global government ministers, senior government officials, EMA directors and members, or their distinguished participants, members of the media, ladies and gentlemen, welcome and good morning to TTI gf 2021 hosted by TT Mark Trinidad and Tobago multi stakeholder advisory group with the theme of the event this year is digitalization the new. This is our fifth TT IDF and the first we are doing fully online and the first that is being held across today is digitalization, automation and technical adoption have been going on for a number of years, but at slow speed. However, the infamous COVID-19 has done more for digital transformation in a single year than what we may have done over the last decade. It is no secret that we as humans are creatures of habits, we dislike change. Some may say we are lazy, others could argue we are efficient. However, we also possess an incredible ability to adapt to our environment. So when the lockdown came, and the offices were shocked, we had little choice but to adapt and adapt. We did from remote working VPS conference calls, learning new skills using new technologies. And very quickly, many found themselves working productively from home something that could not have been envisioned happening months earlier. trade on Tobago was not unique in this, many developing countries went through a similar cycle. One could argue that the digital gap between the workforce in the developed country and the developing country got slightly smaller. We achieved a lot we implemented quickly. We are still learning and adapting. And we have much further to go much more to the journey has begun. There is the self belief that we new technologies and we can change the way we work. The foundations of the hard technical skill sets and the soft mind change has been laid and we continue to evolve. Many organizations are working significantly differently to how they were operating this time last year, many of them are more productive and efficient. We have seen a huge number of newcomers into the market, bringing their technologies, support services, ideas and reacting to the new demand that has been created. We have had at least five marketplaces launched at least three food delivery services purple, the logistics industry is thriving. Software Development for both web and mobile apps is in high demand. There is phenomenal activity in the online payments from traditional bank gateways to new entrants coming into the market. As we become more digitized, the concerns about data and cybersecurity start to increase. On one hand, the question is what do we authorize an agreed to and as you as you will see from the fallout of Facebook's WhatsApp privacy change, the users are more educated on the matter and very vocal. We are TT Mark have held a number of events on this subject. But this year, we have decided to discuss the unauthorized access. how safe is your data? What are the concerns with cybersecurity and how secure is your data. There are a lot of technologies and buzzwords flying around out there. From AI, artificial intelligence, ml machine learning big data, IoT blockchain RPA, robotic process automation to name a few. They are all coming and they will all impact our lives in unprecedented ways. But they will also use the digitization taking place now as the foundations to build on. Organizations have formulated that it is digital strategies. And it is a great time for consultants and technical skilled individuals. The government's drive to push to digital transformation is just fueling this engine even further to learn and move forward quickly. But there are huge opportunities for everyone. I do foresee a huge investment by organizations and expansion of resources starting to happen. We may initially see a restricted supply of skills but we will all come out stronger, innovative and empowered on the other side. It is with this backdrop and in line with the overwhelming response from our annual survey to our members on what they would like us to go that we are TT Mark decided to have digitalization as our theme for 2021.
We'll work hard to put together some fantastic panels with excellent panelists. One of the benefits of having remote participation online Is that we are more easily able to get access to subject matter experts who may not always be able to travel. Having said that, I believe we do have a couple of expert panelists that have supported us with their presence in person over the years. As always, we have put a lot of work into this. The board and our event coordinator dummies have been working around the clock for the last few weeks. So please make sure you fully participate by asking questions during the sessions and also engaging and reaching out to us after the event. Teaching mark is a multi stakeholder nonprofit organization that looks to promote standards, policies and assist in either initiating or forwarding discussions around the internet and general ICT. We host a number of events during the year and we invite you to visit our website, Mike doc TT and join us because by becoming a member, it's free and you get to contribute and who knows you could be leading and representing the many stakeholders in our now new normal digital world. And with that, I as the chair on behalf of TT mark, welcome all of you to TTL mgf 2021 Thank you