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March 22, 2007

IDC, ACTI Offer Differing Views on IT Investment Market in Latin America

Predicting what will happen next in the information technology (IT) industry is a tricky business. Yet industry research firms such as In-Stat (News - Alert), ABI and IDC make a regular practice of maintaining professional appearances when peering into the crystal ball, working from the premise that past and current conditions can be indicators of what the future holds.

In other words, such firms make highly educated guesses.
Sometime, though, two different firms issue predicts that contradict one another. Such was the case recently with IDC (News - Alert) and Latin American research firm Asociacion Chilena de Empresas de Tecnologias de Informacion A.G. (ACTI).
According a report Wednesday, the two research firms issued differing outlooks regarding IT investments in Chile.
The report quoted IDC’s Southern Cone unit general manager, Ricardo Villate, as saying that the firm predicts IT investment in Chile will reach $2.11 billion in 2007, up 10.6 percent from $1.9 billion in 2006.
Yet, ACTI presented a different view, stating that information communications technology (ICT) sales in Chile reached $1.46 billion during 2006. If that lower figure is correct, it means that IDC’s predictions may be overly optimistic.
The report quoted ACTI general manager Aldo Signorelli as saying that the different figures are the result of the two studies including somewhat different areas of the ICT/IT industry.
“Both figures make sense,” Signorelli was quoted as saying. “IDC uses more data, but in order to reduce the difference, starting from 2007 Acti will work with IDC to estimate the sector's sales.”
Signorelli added: “I do hope IDC is right for this year’s growth and we are underestimating the final figure.”
The figures from Villate were part of IDC’s IT predictions for all of Latin America during 2007. Among the data presented were predictions for the Chilean PC market (projected 2007 growth, 12.8 percent) and handheld device sales (projected growth of 50 percent).
Other Latin American figures studied by IDC included infrastructure applications segment (projected growth for 2007, 14.3 percent) and packaged software (projected revenue growth 12.2 percent for 2007).
In the report, Villate was quoted as saying that, compared with other areas of Latin America, Chile is showing a higher level of IT investment sophistication. Yet, because this a mature market, growth rate there will be below average for the broader region.
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Mae Kowalke previously wrote for Cleveland Magazine in Ohio and The Burlington Free Press in Vermont. To see more of her articles, please visit Mae Kowalke’s columnist page. Also check out her Wireless Mobility blog.


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