CFA’s ICT Predictions of 2014 – Part 2

CFA’s ICT Predictions of 2014 – Part 2

Continued from Part 1

4. Blackberry will either grow or remain steady in developing countries.

Blackberry has been in the news of recent, while a some analysts abroad believe their end have come, I beg to differ, I see them waxing strong or at least remaining stable in developing economies like ours. The major reason for my statement is that access to the Internet through a blackberry device is a lot cheaper when compared to a data guzzler like android. I recently complained to a friend how my android is consuming data like its drinking water, he only laughed and said that is the advantage of blackberry and at that point, I agreed.

John Chen, the interim CEO of Blackberry, understands restructuring and has what it takes to turn around the fortunes of the ailing giant. If his recent move to make low budget Smartphones by way of partnership is anything to go by, then it means they might just be on their way to competitiveness once more, at least in developing countries like South Africa, Indonesia etc. Generally, I expect to see some sort of come-back for Blackberry in 2014.

CFA’s ICT Predictions of 2014 – Part 2

5. More changes in the SEO world 

The SEO industry has changed tremendously looking at where it is now and when I first joined in 2009. One company that has been at heart of the disruption being experienced is Google, which is natural because they control over 60% of all searches. It was a very busy year for the Google team but I predict that 2014 will be a busier year. As a webmaster, I know for certain that you can hardly predict what Big G would come up with next. They have often been accused of trying to kill SEO and grow PPC (Google Adwords), simply because they earn more revenue from PPC. Of course they have denied that, but the reality is that when you do a search today, you would find many more adverts above the fold unlike back in the days when it is more of organic results.

6. Rise & rise of Voice and Video

Voice and video will continue to rise, especially in 2014. I find it interesting that many people are beginning to talk to their phones like they would talk to friends. For example, the last major Google update tagged ‘Hummingbird’ focused on conversational searches – they want users to be able to perform searches simply by talking rather than typing. It does not just start and end with them, Apple also has Siri, which is a dedicated assistant for their users. I see the voice trend growing in Nigeria.

Also, Nigerians are video lovers. Sadly, we have been accused of not reading and I hope it does become a reality in this age of Internet and technology? I however know that we love videos so this has great potentials in Nigeria. One of the factors affecting the use of video negatively is poor service which I believe would improve significantly. With the improvement in service, many more people will be inclined to watching videos more than ever before.

On a final note, 2014 will be a pretty eventful year for the ICT industry in Nigeria. I expect to see more startups and also some of the existing ones would likely get more funding. I have always canvassed for more hubs where budding techies, enthusiasts and entrepreneurs can get together and learn about the necessary skills needed to take their ideas to the market.

Please permit me to use this medium to wish you and your family a happy and prosperous New Year ahead!

Creative Commons: infocux Technologies

CFA's ICT Predictions of 2014 - Part 1

CFA’s ICT Predictions of 2014 – Part 1

What an eventful year 2013 has been for the Information and Communications Technology industry, not just in Nigeria, but across the world. Let me set the records straight that although this piece has to do with predictions, it has nothing to do with spirituality.

My views in this piece are based on my knowledge of the industry as well as the opinions of experts and journalists across the world. That means that I am fully aware of the fact that some of these predictions may not come to pass but I am glad I used the work prediction instead of prophesy. That said, I will attempt to predict what I believe would be some of the events we should expect in 2014.

1. More Investments In ICT

This is probably obvious, but I just have to make it my very first prediction. We are most likely going to witness more massive investments, both in the local and foreign scene of ICT. Countries are investing heaving in LTE & 4G networks, some companies are laying sub-marine cables and connecting some countries. So, I expect that there will be massive investments in broadband infrastructure and devices, more techpreneurs will seek to raise funds for their projects, the local content policy guidelines recently released by the Ministry of Communication Technology and National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA), would really begin to come into effect in 2014 and as long as these guidelines are implemented to the letter, we can then be sure that more business and revenue will flow into our local ICT industry. So, watch out for Nigerian-built or designed phones, gadgets and devices in the coming year and make sure your support our own.

2. Increased Internet Penetration

Does this sound like a prediction or a statement of fact? However it may sound, the fact remains that as broadband becomes more readily available and cheaper, so will more people especially in the rural community access to the Internet. These people will definitely patronize it for their personal and business purposes.

I believe that Nigeria will cross the 60 million Internet-user mark in 2014 based on the official figures, I have a feeling that we may have crossed that mark this year, unofficially.

The last NCC report showed that there was significant increase in the number of Internet users, but I believe that next year will be more eventful for the industry. As a previous employee of a telecommunications company, I learnt that at some point, voice would peak and then data will take over. This was about a decade ago and today we are seeing the telcos waging an on-going data war already.

CFA's ICT Predictions of 2014 - Part 1

Truth is that we need to get more Nigerians on the Internet and not just get them there for the sake of it, but also educate them on how they can use it positively. I expect to see more Government support in this regards. 

3. Commercialization of ‘unusual’ techy devices

Yes. I believe more people across the world will invest in various techy devices which include mobile devices, Google glass, secret cameras, pen recorders, etc. Some of these devices are already in the market but they need to be commercialized and be made more affordable and readily available for the mass market. For example, Google glass is likely to cost you up to $2,000, depending on where you are buying it from. It is likely that a few Nigerians might have it already but it is really isn’t for the mass market yet.

As for me, I want to see these devices become readily available and I’d strive to use this column to educate people on how these devices can be used for the common good, especially considering the fact that they can easily be connected to the Internet. For the ladies, you need to get ready for smart eyelashes and finger-nails. No, this is not a prediction. I was impressed to read about it on Mashable.com. A PHD student named Katia Vega is already working on these innovations. She’s focusing on two main branches of the project so far: fingernails and conductive makeup.

Well, this is just to give us an idea of what to expect in the nearest future. Watch what you say or do because someone might just be recording every action with one ‘unusual’ device.

I pray that 2014 be the year to really put some of these devices to use in Nigeria especially using to fight corruption and extortion on the streets of our cities.

To be Continued…Part 2

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