(English) Kasperskaya: We are seeing a crisis, the like of which was not there before

27 апреля 2020


What are the disadvantages identified coronavirus it industry?

Natalia kasperskaya: the Main problem with the economic situation, which gave rise to the quarantine for the coronavirus that causes it to freeze the budgets of almost all customers. Most companies have decided that they don’t spend money on anything other than wages to their staff. This means that all the it budgets by corporate clients frozen and it companies are not getting the incoming cash flow. In this connection, our it industry need a bailout.

Three main industry associations – the Association of software developers (reason) “national software”, Association of the enterprises computer and information technology (APKIT) and the Association of software developers “RUSSOFT” has developed a package of such measures and sent them to the Ministry of communications, the Ministry and the government. We also discuss measures to support the it industry with the government of Moscow.

What support measures are you waiting for?

Natalia kasperskaya: We divide support measures into several groups. The first is subsidies. In addition to the country’s grant programs need direct, targeted subsidies to the companies of it sector salaries. Otherwise we run the risk of losing people.

the Second – a decrease or reduction in rent. I can say for myself – we have the area of 3500 sq. m only in the same office and we now practically do not use. I have almost all the staff working on “udalenke” in the office – only duty. Why do we have to pay the full amount of rent? And this is a significant part of the costs, not only we, but also many it companies.

In CreeZIS it is imperative to support the industry, which ensure the existence and sovereignty of the country – agriculture, medicine, energy, and it

Third – purchases. We proposed to introduce measures to simplify the procedures of public procurement, so that enterprises with state participation could spend them faster. In addition, it is important that it budgets from the state at least was maintained, and not reduced. Moreover, we propose to direct all state funds to purchase only domestic software and it products. The money remained in the country and not go abroad when they are so needed here. In our view, this is logical.

According to many, it is now the only industry is growing, why extra support?

Natalia kasperskaya: do Not know where you get your information that it industry is growing now though. Yes, in the “age of isolation”, the rapidly growing traffic operators, mobile and Internet providers (but this is not the it industry!), accordingly, revenue is increasing (operators do not allow access to borrow), but in it companies – falling sales, there has already begun bankruptcy. We are seeing a crisis, the like of which never existed before. It is very unusual, and to predict how it will affect the industry and the overall market, I will not undertake. This depends on many factors, particularly how many will last the quarantine.

But that certainly need to do in a crisis, is to maintain the backbone of the industry, which ensure the existence and sovereignty of the country – agriculture, medicine, energy and information technology.

In the past two years, the world has started a race of computer technology. And if earlier it was going in the military sphere, now this informations technologies are at the forefront. Our President said that those who would possess artificial intelligence, will own the world. The same is true of the whole complex of information technology. In this race, as usual, three main players – the US, China and Russia.

the Race for leadership in the it field has already begun and it cannot stop. We had very good chances before the crisis. We must not in favor of panic and media pressure to allow the Russian information technology industry has collapsed. Because then the programmers will go abroad, in those countries where the it segment support and give them jobs and interesting tasks. Then who will build our digital economy?

What gets the it industry now?

Natalia kasperskaya: the Only support we receive is a long-standing exemption for the taxes on the contributions to social insurance funds. This was done a few years ago, precisely because of the fact that we have a basic salary costs. We have a rate of 14.5%. But all companies now have reduced it to 15%. In this sense we become on a par with other industries.

Among the measures of financial support are still grants from different development institutions, but they are few, and this is not a freebie: grants are given to specific projects, with careful selection, via a long procedure, for each grant, the company shall scrupulously report. By the way, for grants in the U.S. and Europe spend twice more money than we have. But they have more developed venture capital investment (especially abundant in Silicon valley), and in Russia they are almost gone. No grants, no venture capital investments are not suitable as support in a crisis.

Concessional loans to the developers, too, because all banks require from borrowers a firm pledge that the developers simply had no buildings, factories, land, goods as collateral, there is only the brains of the programmers and used office equipment. And software products, brands and even a share of stock as collateral usually do not take… by the Way, the answer to our proposed measures of support we have not received. So far only hope.

Ready Russian it industry to the format of the remote work? While mostly used foreign software.

Natalia kasperskaya: as far As I know, there are video-conferencing MegaFon, virtual PBX “Mango Office” and others. At least several such solutions in our country there. But most video conferencing is now taking place in American service Zoom.

Why did he become so popular? Its developers have done two things that attract free users. First, it has a low barrier of entry: it is easy to install and easy to use. Second, it is stable on poor channels of communication. That’s what Russian developers need to do to improve the sustainability of their decisions on “narrow” channels.

Now import substitution is trying to do, collapse. Some regions have already decided to cancel the priority purchase of domestic

That is import substitution in full force and did not work?

Natalia kasperskaya: the Program of import substitution in the it began to unfold, albeit more slowly than we would like. A very heated debate went on last year between the communications Ministry and state-owned companies. Large state-owned companies and companies with state participation have been appealing to the RSPP (Russian Union of Industrialists and entrepreneurs) and the government to have them removed, or eased import substitution. In the administrative struggle the entire year has passed. The shifts were but small.

now import substitution is trying to do, SWEroti. In some regions, is already out of order on whether to cancel the priority purchase of domestic prescribed by law. Motivation – supposedly in an economic downturn it is impossible to engage more and import substitution, this will enhance the stress. And this, in our opinion, wrong. Firstly, because local solutions in average cheaper. Secondly, because when in crisis to support their company? Thirdly, if the program is started, it must continue and not be tossed about to and fro substitutable import, it is not substituted.

Is competition with foreign companies is not driven by the Russian it industry forward stronger than artificial import substitution?

Natalia kasperskaya: This is a very old demagogic argument that use is supposedly very good word “competition”. He is wrong, because similar to this – let’s release the student-third-category climbers to box with Mike Tyson, even in a fair fight, the ring will show who is stronger. Competition, may the best man win! The sport will not allow this, there is a reason there are weight classes. But the market also has weight categories. As a small local developer to compete with the transnational Corporation, whose capitalization and marketing budgets greater by 2-3 orders of magnitude?

we Have all the past decade, there has been an artificial substitution of Russian FOR foreign, no natural and fair competition in the market. It was the powerful lobbying of foreign companies ‘ products at all levels, with virtually endless budgets. They can dump on our market to distribute their software for free for several years, expecting that users will get used to it, and the local pthe roizvoditeley die, then to raise prices. Could bring huge bribes to officials and corporate it Directors.

as a result, they had conquered most of the market, although many of their corporate decisions don’t even really work in our reality. There was never a fair competition with multinational giants, they are pavers, traveled to little sprouts of local companies. And it was quite clear who wins in this “competition”.

So the only way is a reasonable protection of their producers – that is last century do many countries, for example USA, Germany, Brazil and others (remember the recent impact on Huawei in the US?).

Protectionism – it’s just natural. After all, when the Russian agriculture received protectionist measures, it began to grow. And before that, when let into the country grocery import at any price, our agriculture is slowly bent. And was soon to die at all, he was saved by our contractee and support program.

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