Human capital investment needed for IT ranking to improve, says BSA

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Recent initiatives by Brazil's government concerning the ICT segment - such as pumping up investments and lowering taxes on companies - will have a positive impact on next year's IT global ranking, Business Software Alliance's (BSA) director in the country, Frank Caramuru, told BNamericas.

Brazil ranked 39th among 66 countries - up one position from last year's ranking - in a study carried out by the Economist Intelligence Unit in partnership with BSA concerning IT competitiveness in the world.

But the country needs to increase investment in developing human capital and training more highly skilled IT professionals, Caramuru noted, citing a report from local economic think tank Fundação Getúlio Vargas that said Brazil currently has a bottleneck of some 90,000 vacant IT jobs. That number is expected to hit 800,000 by 2014.

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According to the BSA executive, while in India two-thirds of students are signed up for technical sciences and engineering courses, that ratio is only 16% among Brazilians.

"The government must invest more in training IT professionals, even running national campaigns to encourage students to opt for this career. This is essential for Brazil to take full advantage of the good growth prospects IT has in the country," Caramuru said.

He also called for IT curriculums to have more of a focus on business, so that students have better options in the labor market.

In Latin America, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit study, Brazil is seen behind Chile (34th) in terms of IT competitiveness, but ahead of Mexico (44th), Argentina (45th), Colombia (49th) and Peru (55th).

"Chile remains ahead of Brazil because of its business-friendly environment. The country is considered the sixth in the world in this category. And that's due to the opening of its market to foreign capital, freedom in domestic competition and private property protection," the BSA executive said.

Chile is also well placed in the ranking in the "IT support" category, thanks to the government's neutrality toward public contracts for the provision of IT services, he added.