Only 24% of businesses in Mexico use computer equipment in their operations
Among the total number of establishments in the country, 24% use computer equipment to carry out their activities and only 20% have Internet access.
In Mexico, there is a register of more than 5 million economic units, among which 94% are made up of up to 10 people (microenterprises), 5% are small companies that employ between 11 and 50 people, and a little more than 1% corresponds to companies with more than 50 workers (medium and large).
In the data collected by The Competitive Intelligence Unit (CIU), in the microenterprise segment, 20% have one or more computers and only 16% of the total operate with web browsing services.
From the next segment of economic units, a marked difference is identified. Thus, in contrast, 86% of small businesses have at least one computer and 81% have access to the Internet; above the barrier of 50 employees (Medium and Large), more than 90% of businesses consistently use computers and the Internet for their work.
"It is clear that the effort to integrate the national economic apparatus in terms of connectivity has a great deal pending at the base of the pyramid of companies by size or scale," says Ernesto Piedras, founder, and director of the house of analysis.
And before this, it is clear the effort that must be made not only at the level of companies or companies, micro, medium or large, regardless of their size, but also at the country level. A few days ago, for example, the Mexican Association of the Information Technology Industry (AMITI) and the National Council of Software and Information Technology Clusters (mxTI) signed an agreement that seeks to create knowledge chains in affiliated companies to identify and strengthen specialized digital skills.
This agreement commits both organizations to combine efforts to collaborate professionally and share their experiences to strengthen the IT industry in Mexico.
The document "ICTs in Companies in Numbers", from CIU, points out that the existing differences in the proportion of companies with access to ICT resources between organizations of different sizes respond to two main factors: the type of activity and the economic solvency to resort to the use of technological inputs.
This is why almost all large producers, dedicated to the supply of services or products on a large scale, use the network as a basic tool in the performance of their tasks.
In the case of small and medium producers, the situation is more complex since there are more barriers to access to connectivity.
"As a first scenario, we have that the magnitude of its operation may be very small, or the activity it carries out may be such that it does not require the network to carry out its tasks, as for example in the case of retail stores," details.
These data provide guidelines for connectivity policy, but also for national economic policy, which will not be able to resume the necessary dynamics in our macroeconomic evolution without closing connectivity gaps in companies, in all sectors and in all regions.
INTERNET COSTS SLOW MEXICAN CONNECTIVITY
The growth of Internet users in Mexico from 2017 to 2018, despite increasing, was only 1.9 percent, according to Inegi data.
In 2018, 65.8 percent of the Mexican population, which is more than six years old, has access to the Internet; However, although there was an increase in penetration, the figure is lower than that registered two years ago, according to figures from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi).
The National Survey on Availability and Use of Information Technologies in Homes (ENDUTIH) carried out by Inegi, states that only from 2016 to 2017, the growth of the population connected to the Internet grew by 4.4 percent. The figure from 2017 to 2018, despite increasing, did not grow at such an accelerated rate, since it was 1.9 percent.
In this regard, Gabriel Contreras, commissioner president of the Federal Institute of Telecommunications (Ifetel) explained that the slowdown is explained by the economic gap and because it is increasingly costly because of the deployment of last-mile infrastructure.
"One of the reasons why users said they do not have an Internet connection is because of lack of resources, the economic gap is not alien to digital."
The Inegi explained that the most common devices to access the Internet are smartphones (preference of 92.7 percent), laptops (32.6) and fixed computers (32 percent). Both Contreras and Salma Jalife, the undersecretary of Communications and technological development, agreed that there is still a long way to go and the information provided by the survey helps to make decisions and implement public policy to bring greater connectivity to marginal places.
Due to the budget cut by the austerity policy of the president, Andrés Manuela López Obrador, the Inegi announced at the beginning of the year the cancellation of ENDUTIH along with other projects. In this regard, both the Ifetel, the SCT and the Inegi said they are holding rigorous talks to give continuity to the indicators that derive from the survey.
Julio Santaella, president of Inegi, explained that work is underway to have the survey for this year and, although he announced that he would not have the same coverage, it is necessary to generate information related to Internet penetration for business decision-making, as of social development.