Yet again, I see another government tender for technology to improve the social and economic development of a country that is based around processor speed or operating systems. As if the sole determinant of ICT4D projects success is sufficient RAM.
Apples, Oranges, and Bananas
We now live in a Post-PC world, with great differences in technical characteristics between traditional computers (desktop or laptop) and mobile devices (tablets and smartphones).
Could anyone say that the 1GHz ARM processor in a iPAD is less powerful than a netbook with AMD of 1.8Ghz? Or a netbook with 2GB of RAM is twice the power of a Samsung tablet with 1GB? Or that iOS is more or less functional that Microsoft 7?
Focus on Use Case, Not Hardware
Now what if hardware tenders focused on functionality instead? What if it said that the equipment is expected to allow students access to digital texts, produce videos, interact with multimedia content, program applications, share information graphically in a classroom? Or had as its performance requirement, the ability to play a YouTube video at 720p.
This would free up the respondents to look beyond strict definitions of hardware and both experiment and innovate in their proposals. It would also ensure that buyers could create the experiences they sought.
Because at the end of the day, beneficiaries are excited by progress, not processors.
You may be interested in: 5 Steps to Win Technology Tenders and ICT Requests for Proposals