Burgeoning Entrepreneurialism and Growth of the Internet to Impact IT Staffing in Latin America, IDC Reveals

FRAMINGHAM, MA – JUNE 13, 2000 – Recent survey results published by IDC suggest most enterprises in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico are not sounding an alarm about information technology (IT) labor shortages. However, not all enterprises are feeling entirely comfortable either. A new study, published by IDC Latin America's Enterprise Solutions program (Technology Integration Panel Study, or TIPS), revealed larger enterprises expressed the most concern about future IT labor shortages. Many of these same companies also indicated they were experiencing the greatest impact from IT staffing shortages. Smaller enterprises – while seemingly not as concerned – are probably the least prepared to confront a shortfall, IDC noted.


IDC Latin America believes that demand for IT skills will increase sharply in Latin America in the near term as more organizations formally migrate toward the Internet and automate and optimize their businesses with application software. "This migration may increase the gap between demand and supply for IT labor," said Alex Manfrediz, an analyst with IDC Latin America. "In a time of burgeoning entrepreneurialism in the region, enterprises in Latin America will need to offer more lucrative compensation packages to retain key IT talent."

In an increasingly global marketplace, where information and the technology surrounding it is becoming the central component of the so-called new more efficient economy, it is a skilled labor force that is increasingly required to sustain economic growth. IDC believes as many Latin American economies continue a slow evolution from a manufacturing-based to a service-based economy, these skills will be even more in need. As old economies in Latin America are pulled into the information technology-dependent new economy, the demand for people with IT skills may outstrip the supply resulting in an imbalance similar to that presently being experienced by the more advanced IT economies such as the United States, Western Europe, and Australia.

"Latin America has not yet been impacted fully by the dot-com frenzy that is siphoning talent from static or old economy industries in some of the more mature economies," Manfrediz said. "IT staffing shortages, if profound, will inevitably result in a re-prioritization of job responsibilities within an enterprise; hence IT projects and implementations may suffer. The bottom line: A significant shortage in IT labor can adversely impact an organization's technology adoption and therefore make it noncompetitive in an increasingly global and more efficient and information-driven economy."

To understand the nature and extent of the impact that IT staffing is having on enterprises in Latin America, IDC explored the perceptions of IT staffing shortages among IT professionals, actual attrition rates (overall and within IT), workload distribution by IT area, the impact of IT staffing on solution areas and business support, budget sizes for internal and external IT staff, the effect of IT staffing and outsourcing propensity, and the impact by company size (employees) and industry.

The survey was conducted as part of IDC's Latin America TIPS program. Full results from the survey are presented in IDC's study, IT Labor and Latin America Enterprises: A Crisis or Under Control? (IDC #LA1000G). To purchase this report, please contact Daniel Cardamone at 305-267-2616 or dcardamone@idc.com.

For more information about IDC's Latin America research programs, please contact Beth Freedman or Lisa Bloom at 508-872-8200.

With a network of six country offices in Latin America and two regional offices – in Silicon Valley, Calif. and Miami — IDC provides full market coverage of PCs, mainframes, Unix systems and workstations, servers, desktop printers, professional services, local area networks, the Internet, telecom, RDBMS software, distribution channels, NT, and IT spending patterns in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Venezuela. IDC also conducts primary research in Peru, Ecuador, Central America, and the Caribbean. IDC is the leading supplier of IT market information on Latin America.

About IDC

IDC delivers dependable, high-impact insights and advice on the future of ebusiness, the Internet, and technology to help organizations make sound business decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends and analyzes business strategies, technologies, and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC provides global research with local content through more than 500 analysts in 43 countries worldwide. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at http://www.idc.com.

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.

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