Strategic Planning By Internet Service Providers In The Telecommunication Industry In Kenya
While strategy is a practically central concern in contemporary management, its successful implementation remains an essential challenge for virtually any organization. Strategic planning is fundamentally about setting the underpinning aims of an organization, choosing the most appropriate goals towards those aims and fulfilling both over time. ISPs in Kenya are faced with various challenges emanating from external environment such as competition, socio-cultural changes, technological changes and economic challenges. These challenges pose a serious threat to such organizations. This call for better strategic plans that capture the industry dynamics and that are premised on radical changes reminiscent of the industry for swift responses make such occasions arise. No specific study has been done on strategic planning at the internet service providers in the telecommunication industry in Kenya. This study set to investigate strategic planning by internet service providers in the telecommunication industry in Kenya. The study used a descriptive research design. The target population for this study was the ISPs in the telecommunication industry in Kenya. These firms included Liquid Telecom Kenya, Jamii Telecom Limited, MTN Business, Safaricom (K) Ltd, iWayAfrica Kenya, Airtel Kenya, Orange (Telkom) and Yu. Primary data was collected using questionnaire administered through drop and pick later method to the ISPs in the telecommunication industry in Kenya. Analysis was done using descriptive statistics that included frequency distributions, percentages, means and standard deviations. The study concludes that there have been moderately effective ISPs in the telecommunication industry in Kenya. Strategic planning in ISPs focus on increasing their market share, providing an enhanced distribution infrastructure, participating actively in internet provision activities, provision of the national strategic reserve and developing organisational, operational excellence, and developing long term financing for the strategic goals in order to realize effective strategic planning and hence better performance. Government policy/regulatory environment affect internet service providers in the telecommunication industry in Kenya. According to the findings, broadband access, privatization government stakes, broadband availability, legal compliance, interest rate regimes, licensing, level of awareness and price controls affects strategic planning by internet service providers in the telecommunication industry in Kenya. Pricing of broadband affects the strategic plans of ISPs in the telecommunication industry in Kenya. As such, product/services price, production, aggregation and distribution value chain, costing standards/ methodologies and principles, operating cost, accessibility of broadband services affordability of broadband services, switching costs and price reductions affect strategic planning at the ISPs in the telecommunication industry. Devolution affects the strategic plans of ISPs in the telecommunication industry in Kenya and strategic planning for ISPs in Kenya is very critical especially in the face of ever changing regulatory framework which is a very key component of the planning process. The study thus recommends that it is important to put in place mechanisms for continued review of the legal and policy frameworks to ensure it is up to date and the industry remains competitive. The ISPs in the telecommunication industry should embrace IT within all department of the organization in order to have a uniform outcome and common objective with expected positive outcome all over the organization. The ISPs’ structures should take note of cultural dynamics so that an absolutely new slate of practices is enacted.