It is evident cloud computing has become a potential game-changer. It is the focal point for IT leaders, C-suite executives, and board members in corporate organisations and influences how SACCOs will operate in the future. The quest to leverage the cloud and create new business frontiers for SACCOs, saw the Heads of IT participate in a panel discussion. This was during the premier virtual SACCOTECH Forum themed to Accelerate Automation in SACCOs for Socio-Economic Development. They were categorical that the cooperatives of the future would look very different from the cooperatives of today.
In concurrence, the panellists, comprising Tony Mutero, the General Manager of ICT at Police SACCO, Winnie Sergon, Head of ICT, Boresha SACCO, Edith Kipsang, CIO, Kimisitu SACCO, and Anthony Wainaina, CIO at DIMKES SACCO, said that while facing the ever-changing consumer expectations, emerging technologies, and alternative business models, SACCOs needed to begin putting strategies in place. That would help them prepare for the future by embarking on a cloud journey as an essential indicator of the shifting landscape.
Moderated by Ali Hussein, Founder CEO, Kipochi Limited, Mutero observed SACCO leaders increasingly recognise cloud as more than technology. It is a destination for SACCOs. Just the same way it has been for financial services firms to store data and applications as well as to access advanced software applications via the internet.
While unravelling the SACCO journey on the cloud, the panellists noted that apart from facilitating rapid growth among organisations to quickly build applications and launch them to the marketplace without lengthy installation and configuration processes, cloud services also help organisations scale to meet the real-time needs.
These, coupled with the advantage of storage capacity for organisation growth emerged as some of the underlying reasons why SACCOs, on their digitisation journey, must leverage the Cloud Technology.
“Companies across industries are modernising their data platforms to leverage new-age applications and advanced analytics at the same time as they are moving their data to the cloud,” intimated Sergon.
She added that cloud and data modernisation are highly interrelated and actually reinforce each other, so SACCOs should consider onboarding the two amid their automation journeys.
Tasked to elaborate what drives IT executives to initiate cloud migration, Mutero averred that security and data protection are top drivers. That, and the rising cases and sophistication of cyberattacks with a shortage of skills means many companies are struggling to manage security in-house.
“IT executives are turning to third-party cloud and managed security services, with cloud providers to deliver sophisticated cyber capabilities and solutions for mitigation against security incidents,” he said.
Intimating on the same, Kipsang alluded that SACCO members today more than ever, need timely and targeted analytics on existing data adding: “With members relying on a stream of insights based on data mining, exploration, and prediction as opposed to there before, SACCOs cannot be closed outside of the cloud technology.”
Wanaina’s opinion on cloud adoption was that it is the next phase for SACCOs’ automation journey, observing that the cloud can no longer be a luxury but a necessity for SACCOs. He based his explanation on the fact that much of customer data is more conveniently kept on the cloud today for safe and secure access.
“It is hardly surprising that leaders see cloud as essential to effectively digitising SACCOs,” he said. “Migration to the cloud will help SACCOs optimise their automation journey to enable for online services just like other players in the finance industry,” he added.
Wainaina noted that after years of focusing on cloud technology’s value as a cheaper, faster, and more “elastic” alternative compared to the on-premise data storage, the SACCO leadership are considering how they can leverage the cloud in areas that create new business frontiers to optimise the organisation.
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