German F. Retana is an Assistant Professor at INCAE Business School in the areas of digital transformation, management information systems, and quantitative methods.

His research interests are in the economics of information systems and IT strategy. More specifically, he studies the cloud computing industry, IT services technology support, and co-production of IT services. For his research he has worked directly with the business analytics team of a major global public Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider.

One of German’s articles, based on an industry field experiment, was published in M&SOM. Another of his pieces, based on panel data, is forthcoming at MISQ. Both of the journals appear in the prestigious FT50 list. He has presented his research work 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), Statistical Challenges in eCommerce Research (SCECR 2016), among others. Additionally, he has given invited talks at universities such as Purdue (IN, USA), UBC (Canada), NUS (Singapore), Temple (PA, USA), and INCAE Business School. More recently, he as invited to share his innovations in the classroom at the IT Teaching Workshop at UC Irvine (2017).

German is also very engaged with industry. He has aided several firms with their IT strategy as a consultant, and has presented his work at different forums. As a doctoral student 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 and data-related topics to CIOs, developers and business executives. 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.

While pursuing his Ph.D. at Georgia Tech, he was one of the 2 students (out of 45) in the Scheller School of Business who were awarded the 2012 Ashford Watson Stalnaker Memorial Prize for Student Excellence in the PhD program, which considered his performance in both research and teaching. He was also honored with the campus-wide 2013 CETL / BP Outstanding Graduate Instructor award, in recognition for having designed and successfully taught a Data Business Communications course. More recently, INCAE’s Global MBA 2017 class honored him as a “disruptor.”

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 mountain biking, playing soccer and dancing salsa very much. He has a Venezuelan wife and a son.


August 2013 Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA.
Ph.D. in Information Technology Management.
Advisors: Dr. D.J. Wu and Dr. Chris Forman
May 2008 University for International Cooperation, Costa Rica.
Master’s Degree in Project Management. Based on PMI Standards.
May 2005 INCAE Business School, Costa Rica.
M.B.A., with distinction. Concentration in Industry and Technology Management.
December 2004 HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management, Germany.
Exchange student of MBA program. Ranked 1st among exchange students.
November 2002 Costa Rican Institute of Technology (ITCR), Costa Rica.
B.S. Computer Engineering. Honor Graduate.
A.S. Superior Computer Technician. Honor Graduate.


Aug 13 – Present INCAE Business School, Alajuela, Costa Rica.
Assistant Professor.
Aug 08 – Jul 13 Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA.
Researcher and Instructor.
Jan 08 – Jul 08 Consulting Engagements, Costa Rica.
Peninsula Papagayo. SAP Trainer.
Grupo ReRe, S.A. Advisor to CEO in IT matters.
Sep 05 – Dec 07 Peninsula Papagayo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica.
SAP Project Leader.
Jun 04 – Aug 04 MIT Media Lab and INCAE Business School, Los Santos, Costa Rica.
Researcher on Market Place of Ideas Project.
Jul 02 – Aug 03 Atlas Eléctrica Corporation (now MABE), Heredia, Costa Rica.
IT Project Coordinator.


Honors and Awards

  1. Disruptor. Awarded by INCAE’s Global MBA 2017 class in recognition of the disruption the professor caused on their mindsets. October 2017.
  2. 2013 Georgia Institute of Technology’s Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL) / BP Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award (one institution-wide winner). $500. April 2013.
  3. International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS) Doctoral Consortium Fellow. December 2012.
  4. Ashford Watson Stalnaker Memorial Prize for Student Excellence in the PhD Program, College of Management, Georgia Institute of Technology. Awarded for excellence in research and teaching (2 out of 45 students). $2,500. April 2012.
  5. Received $1,050 research grant from publicly-traded cloud infrastructure services provider to visit their offices and collect data for own research. February 2012.
  6. Distinction in international MBA program. Ranked 5th among 69. INCAE Business School, Costa Rica. May 2005.
  7. Ranked 1st among exchange students. HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management, Germany. December 2004.
  8. Honor Graduate, bachelor’s degree. Ranked 3rd among 250. ITCR, Costa Rica. November 2002.
  9. Honor Scholarship for academic performance during 3 consecutive years (GPA greater than 90/100). ITCR, Costa Rica. From 2000 to 2002.
  10. Honor Graduate, associate degree. Costa Rican Institute of Technology, Costa Rica. November 2000.
  11. Gold Medal at National Programming Tournament. Costa Rica. 1999.

Media Coverage

  1. The Future of Academia meets at INCAE”, Estrategia y Negocios. September 17, 2015.
  2. Why should you not fear the cloud?.” IT Now. April 2015.
  3. INCAE Faculty Participates in Conferences about Technology.” INCAE Business School. December 19, 2014.
  4. Firms in the country do not make the most of cloud services.” El Financiero, Costa Rica. June 8, 2014.
  5. Costa Rican firms avoid the cloud despite its benefits.” IT Now, Central America and the Caribbean. May 28, 2014.
  6. INCAE alumni recognized by Georgia Tech as the 2013 Outstanding Graduate Instructor.” INCAE Business School, Costa Rica. April 8, 2013.
  7. 40 under 40 2012: German Retana Solano.” El Financiero, Costa Rica. November 25, 2012.
  8. INCAE alumni receives distinction for excellence in Georgia Institute of Technology PhD Program.” INCAE Business School, Costa Rica. May 7, 2012.
  9. College of Management Honors Excellent Faculty, Students and Staff.” Georgia Institute of Technology, College of Management. April 20, 2012.