The dilemma of tech giants in Argentina: invest more or leave the country?


Because of the exchange rate measures, they warn that foreign software and hardware will become increasingly expensive and in some cases impossible to purchase.

Para el caso de las grandes empresas TIC (sigla por tecnologías de la información y la comunicación) extranjeras con sede en la Argentina, la situación con el dólar –entre otras situaciones del país– los lleva a tomar una dura decisión: o duplicar la apuesta e invertir en el país, o cerrar las persianas e irse”. La advertencia fue compartida a iProfesional por Florencia Tcholakian, jefa comercial de Atentus para la Argentina y Uruguay.

En una entrevista con iProfesional, la ejecutiva advirtió que el impacto de las recientes medidas cambiarias “golpe a las TIC en general ya que muchos proyectos de crecimiento y modernización están en ‘stand by’ debido a la inestabilidad actual”.

Atentus cuenta con una metodología propia que mide el desempeño de una aplicación o plataforma web frente a distintos niveles de concurrencia durante un período de tiempo determinado. Esta compañía chilena “estresa” sitios estáticos y transaccionales, servicios web y aplicaciones web en Intranet.

The most common areas of use are universities and educational institutions, especially ahead of enrolment, registration and exam periods; e-commerce platforms, in the run-up to big sales activities such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday; and banks and service providers with payment platforms.

-What is going to happen in the ICT market in Argentina after the reloaded cepo? What is the variable that most worries the ICT market in Argentina at the moment?

-The clamp has several possible scenarios in the ICT market. I would venture to mention that one of them could be the country's technological backwardness with respect to the rest of the world.
For example, software and hardware of foreign origin will become increasingly expensive and in some cases impossible to buy. This could affect local consumption of technology, which is growing, but the state will have to support and encourage them to continue to grow.

In the case of large foreign ICTs based in Argentina, the situation with the dollar - among other situations in the country - leads them to make a tough decision: either double the bet and invest in the country, or close the shutters and leave.

This situation may be aggravated by a third variable, no less important, which is the loss of talent in the industry, which, being able to work remotely, is very likely to choose salaries in dollars when working for foreign companies, or even immigration. We should not lose sight of the fact that in Argentina we have very high quality IT professionals who are highly sought after in the rest of the world.


Restrictions on access to technological goods and services

-What was the most immediate effect of the new dollar exchange rate on ICTs in Argentina?

It depends on several factors. For example, ICT exporting companies were affected by a drop in competitiveness with the new dollar measures. Companies that import technology to provide a service were also affected by the new restrictions.

But even if these are not the cases, the impact hits ICTs in general as many growth and modernisation projects are on hold due to the current instability.

-How will these changes affect the arrival of new information and communication technologies in Argentina?

We will obviously have more restrictions on importing cutting-edge technology.

-Will these measures deepen the technological backwardness of the average Argentine ICT user?


-How will these measures impact on your business? What changes will you need to make to your business plan?

At Atentus, we are confident that our service offering includes synthetic monitoring, which is a technology developed in-house. We are currently investing in its constant updating.

For projects that involve licences from abroad, as Atentus we are evaluating the best way to approach it. Our headquarters are in Chile and we have a presence in Colombia, Peru and Mexico, so we will adapt our internal processes in order to achieve better alternatives.

-How has this year been going so far in your company, in the context of the coronavirus pandemic?

-Attentus Argentina is meeting its sales budget for the year, which is no small merit in the current situation. We have adapted very quickly to the changes, starting with teleworking.

Business plans have continued and even accelerated. This year we had a very important goal of upgrading our reporting site to provide an improved service and we are achieving it.

Our priority is to adapt as quickly as possible to the changing needs of our customers, who are mainly in the financial and insurance industry.

Being able to monitor their digital platforms -their most critical transactions, for example in times of Covid-19 the online appointments system was generated, attention by WhatsApp, etc- and our focus is on alerting in a timely manner if something affects the performance of the end users. Atentus decided to continue betting on the country and to continue betting on improving quality on the Internet.