Given The Choice
The Rolls Royce, a mark synonymous with ultimate quality, performance, reliability, style, comfort and so many more adjectives. It is therefore not surprising that given the option of a Rolls Royce over a VW beetle, for most people, choosing the Rolls Royce is a no-brainer.
By default, we all want the best solution for whatever challenges or tasks we are taking on, but unfortunately and too often in solving process or technology issues, choosing to implement a solution on the basis of aspirations, availability will 9 out of 10 times lead to white elephant projects that end up redundant and unfit for purpose in the medium to long term resulting in loss and wast of time, effort and scarce resources.
I draw this analogy particularly in the context of deploying technology to solve local problems in developing economies (Africa in particular). All too often, solutions get rolled out with little or misguided consideration for its sustainable use, maintenance and fitness for purpose.
Africa for the most part has a workforce that is still largely illiterate or at best semi-literate and runs mostly paper-based systems for its administration and governance. This will realistically remain so for at least another 10 years while the infrastructure and mindset required to move to digital and electronic systems get built and power stabilizes.
Infrastructure such as the internet and in particular the cost of data, up-time for ISPs, and antiquated data protection policies or perceptions are some of these deficits that require serious consideration when solving localised problems for these environments.
In this 10 year period, progress in systems development to augment processes and governance does not have to stagnate or be built on shaky foundations of unsustainable short-term solutions. There are quick win gains to be had in the interim without compromising the medium to long term.
Document security is an area of interest for me with my background in software development and security printing. I also believe it is a low-hanging fruit that many African economies can pluck in the quest for improved document security and the eradication of identity fraud and counterfeiting.
The Print Data Challenge
Counterfeiting is a global issue and one being fought on many fronts. While printers and technologists have recorded successes in combating aspects of the document counterfeiting problem using overt and covert methods from specialised inks and paper to embedded security features, the vulnerability of printed data to counterfeiting and alteration has remained notorious to tackle.
Documents like birth certificates, Certificates of Occupancy, Tax Clearance certificates, School Certificates, Vehicle and other registration permits, insurance and many more are faked regularly using methods like (lifting, scratching, and other distortion methods to either alter genuinely issued documents or create seemingly original copies by making copies of original documents, altering them and making copies of copies.
PDS (Print Data Secure)
The PDS (Print Data Secure) Document Originator is a versatile document integrity and security solution developed for and recognising the frustrations of procedural or infrastructural deficits in high-value document processing, auditing and verification in developing environments. It is simple to use and designed to utilise everyday tools from Desktop/Laptops to Microsoft word processing templates and regular printers.
Its simplicity of use and fitness for purpose are the reasons I highlight the propensity for business managers and technologists to opt for Rolls Royce solutions (e.g. blockchain and infrastructure intensive) where Volkswagen ones will do.
Keeping it Simple