Find Computing and Office Supplies expertise in Jamaica
Computer and internet penetration in Jamaica is relatively low compared to the rest of the Caribbean, yet it has one of the largest markets, creating the best capacity and potential. There are 67 PCs in Jamaica (2005) and 261 internet users (2010) for every 1,000 people.
There are numerous local software development companies in Jamaica. Depth of expertise may vary but numerous services are available. Multinational hardware and software companies such as IBM and Microsoft operate in Jamaica, along with a number of smaller regional companies. The government is actively encouraging international technology companies to invest in the country through incentives such as duty free imports, tax exemptions and free repatriation of profits and dividends. The country is a major IT and business processing outsourcing (IT-BPO) point in the Caribbean. The IT-BPO sector accounts for USD 145 million in revenue and employs over 10,000 people.
The University of Technology in Jamaica offers both computing and electrical engineering courses at an undergraduate and the former at a post graduate level. It is the second largest faculty of its type in the Caribbean and aims to enable Jamaicans to compete in technology and engineering both locally and internationally.
In terms of uptake of technology in the public sector Jamaican schools were among the first in the Caribbean to establish computers and Internet connections. The Jamaica 2000 project encouraged the introduction of computer labs in all secondary schools to sustain courses in computer studies and science.
The Jamaica Computer Society (JCS) was established in 1975 with the principal aim of representing companies and individuals, and maintaining standards for professionals in the ICT sector. It seeks to shape the national and regional ICT agenda and encourage improvements in the business of its members and the population of Jamaica.
According to the World Economic Forum’s ‘Global Competitiveness Report’ 2011-2012, Jamaica was ranked 44 out of a possible 142 countries when assessing the extent to which the latest technologies are available in the country. It scored Jamaica 5.5 out of a possible 7 points, 0.5 points above the world mean, which places Jamaica level with countries such as India, Hungary and Slovenia, and higher than Greece, Brazil , Italy and most other Caribbean nations.
In the same survey, Jamaica was ranked 72 out of 142 countries and scored 4.7 out of 7 when assessing the extent to which businesses absorb new technology. This is slightly below the world mean of 4.8. Jamaica was ranked 102 out of the 142 countries for the extent to which government procurement decisions foster technological innovation in the country, and scored 3.3 out of 7. At 0.3 points below the world mean it puts Jamaica level with Peru, Ghana and the Dominican Republic.