TSTT general manager of enterprise services Ian Galt says this country has the minds and technological infrastructure to rebuild from covid19, while diversifying the economy.
Galt made the point ahead of the TT Chamber of Commerce's Champions of Business Awards – one of the lobby group's three annual signature events. This year's ceremony will take place virtually on November 20 and will be broadcast live on television and streamed online.
Bmobile and the chamber have partnered to introduce a new category in the Champions of Business awards: the Business Technology award.
"Covid19," Galt said, "has decimated several industries and left others badly wounded. As expected, the primary focus for many is survival; we all want to make it out of this pandemic intact.
"It is important to remember, however, that companies like Uber and Airbnb emerged either during or shortly after a crisis. Periods of crisis not only accelerate digital transformation, but they fuel creativity and innovation."
He said whether a business is focused on survival or starting up, bmobile has already invested in the necessary technological infrastructure and offers a range of solutions to lend support.
"This crisis has shown that technology is the key to both survival and success. In years to come," Galt said, "it will not be a surprise if the business technology category is inundated with applicants that successfully emerged from the throes of the pandemic."
"As I’ve said before, TT has the minds and technology infrastructure to rebuild while diversifying our economy."
The bmobile Business Technology award, the chamber said, was designed to recognise the creation of innovative, disruptive technology-based companies or ICT based solutions that had a significant impact on their target users or industry.
Two FinTech start-ups in WiPay and Term Finance Holdings won in the two previous years.
"Three years after joining the line-up, the relationship between business and technology has risen in prominence. The coronavirus outbreak not only presents a twin threat to lives and livelihood but it has caused a seismic shift in the way we live, work, learn and connect; deepening our collective reliance on technology.
"In six months," the chamber says, "we have seen a mass adoption of technology as businesses go digital in their quest to survive.
"While the pandemic maintains its grip on the economy, it has also been a driver of innovation and creativity as businesses and entrepreneurs explore opportunities that either didn’t exist before or saw a surge in demand in recent months.
"Though only one company will be crowned the champion of the bmobile Business Technology Award... there are many other deserving entities that are navigating this uncertain time by being agile, solutions driven, people centric and leveraging technology. Simply surviving the last six months was no easy feat.
"From the seemingly simple; the up tick in online grocery shopping and vending machines that dispense masks and personal hygiene supplies to sophisticated video conferencing solutions and inventions like MIT’s robot that can disinfect a warehouse floor in 30 minutes, there is no shortage of innovation amid the crisis."
Galt said, "Even at TSTT, we began using a robot, fondly called Sheldon, to support the data centre team and limit the number of people physically at the location."
The TT chamber says the pandemic has catalysed the interconnectedness between the ICT and business worlds, noting that in the manufacturing sector, companies are levering Industry 4.0 (fourth industrial revolution) solutions to improve their agility and transform their operations beyond the factory floor.
"Leaders are tapping into machine learning, the Internet of Things and exploring the application of artificial intelligence to increase efficiency and agility, improve productivity, reduce risk and improve their time to market," it said.
The awards, it adds, highlight the contributions of some of TT's finest minds, while recognising their performance and excellence within the local business sector.
Established business leaders, emerging entrepreneurs and high-performing companies are nominated by peers and members of the public from which award recipients are then selected.