[Column] Christopher Sau: Ready to fly - A cloud migration roadmap for Kenyan enterprises
01-06-2023 11:28:00 | by: Nixon Kanali | hits: 2624 | Tags:

According to the Cloud in Africa 2023 report by World Wide Worx, 84% of Kenyan organisations increased their cloud service spending last year. This is fuelled by an increase in the number of local data centres and available cloud platforms. At the same time, the country’s public sector is undergoing the transition from traditional, analogue services to digital ones, positioning Kenya as a regional ICT powerhouse and taking its place in a globally connected digital economy.

Kenya is fully embracing cloud computing technology and laying the foundation for Africa’s technological revolution. However, for many organisations, the technology is inherently intimidating and represents a great deal of investment, manpower, and resources. The solution is to put your best foot forward and be cognisant of best practices. What goes into a successful cloud migration strategy?

Come up with a plan

A successful business is one that fully comprehends what it is trying to achieve; the same goes for what they want to get out of cloud computing. Migration strategies do not fall under the banner of a one-size-fits-all approach. Therefore, it’s up to organisations and their technology partners to fully develop a tailor-made migration plan that encompasses all relevant facets, from infrastructure and applications to data and hosting options.

Organisations should begin by identifying their objectives. Establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and any additional criteria you need to meet. At the same time, you should identify all project stakeholders, acknowledge any obstacles you may encounter during the migration process, and determine how those obstacles could influence your ability to accomplish your objectives.

Organisations should also familiarise themselves with policies and regulations related to data gathering, storage, and management. Kenya’s Data Protection Act, passed by the country’s parliament in 2019, establishes parameters and safeguards that organisations and data controllers must adhere to. Cloud migration strategies must always consider security and compliance requirements like this into account.

Choose your applications and environments

Cloud computing is not just one function of a business. Cloud-based applications can encompass everything from file storage and email, to finance and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). With so much at stake in a migration strategy, organisations need to consider what cloud best suits their needs.

For many enterprises, the choice is simply between public and private cloud. Public cloud contexts are created by IT infrastructure not owned by the end user and are used by many. In contrast, private environments are solely dedicated to and run by a single entity. Both options have advantages and disadvantages, but the distinction between them has evolved to be more than a question of location and ownership.

For many organisations, the real answer lies in a hybrid cloud. This refers to single IT environments created using multiple environments connected through Local Area Networks (LANs), Wide Area Networks (WANs), and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). Hybrid cloud environments command several advantages, such as increased cost control and scalability. Hybrid also offers greater standardisation and uniformity, which is critical for workflows and ensuring compatibility across environments. Today’s cloud providers are ready and able to deliver services that meet hybrid needs, so be sure about and confident in the scenario that works best for your enterprise.


Migrating to the cloud doesn’t simply involve pushing a big red button. Once architecture review and proof of concept processes have been completed, organisations can commence their transition, modernise their existing applications, and develop new, cloud-native ones.

An important component to consider when it comes to best practices is Infrastructure as Code (IaC). This allows teams to define and deploy infrastructure while ensuring continuous delivery. Automatic configurations lead to consistency and replicability; doing it manually can lead to individual errors.

Of course, for Kenyan enterprises, cloud migration can only happen as quickly and efficiently as the available resources and expertise allow. This is where the country has made significant strides. Continued investment in cloud infrastructure and data centres means increasing capacity, while education initiatives led by cloud providers like AWS are closing the critical skills gap and opening up career opportunities. 

What comes after?

With the migration process complete, enterprises must shift their focus to cloud governance and management. Enterprises must remain cognisant of cloud usage standards and their organisational needs while adhering to guardrails, so they do not lose control of their cloud budget.

Post-migration, an organisation’s cloud infrastructure should boast a well-managed environment. One that is equipped with the necessary backup resources, monitored for any security anomalies or incidents, and is adequately prepared for either. Environments and applications should optimise an enterprise’s ability to capitalise on cloud-native technologies and expand its capabilities in terms of business activity, operations, and product offerings.

With the help of trusted technology and cloud vendors who offer comprehensive, managed, and always-on services, enterprises in Kenya can move to the cloud at a pace and budget that suit them. It’s only a question of whether they’re ready to fly.

Christopher Saul is the Territory Sales Lead for East Africa at Red Hat.