LAST month’s news that Prime Minister Allen Chastanet visited the nation of Estonia was encouraging, since the Republic of Estonia is widely regarded as a digital global leader where 99% of public services are available online, with some specific exceptions such as marriages! According to the website e-estonia.com, Estonia saves over 800 years of working time annually, and has become a hassle free environment for business and entrepreneurship. This staggering achievement clearly did not occur overnight but it is an encouraging sign that consistent effort and action may lead to significant savings.
If we set ourselves a more modest target, the intriguing question is: how do we even begin to address this challenge? As a country, do we have a track record of making lasting and substantial change that did not get halted after a change of political fortunes 5-years later? Can we lay claim to less heady progress in other areas? If you believe that the answer is no, then welcome to a sobering realisation. Maybe we need to prove to ourselves that we have the maturity and sense of purpose to work at a small challenge that most can agree on, if not benefit from.
As an ICT consultant, I often witness first-hand the expressed desire to change, but that has to be swiftly matched by concrete steps to effectively begin the change. Interestingly, the change may be more difficult than first imagined, but I’ve noticed that the very willingness to consider a different route is the catalyst for change.
For example, if you use lots of paper in your work environment, then for starters, a declared freeze on the paper costs may act as that catalyst. Even better would be annual reductions in the paper costs, to force greater change.
Just recently, at a customer’s workplace, I noticed an email request being printed before being actioned. Even worse, multiple printed copies were made to distribute to others who already possessed email addresses. After pointing out that observation, there was shared agreement that a paper-light approach might involve simply replying to email messages without printing and responding with paper.
Whether the key driver is environmental protection or cost savings, such a willingness to change gives reason to him guardedly and cautiously optimistic. The proof of the pudding, however, is in the process by which change is rolled out. Time will tell.
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About the Author
Dr.Lyndell St. Ville is an ICT Consultant based in Saint Lucia. His expertise includes systems analysis, design, and capacity building.