From Jamaica Computer Society Members Meeting and Open Session, Held at Hotel Four Season,
Thursday, March 27, 2014
Kingston, Jamaica: Having established the significant role that Information Communication Technology (ICT) must play in the Jamaica Logistics Hub, several industry stakeholders are encouraging IT professionals to be prepared to take advantage of the ICT related opportunities.
This was the message conveyed at a forum about the role of ICT and the job opportunities for ICT professionals within the logistic hub eco-system hosted by the Jamaica Computer Society. “This session was particularly important as it focused on the direct impact on people and the need to prepare and equip the right persons with the relevant skills to do the best job they can,” said Dean Smith, President of the Jamaica Computer Society explaining the rationale for the forum. He encouraged members to be ready for opportunities as they arise. “The forum was also useful as it informed our members of the opportunities that will exist so that they can be prepared to take advantage of these for personal, organizational and national development.”
Panelists participating in the discussion were Sezvin Hamilton, CEO & Coordination/Monitoring Officer, Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce; Jenson Sylvester director of government and strategic accounts at Columbus Communications, operator of Columbus Business Solutions and Gordon Foote General Manager of IBM.
While highlighting the critical role of ICT within the logistics hub eco-system, Sylvester encouraged IT professionals to be cognizant of and leverage the diverse range of opportunities that will exist. “Any logistics hub relies critically on telecoms infrastructure and the expertise behind running it. In Jamaica’s context, there are several opportunities linked to the port community system, drydock facility, logistics centre, special economic zones and the transport network that IT professionals can tap into,” he said.
“A significant part of making any logistics hub work is having robust ICT systems that can be leveraged across government and private sector. One of the things that makes Jamaica stand out in the region is the significant investment that companies like Columbus has made in communications technology infrastructures, processes and service delivery standards.” Sylvester noted.
Supporting Sylvester’s statements, Sezvin Hamilton of the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce indicated that “Several countries that have established logistics hubs have shown the results of what can be done for the economy and job creation. Additionally, in the world of logistics centres, 60% of the jobs are not yet defined as with this industry there are always new ways of doing business,” Hamilton said.
Feedback from the participants at the forum confirms its timeliness and relevance. Attendees indicated that they found the information shared by the panelists to be useful for personal and professional development. “I was interested in this session out of intellectual curiosity in terms of where ICT would fit in line with service offerings and integration into the hub. Jenson also made some very important points about the kinds of systems and technical capability that would be required to push information and management as a part of general hub activities,” said Joshua Thames, Team Leader, Application and Systems Integration at Fujitsu.
The Jamaica Computer Society Logistics Hub Forum on the role of ICT and ICT professionals in the logistics hub is a part of the association’s efforts to develop its members by highlighting real opportunities for growth.
Jamaica’s proposed Logistics Hub initiative seeks to take advantage of the widening of the Panama Canal, which is slated for an April 2015 completion. With its strategic location, Jamaica is the choice of global logistics companies to be the hub of the Hemisphere, serving a market of 800 million, and becoming the gateway to Europe and Africa. With the establishment of the Logistics Hub, Jamaica will join Singapore, Dubai and Rotterdam as the fourth node in global logistics.