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Home » Industry News » Details
24 Apr 2012
Techies offer help as govt starts digital journey
Technology bosses are willing to help the government achieve its goal of making a "Digital Bangladesh" by 2021 by employing their cutting-edge knowhow and skills. "Please, tap our potential. We're ready to help build a digital nation," said president of Bankers' Chief Technology Officers' (BTCO) Forum Tapan Kanti Sarkar. "Many of us, you know, have returned home giving up plum jobs abroad and bringing with us a wealth of experience and network. Now we want to contribute to the creation of a technology-driven and knowledge-based society," he added. Launched in July last year, the 300-member-strong forum seeks to foster an "open and creative environment where the brightest minds can engage in a meaningful dialogue and forge solutions critical to the banking and other industries."

"Technology and business are becoming so intertwined that it would be almost impossible to think of one without the other, said Mr Sarkar, adding "technology offers innovative and cost-efficient solutions essential in this age of rapid globalization." "This BCTO Forum set its journey with a vision to enable technology and business leaders to explore areas and opportunities of mutual interest, and with its real world knowhow, this forum seeks to become a trusted partner of policy makers, regulators and stakeholders," he said. Mr Sarkar, who has a chequered career of more than three decades at home and abroad, noted that the forum with its real world know-how in the context of Bangladesh can support in the formulation of a realistic National IT Policy and enforceable Cyber Law.

Since most of the forum members possess hands-on experience in implementing large ICT projects in their respective fields, they know the real-world challenges in implementing any new software solution within the Bangladeshi context, he said. "Since we know the pros and cons of the solution, we can give feedback to make an effective ICT policy for the country. There is no alternative to local expertise when it comes to ICT solution," he added. Mr Sarkar, also chief technology officer at NCC Bank Ltd, said of an estimated 10,000 IT professionals, nearly 60 per cent are employed in the banking and financial sector.

"Our voices simply cannot be neglected in the total IT development of the country any longer, especially at this exciting juncture when they can offer so much. The Forum can offer that voice," he told the FE in an interview. He hailed the Bangladesh Bank's move to declare itself to be a digitised central bank, urging the banking regulator to involve the forum as it mo0ves to go online in areas such as cheque clearing, credit information, e-recruitment, e-tendering and export monitoring. Mr Sarkar said the government should utilise local experts in tender evaluation of donor-aided projects to help reduce reliance on "costly" foreign consultants, who are often blamed for swelling up project costs and making delay.

"Time is ripe now to rethink the way we depend on overseas consultants. Our experts can do the job better," he told the FE in an interview. "The forum can take part in the needs assessment and evaluation process, and share its knowledge and expertise, if sought." Forum officials said it has already co-organised BASIS Softexpo 2012 and Infocom Tech fair and Bangladesh CTO Summit 2012. They said organising a bank tech fair 2012, SARRC CTO Summit and bringing o0ut a newsletter are among the forum's future plans.

Tapan Kanti Sarkar, President, Bankers' CTO Forum


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