The evolution of the world towards virtualisation has made pretty much everything to be just a click of the button away. Business schools are also keeping up with this technological trend. Virtual classes, libraries, databases, online reviews just to mention but a few. The ubiquity of technology has gone a long way in making learning easy in countless ways and a great deal of professionals from various African business schools were present in this years Association of African Business Schools annual conference which was held in the Strathmore Business School from Sunday 18th to Tuesday 20th of May.
Before the internet became what it is today, a scholar had to walk into specific organisations, make expensive phone calls and even carry out actual excursions to come up with statistical analysis. Even with how seemingly incomplete those studies were, looking back at them today, that had to do. Today, however, such studies have been made much easier. Though we cannot rule out the importance of manual excursions, acquiring such information has been made much easier by online databases which are filled with secondary sources of information that play probably the greatest role in modern education.
Apart from the learning aspect, technology can also be put to use to satisfy more technical needs in business schools and organisations. The rise of mobile enterprise technology for communication, evaluation and quick information dispersal has been successfully exploited to support company processes, tailor systems and increase customer satisfaction.
Technologys potential to revolutionise the business world is however far from exhaustion. Organisations need not emphasize on the traditional conventions of employee training for example. Though important, trainings are often costly and inefficient as shown by reliable statistics presented at the conference by Evanna Hu, the young CEO and Co-Founder of the Jordanian based company g.Maarifa, (one of the information system development companies) which can be found on the Strathmore Business Schools website. The answer to employee training in the modern market lies in the use of mobile technology.
Interactive mobile platforms allow organisations to upload and manage end users accounts, deliver content, evaluate feedback, track performance, manage and analyse data, customize their web-based dashboards and avail their services through mobile phones on different scales. The data availed in the use of such systems provides more than enough information for organisations to analyse and interpret their performance from various angles.
Dr Joseph Sevilla, who chaired the last IT-themed session of the conference emphasised the importance of incubators in academic institutions. Incubators help students get a practical feel of the fields they study. Technology and the internet is an ever growing and infinite resource he said. Dr Sevilla, the director at iLab Africa, based in Strathmore University gives students an opportunity to familiarise themselves with what they are taught in class by exposing them to the working environment. His familiarity with the subject attracted keen attention and led to an interactive question and answer session which bore a lot of content from the diverse audience.
With todays technology there is a lot more that can be done. To completely analyse the opportunities virtualisation presents us with what was seemingly impossible. The bottom line is that change is inevitable and we cannot fight but mould and evolve with it. The world of business is already riding on its everlasting advantages and so should everyone else.