Experts with Microsoft, Phillips Consulting Limited (Pcl) and the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) have encouraged Nigerian firms and industries; both small and large towards getting more familiar with digital trends that drives global innovation.
Their opinions were expressed at the maiden edition of Pcl’s quarterly Chief Information Officers (CIOs) breakfast meeting that kicked off at the last week in March.
The maiden edition of the meeting projected on the “Emerging trends of Digital Transformation and Cyber Security”
Robert Taiwo, the managing Director of Phillips Consulting was of the opinion that it is important for Pcl to be part of digital transformation conversation by bringing Chief Information Officers (CIOs) to engage with for a successful digital transformation competition in Nigeria.
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Citing the American poet Gil Scott-Heron, he urged organisations to take notice of the ways digital technology is revolutionizing industries, or they could be left behind.
According to Nigerian management consulting firm’s boss, this was necessary in light of emerging changes and trends across the globe. “With the global world changing fast, one of the important characteristics of Nigeria is that it’s a green field site and we have the opportunity to leap frog the conversation above the competition,” Taiwo said.
The wave of digital disruption such as automation, artificial intelligence, data analytics and Internet of things have begun to hit the rest of the world as well as the Nigerian Economy, but a preparedness for the business environment in catching up with these developments is key towards driving the required growth, were the main consensus of speakers at the event.
Corroborating Taiwo’s presentiments, Daniel Adeyemo, digital advisor at Microsoft while giving a short lecture on Digital Transformation and the Nigerian Ecosystem, said that “Quite a number of organisations in the West African subregion have begun to pursue significant digital transformation projects in both the public and private sectors, thereby, giving them a leg up in the race for superior results”.
Presenting a rare glimpse into the regulatory perspective of cyber security in Nigeria was Bala Fakandu, deputy director at the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA.
Fakandu who spoke on ‘cyber securities in Nigeria: A regulatory perspective’, painted a matter-of-fact picture of the government’s current cyber security posture, which was enlightening, he revealed that ‘’cyber-crime act provides the agency the rights for incidence management at the Nigerian Computer Emergency Response Team (ngCERT)’’.
He also added that the ‘’ONSA has the authority to develop, coordinate and implement cyber securities of all stakeholders in Nigeria’’.
Also speaking at the event was Felix Nwoshu, principal service delivery manager at Microsoft. Nwoshu presented the grim reality of the global cyber threat. He highlighted that 75 percent of people in an organisation are likely to click on a phishing link and that each cyber-attack costs an average of $4million. “A cyber risk, is currently the only risk to which an entire organisation can be lost.”
The event featured a panel discussion where the panellists agreed on the need for more concerted efforts at collaboration between government and the private sector to drive digital adoption and its cyber security component.
Pcl also used the opportunity to announce a strategic partnership with Microsoft. Speaking on the partnership Robert Taiwo said, “Through its digital technology consulting practice, Pcl possesses deep industry and business expertise. Coupled with Microsoft’s market leading technology, in the areas of Cloud Computing, Cyber Security and Data Analytics, we can jointly provide our customers with a set of business aligned technology solutions that are perfectly in sync with a Digital 4.0 economy”.
Jason Ikegwu, associate partner digital and technology, PCL, added that “this partnership will allow us drive digital transformation and, ultimately, growth, in ambitious, forward-looking organisations.”
Closing the event, Ikegwu said “For a maiden event, turnout was great and that’s exciting for us because it signals genuine interest in these conversations and the direction in which they lead”.
He also shared his thoughts on how the digital transformation will aid the development of the small and medium scale entrepreneurs (SMEs) which make up 90 percent of Nigeria’s manufacturing/ industrial sector.
Ikegwu noted that SMEs have a better advantage because they are smaller and don’t have legacy systems to struggle with. “SMEs can easily innovate and more importantly work with their customers who are actually smaller to redefine a new experience which gives them a leverage to disrupt the status quo.”