By YOURI KEMP
Tribune Business Reporter
The Bahamas and wider Caribbean must complete a 15-year transformation in just five years to catch up with the developed world in information technology (ICT), a local provider is arguing.
Scott MacKenzie, chief executive of Cloud Carib, told Tribune Business: "The Grand Bahama technology hub was structured to aid in the development of Grand Bahama and The Bahamas from a technology perspective. I think the drive now is to formulate a programme, a national strategy and programme.
"From an education perspective let's be realistic. The users are the future and in order to instill true modern day ICT practices throughout the region, it's generational change. Our generation, we can make things happen today, but those are all short-term gains. So unless you put a programme in place that, over the next two or three generations, is really going to elevate the entire region and make it globally competitive, you're not really achieving very much other than short-term gains.
"From my perspective at least the whole purpose of a steering committee, and a passion and drive towards technology transformation in the region, is about the next generation. We have to lay the groundwork, but it has to be in alignment to what's coming within the next five, 10 or 20 years and there is a lot of things we should be thinking about."
Mr Mackenzie added: "Twenty years ago there was this major transformational shift from physical computer infrastructure to virtualisation, what everybody calls the cloud now. That was the foundation of the cloud and all that means is you take a bunch of this physical equipment and you chop it up. It's like taking a loaf of bread and then slicing it, you take that one physical asset and now you have like 15 or 20 assets out of it.
"That started some 20 years ago. Where we are in the region is where North America was some 20 years ago because people are still apprehensive of the adoption, and they are wondering if it's going to work. Then they see everybody in the US and the world using all of this stuff and they are saying that maybe it is a good idea, and maybe we need to move now."
Arguing that The Bahamas and Caribbean need to move faster on digital reform, Mr Mackenzie said: "We're now in this region talking about virtualisation and cloud and hyper-convergence; the rest of the world is talking about containers, so we are still behind the curve."
He added that even if the Caribbean put all of its energies into going cloudless in the next five years, the rest of the world will have already been "containerised" and it will be behind again.