We had the pleasure of attending the Southeast Economic Development Council Annual Conference as well as a plethora of economic development professionals from across the southeastern part of United States. Including attendees from as far away as Kansas and Texas. And a superb line-up of speakers covered topics of interest to all regions.
A great amount of the discussions involved how technology is changing the economic landscape and creating advantages for early adopters. Coastal Cloud and other disruptive tech providers are helping to drive this transformation from manual and separate processes to integrated cloud based solutions.
What is redefining competitiveness?
As we sit back and take in the audience of the 2017 SEDC Annual Conference in Charlotte the theme “redefining competitiveness” took on new meaning. In a world that was once simply defined as industrial recruitment, the challenges the Economic Development Professional faces today have evolved immensely.
Take into consideration the global unrest and political landscape that is changing the way people, cultures, and corporations view the world. The competition for labor, or talent as it may be termed, requires a new strategy to compete for new investment and job creation. While having a great location is still important, having the labor that can manufacture the products or provide the services is now key to any community’s success. Finally, technology is “redefining competitiveness” in every single way. From accessing demographic data, implementing a GIS strategy, automating marketing, defining the economic impact of a project, building a customer relationship management system, and beyond, the Economic Development Professional has more tools at their disposal than ever before.
What’s interesting is the collaboration that is now rising out of this new education around technology. Not only are vendors finding new ways to collaborate on projects and further define a new business model for showcasing a community, but the Economic Development Professionals themselves, while fiercely competing for projects; are partners in arms in educating each other on ways to improve their strategy, their community and their success. It’s exciting, educational and competitive in the same breath.
ED Professionals are realizing competition is global and fierce which requires the fusion of ED efforts with Workforce development, efficient Grants Management and coordinated efforts across bureaus to provide the resources needed for successful projects.
Collaboration and success
We can only imagine what’s next and appreciate the opportunity to help these professionals to “redefine competitiveness”. After all, if we help each other, we help put people to work, we help grow our communities, and ultimately make our country more successful in the global landscape. And what is more gratifying than helping someone achieve success? For an industry that is not well known, the prosperity that comes from Economic Development is inspirational and Coastal Cloud is glad we have a proven record of providing the tools to accelerate this success.
We look forward to SEDC 2018 in Mobile and SEDC 2019 in New Orleans. We are committed to being a leading solution provider in the public sector, especially in Economic Development. It is rewarding work and a blessing to the communities with whom we work.