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Alexey Parasyna, CEO of Norsoft: In the horizon of 5-7 years, the problem of digital import substitution in Russia will be solved

Date: June 25, 2024 Time: 15:51:01

Photo: Andrei Minaev

On the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Alexei Parasyna, General Director of Norsoft, a Nornickel subsidiary for the development of domestic IT solutions, spoke to Komsomolskaya Pravda about the replacement of Western software, environmental projects and solving the problem of the staff.

– Alexey Viktorovich, to what extent did the exodus of Western IT companies from the Russian market affect Russian companies?

– Of course, there are problems. We buy server equipment, Western-made production management systems. It is impossible to solve such problems instantly. This requires 5-7 years and a combined effort from both the state and the manufacturing companies, and from us, as customers and consumers. But there is a delay. The story, which began in 2014, shook someone, and several companies financed Russian developments. Metallurgists also moved in this direction. Therefore, to briefly summarize: yes, there are problems, the problems are no different from the same mechanical engineering or food production, where there is also Western equipment, but there is nothing that cannot be solved in a global sense. In the period from 5 to 7 years, I think that we will generally discuss completely different topics, and not the problem of import substitution.

– Can products from friendly countries be trusted? For example, in Chinese software or equipment?

– In fact, we are looking for foreign analogues, but all the same, support for Russian production is preferable for us. Until now, we are using friendly countries to import spare parts or, on a small scale, equipment that is needed to modernize what needs to be done at the moment. But basically we are looking at Russian manufacturers of both hardware and software.

– To what extent does the State help today in this process of substitution of digital imports?

– The state is doing a great job, and we are participating in one such project, which was started by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin – these are industrial centers of competence, in which the state provides grants for software development. If the industry says that we have such priorities, that we need them, then the state finances them.

The second story is the tax incentives that are being worked out now and, I hope, will be implemented for those companies that deliberately introduce Russian software. I hope the same story is for the team. Because it is important? Because no one removed production tasks from the company. In addition, many companies have launched large capital-intensive investment projects to implement environmental programs and upgrade outdated equipment. And the import substitution story also requires money.

– Norilsk Nickel is actively implementing environmental projects. How do IT solutions help in this?

– Naturally, IT is not far behind here, we are also trying to work in this direction, Nornickel has created a system for monitoring and controlling air quality in the cities of presence. A unique system for monitoring buildings and structures was also created. It’s no secret that we had a lot of infrastructure created in Soviet times, when there was no global warming. Now the permafrost behaves not always stable. I think these systems will be relevant not only for us, but also for our colleagues working beyond the Arctic Circle. Also, of course, we are working on emissions monitoring. We bring together market partners with good ideas that will allow us to make physical systems and, based on process measurements, calculate emissions using neural networks.

– There is a lot of talk about the shortage of personnel in Russian IT. Is this topic relevant to your company?

– The question of personnel is always acute, and the question of good personnel is even more acute. Artificial intelligence, of course, will not replace anyone. Yes, there are many IT specialists in Russia, but not many developers. In general, developers, as a rule, are kind and creative people. But at Norilsk Nickel, the IT people are as harsh as the Norilsk climate, so we had virtually no losses. On the other hand, there is, in general, the problem of the northern cities. There is a trend when specialists who are now in their heyday have children growing up and, as a rule, have already bought apartments for themselves: Novgorod, Moscow, Krasnodar, Novosibirsk, Tyumen, St. Petersburg. The family often makes the decision to “fly away” and leave “for the mainland.” We create branches in the regions, we intercept people, that is, they move within the company to other divisions and can work at the same production site, but on support projects. Palm trees will never begin to flower beyond the Arctic Circle, and therefore this trend will continue to exist. And, of course, we are working with him in two directions: increasing the comfort of the city and creating the opportunity to stay within the company and make a profit. Qualitative experts should remain with the company, but in a different capacity.

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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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