Cloud gains traction in Kenya
Approximately a third of enterprises in Kenya now view the implementation of cloud or expansion of existing cloud infrastructure as a key priority area for the future, according to the latest insights from global IT market intelligence firm International Data Corporation (IDC).
Referencing its 'Cloud and Hosting: Trends, Priorities, and Insights in Kenya 2013 Survey Results' report, IDC said it expected the adoption of cloud technologies and hosting services to gain significant traction in Kenya in the coming years as long as connectivity prices fall and improved and consistent bandwidth is maintained across the region.
"Stable and reliable connectivity will be a key value proposition if service providers are to convince enterprises to move the majority of their IT services to the cloud," says Leonard Kore, a research analyst for telecommunications and media at IDC East Africa. "The majority of enterprises in Kenya view infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) solutions as a more attractive offering than software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions as they give a more clear and quantifiable ROI, especially in the datacenter realm. The need to reduce datacenter costs in the form of infrastructure maintenance, power and cooling, and rising fuel prices for backup generators is a major driver of IaaS adoption in the country."
Nearly half of Kenyan enterprises are seriously contemplating adopting IaaS technology in the future due to the growing need for easier monitoring and control of their datacenter expenditure, the desire for improved datacenter recovery and business continuity capabilities, and the increasing implementation of virtualization and cutting-edge security solutions in the cloud.
Resolving bandwidth issues, using WAN optimization, and accessing cloud services over VPN as opposed to the Internet are the key challenges that cloud adopters have had to contend with in Kenya. Meanwhile, the biggest concerns affecting the datacenter operations and strategies across the country relate to disaster recovery and business continuity (DR/BC), with almost half of enterprises alluding to this fact in the survey.
"A similar study conducted in Nigeria ('IDC Africa CIO Summit Survey, 2013') also supports this trend, with the share of CIOs prioritizing data recovery and business continuity more than doubling from 20% in 2012 to 46% in 2013," continues Kore. "Enterprises are increasingly viewing the availability of data assets and business operations as a critical need for their bottom lines."