It is only worth doing what is considered to be impossible

Published: 10 January 2012 y., Tuesday


The waves of the economical crisis have also influenced the field of information technology (IT). However, today it seems that in this field it is possible not only to survive, but also to introduce innovation and to promote investment.

We are talking about such tendencies with Idrakas Dadašovas, the chairman of the board of the group of companies Penki Kontinentai.

The year 2011 was quite changeable. More optimistic moods at the beginning of the year later changed into the suspicion of a new wave of the crisis. How did Lithuanian IT business do last year?

Although Lithuania is among the leading countries in information technology and telecommunications in Europe and can boast of state-of-the art infrastructure and many highly qualified specialists, in 2011, the IT market of the country faced the consequences of the world economic crisis. The profits of Lithuanian and foreign IT companies decreased. The number of projects in the private sector also decreased, but it was outbalanced by the increased demand of IT solutions in the public sector. With the risk management methodology, it is more beneficial to take into account more precise short-term prognoses and it will be confirmed by the high-quality change of the company structure.

May it be stated that 2011 was a clear recovery of the IT market from the crisis at the world level?

Probably not. According to the analysts, the growth of the IT market in Western Europe in 2011 was 3 percent, in Japan – 0.5 percent, in China – 21 percent, and in Russia – 17 percent. More precise data bout the dynamics of the IT market in 2011 will only be clearer at the beginning of 2012. However, due to the expected second wave of recession, the growth of the IT market in 2011 might be zero and amount to less than 1 percent. In the event of a negative scenario, the IT market will recover very slowly in 2012.

Have these tendencies also affected the group of companies Penki Kontinentai?

The group of companies Penki Kontinentai with the specialisation of programme products, solutions for IT and telecommunication sectors, creation and introduction of banking and payment systems, and outsourcing has not suffered big problems due to the crisis and consolidated its position in Eastern European and Asian markets. This was determined by the fact that the activity of the group of companies is very versatile. We presented new attractive offers both to natural and legal persons, maintained the prices of the services and their high quality. Moreover, we increased the speed and throughput of the fiber-optic network Skynet and invested into the modernisation of the network. This is why the group of companies Penki Kontinentai managed to keep its position.

Therefore, we can be proud that having employed our own resources – banking technologies, our created payment and loyalty systems, fiber-optic network Skynet, internet, television, news portal, online store, etc. – we satisfied all the needs of the customers to the full.

When creating programmable products of resource management, we have always followed the analysis of patterns and the assessment of different types of risk. Most important in making a decision is risk management, control of meeting the standards, and the analysis of patterns. This determines flexible and prompt response and allows maintaining the stability of activity indicators of the group of companies Penki Kontinentai.

In Lithuania, short-term and long-term development visions have always been discussed, however, few of them have become implementable strategies. Maybe the IT field and e-services are the most suitable niche for our country?

One fifth of residents of Lithuania shop online and the number of online stores is constantly growing. On the other hand, various surveys indicate that 70 percent of respondents believe that their companies or organisations do not give enough attention to increase the internet literacy of their employees. The surveys also showed that e-signature (for personal and business purposes) is used by 32 percent of the respondents. It is a good indicator taking into account the geography of respondents. According to the data of our Digital Certification Centre, which has been operating for six years and is the first company of such type in Lithuania, this indicator will constantly grow and the e-signature will become a daily routine of the rapidly growing population of the planet.

58 percent of the respondents believe that the Government and local authorities should subsidize internet access to the least socially secure groups. It is especially relevant when speaking of the most vulnerable group of internet users – the children. In order to protect against undesirable contents on the internet, the activities of both private and public organisations have to be coordinated and thus, the forces have to be joint for respective actions, including education and training.

Today, the concept of internet involves much more than the usual concept of www. Could you describe the possibilities of contemporary internet?

The main function of the internet is storage, transmission, and receiving the information. World leaders, such as Google, Apple, Microsoft are constantly competing creating the environment of healthy competition. The internet is more and more used in entertainment business. First, it is the way to transmit the media contents (sound, image, etc.). Many goods are available on the internet, including IT products. The internet is used in smart phones, tablets, etc. The tendency is that the majority of internet services from software e-market to household security control by smart phones is oriented towards the end-user. Moreover, so-called cloud technologies that have recently become popular are one of the most efficient ways to optimise the activities of companies, including virtual ones.

The research shows that the residents of Lithuania, and especially Vilnius, can use the fastest internet connection today. What is the projection of development of these technologies in 2012? Maybe the group of companies Penki Kontinentai can reveal even further plans?

The data of Net Index indicates that Vilnius is leading among the cities of the world having the fastest internet. We can be proud of that. The average of the speed of internet data transmission in Vilnius exceeds 36 Mb/s. The second and third on this list are the cities of China – Hong Kong and Kowloon – and Kaunas is the forth.

It is symbolic that starting from January, the customers of Skynet will be able to use the 1 Gb/s speed internet. Fiber-optic technologies allow us to ensure such speed. Our company started introducing these technologies in 1998 with the help of the equipment of the world leader Cisco Systems.

Speaking of our nearest plans, Penkių Kontinentų Komunikacijų Centras, UAB, having the strong leading position in Lithuania, intends investing in the development of fiber-optic network, interactive IPTV, and other services. New generation equipment Cisco 2960S has already been introduced in the Skynet network, which will help to ensure the transmission of data in the range of 550 Mb/s – 1 Gb/s. And this is not a limit. Using the fiber-optic network Penki TV channel, the company broadcasts its programmes. Moreover, beside the internet and television, the company offers IP telephony and household monitoring services.

What is your forecast for business in 2012?

There are several variants of development of the sector. Taking into account the decrease of the demand of services, increase of the number of insolvent customers, freezing of the IT projects, reduction of employees in the IT sector, the decrease of the IT market by several percent is likely in 2012 in comparison to 2011. With regard to the status of communications, information storages, infrastructure of information security measures, the level of development of related sectors (electronic industry), the pace of growth of information technology will settle.

Another option is that the demand of personal and tablet computers, smart phones, the number of their users and related services will increase in 2012. This will determine the introduction of new information technology in business, government, social and economical fields.

Finally, the words of Oscar Wilde, which should be always remembered, are in line: "If something is worth doing, it is what is considered to be impossible".

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