Low uptake of technology hurting businesses, government agencies’ efficiency

KAMPALA

Global technology company, ThoughtWorks, has faulted government agencies and local businesses for the slow uptake of technology innovations that would cut costs of doing business and increase efficiency.

In an interview with this paper, Tom Oketch, the ThoughtWorks software quality assurance consultant Uganda, said while as Ugandan enterprises have the potential to expand, that has not been the case for most businesses as they continue incurring high costs of branding, marketing and detecting governance disconnect.

Oketch said the technology which most companies have not embraced, offers platforms for marketing, accounting and inventory software packages, tracking systems for vehicles [if your business is into regular deliveries], and aertising opportunities on the Internet which are key for any business that seek to expand.

“Many businesses are looking for a way of differentiating themselves from others but you cannot use the same tools and you stand out. Businesses owners should utilise technology for growth as it is elsewhere,” Oketch said.

He cites a tool on the market that enables both government and other companies to directly get feedback from communities on governance issues using phones which cut costs of employing monitors and saves time as an example on the importance of technology in business.

Dr Eddie Mukooyo, an assistant commissioner in the Ministry of Health, concurs with Mr Oketch saying in the past, most government agencies did not incorporate technology in their budget but that has since changed. He recently told this paper that the health ministry for example is now planning to train all health workers and jointly work with IT specialists such to ensure the smooth running of the systems.

“In future, you will not need to go to Mulago [hospital] to benefit from the services of consultants as there will be tele-consultation. A doctor in a rural area can send images to Mulago saving them from the long distances and money. Progressively, this will improve the working conditions of rural medical workers and patients,” Dr Mukooyo said.

Dr Mukooyo added that the ministry is piloting a Mother Reminder System in northern Uganda that seeks to prompt mothers to go for antenatal care, and know when they will give birth.

Mr Oketch says low technology uptake, has also affected many university students who have developed several problem solving technologies but cannot benefit from them as companies and government agencies donot offer a competitive market for them.

“Students [from higher institution of learning] build solutions [software] but cannot sale them. What you built, you do it for the market but if the companies donot buy, how will the students benefit,”? Oketch asked.

ptajuba@ug.nationmedia.com

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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