The next Silicon Valley is Latin America, says Gartner

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Latin America is bound to make the most noise in innovation and digital business, according to IT research company Gartner.

"We are living the Latin America moment," said VP of research Patrick Meehan during the Gartner CIO & IT Executive Latin America Summit in Mexico City. He added that "no other region in the world" offers the same capacity to become the next IT world hub.

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"Silicon Valley is no longer a place, it is a concept, a mindset," he pointed out.

"That mindset is in Guadalajara, in Santiago, in Montevideo," added vice president Jorge López during the keynote address.

According to Gartner, Latin America has two things going for it in terms of potential for a tech revolution: a young demographic, and access to technology.

"The Latin American population is roughly 20 years younger in average than the more mature regions in the world," said López.

Meehan added that not only adoption [of technology], but its creation will be pushed by a younger demographic. "Innovation comes from today's kids," he said, adding that the region is making great strides in increasing connectivity. "If youth have no connectivity at home, or in school, then their ideas get lost."

Mexico's efforts have brought the internet to 46% of the country through the government program México Conectado. The country's initiatives were praised by Internet Society CEO Kathy Brown.

Brazil ended July with 221.3mn fixed and mobile broadband accesses, or nearly 20mn more broadband connections than people. The number of broadband accesses represents 34% growth from the 165mn broadband accesses seen at end-July 2014, according to data from Brazilian telco association SindiTelebrasil.

Chile leads the region in terms of internet penetration at 67%, and will continue to do so through 2018, when broadband is expecting to reach 71% of the population, according to data from global market intelligence provider IDC.