Informations Systems Consultant

Archive for June, 2011

3 Tips for better LAN management


1. Have a scheduled network maintenance schedule

A proactive approach to equipments always keeps faults and failures at very low levels. It is the same approach that the wisdom of eating an apple each day keeps the Doctor away. Equipment need dusting, cleaning and cooling off. This ensures that they perform better and are fail tolerant.

2. Each Network peripheral should have its own installation file with documented configurations done

We all know the pain of having a network that is undocumented. When your ICT staff takes leave or is indisposed or you lay them off, it is always expensive to reconfigure network equipment. Documenting Consultants information(those that did the installation) helps alot. Having a file with each equipment’s configuration documentation is the best guard from nasty surprises. these file should be kept safely and have a back-up somewhere out of the office. This also helps in monitoring your ICT assets and the files could also contain a copy of the latest maintenance sheet on the equipment.

3. Perform quartely audit of your whole ICT infrastructure

This is a healthy practise borrowed from the acconting perspective. Have an ICT adoption and disposal plan. From the ICT allocated funds have this as an expense. This will give you a true picture of where you are as an organisation in ICT, channel where you should be from consultants recommendations against world’s best practises and will save you alot of cash that would otherwise be allocated without the big picture in mind. t is noteworthy, to use consultants who use renown methodologies and produce audit documented evidence that back up their report.  Their recommendations might be daunting but a plan to enact them might save you alot of would be downtime or expensive technical faults in your systems.

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The Do’s & Don’ts on your LAN


This week we focus on what system administrators should be more proactive about. We will endevour to touch on hardware, applications management and best practises that leverage our productivity both in the work place including home PC/laptop use and connections.

Devolution:As would work best for Kenya


Reorganization engineering is required for our whole public service. Many private firms have benefited from this and if it is not enough what the space that is KCB now that they have re-organised and are re-engineering their processes. Our government should consider hiring a consortium of consultants to reorganize the ministries and parastal jobs. We would not want to cut jobs but what Kenyans need is the ethnic and gender balance.

The terms of reference should be clear that the goal is to have the diverse that is our ethnicity and embrace gender and age balance throughout the government. Another important target would be to devolve the workforce and services to the counties.

As we have it Nairobi poses a Single Point Of Failure (SPOF). If anything like the Tsunami Disaster or the Japan Quakes were to hit Nairobi, all services would stop and recovery would be next to impossible. Our neighbor and EAC Partner Tanzania have really done some good work on this. By moving their parliament to Dodoma, Foreign Affairs and EAC ministries to Arusha, Trade & Industry center is Dar Salaam. We have to distribute risk and devolve the Kenya’s prosperity.

We envision a time when Senators, Members of Parliament and Government would teleconference from their offices in the counties and only have few scheduled meetings in Nairobi. This way they will be available to their people and focus on delivering their mandate to the fullest. So that they are firmly based in their areas of jurisdiction without incurring the much misused travel per diem to the city. As a country in debt we should aim to cut costs and this would certainly be one of the ways.

We also need to mitigate the rural to urban migration. By taking government, development and employment opportunities to the villages, people would only travel for leisure. Organizations like KRA & NHIF should have offices in every constituency. Every Constituency should have a Water & Sewerage Authority, ICT Board, An Irrigation Board, KPLC office& Green Power Board, Sports Board, Dairy Board, Fishery Board etc. This devolved services groups should have performance contracts with a clear mandate per year audited quarterly by private auditors and monthly by internal auditors. And they should also have exchange programmes to other counties to evaluate successful projects. The people who sit in them should also represent the Kenya diverse ethnicity. Besides, government ministries should be spread across the country. In line with this proposition, my very honest suggestion would be an instance of locating the Ministry of information at the Longonot earth station, Ministry of regional development in Machakos, Ministry of Agriculture in Eldoret, Ministry of Arid and Semi-arid development in Garissa, Ministry of EAC in Busia, Ministry of Co-operative Development in Nyeri, Ministry of Tourism in Mombasa, Ministry of Water in Kisumu, Ministry of housing in Kisii, with at most only five ministries being retained in the capital i.e. Finance, Justice, Foreign affairs, Internal Security and probably Local Government. This will bring the government closer to the people and elevate devolution to a whole new pedestal of equity in national development.

