PR IT Cluster reveals plans, actions to promote IT sector
By Laura Rentas-Giusti
Special to News is my Business
The Board of the Puerto Rico of Information Technology Cluster (PRITC), an organization dedicated to making Puerto Rico a global leader in the IT industry, recently unveiled its strategic plan and announced the actions it is taking to carry out its mission.
The strategic plan arises from an analysis conducted by the PRITC board, composed mostly of representatives of local IT companies. During the process, the board considered the input of more than 700 members of the industry that attended the first CIO & IT Leadership Conference that took place last February.
The plan focuses on six areas of action: talent development, demand generation for IT services in Puerto Rico, demand generation outside Puerto Rico, intellectual property development, visibility of the sector, and acceleration of the industry.
“Our mission is to turn the information technology sector into the main engine of economic development on the island. We’re ready to take the actions necessary to fulfill that mission and our plan will be the guide to ensure that we remain focused on it,” said Víctor López, chairman of the PRITC board.
The plan’s most advanced initiatives give priority to talent development with the intention of tackling the shortage of human resources needed to grow the sector. To that end, the PRITC is in talks with Colegio San Carlos in Aguadilla to begin a pilot program that focuses on developing skills in computer information technology and entrepreneurship.
The program will make resources available to guide students from middle and high around school sector opportunities and skills needed to function in it. As part of the initiative, IT will be integrated into the curriculum and eventually it will expand its reach to at least two schools in each educational region.
“Our institution’s commitment with an excellent education should result in our students graduating with a clear idea of their options for a career in an area of high demand such as IT. That vision is embodied in this collaboration, which will allow students to see firsthand the opportunities that the IT industry holds for their future and that of their country,” said Javier Salvá Camacho, member of the Board of Directors of the Fundación San Carlos, Inc.
The PRITC also announced an agreement with a group of students of the University of Puerto Rico’s Mayagüez Campus to create the first university chapter of the organization.
“As a computer engineering student, I am pleased that the PRITC will provide us the means to make a proper transition to employment, so that graduates of the UPR RUM will see it as a possibility to stay in Puerto Rico and contribute to the development of this industry on the island,” said David Bartolomei, fifth year student of the college.
Finally, an agenda of activities to increase the visibility of the sector and promote interaction among its various members was announced. Throughout the year, the PRITC will be holding events for networking and education leading up to the next CIO & IT Leadership Conference to be held in February 2015. In this, the organization’s premier event, it is expected that attendance will exceed this year’s 700 people, and that the board will provide an update of the work being done and define the next steps of the strategic plan.
The Puerto Rico IT Cluster is a non-profit organization that brings together companies that offer IT products and services in Puerto Rico. The group was founded in 2011 with the purpose of developing the information technology sector to become the economic engine of the island. The PRITC has the support of the private sector, government and academia to meet the challenges of the industry and overcome them together.