Marked by tech-sovereignty
Technological autonomy: myth or reality
The question of technological independence has become especially acute for government institutions and businesses due to recent geopolitical and economic transformations.
The software import ISI has become a matter of prime concern, since digital technologies have always been part-and-parcel of our life and the role of the software component in the operation process can hardly be overestimated. Let’s dwell on technological sovereignty with a special focus on other countries’ experience on the way to attaining it and try to understand why it is crucial for vendors to keep on fostering ties with foreign partners even under this import substitution trend.
- Application software: the first step towards tech-independence
- And what about system software?
- How to arrive at tech-sovereignty
- At a crossroads of further development: import ISI or global engagement?
- RecFaces solutions: tech-autonomy with no limits
Application software: the first step towards tech-independence
There are two major types of software, namely system software and application software. System software is like the glue that keeps the whole thing together including operating system, drivers, interface shells, etc. Application software implies solutions we use to fulfill our day-to-day tasks. For example, an office software suite, CRM systems, or biometric identification software. It is generally assumed that system software is less amenable to ISI policy since it requires a huge number of man-hours to launch one’s own operating system from scratch. Application software, universal by its nature, is easier to adapt to the IT infrastructure and legal requirements of a particular country. Application libraries are actively developed all over the world and it is easy to go for solutions offered by a friendly country. And yet, in terms of application software, import substitution is not just about developing one’s “own” software, but it concerns technological independence in a wider sense. It is all about freedom to choose from a whole variety of ready-to-use software systems, let alone vendors and integrators.
And what about system software?
As we all know, Microsoft recently announced that the company is reducing its presence in some countries and putting all sales and product supply on ice. In other words, new official licenses are currently unavailable for purchase. This inevitably led to a surge in piracy — the number of illegal downloads has increased by 80-250%. However, pirated software is not the way out. An alternative to some of the basic Microsoft software is custom built operating systems (OS) based on freely distributed opensource software. The most telling example to refer to is Linux, which is basically a whole range of operating systems altogether forming a free software unit. And although Linux-based OSs differ from Windows (in terms of both processor core and application solutions), you can not only use Windows text and graphic tools, but also run some individual applications designed for Windows software. Besides, Linux solutions are considered more secure than other closed source software units. Many countries are also working on their own basic software equivalents applicable to mobile solutions.
How to arrive at tech-sovereignty
Global experience in building technological independence suggests that it comes with several prerequisites:
- intensive modernization of high-tech industries;
- national quality policy and export promotion;
- social and industrial infrastructure development, foreign exchange control and standard setting;
- protectionism, basic and applied R&D.
This approach can be implemented on the basis of three strategic models. Research shows that there are three models how this approach can be implemented. South Korea and Taiwan may serve as examples of the first model. Its key goal is to develop local industries by restricting foreign direct investment and building up industrial capacity in these sectors to increase exports. The other two strategies involve strategic or passive dependence on foreign investment (e.g. Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand). Singapore, as a small country, has opted for attracting foreign capital only to those sectors where the highest added value is possible, while some other South Asian countries such as Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, etc., despite opting for foreign investment, simultaneously kept on developing their own infrastructure and supporting exports. China, one of the most successful countries in terms of building technological independence, has come up with another scenario. China banked on stimulating relatively uncompetitive industries that fail to perform even in the domestic market. These sectors were boosted by import restrictions, both through prohibitive measures and through protective tariffs. However, that was only a part of the plan. The introduction of high duties was accompanied with the support for local production and the country’s investments in infrastructure development and R&D. China also carried on stimulating the developed industries powerful enough to expand exports (the IT industry in the broadest sense). In 2022, China is expected to completely replace the imported software with the domestic one in governmental institutions. However, this process has already taken 18 years, because the idea to create their own Linux-based OS was born back in 2004. While various application solutions took just several years to integrate. And of course, the whole process was associated with huge public investments in development of local IT giants.
At a crossroads of further development: import ISI or global engagement?
As the global experience shows, the transition to a country’s own application software is an attainable goal. This trend started a long time ago, especially in cybersecurity, where world-renowned players are involved, as well as for accounting and e-document management systems. The transition to a country’s own software is associated with the peculiarities of business process automation: “boxed” solutions could not fully cover them all. At the same time, many developers are well aware that the “every man for himself” strategy is, definitely, far from perfect. Working solely on a national strategy for achieving technological independence will sooner or later become an obstacle to further development. Modern application solutions are being actively integrated all over the world. Therefore, market leaders prefer not to focus on creating purely local software, but to create universal solutions that may be integrated in any country. For example, RecFaces is up to release its most popular products Id-Guard (biometrics in video streaming) and Id-Gate (biometrics for access control and management systems) now re-designed for Linux. This is crucial for the countries striving for technological import substitution, as such solutions are often installed at critical information infrastructure facilities. And astute developers are already focusing on adaptable products that can be applied to domestic legislation and market rules of any country where the company plans to or potentially might be present.
RecFaces solutions: tech-autonomy with no limits
RecFaces solutions are, on the whole, highly self-sufficient products, since they are not dependent on server hardware, clients’ computers from specific vendors or particular video sources, as they are compatible with any cameras, VMS and Android-based terminals.
“We make universal application software that our partner can adapt to their customers’ needs with minimal effort,” RecFaces experts point out. “Since the company initially operates in the global market, our products are easily integrated with ACS from various international manufacturers: Schneider Electric, Dormakaba, Bosch, Lenel, Honeywell. And it is not the limit. We are set to keep on offering new and new opportunities for our customers, simultaneously expanding the potential of advanced ACS with the integration and synchronization of data through our Id-Gate solution. Our customers all over the world are ready to build a technologically independent architecture with the help of biometrics,” they add.
RecFaces software solutions can beсome a first step towards a fundament for of technological sovereignty: company- and even country-wise. Moreover, RecFaces' ready-made biometric products are so flexible and universally applicable that they can easily be adjusted to the needs of any company, regardless of where it operates and which development vector it adheres to. Thanks to this, customers save plenty of time and resources, not to mention the freedom of choice they gain. As RecFaces know how important biometrics, control and security are for their clients’ processes, they provide front-rank support, promptly consulting on arising issues both during the pilot stage and throughout the entire software operation. Relying on RecFaces solutions along with any domestic or foreign manufacturers and distributors, it is possible to build a complete technologically independent chain of solutions, securing the infrastructure against external threats. Contact our team to find out more: firstname.lastname@example.org
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