The Cyber State: Nevada’s Burgeoning Technology Industry

The Brookings Report; Unify, Reorganize, Diversify: An Economic Development Agenda for Nevada, commissioned by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development in 2011, identified seven industry clusters Nevada should develop, specifically naming the technology and aerospace industries.

In 2013, many in those industries are looking at and locating in, Nevada.

Tech Comes to Nevada

Doug Erwin sqTechnology is a very broad category, covering crossover industries and specific sectors, and Nevada is seeing growth in a variety of tech areas. In particular, data centers are looking at Nevada as a nearly perfect place to locate. The days when companies could put their server in an unused conference room or hall closet are passing as business owners understand the need to find the best solution for housing critical infrastructure. Today they look at purpose-built data centers.

Data centers, where a large group of networked computers serve clients with offsite backup, storage and processing of data, are attracted to Nevada for three primary reasons: a lack of natural disasters (locating on an earthquake fault, for example, isn’t advised), a friendly meteorological climate (temperature is important) and a friendly business climate. Other benefits in Nevada include a major fiber-optic highway running through the I-80 corridor, low energy costs, good employment base – “You can see why it’s an ideal place to put a data center,” said Doug Erwin, vice president, entrepreneurial development, Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN).

Copyright - Jeramie Lu Photography | | available for travel worldwideNow Apple is building a data center in Reno, with a downtown presence. Additionally,NJVC, a government cloud computing and cyber security firm, is headed that way, too. While data centers may not employ massive numbers, the jobs are high paying. “Any job that increases average wage is important,” said Erwin. “One worker making $80,000 a year has a ripple effect on other services, and the credibility of Apple is huge for our community.”

In Southern Nevada, Switch works in colocation, connectivity and cloud. Switch created SUPERNAPS, advanced technology ecosystems that combine secure data storage, affordable and fast connectivity and Internet with uninterrupted up-time. “For us, it’s about creating the total solution for companies to take advantage of,” said Jason Mendenhall, executive vice president of Switch.

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