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Tech giant Oracle boosts innovation power among Kenyan enterprises

By Digital Reporter | November 12th 2013

By Standard Digital Reporter

NAIROBI, KENYA: Oracle Open Day held in Nairobi, Kenya offered stories of innovation across multiple industries, geographies and disciplines, with the discussion focused on real-world business results.

Delegates learned how business can leverage disruptive technologies such as cloud, mobile, social, analytics and big data, and the Internet of Things—a world of sensors that share data with each other and data centers to reveal previously unknown secrets.

Speaking last Friday, during the event at Safari Park Hotel, Dr. Fred Matiang’i Cabinet Secretary, Information, Communications and Technology recognized the event as forum that presents the opportunity to inspire enterprises to drive innovation. Oracle developed the event and designed it to not only present opportunities for enterprises to learn how to grow exponentially, but it also opens up a fundamental interaction space that will generate ideas and insights towards innovation.

This forum presented the opportunity to showcase some of the developments by Oracle in the public and private cloud computing solutions spheres, and also demonstrates new ways of maximizing IT efficiency. This forum also will also enable sharing of experiences and insights that will help drive business value in enterprises across the region. I stand here, proud to be associate with this drive, and with Oracle!

We live in a fast-paced world, where change takes place every second. Technology is fundamentally at the heart of this change, and is the force that drives the global economy. It is an enabler to business enterprise operations. It is central to developing capacity measures among the youth, to enable them to support technology platforms.

Linking forces that resonate with the youth, such as cloud, big data, and social forums, is a powerful model to learn about the business flexibility provided by new technologies such as cloud computing.

In 2011, over 200,000 young Kenyans enrolled in universities across the country, and despite many of these students graduating at the top of their classes, they had to deal with the challenge of not finding jobs that fully utilize their skill and intelligence. And yet, according to the Julisha Kenya ICT Market Survey 2011, companies in Kenya struggle to find the best IT skills they need in order to grow and manage their businesses with the most efficiency.

The survey also showed a fairly decent supply of skills in Kenya, despite the fact that such skills do not always meet business requirements, and graduates often are forced to undergo re-training to acquire business-specific expertise. This demonstrates that there is a disconnect somewhere between the ICT industry needs and the mechanisms through which to fulfill them through formal schooling.

It is clear that old technology cannot support business in the new age anymore. For this reason, we must continuously look for opportunities that will enable the equipping of youth with relevant and future-forward skills from the beginning. Instilling IT skills among the youth spans ways in which communities can work to improve their quality of life by taking up technology issues and initiatives that impact their lives daily.

The Government policy encourages youth engagement across a wide spectrum of ICT policy areas, but this need be underpinned the capacity to engage.

A society that ignores young people loses the power of innovation.

Multinational companies based in Kenya can play a significant role in bridging the skills gap by working more closely with the academia community in establishing local hubs and implementing specialized skills training.

It is therefore important that multinational companies work towards creating and sustaining a culture of innovation, helping build on the critical skills needed to create job and entrepreneurship opportunities among the youth.

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