Characterization of the Information Technology Industry

Characterization of the Information Technology Industry

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2007-9.ch006
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In this book, we present a case study of a Portuguese company of the information technologies industry that has traveled through an internationalization process and has implemented a management control system with a very interesting complexity level. Thus, this chapter will begin with the definition of the scope of the industry and the supply typology, and then the situation is analyzed both globally, regionally, and at Portugal's level (the company's nationality) in order to enable the understanding of the competitive environment. It seeks to develop the analysis of the sector's attractiveness level, showing how competitive conditions can be felt in company performance. Finally, the main trends, challenges, and management variables that need to be implemented to ensure a good performance in the industry are presented.
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Scope Of The Information Technology Industry

The information technology sector has a great diversity, both in the panoply of products that constitute the supply, as in the typology of customers that it serves. Therefore, there is frequent non-stabilization and inaccuracies in concepts, when comparing different empirical studies or statistical publications.

The European Information Technology Observatory (EITO, 2000; 40) considers “...information technology (...) the combination of hardware Industries for office equipment, data processing equipment and data software and service communication equipment.

The Portuguese company INSAT from consulting services, in the context of the Portuguese market studies of systems, solutions and information technologies, computers and computer technology considers “information technologies, the set of products and services for processing, storing and communicating data using computers. It includes hardware, systems software, applications, training, consulting and related services. It does not include products and services strictly connected with telecommunications”(Insat, 2000; 10).

Nordhaus (2002) refers to the sector as the “New Economy” and involves acquisition, processing, transformation and distribution of information. The three main components are hardware, communications systems that acquire and distribute information and software that, with the help of human resources, manages the entire system.

Analyzing the above described definitions, it can be noted that the second has as reference the typology of products and services and the rest the scope of developed activities.

In addition to the aforementioned definitions, it is also noteworthy that the various studies conducted by the International Data Corporation (IDC), the world's leading market intelligence Company for the Markets for technology Information, always include the analysis of the business hardware, software and different associated services, and also the communication technologies and the New ICT (IoT-Internet of Things, robotics, AIR/VR- Augmented and virtual reality, AI-Artificial Intelligence and 3D printing).

The present work will only consider the areas of hardware, software and related consultancy services, on which IDC considers:

  • Hardware, which can be subdivided into systems (workstations, laptops and optional equipment), peripherals (magnetic disks, magnetic strips, printers, etc.) and data communication equipment (local network and external network equipment);

  • Software can be divided into software development (tools to support the development and use of other software), application (software for use in the various areas of organizations) and systems infrastructure (software management systems, networks, security. etc.);

  • Services, being these constituted by consulting segments (from diagnosis and assessment needs to suppliers selection), implementation (system or prototype development), operations management (network management, helpdesk, remote monitoring of systems and networks, information storage, security and recovery services, etc.), support (services that ensure that the systems work seamlessly) and raining (includes education and training in products or technologies).

The table 1 shows the various classifications of economic activities used in this area.

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