Last week, the New Jersey Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee passed a bill that would encourage improvements in the state's infrastructure for big data and help grow the information technology industry.
Specifically, New Jersey would create a cyberinfrastructure strategic plan through a public-private- partnership between the NJ Office of Information Technology and NJ Big Data Alliance and coordinated by the Rutgers Discovery Informatics Institute.
A-2075, sponsored by Assemblyman RajaMukherji, would direct this collaboration of academia, industry and state government to:
- Assess the State's cyberinfrastructure, both public and privately-owned, including high performance computing and data storage system centers.
- Create a roadmap for implementing advanced cyberinfrastructure improvements throughout the State, including cloud storage, data sharing and high speed networking.
- Identify the benefits and the essential applications of cyberinfrastructure.
- Recommend workforce development strategies to meet demands.
- Identify the means of using advanced cyberinfrastructure to drive economic development.
NJBIA supports this bill for two reasons:
- Leveraging technology to improve efficiencies in government is critical, not only because it allows government to do more with less, but it will mean a faster and more responsive government for the business community.
- Focusing on a New Jersey's cyberinfrastructure and overall importance in the information technology sector, one of NJ's top sectors, attracting more businesses to this area and the high-paying jobs that come with it.
New Jersey continues to be an information technology powerhouse, but the job growth has waned in recent years. According to CompTIA, the national IT industry trade association, the State's tech sector contributes an estimated 7 percent to the $37 billion state economy. Also, New Jersey ranks 10th in the nation in employment with 208,581 IT employees. The tech-sector payroll of $24.7 billion accounts for 6.3 percent of all private-sector payrolls in the Garden State.
In addition, improvements in technologies can help the way governments can conduct business. Agencies collect and analyze mountains of information each year however it is not always the case it is organized and structured to maximize its use. There are endless ways agencies can use big data analytics to accomplish their missions.
At the end of the day, New Jersey needs a plan.
[Tyler Seville is Director, Technology & Workforce Development at the New Jersey Business & Industry Association. ]