Business Urged to Innovate or Die
Innovation is the Driver of Evolution

Colin McGann, Assistant General Manager of Innovation at MC Systems, the technology arm of The Jamaica National Group said businesses, academia, government and civic leadership are to be empowered so that they can collectively innovate.

“From that vantage point it becomes clear that that innovation, is a driver of evolution. It can be considered, both the tool and the impetus for change…,” he said.

Mr. McGann made the observation while addressing the JN Group – sponsored Caribbean Centre for Organisation Development Excellence Ltd (CARI-CODE) webinar, which was held recently. The webinar was organised by CARI-CODE under the theme ‘Innovate or Evaporate’, Excel in the Fourth Industrial Age!

He said this way, the entire industries, sectors and even communities can be saved from “evaporation”.

“The JN Group, through MC Systems, has been on a mission to lead with ideas and expertise using emerging technologies to solve complex problems and deliver greater value to our customers, community and stakeholders since 1973,” he pointed out.

The MC Systems Assistant General Manager said the JN Group was pleased to be part of such an important and relevant forum designed for national, corporate and individual benefit.  He remarked that the forum is squarely aligned with the mission and ethos of the JN Group, which is “Using innovative solutions to unleash the potential of our people”.

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Hon Daryl Vaz who also addressed the webinar, urged businesses to be more agile in conducting trade as the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digitalisation of businesses.

“We are seeing a digital explosion of extraordinary proportions where businesses are concerned,” he said. “Global firms McKinsey and Gartner state that COVID-19 has accelerated the digitalisation of customer interactions by several years, as customers have moved dramatically towards online channels,” he said.

Minister Vaz’s message was delivered by Wahkeen Murray, chief technical director at the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology.

He disclosed that by 2023, Gartner anticipates that $30 billion in revenues will be generated by products and services that did not exist pre-pandemic; and by 2024, 80 per cent of technology products and services will be built by those who are not technology professionals.

“And that is the power of innovation. Ladies and gentlemen, the future is already here and as industry leaders, you must lead the charge in your organisations, businesses and even within your household. Ladies and gentlemen we have no choice but to evolve with the times, innovation is integral to our survival as people,” he said.

He underscored that without innovation and entrepreneurship, the country will not be globally competitive. “I urge you therefore to take all the lessons, strategies and best practices shared during this webinar and apply them to your respective organisations, businesses and personal lives,” he said.

llsa duVerney, founder and chief executive officer CARI-CODE, and chairman, designate of the Jamaica Chapter of the International Association of Innovation Professionals, (IAOIP), in her presentation said that as innovators, it is prudent to create and look to the future, such as Industry 5.0- a concept that centres on the cooperation between man and machine and human intelligence works in harmony with cognitive computing.

“As Industry 4.0 moves to 5.0, robots and humans ‘co-llaborate’. Robots become co-bots who are virtual apprentices to us humans and so they will, for example, be collecting the tools for us to help us and give us more time to think, innovate and relax,” she explained.

She further noted that the envelope is being pushed by the Japanese who have coined the term ‘Society’ 5.0.

“So it is no longer Industry with the focus mainly about machines. Now we are in the organisation development era where emphasis is on developing persons first, so it is very personalised and we are now moving to a revolution of ‘Society’ – 5.0. In Society 5.0, people will be liberated from various constraints,” she said, underscoring that people will be able to live, work and be free from oppressive influences, and be free to create value in harmony with nature.

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