The Future of Washington


Washington is one of the fastest growing cities in the country. It has an exciting future, anchored by industries as diverse as aerospace, software, ecommerce, and healthcare.

However, it is important to note that there are challenges with growth. These include traffic congestion and cost of living.

Cloud Computing

One of the key areas that the public sector will play a big role in is cloud computing. Government agencies can help shape the Cloud by making their IT procurement policies more favourable to Cloud use, fostering agreement on key Cloud standards and encouraging suppliers to make Cloud services easier for government organizations to access.

The cloud has transformed how we consume computing – enabling limitless flexibility, greater reliability and better security. It also enables enhanced collaboration.

While cloud computing is a major technology shift, it does present some unique challenges and risks for users. For example, it may be hard to track down problems and assign responsibility for failures, particularly if there are outages.

Another problem is that data stored in the cloud isn’t always protected by the same laws as it is on your local computer, putting people’s privacy at risk. This is especially a concern for users of social media platforms and online banking, where their personal information is often accessible to the public.

Data Centers

As data centers continue to grow, local jurisdictions are looking for more sustainable development practices. This includes developing power sources, and using solar and geothermal to provide energy for data center operations.

Washington State is one of the most progressive data center states in the nation, and is well positioned for growth. The state is home to many large data center providers, including Microsoft, Intuit, NTT Data, Oath: and Sabey Data Centers.

In addition, Washington state offers several sales tax exemptions for data centers and has a strong economy with a low cost of living. As such, it is an attractive investment destination for data centers.

However, many communities are resisting future new data center development because they want to protect local jobs and reduce the amount of pollution from the industry. Some of this resistance is based on the concept that data center construction will create noise and an eyesore to communities, but there is also a desire to preserve open space and a rural character.

Smart Cities

Across the globe, cities are adopting digital technologies to deliver secure and reliable services. Residents and businesses alike benefit from a range of smart city benefits–from enhanced safety to easier public transportation to lower carbon emissions and stronger economic growth.

Creating a “smart” city requires both technological and soft infrastructure. For example, a city’s regulatory and legal expertise are critical to making sure its new smart transformation can operate safely and effectively.

Smart cities can also enhance a community’s quality of life by addressing practical and very human concerns, such as air pollution or the security of pedestrian walkways. A recent McKinsey Global Institute report, Smart cities: Digital solutions for a more livable future (PDF-6MB), found that these cities can improve quality-of-life indicators by 10 to 30 percent.

As Washington’s leaders explore how to make their communities more intelligent, they need to engage their constituents and city workers as well as private partners. They must explain how these new smart city initiatives can help solve local challenges, save money and improve the lives of their citizens.


Education is a process of developing knowledge, understanding, valuing, growing, caring and behaving. It involves teaching, training, research and practical experience that is intended to equip individuals to contribute to society.

Investing in education returns many benefits to the community, but particularly to students. A well-educated workforce can help you find a better job, improve your income and earn more money in retirement.

Washington’s 34 community and technical colleges and their students add $20.5 billion to the state’s economy each year, generating about 5.1 percent of the gross state product. They also boost the local economy and make Washington a better place to live.

But a study published last week by Washington STEM, a nonprofit that advocates for students who take science, technology, engineering and math classes, found that only about half of ninth-graders go on to complete postsecondary programs, whether it’s an apprenticeship, technical college or four-year university. Those numbers are far behind what’s needed to prepare more people for the jobs that will likely exist in 2024.


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