Ex­perts Seek De­vel­op­men­tal Ap­proach to Indigenous Soft­ware Quag­mire

Nigeria Communications Week - - Front Page - Chike On­wueg­buchi

STAKE­HOLD­ERS in the soft­ware ecosys­tem have urged for a change in the ap­proach of mod­er­at­ing the growth and adop­tion of indigenous soft­ware, from a reg­u­la­tory to de­vel­op­men­tal ap­proach.

Speak­ing to Nige­ria Com­mu­ni­ca­tion­sWeek, they said that the cur­rent ap­proach of Na­tional In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy De­vel­op­ment Agency (NITDA) is more of reg­u­la­tion than de­vel­op­men­tal which has not helped in the adop­tion of indigenous soft­ware by or­ga­ni­za­tions in the coun­try.

Cit­ing suc­cess recorded by cap­i­tal mar­ket op­er­a­tors in the ap­pli­ca­tion of indigenous soft­ware in the sec­tor, where Nige­ria Stock Ex­change is­sued min­i­mum global stan­dard for tech­nol­ogy ven­dors in the mar­ket known as Fi­nan­cial In­for­ma­tion Ex­change Tech­nol­ogy, which en­abled them to do­mes­ti­cate for cap­i­tal mar­ket op­er­a­tors, Amos Em­manuel, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, Pro­gramos Soft­ware, said that NITDA should en­cour­age tech­nol­ogy play­ers in dif­fer­ent sec­tors of the econ­omy to come up with in­no­va­tions in line with global best prac­tices.

“Tech­no­log­i­cal changes have bro­ken so many lay­down rules and should not be reg­u­lated. Today, man­u­fac­tur

ing sec­tor in the coun­try is averse with tech­nol­ogy be­cause of fears of loss of em­ploy­ment while for­get­ting the new jobs it will cre­ate, but today they are em­bar­rassed by tech­nol­ogy. With ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and ma­chine learn­ing there is no more chairs and ta­ble in the of­fices,” he said.

Dr. YeleOk­eremi, pres­i­dent, In­sti­tute of Soft­ware Prac­ti­tion­ers of Nige­ria (ISPON), said that there is need to use indigenous so­lu­tion to achieve global stan­dard.

He said that NITDA should be a cat­a­lyst for IT de­vel­op­ment and not a bond and that its im­pact has to be mea­sured through how many suc­cess­ful tech­no­log­i­cal firms have spring up in­stead of how many reg­u­la­tions.

“NITDA should be seen as en­cour­ag­ing lo­cal play­ers to be able to achieve global stan­dards. Today, indigenous so­lu­tions providers are faced with cer­ti­fi­ca­tion chal­lenge which or­ga­ni­za­tions have at­trib­uted as re­spon­si­ble for their lack of pa­tron­age. How many of Nige­rian com­pa­nies have achieved global cer­ti­fi­ca­tion?

“For in­stance, there are only 3 com­pa­nies in Nige­ria that have at­tended Ca­pa­bil­ity Ma­tu­rity Model in In­te­gra­tion (CMMI) they are PFS, In­ter­switch and up­per­link. We should be cre­at­ing tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies and scal­ing them. Pro-busi­ness lead­er­ship is about re­mov­ing lim­its and not about cre­at­ing lim­i­ta­tion. We can fo­cus on world-class and do­mes­ti­cate it. These can be achieved in dif­fer­ent sec­tors such as oil & gas, tele­coms, agri­cul­ture, health among oth­ers,” he added.

Ok­eremi noted that achiev­ing do­mes­ti­ca­tion re­quires fo­cus­ing on com­pe­tence that has to do with set­ting up spe­cial­iza­tion train­ing cen­tres just as In­dia is do­ing with its IIT.

He said that the se­cond fo­cus has to do with dis­ci­pline which cen­tres around abil­ity to de­fine and fol­low through pro­cesses. “Dis­ci­pline starts from the top where you spell out rules and fol­low it,” he said.

L-r) Gbolahan Awonuga, ex­ec­u­tive sec­re­tary; Engr. Gbenga Ade­bayo, chair­man; and Ola­jide Aremu, Head of Tech­ni­cal all of As­so­ci­a­tion Li­censed Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Op­er­a­tors of Nige­ria (AL­TON) at a press con­fer­ence to mark 20th an­niver­sary of the As­so­ci­a­tion held in La­gos re­cently

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