“Most of the software made in Asturias is sold abroad”
Patricio Jose Arias Alvarez is the president of the Asturias ICT Cluster, which brings together companies in the information and communication technology sector. Yesterday the Association hosted the ‘Asturias Software Boutique’ conference in the Science and Technology Park, contacting digital solutions companies and potential Asturian customers in the defense, tourism and hospitality, construction, trade and waste. Arias explains that 85% of the software produced in Asturias is exported and advocates “to raise awareness among organizations and public administration that they bet on technology and the local”.
– What does the Asturias sector offer its potential customers?
– Listening to them on the one hand and also providing them with our solutions to help them carry out the digital transformation they need to remain competitive.
-Why do you think that 85% of the software produced in Asturias is exported?
This is both a positive and a negative fact. In other words, we are very competitive and we have a huge market abroad, but it is a pity that here in Asturias, especially from the customer’s point of view, there are no contracts with Asturian companies in this field. that is. I don’t care if I sell here or sell abroad. We are in an area where the travel and logistics costs are not there in other regions, we have this advantage. But it’s a shame that when you contract in terms of technology with a local supplier, the proximity you have is not appreciated. Being able to go find someone and say, “Hey, put it here for me and you won’t leave it until it works” is not the case with a large foreign company.
– Why do you think that no more Asturian software has been acquired in Asturias?
-I really do not know. A historical, psychological and social analysis will have to be made. But it happens to us many times. We have large communities like Madrid and Catalonia that are self-sufficient and, together with the Basque Country and Galicia, take great care and promote their product. And that the regional economy based on ICT is getting stronger, that’s good. Here in Asturias, I believe that at the level of the administration, but also at the level of each individual, we tend to think that what comes from abroad is the best and we do not value enough what comes from here.
-What does the sector mean for the regional economy?
-The latest data available is from 2019, when Asturias accounted for 4% of GDP and 2% of employment, which means that we have a very high productivity rate. Now these percentages will be higher. Our contribution to the GDP is based exclusively on work, we do not sell goods, but services, which means that our productivity is very high, because we sell knowledge for hours, tons for nothing.
-And how do we compare with the rest of Spain?
– We still have room to grow. In the 2019 statistics, the average in Spain is that the ICT sector represents 4% of total employment. Now that percentage will be higher. Since 2004, jobs related to information and communication technologies have increased by 58% in Spain, while employment has increased by 4% worldwide.
– What are your goals for the day?
– Make it known and be valuable. Mentally explain to organizations and businesses that technology is a critical thing we need to commit to. If it’s with a company in the regional ICT sector, it’s better, but if not, at least do it. You must complete this step. It is obvious that the world is moving in this direction, everyone knows it. The companies that were more adapted or able to act more quickly resisted the past crisis much better and the current situation is not much better; We are in a time where we must reduce our productivity and our competition and not let ourselves be overtaken.