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Journal of Information Engineering and Applications ISSN 2224-5782 print! ISSN 2225-"5"# online! $ol.%& No.

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IT Human Resources Considerations in Kenya
Stanle( )wangi *+ege ,ead I*- .A& *o-operati/e 0an1 of 2en(a Abstract A critical issue in t+e management of I- organi5ations is t+e management of I- +uman resources. -+e people and t+eir s1ills are t+e +eart of t+e organi5ation. In t+e past& t+ere +as 4een a focus on t+e tec+nical s1ills needed to manage and de/elop t+e tec+nical components of t+e I- organi5ation. -oda( t+e s1ills re6uirements are considera4l( 4roader& including general management e7pertise& deep 4usiness and industr( 1nowledge& and interpersonal s1ills. Keywords: Interpersonal s1ills& Soft s1ills& 0usiness s1ills& -ec+nical s1ills Introduction -+e mar1et for I- professionals& li1e t+e mar1et for most corporate positions& will /ar( wit+ t+e econom(& trends in 4usiness strateg(& world e/ents& and t+e a/aila4ilit( of talent. -+e first few decades of I- starting in t+e '85"9s in terms of 4usiness applications& w+en I- was referred to as :ata ;rocessing! 4roug+t stead( growt+ in I- professional positions. <o/ernment reports and pri/ate researc+ trumpeted t+e glor( of a career in I-. Iprofessionals were in demand as 4usinesses e7panded t+e wa(s in w+ic+ tec+nolog( 4ecame em4edded in products and ser/ices. According to t+e Societ( for Information management SI)! sur/e(& +iring and retaining I- professionals +as 4een among t+e top ten concerns for t+e last ten (ears. Global Trends Top Skills for Entry e!el employees


Journal of Information Engineering and Applications ISSN 2224-5782 print! ISSN 2225-"5"# online! $ol.%& No.'2& 2"'%

Top skills for mid"le!el employees

=igures adapted from )anaging Information -ec+nolog( >esources& %rd edition& 4( Jerr( ?uftman -+e num4er one s1ill for 4ot+ entr( and mid-le/el emplo(ees is et+ics and morals. <i/en e/ents from Enron& it comes as little surprise. -ec+nical s1ills& +ig+lig+ted in red are less pre/alent@ +owe/er& entr( le/el emplo(ees are in/ol/ed wit+ t+e more tec+nical da(-to-da( operations of t+e firm& w+ile mid-le/el +ires ta1e on t+e larger responsi4ilit( of +andling proAects and plans. Note t+e emp+asis on proAect 4udgeting& leaders+ip& ris1 management& and I- planning. )oreo/er& effecti/e proAect managers often assign some of t+eir tas1s to less e7perienced wor1ers. Suppose& for e7ample& t+at an organi5ation is implementing a new E>; s(stem. Bit+ an e(e on ensuring t+e implementation9s success& managers will delegate t+e tedious& time-consuming tas1s. Suc+ tas1s mig+t include data4ase entr(Cmanagement& s(stem testing or +elp des1 wor1. )id-le/el managers are also e7pected to displa( a +ig+ le/el of communicati/e maturit(. Note +ow negotiation and user-relations+ip management are listed as important mid-management s1ills. >elations+ip-4uilding& and 4usiness and industr( s1ills are 4ecoming increasing important for I- emplo(ees. *ommunication was listed as t+e fift+ and si7t+ most important s1ills for 4ot+ entr(-le/el and mid-le/el emplo(ees. -+e first tec+nical s1ill for entr( le/el emplo(ees is programming. Dne of t+e most significant c+allenges for I- management is retaining t+e critical talent and understanding t+e mi7 of s1ills t+at are needed as t+e 4usiness strateg( e/ol/es IT Sourcin# Cycle


Journal of Information Engineering and Applications ISSN 2224-5782 print! ISSN 2225-"5"# online! $ol.%& No.'2& 2"'%

