‘Increased technology use, a must, to face productivity challenges’ | Sunday Observer

‘Increased technology use, a must, to face productivity challenges’

The increased use of technology is an absolute need to face the productivity challenges the country faces. Therefore, there should be a clear plan to increase ICT use, Chairman, Federation of Information Technology Industry Sri Lanka (FITIS), Abbas Kamrudeen said.

“By working in collaboration with the Export Development Board as part of the national export strategy, we have built the brand ‘IOI’ (Island of Ingenuity) which we will promote aggressively to create our own Sri Lankan ICT and knowledge services brand,” he said.

“A challenge we foresee is managing policy with regards to the ever-changing digital platforms and services we are exposed to. We have pledged our support to government bodies to help formulate effective policy frameworks needed for digital transformation,” he said on the sidelines of inauguration of the Infotel exhibition in Colombo last week.

This year we embarked on a four-pillar strategy focusing on key areas, digital transformation, increase our industry contribution towards the national economy, developing a cohesive communications strategy for all stakeholders and policy makers and to increase our value proposition to members.

“In the context of digital transformation, we have identified activities which would focus on digital transformation in the coming years as a focal point on our agenda. I believe Sri Lanka lags behind in embracing digital technology, be it the private sector, public sector or individual citizens.

“The activities we plan to initiate this year are: encouraging digital adoption within key industries by providing expert consultation to organisations that need support, creating a platform to recognise digital initiatives, increasing ICT literacy levels within all sections of the population, supporting and assisting in expediting e-government initiatives, working with government to increase smart phone and internet penetration and providing digital advisory and consultancy for export companies by linking tech companies with our exporters.

“As part of creating a platform to recognise digital initiatives we will embark on a Digital Transformation Awards, which will recognise companies and industries that embrace digital tools and systems in ways that fundamentally reshape their organisation and the customer experience,” he said.

All elements of growth must come to play towards creating digital nation such as awareness, education, availability and affordability. For example, we are currently pursuing better tax benefits for the industry where import of ICT equipment can be at zero tax, which would help in increasing the usage of ICT within the country both urban and rural. This would be a small step towards our goal of becoming a digital nation.

Another challenge we foresee is managing policy with regards to the ever-changing digital platforms and services we are exposed to. We have pledged our support to government bodies to help formulate effective policy frameworks for digital transformation.

It is necessary to create awareness of these new technologies and encourage both private and public sectors to use these technologies for their digital transformation processes. At the same time, educating decision makers on the importance of modern technologies, which I believe is vital to carry our economy forward, he said.

“Government policies to encourage adoption of new technologies could outweigh the risk organisations foresee when adopting new technology. A few good case studies may be all it takes to make this change. We hope some of our initiatives mentioned earlier would kick start this,” he said.

It is important to digitise the work of the government and private sector for improved connectivity and productivity. There needs to be more day-to-day encounters with technology, as this would only make the economy more efficient and thus, making IT more prevalent within society, he said.

The exhibition concludes today.

Comments