The major advantage of technology is that it makes life easier. Fortunately, we have more businesses infusing technology into their operations. This trend is only going to get better.
By Olaotan Towry-Coker
I think one of the main technological trends we are going to see become increasingly important is predicated on the fact that millennials are becoming more important as consumers to hospitality service providers. As the millennials become more mobile, earn more, and have access to more disposable income. They are also typically are more tech-savvy and ready to engage with you as fast followers and fast adopters of new technology. Businesses have to take that into account, especially within the hospitality industry. Their lifestyles are fused with the technology. They’re looking at how they can engage with your business on a mobile platform or on a Website or mobile web platform. They would go on to some sort of platforms to get their reviews before they make their final purchase decision.
Millennials are increasingly interested in taking charge of their health with the growing interest in fitness and healthy food and other areas of their lifestyle. How do you tend to these new needs and the new ways of engaging with businesses? Now, your customers live on social media. They take their complaints and reviews there. Everyone wants their voices to be heard. Good examples are TripAdvisor and other rating platforms. It is key to be on the lookout to gauge the public perception and manage their expectations.
There are no doubts challenges to the technological trend in the country. The daily experience of living in Nigeria without power, fuel and just even accessing the Internet is daunting. There’s also the problem of staffing and knowledgeable human resource. A really significant challenge is that of the infrastructure as well. Without the infrastructure in place to sustain your business, you’re always going to be at a disadvantage. For the best internet, you have to have fiber optic cables laid. And if that hasn’t been put in place how you do offer high-speed 5G Internets? It’s just not possible. Wireless technology has peaked in usage and it can only go so fast at the moment. Roads are poor. So if a person wants to get away for a weekend, he has to deal with the traffic. By the time he gets there, that sense of attraction of the actual service would be gone or depreciated.
As regards the innovations, the country is going to look at what the west is doing and evolve greatly. There will be lots of trials and many of them will fail. But some will actually make an impact and be the overriding technology that’s used as we go along. As we progress, the focus of lifestyle technology is going to be on improving the experience of the customer. Technology is an enabler. A lot of effort and money is going to be spent on that. How does one improve that the ability of a customer to engage with a brand or a service? How do you pay for it so much quicker? How do you remove any barriers or any pain points that a customer might have? You’re going to find companies working with payment firms for innovative ways to make the payment process quicker and faster.
In view of all these, is a big dream of building an application that deals with the massive rates of income inequality across the world and in Africa, specifically. This will be something that can work on both feature phones and smartphones. This will essentially assess the capacity of each person on educational levels and their skill set, and try to link them up with job opportunities and vocational or additional training. There is so much poverty across the world and technology gives us an opportunity to provide solutions to this. This would include features that can help people to also get more information about their health or help diagnose very quickly what the problem is.
This would be instrumental in rural areas where people typically have very limited access to health care professionals. Maybe we can even link that to health agencies. We can now use that data to develop a more holistic approach to vaccine production or even medicine distribution across the rural areas. While taking care of the luxury and convenience parts of lifestyle is key, for Nigeria and Africa, I believe that the future will look much better with technological solutions to real life and local issues.
Editor’s Note: The article was originally published in The Spark Magazine. Find the magazine here to read other articles.