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CONTACT Magazine (Vol.18 No.1 – April 2018)

The first issue of the rebranded CONTACT Magazine — with a brand new editorial and design direction — produced by MEP Publishers for the Trinidad & Tobago Chamber of Industry & Commerce

the chamber in action Be

the chamber in action Be a part of the digital transformation WORDS By: Derrick Villeneuve We stand at a fork in the road, and the direction we take will determine Trinidad and Tobago’s future. We can be idle spectators and watch the downward spiral, feeling helpless about crime, jobs and the government; or we can choose to make a difference. The road to a better future must include a plan to diversify the economy and make us competitive on the world stage. The Economic Development Advisory Board (edab.org.tt) has identified seven industries that will lead us from our current state where non-energy exports are a mere 15 per cent of the total to 40% by 2030. A key enabler in exporting these goods and services is information and communication technology (ICT). This demands a digital transformation in our businesses and government. customers and trading partners more easily. It allows us to get things done without having to spent three hours in traffic or waiting in a line at the bank. It helps prevent crime and catch criminals. We have been exceptionally successful at digitally transforming our personal lives with the use of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms. Now we need to bring that level of digital expertise to business and government. In our focal areas we need to be the best! This transformation begins with The committee is a group of volunteers from leading local companies who are passionate about ICT and are working towards a vision of Trinidad and Tobago as a digital society. Committee members have already organised seminars, network events and webinars; now this signature event can bring together the ICT community and business leaders to advance our digital transformation. The Canadian government has assisted us with a keynote speaker, Peter van der Gracht, a serial entrepreneur with global experience who has participated We will offer a choice of 50 different breakout sessions Keeping up The world is moving ahead of us, while we remain constrained by institutions and habits that undermine this future. Our government agencies are still fundamentally manual and burdened with bureaucracy. We lag behind our Caribbean peers in passing legislation to enable digital business. We are still mostly a cheque-based society, and our vendors are still expected to collect their cheques in person. Many of our institutions straggle significantly behind the firms we will be competing with in North America, Europe, China, India and, significantly, even in the Caribbean. Digital transformation is about enabling a better and more efficient way of doing things. It allows us to share information with our associates, education and information exchange. Your managers and ICT departments need exposure to what is available for them to move your business from where it is today to where it needs to be in the digital age. This is a journey we will all have to undertake on a continuous basis as the world and its business evolves in disruptive ways all around us. The ICT conference We all know it is tough right now, and it will probably get harder before it gets better. This is why ICT Pro TT, a committee of the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce, will host the conference, “Ignite Your Digital Transformation”, at the Hyatt Regency on May 15-16, 2018. in diversification strategies in other countries. Other presenters will include Dr Wayne A.I. Frederick, President of Howard University; Marla Dukharan, Caribbean economist with the financial technology company Bitt; and other notable business leaders. To top it off, we will offer participants a choice of 50 different breakout sessions to expand your digital knowledge, in topics including analytics, business applications, IT-enabled services and social media. So please join us, and join Trinidad and Tobago’s digital transformation! The author is chairman of ICT Pro TT, a committee of the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce 06 Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce www.chamber.org.tt/contact-magazine

www.chamber.org.tt/contact-magazine 07 Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce

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