JIS News

Director of the Board at the Central Information Technology Office (CITO), Mervyn Eyre, has stressed that “full support from top management” in any organization is critical, if issues such as disaster preparedness and the use of Information Communications Technology (ICT) are to be treated seriously.
Mr. Eyre was speaking at the launch of CITO’s 3rd Regional Summit at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica in Kingston, recently.
This year’s Summit will be held from May 9 to 11, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel under the theme – ‘Disaster Preparedness and Recovery: Utilizing Information and Communications Technology’.
According to Mr. Eyre, “top level” management must ensure that they are aware of the various changes that are taking place in the ICT sector, especially since it plays an integral role in their business operations.
It is in this regard, he noted, that CITO has, for the past two years at its Regional Summits, provided information about the ICT sector, by focusing on topical issues that pertain to the use of the technology.
“What we do each year is select subjects that we feel are important at a certain point in time and we direct our focus not just to the technical people who have an interest in the execution process, but we also focus on the leadership of both business and government,” he explained.
In light of the disasters that have occurred in Jamaica and the Caribbean region in recent times, Mr. Eyre noted that CITO saw the relevance of focusing on the use of ICT in disaster preparedness and mitigation at this year’s Summit.
“Disaster preparedness and recovery is not just an information technology issue. There are two perspectives to it, that is, how organizations can protect their ICT against disasters and how they can use it to mitigate and prevent the impact of disasters. So this is not just a technology issue, this is about business and governance,” he emphasized.
Underscoring Mr. Eyre’s views, Director of Information and Training at the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), Nadine Newsome, said that the support of top management in formulating disaster preparedness strategies was critical if the process is to be taken with the measure of seriousness it deserves.
Miss Newsome endorsed the Summit, and informed that it would provide both business and government organizations with information that would enable them to be better equipped to deal with disasters.
She urged organizations to begin looking at the various ICT strategies, which could serve to enhance the mitigation and recovery process, and as an example, pointed to the ODPEM’s own use of ICT at its Emergency Operation Centre prior to, during and after a disaster.
“It is important to realize that business recovery will enhance and ensure national recovery, therefore decreasing the negative impact to the economy, which often accompanies major disaster events,” she said. Several organizations have partnered with CITO in hosting this year’s Summit, including Illuminat Jamaica, National Commercial Bank, International Business Machines, Moore Tech, Citrix, Fujitsu, Annbel Limited, Jamaica Money Market Brokers, Spatial Innovation, the Spectrum Management Authority and ODPEM.
Persons interested in participating in the Summit should register at www.cito.gov.jm or call 960-1009 for further information.