NASSAU, BAHAMAS- The lack of technology usage and digital transformation are among the ‘greatest deficiencies’ facing the country according to Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employer’s Confederation (BCCEC) chief executive Jeffrey Beckles, noting that less than 50 percent of workers who have been sent home due to COVID-19 are prepared to work remotely.
Beckles who was addressing a meeting of the Rotary Club of Old Fort via Zoom last evening said that the primary reason for this is a skills gap as it relates to being computer and technologically savvy.
“Since March 20th, tens of thousands of Bahamians have gone home, having either been either furloughed, laid-off, terminated or are working remotely. We have found in studies that less than 50 per cent of that workforce is prepared to work remotely. The primary reason is that the skills gap as it relates to being computer savvy, having computer knowledge and competency is not as high as many people believe,” said Beckles.
According to Beckles, the Chamber’s Innovation Committee has a keen focus on technology and digital transformation. “Technology and digital transformation are among the greatest deficiencies that we have nationally. Most of our businesses are not even remotely close to being ready for that transition. We are putting a great deal of our initial efforts into the digital transformation and in support of government’s aim to digitize its services.”
Further underscoring the need for businesses to embrace technology Beckles said, “One of the things we learned from our Dorian recovery process was that 85 per cent of the companies that were affected had little to no innovative technology as a part of their ongoing business operations. That set them back pretty far because the 15 per cent that used technology as part of their service delivery moved to a different location, got their business started and were able to get back up and running.”
Beckles also urged businesses and entrepreneurs to not simply look to provide a product but to solve a problem. “If you can find a product to sell, 10,15, 2