Kenya is setting up majestically to migrate wholly to the cloud. After the State developed its first ever Cloud Computing Strategy several months ago following the recommendations of two critical studies on the feasibility of the same conducted between 2013 and 15, there is now every indication that the nation’s economy will be run on the cloud, orchestrating a slow but sure revolution in service delivery for the good of the citizens.
The baseline survey (2013-14) and in-depth study (2014-15) found that Kenyans are more ready than ever for this phenomenon and would desire, among other things, cloud services that will increase user confidence and accelerate adoption and exploitation.
In effect, the studies recommend, cloud computing in Kenya should translate into complete solutions that are already assured for security, performance and service management.
That desired end should be realized if there are many more shared community services and solutions which are highly scalable and flexible, easy to use as well as cost-effective, while vended in a competitive marketplace. Yet the ultimate goal should be improved governance.
Taking the above into account, the National Cloud Computing Strategy thus aims to increase the speed with which ICT services are deployed; use global standards and best practices to provide high quality and consistency; reduce waste by avoiding duplication, breaking down silos and promoting sharing of idle resources; increase project success rates by sharing of information and inter-agency collaboration; use open standards for data and architecture to facilitate greater interoperability, openness and re-use of ICT solutions.
The GoK Cloud Strategy’s other principles include:
Cost consciousness by reducing the price government pays for assets by increasing sharing and re-use of ICT services and solutions.
Promoting flexibility, convenience and ease of use of government services by citizens.
Agility to help improve the way government delivers business change.
Enhancing accountability and trust by clearly defining internal and provider responsibilities while building trust into business processes.
Meanwhile, the following types of cloud were thoroughly studied with a view to ascertaining the possibility of their applicability in the country: private, public, hybrid and community cloud; all of them capable of delivering either Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), or Platform as a Service (PaaS).
However, in consideration of the various needs of Government and the characteristics of the data, applications, platforms and infrastructure, the two state-commissioned studies in question strongly recommend a hybrid approach to cloud services.
Moses Omusolo is the Social Media Manager, C4DLab.