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64% of Latin American information workforce connected

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 > 15:29:29
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(SOURCE: Business News Americas.  By Christian Molinari)

IDC: 64% of Latin American information workforce connected - Regional

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Some 64% of the information workforce is either hyperconnected or increasingly connected in Latin America, according to a report by consultancy IDC, commissioned by Canadian equipment supplier Nortel Networks (NYSE: NT).

The Latin American market was the top performer in the world at 64%, followed by Asia Pacific coming in at 59%, Europe at 50% and North America at 44%.

For purposes of the study, to be qualified as hyperconnected the interviewee had to fully embrace connectivity, having at least seven devices and managing nine or more applications. Those considered increasingly connected had four devices and managed six applications. The other two sectors were passive online, and those considered what IDC called "barebones."

Nearly 2,400 people worldwide were interviewed for the study. Participants of the study were at least 18 years old, fully employed, used a PC at work and a PDA or mobile phone for business or personal activities. Of the participants sampled, 379 were from Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, the three countries representing Latin America in the survey.

The study suggests that although the region has traditionally been known as a latecomer in terms of technology adoption, Latin America's workforce is now showing a willingness to leapfrog its way to a digital information society, Romina Adduci, IDC's telecom research & consulting director for Latin America, said upon presenting the results.

Worldwide, the study found that 16% of participants were hyperconnected, 36% increasingly connected, 20% passive online, and 28% barebones.

The characteristics of the hyperconnected group were the same for all users, regardless of where they live - they had a high amount of postings to blogs, wikis and online communities, creating a "truly global culture," IDC's senior VP worldwide Vito Mabrucco told BNamericas. Some 60% of this group is male, with the majority in managerial positions, but age 35 or younger.

Mabrucco expects that those qualified for the hyperconnected group would accelerate to 40% overall within the next few years, with mobility changing the "anywhere, anytime" motif to "everywhere, all the time."

For this reason, Nortel has redefined priorities in its R&D department, said the company's chief technical officer, John Roese.

Whereas before Nortel earmarked some 55% of its total budget to declining legacy technology, 35% to growth and 10% to emerging technology, it now spends a respective 20%, 60% and 20%.

The study is a call to action for CIOs, according to Roese, as there are significant business opportunities to be developed by plugging into social user communities and other Microsoft and IBM ecosystems, to access millions of users; while inside business there are significant workforce changes that need to be implemented as old technology fails to attract new, bright employees.

But within Latin America, individuals are more likely to look for business provision of communication devices and applications, in order to avoid investing in this technology, Adduci said. The Latin American region placed last in the amount of devices interviewees had in their homes to connect to internet.

In terms of hyperconnectivity potential, medium-sized companies in the region - defined as having between 100 and 1,000 workers - present the biggest opportunity, according to the study. As such, more potential could be found in Argentina, or even Colombia and Chile - even though these countries were not included in the study but have similar markets - than in Brazil or Mexico, where there is a higher number of larger and smaller enterprises.

Christian Molinari
Business News Americas

 
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