San Antonio Tecosystem, San Antonio’s independent tech industry council, recently announced plans to release an economic impact study on the city and surrounding area’s growing IT sector in November.
And not a moment too soon. The most recent study of San Antonio’s tech industry, released by San Antonio Chamber of Commerce in 2008, is seven-years stale, said Shaun Williams, SA-Tecosystem founder and board chair.
“We need better information,” Williams said. “The main use (of the study) is going to be retention and recruiting for companies and talent for the San Antonio area.”
The 2008 IT industry study reported an $8 million economic impact to the city with $882 million paid in wages and salaries to 15,648 employees.
“A lot has changed, we fully expect those numbers to be much bigger by now,” he said.
SA-Tecosystem, in partnership with the SA Chamber, has hired Trinity University professors Richard Butler and Mary Stefl – who have lead most economic impact studies in San Antonio – and formed an advisory board to help guide the project.
“San Antonio is well-positioned to see continued growth both in the tech sector and in other industries that rely heavily on technology and innovation to remain competitive in the global marketplace, but in order to solidify our place as a tech leader we need a reliable data set to work from,” stated Mayor Ivy Taylor in a news release. “We fully support SA-Tecosystem’s efforts to establish a regular cycle of I.T. economic impact studies.”
The study will be funded by sponsorships as well as SA-Tecosystem, which plans to budget and fundraise at least $50,000 for a study to be conducted every year moving forward.
The tech industry is generally made up of three parts: companies whose product is technology (like Rackspace); non-IT companies that require international IT services (like USAA); and the public sector (like the City of San Antonio or 24th U.S Air Force).
Data provided by the Texas Workforce Commission and an employer/corporate survey will inform the study. Companies like Valero, Tesoro, USAA, CC Media Holdings, and NuStar Energy as well as agencies of the Department of Defense will be asked to participate.
“Our local I.T. economy is diverse and consists of traditional tech companies as well as the public sector that utilizes corporate technology,” stated Manish Kapoor, CIO of NuStar Energy in a news release. “For example, at NuStar our core business is liquids terminals and pipeline operations, but to deliver those services, we need technology. We are hoping that other companies will join us and take part in this study as it will help us recruit the tech talent we need to continue to grow.”
SA-Tecosystem, which was founded in April 2015, is relatively new to San Antonio’s tech landscape. A year before the council’s launch during the InnoTech conference, Williams said, the idea began to form. He and his team traveled to most of the top 10 cities in the U.S. in 2014 and realized “all but one have an independent industry council focused on information technology. San Antonio didn’t.”
Williams is vice president of Y& L Consulting, a full service IT solutions firm. The firm is the founding sponsor of SA-Tecosystem. His job at the latter, he said, is mainly to make sure each constituency of the local IT scene is connected including talent/employees, entrepreneurs, investors, political agencies, community organizations, educators and tech leaders.
For more information, a list of advisory team members, and regular updates, visit www.satecosystem.org/it_econ_impact_study.
*Featured/top image: Graphic courtesy of SA-Tecosystem.