The Business Year

Emerging technologies such as AI, blockchain, and machine learning are far from the only big opportunities in Costa Rica; traditional software such as Java also remains highly profitable for outsourcing other firms' operations.

Guido Goicoechea

CEO, Software & Consulting Group

Since Intel came about 20 years ago, the country has focused on this industry to increase its potential. The country required bilingual people and knowledge focused on computer science and software engineering, which takes time; however, Costa Rica has become one of the main exporters of software per capita in the world. As for the biggest trends, there are new technologies such as machine learning, IoT, artificial intelligence, and blockchain, all of which are relatively new. With these new processes, companies have direct access to market intelligence to interpret their data and make better business decisions. When it comes to the public and private sectors collaborating, there has to be a great deal of communication between the government, universities, and the private sector. Costa Rica is one of the main hubs for numerous US and European technology companies in the region, not only for software but medical and other technologies produced in-country on a small to medium scale.

Arturo Arrea

CEO, Smart Strategies

We need to take Costa Rica’s talent to the next level by promoting disruption and re-engineering in the context of digital transformation processes within institutions. There are two main approaches required here. The first is that we need to go out and start training people at the high school level and show them what technology and the digital transformation can do. There are some schools, like Lincoln, that are already doing programs in the IT sector. The second part of this equation is that the digital transformation is not only going to be heavily reliant on human resources in the IT sector; we also need what is called citizen development along with platforms that enable this. Citizen development is about people who are tech-savvy and know the processes, but are not computer engineers. These people are able to go out and adopt various platforms they need and fit them around their processes in a way that is flexible and fast to make things happen. These must converge since the future of IT is about much more than having a lot of engineers.

Alberto Sandoval

General Manager, Alberto Sandoval

There are many start-ups in Costa Rica related to basic services. Some 90% of our business is information technology outsourcing (ITO), which we need to shift to more specialized services. For software development, we are currently working on a project that includes business artificial intelligence and VR for the medical sector. We are taking advantage of new technologies. Not many people can train their team with these technologies, and a company needs to do its homework and train its people in order to offer these services. We are a partner of Microsoft and have a wide catalog of Microsoft software. We are also working currently with face and gesture recognition in order to do something for the medical sector. We are putting this intelligence together with VR to create a new project that allows the medical sector to not only keep records of their patients but also have a tool to share information with their patients. In our projects, we give control of this information to patients themselves.

Marco Tonti

CEO, Softon

We see interesting trends such as blockchain, AI, and big data all coming to Costa Rica, and we personally are getting involved in getting into blockchain in 2019. We are working and creating relationships on both the business and development sides to create a strong team that can work on this. In October, we had a visit from a healthcare company in the US seeking to work with a company here. It handles a significant amount of big data and is looking for developers that can provide more assistance. In terms of technology, we see a great deal of growth in Java script particularly, which can be used for back end, front end, and mobile applications. The blockchain area is new, and we expect big and important developments in the next three or four years. It will certainly impact many industries, including fintech, energy, healthcare, and everything related to logistics. Java script is everywhere, however, from small companies to large corporations. There is massive opportunity in Java script.



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