Originally posted to DP Facilities

Digital transformation is a common phrase when referring to the changes that businesses are making in the new data-driven world. Most commonly when we think of digital transformation, we think of cloud, artificial intelligence, new applications, or new IT frameworks that help businesses succeed. However, as the online world expands, we’re finding that digital transformation’s scope goes beyond the walls of the individual organizations. When we look at regional shifts in response to the ever-growing presence of technology, we can see that entire regional economies are undergoing fundamental shifts as well.

In many coal-producing regions, for instance, a long history of resource development has been at the core of local employment and economic stability. Now, however, as we develop beyond the use of coal in many use cases, these coal-dependent economies are in some instances suffering from lack of job opportunities, declining populations and economic downturns. At the same time, we’re seeing the world trend toward becoming increasingly digitized. This is a result of the expansion of the internet, the availability of more online tools and capabilities and the growing dependence on connectivity (all of which have been accelerated by the pandemic). These factors show us that modernizing local economies and ensuring access to critical IT is key for thriving in the era of the digital economy.

Wise, Virginia, in particular stands as a prime example of this transformation. What was once an area negatively impacted by the downturn of the coal industry is now benefiting from economic diversification and modernization efforts. The result is a burgeoning market and IT infrastructure destination that is enabling locals to thrive as part of a tech-driven revival.

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