Turning Kenya into a ’tech-defined’ country

Posted on December 6, 2014 09:57 pm

Kenyan companies are now offering data-centre virtualization, hybrid cloud and end-user computing to enable companies to enhance efficiency and competitiveness.In the mobile-cloud era, the “software-defined data centre” solution is now enabling Kenyan companies to better utilize their budgets, while increasing the business performances and the competitiveness. According to a recent study, Kenyan company’s three key business strategies are focused on the software-defined data centre, the hybrid cloud, and end-user computing and they entails having all main components of a data centre namely storage, computer, networking working together in software. One of the company is building software-defined data centres, the idea of which is to put all the brain and technology into the software instead of into hardware, thus making it much easier to be more agile and faster in developing and building technology, according to the study. Some of Kenyan company’s competitors in this field, like Google, Amazon, the application they use means users run it on their data centre, and not on their cloud. They therefore have to completely rewrite the application, according to the study.

Another area the companies are investing heavily in is end-user computing, which means they are able to help deliver applications to devices. Users can remotely manage and control devices with mobile-device management software products which are especially good for a company’s confidentiality when devices are stolen or lost. One of the Nairobi based companies founder told me that his company’s vision is to allow customers to run their apps and get efficiency, because they virtualize everything and are able to manage it seamlessly regardless of where it’s running, in the cloud or in data centre, and then deliver to customers or employees on their devices and manage those devices so customers have security of isolation and, if anything goes wrong, they can remotely manage the device, he explained. He added that the big challenge for customers when considering a move to virtualisation and a software-defined data centre was how to continue to support the legacy application that they have running in their environment so they do not have to rewrite the app. Another area that is very challenging is security, having to be careful not to lose internal or customer information. Key sectors that the companies in Kenyan capital are working on include to assist include the financial industry, where banks and other financial institutions have the most demanding needs; the scientific field, such as cancer research and hospitals, where data and security are crucial issues; and automotive and engineering, because they need plenty of agility and work very fast.

At the same time I also came across a different vendor who took his time to convince me that hyper-converged infrastructure, network virtualization and storage virtualization together were the next big thing in information technology. In her own words, hyper-converged infrastructure will dramatically simplify the delivery of software-defined infrastructure services, while lowering the operating expenses of customers.Businesses in Kenya are moving in the right direction, and this will be especially useful as Kenya opens up as a key growth market in the region. The biggest customers for Nairobi based companies are financial services, insurance and the telco industry, as well as manufacturing and education.President Uhuru Kenyatta’s led government last year announced a roadmap to move Kenya to a ‘digital economy’, information and communications technology would be a key driver for reforming the country. If the Kenyatta government could reduce the current budget by just keeping the existing system up and running, it could leverage that reduced cost to create other new things required to drive the country’s growth in terms of ICT, such as new apps.”It’s not only the stability to deliver apps, but the main thing is agility. Kenya needs to be agile. A lot of good ideas are being pulled around, and the question is whether those in the public sector are ready to deliver on our vision, whether they have the ICT capability to deliver the vision of a tech-defined country.

Contador Harrison