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Route 128: Boston’s Technology Corridor

Guy Ashton
May 3, 2016

Boston will play “a pivotal role in the next wave of technology innovation, one that uses data and analytics to connect machines for big businesses,” as reported by the Boston Globe after a recent visit by General Electric’s chief executive, Jeff Immelt.

GE’s relocation to Boston is a move to further position itself as a digital leader in Industrial Internet.

Its new headquarters will be in Boston’s Seaport District, which is becoming a hub for investment by technology, biomedical and pharmaceutical companies.

Boston is considered a “world of ideas.” Perhaps because while the city comprises 10% of the state’s total population, it is credited with 34% of the state’s total college enrollment across its 35 colleges and universities.

Boston’s academic community “enhances the quality of the labor force and fuels knowledge-based industries.” Those industries have significantly diversified Boston’s economy, attracting major biotechnology, finance, government, and information technology companies.

Boston’s Technology Corridor is arguably the second largest tech hub behind Silicon Valley, withseveral major tech companies headquartered there, including: Hubspot, Constant Contact, TripAdvisor and EMC.

Other leading tech companies, such as Intel, IBM, Facebook and Twitter, have offices in the Boston metro area to leverage its unique environment for innovation and change.

GE’s decision to move to Boston was driven by its new emphasis on the “Industrial Internet of Things.” While he acknowledged that the “Industrial Internet” was part of a growing list of buzzwords, Immelt also noted the IIoT, and things like that, is “real and it’s going to happen.”

In recent years, GE has increasingly loaded its industrial products with digital sensors.

Those machines are getting smarter, more connected, and more efficient. The IIoT will allow for:
“…Increased visibility and better insights into the performance of their equipment and assets. They need increased asset performance management software, which can provide them with answers on what equipment is most important, how it should be maintained and how unexpected failures can be avoided.”

For us, the key word here, of course, is data. We have six data centers in the greater Boston area, including two in Needham, on Route 128.

The 55-plus-mile Boston beltway that is Route 128 earned the name “America’s Technology Highway” preceding the first tech boom in the late 90s because of the high number of technology firms in the area. Not only did it once own that title, the flow of entrepreneurs from Harvard and MIT significantly contributed to Boston’s local economy boost with their startups.

Almost a decade later, some of those entrepreneurs have matured their businesses into established companies now using the same spirit of innovation to develop, enhance, and optimize their products.

We’d like to welcome our new neighbors in the Boston area and look forward to contributing to their success through our data center solutions in the years ahead.