Country Entry Evaluation
Country Entry Evaluation
Cloud computing is a service that has been embraced in many countries across the world. With cloud computing, companies can now use IT infrastructure services as a utility rather than building IT systems within their premises. This is because there is a cloud service provider that makes available these services for any company in need. These has enabled organizations to roll out services much faster and only pay for what they utilize. Projects that were taking a lot of time to be implemented are now done faster. Companies do not also have to worry about security issues and systems going down as the service provider does that for them. Developments and testing have become cheaper.
Many organizations have realized the importance of cloud computing and are already moving their services. Cloud computing service providers are mostly international for most countries. This means that such companies taking international services may experience traffic latency compared to when the service provider is local. As such I thought of seeking a country that has business potential for cloud computing to start a local service provider which will enable them transact much faster. They will also be able to easily access support services through phone calls, emails or even walking in to the office to discuss various issues. One challenge with the international service providers is delayed support and traffic latency.
Kenya is one country in East Africa that is business oriented and is improving a lot in technology and innovation. One of the areas where cloud computing is key is service high availability and disaster recovery. This mostly affects banks and micro-finance institutions, something that Kenya is doing a lot. Kenya is a developing country, giving a lot of chances for upcoming businesses that will take advantage of cloud services. Developing countries are provide attractive market for cloud computing services and will improve a lot on healthcare, education and banking (Kshetri, N., 2010). New buildings require managed networks, CCTV footage storage and recovery and hosted applications and databases. With the new roll-out of services to county governments in Kenya, governors are improving their areas of jurisdiction through building new hospitals, schools and universities, roads and business buildings. All these require incorporation of new technology and cloud services will be of importance.
According to a research done by Kenya Agribusiness and Agroindustry Alliance, SMEs have upto Ksh. 5,000,000 annual turnover. The research also outlines the kind of challenges that these institutions are experiencing. One key challenge is copying with the ever changing technology. The research indicates that most of these enterprises find difficulties in adapting new technology due to highs costs of installation and maintenance. Also SMEs in rural areas may not have reliable power connections for the servers. It is also apparent that most companies have not understood what and how important cloud computing is. There is also not enough knowledge and skills in IT. Cloud computing will therefore come hand in for them.
The Kenyan government is also looking to roll out efficient, effective and affordable health services to the citizens. IT in healthcare will be very useful to make this happen. ERP systems have proved to be very handy in handling patient data. These systems can be offered as a managed hosted service instead of in premise infrastructure. Cloud computing will enable them use hosted applications, store large amounts of data, backup their data and retrieve them whenever they need. Cloud will also ensure data security by incorporating the desired security policies to the hospital data. Those who require private cloud can also be provisioned for them.
The services offered by Kenyan government such as civil registrations have mostly be done manually with the use of static applications and paperwork. A research done by Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) shows that only 35.6 percent of Kenyan public institutions use cloud services whereas private ones amount to 22.9 percent. This present a lot of potential for cloud business and especially a local service provider. Most of those who already use cloud services in Kenya are utilizing private cloud (39 %) while 29% use public. It could be that the concerns are security related (Omwansa, T. 2014).
As shown above, cloud computing comes with a lot of advantages and it is an excellent business idea for developing countries. However, many people are still paranoid on having IT services hosted. Firstly, majority of the people in Kenya have not understood what cloud computing is and how it can be of good use to them. This will require time to train people and to visit companies have cloud business potentials to offer cloud computing information. Another issue that is almost found everywhere is fear of insecurity once exposed to the internet. People area also paranoid having someone else they cannot see to manage their IT services.
Another concern noted among most consumers in Kenya is fear to change purchasing terms. Most of them are used to buying a software or hardware, that they own, and make use of it in any way they need. Cloud computing is presentation a situation where services are only paid for according to what to what has been utilized. Many confessed that procurement laws in the country have not yet considered the nature of cloud services. The Kenya Information Communication Authority (ICT) had published a cloud service standard but it had not been enforced in majority of government agencies and departments. These challenges can, however, be attributed to young age of cloud computing adoption in developing countries and can be overcome through training and awareness.
The government of Kenya is actually making efforts to promote IT utilization in Kenya. It has appointed a well-educated IT Cabinet Secretary to champion the adoption of IT systems in the country. Cloud computing is one of the core areas of interest. Training on the same has in fact been incorporated into higher education learning curriculum. With the government wanting to take public services to the cloud there is a big need for cloud services in the country and the government is ready to take on the same.
Omwansa, T., (2014). Cloud Computing in Kenya: A baseline survey
Kshetri, N. (2010). Cloud Computing in Developing Economies