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Sunday, 16 August 2009

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'IT can play a different role in an economic crisis'

In an economic crisis IT can play a different role and organisations can use IT to make the economy survive, said the President of the Computer Society of Sri Lanka (CSSL) Chrisantha Silva.

'Change requires from both sides the corporate sector and the IT companies. IT companies should come up with different solutions during a period of a crisis', he said in an interview with the Sunday Observer. IT industry depends on the demand of the IT services from other industries. At a time of a crisis most organisations operate with minimum resources and in most instances cut investment on IT. Therefore, demand for IT services could come down.

However, at the same time organisations look for cost reductions, alternatives to maintain profits, process re-engineering, outsourcing options and retain their existing customers.

Therefore, IT solutions can assist organisations and help organisations to survive at a crisis situation, he said.

CSSL the main national organisation of the IT professionals in Sri Lanka plays a leading role in the promotion of IT across the country and improve professionalism among those in the IT field. Established in 1976 CSSL, today, has over 500 professional members, around 1000 associate members and a large number of student members.

Silva said that CSSL has designed various programs to promote IT in the country. Some of this year's programs are going parallel to the government initiative 2009 the year of IT and English, he said. He said that the main annual event of the CSSL is the national IT conference. The 27th national IT conference will be held this year on September 8 at Galadari Hotel Colombo.

The theme of the conference is "Integration, Innovation and Impact of an e-enabled society".

The keynote speakers of the conference are Prof.K.K. Aggarwala, Vice chancellor of the Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Delhi, India, Prof.

Sead Muftic of the Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden and the research professor at the George Washington University, USA, Chris Levanes, Platform Strategy Lead, Microsoft Asia Pacific region, Sanjaya Karunasena, Chief Software Architect of the ICT Agency and Suren J. Amarasekara, CEO of Mobitel.

CSSL organises IT promotion campaigns in the rural areas where the people do not have opportunity to access IT services.

The objective is to introduce the technology and encourage them to use available resources provided under various government programs. Silva said that this year two programs were held in Buttala and Medawachchiya. In Medawachchiya there is a Nenasala centre and by the time we held the workshop this centre was not used by the people because they do not know how to use it.

We train students and encourage them to use IT.

CSSL has launched series of programs targeting the schools.

The School Network Project of the CSSL establishes IT clubs in schools and network them to share the resources and knowledge.

The National School Software Competition is another main event that has design to improve IT skills in schoolchildren.

From this year the first round of the competition will be held in provincial level in nine centres under three age groups; under 15, under 17 and under 19.

The final round the national competition will be held in Colombo in mid September. The international software competition is another new initiative of the CSSL.

It will be held in October and Silva said that this year two teams will participate from India and Australia. Many of the regional countries have informed that this year they are not ready due to various issues and will participate in the future.

Silva said that this competition will enable our students to develop their skills to international standard.

At the competition a three member group will get four questions to develop a software by using C/C++, C#, Visual Basic, Net and Java programming languages.

They have to develop the software within two hours and the competition is open for under 17 students.

 

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