From Africa to the World: How SMEs in Africa can leverage technology when doing business in other parts of the world
More and more small and medium enterprises in Africa are leveraging technology to expand their reach abroad. Utilizing technological infrastructure presents opportunities for every business sector, including the opportunity to penetrate other markets digitally. SMEs can also use technology to protect themselves and their businesses from all sorts of fraud, especially cross-border fraud.
What are the technologies that African SMEs can use and apply as they expand globally?
1. Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT)
OSINT is the act of collecting publicly available data, analyzing it for intelligence purposes, and disseminating it in a timely manner. We are talking about data derived from reference materials and resources like newspapers, published research and academic papers, census, court filings, social media, books, and public trading data. OSINT is used mostly for cybersecurity, specifically for identifying potential weaknesses in a network so they can be fixed before they are exploited by cybercriminals, and for identifying and addressing external threats and new vulnerabilities.
African SMEs can leverage OSINT to gain insights into a new market to make informed decisions regarding the security of their business. They can utilize open-source data to have a clearer picture of a market's threat landscape, the risks of building a business within that market, and what needs to be done to minimize these risks.
WHOIS is a public database of information that you get when somebody registers a domain name or makes some updates to their DNS settings. The WHOIS database is a valuable tool to use if you are planning to take your business online. Developing your own website requires a domain name, but what if somebody else already owns the perfect domain name for you? Well, use the WHOIS database and you can get the domain owner's contact information and reach out to them to try and negotiate a deal for your ideal domain name.
This is a tremendous help for SMEs, not just in Africa, but SMEs all over the world, in establishing a strong online presence. Having a strong digital presence will, in turn, help you achieve a global reach.
3. Data Broker Websites
Data broker sites are websites that collect data from several sources, including public records, purchase and browsing history, and consent forms. These sites then sell this data or information to companies so that they can use it to build consumer profiles.
Needless to say, having access to consumer profiles from data broker sites will help SMEs expand their reach digitally.
4. Online Background Checks
Online background checks are reports that are carried out by check providers through a search of website databases. Such reports are fast and efficient, depending on the scope of the investigation.
SMEs can benefit from online background checks through the best and most credible providers in the industry. Fast, reliable, and thorough checks allow SMEs to protect themselves and their customers against partnering with the wrong entities, hiring the wrong persons, and entering risk-laden markets.
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These are just a few technologies that SMEs, and even big corporations, in Africa can use to their advantage when they want to establish or strengthen their online presence. Their online presence is a noticeably crucial factor in their global success.