The Government of Kenya Cloud Strategy crafted and subsequently launched early this year by a team of University of Nairobi scholars is as idealistic as it is realistic.
Intending to put the management of the whole of Kenya’s economic activities properly on the cloud, the Strategy does anticipate several key challenges, which it in effect moves to address, giving the citizens the confidence that the project will not be a mega disappointment.
While the first of such challenges being resistance to change, the strategy will decisively move in to implement a change in management program.
The inappropriate procurement legislation issue will be effectively countered by the radical amendment of procurement legislations to allow for procurement and scaling of cloud services.
The insufficient legal and regulatory environment is likely to stand in the way of a cloud computing Kenya. However, strengthening the legal and regulatory environment to support the paradigm shift is the Strategy’s necessary remedy.
Lack of funding to support new set-ups and additional costs of utilizing public cloud will be addressed through the consolidation of cloud-focused budgets.
Ensuring professional due diligence by service providers, establishment and enforcement of comprehensive contractual agreements factoring in relevant consequences of liabilities, enforcement of strict Service Level Agreements; implementation of disaster recovery solutions to achieve the necessary reliability should be able to properly check poor quality services including the unavailability of services due to threats such as cyber-attacks, distributed denial of service attacks and system failures, loss of data security and protection attributed to the off-premise characteristics of third-party providers.
Loss of privacy and data assurance due to such aspects as breaches, access, ownership and storage location is highly foreseen. But the counteractive measures include establishment and enforcement of comprehensive contractual agreements; standards enforcement and audit controls measures; privacy and security laws enforcement, as well as appropriate exit strategies.
Transparent contractual agreements drafted and managed by qualified persons will be the appropriate remedy for the lack of pricing clarity in variety of costs.
The unavailability of relevant skills factor will be addressed via the development of appropriate capacity building and career progression programs.
Should conflicts between providers and the government ensue, the National Cloud Strategy will establish clear contracts and Service Level Agreements with appropriate mechanisms for interpretation and enforcement, as well as the appropriate exit strategies.
Moses Omusolo is the Social Media Manager, C4DLab.