Kansas City’s IT Reputation Continues to Grow
by Jeff Pinkerton
On Wednesday, Cisco announced that Kansas City will be its next “smart city.” This initiative promises to leverage the power of computing and data to make living in the Kansas City region even better.
Though we shouldn’t take success for granted, it seems like good IT news has become somewhat commonplace in the metro. The Google Fiber announcement a few years ago was certainly a big deal, and since then we have had several IT companies move into the area, such as CoSentry, Netsmart, Suitable Technologies and, most recently, MindMixer. This doesn’t even take into account the considerable growth in IT employment by companies already based here.
The bottom line is, when we ask ourselves what Kansas City’s economy is about, IT needs to be a part of the answer.
Let’s take a look at some of the numbers.
According to EMSI, there are 27,879 jobs in the Computer Services industry cluster in the Kansas City metro, up by 6,000 job since 2001. This gives the region a location quotient of 1.59, which basically means the portion of Kansas City’s workforce in computer services is 59 percent larger than the portion of the workforce in computer services in the U.S. as a whole.
This is an advantage our region should enjoy long into the future. Again according to EMSI, we will add an additional 5,252 net new jobs in computer services by 2023. This is an increase of 21 percent.
The economy is always changing, but for the foreseeable future, IT promises to be featured prominently. Our IT industry has grown, somewhat quietly at first, but it is now positioned to take our “smart city” into the future.