With my work permit granted, I find myself thinking about the reality of online business here. Papua New Guinea is an emerging country with boundless potential. They are at the beginning stages of the smartphone uptake wave and the prospect of more affordable data is on the horizon…OK the very far horizon!
It is an exciting and challenging place for a digital business analyst to find themselves – which phases of Internet evolution will they skip past? Which areas will go straight to the latest technology? Will the evolution of the digital landscape follow the evolutionary path that we saw in Australia 10 years ago? Music, followed by online games, shopping, then productivity tools and followed by location based services.
How will the cost of data affect the roll-out of app based business initiatives? How does the digital space look in a country where the balance of wealth is so heavily skewed against the majority of the country when the appetite for access to the same internet world we inhabit is as strong as ours? How will traditional offline businesses expand online and will the business model need to be wildly different based on the conditions inherent with living in a poor country with urgent social issues.
So many issues stand in the way of progress, many are universal but on a more crippling scale: cost, access and supply of products makes online shopping tricky. Staff knowledge and need for skills training on how to work online needs a lot of attention on a business by business basis. Employees just don’t know how they will use the tool, how to achieve consistency of message across the online and offline assets and how to use the internet to grow their business.
I am looking forward to making inroads into this exciting area of business and helping clients open up a new world of revenue possibilities.