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Photo Caption: Ricardo Dystant, chief of digital transformation and special projects, JN Bank, delivered the keynote address at the Portmore Community College Accounting/Finance and Management Seminar held on August 17, 2023, under the theme: The Impact of Digital Transformation in Finance and Management at the institution in Portmore, St Catherine. His presentation focused on the importance of people in the overall process of digital transformation. The 2023 event was hosted by final year students pursuing the BSc in Business Administration in the Accounting/Finance and Management programme, as part of their final practical examination. 

Ricardo Dystant, chief of digital transformation and special projects, JN Bank, says the process of digital transformation cannot be fully effective without people. 

Speaking at the Portmore Community College Accounting/Finance and Management Seminar recently, he explained that digital transformation is the process of using digital technologies consistently to improve operational efficiency within organisations to meet changing requirements. However, he said to achieve that transformation, there must be harmony with people, culture, and systems. 

“Something we need to realise with digital transformation is that the people element is even more important sometimes than having all the requirements being met, because if the people are with you, you’ll find a way to meet those requirements.” 

Mr Dystant shared that there have been instances where organisations have lost millions in financing and time by implementing new systems and neglecting to invest in educating employees, who are needed to make the changes work seamlessly. 

“So, a man will go back to his paper or what he used to do before to bypass the technology,” he said. 

Mr Dystant said with digital transformation, people must also embrace new ways of working and become more open to innovation and experimentation. “It’s not that you’re replacing people with these new technologies, but you’re empowering them to be more efficient to serve more people,” he added. 

In today’s rapidly evolving world, digital transformation has become essential especially for businesses looking to stay competitive or dynamic, Mr Dystant underscored, and leveraging these new technologies can empower people to create generational wealth. 

He said among the significant benefits of digital transformation is the automation of processes, which usually results in increased operational efficiency and lower costs. According to him, automation reduces the manual effort required to manage data, which enables organisations to work faster. Pointing to the JN Group’s ONE JN project, Mr Dystant shared that the concept involves the adoption of technology to enhance customer experiences and business outcomes. 

Kenneisha Gordon (foreground), student in the Business Administration in the Accounting/Finance and Management programme at the Portmore Community College (PCC), poses a question to Ricardo Dystant, chief of digital transformation and special projects, JN Bank, following his presentation at the Accounting/Finance and Management Seminar held at the institution on August 17, 2023, under the theme: The Impact of Digital Transformation in Finance and Management. Looking on are (from second left) Florence Blair-Gayle, Lecturer at PCC; and students Lopez Mason, Janice Lewis, Samantha Willock and Trudy-Ann Dixon.

He said digital transformation also affords greater transparency and enhanced data insights, noting that with more readily available and accurate data, individuals and organisations can make high-quality decisions to get better results. 

“The beauty of technology is that when you go online and ask for a statement, for example, you can see every single transaction on your account and then you start an analysis to say ‘Maybe I’m spending too much at the pharmacy or supermarket.’ That same analysis you do is the same thing we’re doing in our organisations.”  

The Digital Transformation Executive also shared that digital transformation comes with improved safety and security. With criminals finding new ways to explore vulnerabilities each day, he noted that individuals and organisations have been using more or all security tools at their disposal to address potential risks, such as data breaches and ransomware threats.  

“When something goes wrong you can have loss of data, which can have adverse impact. So, it’s very important to leverage the technologies being introduced so we can be safer,” he said.  

The Portmore Community College Accounting/Finance and Management seminar returned to an in-person format this year and was held at the school located in Greater Portmore on August 17 under the theme: The Impact of Digital Transformation in Finance and Management. The 2023 event was hosted by final year students pursuing the BSc in Business Administration in the Accounting/Finance and Management programme, as part of their final practical examination. 

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