The adoption of data analytics solutions by Ghanaian companies in addition to better collaboration between the technology industry and the Ghanaian government have been identified as vital to the county’s economic and Information Technology (IT) development agenda.
This move towards better big data management and private – public sector cooperation is also said to make it necessary for Ghanaian institutions to embrace IT security principles and systems.
The Country General Manager for IBM Ghana, Ms Angela Kyerematen-Jimoh, said this at the African Technology Summit (ATS) 2015 held in Accra, the Ghanaian capital.
“I believe technology companies and government should spend more time discussing and working towards how to resolve many of the challenges in the society,” Kyerematen-Jimoh said.
“Key economic sectors such as agriculture, healthcare, education and power need to become more efficient, and we also need to groom people with the right skills and knowledge for these sectors. Clearly, the technology solutions and systems to tackle these challenges already exist, it is left for us to tap into it,” she stated, while speaking with IT entrepreneurs, technology professionals, local and international media on the sidelines of the ATS event, which was organised by Accra-based Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST).
Responding to a question on why it was necessary for Ghana to embrace the global big data phenomena, she said: “Data is the new natural resource…Big data and analytics, for instance, allows us to take better decisions, create value as a result of those insightful decisions and ultimately deliver value, so we get tangible results with the desired outcomes.”
“Ghanaian authorities and companies need to begin to embrace advanced technology solutions such as cloud computing, data analytics, mobile, and security to better resolve sector-specific and nationwide challenges,” she said.
Two-thirds of IBM research and development work is now devoted to data, analytics and cognitive computing.
On the issue of mobile telephony and security concerns and threats she said, “All industries and governments are targets. This is where cross-sectoral collaboration can help to ensure that companies adopt smart mobile strategies, especially with the enforcement of standards and protocols.”
“Industries need to think about security at the same level on which highly efficient, collaborative cyber criminals are planning attacks.”
The exponential proliferation of data on mobile devices, in social media and the cloud, also means that breaches to data security are now regular and highly visible. Identity theft, fraud and loss of sensitive data have been the most commonly reported technology breaches in Africa.
Technology experts across Africa say the Internet, mobile telephony and the proliferation of smart devices will further fuel the growth of the data industry on the continent.