IT $ro%ect $ortfolio Elements

=igures adapted from managing Information -ec+nolog( >esources& %rd edition& 4( Jerr( ?uftman -+e figure s+ows +ow I- strategies lead to I- sourcing strategies& and an I- sourcing portfolio. A 4ig part of t+e I- sourcing strateg( for an online airline-tic1eting s(stem would 4e low total cost& (et +ig+ relia4ilit( and effecti/eness. -+e main purpose of setting up t+e online s(stem is to sa/e mone( and impro/e customer ser/ice. -+ose goals would 4e measured in terms of actual cost& relia4ilit(& fle7i4ilit(Cscala4ilit(& response time& and user satisfaction. -+e a4o/e figure illustrates +ow I- portfolios consider infrastructure& support ser/ices& applications and inno/ation. All I- ser/ice offering must 4e considered. C&aracteristics of t&e En!ironment Contribute to t&e Comple'ity of t&e Human Resource (ana#ement *+aracteristics of t+e I- en/ironment contri4ute to t+e comple7it( of +uman resource management. -+ere is constant pressure to master new tec+nologies e.g.& software& +ardware& telecommunications! 4roug+t on 4( t+e pace of c+ange in t+e industr( and t+e rate of adopting new inno/ations. 0asic materials researc+ and ad/ances 4ring a4out significant c+anges in +ardware. Software /endors pus+ e7panded and impro/ed /ersions of t+eir products resulting in releases t+at introduce +uge disruptions in ser/ice and integration comple7ities. -+e telecommunications industr( is 4uried in standards 4attles w+ile a lac1 of co+erence in wireless tec+nolog( still maintains. At t+e same time& +owe/er& organi5ations +a/e legac( s(stems re6uiring traditional I- s1ills and 1nowledge& and a commitment to long-term maintenance and support. -+e need for 4ot+ constant learning of new tec+nologies and maintaining t+e old ones can create a two-class societ( wit+in t+e I- organi5ation@ t+ose w+o get to wor1 on t+e new and e7citing stuff and t+ose w+o must remain wit+ t+e legac( tec+nologies. Dne distinct c+allenge for t+e *ID is 1eeping t+ese two groups of staff content and producti/e. As muc+ as #5E of I- staff ma( 4e in/ol/ed in maintenance and support acti/ities e.g.& programming and software engineering& tec+ support and enterprise s(stems!. -+is is t+e categor( of deplo(ment w+ere *IDs find


Journal of Information Engineering and Applications ISSN 2224-5782 print! ISSN 2225-"5"# online! $ol.%& No.'2& 2"'%

t+e most discontent. So staff discontent from t+is source must 4e red flagged for aggressi/e management attention. Specific management plans are discussed later in t+is c+apter )oreo/er& it is fundamental to ensure t+at I- understands +ow to also effecti/el( understand and communicate +ow 4usiness partners can le/erage t+ese tec+nologies. In addition to t+e tec+nical re6uirements of t+e position& I- professionals are under pressure to relate I- to t+e 4usiness in increasingl( significant wa(s. As Iena4lesCdri/es 4usiness processes and 4ecomes an integral part of t+e competiti/e positioning of an organi5ation& I- staff must en+ance t+eir 4usiness and industr( 1nowledge to pla( an effecti/e role. Some of t+is 1nowledge comes from e7perience wor1ing wit+ t+e 4usiness areas& some comes from in-+ouse education sessions and& increasingl(& t+is 1nowledge is coming from I- staff see1ing formal education t+roug+ graduate )anagement degrees. -+e( are recogni5ing it re6uires more t+an tec+nical 1nowledge to +a/e a successful career in I-. Key IT functions

*IDs and I- leaders must c+ampion cross-enterprise de/elopment of 4oundar(-spanning roles and assignments. -+e roles t(picall( re6uire insig+t into multiple 4usiness domains for e7ample& infrastructure& arc+itecture& relations+ip management and 4usiness pro-cess redesign!. )oreo/er 4ecause t+e roles are neit+er e7clusi/el( Inor 4usiness& career de/elopment must e7tend 4e(ond t+e I- organi5ation9s 4oundaries.'2 -+e <artner group identified t+e 1e( I- function for 2"'2. -o meet t+ese demands it is fundamental to +a/e t+e appropriate 4alance of tec+nical& 4usinessCmanagement& and interpersonal s1ills. )usiness and tec&nical skills de!elopment for t&e IT professional

