The Business Year

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In order to consolidate the country's role as an international data hub, the government must invest in education programs that train the next generation of Costa Ricans with market-driven curricula.

Luis Carlos Rojas

CEO, ADN Data Centers

Costa Rica is already establishing itself as a hub for data centers. Electricity is an important factor for this industry, and, fortunately, we have a world-class electric grid here. Moreover, Costa Rica has great infrastructure, a talented workforce, and reliable energy. At the same time, we offer diverse services, for example, some data centers are focused on edge computing, whereas others, like ourselves, focus on enterprises, the public sector, and complex environments. As for the opportunities available in the region, we are working with a number of regional companies. Our customers have found us flexible in taking care of their requirements. As such, we have been keen to become a global data center and have invested in realizing this goal. However, there are other data centers that are making an effort as well. Costa Rica is ready to become a hub of data centers in the region. To accomplish this, however, we need cooperation between the private sector, the public sector, and our industry. On the other hand, in order to ensure there is a skilled workforce, the government needs to take steps to refine educational programs and update the curriculum to include more skills needed by the market. We have high-quality human resources, but the size of our human resources is limited. In our line of work, we do not need people with exceptionally outstanding CVs; a certification and some experience is sufficient to start with.

Manuel Kaver

CEO, Ingenium Latam

The IT sector is the most important in Costa Rica and the region, and there are many entrepreneurial companies making up the base of the sector here. There are companies like Ingenium that have business all over Latin America. We design and operate data centers from Colombia, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and Central America. There are a lot of companies that have come to Costa Rica to build applications for other countries. Costa Rica has companies that specialize in graphic design. An increasing number of international companies have their headquarters in Costa Rica because of its skilled, English-speaking workforce. A number of key local companies have also been acquired by international companies over time. In terms of big names, IBM has a cybersecurity center, and HP has a hardware support center in Costa Rica. As a result, costs have risen, but that has not stopped big projects. A prime example is the current major development in the datacenters sub-sector, with Banco Nacional building a USD24 million data center. Other companies are following the same strategy because the potential is huge. In terms of developing a better STEM workforce, we also need to promote faster technical careers in the country. We have expressed to the educational institutions the need to change the approach from engineers for IT to engineers for entrepreneurial ventures.

Ruben Rivera

General Manager, Ruben Rivera

For 25 years, we have commercialized IBM solutions in Central America. We operate in nine countries, and our headquarters are in Costa Rica. Many IT companies, such as HP, IBM, Oracle, and Microsoft, are established in Costa Rica, because although it may not be the cheapest place to operate, it is the best regionally talent-wise. In terms of developing better talent for the market, there are certain private universities with plans to establish new technology departments in order to increase the size of the workforce. Texas Tech, for example, is already here. Something interesting about the country is that universities are increasing their budgets but not taking on more students. They need to open up more opportunities for prospective students and provide more direct certification programs. We could do this in partnership with the private sector as well. Otherwise, there is also a great deal happening here in terms of digital transformation. We are working with big data, analytics, and IoT. Some of our customers in this area have many projects in AI. In complex economic situations, companies look for leaner processes through technology, which also creates a market for our IT solutions. Our growth here is partially the result of being IBM’s partner in the region, which has been a great advantage for us. Over the last seven years, GBM has been recognized as the largest integrator in the region.



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