Supply chains exiting China: Smith
There is an opportunity for India to become a hardware manufacturing location as the world’s technology majors have been moving their supply chains out of China over the past 18 months, Microsoft president Brad Smith said.
Urging India and the U.S. to join the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace that now has 75 countries on board to deal with new cybersecurity threats facing the world, he also emphasised the need to train more professionals to cope with these threats.
Terming the changing relationship between China and the U.S. and some other countries as one of the most significant geopolitical developments of this decade, the Microsoft official said the change was certainly impacting the technology sector.
“We are seeing not a decoupling, but some drifting apart. We are definitely seeing an impact in terms of hardware supply chains, with many companies moving parts to, (or) in some instances, perhaps, almost all, or all of their hardware manufacturing out of China to other countries. That has been underway for the last 18 months, even though it is not discussed as much by companies publicly as it might,” Mr. Smith said in a session at the Raisina Dialogue late Tuesday night.
“I do think this is something that creates potential new opportunities from a longer-term perspective for say, India, as well as others to make themselves more of a location for hardware manufacturing,” he said, adding that capacity had been shifting to Mexico, Vietnam, South Korea, and some southeast Asian countries.
Terming the recent spate of cyberattacks a wake-up call for tech companies as well as governments, Mr. Smith said the world was more secure when networks ran in the cloud as opposed to servers. Many cybersecurity problems, he said, also emerged from the lack of IT administrators’ compliance with best practices.
“We need to keep making this simpler, but the other problem is there is simply a shortage of cybersecurity professionals in the workplace. We are going to need a global initiative to really accelerate all kinds of training to put more cybersecurity professionals in place,” he said.
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