German Fernando Retana | INCAE Master Programs


German Fernando Retana works in the information systems and IT strategy fields, with an emphasis on the innovation and growth opportunities enabled by cloud computing technologies. For his research, he has worked with the business analytics team of a major global cloud infrastructure services provider, and he has presented his work at multiple forums to academics and industry executives around the world. As Assistant Professor in INCAE’s MBA programs, he teaches courses in the areas of Management Information Systems, Quantitative Methods and Simulation. Before joining INCAE, he worked in several IT projects including heading an SAP implementation in Costa Rica.

German is Costa Rican. He has a Ph.D. in Management with emphasis on Information Technology from the Georgia Institute of Technology, an MBA from INCAE Business School, where he graduated with Honors, a Masters in Project Management from the University for International Cooperation, and an undergraduate degree in Computer Engineering from the Costa Rican Institute of Technology, where he also graduated with Honors.


Datos Personales

Assistant Professor
Country of Origin:
Costa Rica
Country of Residence:
Costa Rica
Office Phone:
+506 2437-2374
Office Fax:
+506 2433-9101
Walter Kissling Gam Campus, INCAE Business School, La Garita, Alajuela, Costa Rica
P.O. Box: 
960-4050 Alajuela, Costa Rica

Academic Degrees

  • Ingeniería - Computer Engineering, honor graduate. Costa Rican Institute of Technology
  • Maestría - Project Management. University for International Cooperation.
  • MBA - With distinction. INCAE Business School
  • Ph.D. - IT Management. Georgia Institute of Technology.

Teaching areas

  • Quantitative Methods
  • Management Information Systems
  • Innovation and Technology


  • Gerencia de la Tecnología y Sistemas de Información
  • Technology and the Firm (IT+)
  • Métodos Cuantitativos


Work Experience

German employs econometric methods to study the economics of information systems. He has studied how a global cloud provider uses technology support to deal with the challenges of as-as-service offerings at large scales. He has studied how the support influences customer use of the service, retention, and demand for support, and is currently working in predictive analytics models to prevent churn in this context. Since recently, he started studying customer behavior in various e-commerce settings in Costa Rica. German has presented his research at academic conferences around the world including the International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS 2012 and 2013), the Workshop on Information Systems and Economics (WISE 2011 and 2013), the INFORMS Annual Meeting (2011 and 2012), POMS (2014), MIT´s Conference on Digital Experimentation (CODE 2014), and the Conference on Information Systems and Technology (CIST 2014), among others. He has also been invited to speak at universities such as Purdue (IN, USA), UBC (Canada), NUS (Singapore), Temple (PA, USA), and INCAE.

Retana is very engaged with industry. During his doctoral studies he presented his research to executives of the cloud provider he is working with and to the Atlanta cloud community. Now in Costa Rica, he has spoken about cloud topics to CIOs and developers at different forums. Also, his survey on the status of the adoption of the cloud in Costa Rica 2014 was highlighted by the Costa Rican business-oriented news paper El Financiero. The same newspaper selected him in 2012 as one of the “40 under 40” promising professionals to watch.

German was one of the 2 students (out of 45) in his Ph.D. program who were awarded the 2012 Ashford Watson Stalnaker Memorial Prize for Student Excellence, which considered his performance in both research and teaching. He was also honored with the campus-wide 2013 Outstanding Graduate Instructor award, in recognition for having designed and successfully taught a Data Business Communications course. Overall, his teaching has been very influenced by his own research.

Before starting his Ph.D., German headed a 60+ users SAP implementation in Costa Rica. He also worked in a regional systems integration project that relied on remote computing technologies to allow users in Guatemala, Honduras, Dominican Republic and Costa Rica to run their applications off servers in Costa Rica. He also collaborated in an MIT Media Lab project that involved wireless connectivity in a rural town.

German enjoys playing soccer and dancing salsa very much. More info: Detailed CV here. Updated: October 2014.