There is a lot to be said about technology and digital transformation but the one thing that holds my interest a good one is the Internet of Things. In very broad and simplified terms, IoT can be defined as connecting physical devices to the internet to gather data, analyze it and help in creating actionable solutions. Giving things from as low tech as light bulbs to high tech as smart cities digital intelligence to work without human intervention.
At the beginning of March this year, I spoke at length with Rita Okuthe who is the Chief Enterprise Business Officer at Safaricom PLC. The conversation we were having was based on International Women’s day, women empowerment, and maternal health. But with her position and day to day work, the question of heavy technology obviously came up especially in the introductory phase of the interview.
In an example of what clearly demonstrates some of the things that Rita mentioned at the interview, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa-Kenya has partnered with Safaricom PLC have engage technology and especially IoT into high gear to make their coolers ‘smart’. This is being piloted by connecting 100 coolers in Nairobi with sensors for the next one month and later expand across the country.
The sensors will be able to pass to Coca-Cola real time data like how many coolers/fridges are on or off at any given time, whether they are operating at optimal temperatures and how often the cooler doors are opened. This gives the company clear actionable insights to enable them to make informed decisions like when to re-stock, and when to schedule coolers for maintenance. In the end, it all boils down to the consumer who will enjoy products at perfect conditions and Coca-Cola partners who will avoid extra running costs as a result of poor or non-performing assets.
Technology is becoming crucial in just about everything we do. And in Rita Okuthe’s words, “the winners will be companies that successfully apply technology to improve the “people” and “process” elements of their business,”.