Kenya’s ICT sector has so far experienced a substantial growth with both local and international ICT firms eying the data storage segment keenly. There are more than three firms including both local and foreign who have so far expressed interest in offering data storage services either for public use or on demand by individuals. This development clearly symbolizes Kenya’s vibrant economy which is in dire need for enormous investments in the ICT sector; however, without clear regulations, it could pose a great risk to sensitive information which some people may use for malicious gain. As of now, the Kenyan government and individual’s outsourced information is limited to non sensitive documents at least until after necessary legislation have been enacted. Three major firms have already invested heavily in the data storage sector with anticipation of the continued growing industry.
Cloud computing can best be referred to as an online based computing service in which several resources needed to perform basic computing functions such as printers and networks are shared; on top of that, necessary software and information is provided to computers and other devices when requested. Safaricom is currently popular for its mobile service provision such as voice calls, data, text and money transfer commonly dubbed Mpesa and its venture into cloud computing which is intended to diversify its services is presumed informed given the continued growth in Kenya’s ICT sector. The Safaricom’s cloud computing service will enable companies utilize the said services by subscribing for a license for each user and in return access a host of applications contrary to paying for them individually and installing on their computers. According to Safaricom, its cloud computing service is tailored to meet local computing requirements as opposed to copied systems from west that are complex and often difficult to use locally, an example is a small business that would prefer an accounting system fully integrated with the Kenya’s tax system.
As of now, at least four companies which include Safaricom, Kenya Data Networks (KDN), Business Connexion and Temenos have ventured into the cloud computing business. Its presumed that these firms will start by first catering for less sensitive/risk information before moving to more complex data at least until the necessary legislations have been enacted. Cloud computing service providers such as Safaricom are expected to woo local companies considering the benefits associated with the service i.e. cost efficiency which is attained by eliminating the need for complex infrastructure that incurs heavy costs, flexibility and dynamic modern environment to carryout business functions and its user friendliness. Safaricom’s cloud computing service is expected to entail both public cloud that’s intended for anyone and private cloud that delivers services within the firewall for the benefit of the business. Training will be needed for users to acquaint themselves with the system though it’s generally not technical.