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Channel Matters Blog > February 2013 > Developing countries will jump straight to cloud

Developing countries will jump straight to cloud

by Carlo Tortora
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JWT Intelligence has launched his yearly report of 100 Things to Watch in 2013. The agency mentions African Tech Stars amongst the things that we have to look forward to in 2013. Some of us might be surprised but there are definitely innovation and development factors that make emerging economies hotbeds for innovation.

The challenges facing society in developing countries are intense.  Africa in 2025 will have 1.25 Billion people, of which 1 Billion will be children or young adults looking for a future.

Is there a future for them? Is there a safe path ahead?

This is a question of concern, but human survival is an amazing thing.  Over hundreds of millions of years, we as a species have proven adaptability and creativity. We have been innovating since the very first time we used a stick.Today, hardship and poverty have been driving a huge and endless variety of innovations. From the concrete stove for huts, to mobile money on a cellphone.

I can safely say from first-hand experience that, despite the socio-political challenges,  there is no shortage of creative, intellectual horsepower amongst the youth of the African continent. People are inventive; there are no obstacles but practical solutions.

In Africa we have little legacy infrastructure. So it’s all new.  Africa is propelled into next generation services. Not having to shift mindset from traditional technological utilization creates fertile ground for a fresh mind, and unrestricted ideas, or adoption of new technology.  For example, some of our Alchemy World Entrepreneurs ( involved in the tourism business, are readily adopting Internet and social media to drive business rather than working through retail outlets.

Furthermore, the socio-economic settings are different. Population distribution is less urbanized, the economy is more agriculturally based, and the pattern of growth is more in micro-business. This offers different opportunities for innovation.  This is why the concept of mobile money is working so well.  People will not need to walk days to the nearest town to move or transact money, or get the latest pricing information on goods.

africaAccess and uptake to education is taking place at an especially accelerated pace, an ideal backdrop to cultivate and nurture new ideas.  Of all the Millennium Development Goals set, the nearest one to completion is Goal 2 – Universal Access to Primary Education. Alongside this, secondary and tertiary education are spreading fast.  This environment coupled with the entrepreneurial and coaching efforts of NGOs, like Alchemy World, can create the right conditions for innovation.

The internet is making the world smaller. Social networks are offering a platform for idea exchanges between peers in developed and developing nations. This is driving unique innovation.

Developing countries are likely (as the infrastructure becomes more robust) to jump straight to cloud computing through smartphone devices, thus benefiting from an unprecedented range of services and solutions.
(NOTE: According to IDC, 85% of new software start-ups this year will be pure cloud services).

Last modified on 6/30/2013 10:11:24 PM
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