Indiana is in a global race for tech and innovation, and from where we sit, it’s in great position: home to one of only nine Salesforce Towers; one of only six Infosys U.S. tech and innovation centers; one of the top 15 highest-growth VC ecosystems, and now one of the world’s prime data center hosts — one of 33 for Google, 100+ for AWS, 300+ for Microsoft, and 24 for Meta. 

The growth of Indiana’s tech sector hasn’t traditionally been driven by big capital expenditure investments. It’s grown largely from the minds of great Indiana digital innovation leaders who have harnessed human capital in the Digital Age.  

This year, it’s different. 

In 2024’s first five months, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation has announced five major tech capital investments, totaling nearly $19 billion in projects that will have large footprints across the state: 

  1. Microsoft’s $1B Data Center in La Porte, 
  1. Google’s $2B data center in Fort Wayne, 
  1. Amazon Web Services’ $11B data center in New Carlisle, 
  1. SK Hynix’s $3.9B semiconductor packaging facility in West Lafayette, and 
  1. Meta’s $800M data center in Jeffersonville 

Rising demand for cloud computing and storage infrastructure is a key factor in this growth. That increase was in part driven by decades of digital presence growth, which accelerated through the pandemic as well as the super catalyst of artificial intelligence (AI) which requires large amount of data to be stored and intelligently processed. Even in today’s high-interest rate setting, long-term infrastructure investments like these make financial and economic sense.  

Indiana has been playing to win these major projects by promoting our compelling combination of technical, economic, environmental and regulatory considerations, on top of strong state leadership. On the supply side, we have ready access to high-quality tech talent, including engineering, affordable quality of place consideration, lower cost of construction and maintenance, availability of energy sources, existing internet network connectivity and a strong regulatory environment including tax, business regulations and incentives, and data protection.  

On the demand side, infrastructure projects tend to favor proximity to customers. Salesforce’s acquisition of ExactTarget in 2013 was very much a product and customer play. Its major presence here speaks to the customer expansion potential in our region. Similarly, Infosys’ technology and innovation centers, in part enables its U.S. business to take a more localized and customer-centric approach, even with COVID-related headwinds in commercial real estate. 

Many companies in our region are well positioned to thrive in the AI Age. McKinsey data published in Q2 2024, shows the use of generative AI has nearly doubled to 65 percent, up from 33 percent just a year ago. It is one of the fastest technology adoption curves in human history. AI adoption overall has spiked from a steady state of 50-60 percent to 72 percent. Many of the use cases are focused on revenue or productivity increase and are starting to demonstrate commercial-ready impact.  

The opportunity is clear. Tech-driven productivity growth has to be an economic growth strategy, for the tech sector and also for Indiana’s advanced and adjacent industries that represent 65 percent of state’s total economic activities. Global, national and Indiana specific reports agree that organizations adopting tech in general, and AI in specific, are outperforming their competitors.  

To keep our citizens, our companies and our communities competitive, we must invest in putting AI to work. 

Beyond immediate job creation, the recent Big 5 tech investments have market-changing spillover effects for generations to come. They also signal the growing maturity of Indiana’s tech and innovation ecosystem and its mix of strong infrastructure tech, enterprise tech, tech-driven corporate community, mid-size innovation-driven firms and startups. This growing density and how each interacts with another will continue to drive economic vibrancy.  

TechPoint is playing our part in catalyzing that interaction, and we invite every Indiana innovator to join us in this journey whether you are searching for talent, for customers or for capital.