=igure adapted from managing Information -ec+nolog( >esources& %rd edition& 4( Jerr( ?uftman


Journal of Information Engineering and Applications ISSN 2224-5782 print! ISSN 2225-"5"# "5"# online! $ol.%& No.'2& 2"'%

-+e figure gi/es e7amples of people wit+ /ar(ing le/els and t(pes of 1nowledge. -+e nature of t+eir Ao4s re6uires s(stems integrators or liaisons to +a/e generali5ed 4usiness and I- 1nowledge. A 4usiness e7pert will tend to +a/e more speciali5ed 4usiness 4usiness 1nowledge& w+ile an e7pert tec+nician will tend to +a/e more speciali5ed I- 1nowledge. Ideall(& +owe/er& people need 4ot+ speciali5ed 4usiness and I- 1nowledge. A s(stems arc+itect& for e7ample& would need a great deal of 4ot+ 4usiness and I- 1nowledge. =or indi/iduals see1ing promotion wit+in t+eir current firm& s1ills indicating a dept+ of 1nowledge a4out t+e specific compan( and general managerial s1ills are +ig+l( /aluedF • A4ilit( to communicate across 4usiness disciplines. • A4ilit( to emplo( consulting ting s1ills. • A4ilit( to influence decision-ma1ing. decision • Information a4out 4usiness processes. • Gnderstanding organi5ational p+ilosop+(. • Gnderstanding t+e strategic goals and o4Aecti/es. Bit+ eac+ (ear of emplo(ment& e7perience-4ased e7perience s1ills grow. <eneral management s1ills& +owe/er& need to e7pand t+roug+ 4ot+ e7perience and education. I- managers s+ould see1 to pro/ide t+eir emplo(ees wit+ educational programs t+at en+ance t+eir general managerial s1ills. At t+e same time& +owe/er& tec+nolog( s1ills must continue ontinue to e7pand and c+ange as t+e tec+nolog( e/ol/es. IT Human Resource Concerns in Kenya -+e present suppl( of s1ills does not meet 4usiness re6uirements in /arious wa(s including t+e currenc( of t+e courses taug+t as well as t+e need for 4usiness specific spec training soft s1ills!. -+ere is little /isi4ilit( on t+e demand for specific s1ills& suggesting t+at greater and closer colla4oration is needed 4etween education institutions uni/ersities! and 4usinesses to determine t+e e7act mi7 of s1ills needed in t+e mar1et. ;resentl( some s1ills gaps are temporaril( met /ia e7pert la4our t+oug+ it does not alwa(s translate into s1ills transfer to locals. -+us w+en proAects are completed& a /oid is left in t+e mar1et. mar1et *!er!iew of ICT Skills in Kenya -+e I*- sector tor directl( emplo(s an estimated 27&""" professionals. Df t+e total I- emplo(ment in 2en(a& Isupport people represent t+e largest portion 27E!& followed 4( Applications S(stems Anal(sts and S(stem Engineers '%E eac+!. Alt+oug+ an estimated 8&#"" professionals professionals are added to t+e I*- mar1et eac+ (ear& a t+ird of t+e companies sur/e(ed plan to contract e7ternal pro/iders. -+e Julis+a report re/eals t+at software de/elopment and proAect management are t+e most in-demand demand s1ills for t+e 2"''-2"'% 2"'' period and represent present t+e areas wit+ t+e widest s1ills gap.

Kenya as an emer#in# economy


Journal of Information Engineering and Applications ISSN 2224-5782 print! ISSN 2225-"5"# online! $ol.%& No.'2& 2"'%

