DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

Dominican Republic 2019 | TELECOMS & IT | INTERVIEW

The Dominican Republic's economic and investment climate and long-standing economic and political stability make it an extremely important market for GBM.

Gustavo Pascal
BIOGRAPHY
Gustavo Pascal is the General Manager of GBM’s subsidiary in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, a position he has held since 2005. He joined IBM in 1991 and transitioned to GBM in 1992, when IBM sold most of its stake to a group of investors creating GBM. He holds a major in business administration and a master’s in marketing.

What is your opinion on the digitalization of the country and your company?

Digital transformation enables organizations to seek profitability by creating digital processes and experiences that enable them to obtain efficiencies, while at the same time increasing customer loyalty. GBM is committed to helping spread the technologies that will allow these institutions to achieve this goal. This will be a long and difficult process. In order to help our customer with the digital transformation journey, GBM has three lines of work: consulting (SAP), managed services (outsourcing), and software. It is through the implementation of our cloud and software solutions that we enable our customers to achieve their goals of creating a digital environment that will bring their end users an easier way to interact with the organizations. The software area is based on three basic pillars: AI, hybrid cloud, and security. The focus on the security area is extremely important to our customers; companies need to be aware of their vulnerabilities to offer a secure platform on their complex environments, which needs to be safe on every interaction with the end user. The cloud service is a reality, though the move to the cloud involves many challenges. One is the increased communications cost of the connections to access data on the cloud. The cloud also represents a challenge for companies that have data location regulations, such as the financial sector. In the Dominican Republic, we need legislation that can allow institutions to store information on the cloud regardless the final destination of the data. The cloud can also offer a platform where a company does not have to manage the solutions and take risks of having their data outside a controlled environment; the decision on which data is sent to the cloud depends on the industry and the maturity level of the company. GBM advises and provides products/services that ease the transition to the cloud. AI is becoming a part of all the new solutions on present and future products, and through our AI platform we intend to learn from past interactions to improve the decision-making process and become autonomous. Such technologies need an accompanying process to be done correctly because each customer demands specifications according to their industry and a great deal of consulting.

What is your outlook for the IT the sector in the Dominican Republic?

The technology industry will have solid growth in the country in the coming years because there is a strong process of technological transition, especially with AI and cloud computing, which will strongly transform everything we are doing. Digital transformation summarizes everything that is happening in the market and in the world for customers and consumers. Interactions have been completely transformed. Machine learning and 5G will generate an exponential transition, allowing one to do things with a cellular connection that were not possible before. In precision agriculture, for example, we can have sensors connected to a network and, with cellular communication, to a central office to be monitored in real time. This means millions of bytes of data flowing from one place to another. With 5G, one can build a call center with a group of people connected only by a cell phone without the need for fiber optics. AI, 5G, and cloud computing will transform the way we see technology.

How do you predict the environment for IT tech entrepreneurs to evolve?

In the Dominican Republic, little is done on this subject because the country is not characterized by encouraging entrepreneurs, much less entrepreneurship in technology. Lending in the the country for these purposes is extremely difficult. The state should participate and provide more encouragement and mechanisms to provide for these loans. We do have many capable and talented people with great ideas, but what we are lacking is central support. More needs to be done in order to exploit the potential the country has to offer.