Software and information technology is a growing industry. In fact, in the last couple decades, software/IT has become an essential component of the operations of nearly every industry, growing the industry from $149 billion in 1997 to $425 billion in 2012 (SIIA, 2014). While the software industry has increased its own share of the economy, its contributions to the efficiency of other industries perpetuate additional growth on both broad and local scales. In addition to its multipliers, the software industry creates jobs that pay well above an area’s median household income.
Lane County growth projections include information technology as one of the top four industries expected to grow between 2012 and 2022. In fact, software/IT is growing faster in Lane County than in Oregon and the United States. Software publishing in Lane County currently relies on 430 firms that employ about 4,500 people that are largely concentrated in Eugene. This concentration has generated growing support from business incubators such as the Fertilab Thinkubator and the state-backed Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network (RAIN). Florence is already benefiting from the proximity to this resource and is building significant partnerships with RAIN. In building this connection, Florence has great potential to attract its own concentration of the software/IT industry who are drawn to the coastal amenities, but benefit from regional investment.