Afrosinema, Kenyan Edition: The Digital Migration Saga
Photo credit: Top Lowrider Sites

Photo credit: Top Lowrider Sites

It is safe to assume that a fair number of you had no idea the sudden Monday showers were coming: since many of you have had no access to your regularly scheduled weather forecasts with the 09:00pm news on your favorite local broadcaster.

Yes, it is indeed safe to say a number of you dear readers were caught flat footed when the digital migration saw major Kenyan TV stations go dark.

While various media governing bodies and regulators had worked to raise awareness of the deadline, most of us thought it would be a false start, like the previously advertised deadline, only to be met with the shock of missing our presenter of choice’s smile and latest fashions come 7pm.

Who’s to say this current effort won’t be postponed as well? While we have no way of knowing what the future holds for Kenya’s TV programming, we can say for certain that we as supply chain management professionals can see the impact of the saga on how we run our own operations.

“Embrace change” should become Kenya’s new motto, both within our logistics and outside of it. Denying the steady march of technology and innovation can only serve to trip up your business, industry notwithstanding.

Here we see three media houses, affectionately dubbed the three “dinosaurs” by Kenyans on social media, refusing to convert to a technology globally accepted and in fact expected.

One can argue that this protest is far from altruistic, and is actually fed by the desire to keep their pockets well lined, but that is a theory for another day.

Supply chain management, which relies heavily on the efficiency of technologies supporting operations, makes it impossible to operate on a fleet of donkey-drawn carts while the rest of the world moves on to electric trains.

Photo credit: Hanna Kirana/Flickr

Photo credit: Hanna Kirana/Flickr

In thinking of this, also remember that the world will gladly move on without you.

The “Big Three” media houses, perhaps content with their key player status over the Kenyan airwaves, doubtless expected the digital migration to either halt in their presence or for Kenyan citizens’ lives to stall without the latest episode of La Mujer De La Afrosinema.

Sadly (for them) alternatives have popped up left, right and center, promising to keep Kenyans so entertained they fail to notice the gap left by political propaganda disguised as news.

The same holds true for supply chain management: while we continue to cling to archaic practices and reject technology, the savvy consumer is out in search for more current options that provide greater value to them, Be sure that your competitors will spare no time offering a more convenient product and leave you in the dust of your stubbornness.

From the general Kenyan sentiment, few have sympathy for the stations that are presently failing at providing what Kenyans expect. A subtle reminder to us all: sometimes the people you claim to be protecting and serving would prefer the very advancement you are vehemently against- be it employees that see the benefit in the new systems you refuse to implement or the average Mwananchi tiring of “the media” representing their own interests as those of the masses.

What about you, dear reader? Is your child watching cartoons on your set top box in the background as you get your regularly scheduled news online? Where do YOU stand on this debate? Do have a digital week, won’t you?

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