Autonomous technology has many connotations, with the perceived threats to jobs one of them. However, this does not have to be the case as it unlocks so much potential for people to embrace opportunities in the digital age.
Forget self-driving cars and the mainstream consumer perceptions around what autonomous entails. For business, it refers to driving better efficiency without human intervention. By this notion, are databases not already automated? Is machine-learning (artificial intelligence in popular parlance) not already driving a self-learn, self-recurring ICT environment in an organisation?
Given the lack of understanding around autonomous technology, there is resistance to some elements of it around the world. However, every organisation wants to lower cost, improve efficiency, and be more competitive. As long as these business fundamentals do not change, autonomous enables this and reduces company downtime significantly.
A new world
In this environment, Nigerian businesses can look towards a new world where cost and efficiency become everything. Using this as a foundation, autonomous delivers on the promise. So, while customer education forms an important element of its success, IT departments also need to be guided in terms of the practical benefits of using this anew form of innovative technology.
If IT departments fully embrace autonomous cloud technology, they can move beyond an environment where their main goal is to maintain technology and enter one where they can drive the data management strategy of a business. In turn, this means they can focus on innovation and delivering improvements faster than in the past.
From a country standpoint, Nigeria is ready to start the drive towards autonomous cloud technology. Now the focus is on getting the skills in place to capitalise on the willingness to change.
Nigeria is incredibly blessed with people as a natural resource. Roughly 60 percent of the population is youth. This sees the country in the enviable position where it can start building skills for the data-driven environment. Of course, none of this would be possible without partnerships between government and private sector organisations.
Looking at it from a people perspective, companies must ensure their employees are ready for an autonomous cloud technology-driven environment and are able to capitalise on its benefits. And then there are the opportunities for graduates who are entering the job market ready to use the skills they were taught at tertiary institutions.
The next segment to be targeted are students currently at university. Institutions can use the ICT requirements of organisations and establish these through partnerships to build the skills needed to make students employable in a digital environment. Of course, it all starts at secondary and primary school by encouraging children to appreciate science and mathematics and embrace them as achievable pursuits.
With data becoming the currency of business today, establishing skills must be a priority. This leads to an understanding of how data can deliver on what is required and help guide autonomous systems to extract the best value out of it.
Nigeria, and the rest of the continent, are in prime position to benefit from the increased global focus on using autonomous technology. Africa is rich in terms of people and minerals with the focus now being on transforming that into consistent revenue generation to allow the continent to grow.
Furthermore, there is no point in reinventing the wheel. Nigeria, and other markets in Africa, can replicate and support the autonomous technologies strategies developed elsewhere and customise it to suit the unique local market conditions.
In Nigeria, we have the people and the opportunity with skills development to drive autonomous cloud technology in all facets of business and public sector growth.
Adebayo Sanni, MD of Oracle Nigeria