Optimizing digital tools to boost efficiency and productivity during the pandemic


Michael Niyitegaka is a digital technology specialist and Program Director of Refactory at Clarke International University. He is engaged in digital skilling and developing solutions for the digital economy ecosystem in Uganda. The COVID-19 Business Info Hub spoke with Michael to understand his perspective on how businesses can use digital tools to improve business efficiency and boost productivity.


What digital tools can businesses use to improve workplace productivity during this period?

There are many digital tools, but any enterprise needs to think about team management tools during this period. Such tools will help businesses gain visibility and control of what staff are doing, especially now that most companies work remotely. Here are some tools that improve productivity at work:

Slack: Slack is valuable for communication among staff. It allows communication and quick exchange of information within a team. Slack integrates well with other tools.

Trello: Trello is a handy tool used in task management. It is a simple and intuitive tool for structuring tasks and enables a high degree of transparency in the team. It uses templates for task orientation and automation.

Google workspace: Google workspace allows you to get all work done in one place. Companies can use a range of Google productivity applications, such as the Google Calendar for scheduling, to keep everyone updated. The Google Docs application enables team members to create files and allows real-time editing and feedback using comments and suggestions.

Zoom: Zoom allows you to hold meetings, training sessions, and other events with remote team members any time from any device supporting the application. Businesses can save money and time on travel and still have real-time and even face-to-face (via video) interactions.

Digital payment: Transaction-oriented businesses need the integration of digital payment tools. These include mobile money, Visa, or Paypal payment services. It allows fast-tracking of sales and is convenient for customers. I encourage entrepreneurs to consider it.

It is vital for businesses to integrate convenient tools that bring out efficiencies and optimize available resources.


What can businesses do to improve the workers’ digital skills and proficiency?

Digital skills and proficiency allow workers to engage with the digital tools to be more productive. It enables workers to solve problems and innovate ways that can propel the business. Although most companies take digital literacy training for granted, it is necessary to improve workers’ digital skills and proficiency. Companies have to invest in digital literacy to leverage value out of introducing digital tools and fully appreciate the capability of the technology they possess. I recently was doing training for one entity, and they were amazed at how much they are paying for but how little they are using.


How can SMEs access training on digital literacy and skilling?

There are several training resources available on digital literacy and skills. For business, I recommend the digital skills framework used by  International Computer Driving License (ICDL) because it is a global framework used across different markets.

We are putting together a training program targeting how SMEs can integrate digital literacy in the operations at Refractory. The program will start in August 2021, and Clarke International University will deliver the training. We will also set up a separate program called the Executive Catalyst to help business owners understand how to integrate and use technology to grow their business.


To learn more about digital tools and our programs; 

Call: +256772672300

Email: mniyitegeka@ciu.ac.ug

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