.

“How do we bring African solutions to Africa? How do we use this leap frog of mobile technology and bring applications and technologies to Africa that are built in Africa. I think we’re a jump ahead to what Silicon Valley has to offer Africa because we understand Africa,” he said.  

With all the new technologies and innovations, connectivity remains a major issue in the continents progress.

Gerhard Botha, from PBT Group, says that when it comes to connectivity South Africa is in a different position to the rest of the continent. This is because the country has adopted and made use of cloud technologies.

“When it comes to the western countries, like Europe and America, I think we still have very big connectivity issues so things like cloud adoption is going to lag behind simply because there is a connection problem," he adds.

(READ MORE: Education and technology convergence on the rise)

Another issue is the lack of infrastructure on the continent as the demand for internet outweighs the supply. Botha says Africa needs to increase its internet supply in order to become more competitive on a world scale. He adds that governments also need to be more active in developing infrastructure.

“The government is definitely not paying enough attention to infrastructure; they’re letting it over to the private sector for them to look into how to build more bandwidth etc. But I think it’s such a big investment and such a critical part of the economy that it can’t be just the private sector because they’re only going to look after their own interests."

Being in the technology industry one has to constantly keep up-to-date with the developments in the industry.

However, Botha says that businesses don’t always have to move with every trend but need to look at the opportunity cost involved.

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