IoT Business will boost the Economy in the Next Decades

By José Antônio Scodiero, Director, Founding Partner of Fast Company Brazil

The world of the Internet of Things promises to be the main engine of the global economy in the next years. In developing countries, such as Brazil, the opportunities will be even bigger. Considering the size of the local market and the pressing need that Brazil has in increasing the innovation rhythm, technology usage, and development, the country can already be seen as a big global player by companies from this sector. In this moment, the more accurate motto for companies that want to act or are acting in Brazil is “Innovate or Die.”

After a cycle of more than 10 years of continuous growth, that put the country in evidence on the global landscape as part of the select group of so-called BRICs (Brasil, Russia, India, and China) and that stressed, even more, its leadership in Latin America, Brazil is now entering, in the past two years, a moment of political tension that has reflected directly in the economy. The moment now is of reviewing and restructuring. But in spite of the perception of some foreign executives and entrepreneurs that this is not a good time to invest in the country, it is clear that Brazil had a virtuous cycle of many years and reached a higher level. All this indicates that, for sure, not all is lost. Far from it. The time is for opportunities.

With the stabilization of the smartphone market, there’s a great potential for the technology industry – especially in the semiconductors area – in business involving connected cars, agriculture, livestock, smart cities, among others. To fully use this opportunities, it is necessary to understand in which ways it is possible to develop the best technological solutions to different regions. And the solutions to problems from different countries can only be found locally.

Investing in the right time and in the right moment

Despite the low participation of Brazil in the semiconductors industry, the country has a great potential to use the Internet of Things and to develop in this sector. It is a field in which no one has the advantage yet: we are, theoretically, in the same level as United States and China. Besides that, a chip to a sensor for IoT is cheaper and easier to develop than one made for smartphones. Therefore, it is less costly to invest in IoT.

In the technology world, the innovation chain has inverted itself recently, with the large domain of big multinational companies giving space to startups and new entrepreneurs. This movement creates a pulverization of opportunities. It is no longer something concentrated, in the domain of few big players like it used to be. There is space for companies from outside the country and also for the appearance of new local players that can learn and develop their own systems and foment the industry.

The technology giants, that lost a wave of opportunities that emerged with the mobile business (smartphones, tablets, and M2M), now are moving rapidly so they don’t miss out on the opportunities that the IoT segment will bring. There are several examples in this direction and IBM is one of them, since its announcement, in December of 2015, to return to the consumer electronics market, ten years after selling its computer division to the Chinese Lenovo. The problem is that there are a lot of companies, big and small, repeating the same strategies in the search of its own space in the technology market. This needs to change. The motto “Innovate or Die” also needs to be applied in the planning.

IoT as a transforming agent of an economy

As well as in great transformations of the past, the revolution caused by IoT will change the entire landscape of the career scenario. It is estimated that in time, it will be possible to see 20 to 30 million jobs migrate, and some functions might disappear, thanks to robotics, intelligent machines and artificial intelligence (AI), that will infiltrate in new corporate areas and automate the positions that are repetitive and transitional.

But what it seems like bad news is, in fact, a readaptation, from workstations focused on operational to opportunities in areas that demands data analysis, ability to solve problems, think creatively, innovate and work within a team. Nothing too distant from the profile that today is comprehended as a good professional. It is an evolutionary movement, driven by technology.

If the job openings in operational work stations tend to drop, the opportunities to professionals that seek qualification and even reinvention will grow a lot. It is a market that, according to IDC, will grow about US$1, 7 trillion until 2020. This amount needs, and will be, shared among the professionals that manage to keep up with the demands of the market.

About José Antônio Scodiero

With over 30 years of experience in areas like information technology, personal computing, semiconductors, entrepreneurship and startups, José Antônio Scodiero has already acted as a high level executive in several big and successful international corporations like: IBM; Apple Computer; OkiData, where he was president of the Brazilian subsidiary, and more recently; AMD, leader in the semiconductors segment, where he held the position of Vice-President for the Latin America region. José Antônio Scodiero is graduated in Electronics Engineering with specialization in hardware and microelectronics and has an MBA in Corporate Administrations by Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado (FAAP).

As an entrepreneur, he founded lots of startup companies since the 90’s, having created his first company when he was only 24 years old. In 2009 he founded Fast Company Brazil, with the objective of catapulting multinational organizations, from sectors like digital technology, semiconductors, and software that are seeking to install subsidiaries in the Brazilian and Latin American markets. In 2010 he obtained the certification of Corporate Governance from the Brazilian Institute of Corporate Governance (IBGC) and started acting as a consulting advisor in companies in 2011. In 2012, he became president of the task force of semiconductors of AMCHAM – American Chamber for Brazil and USA. Still, in 2012, Scodiero was also elected Director of SBMICRO – Brazilian Society of Microelectronics, where he remains until the end of 2016.