The following blog post was written by IT-oLogy Columbia Executive Director Todd Lewis.
As Executive director of the Columbia IT-oLogy office I regularly meet people in the Information Technology field from all over the Midlands as well as the State of SC, and I am constantly amazed at the world-class talent and ideas we have here. After 10 months of these meetings and conversations one thing has become crystal clear – people need to get together, share their great ideas, observations and issues, and formulate a plan as to how we collectively address IT moving forward as a state.
The reason for this is twofold:
– Information technology is driving innovation and impacting job creation across all sectors of our economy. Currently more than 67,000 people across South Carolina are employed in a technology-related occupation at an average salary of $64,693, and the numbers of these jobs and their economic impact will only increase in the future.
– South Carolina MUST remain competitive in this area if our economy is to remain strong and grow. Whether we realize it or not, other states recognize the importance of IT and are doing everything possible to stay a step ahead.
I am happy to announce that on April 23 that event will take place in Columbia at IT-oLogy headquarters. Called The Summit on Information Technology, the purpose of this day long event is to inform and educate attendees about what’s currently being done across the state (establish benchmarks), to gather input from attendees in various industry verticals, and to exchange ideas. The ultimate goal is the Summit will serve as the starting point of a comprehensive strategy in which stakeholders from across the state work together and collaborate moving forward.
The target audience will be IT leaders across all industry verticals, elected officials at all levels, as well as economic development officials from local and state organizations. Specifically, that includes CTOs, CIOs, CEOs, IT Directors, and IT decision makers of all types in education, state and municipal government, manufacturing, healthcare, professional services, banking, and entrepreneurship (the start-up community).
Finally, we will tackle important questions. Is South Carolina competitive on a national and regional level? What incentives and innovations are being implemented here and elsewhere and what best practices should we pursue? How does IT impact economic development? What are we doing to stay competitive with an educated workforce? What role does public policy play in making us a progressive and more IT/business friendly state?
I sincerely hope all IT-oLogy partners recognize the importance of this event and decide to participate. Information technology is in everything we do, every business we run and every job we pursue in 2014 and beyond. Will we in the Midlands and in South Carolina be at the forefront or will we merely react and fall behind others? The choice truly is ours.