Metro Atlanta is getting a little crowded, but in a good way. Lately, the area has steadily attracted a series of regional headquarters and IT centers. The latest, Honeywell International.
According to a report in this week’s Atlanta Business Chronicle, the multinational conglomerate has put Atlanta at the core of its transition from a hardware to a software business with its decision to pick the city for its first North American software development center.
Morris Plains, N.J.-based Honeywell announced Sept. 12 it will invest $20 million in the first-of-its-kind software development center and relocate the headquarters of its nearly $10 billion home and building technologies division from suburban Minneapolis. The expansion will create more than 800 jobs.
Atlanta is suited for IT operations that are cost-sensitive and don’t require the elite research talent typically found in Silicon Valley or Boston, said John Boyd Jr., a Princeton, N.J.-based corporate site consultant.
“Atlanta is regarded as a premier labor market for IT skill sets,” Boyd said.
Atlanta has become a magnet for software talent in the last few years, “especially the next-generation software talent,” said Krishna Mikkilineni, a Honeywell senior vice president. “As some of the other markets really become overheated, we will probably in Atlanta continue to get a lot more people.”
Atlanta’s infrastructure, talent and industry ecosystem is making it irresistible to companies bulking up their technology operations. Honeywell picked Atlanta “because we thought the diversity, the technological innovations and the ecosystem … [makes it] clearly the place for us to grow,” Mikkilineni said.
Honeywell joins a wave of Fortune 500 companies bringing technology centers to Atlanta to tap into the rich vein of talent and research that is Georgia Tech.
GE Digital picked Midtown for its North American IT headquarters — a project that could bring more than 400 jobs. General Motors planted a technology development center in Roswell, Georgia that employs more than 1,000. This summer, Keysight Technologies announced a 250-job software development center at Tech Square. Others such as NCR Corp., Southern Co. and The Home Depot Inc. have opened innovation centers.
Urvaksh Karkaria covers technology for Atlanta Business Chronicle.
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