Stories are powerful. The stories we tell ourselves form our identity. The stories we are told about the past form our history. The stories about today form the news. The stories about tomorrow give us hope for the future or cause us to despair. The history of human beings is in a way the history of story telling as, from the very early stages, we’ve been trying to tell our story. 64,000 years ago, in the Iberian peninsula, cave paintings were how stories were told. In Kenya, we told stories through oral tradition. We, humans, eventually invented the printing press, radio, television, and, eventually, the internet.
The internet and technology have changed how we communicate, how we work, how we love, and how we live. It’s made hitherto impossible connections possible. The world could collaborate during an epidemic. Work continued even as we isolated. Vaccines were created in record time.
With this new way of working, we felt that the we should also embrace new media and find a new way of telling our stories. The CIO is an unsung hero in our region. Many of the comforts we enjoy today in this region do have a few far sighted CIOs to thank for that. We got ATMs fairly early on. Our banking, even before the advent of mobile money, was digital. We’ve had fairly good internet connectivity, with our first ISPs launching in the mid 90s. Many acquisitions have happened in the enterprise tech space, but quietly. All this infrastructure – banking, payments, connectivity, software formed the stable infrastructure necessary for the innovation we see in Kenya and the greater region today. Without good connectivity, we don’t have cloud uptake. Without stable core banking systems, we don’t have great payments infrastructure. These stories have not been getting all the attention they deserve, and we want to do our bit to change that.
We will interview CIOs and get them to tell their war stories. What went wrong? What went well? What can they teach us? How did they get budget? How did they plan their careers? This will be a channel for CIOs to tell their stories to the world.
The natural partner for this, of course, is CIO East Africa, who have been at this journey longer than us. Working in partnership with them, we will interview the leading CIOs in the region and get them to catalogue their journeys to bring out the critical role they play in the Digital Transformation of Kenya and Africa as a whole. We are simply complementing the wok they’ve already been doing telling our stories.
VMware have been gracious enough to fund the production of this podcast. The story of the cloud and digital transformation isn’t complete without VMware, who made the cloud possible. Inventing x86 virtualization, they changed how customers made use of their servers. As the “Switzerland” of the cloud computing era, they are working to ensure that customers have the tools to navigate the journey in this multi-cloud era, from security to platforms. The evolution of VMware tells the story of the evolution of the cloud.
We have published the first episode which you can watch here. Subscribe and look out for new episodes in the series.