Lombardy is the house of ICT in Italy

As reported in another post Milan is certainly the point of reference of the Italian ICT industry, where we are talking about 75,000 companies and nearly half a million of employees.

This time we focus on some evidences of this leadership.

The first sign is the abundance of events related to ICT: trade fairs, workshop and conventions. Just for instance: in November 2015 the third edition of Festival ICT will take place again in Milan, with new entries and 80 speakers and more than 1000 attendees (the event is restricted to professional operators).

A second, but important, evidence for the leadership of Lombardy in ICT is the concentration of academic institutions and centers dedicated to research in ICT and offering also a rich monitoring system about the industry. Only as an example: Politecnico created Osservatori.net, the point of reference for the digital innovation enabled by ICT. The staff counts more than 80 people (scholars, fellows and analysts) and Osservatori is structured in 30 observatories, working as research centres and think tanks, producing fact & figures reports, sector insights and predictions, published and shared through webinars, workshops and events. The approach of ICT institution and research centers based in Lombardy is inspired to “bridging the gap between industries and academia”, as another centre of excellence, CEFRIEL, is claiming.

The third elements to be kept under consideration is the level of infrastructures. In a national framework of ICT infrastructures under the EU average, Lombardy is the exception. Recently the Milan scene, already rich of data centres (18 co-location structures), was enriched by Fastweb and IBM. Fastweb data center in Milan, inaugurated in April 2015, has obtained the highest level of certification from the Uptime Institute, Tier IV, and is the first structure in Italy to receive this recognition. IBM has opened in June 2015 its first cloud data center in Italy, investing about 50 million euro. Nicola Ciniero, General Manager, IBM Italy declared “This data center represents a financial and technological investment made by a multinational company that has faith in this country’s potential”.

Lombardy benefits from the unusual situation of Italy in terms of ICT market: more than 90% of companies are SMEs and helped to maintain the biodiversity of the ICT and feeding a generation of programmers and developers. Local Public Administration, the Lombardy Region Government, is implementing a path of digitalization from one side, on the other side, the complexity of Italian Public Administration requires to ICT solutions a very high degree of customization and an unbelievable need of updates: the role of local operators in ICT remains significant, because global solutions cannot be implemented “as is”.

For these reasons Lombardy represents an ideal lab for ICT, also having a significant local market (the Region is the most developed and vibrant territory in Italy), already ready for innovation and open to fulfill the need of nearshoring expressed by Northern Europe and Germany.

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