The research by Digital Impact Awards Africa (DIAA) show that upto 59% of Uganda?s Top 1000 taxpayers do not have a corporate website thereby forfeiting opportunities to cut costs, improve service delivery and strengthen customer loyalty.

?What can be handled by 10 people in a call centre can be handled by 3 on social media, but this depends on the strength of their platforms like if the website is not interactive or social media integrated,? said Innocent Kawooya, chief executive officer of DIAA while disclosing parts of the research.

Kawooya says for corporate firms whose products are customer focused like telecom, water, electricity, having a digital platform that has real time response space increases the chances of increasing sales as well as customer loyalty in the time of crisis.

?We were very surprised by the findings. In 2015, a corporate website should not be taken for granted in the same way as a Post Office box. If your customers and business partners cannot find you online, you do not exist,? noted Kawooya who pointed out that Google recently changed its ranking of websites to award more marks to mobile adaptable websites.

Mobile is increasingly the first, and in the majority of cases, the only channel through which people access the digital infrastructure in Africa. Hence the lack of a mobile adaptable website or dedicated mobile websites/apps or no corporate website at all limits the number of online users leading to increased transactional costs.

Details of the research shall be disseminated during the second Digital Impact Awards Africa DIAA dinner on August 13, 2015 at the Kampala Serena Hotel.

During the awards running under the theme ?Maximizing the Digital Dividend?, DIAA with support from the National IT Authority Uganda (NITA-U) will recognize firms providing exemplary service in the use of digital infrastructure like web, mobile, social media and digital financial services in transforming lives, furthering digital inclusion, financial inclusion and cybersecurity in Africa.

Kawooya said DIAA received 37 direct entries for possible nominations from across Africa including from organizations in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria among other countries.

Uganda the home and host of DIAA has some Uganda specific awards categories.

International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations? specialized agency for ICTs, recently named DIAA as one of the major projects that will mark its 150th anniversary celebration because of their efforts in promoting awareness of the benefits of ICTs worldwide.

?Digital Impact Awards Africa will award excellence following a research and jury assessment methodology presided by eminent judges like Vincent Bagiire, chairperson of ICT committee in parliament, Prof. Jacques Tiberghien (Ph.D.) from Vrije Universiteit, Brussels, Peter Kahiigi, director of Information Security, NITA-U and Maseena Ziegler, Forbes Journalist for entrepreneurship and Leadership subjects and Young Global Leader (World Economic Forum) and Dr. Engineer Bainomugisha (Ph.D.), Makerere University head of computer science department.

?DIAA nominees and eventual award winners will get great value from DIAA nomination and should leverage it for their further industry recognition as innovators, trend setters and the best at digital embrace? says Innocent Kawooya, Cyberplc Partner.

By David Mugabe, The New Vision


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