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Miloš Lončar, Client Solutions Lead For SEE, Dell Technologies

IT Sector Can Continue Growing

Dell technologies believes in the value of people. The company’s strategy is designed to help it attract the world’s greatest talents and the goal is to ensure that Dell is a compelling destination where employees feel valued, engaged and inspired to develop

Serbia is lagging behind in terms of modernising devices for education and we still don’t see this trend, but we believe it will come. I hope this will change soon, as a technology-educated workforce is very much needed for us to remain competitive, and not only in the IT market – says Dell Technologies’ Miloš Lončar.

Interest in remote working and learning has grown over the past year, resulting in companies and individuals striving to make up for the shortfalls in digitisation and connectivity. Do we have the potential for that?

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– To answer this it is first necessary to understand what is meant by remote working or teaching. We know the benefits, but what about the challenges? What we are seeing worldwide is that an understanding of remote working boils down to buying any device and giving it to an employee to work from home. At the beginning of this unprecedented situation, this was an emergency measure that was necessary to cope with the situation. But what came out of this is that, due to the prolonged situation, it didn’t turn out to be suitable. Challenges in collaboration, business processes, logistics etc. started to emerge and impact on productivity. Questions are also being raised about the status of remote workers, with a need to introduce new government regulations to cover and organise this area.

With regard to education, we saw the swift response of the Government and the implementation of teaching material via television broadcasts, as the first emergency measure. As was the case in companies, they also discovered additional challenges associated with this. Among them are how to ensure attendance, how to explain materials to pupils if they don’t understand during viewings of pre-recorded presentations; how can a teacher reach them and how can they gauge their acquiring of knowledge? All of this was pretty simple when it was done in classrooms, face-to-face with teachers who can easily track their classes and adjust as required. As I also learned from my teachers, every solution brings new challenges to overcome. However, to get back to your question, yes, we have potential, in a reasonable time frame, with help of technology, to make a flexible system that can give us a possibility to be ready to discover new challenges on the remote working/ teaching approach. Technology will empower us to make easy adjustments when and where needed, without impacting negatively on our core business or purpose.

There have been insufficient investments in equipping schools with computers for a long time, which proved to be a special problem during the period of the pandemic and online teaching. What is the situation like at present?

– Digital classrooms are trending around the world and lots of the surrounding countries in our region are investing in the digital transformation of education. The pandemic has just sped this up to the maximum. Around the world at this moment we are witnessing unbelievable demand for devices and IT equipment intended for education, and here we are talking in the millions. Serbia is lagging behind in the modernising of devices for education and we still don’t see this trend, but we believe it will come. I hope this will change soon, as a technology-educated workforce is very much needed for us to remain competitive, and not only in the IT market.

The beauty of IT is actually in constantly upgrading and improving knowhow, because, as the saying goes, a man learns as long as he lives

The IT sector is among the largest exporters in Serbia, while it is growing at an annual rate exceeding 20 per cent. Are we educating enough IT professionals?

– The IT sector is experiencing a major boom in Serbia and looks like it can continue to grow with even bigger numbers. Yes, I definitely see potential here. I’m happy to hear that every year there is an increase in interest in applying for IT departments. We already see a shortfall that could become an obstacle to growth in this field in the coming years. This should be done in a way that increases the quality of education. I think the implementation of dual education that the government is conducting represents a good way to enable students to get much needed hands-on experience that will help them in their future careers.

About 1,500 newly qualified IT workers appear on the Serbian market every year, while it is estimated that we need at least five times as many as that. Is their level of knowhow and competencies sufficiently high?

– Dell technologies believes in the value of people. Our strategy is designed to help us attract the world’s greatest talents and the goal is to ensure that Dell is a compelling destination where employees feel valued, engaged and inspired to develop. Diversity and inclusion are important for us when it comes to building a future workforce that champions racial equity, values different backgrounds and celebrates unique perspectives. While we always look for experienced professionals, we make sure that we give a chance to new graduates through our graduate programme.

This programme allows new graduates without any experience to apply for work at Dell and gain much needed experience and continue their personal development. With this we are making a positive social impact on the world and empowering the workforce. Unfortunately, we don’t have a big presence in Serbia with regard to our facilities, but we do have that in the region.

As Dell is remote-work friendly, I believe that a greater percentage of Serbian graduates have quality knowhow and can join the Dell family, where we can help them gain experience.

Does the IT sector demand lifelong learning and training to a greater extent than any other sector?

– It does. In order for someone to deal successfully and actively with information technologies, it is necessary for them to constantly upgrade their knowledge and improve their skills. IT is itself evolving at an incredible rate. By choosing this kind of vocation, we have chosen a path that demands constant learning. This education develops in various directions, considering that IT is an integral part of every branch of industry. In order for us to be able to propose adequate solutions and respond to the requirements of customer, we must understand the way particular industries operate…

The beauty of IT is actually in constantly upgrading and improving knowhow, because, as the saying goes, a man learns as long as he lives.

The average salary in the IT sector is almost three times as high as it is in other sectors of the economy. Is that one of the motivating factors prompting ever more young people to express an interest in studying for various IT professions?

– The level of earnings certainly has an impact on young people when it comes to choosing the area in which they want to advance and forge their careers. Serbia also has a very large base of young people who love this profession, and the most qualified workers are usually hiding among them. When the IT sector was in its infancy in Serbia, they were the ones who were most responsible for its development and the arrival of foreign companies. One worrying current trend is the major outflow of skilled labour from Serbia, which can represent a great threat to the development of this industry. Alongside measures applied to spur the development of this industry, it would be good to provide incentives that enable the retaining of the existing workforce.

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