Achia Nila is a pioneering computer engineer with nearly two decades of experience in web development, cybersecurity, and digital transformation. As the founder of Women In Digital (WID), she has designed a tech curriculum, propelling the organisation to empower over 20,000 women since 2013. With a background at Dell, Microsoft, and HP, she’s a certified blockchain developer and advisory board member at the London-based Blockchain app development company, Stefan Pro, contributing significantly to Bangladesh’s digital economy.
What insights can you share about the trajectory of Bangladesh’s tech industry in 2024?
I’ve observed remarkable growth in Bangladesh’s tech industry. Significant strides, particularly in web development, involve a pool of talented professionals contributing to innovative projects. The country is increasingly embracing digital transformation, leveraging technology to enhance various sectors.
With that said, as technology advances, so do challenges from cyber threats. Strengthening measures and promoting awareness are key steps in safeguarding our digital landscape.
To keep momentum, it’s crucial to nurture a robust research and development ecosystem. Investing in education and skill development, especially in emerging technologies, will propel Bangladesh’s tech industry onto the global stage.
Which recent tech trends do you anticipate to experience increased or decreased momentum, both on a local and global scale?
Artificial Intelligence (AI), will shape the global and local landscape. AI’s growth in industries through integration into processes and automation is expected. Locally, we’ll see increased AI applications, enhancing efficiency and innovation. Despite government skill development initiatives, more efforts may be needed to match AI’s rapid evolution.
Emerging immersive technologies like Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Mixed Reality are gaining momentum globally in entertainment, education, and healthcare. As awareness grows locally, there’s increased interest in leveraging these technologies. However, the high cost of devices might pose challenges, urging the government to explore affordability measures.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI), WILL SHAPE THE GLOBAL AND LOCAL LANDSCAPE. AI’S GROWTH IN INDUSTRIES THROUGH INTEGRATION INTO PROCESSES AND AUTOMATION IS EXPECTED. LOCALLY, WE’LL SEE INCREASED AI APPLICATIONS, ENHANCING EFFICIENCY AND INNOVATION.
Blockchain technology, with a focus on security and transparency, is poised for continued global growth. Its transformative impact in finance, supply chain, and healthcare is noteworthy. Locally, as regulatory frameworks evolve and businesses value blockchain, its adoption is set to accelerate. To maximise its potential, an updated, well-defined blockchain policy is essential for efficient and secure implementations.
Driven by environmental concerns, sustainable tech is gaining global prominence. In Bangladesh, prioritising sustainability may lead to a surge in tech innovations addressing environmental challenges.
With global tech giants prioritising cybersecurity and data privacy, what are your thoughts on the current cybersecurity trends in Bangladesh?
The emphasis on cybersecurity and data privacy from global tech players reflects the growing recognition of securing digital assets in our interconnected world. In Bangladesh, cybersecurity trends are evolving alongside the increasing digitisation of various sectors.
Rising awareness of cybersecurity issues in the country is leading to more educational initiatives and training programmes. Governments shape cybersecurity through regulations. Bangladesh is likely enhancing its regulatory framework for cybersecurity and data privacy.
Increasing use of AI and machine learning strengthens cybersecurity, boosting threat detection and response capabilities.
Public-private collaboration is vital for a strong cybersecurity posture, with partnerships strengthening to share threat intelligence and best practices.
Organisations might focus on developing robust incident response plans to mitigate cyber incident impacts. The adoption of cyber insurance as a risk management strategy seems to be gaining traction.
As organisations adopt cloud services, securing cloud environments is crucial for safeguarding data.
Securing the digital supply chain is vital to prevent cyber threats in global supply chains.
WID addressed cybersecurity challenges for women by dedicating September 2020 as Cyber Awareness Month. Nationwide workshops empowered and educated women in the digital space. We actively support cyber crime victims, collaborating with Bangladesh Police on cybersecurity. Our commitment involves providing cyber solutions for women’s digital safety.
I strongly believe in shared responsibility for cybersecurity. In Bangladesh, the cybersecurity landscape aligns with global best practices, emphasising awareness, regulatory frameworks, technology adoption, and collaboration. Adapting strategies to counter evolving threats is crucial. For the most accurate information, consult recent reports, government publications, or engage with cybersecurity experts.
What advice do you offer emerging women in tech to overcome social obstacles and enhance their skills in 2024?
My advice for them is to build a support network by connecting with other women in the industry through communities, events, and online forums. Seek mentorship from experienced professionals for valuable guidance and knowledge. Embrace continuous learning through online courses and certifications to stay updated on industry trends.
Actively engage in tech communities locally and globally, attending meetups, conferences, and webinars for hands-on experience. Cultivate self-confidence, advocate for inclusivity, and strive for a healthy work-life balance.
Build a personal brand on platforms like LinkedIn and YouTube and navigate gender bias with resilience. Collaborate with peers and consider mentoring others for a positive impact on the community.
Photograph: Courtesy of Achia Nila