Technology and operational performance in emerging countries – Dell/EIU survey

by Editor 9/23/2008 4:19:00 PM
Dell, a leading global systems and services company, and the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) presented the results of a new survey at the Economist Emerging Markets Summit 2008 in London today.

The survey shows that, while managers in fast-growing economies worldwide place a very high value on the role of information and communications technology, some of them find that there are several factors that pose obstacles to their companies’ effective use of ICT. These are: high technology costs, skills shortages, lack of central government ICT strategy, and poor telecommunication infrastructure.

The study, completed in September, focused on four topics: the impact of ICT, barriers to ICT use, skills and training, and policy factors. It included 537 managers and senior executives in Brazil, India, China, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico, South Africa and Vietnam.

Here are some of the key findings of the survey: 

• Among firms who have been unable to obtain the technology they need, 41 percent of respondents say its high cost has been the primary obstacle;

• 45 percent cite insufficient national and local telecoms and Internet infrastructure as hindrances to better ICT use; and

• 36 percent state that a lack of adequate technology skills among employees prevents the effective use of ICT.

Speaking at the Economist Emerging Markets Summit, Dell chairman and CEO Michael Dell said: “Businesses in emerging economies are challenged by the high cost of technology and a lack of infrastructure. We’re tackling these barriers through affordable, accessible products and services that make managing IT much simpler.”

Stressing the importance of helping more people in more places learn the skills to make the most of the IT, he added:

“We are committed to doing our part in addressing the skills gap with Dell’s newly formed Dell Youth Connect, donating 1 percent of our pre-tax profits to IT skills training by 2010. Digital literacy has become critical for success in today’s Connected Era -- we can’t leave any part of the globe behind.”

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