Speaker Interview – Shishir Saraf, CIO, Sameer Africa
One of our headline speakers, Shishir Saraf, Chief Information Officer (CIO), Sameer Africa Limited gives us his perspective on the African Enterprise and ICT sector. He will be presenting a case study of “Enterprise Mobility in the Automotive Industry” at Enterprise ICT Africa at 14.50 on day 2
Q&A – Headline Speaker in the Spotlight
1. How would you describe the ICT market in East Africa (or Kenya if you wish to be more specific) – what growth do you see in the next 6 months?
- Mobility: Kenya’s urban society is rapidly moving to be an online society.
The landing of LION 2 fiber cable which will be fully operational in the first half of 2012 making Orange Kenya the 2nd entrant to offer 3G services to consumers in Kenya.
- Internet boom: Cheaper bandwidth at more affordable rates has more and more Kenyans installing broadband connections in their homes where as in the past internet access was restricted to the office due to cost.
- Cloud computing: There is an increasing awareness of cloud computing and with better internet connections, this can be converted to a reality as the demand to be always connected to the office is rising. This will lead to more utilization of value add services such as sip being deployed by more corporate as they aim to cut down on communication costs, increase in locally generated content
- Government support: ICT has been slated as one of the pillars that will drive Kenya achieving vision 2030 and as such there is a lot of support and initiative by Govt. to implement ICT in an aim to automate services provided e.g. online remittance of tax by companies, moving to Digital broadcasting, ICT park being spearheaded by the Govt and so forth.
2. What are the biggest challenges facing enterprises’ in Africa when it comes to ICT?
- Limited skilled resources in the ICT sector is the biggest challenge in Kenya. we still rely heavily on outsourced skilled engineers from European and Asian countries.
- Most ICT projects are capital intensive and most companies are reluctant to heavily invest in ICT as ICT plays mostly a supportive role to the core business and that is where it is relegated.
3. How is Sameer addressing these challenges?
- We have recently implemented SAP and are going to be investing heavily in user training to bridge the knowledge gap that exists.
- Despite costs being high SAL is exploiting ways of moving CAPEX to OPEX by outsourcing non core activities and hosting services through cloud computing. Email is one of the areas this is going to be done.
4. What will be your defining 2011 ICT ‘moment’, technology or service?
We implemented SAP and are now reaping the benefits with this implementation
5. What will Sameer’s key focus be for 2012?
- Business analytics,
- GRC and
- Non-core services on cloud computing
6. To what extent do you see Cloud impacting the East African (or Kenyan) Enterprise ICT market?
With the need to cut costs (capex to opex), the increase in companies offering hosted services then this will undoubtedly pick up in the next few years.
7. Which key message do you want to highlight during your participation at Enterprise ICT Africa in Cape Town later this year?
- The need to improve our existing infrastructure (Seacom cable cut showed us this)
- Mobility and Cloud computing
8. How do you think events like EnterpriseICT Africa can boost the ICT industry in Africa and benefit enterprises and the African economy in general?
Create awareness and networking among industry professionals where we can get to see what the market leaders are aiming at achieving and see how that can serve us.
Don’t miss this brand new event. Attendance is FREE to Enterprise and Operator companies and early booking discounts apply to all others. Register to attend
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