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How To Make Technology Work For Your Business Africa Nkosi unpacks how data and digitization are helping businesses compete in a disrupted world.

By Nadine von Moltke-Todd

You're reading Entrepreneur South Africa, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Africa Nkosi

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Player: Africa Nkosi

Company: Khonology


Disruption innovation expert and best-selling author, John Sanei, believes that all businesses have one choice to make: Will they be tech-led or sector-led? In his opinion, the businesses that are really making waves around the world are tech-led.

The leadership of these businesses looks for the technology that will enable them to provide their customers with a better experience, based on data that gives them a greater understanding than ever before of who the customer is, what they care about, what they need – to the point where companies can give you what you want, before you even realise you want it.

One such business providing data and digitization solutions specifically for the African market is Khonology, a company dedicated to leveraging the power of data and technology to enable businesses and society as a whole to thrive.

Related: Is Technology Providing Solutions For Your Customers and Employees, Or Creating A Divide?

Entrepreneur chatted to Africa Nkosi, Khonology's business development and marketing director, about the role that technology plays in accelerating business growth in disrupted markets.

As a member of the Unleashing Leadership Potential Foundation, as well as co-founder of Ikhono Capital, an angel investor in the small businesses of African entrepreneurs, Africa is passionate about helping businesses maximise their potential.

Q. What is Data and Digitization?

Data and Digitization is a tool that assists businesses to grow revenue, drive efficiency and in being compliant with regulators.

Q. Who does this impact?

Businesses are becoming more dependent on global technology platforms to remain competitive in a global landscape.

Today, every industry is either being disrupted, commoditized or is under pressure from competitors or tight economic conditions. In this environment, organizations need to remain at the forefront of technology innovation to compete.

Related: How a Traditional Industry is Innovating With New Technology

Maintaining business-critical technological systems, data and infrastructure is more important than ever before.

Q. Are there any common errors that businesses make in this regard?

Most businesses understand that technology streamlines business processes and creates a better customer experience, and so organizations invest largely in these areas.

However, the sustainability of the investment into these systems isn't always addressed, undermining the importance of managing data quality. This creates a number of issues.

First, lack of in-house skills to support technology that has been deployed creates a large operational cost for organizations. This can be rectified by collaborating with tech companies and experts who have excellent context of the sectors, its clients and the required technology to address the issues at hand.

Second, the limitations of data integration capabilities create internal inefficiencies, which ultimately affects teams and impacts clients.

We've also seen that a lack of focus and investment in the capacity and tools to address data quality issues leads to businesses having a lot of data – but not utilizing it properly.

Related: How To Thrive In The Face Of Digital Darwinism And Technology

This lack of an end-to-end view of how data and technology adds value to the business is a huge waste – either the investment has been made, but the follow-through isn't there, or the investment isn't being made a huge competitive advantage is being missed.

Q. What is the difference between a tech-led business and a company that hasn't embraced tech-enablement?

Technology-led businesses, even if they are new entries into the market, are highly competitive and able to innovate faster and have quicker access to acquiring clients.

Dynamic customer demands create a need to innovate and develop new products and services to accommodate customers.

Finally, there are regulatory penalties that impact organisations, and which technology can guard against.

Q. What does data and digitization assist businesses to do?

  • Be client centric: Maximize client lifetime value and compete with disruptors
  • Business efficiency: Increases business agility in innovating and developing products or services. Convert hindsight to foresight through managing data quality and optimizing data cleanliness through analytics.
  • Compliance: Prevent regulatory sanctions and protect your brand from reputational risks associated with fraud and corruption

Related: Reimagine The Use Of Technology

Nadine von Moltke-Todd

Entrepreneur Staff

Editor-in-Chief: South Africa

Nadine von Moltke-Todd is the Editor-in-Chief of Entrepreneur Media South Africa. She has interviewed over 400 entrepreneurs, senior executives, investors and subject matter experts over the course of a decade. She was the managing editor of the award-winning Entrepreneur Magazine South Africa from June 2010 until January 2019, its final print issue. Nadine’s expertise lies in curating insightful and unique business content and distilling it into actionable insights that business readers can implement in their own organisations.

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