Culture and education key to enter IT Latin American markets

Internet penetration is driving growth in the IT Latin American market, but in order to gain competitive advantage in the market, vendors need to consider cultural and educational differences and develop their strategies around them, according to an industry analyst.

IT training, language and cultural approaches should lie at the core of IT services in the region, aside from technical support, custom relations development and outsourcing, said Sunday Monique Gibelli, Latin America analyst for IT industry research firm International Data Corp. (IDC), during her presentation in Las Vegas Sunday at Comdex’s International Business Summit.

Although IDC estimates that IT services will account for 34 per cent, the largest proportion of the total US$29.5 million likely to be invested in Latin American IT markets during 2000, there is still more to do in this segment, Gibelli said. PCs were in second place with 24 per cent, followed by software (13 per cent), systems (12 per cent), data communication (nine per cent) and peripherals (eight per cent), Gibelli said.

After LAN (local area network) hardware with an estimated growth rate of 20 per cent, IT services will be the second fastest growing segment in Latin America, with approximately 15 per cent growth, according to IDC. Next up are the WAN (wide area network) hardware and enterprise applications markets, each with over 10 per cent growth. SAP AG and IBM Corp. are the leading training companies in the region, focused on electronic commerce, the market research company estimates.

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