3 World Class Digital trends Uganda is not ready for

Tweny tweny is the year all things digital take center stage in Uganda. Digital marketing will become the top choice for brands. Company processes will be guided more by code and our lives will be supported by digital processes and devices. This, at least is what we wish would happen but your guess is as good as mine; it won’t.

Currently, we are firming our grip on the digital trends at our disposal and look towards maximizing those of the future. Through observation, trial & error and reading up on all the content I can find. These are the 3 digital trends Uganda needs to embrace but is just not ready for.

Big Data

In 2019 the value of data surpassed the value of oil globally, making data the most valuable commodity in the world. Big data can be scary, but once understood , is a dream come true. The reality in Uganda leaves a lot to be desired. Big data is defined as extremely large data sets that may be analyzed computationally to reveal patterns, trends and associations, especially relating to human behavior and interactions.

To be able to use big data, one has to be able to collect and organize it. To gather the data, one also needs data collection points on the internet. The range from online subscription platforms, public networks, online games and social media. With all the Google searches and facebook posts made in Kampala, one would think there is a lot of data run on but it isn’t. Uganda has an internet penetration of 18 million and many of them use the net for just Facebook and WhatsApp, a mere drop in the ocean of the 4.4 zettabytes (4,097,819,328,308 GB) of data collected by the end of 2019 from around the world. We need to have more products and service that we interact with online.

The Internet of Things

By definition, the internet of things is the interconnection via the internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data. Put into perspective, the internet of things would be a scenario where your fridge tells your phone that you are out of milk, your phone then adds milk to your online shopping cart from the store you buy from the most.

Another scenario of the internet of things would be. Your smart headphones playing high intensity workout music while you’re in the gym. As you drive home from the gym, your car radio turns on a mid-tempo to help you cool down. Once you get home, the music player continues your playlist to keep you calm.

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To create this synergy of technological comforts requires an elaborate internet connection. At home and on the go as well as the right gadgets to make the connections happen. In Uganda we have a shortage of both. We either access internet on our mobile phones alone or at the office but never as a continuous cycle. Something for the Internet service providers to think about.

Artificial Intelligence

“We are in the age of A.I.” Robert Downey Jr once said in a documentary by the same name. While this is true, Uganda is not entirely ready to foster in this new era. We interact with a version of AI in the form of personal assistants like Google Assistant and Siri but these do simple tasks like set reminders and answer queries. The kind of AI that has industrial use is currently beyond us courtesy of limited infrastructure and connectivity.

At the end of the day, it is not all doom and gloom for us. While we might not be able to partake in the next level tech, we have a lot of room to develop with the effort of the authorities, marketers and internet service providers.

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