As in many countries hit by the pandemic, Brazil's IT market is a fascinating indicator of wider societal and economic trends. The latest example comes from CONTEXT's analysis of IT sales through distribution in the country so far in 2021. We found that demand from remote working employees and their children has driven a surge in networking equipment that persists even to this day.
What we know
The category of "other networking equipment" typically includes kit such as networking hubs and adaptors. Among other things, they're vital to helping Brazilians support high bandwidth applications such as video collaboration tools for meetings and classes, as well as video streaming for some light entertainment once the working day has ended.
The year-on-year figures for revenue sales growth stood at over 158% in January 2021, before dropping back to double figures in February and March and then rising again in April (174%) and hitting a peak of 359% in May. In July, the category recorded year-on-year growth of 51%.
It's clear from the sequential figures that these trends are indeed being influenced by demand from home workers and students. The periods closer to the end-of-year and mid-year vacations show downward trends. For example, in February, revenue sales growth slumped by -32% from the previous month, before climbing again in March (51%) April (70%) and May (39%). In June, they tumbled again by -77% from the previous month.
What happens next?
The pandemic forced employers and schools to rethink their attitudes to remote working/studying. At least in the corporate sphere, it was very much the exception rather than the rule pre-COVID. Yet it remains to be seen whether these trends will continue once the pandemic has receded. Even as local governments relax lockdown orders and the country's major business regions reopen, most organisations and schools are offering at least hybrid models for now.
For employees, working from home is better for the environment and can improve work-life balance. For certain segments of the IT sector, it's also been a major growth driver over recent months.
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