By Sochima Eze
Although many have chosen to ignore the immense benefits of technology in our society today, it has become, however, obvious that technology plays a primary role in the development of every individual and organisation in the state. Technology has evolved through unimaginable boundaries, and it is only befitting that a diverse society like that of Kogi state should be an integral part of the technological revolution as it will only foster rapid growth in every sector of its developing economy.
A significant string of technological development has been witnessed in the area of business which is, and always will be a vital part of the people of Kogi state. This development has drawn the attention of people living in this area to the crucial role which technology plays in the advancement of small, medium and large scale business enterprises in the state; especially in the capital city, Lokoja, where a substantial amount of a variety of these business models exist.
Furthermore, advancement in business technology has led to a significant ease of access as business maintains a primary position in the development of the local economy, and equally contributes immeasurably to the standard of living of the indigenes and residents. It is, however, obvious that what people seek to enjoy in business save for the main aim of profit, is an ease of access in whatever level of transaction carried out; locally or internationally. The introduction and adaptation of the Point-of-Sales (POS) terminal is perceived today as one of the easiest and most portable means of physical payment, but this is just one technological innovation compared to a host of others waiting to be explored. A bulk of the technology involved in business today is aimed at doing away with a whole lot of face to face conversations and paperwork. This kind of technology is what people that do business in and around the confluence should embrace in order to be a part of the technological revolution.
Several enterprises and ventures have benefitted from the magnanimous nature of technology. Also, most of the changes encountered have maintained a strong presence in the fields of productivity and communication. Banks, Supermarkets, Computer training centres, and even the small and medium product vendors are a huge part of those who have had some perks of technological advancement. Noticeably, most of these businesses that have implored existing technology have experience a significant growth in profit and customer traffic. Their products have also been widely announced and presented better to the entirety of the state one way or the other as a result of product integration with existing and evolving technology.
However, the confluence state could join in the long and constantly moving train of technological revolution. This revolution may only mean a whole new rebranding and reconstruction, and charting of its economic map toward the direction of progressive change. Countless contributions have been made by technology to business advancement overtime in the state, but it would seem that maintaining the existing technology alone cannot be sufficient alone. Perhaps, in order to meet up with world business standards, as well as experience a massive growth in the business community of Kogi state.
In a more concise suggestion, the business community in the confluence state cannot ignore the trends in technology. Everyone and every business within the radius of the confluence state should have at least an email address and a social media account. This not only exposes you to conversations and ideas focused on profit growth and business packaging, but equally intimates you on customer service and engagement as customers should be primary on the consideration list. Currently services and platforms such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, Outbrain, and a host of others expose businesses to a wider and better targeted audience that will be interested in information and purchase of products. These platforms have equally made advertising of these products easier and more appealing to a wide section of needy consumers.
Applying technology in media has ushered in more good than harm. Moreover, technology has taken a huge responsibility for the success of the media since in the last two decades. The 21st century has witnessed, however, a very rapid growth in the media sector as the competition has stiffened between media organisations, and the thirst for information still proves to be highly insatiable.
Generally, surveys have suggested that the average individual prefers to sit in front of a screen anytime the need for information arises, but the fact of it is that not only the television broadcast division has gained from this advantage. Since the durability of print media cannot be guaranteed, there has arisen a need to migrate to a more durable form of producing and disseminating information. This form is the internet, which is not only durable but trustworthy, accessible, diversified, secured and dependable.
The internet offers a lot more than any other conventional means of managing information because it spreads its tentacles to every corner of the world where it can be accessed by a variety of technological gadgets suited to its acceptability.Hence, even television has moved to the internet where it can have a wider audience of viewers than the normal satellite reach.
Furthermore, there are a lot of advantages which the internet can offer the media apart from its wide accessibility and ease of access. The internet enables media outfits and organisations to track the growth of viewership through platforms created for subscription. It also enables the audience to follow up information provided by media organisations in real time, and equally provides space for news storage and review.
It is, however, advisable that any media organisation operating within the sphere of the confluence state should have at least an email address, a social media account and a website. A website allows for easy access to information provided by media organisations, and most importantly provides an enabling environment for the integration of other necessities to foster audience engagement and increase audience traffic. Summarily, this means that a media organisation can be everywhere in the world at a time even if it is based in the confluence state.
Also, the role of technology in the media has attached a great deal of importance to it. Technology has made the media a self-advertising status, and important to note is that as a result of this, the profit and viewership in the media world has been extremely maximized over the years. Other businesses and brands have perceived mass media organisations as the best platforms to advertise their products.
The government as an institution of leadership, policy making, and execution requires technology for its day to day running of affairs. Governance en at the local/state level could be quite tasking, and with information as a vital tool, technology can play a very important role in it. It is also very important that social media is integrated into governance.
Every government institution and establishment should have a way of sensitizing and reaching out to the public. This does not only bring the government closer to the people, but also creates awareness and ease of information accessibility. Initiating technology governance creates an enabling environment for steering between different sectors of the state’s economy, and creates a platform for monitoring their development and activities. This way the government has a lot to gain as they will be able to penetrate the minds of the people so as to know their needs and get healthy suggestions from them, especially in a democratic government like Kogi state where the government also belongs to the people.
However, as the aspect of security is at the forefront of governance in the state, technology should be treated with high regard. The role of information technology in the world today is enough evidence to prove this. Data can easily be processed into information for the monitoring of human activities on a daily basis. Visual and radar devices, for instance, have the ability to track and retrieve a voluminous amount of information from a very wide coverage, and at light speed.
