Tuesday, 24 October 2017

CYBER CONNECTION: BizTech Forum brings J’cans up to speed on life on the digital superhighway

THE BIG IDEA: "We are about educating Jamaicans about where technology is going," says Powe (far right), pictured with a handful of presenters and guests at the forum.

STACY Kirk is one of those IT specialists who companies call in to ensure the continuous delivery of innovation and quality, given the ever-changing technology landscape. She works at the US-based film QualityWorks, one of the leaders in their field. “We design programmes for our clients to ensure performance, compatibility and sociability, and we do quality assessment,” she explains. “What is working and what isn’t working to ensure continuous delivery. So we help to monitor and continuously improve the quality of your product.”

QualityWorks was one of several tech giants (local and international) who made presentations or mounted booths to display and discuss their products and services at the BizTech Forum & Showcase, at the Jamaica Conference Centre last week.

Put on by the Jamaica Computer Society (JCS), under the theme “A World of Digital Opportunities,” the event drew a fair-sized turnout, allowing patrons to interact with personnel representing such brands as Fujitsu, E-Shore Cyber Security, NovGear Service Limited, C&W Business, the Vector Technology Institute, Ingenuity (and other IT specialists and service providers) and sit in on a range of panel discussions and informative sessions addressing everything from modern infrastructure, cyber security, hybrid cloud management and the pillars of digital transformation to data warehousing and analysis and software architecture.

One session was titled “Managing the Digital Transformation”; another looked at “Communicating Effectively with non-IT Executives in the Boardroom.”

In addition to Kirk (QualityWorks), presenters included IBM’s Rebecca Young and Paul Eurasuik, UWI’s Prof. Daniel Coore, Ryan Sterling (Vertis Technology), John Gibson (tTech) and Roan Daley representing Microsoft.
“This forum and showcase was more educational than anything else. We are about educating Jamaicans about where technology is going. So you see we have a lot of vendors with booths, and you can learn a lot just by talking to the different vendors and exhibitors,” explained JCS President Sheldon Powe. 

“We have it every two years, but this year we wanted to pay special attention to things like infrastructure management, artificial intelligence and big data. The speakers are in a relaxed atmosphere, so it makes for more effective sharing of information.”

Powe says another plus for the BizTech Forum is that they got to reach a wide cross-section of the Jamaican public. “You should leave here with a wealth of information to know what you need to do – if you work in the IT sector or if you own a business. Do you need to go back to school? What are the skills you need to acquire now? How can you better protect your business?” 

Founded in 1975, the Jamaica Computer Society is currently made up of working professionals from within and outside the technology sector who regularly meet to hold discussions and create a network of support for members.

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