Monday, April 11, 2011

Technology Sector to Lead Georgia's Economic Recovery: Technology in Georgia Report

On Thursday April 7 the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) convened a panel discussion on the results of the 2011 State of the Industry: Technology in Georgia Report on the campus of Georgia Tech. Regrettably I was unable to attend.

Each year TAG commissions the report to assess the perception and economic impact of the technology sector in Georgia and benchmark against other states similarly strong in technology.

“We know that Georgia has a very large technology footprint, but it does not usually receive the recognition it deserves – especially when it comes to cluster where we lead the nation,” said TAG President Tino Mantella.

In post-panel interviews, panelists Mantella and Keith Herndon, President of Internet Decisions, separately agreed on the most important key finding from the report: the technology sector will lead in Georgia’s economic recovery.

“Every year, we survey top decision makers in the technology industry to determine their plans for expansion and hiring in the next year,” Mantella said. “ Of the 120 respondents to our 2010 survey, 70-percent said they have plans to increase their workforce during 2011.”

“We can really improve the standard of living in the state,” said Herndon. “Technology jobs on average pay almost twice the typical job” and account for a roughly 10 percent of employment in the state.

Herndon’s Internet Decisions completed the secondary research and analysis for the State of the Industry Report.

The report cited the critical need for companies to have access to a quality labor market with 82 percent of Georgia technology companies expected to see growth in the next five years. Even now some companies are having difficulty filling pivotal positions.

“One thing that’s important is the impact that Georgia’s research industry has in the state,” said Herndon, citing the many research universities located in the state. “If you have that kind of research and development going on it attracts entrepreneurs.”

Georgia is also known as a hotspot for entrepreneurial activity by Mantella’s account. The state averages 200 more business start-ups per month than the national average. All of the start-ups aren’t technology based, but Mantella point’s to the Obama Administration’s choice of Atlanta to host a ‘Startup America Roundtable’ event as proof of a strong community of technology entrepreneurs.

A detailed breakdown of key-findings - along with interactive maps and the complete State of the Industry Report - is available on the SOIR website.

Key findings

  1. Georgia’s technology sector will lead the state’s economic recovery.
  2. Georgia needs more venture capital.
  3. Corporate investment in Georgia’s technology sector is healthy.
  4. Georgia’s technology company growth outpaces the nation.
  5. Georgia’s research universities are key to the state’s technology status.
  6. Five out of the top ten export categories in Georgia are technology-related.
  7. Atlanta’s impressive broadband footprint is a key business attractor.
  8. Availability of quality labor is crucial to technology decision makers.
  9. Technology jobs lead Georgia’s labor market.
  10. Technology decision makers say there is room for improvement in Georgia’s business climate.

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