Cloud it is. Th number of companies offering cloud services in Kenya has grown in the last few years and with the entrance of Safaricom though their SafaricomCloud, it is time to look at some of risks involved.

1. Security

“Secure” is the first thing most companies which offer cloud will tell you. But how secure is cloud?  The Cloud  might be secure but its structures don’t automatically grant security compliance for the end-user data or apps on them. The software, apps all  have to be secure on their own terms. It is upon the developers and the businesses to come up with systems and apps which are secured from the ground up

2. Latency

If you are used to first internet then the slow connection can possibly give you an heart attack. Now the speed of internet connection is no longer a problem in Kenya, but that does not mean you will get your data at the same speed over the cloud. Performance within the cloud doesn’t mean much sense if it takes forever for the results of that performance to show up on the end user. The latency that a cloud can introduce can be bad if the infrastructure is not well planned. Another reason could be a badly written app or software.

3. Grounded

As much as you might love Cloud, you should always have  an exit strategy.  Cloud computing is constantly evolving. So you must be prepared to the fact that there will be a better ways in future. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket without a way of retrieving them in case of a better basket becomes available

 4. People incomprehension of Cloud

Do people really understand what cloud really is? Sky is blue yeah!  Microsoft has been offering cloud computing services in Kenya for sometime, but their frustration has been the fact that people don’t understand what cloud is about. Even the journalists who are suppose to write about cloud have no idea and most of the time shy away from the topic. Most people who essentially should be using Cloud don’t because they don’t understand what it is.

The best way to think about cloud computing is “Data Center with API”

5. Over promise of the capacity

Annoying but it does happen a lot around. Some cloud providers might be forced to sell more capacity than they can provide to stay competitive or to make profit.  As a client you need to ensure that the provider has enough capacity or at least capable of delivering what they promise.

6. Under-utilization of capacity

Under-utilization and over-utilization are both bad business planning and should be avoided at all cost. For the provider having huge idle capacity which you can’t make money from is suicidal. The  best way is to have active metrics and load testing for the cloud services. But before that the traditional market research should be used before getting into the cloud business.

 7. Network limitations

The hot topic at the moment is IPv6. So the infrastructure and the applications  to do with cloud should be IPv6 compliant else….

In Kenya and in most place people are still using IPv4 but the days of IPv4 are numbered.  IPv6  guaranteed the unlimited addresses and technical flexibility needed to succeed in the sky.

8. Constant outages

The irritation the users feel with  Mpesa when it is down is well documented. But the reasons are understandable but it would be worst if the same could happen to individual presentations due to the problems in the cloud. KenyaPower as we know it, is not reliable and that means the componies providing cloud services like Safaricom , Microsoft have to invest heavily on alternative power source.   

9. Job Loss

Often people talk about how cloud reduce the enterprises cost of operation, but there is a big elephant in the room behind that. The main cost benefit from cloud computing is that it eliminates the need for IT staff.  The companies with  existing IT departments would not need  70 to 80% of their staff.  So here is where the the century old resistant to change would come in. But again……


Kennedy Kachwanya1079 Posts

--- Kennedy Kachwanya is a technology blogger interested in mobile phones both smart and dumb, mobile apps, mobile money, social media, startups ecosystem and digital Savannah. New media must not forget the strength of old tech.


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