top of page
  • Writer's pictureKahmile Reid

Digitally Fit?

Happy New Year everyone! Thank you for visiting my blog, there are so many blogs out there that you could be reading, thank you for choosing mine.

This year I will continue my theme in communication and lean deeper into topics related to digital and big data. Hope you find them interesting. Feel free to suggest topics, I'd be happy to hear some feedback! Have a wonderful 2018!

Disruption…this word has to be the most used word in the English Language in recent times.

By definition, it means to interrupt or interfere with an activity or a process. Technology has caused major disruption and dislocation in almost every industry. You either become digitally fit or get left behind.

As I have said in this space, the triple bottom line (people, profit, and planet) is much harder to achieve when a brand doesn’t enjoy public trust – reputation is at the heart of that trust. And so the fear of not making a profit or becoming irrelevant has always been a treadmill that keeps companies running toward their reputational promise land. PR and marketing has been challenged creatively as these professionals must find innovative and authentic ways to communicate and gain trust and brand loyalty. As PR and marketing professionals we too must be digitally fit to survive the disruption.

Be that as it may, customer expectations, needs, and habit change are changing rapidly and Jamaican companies must adapt or become extinct. Customers expect high quality and seamless experiences, digital or otherwise, at a lower cost. Because the physical and virtual environments are rapidly converging we see where the web influences almost all our decisions to purchase. I rearly make any purchases on Amazon without studiously reading reviews.

We also see the points of references for customer service being companies that are light years ahead of local companies in technological advancements. Local companies are being compared with the likes of tech giants like Apple, Amazon and Google. It’s not a fair comparison, but guess what, life is not fair. And this is not about survival of the fairest… but the survival of the fittest, in this case our digital fitness.

While digital transformation enables companies to fundamentally rethink their offerings and position themselves for growth, the automation involved in the process will inevitably lead to reduced cost, time and redundancies. For e.g. The National Commercial Bank’s journey in digital transformation has recently resulted in a number of redundancies, but, as i said, this is a natural part of the digitization process.

Media is particularly vulnerable to digital disruptions as media companies are using robot journalists with machine learning and natural language capabilities to write sports and finance related articles. I foresee redundancies in local media giants like The Gleaner who recently debuted the new design of their physical paper with the promise of a newly design Sunday Edition to be rolled out at a later date.

Kudos to companies like Digicel that signed a Frame Agreement with Cisco under which they will collaborate to develop a short-term and long term digitization vision for the Caribbean countries in which they operate. Under the terms they will be defining areas for implementation in healthcare, smart cities and educational strategies to name a few.

The most interesting thing about the digital age for me is the equity it provides for those who care to use it rather than be used by it. We all have so much information at our fingertips, and so much broadcasting power that claiming not to know something or not being able to do something is just not acceptable anymore. Technology has leveled the playing field in relation to learning so much so that the classroom can be anywhere at anytime. But as I said, we need to choose to use it or be used by it.

Digitization can be the key to economic transformation if embraced. We need to assess our digital maturity and readiness and develop a viable national transformation strategy. We cannot afford to take our own sweet time as the world moves ahead in leveraging technology in their development.



bottom of page