Software development has put the Indians on the ICT world map, but for Nigeria the story is different. In this interview with ISAIAH ERHIAWARIEN, the Managing Director of Programos Software Limited, Mr. Emmanuel Amos, explains that the future of the software industry in Nigeria is bright but government must urgently play its role.
WHAT is the state of the soft ware industry in Nigeria?
Let me simply put this way that the Nigerian IT industry is undergoing a tough time!
The problem of the software industry is as common to that of hardware in that most solutions produced by product creators lack adequate demand for them.
So what’s the solution?
The value chain expected to correct the trend will require urgent government intervention.
Producers of software products are plagued with increasing socio economic challenges that one would have ordinarily expected that going by the Federal Government's vision 2020 agenda, things would have been looking up by now. But the reverse is the case:
Power crisis is on the increase, industries have gone moribund are and some are still finding it uneasy to recover, government's patronage of local products and services continuously saddled with corrupt procurement procedures so much that there is no level playing field for these 'managing' entrepreneurs to survive the market battles.
How is Programos coping in all these?
For Programos Software Limited, we know tough people last, but tough times don't. Following the global trends we have had to study particularly from the Indian Nasscom, key Asian, Canadian, Egyptian players of the IT revolution etc.
Programos has in the last six months completed major IT business model reviews and strategy including an internal software development project to manage our strategic alliances, project management of service rendition to an expanded business horizon covering Nigeria and several African economic geographies via the cloud under an outsourcing business delivery network called: ProgramosBPO.
The ProgramosBPO platform, a 'hub and spoke' outsourcing business model was formed after KPMG's recommendation and roadmap to Nasscom at the last India Nasscom Leadership Forum 2012 in Mumbai.
Programos Software Limited has been working on fresh cloud computing initiative software solutions for the ailing capital market, being our major niche area where we have had a bullish control of the market computerization for about two decades now.
Programos Software Limited in conjunction with United Nations Global Alliance for ICT Development, UN-GAID and NGE Solutions Inc, USA has completed an MOU for SPACE4Nigeria.com.ng (Strategic Planning, Architectures and Acquisition, Control and Edu-
cation) link to UN MDG eNabler 'portal of portals' for Nigeria.
The next six months would have properly shaped our U-turn from the IT industry bearishness that has lasted over 3 years.
Any hope for the industry in Nigeria?
Nonetheless, Nigeria's software market remains very viable and at-tractive.
Software business has changed a great deal so much that what sold yesterday does sell readily today.
If at all they do, the transaction pattern exhibits global trends like Software as a Service (SaaS), In-frastructure as a Service (IaaS) in a Service-Oriented Architecture, (SOA).
With these developments, an-other worrisome thing is the con-tinuous production of graduates from our unchanging educational institutions with archaic curricu-lum that does not reflect these trends.
What’s your message for new comers?
My message for upcoming firms in particular software field is that they need keep up a competitive social web and mobile content in-novation through perseverance, low expectation from the govern-ment - and God will see them through, otherwise they kill their morale.
The Communication Technol-ogy Minister, Mrs Omobola Johnson has however recently promised in a Roundtable Meet-ing and Dinner organized by In-formation Technology (Industry) Association of Nigeria, ITAN that her priorities include the boost to the essential value chain process for the software industry. She also stressed promoting 'made in Ni-geria' by persuading government and private sector to lead by ex-ample.