Technology is dynamic, and there is no place this is more evident than in the web and mobile space powered by the internet. The plethora of tools, platforms and models that are churned out on a daily basis are enough to make the head of any C-level executive spin, more so that infotech permeates across all sectors. It therefore calls for one to have a process through which any technology will be assessed to decide whether it is of value to the business. Over the past weeks I have interacted with a number of small to medium sized businesses looking to gain an edge in a very competitive landscape. A frustrating outcome to some of these meetings is the finger to the wind approach that many have when scouting for the one up, a blind dive in the direction of current buzz.

Two questions would for a start give guidance towards a strategy framework that can be filled out once put into effect. Continue Reading…

There has been progress over the years when it comes to business opportunity realization for the Kenyan citizen with Retired President Hon. Mwai Kibaki locking down a directive to award 10% of government contracts to youth in February 2013. His Excellency the President Uhuru Kenyatta took this up a notch last year pushing the needle to 30% covering the youth, women and persons with disability.

While I laud the move, I speak with a bias; inclined to the tech sector that I feel should not be lumped within any of the current segments.

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There is no time like the present to put in the effort that will tip the scales and see wide scale adoption both locally and across the region of home grown technology based solutions. I have spoken widely about the role of intellectual property protection and that of government as a consumer of services, but have been challenged to give actionable steps that could possibly deliver the possibilities. Using the analogy of elephant hunting versus ant stomping, I would simply align the mandates of key government agencies and streamline their activities as the shortest route to ROI is best. Continue Reading…

As we expect more from technology, do we expect less from each other?

Technology lies at the core of national development as its benefits cut across all sectors. Sound decisions should be based on the broadest possible information digest that will allow for informed action.  Cognitive computing, artificial intelligence and inductive reasoning are creating a new computing model.  Global technology firm IBM has set up research labs and given access to hitherto in-house tech by way of IBM Watson to address humanities most pressing needs. At a colloquium held earlier this week, IBM Research Africa showcased the opportunities present, targeting the continent’s grand challenges, including agriculture, water, energy, healthcare, financial inclusion and human mobility. Continue Reading…

econ

This week the country was treated to a national dialogue on the size of the wage bill with discussions on whether or not civil servants should take a pay cut. H.E. the president primed the ground by announcing that he and Deputy President William Ruto would take a twenty percent hit on their salaries while those in his cabinet would see a ten percent dent effective immediately. While the gesture is good, I received it with mixed feelings as I feel it addresses the symptoms of an ailment that has festered unabated for years and the net result might actually be civil servants taking to the streets due to the obvious disparity across the pay grades.   The Sarah Serem chaired Salaries and Remuneration Commission admits to the difficulty in flipping the salary switch as there is a constitutional buffer, meaning currently, a salary can only be hived off if the recipient is “sufficiently philanthropic”.

I have argued in the past that the country must be run like a business, with key metrics at the fingertips of its managers, which means business intelligence to guide decision making is made available on demand. Continue Reading…


Stanford Professor Bob Sutton shares principles and colorful examples from his most recent book, Scaling Up Excellence, co-authored by Huggy Rao. Touching on concepts around emotion, complexity, and connecting people, Sutton explains why scaling is about spreading and sustaining a mindset, not just a footprint.