Bit+ t+e arri/al of 4road4and connecti/it( t+roug+ t+ree su4marine ca4le s(stems& t+e 2en(an I- mar1et and indeed man( 4usiness sectors are to grow rapidl(@ allowing for t+e introduction of new and ad/anced ser/ices& furt+er setting t+e stage for t+e de/elopment of I*- as a /alid contri4utor to 2en(aHs <:;. :e/eloping I*- s1ills remains a constant issue to 4e addressed 4( end users& /endors& and e/en go/ernments. ;u4lic-pri/ate partners+ips 4etween /endors and go/ernments to set up facilities for tec+nolog( and 1nowledge transfer continue to gain momentum& especiall( in /iew of t+e <o/ernment long-term plans to ma1e I*- a 1e( part of t+e 2en(an Econom( +e!elopin# IT skills in Kenya -+ere is a growing recognition t+at t+e s1ills gap for I*- professionals is widening. )an( organi5ations +a/e come to reali5e t+at certain new tec+nologies can optimi5e efficienc( and ma1e processes more effecti/e. I*can 4ring industr( closer to t+eir customer& partners and suppliers t+roug+ more integrated 4usiness and communication s(stems& and can pro/ide en+anced educational opportunities for students on campus and at a distance. -+e opportunit( to gain competiti/e ad/antage t+roug+ t+e rapid adoption of new tec+nolog( +as fuelled t+e dri/e to impro/e and de/elop I*- infrastructure and new applications& and +as 4een a 1e( factor in t+e demand for s1illed I*- professionals outstripping suppl(. E/en wit+ t+e economic slowdown in t+e +ig+ tec+ industries@ ot+er companies from outside t+e sector are continuing to demand more s1illed wor1ers. 0esides t+e dissemination of I*- across all sectors& deep organi5ational c+anges are re6uired and new s1ills are needed to full( e7ploit t+e new tec+nologies. B+at matters most in a 1nowledge 4ased societ( are people and ideas& and t+e a4ilit( to ma1e commercial use of t+e s1ills. Dne of t+e main c+allenges is t+erefore to identif(& measure& forecast& and finall( to pro/ide t+e necessar( I*- s1ills to ensure economic and social sustaina4ilit(. -+ere is need to assess t+e national re6uirement for I*- s1ills& esta4lis+ +ow muc+ of t+is is a/aila4le& and t+en determine t+e 4est strateg( of meeting t+e appropriate I*- s1ills demand. ,owe/er t+e I*- s1ills t+at will 4e needed& and t+erefore t+e 1ind of training t+at will 4e re6uired& depend /er( muc+ on t+e I*- polic( adopted 4( 2en(a as a nation and t+e <o/ernment in particular. -+ere is need for 2en(a to e7ploit t+e I*- S1ills in t+e countr( to create emplo(ment. Gnfortunatel(& 2en(a does not +a/e documented data on t+e I*- Bor1force to ena4le it plan for t+is opportunit(. =actors li1e attitudes and personal communication s1ills etc. are more important t+an 4efore w+en firms are recruiting new staff. -+e new needs are reflecting t+e c+anges ta1ing place inside t+e I*- industr(& 4ut also in t+e relations+ip 4etween t+e I*- and ot+er sectors. References 2en(a National I*- sur/e( results. +ttpFCCwww.doitin1en('#42LItemidJ8#8 Julis+aF 2en(a I*- )ar1et Sur/e( 2"''"'' National I*- mar1ets and indicators sur/e( +ttpFCCwww.ict.go.1eCinde7.p+pCgrants-a-researc+CAulis+a 2en(a I*- 0oard to launc+ Julis+a II Sur/e( results tomorrow +ttpFCCwww.+umanipo.comCnewsC4"4%C1en(a-ict-4oard-to-launc+-Aulis+a-ii-sur/e(-results-tomorrowC 2en(a National I*- Bor1force S1ills :emand Sur/e( >eport +ttpFCClists.1ictanet.or.1eCpipermailC1ictanetCattac+mentsC2""8"#"8Ce#a4c7#2Cattac+ment.pdf SI) sur/e(F -op '" I- management concerns of 2""8 +ttpFCCwww.tec+repu4lic.comC4logCtec+-sanit(-c+ec1Csim-sur/e(-top-'"-it-management-concerns-of-2""8C Stanley (wan#i C&e#e is currentl( +ead of I*- .ualit( Assurance at *o-operati/e 0an1 of 2en(a. ,e pre/iousl( wor1ed for ?afarge Africa as regional I- 6ualit( ser/ices manager. ,e +olds a 0ac+elor of Science degree in I-. ,e +olds man( professional certifications. Some of t+ese are *ISA& *IS)& *ISS;& *>IS*& *<EI-& ;);& )0A.


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