Memos, letters and smoke signals are set to be a thing of the past in the Kenyan government once a project by the Kenya ICT Authority seeking to ensure the whole of government uses official emails takes off. The authority is currently in the process of procuring an email management solution. Once completed the project will allow for the streamlined and centralized communication in government.
The government has previously sought to implement the project but has faced various challenges in the management of email services across the various segments of the public service. The result of this has been untimely upgrade of services, non-compliance to licensing requirements and either duplication or lack of technical competence to provide optimal support. In addition, many of the government employees were using their personal email addresses to perform government business.
The new project will thus provide a solution aimed at mitigating these problems, improving the quality of email services within government as well as allow for proper maintenance and support of email. The email project will allow for the hosting of all the email services under a single platform for all governments and ministries. The model to be adopted by the ICT Authority will be different from what has been previously implemented where each ministry hosted their email solutions independently.
While hosting email under a single platform will allow for the streamlining of operations, it also poses a danger with regards to information security. Last year, Russian hackers were able to access the White House email servers but not those of the entire United States government. Considering how vulnerable Kenya has become to hacking, the centralized solution may present interesting problems in the future.