With stronger information, privacy and data protection laws coming into effect in Kenya and other parts of the continent, businesses operating in Africa must think carefully about where and with which providers they host their cloud enterprise data and applications.
SEACOM Global Head of Product, Robert Marston, says that the issue of data sovereignty is growing in importance as African companies adopt Cloud services to take advantage of the flexibility and cost-savings they offer.
“When choosing a cloud provider, companies need to ask where the data will be stored and ensure that the provider has data privacy and security measures in place to safeguard the information. With these laws in place, we think it is often wise to use cloud services located within the same country where the customers are,” said Mr. Marston.
In addition, many organisations expanding into new African countries rely on the cloud to get their systems up-and-running quickly in the absence of established infrastructure. However, before they rush to use offshore cloud providers, companies should evaluate the issues of latencies associated with hosting offshore. That includes local companies in Kenya that are moving to the cloud.
With the rapid expansion of broadband connectivity in Africa, the adoption of Cloud services across the continent is set to mirror that of developed countries.
In order to improve access to Cloud services, address the issues surrounding the location of confidential and sensitive data, SEACOM has deployed Cloud infrastructure in Kenya and South Africa. The proximity of these platforms to customers in Africa is addressing the service latency problem associated with Cloud services delivered from Europe, Asia and America.
SEACOM has been admitted to the select group of (COSN) Microsoft Cloud OS Network providers, a worldwide group of select service providers that partner closely with Microsoft to offer customers hybrid Cloud and Azure-enabled solutions.
Uniquely combining expertise in Microsoft technology, customer requirements, and geographic specialization, COSN members deliver the Microsoft Cloud Platform customized to meet specific needs.
As a COSN partner Microsoft works closely with SEACOM to technically validate services and enable best-practice solutions based on Windows Azure Pack for hybrid cloud deployments including connections to Microsoft Azure global cloud. The combination of SEACOM and Microsoft’s cloud expertise minimizes risk and simplifies infrastructure upgrades, delivering a reliable solution that is flexible and easy to maintain
Kenya’s personal data protection laws are very stringent and largely in line with those of the European Union, which are hailed as some of the best in the world. “This will promote the cross-border flow of information, which will help to drive the cloud market in Kenya,” says Marston.