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Atlanta Blog

State of the Technology Industry in Georgia: Tag Releases Its Annual Report

May 8, 2017 | by Andy Roberts

The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) has just released its eleventh annual State of the Industry Report, which highlights the accomplishments of and challenges facing Georgia’s technology community. As it did last year, the report focuses on three key elements of success for technology: talent, capital, and innovation.

Talent: A Top Market for Tech Jobs

Atlanta added 8,634 new technology jobs last year to expand its tech employment by 4%, making it one of the nation’s top markets for tech jobs. The software/IT and telecommunications sectors represent almost 50% of Georgia’s total technology employment. The tech-related fields that added the most jobs included internet and multimedia, software, and biosciences. Among these jobs, app/software developers and project managers were “the most critical,” according to the report.

At a 2.5% growth rate, Georgia’s tech employment grew faster than the national average in 2016. Over the past four years, the state has seen total growth of 10.4% in tech employment.

The 300+ respondents to TAG’s annual TAG Technology Decision Makers Survey again ranked security first on the list of “Most Important Technology Initiatives.” Cloud computing and business intelligence (BI)/big data were second and third on the list.

Capital: Down Slightly, but Expected to Rise

More than 64% of the technology decision-makers surveyed believe that Georgia will increase its invested capital over the next year, and more than 75% believe that the state’s invested capital will increase over the next five years. Most believe that large companies acting as strategic investors, P/E investors, and angel investors will serve as the top sources of future funding.

Georgia’s invested venture capital reached $733.4 million in 2016. This figure represents a 4.6% decline, but it is significantly less than the 20% drop in total U.S. venture capital during the same period.

GA’s total 2016 invested capital—which includes venture capital, corporate venture, private equity, angel funding, and other deals—was $1.75 billion. While this number represents a 40% decrease since 2015, the state’s two-year total—from 2015 through 2016—surpassed $4.9 billion.

Innovation: Strong, but Room for Improvement

An Innovation Index compiled by the U.S. Commerce Department and the Indiana Business Research Center measures five key categories of innovation for counties and MSAs (metropolitan statistical areas). In 2016, Atlanta ranked highest in the state in innovation and ranked 38th of 380 MSAs in the U.S., followed by Savannah and Columbus. However, Georgia ranks below the national innovation index (100) with a score of 91.50.

The respondents to the Technology Decision Makers Survey believe that Georgia’s culture of innovation can be improved by focusing on transportation/ traffic issues, better access to capital, and improving the K-12 educational system. Innovation momentum seems to be growing, however; positive signs include: start-up activity, level of commercialization from university research, innovation center activity, and “other key initiatives,” the report concludes.

Blog contributed by Andy Roberts, Vice President with Cresa Atlanta. Andy has a passion for developing custom real estate strategies and works with companies across metro Atlanta. For questions or more information, contact Andy at 404-446-1866 or aroberts@cresa.com.