Nixon Thuo
Nixon Thuo Consulting Services Solutions Architect

Technology is evolving at an extremely fast pace and 2018 has been no exception.

If you have been around the internet for long enough, you are a living testament to the fact that Moore’s law has remained impressively true for the last 40 years. Moore’s law is an observation that computer processing power doubles every two years – an observation that has let us see technology evolve from room-sized main frames to cloud computing, artificial intelligence, block chain and virtual reality in about 50 years.

Despite the distant threat of singularity and runaway artificial superintelligence, technology advancement continues to unleash unprecedented gains in economic growth and human development. Away from the matrix and back home, IT leaders continue to grapple with emerging technologies such as cloud, data analytics and cyber security. Let’s look at some of the top 5 concerns for Kenyan CIOs as we get into 2019.

Cyber Security

With an ever-changing threat landscape, cyber security continues to be a perennial top priority for CIOs and IT managers in Kenya. In 2018 we saw the enactment of the Kenya Data Protection Bill that accentuates cyber security as a matter of national importance. Security violations and data breaches have proved to be to be very costly and damaging and consequently presenting a big challenge for IT professionals across every vertical. The real challenge, however, is delivering strong security while maintaining agility and data access in a way that does not hinder the business or harm accessibility.

Data Analytics

Data is only as valuable as the insights that can be mined from it or if you can commercialize it. Today businesses are generating more data than ever. A top CIO priority is to determine which data to be mined in order to extract the most valuable insights in form of business intelligence. The biggest challenge is building a technology infrastructure stack that is not only capable of ingesting and analyzing fast streams of incoming data, but also which can instantaneously act on that data by analyzing the live streams of fast data in the context of insights garnered from historical data.

Cloud Adoption

The advent of cloud computing has brought with it a myriad of benefits and for many organizations cloud adoption is not a matter of ‘if’, it’s a matter of ‘when’. With the proliferation of cloud services, CIOs need to view cloud computing as critical element of business competitiveness and not just another cost center that needs careful management. Some of the top challenges and priorities include identifying and deploying the correct as-a-service offerings, hybrid cloud management and managing multi-cloud environments to avoid vendor lock in and cost control.

Digital Strategy

The world is not short of innovation and especially not in field of IT. Block-chain, Internet of Things, cloud computing and big data are some of the new technologies powering todays businesses. However, in building digital enterprises, CIOs must resist the temptation to jump at the newest piece of technology before aligning IT objectives with strategic business goals. Digital transformation is at the top of every CIOs mind and it will continue to be as long as technology is a business enabler for the modern-day enterprise. Caution need to be taken to ensure that business objectives drive the digital strategy and not vice versa and as such CIOs will need to home in on cost-benefit analysis and justification for new technologies, frameworks, and applications.

Shadow IT

The face of the Kenyan workforce is rapidly changing as more and more millennials stream into the labour market. This new demographic demands for access to information anywhere, on any device they choose, and on any application. This has led to the increasing popularity of BYOD (bring your own device) and BYOA (bring your own application) policies which threaten visibility and control of business information as shadow IT burgeons. A top concern for CIOs is to implement information management systems that enable their workforce to access the information they need, whenever and wherever they wish to consume it, but in a way that is secure and controlled.

While this is by no means a comprehensive list, these are some of the top concerns for many CIOs as we head into 2019. Tackling these challenges is no mean feat and requires alignment between strategic business imperatives and IT initiatives. Please comment if you have challenges and concerns that are not listed here, we’d love to get the conversation going.

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