UNITED WITH TECHNOLOGY WITHOUT BORDERS

HITEC MEXICO LAUNCHED IN 2015

Late last year, the organization announced the launch of HITEC Mexico, a new chapter of the group and a bridge between technology executives from the two countries, leveraging the total trade of $531 billion in 2015, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. HITEC Mexico will provide its members with the opportunity to advance their businesses by developing focused and informed leaders and role models.

“The idea behind HITEC Mexico was to create a platform for technology executives from both countries to share and build upon ideas and develop stronger technology leadership teams,” said Andre Arbelaez, president of HITEC and senior vice president and chief strategy officer at Softtek, a global provider of IT services and business process solutions. “HITEC Mexico will give its members opportunities to share and learn about evolving trends in the technology industry and leadership while positioning themselves as leaders in the sector and in their own companies.”

HITEC Mexico was launched on September 8, 2015 at a widely-attended reception. Coming together to host the event were some of the leading companies in the Mexican IT industry including AT&T Inc., Hewlett Packard Enterprise; PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), LinkAmerica and Softtek. Also among the hosts was MexicoIT, an industry association of leading IT companies in Mexico supported by the Mexican Ministry of Economy.

“We are pleased to be a host of the HITEC Mexico launch and to be part of this impactful organization,” said Thaddeus Arroyo, CEO, AT&T Mexico and member of the HITEC board of directors. “By engaging with Mexican technology executives and bringing them together with their U.S. brethren, HITEC Mexico builds a strong bond between those leaders in an environment of shared information and professional and organizational growth. The result will be stronger, more prepared leaders on both sides of the border.” This is not the first time HITEC has reached outside the U.S. borders to found a new chapter. HITEC Spain, HITEC’s first non-U.S. chapter, was launched in April 2015.

ince 2004, the Mexican government has had a national policy in effect for continuous improvement within the Mexican IT industry. The program, Prosoft, is dedicated specifically to the continued development of the IT sector and has several main focuses: promotion, training, establishing a legal framework to promote the industry, development of the internal market, and promoting the construction of physical infrastructure and telecommunications.

Mexico’s software and IT service development sector comprises nearly 500,000 IT professionals and that number will continue to grow. According to MexicoIT, the country’s brand and an industry promotional program operated by Mexico’s National Chamber of Electronics, Telecommunications and Information Technologies, more than 60,000 IT professionals are graduating from universities or technical schools each year.

Mexico has built a network of potential trade partners for the country’s companies through multilateral trade agreements that, in the case of North American Free Trade Agreement, are a strong legal framework. Subscribing countries are eligible for a number of preferential incentives such as trade tariffs, funding, training, and specific visas to facilitate the deployment of specific talent. U.S.-Mexico border cities tend to have large immigrant or repatriated communities whose language is primarily English.

Although Mexico is a free market economy and a favorable location for trade under NAFTA in large part due to a tax structure that provides a favorable working environment for both domestic and international firms, there remains a continued perception of violence and corruption in the country which is a significant barrier to business growth.

Mexico’s intellectual property legal framework is still inefficient but the country continues to take steps to improve confidence among the business community and increase foreign investment. Such positive changes should curb Mexico’s issues with piracy and other thefts.

MEXICO’S IT INDUSTRY CONTINUES TO GROW DESPITE THE DOWNTURN IN OTHER LATIN AMERICAN COUNTRIES

Larger cities in Mexico, saturated with IT development, have nearly exhausted their skilled IT resources—especially those with advanced technical skills and strong English proficiency. Service providers, as well as clients looking to open or grow captive centers, have moved into Tier 2 and 3 cities in a quest for IT talent.

Although markets in Latin America and elsewhere are slowing, Mexico is set to buck the trend. Mexico’s economy will continue to record positive growth in 2016. As it does, the IT outsourcing industry is helping to spur overall economic growth. Within the industry though, significant changes are taking place, necessitating clear understanding of emerging technology industries and markets in Mexico.

HITEC’S KEY PARTNERSHIP WITH MexicoIT HAS SHOWN:

Mexico’s IT outsourcing industry is expected to continue on a strong growth trajectory;

Despite negative portrayals of Mexico by international media outlets and a particular politician, international business leaders favor the country because of its strategic geographic location, large tech talent pool, and track record of sound macroeconomic management;

The classical logic of nearshore investment—proximity, time-zone alignment, business cultural affinity—is strengthening in light of technological change and shifting geo-economic realities. This bolsters the case for Mexico vis-à-vis offshore markets;

Currency weakness since 2014 has been a blessing in disguise for many vendors; and

Mexico’s strength as a software development and business process destination, as well as growth trends within Mexico’s largest markets, are growing.

The data clearly shows that the strong relationship between the United States and Mexico is based upon the trust relationship among executives. Within HITEC, these connections are formed at the highest levels in a safe environment enabling members to share their company’s experiences and challenges. The organization’s members also assume responsibility for mentoring the next generation of IT executives and influencing schools on both sides of the borders to adopt or increase STEM curricula (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) to drive the future workforce in both countries.

As the comfort level of U.S.-based companies improves and they are now sourcing multi-million dollar contracts to Mexican IT companies, there is great pride in the fact that U.S. business people recognize the numerous benefits of working with Mexico and its people.

More on HITEC and other relevant information on Alliance Magazine.