All set for Nation Media Group's third digital summit

Meg Whitman

Margaret “Meg” Whitman, the US Ambassador to Kenya will be a keynote speaker at the three-day digital forum organised by the Nation Media Group on February 22 -24, 2023 in Mombasa. PHOTO | JOAN PERERUAN | NMG

ICT Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo and US ambassador to Kenya Margaret Whitman will grace a three-day digital forum organised by the Nation Media Group that seeks to deepen the use of technology by the private sector and government entities.

Dubbed, Enhancing Africa’s Digital Transformation, the event, on February 22 to 24, will see leading figures in the digital space enlighten businesses and the public sector on the critical role of technology amid the disruptions that have led to a shift in how corporates and government entities operate.

Ms Whitman has vast experience in the digital space, given that she previously served as CEO of tech giants eBay and Hewlett-Packard (HP).

Mr Owalo is tasked with leading the government’s bid to shift some 5,000 services online.

Emerging needs

The forum, the third to be organised by the Nation Media Group, comes at a time when digitising operations has become priceless for any firm keen to remain in business and thrive in the current challenging environment.

“The event will assemble varied stakeholders and respected authorities in the digital world to present and discuss ideas, innovations, discoveries and perspectives relating to the prevailing and emerging needs of an increasingly digitised world,” Nation Media Group Chief Executive Officer Stephen Gitagama said.

The key areas of focus include the role of digital shifts in the expansion of businesses while beefing up the systems to keep them safe from cyber-attacks.

The forum to be held at the Sarova Whitesands Hotel from Wednesday to Friday next week will also offer delegates an opportunity to deepen their knowledge of the critical role of ensuring robust digital systems that have the required capacity to absorb the ever-changing trends and challenges at the workplace.

Learning opportunity

Delegates are set to tap into Ms Whitman’s vast experience on how she led global giants in the digital shift, helping position them at vantage points to grow their businesses while embracing technology.

Ms Whitman took over at HP in 2011 and is credited with steering the firm from a time when shares were at a six-year low and helping it embrace the digital shift, highlighting the immense learning opportunity for delegates who will attend the forum.

The forum comes at a time of heightened focus on the digitisation of systems in the private sector and government entities to embrace global trends.

Experts reckon that adopting advanced technologies such as the Internet of Things, Big Data, Machine Learning, and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERPS) tools is no longer an option, with those that fail to do so facing uncertainty ahead.

Customer data is a key pillar of digital transformation, providing the pool of information where companies can glean deep insights into their buyers’ preferences and behaviours, bringing to the fore the importance of secure digital systems.

Digital shift

The reality of the digital shift became more pronounced in the wake of the outbreak of coronavirus in 2020, which opened a new dawn of the remote workplace, disrupting businesses and government entities that had to invest more in technology.

But while many businesses have made progress in integrating technology into their operations, some are yet to get their footing right in the digital world, even as the government plans an ambitious shift to offer services online.

The new administration plans to digitise all 5,000 services by the end of this year in a shift that all businesses seeking to do business with the government will inevitably embrace.

Plans to roll out 100,000km of a digital highway in the form of fibre optic cables to enable internet access in every part of the country are at an advanced stage.

The highway is expected to serve 29,000 schools, 26,000 markets and 8.5 million homes with access to electricity highlighting why the private sector keen to bang contracts with the government must embrace the digital shift sooner than later.