Barbados: Untapped ICT Potential Calls For Bi-Partisan ‘BARBADOS COMMISSION ON ICT DEVELOPMENT’

Submitted by James Bynoe, VP Brownstone Consulting Firm

Will the Minister of Finance empower this emerging sector in the budget to be delivered later this month?

Barbados has had the potential to be the Caribbean’s recognized leader in a range of emerging ICT areas, unfortunately until Government takes decisive action to create the business atmosphere for effective ICT growth and expansion “nothing will happen”.

In the internet age … each day that Barbados delays creating the legislative and regulatory atmosphere for ICT business growth and expansion is a day we give to regional competitors like Jamaica, T&T and Grenada to take our rightful ICT place in the region, it’s that simply … and they will if we do nothing.

The international ICT industry operates on new world order rules which embraces ICT “INNOVATION, IDEAS, AND PERFORMANCE”…   Barbados has to learn to embrace this new way of thinking regarding ICT objectives and opportunities, and put to bed our old school colonial mindset.

Below are a few ICT areas a BARBADOS COMMISSION ON ICT DEVELOPMENT should be studying via a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with Barbados based ICT firms and small businesses:

  • ICT Information Assurance, Compliance & Cyber security – Cyber security remains a leading ICT growth area and Barbados should work to be recognized as a regional leader in this multi-billion dollar growth industry.
  • Cloud Computing Solutions & Services – Newly emerging ICT growth area, we simply need a government supported (PPP) “Cloud” in Barbados which supports regional public and private sector cloud computing needs in an affordable manner.
  • SmartGrid Technology – Emerging  technology area that we need to be a recognized regional leader in.
  • HealthCare ICT – Expanding technology area that we need to be a recognized regional leader in.

0 thoughts on “Barbados: Untapped ICT Potential Calls For Bi-Partisan ‘BARBADOS COMMISSION ON ICT DEVELOPMENT’

  1. Governments anywhere on the planet do not understand such issues and are always behind what private individuals and companies are doing – that’s if they are doing anything.
    It’s up to people who understand the issues to spell out in detail to government what needs to be done.

    I do not get the context of the “ICT” issues at stake that are here referred to nor do I see a roadmap.

    One thing is for sure, I don’t see any demonstration of the innovative skills anywhere in the Caribbean, no participants in collaborative works, not one Caribbean resident involved in anything substantial.

    It seems and correct me if I am wrong, that you pay handsomely for Microsoft products and build a few applications for a local insubstantial niche clientelle – a massive outflow of capital for no inflow.

    At sounding like a broken record, there is a vast worldwide market for software, worldwide collaboration that provides software that is free to use and develop into products – Google, IBM, Facebook, Disney, USPS, US West Airlines, Virgin, BA, US Courts, NYSE, London and Tokyo Stock Exchanges and many leading companies contribute and avail themselves of the free software that is out there. Using free software has allowed a company like Boeing to reduce their computing spend from US $30m a year to US $3.4m.
    Personally I have 7 computers running 24/7 without any purchased software.
    As my email signature says below, I don’t do Windows and I rely on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) to do everything, email, surfing the web, software development in collaboration with groups worldwide, electronics and related development, flight simulation and more..
    Just a hobby now I’m in retirement.
    Participation in FOSS projects gets you noticed by companies looking to hire smart guys, some have built a career on FOSS and others have spawned companies like RedHat that turns in revenues of over US $1Bn annually, then there are heavy weight companies like Google and Facebook whose fortunes have been accrued using FOSS. Every Android phone, Dreambox, modern TV and household appliance uses FOSS if there is an embedded computer used for control.
    Sid Boyce … Hamradio License G3VBV, Licensed Private Pilot
    Emeritus IBM/Amdahl Mainframes and Sun/Fujitsu Servers Tech Support
    Senior Staff Specialist, Cricket Coach
    Microsoft Windows Free Zone – Linux used for all Computing Tasks

    • Some years ago a company which use to do work for Fortune 500 companies operating in Barbados noted that the quality of local software professionals was lacking and formed a partnership with the UWI to respond to that situation. What has happened since PRT left?

      Have we built on that program?

      Yesterday Attorney General commented on how businessmen in Barbados prefer a gun to protect ‘property’ and have no similar regard for cyber security.

      The references paint the mentality which exist.

  2. @Sid

    Respectfully … Your comments represents “a” mindset that we must abandon in Barbados as it relates to ICT.

    The public section tends to be a bit behind internationally however the Caribbean as a hold is falling rapidly behind at a rate that will significant impact our ability to “play ICT catch-up” when “old school” ICT leaders in Barbados (who are out of touch with the latest and greatest ICT innovations) finally GET IT.

    ICT is no longer a luxury item ….. we need to view ICT as an essential part of our future as a nation and region.

  3. @David

    The Attorney General’s comment simply indicates clearly that he has no clue what Cyber Security it and it not …

    For example:

    If our region gets recognized as an “unsafe” region to do business (i.e online, offshore etc) as it related to cyber security best practices and norms … what do you think international investors with think and do? …

    The potentail economic impact of lacked cyber security practices is quite significant into the millions or billions regionally, as CARICOM is totally asleep at the wheel on Cyber Security.

    Having worked in Cyber Security for over 10 yesrs … My follow Bajans don’t say James Bynoe did not tell you so ……

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