Country Has Shortage of Specialized Labor

Diego Puerta, president of Dell Technologies in Brazil, says in an interview in the UOL Líderes series that Brazil has 400,000 vacancies in the information technology area, with high salaries, but that the country cannot fill.

“Today we have 12 million, 13 million unemployed, while in the technology area we have 400,000, 500,000 high-paying jobs that are not filled because we cannot find qualified professionals.”

For the head of Dell, the digital divide will “seriously” impact the development of Brazil and is one of the executive’s main concerns.

Cybersecurity is another topic that keeps Puerta awake at night, he says. Remote work, widely adopted in the pandemic, he said, increased the vulnerability of systems. He is emphatic in stating that a change in legislation is needed to not treat cyber crimes as scams. And he warns: “It’s all too easy to see hackers offering money in exchange for passwords to disgruntled employees.”

Puerta also talks about the difficulties of operating in Brazil, with the complexity of regulations, about the arrival of 5G and the importance that computers had during the pandemic.

Listen to the full interview with Diego Puerta, president of Dell Technologies in Brazil, on the UOL Líderes podcast. You can also watch the video interview on the UOL YouTube channel.

Read excerpts from the interview below:

Tech jobs blackout

UOL – How can we use technology to produce relevant social impact?

Diego Puerta – During the pandemic, the dollar fluctuation and lockdowns, especially in Asia, impacted people’s ability to have access to computers. Given the Brazilian average income, the value of this equipment is higher than in developed countries. This, unfortunately, will cause a big problem for the country: the digital divide, causing a great impact on productivity.

We currently have between 12 million and 13 million unemployed, while in the technology area there are 400,000, 500,000 high-paying jobs that are not filled because we cannot find qualified professionals.

With the acceleration of technology, we will have more and more vacancies, but we are not managing to train people. This is bad for Brazil’s productivity, bad for the economy.

And what is the short-term way out?

The pandemic has expanded borders, and it is possible to hire people from anywhere. We are doing this to find qualified professionals. It also applies to companies outside Brazil that are hiring our professionals.

Brazil is a very well-perceived center globally, so much so that one of Dell’s four global development centers is here. The concern is with how to maintain all this development to support the acceleration that will come from now on.

New moment for PCs

UOL – The pandemic changed the way we use technology. Has the smartphone no longer competed with the computer?

Diego Puerta – The consumption of technology as a whole, and not just products, has increased significantly to make companies more competitive and, in many cases, has made the difference in keeping a business operational or not. It is a movement that is here to stay.

the PC [personal computer] gained a new meaning, in an accelerated process during the pandemic, because everyone needed to be productive working from home, having individual and personal equipment. Smartphones and notebooks are complementary equipment.

What happens is that the cell phone competes with people’s limited budget. Brazil is a poor country, products are imported and there is high taxation linked to the exchange rate. Computers have a high price and compete for budget with the smartphone.

But when it comes to being productive, the PC really is the most suitable, and that has been confirmed. We are again seeing huge numbers of PC growth in the market.

What are Dell’s main changes in the company’s 23 years in Brazil?

We’ve gone from a hardware-focused company to a solutions-focused company. We have access devices at the edge, security solutions, management, processing, data center, cloud. Today, 95% of what we sell is produced in our Brazilian manufacturing unit.

Chat between machines

UOL – How does Dell anticipate the evolution of the technology market? What news will come from now on?

Diego puerta We have a series of technologies that were designed in this new context to make life easier for those who are connected. Making a video from anywhere has become fundamental. These are products and systems to improve the user experience, such as longer batteries, motion sensors and noise suppression.

And how will it be with the arrival of 5G?

I strongly believe in the transformative power of 5G. When we talk about 5G, it’s not just speed to do download of film. This is one of the benefits, but not the most important. The main point is that the machine will speak to the machine, autonomously, as the intelligence behind it, facilitating our decisions. That’s what will be essential.

The other advantage is latency, i.e., lower response time, and higher capacity response. It means being able to cover more equipment in the same space. It’s the smart car talking to the smart traffic light, and they coordinate to improve the flow. 5G will make this possible.

Things will come that we can’t even imagine. When smartphones started, no one thought that hotels or taxis would be impacted by technology.

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I strongly believe in the transformative power of 5G. Things will come that we can’t even imagine. When smartphones started, no one thought hotels or taxis would be impacted because of technology.
Diego Puerta, President of Dell Technologies in Brazil

Cyber ​​attack is a crime

UOL – What is your opinion about cyber attacks? Should punishments be stricter?

Diego Puerta – With this new working model — people working from anywhere, server in the cloud, little security — the attack surface has increased, and legislation for online criminals has lower punishments than conventional crimes.

Therefore, we need to look at digital crime in a different way. A change in legislation and education is needed. People and companies leave gaps for not understanding the real impact of cyber crime.

I joke with several businessmen, who ask me what the risk of the company being attacked is. I answer: she is not at risk of being attacked, she is already being attacked. There is a risk that some attack will be successful. We are all attacked every day.

Education is a very important factor and, not having legislation that gives adequate treatment, it encourages attacks even more.

Are passwords in contact with the increase in biometrics?

Biometrics brings a very high level of control and efficiency. Today on the “deep web” it is very easy to see hackers offering money to employees of companies who are dissatisfied. To enter the company, sometimes a password is enough. With biometrics, it wouldn’t be that simple. The cybersecurity underworld relies on the fragility of passwords.

Components: no short-term solution

UOL – How are you dealing with the lack of components to assemble a computer?

Diego Puerta – The issue of restricting components on the market is a serious problem and does not have a short-term solution, perhaps not even in the medium term. There are a number of factors, from production capacity to logistical constraints. What is missing are low-cost microprocessors of great operational importance.

The competition is great. For example, a new car that is being launched in Brazil, from a large automaker, a very high-end SUV, has 6,800 microprocessors. It has 50-odd inches of screen and battery. The computer and cell phone also have. They started to compete in this industry.

We started to have more connected products, and now with 5G, self-driving cars and other devices, that demand is growing. And there is supply restriction.

There is no short-term solution, but the market will eventually break even.

Brazil is not an easy country

UOL – What are Brazil’s difficulties in attracting the hardware industry?

Diego Puerta – Brazil is not a simple country to operate. We did an excellent job in understanding the operating dynamics of the Brazilian market, which allows us to be more competitive, to have scale, to have our own factory.

But I keep saying it’s not simple. There are a number of regulations and processes. And I don’t have to go very far. In our industry, there are some international competitors whose share in the Brazilian market is more timid than what they have globally. Brazil is not really a simple country.

How could this be simplified?

You can ask any multinational that operates in Brazil and has operations in other countries. I am sure that the tax regulation team operating in Brazil will be disproportionate in size to the global structure. It’s disproportionate. It’s not that Brazil has 3% and the team abroad represents 5%. It’s something like 30% or 40% of the global team.

This team is necessary to understand tax policy. And it’s even harder to explain that to the team out there. It is not just the number of people, but the legal uncertainty related to the subject. These are examples of points that do not encourage investments.

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