feature: working the web
exceeding costs involved in setting up Web applications as compared to costs associated with telecom infrastructure abroad. “Internet payment gateways and other telecom costs are astronomically expensive compared to other regions. Luckily, there are workarounds that enable many entrepreneurs to start their own regional online business, which is great for the ecosystem. However, bandwidth and lower Internet costs will make the environment more conducive to Web applications,” adds Rauser. “Internet speeds and quality of the service are very important factors for the users of a Web based customer interaction and management programs. If they are unhappy with the uptime and quality, users will resist the applications and almost always never use it again. Therefore, governments must ensure that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) relay better services,” says Khalifa.
Picture perfect Providers of Web services feel that governments need to set up regulations to help secure and protect Web operations at collaborative regional levels, to better the existing ecosystem and encourage users to interact with their vendors online. Web service providers on their end need to focus on the digital marketing concept and not confuse this with social media. Rauser feels that larger organisations in the region are missing the opportunity to set up integrated systems while SMEs lack the resources to maintain effective solutions. “In both cases, organisations as well as consultants need to be more result
Tarek Khalifa, area manager for the Gulf Region at ITS
driven when implementing solutions, he says. They need to create engagement strategies where both, marketing and customer relations work hand in hand.”
“More integration means more cost effective results. If your Web application seamlessly integrates into your existing IT infrastructure and workflows it means less manual work, faster response times and theoretically less error prone systems.”
COMPUTER NEWS MIDDLE EAST
The nature of technology is such that challenges bring with them opportunities for developing innovative solutions and create room for growth in the existing ecosystem. Web consultancies and providers are working on developing new software solutions that address the dynamic nature of changing technology. Interaction over the Internet is still a maturing trend in this region, the convenience and benefits of this channel of communication cannot be ignored and given the right incentives more customers and organisations will begin using Web services. To quote Tim Berners Lee, end users and providers together must “lead the Web to its full potential”.
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