Brazilian firms to prioritize investment in new tech and skills in 2020

Local companies are optimistic about their business improvement plans for this year, according to a Deloitte study.

Brazilian companies will be focused on investing in new technologies as well as training of staff as key priorities for 2020, according to an annual study by Deloitte.

The pool of 1377 companies polled in the Agenda 2020 report corresponds to about half of Brazil's GDP, with most respondents being C-level executives. The study noted that 74% of the companies polled will invest in new technologies, as well as education and training of their workforce (73%) as top priorities this year, regardless of macroeconomic conditions.

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When it comes to planned improvements in the current set up of Brazilian companies for 2020 in relation to last year, the Deloitte study noted that 94% of companies will be focused on technology improvements while 93% said they will be boosting the skills of their workforce.

Ensuring staff is sufficiently prepared to use technologies such as artificial intelligence, as well as data analytics, robotics and  Internet of Things is a concern that many decision-makers polled expressed in the study. Some 91% of respondents said that government investment in education must increase as a means to boost national competitiveness and investor confidence.

"The results from [the study] signal the emerging concern of organizations about disruptive market transformations that are interfering with their ability to compete in the digital age today", said Deloitte Brazil chief executive, Altair Rossato.

"Consistently investing in new technologies and improving human capital then becomes a key issue, especially as the economy stabilizes and companies can turn more strongly to their medium and long term growth strategies", he added.

A separate study by analyst firm IDC predicted that digital transformation efforts in Latin America will generate 4,5 percent growth ($48 billion) for the hardware, software and services market in 2020.

By 2024, IDC estimated that over 40% of all ICT spend in Latin America will go directly towards digital transformation and innovation, growing by 22% annually. This compares with 20% growth in 2018.

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