Kunle Awosika, the new Country Manager for Microsoft Kenya aims to engage Kenya's enterprises by investing in more high-value activities for enterprise users. Despite it being a global company, Microsoft maintains high standards in hiring skilled personnel to manager its solutions at local markets.
Awosika spoke to us on how Microsoft's strong and dynamic foundation is focused on local Kenyan enterprises.
What will be your major role as country manager at Microsoft?
Microsoft's global focus has shifted to devices and services. My key role is to steer the business to the next phase of expansion with our primary focus being growing a high performing team and building organizational capability and capacity to achieve this.
In my view, we need to focus both internally and externally to create any form of growth.
Do you see any new technologies on the Microsoft horizon that will affect Kenya enterprise operations?
I perceive a cocktail of products in the pipeline that are enterprise and consumer capable and we will be building upon Windows, Office and our growing suite of consumer and enterprise services within the Kenya market.
What is your leadership philosophy?
My core values are accountability, openness and respect, and most importantly honesty and integrity. I fundamentally believe that with these values as foundational you will produce good business results.
Furthermore, I think there are other leadership principles that should guide leaders like being self-critical; this is one that is quite difficult for most leaders, however critical in helping leaders grow and develop. I personally have no issues in being respectfully challenged by any of my team-members as long as it's constructive and for the common good of the team.
Cloud, mobility, and big data--have these technologies affected your business?
I think the path to the public cloud is a natural progression for most businesses now and the future, companies have new and expanded needs and opportunities to generate, store and use their own data and the data from the Web to better serve their customers, hence there are lots of structured and unstructured data being generated daily and these big data needs to be utilized in ways that make sense.
Big Data adoption rates are still slow in the East Africa region. Why?
In my view there has been slow progress on the regulatory side from some of the country's regulators specifically in the area of spectrum allocation, which is essential for establishing wireless networks and 4G networks particularly in rural communities. Until the regulatory climate picks up the pace to match investor needs and requirements, the struggle to get Internet connectivity will continue.
Without the spectrum allocation, Internet connectivity services and fibre optic cables cannot be laid out to provide Internet connectivity, even if one had the necessary resources.
Do you think organizations need CIOs, why?
With more IT delivered as services from the cloud, the function of IT itself will be re-imagined. This means the CIO's role will be redefined, and that's why organizations need a CIO to steer an organization's IT strategy in delivering business value.
Peter generates technical content for CIO East Africa and the International Data Group News Service, he also contributes to PC World and Computer World. Peter is classically trained in computing and information management, and he is currently pursing an MBA program in Management Information Systems at the University of Nairobi, @peternalika