Technologies such as blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality/ augmented reality (AR/VR) offer the developer immense potential and scope.
Technology and innovation are the partners that ignite the ideas that define the MTN App of the Year Awards. Innovation using technology as a foundation, as a springboard to doing more, to plugging gaps and to redefining the worlds of work and life.
These developers are not behind the rest of the world because they’re based in Africa. If anything, African talent has set global standards in design and ideation. This is not a continent that’s lurching behind; instead it is looking ahead at how it can fully leverage emergent technology to change the shape of app development in the future.
The power of emergent technologies
One of the most common themes to emerge from the interviews with the developers is emergent technologies and their value in the creation of innovative solutions going forward. Technologies such as blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality/ augmented reality (AR/VR) offer the developer immense potential and scope.
This is reflected in their perception of corporate funding and approaches as well, with some developers pointing to a growing industry need for solutions that can use these technologies more effectively. For at least 70% of the developers, these technologies allow them to adapt and change their tactics more rapidly, and to shift their approaches to ensure that they can deliver applications that are more relevant and sustainable.
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What else is needed?
That said, at least 65% of those interviewed felt that there was a need for more access to educational tools and resources that would allow them to better use these technologies and improve their understanding of their value.
An overwhelming majority mentioned the need for better and cheaper connectivity, which would not only improve app uptake by end-users, but their own access to tools and resources for development.
65% of developers want access to educational resources.
Overall, the majority of the developers felt that technology was the pivot point for success in the future − not just in terms of access to the right tools and resources, but in terms of evolving and emerging technologies that could help them push the boundaries of development.
At least 75% emphasised the importance of access as a concept overall – access to technology, access to funding, access to resources, and access to the connectivity that would make the apps themselves more accessible to the market. Many developers felt that the limitations around these areas impacted on their ability to compete with the larger companies and to fully realise the potential of their own developments.
Synergy is a key to growth
What’s needed going forward is for deeper engagement with corporates that can support local innovation and development by making technology and development more accessible to local talent. This would not only allow for developers to fully leverage the potential of technology, but put more applications in front of the right audiences to drive engagement and growth.
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