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When those located outside of the region discuss business in Latin America, one of three things happen. They have a basic understanding of the countries within the region, they’re well versed in the region and understand how the countries behave and their cultural and business differences, or none of the above – they believe that the countries within Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) all behave is one unit, with identical priorities and focuses.
Culturally and politically, each country has their own practices and laws in place and can differ quite substantially from their neighbors in the Latin America region. Technologically speaking, the countries within Latin America behave very differently as well and this has led to a gap in technology growth in the region in comparison with other advanced regions. As I’ve transitioned recently into my new role as Vice President of Latin America and the Caribbean, I’ve had a better opportunity to discover the partners of the entire region, in order to best learn how to support each country’s needs and areas of focus individually and help close the technology gap in Latin America.
Things are happening, including different regulations inside of the countries, which have resulted in a delay in the time frame of which technologies enter the countries and delaying some of the technology growth in the areas in comparison to other regions such as the United States.
- For example, the country of Chile is very open to adapting new ideas, so they are much further along in adopting new technologies than others. On the other hand, Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador I would say are more cautious on how they introduce technology, so they may be considered regions that are lagging in the technology areas in comparison.
Altogether, the region as a whole is still making most of their sales in the second platform and are somewhat behind on transitioning from the second platform to the third – I would say by a gap of about 2 years in comparison of what the United States is doing.
What will technology look like 5 years from now, in 2020, in LAC?
By 2020, I think the gap will be smaller and Latin America will be very close to what the U.S. and other leading countries are doing as technology continues to evolve faster and faster. If you had asked me 10 years ago what technology looked like in Latin America, and asked how behind the region was in comparison, my answer would have been about 5 or 6 years behind. Twenty years ago, I would have said we were 10 years behind. So as the years go on and technology continues to evolve, the gap in technology in Latin America is getting closer and closer.
By year 2020, organizations will not be able to afford to work efficiently without analyzing their data and using analytics to survive. They will need security and a mobility practice or mobility play in their companies. The same thing goes for the Cloud. Every organization throughout the world will have to go to the cloud eventually in order to compete. So in short, by 2020, Latin America in comparison with the world leaders in technology will be forced to be caught up.
How are you hoping to implement new practices that will help bridge this gap?
Right now in Latin America, our priorities are around three areas of the 3rd platform. This year, we will be primarily be focusing on:
- Big Data and Analytics
We are focusing on these areas this year because although we see these areas growing around the world, there are not many partners in Latin America with a security practice or security solutions in their portfolio. The same goes for analytics. There are very few partners that have a solid analytics practice right now - one of the things that they are going miss the wave on. In terms of the cloud, a lot of the partners in LAC believe that right now isn’t the time for the public cloud, but there is no better time. If they don’t enter the market now, somebody else will capture their share and they will have trouble in the future. We are hoping to educate our partner base in these three areas to enable them to become dedicated to third platform, show them the areas of growth they should be looking at and what the future will be like if they do not follow the path that technology is heading in.
If you could any advice to partners who are on their way to transition to the third platform, what would you say?
When you look at the data in LAC, the sales of hardware still represents about 50 percent of the LAC IT business. Like I said, this is going to change very fast, and faster than it did in the US, because our technology gap is getting closer. It is my job to educate our partners on how fast this growth and change is truly occurring. They may not have as much time to get their practice built up in these areas that they may think. By saying, “Right now we will focus on second platform but eventually we will get to the third platform in the future,” they’re going to be in trouble in two years. It’s very important for partners in LAC to get in this practice now, or look for the partnerships that can add these solutions to their offerings to help their customers.
For more information on the growth areas and opportunities in the Latin America and Caribbean region, click here. (need a link)