When it comes to the state of Utah, most people think of great snow or the beautiful mountains. However, the past several years have brought Utah into the spotlight for entirely different reason: the tech boom. In 2011 Utah was ranked second on a list of the next economic boom states. The state only trailed North Dakota, which in the midst of a huge oil boom. With computer systems jobs jumping nearly 12% and technical jobs 9.7%, some have even decided to move to Utah from Silicon Valley, the tech capital of the world.

Why is Utah one of the fastest growing tech spots in the nation? The following are several significant factors.

Government Support

The Utah government is well aware of the benefit companies are having on the state’s growing economy. As a result they have taken specific steps to help rather than hinder their progress. The Utah Governor Gary Herbert recently credited much of Utah’s success to the government’s recruiting and effort to make the state more attractive to CEO’s. Herbert stated, “We’re going to make sure we have government that gets off your backs and out of your wallets”.

One example of the government’s help was their creation of the Utah Science Technology and Research economic development initiative. This program helped increase the collaboration between tech companies and universities. The research done with these funds has helped Utah become a place where cutting edge technology is discovered, not just copied.


Utah is known around the nation and world to be the home of the highly successful companies. One example is the home security, automation and solar energy company Vivint. Starting out as a strictly home security based company, Vivint quickly grew to be the nations leader in home automation. The Provo-based company was recently acquired by Blackstone for roughly $2 billion, making it the largest tech deal in the state’s history.

Other Utah-based companies have caught the attention of business owners everywhere. A short list includes, Adobe Systems, Silicon Graphics, WordPerfect, Novell and Iomega. Despite the recent recession in the United States, Utah seems to have been hit less hard than most. According to one survey, 63% of CEO’s, CFO’s, and other executives report growing and thriving revenues in their companies. It’s no wonder so many find it tempting to move there.

Strong Workforce

The state of Utah has several unique strengths when it comes to the talent and values of their workforce. Ron Hovsepian, CEO of Novell, pointed out several of these. He included highly talented and innovative engineers that can lead, additional skills such as multilingual capabilities and advanced education, a good balance of professionalism and values, and low-cost data center facilities.

Consistent Growth

At a time when much of the country is suffering from high unemployment rates, everyone is looking for a sign that we might be on our way out of the recession. Utah is providing that hope. Largely due to the tech boom, Utah created approximately 25,000 jobs last year. This is almost double the rate of job creation in the rest of the nation. And the growth is not limited to start-ups. Utah has become a place where well-established companies are growing. The implications for Utah’s economy are obvious.

The state shows no signs of slowing down. According to Richard Nelson, founder of the Utah Technology Council, a strong educational emphasis in the state will keep the boom going.

Low Cost

It is significantly cheaper to set up a company Utah than most other places in the country. Other tech savvy places in the country include Boston, New York, Lost Angeles and of course Silicon Valley itself. For start-ups however, these places can be daunting, given their sky-high expenses. Utah on the other hand is home to many high quality service providers that offer quality service at a low price. Not to mention the low cost of data center facilities. On top of all of this, the cost of living is a fraction of most places. In a sagging economy, there doesn’t seem to be a better