Industry Analysis: Data Centers
analyzes Montana’s current data center industry assets and the state’s ability to further
develop this growing industry. Our Regions businesses are following market trends and have been
using or plan to use third parties service providers for more of their IT compute and data storage
needs. Many SMB’s find cloud offerings and help from Managed Service Providers to be a cost
effective way to conduct business while keeping IT spending in check. Midlevel Enterprises
understand the benefits of collocating their IT Environments to be more cost effective while
mitigating risk and to provide better service as opposed to in-house operations. In Montana, there
are a surprising number of businesses currently using out of state data management services; they
were either in need of these services some time ago or simply were not aware of our ability to service
their needs in state. These businesses provide a strong market for data centers, cloud providers and
technical services within the state. Some businesses however, are not yet comfortable having their
hardware, IT personnel, and data off-site, This market is sure to increase as business owners gain
trust in local service providers; this report outlines avenues to encourage such in-state development.
Montana’s climate is low risk for natural disasters and other hazards and has a favorable tax
environment. This makes Montana a feasible location for large, single tenant data centers.
Companies that generate vast amounts of data have the need to build very large, efficient data
centers. While Montana has some qualities that are attractive (no sales tax, available land, etc.) to
these types of developments, the industry has also identified some weaknesses (lack of data
management trained workforce, etc.) that the state must work to overcome in order to be a top
competitor for these large installations. This report outlines possible avenues to increase the state’s
attractiveness to data center development.
provides a basic analysis of the data center industry and its potential for growth in the
state. The information gathered here is intended to allow the Governor, the Chief Business
Development Officer, and the Director of the Department of Commerce to determine which state
efforts should be pursued to expand this industry in the State of Montana.