Furthermore, governance does not just key into technological advancement. It needs to be guided by active intervention from agencies, individuals and key professionals involved in the world of technology. Most importantly, technological governance can aid the government of the state in economic, social, and strategic planning. Technology has evolved to the extent of highlighting key areas of focus in order for a government to be able to channel its resources to the right areas easily and accurately. According to Aneesh Chopra, the White House’s chief technology officer, “the rapid growth of technology offers government problem-solvers a new dimension, allowing them to move beyond the traditional tools of growing budgets and proliferating laws to find direct action-oriented solutions” (Harvard Gazette, 2010). This goes a long way to prove what immense capacities and opportunities the integration of technology in governance could create.
Integrating technology into tourism can serve as a major boost in the industry in the confluence state. Firstly, since tourism has to do with sights and scenes, people need to be informed about directions and geographical mappings. As for tourism and hospitality, technology assures faster communication between tourism businesses and potential tourists. Many tourism businesses fear the lack of customers to their destinations, but with the evolution of technology, a mere passerby can be turned into a tourist.
Technology improves the rate of communication between both parties- tourism business and tourist. The internet and computers can be used as an advantage to target a set of customers who wish to have a little alone time, retreat, family time, event, picnics, gatherings,etc. No matter the circumstance, technology can be used to package the outlook and arrangement of any tourist destination or business in Kogi state.
The landscape of the confluence state, coupled with its rich history serves as a perfect platform for the rapid growth of tourism within its territory. Scenes like the famous Mount Patti, Lugard House, the aquatic sceneries and various other monuments in the state can generate massive customers and revenue if integrated with technology. Since the capital city, for instance, serves as a good transit location for many travellers, the interest in hospitality and tourism will increase rapidly if they can be well informed on the services available.
Subscribing to the internet and social media is the perfect idea for any hospitality and tourism business in the state to grow. There are quite a good number of hospitality and tourism directories on the internet. Locally and internationally, Jovago, Vconnect, Expedia, Orbitz, Trip Advisor and a host of others which could be sorted by the help of a search engine could be found. It is possible to enlist in an unlimited amount of directories, providing clear and appealing details about the destination, and most importantly uploading images of the destination that will attract potential tourists and visitors to the destination. A host of these directories also offer bookings that enable potential visitors book a reservation at the destination ahead of their arrival time. In this way, the tourism business does not only generate enormous revenue, but also contributes to the revenue of the confluence state.
It is no news that in the developed parts of the world, technology has become the new face of healthcare as much finance and time has been invested into this. The world today has evolved from the paper and pen form of keeping records to the digitization of it. This innovation comes with a bunch of advantages that include the arrangement, storage, accessibility, and longevity of health records.
Hospitals and healthcare centres need not worry about a lot of stress these days. Initially, traditional forms of technology were used in the diagnosis and treatment of patients. These days, one can be self-diagnosed from home, making it easier for the healthcare professionals to save a whole lot of time and energy. Healthcare technology basically makes it easier for professionals in the field to better diagnose and recommend treatment for patients without being slaves to time.
Communication is also very vital to being a part of the technological revolution in Kogi state. Given that there may be multiple languages existent in the state, there also exist translator applications that enable a doctor or any other health professional get the required information to treat patients. An example of this is the Omnifluent Health program developed in the U.S. This program enable doctors speak into a translator app and asking, for instance, if a patient is allergic to a particular kind of drug, given that the U.S has multilingual buildup. The idea can equally be implemented into the local system which has a similar model.
Furthermore, social networking is not just a tool for fun. Healthcare organisations and professionals can take the advantage of social networking to offer advice to enquiring patients. This makes their job a bit less stressful. This means can also be used to schedule visits and periods for treatments. It also saves patients the expense of airtime incurred from long hours of consultation over the phone.
Far from this is also the fact that healthcare technology can help patients stay healthy on their own, and keep a distance from the hospitals in order to reduce overcrowding which has become one of the problems in hospitals in the state, especially in the capital. Some applications are available for use on the internet. These applications can help with important advice on exercise, dieting, fitness, food, and a host of other helpful information.
The educational sector is perhaps one of the most vital in the economy of the state. With a good number of primary, secondary and tertiary institutions situated around various parts of the state, there is a need for technology which will provide an accessible, faster and a more diversified means of gathering information.
Technology has also been able to define certain parameters of learning and instruction. Evolution in technology has made it possible to learn and instruct without face to face contact. The internet has served as a perfect hub for information gathering and dissemination. Equally, learning aids have made it possible to break all barriers to receiving quality education. Instruction and learning in classrooms, for instance, has been made easy and enjoyable through various means including the use of advanced teaching methods like electronic boards, laptops, projectors, tablets etc., which has accounted for quality interactive learning.
Furthermore, since the internet has enabled gathering, sequencing, sourcing, and download of information possible, a lot can be done to be a part of the technological revolution in the state. For instance, instead of the more traditional and more expensive means of scheduling student brochures and also distributing study materials, a website can serve as the perfect platform for handling all these tasks. Information for study can simply be uploaded and arranged into sections for every category of learning, and should be made available for free download by anyone who wishes to access it. Since education should not be very expensive, this is a good way to cut costs at all levels.
Information is the subject matter of education at all levels, and in light of this, it should be everywhere. Educational and information technology is the only answer to this. A dream that could be made a reality is the installment of hotspots across certain areas in the state. Since students are always on the move, there will be a need to access information from any area within the confluence state. This innovation creates an enabling environment for a more enjoyable, interactive and cost effective learning far from the classrooms.
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