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Technology in Trinidad: 10 years behind its time?

Posted by Bradley Wint on 18/03/2011

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One of the biggest frustrations come about when having to deal with many divisions of the government. If you have to apply for your passport, get your driver’s license renewed or file your taxes, you’d know there is a lot of physical paperwork involved. Sadly enough, once this paper work is processed, it goes into piles sometimes as high as the ceiling in the offices. The problems start to occur when reference needs to be made to the filed paperwork, with some Ministries either responding months to years after, or just simply ask that people resubmit updated information for the records.

Only recently have the various ministries started changing over to an IT based solution, with only one or two using online networked systems. What impressed me though was how efficient the US immigration service was. Instead of filling out paper-based forms, users can do it online and even upload their own photos for the file. After, all the information is transferred to the Consular Officers where they can then pull it up on their system in seconds.

Another great example in the US’s Department of Motor Vehicles. Drivers looking to renew their license take an average of 15 minutes to do so, while the process in Trinidad takes between 1-4 hours.

Even with some ministries becoming computerized, the overall process takes so long that the software and systems soon becoming too outdated for their intended use.

IT Personnel

With Trinidad being such an oil-based country, the government has continued to heavily base its investments and projections on the hope that oil will last for a very long time. Since oil is non-renewable, they should have at least considered the thought of significantly developing other industries to sustain the economy’s demand for capital, when oil and gas does eventually run out.

The only other major industry seems to be the import/ business, but it has done well indirectly because of oil and gas revenues.

trinidad should have maybe considered becoming an it based society to possibly offer their services to other countries looking for outsourced technological needs. india for instance has had a thriving economy because of their demand for it services, so much that indians are now at the head of it divisions in many organizations.

of course there are other industries that trinidad could diversify into, but with the world constantly demanding more and more technology, it is a sure field to get into.

wrapping up, trinidad has quite a lot of potential for development and is still in a stable state where it can expand into new areas. however, it the government and society as a whole still have a backward mindset regarding technology, the entire country would stand to suffer due to much slower progress.



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  • The Mage

    We have been behind in technology because the country is run by old wealthy farts who never saw or realized the importance of becoming I.T. Literate and Savvy.. they do not understand I.T., They do not understand its importance, They do not see how it saves them money in the longrun in a pathetically blind sort of way, and they do not value I.T. Resources and personnel on the scale that they should be. At this time Trinidad should place a very high importance on I.T. Personnel and developing this country’s I.T. Evolution. To realize that sitting in front of a computer and 2 clicks and a problem is solved is not what it’s about, but what goes on in the mind of I.T. personnel during those 2 click, to make the right “2 clicks” that get the problem solved in smallest amount of time with the least repurcussions. They rather see a technician use 40 clicks to do something that could have been done in 5, that way they say “ahhh yess, im getting value for my money” little do they know that the 2 click technician is the better one in the field to have in your company. The one who walks out the office 2 minutes after a problem is reported and says “Done”!

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