Tags: Business News
TAG President Tino Mantella, left, chats with Alpharetta City Manager Bob Regus and Greater North Fulton Chamber Director of Membership Services Deborah Lanham. (click for larger version)
June 11, 2014ALPHARETTA, Ga.— Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) President Tino Mantella came to North Fulton to give his State of the Tech Industry in Georgia address, and he brought a lot of good news.
Speaking at the June 4 Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce’s Lunch Connection, Mantella, who has been TAG president since 2004, said he is more optimistic about Georgia’s tech companies since the 2004 Tech Bust.
“Georgia’s tech companies created 5,000 new jobs in 2013, and metro Atlanta is where the bulk of the tech companies live,” Mantella said. “That does count the support jobs created when tech companies expand.”
Overall, the tech industry is a $22 billion contributor to Georgia’s economy. Growth of the tech industry in the state has “forced” TAG to open offices outside Atlanta in Marietta, Augusta, Athens, Macon, Savannah, Columbus, Albany and Valdosta.
“It really is a statewide industry now, with 267,000 people employed. The average salary in the tech field has risen each year from $77,600 to $83,000. That means technology is leading all other business sectors in the state,” Mantella said. “The tech industry is undeniably a major force in Georgia’s economy.”
Georgia is the national leader in health care IT, led by Alpharetta-based McKesson Technology Solutions (see chart).
McKesson once again topped the HCI 100 list at No. 1, while other Georgia companies improved their ranking from the previous year such as Med Assets, Greenway Health, Brightree, Navicure and Surgical Information Systems.
This was echoed by earlier statements from David Hartnett, interim senior vice president of economic development of the Metro Atlanta Chamber.
“The metro Atlanta region is recognized as the nation’s health IT capital, consistently delivering some of the most innovative technologies in this sector,” Hartnett said. “As indicated by this year’s more than $600 million increase in revenue earned by the companies on the list, we are growing the economy in this sector with the potential to create thousands more high-paying jobs per year.”
Mantella said North Fulton is a leader in the state’s tech community. In addition to McKesson, the presence of Microsoft, Verizon, First Data and Global Payments are strengthening the sector as well as General Motors’ new technology center in Roswell and Fiserv’s corporate move to Alpharetta.
In all, three of Georgia’s tech sectors surpass the industry average in growth: health information, communications and logistics.
Meanwhile, TAG wants to bring more global activities to Georgia including an annual technology event. That would also aid in branding Georgia as a technology state, Mantella said.
TAG also wants tech businesses to get involved in one of the big sore spots for the industry – training up new employees locally. That can begin in getting involved the Georgia schools’ STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program designed to prepare more students for the technical careers that modern society demands.
Tech companies can get involved by offering internships in TAG’s internship program for rising high schools seniors, Mantella said.
Another critical area Georgia needs to get better in is that of venture capital.
Georgia leaped from No. 10 to No. 4 in venture capital raised, but that was just one year, and half of the venture capital raised, $200 million, went to AirWatch in 2013, Mantella said.
“The first of 2014, AirWatch was acquired by VMware for $1.2 billion,” he said. “So that skews our VC outlook somewhat.”
But with VC successes like AirWatch, that should turn heads.
Georgia’s technology industry can be optimistic about its future, Mantella said, but the industry still exists in a global market, which means — get better or get left behind.
Georgia companies in Top 100 Health IT sector
Greenway Health LLC
HealthPort Technologies LLC
Surgical Information Systems
Executive Editor, Appen Media.