Gartner: Latin America faces tough IT decisions

Vendors will turn up the heat on Latin America in the coming years because IT spending in the region will grow faster than anywhere in the world, a situation that puts Latin American IT managers in a difficult situation: having to make good purchasing decisions in light of a deluge of vendor overtures, according to a Gartner Group Inc. analyst.

“Everyone will be trying to sell you something, so you must make the right decisions. The risks and rewards of IT decisions have never been higher in Latin America,” said Donald Feinberg, Gartner’s group vice-president and general manager for Latin America. “The choices are so broad that choosing will become a monumental task.”

Currently, companies in Latin America devote between two to three per cent of their revenue to IT spending, but that will grow to 10 per cent by 2005, Feinberg said at Microsoft Corp.’s Latin America Enterprise Solutions Conference 2001 here Wednesday.

Spending will grow significantly in the region across all IT areas, such as hardware, software, IT services, telecommunications equipment and telecommunications services. IT spending – including telecommunications-related spending – in the region hit $175 billion in 2000.

Between 1999 and 2004, spending is expected to increase at compound annual rate of 17 per cent in Brazil, which is the region’s largest IT market with a 40 per cent share of the spending. Spending during that period is expected to rise 15 per cent in M