Harnessing the benefits of software development to create a sustainable African economy

The role of software development in the development and sustainability of the African economy cannot be overlooked.

October 21, 2013

The role of software development in the development and sustainability of the African economy cannot be overlooked says Malcolm Rabson, managing director at Dariel Solutions. “As companies drive through the recession leaner and wiser, they seek ways to contain risk while concurrently securing market share. And many companies are looking to their software to do exactly this – in many forms and shapes.”

In fact, according to Gartner’s Hype Cycle for ICT in Africa 2013, enterprise mobile technology is following the consumerisation curve. Many aspects are maturing, and innovation is more on software than hardware with a focus on adding to an existing experience rather than changing it. As a result, African enterprises should look at adopting a number of services to ensure they remain competitive in the face of increasing market aggression. Amongst these factors they list Big Data, crowdsourcing, rich content and long term evolution (LTE) – all which have software at their heart.

“The industry is moving quickly, buzz words are rife and while many businesses are trying to keep up with the new solutions, it is advisable for companies to embrace software technology at the heart of such initiatives by aligning themselves with companies who have done the necessary software groundwork,” adds Rabson.

Just look at the changing dynamics:

  • The world’s technological per-capita capacity to store information increases at an incredible rate every year and has apparently doubled every 40 months since the 1980s; with 2.5 exabytes (2.5×1018) of data created every day in 2012.
  •  In a document published on Wikipedia and quoting Adam Jacobs (6 July 2009) from his paper: The Pathologies of Big Data (ACMQueue), “Big Data is difficult to work with using most relational database management systems and desktop statistics and visualisation packages, requiring instead ‘massively parallel software running on tens, hundreds, or even thousands of servers’.”
  • In a report published, titled: ‘Mastering Big Data: CFO Strategies to Transform Insight into Opportunity’, it points out that “Big Data presents unique opportunities for growth and competitive advantage for those organisations that marshal the skills, set appropriate priorities and seize the moment. With Big Data doubling every two years, those organisations that fail to capitalise on the new information paradigm could find it impossible to catch up.”

“The road to navigating these murky waters is to employ a software development company that has the capacity and capabilities to capture the full potential and harness best practice intellect to deliver unparalleled solutions – which will ultimately set businesses apart from their competitors,” says Rabson.

The worldwide IT spend is projected to total $3.7 trillion in 2013, which is a 2% increase from the 2012 IT spend of $3.6 trillion. More interestingly, spending on enterprise software is set to grow by 6.4% in 2013, with an expected spend of R81.2 billion allocated to the Southern African market alone (BMI-TechKnowledge).

It is acknowledged by the global community that South African software developers are recognised for their innovation, production and cost efficiency. The business community would therefore gain a greater foothold in the market by outsourcing bespoke software development to those companies who have gained their stripes. This allows both emerging and developed enterprises to concentrate on their core business, with the confidence that their software needs are accommodated.

“While emphasis on digital content creation and operating systems has waned, software as a service (SaaS) has taken on a more dominant role, and it is easy to see why. Most technology has software best practices at its heart and if we are able to harness the benefits of software development we can not only drive differentiation in the market and capitalise on business opportunities, but also create a sustainable African economy,” concludes Rabson.