If we want Kenya to be a middle income economy by 2030 then we have to fold our sleeves. Let the best world practices that make multinationals profitable be inculcated into our public service. This would also be the very essence of devolution.

By:

Andrew Osiany – Consultant, Oxfam

Dorine Nalo – Business Analyst, E&Y Kenya

Lunani Joseph – Systems Consultant, In-synque.com

The Budget


As expected the Kenya budget will be read today. Many do not expect a lot from the signs of rising cost of living. Others expect a reasonable mapped way towards resource collection, re-current expenditure, development programmes & debt alleviation.

Many have taken the incumbent Minister and Ministry to task over the preparation of the budget. After The courts and House Speakers ruling on the matter yesterday that is neither here nor there. It is true as late as March and April there was an attempt by the Minister through social media to collect Kenyan Views and expectations of the Budget. Many of those who submitted their queries will be keen on the contents that will be read today.

We are aware it was a contacts collections idea not only for budgeting purposes but many of us still attempted. Reading today’s Daily Nation article on this suggestions collection statistics means that many will want to take the Minister to account for their contributions.

For those of us that participated passionately in the exercise and passed on the message so as to have as many variant possible angles of what will be watching. History has it that Ministers of Finance who read Budgets at depressed times never get re-elected. Remember Hon. Okemo and Hon. Mudavadi? Budget making involves teams of different people within and without the Ministry of Finance and as dictated by other dynamic factors. The common folk will always attribute the budget to the person reading it.

The new Constitution as championed by many these past few weeks would have indemnified of sorts the Minister. But he went ahead to challenge the timing. That means he owns the budget and process. In that case, it better be good if not fair. The Best of Luck to our Finance Minister!

A Relook at National Celebrations


Kenya our sovereign state forty years plus now. We pride ourselves as a self-governed nation, independent and marching forward towards development. We have a good number of calendar days in the year dedicated to commemorate and celebrate our achievements. I think these days should also be times for history audit and strategy gathering to be better.

This brings me to the essence of the just concluded Mashujaa/Madaraka Day. Did we really celebrate the nation founders in the dark pre-independence days? Did we visit them; appreciate them with flowers, cards or gifts? It is my belief that it is no longer cool to showcase our army machinery, artillery and potential.

Celebrations should be a series of small unique and world class events that add up to the greater picture. A contingent of government officials (and it never argued we have one of the largest in the world) should have been designated leadership in these series of events for this auspicious occasion. Some should have gone round to the living Mashujaas to applaud them. Others should have gone to villages to disseminate information on what the government is or has undertaken while gathering the views and suggestion from the people. Others should have gone to the Mashujaa grave sides and applaud them post-humously (seven gun salutes and dressing them with titles of recognition). Then I think the day celebrations hinder lots of people and cannot be as colourful as ones done from evening into the night.

The climax of the day would then be at Nyayo Stadium or any other public facility. Where we can dance to our tunes without hindrance unlike the two minutes listenership we are normally given on every occasion. The night would then be full of pomp, dance less of any inhibitions. After the Key leaders speech we would then CELEBRATE!! With fireworks, artistic pieces and the diverse that is our culture. There is a lot to do in how we manage our events. Teleprompters should be incorporated into the Keynote speeches of our leaders, the Master of Ceremony should be someone the crowd appreciates to create the necessary hype. In the evening lights would not only make the event more colourful but the quality of live recording would be enhanced. Our Television Stations really struggle to take good shoots but many are marred by shadows and bad contrasts of picture during the day. A stage would then be constructed to facilitate all performances. A small video of the great journey that Kenya has made can be aired.

Remember the eve of the first Madaraka day the festive mood of Kenya burst from evening and was quite impressive. From world class events like last years World Cup opening in South Africa or the Obama’s Inauguration there are many things we can borrow. Given the budget allocations and currents celebration expenses we should do better events with such colossal amounts. It is a pity that we continue to do it as it has been done since President Kenyatta & President Moi’s tenure. These celebrations need a major facelift.

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