The Evolution of the Silicon Forest: Technology in the Pacific Northwest

Nordisk Amy Barnes and Alex Paschal
May 26, 2020

Tech is synonymous with Portland. Well, to be honest, so is beer, wine, hipsters, environmentalism, and activism, but tech goes back farther than any of those. How far back, you might ask? Portland tech reaches deep into the past, before the first transistor was even invented, as hard as that might be to imagine. Technology in Portland goes back as far as the 1940s with the founding of Tektronix and Electro Scientific Industries. Essentially, Portland was doing tech long before there was a tech scene.

Oregon, specifically the Portland Metro area, has been a major employer in the technology field since the 1970s. In 1974, Intel acquired its first property in Oregon and then quickly expanded. Now there are several of their facilities in Oregon, making Intel one of the state’s largest for-profit private employers to date.

The Portland area was nicknamed the Silicon Forest in the 1980s with Intel being a major contributor. Following in the footsteps of their predecessors, many new startups and spinoff companies jumped on the technology bandwagon by bringing new technology and innovations into the state, helping to solidify the Silicon Forest nickname.

Oregon has become a popular location for several large datacenters, including Google in The Dalles, Facebook near Prineville, and Amazon near Boardman OR with a fulfillment center in Troutdale. Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard, along with Tektronix and Electro Scientific Industries, are also some of the tech giants who have made a large impact within the Pacific Northwest. Today, the Portland tech scene is booming with new startups and large datacenters flocking to our state as we embrace innovation and welcome new technology trends. Portland’s Silicon Forest has become a major player in the technology industry, standing side-by-side with California’s Silicon Valley and Seattle’s IT bustle.

Technology continues to evolve and shape the future within the Pacific Northwest with a large focus on Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Big Data, Cloud Computing, Cybersecurity, Blockchain, and the Internet of Things (IoT), to name a few specifics. Cutting edge technology is also on the rise; IT leaders in the region are experimenting with Data Driven Healthcare with Predictive Analytics; Hyper automation with AI and ML; and Quantum Computing with a focus on Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Robotic Process Automation (RPS), and Edge Computing.

Nordisk Systems has been a part of the Portland tech scene since its founding in 1983. Originally, the organization focused on datacenter infrastructure and end-user computing, but we’ve since expanded our capabilities with an emphasis on Cloud Computing, Cyber Security, Digital Infrastructure, Advanced Analytics, Digital Transformation, and Talent Acquisition while still providing the exceptional support that our customers have come to rely on. The tech industry has developed at a lighting pace, and Nordisk Systems has risen to the challenge by developing expertise in and incorporating new technologies with our custom integrated solutions.

Last year, Nordisk became a member of the Converge Technology Solutions Corp. family of companies. Becoming a part of the Converge family helped fuel our continued growth by expanding our capabilities and resources. Notably, we gained a diversified talent base, which allows us to offer top quality solutions and support to our customers.

Nordisk Systems is committed to assisting our customers in overcoming their technology challenges. Our exceptional staff and long-standing partner relationships have been the key to designing and delivering creative, successful, and cost-effective solutions that enable our customers to focus on what they do best.

Nordisk looks forward to continuing to serve the customers in the Pacific Northwest, Southwest, Midwest, and even the East Coast with an ever-expanding, never complete array of solutions focused on maximizing customer satisfaction and operational success.

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