Bringing the IT leaderships of different companies in South Asia is no easy task, as the people in the world of bits and bytes are better off in their desks than in some podium talking about the latest trends in the world of tech.
The Chief Technology Officers(CTO) Forum of Bangladesh- a platform of the CTOs of different companies in Bangladesh completed that daunting task on August 11 and12 by arranging the ‘SAARC Tech Summit’ at a city hotel in Dhaka.
In partnership with INFOCOM India-a platform that focuses on the convergence of Business,Technology and Leadership, CTO Forum Bangladesh brought together c-suite and senior level IT executives,web developers, technology innovators and solution providers to understand emerging trends and to share innovative ideas and solutions.
The theme of the two-day summit was the Digital Transformation. It however put special focuses on cyber hygiene and cyber security as well as on internet of things (IoT).
DIGITIZATION : THE DRIVING FORCE BEHIND THE BUSINESS
The first day of the two-day long summit was dedicated in discussing the effects of digitization on the businesses. There were different sessions conducted on the topic.
But before that took place the inauguration ceremony in which Tarana Halim, the State Minister for Ministry of Post and Telecommunication (MoPT) attended as the chief guest.
She declared the summit open and said that a Summit like this help all the SARRC member countries to share their knowledge and experience with each other. “It would help the countries IT experts to adopt the new challenges of digital transformation and its security,” she added.
Shyam Sundar Sikder, Secretary ofthe MoPT also termed the summit as a melting pot for tech minds. He said that to take the IT sector into a faster lane, there is no alternative of effective collaboration.
Citing the purpose of the Tech Summit, DD Purkayastha, Managing Director & CEO, ABP Pvt Ltd and Chairman, INFOCOM said as the executives of leading companies in South Asia were invited here, the platform would open up an opportunity to share, understand and explore leading to development.
Tapan Kanti Sarkar, the President of CTO Forum while delivering his speech during the inauguration said, a digital divide was being created and expanded throughout the globe through proliferation of digital technology.
“The existing digital divide may further widen in our country due to establishment of a digital society. So in the way of our digital transformation, we are to face numbers of challenges, like deficiency in digital infrastructures is a key constraint impeding the prospects of digital transformation,”he said.
“And to overcome that impediment,there is effective way other than increased communication and knowledge sharing,” he added.
After the inauguration, three sessions-‘Preparing for the beginning of the digital age’, ‘Digital transformation in financial services’ and ‘Role of ICT Service provider in the digital transformation journey ’were held.
About the preparation for the beginning of digital age, Md Arfe Elahi Manik, IT Manager, A2I, Prime Minister Office said, “We are told that the digital age is approaching – where digital technology will be both completely embedded in our everyday lives and completely‘taken-for-granted’ by its users. But the question is how ready we are to take the full benefit of technology?”
Giving opinion on the issue raised by Manik, Nilesh R Nakar, Partner and Head of Financial Services,Ernst & Young of India said that there’s no doubt that digitalization brings convenience and simplifies many aspects of everyday life.
“But it’s important not to be blinded by all the opportunities offered by digitalization without reflecting on the increased vulnerability associated with linking the devices we use.”
Nakar who also conducted the session on ‘Digital transformation in financial services’ said, If there was ever an industry where mobile is not just first but full-steam ahead,it’s the financial services industry, where FinTech-a.k.a.financial services technology-is finding new ways to make spending, managing, and investing our hard-earned money even easier than ever before.
Nihad Chakraborty, Senior Vice President, East and SAARC countries of Sify technologies said while presenting the key note on the session on ‘Role of ICT Service provider in the digital transformation journey’ that digital transformation can be seen as the means to glean the best possible business value from the vast quantity of data that currently exists.
“Applications enable digital transformation to occur across all sectors of a business. They ensure an organization is able to view service and extract the maximum value from their clients, suppliers, employees or assets as single, individual entities,”he said.
“They also provide an organization with cognitive and predictive analytics to further its growth.Whether in the cloud or within an organization, the right application sallow businesses to digitally transform, remain current, and stay ahead of competition,” he added.
ENSURING CYBER SECURITY: A THING OF PARAMOUNT IMPORTANCE IN A DIGITIZED WORLD
On the second day of the Summit, the discussants and the panelists of different sessions put special emphasis on ensuring cyber hygiene and discussed about new ways to ensure cyber security in the respective companies they work for.
A total of six sessions-‘Manage Risk,Build Trust and Embrace Risk’,‘Harnessing the power of IoT’,‘Accelerating Digital Transformation with SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud’,‘Exploring Enterprise Cloud-Challenges and Opportunities’ and ‘Digital Intervention and Industry Segments’ and ‘Digitization: The next opportunities’ were held.
Debdulal Roy, General Manager,Systems of Bangladesh Bank said during one of the seminars titled“Manage Risk-Build Trust and Embrace Change’ that, in South Asian countries, the company people still have a problem in distinguishing between cyber hygiene and cyber security.
“No system can be made full-proof until the people handling the system are given proper training on cyber hygiene.You can spend millions in buying new cyber protection for your company but if one person in your company uses an unsecure channel or click on a risky site, the system could be penetrated,” he said.
So, it is of paramount importance to train people about ‘what to click and what not to’, and how to use office computers in a secured way’, said Debdulal.
Anirban Dasgupta, Assistant Vice President of Sify Technologies said that in the era of the digital age, we rely extensively on the Internet and storage devices for many aspects of our lives, so the need to be proactive and vigilant to protect against cyber threats has never been greater.
“To achieve security within the domain, we need to adapt a good cyber hygiene strategy, that is,making sure we are protecting and maintaining systems and devices appropriately and using cyber security best practices for anything and everything that connects to the web,”he said.
Speaking about the potential of IoT,Nitin Kaushal, Director, Sales, India& SAARC, Avaya said, the biggest impacts from IoT may come from outside the realm of consumer electronics, however.
“As the price of sensors also fall,larger numbers of industrial machine sand equipment will be connected to network to provide constant streams of performance data.”
He said that the ability to track the data from sensors has applications in many different areas. Kaushal however said that the benefits of the Internet of Things will not happen without effort, however. “The traffic created by a large increase in the number of connected devices will strain existing wireless infrastructure unless upgrades can be made.”■