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What does a booming digital tech sector mean for UK businesses?

By Hassan Khalid
07/03/2019

What does a booming digital tech sector mean for UK businesses?

In the last decade, the UK tech sector has shown just how ambitious it really is. A recent boom in growth has highlighted Britain’s aspirations as a world leader when it comes to the digital landscape. The effects of this growth have rippled across the UK. Jobs in digital tech are on the rise, tech towns are starting to grow, and contributions to the nation’s economy are increasing. It’s undoubtedly a huge boon for this country, so let’s dive deeper into the evolving benefits.

A stronger economy

Tech Nation released an insightful report last year that showed the UK tech sector is expanding 2.6 times faster than the rest of the UK economy. Worth an impressive £184 billion, the digital technology sector is showing strong fundamentals having risen from £170 billion in 2016.

With a thriving environment, domestic and international investors are seeing the possibilities of supporting startups in their global scaling efforts. The UK is at the forefront of shifting dynamics in the way we live and work. What this creates is a snowball effect – a stronger economy brings more talent into the country, which brings further investment, which brings more talent – you get the idea.

Tech jobs are rising in numbers and quality

In the three years between 2014 and 2017, digital technology saw a 13.2% rise in employment. Companies all over the UK have been searching for the best talent in the field, so it’s no surprise that digital tech skills command higher salaries. On average, jobs that require these skills offer salaries over £10,000 higher than those that don’t.

With a sector that continues to gain traction, tech towns are starting to pop up all over the UK. These towns are not usually associated with startups and tech business but have started to see above-average levels of tech employment. To name just a small handful, Newbury, Reading, Basingstoke, Burnley, Slough, and Heathrow have all seen an increasing number of tech jobs in their area. Manchester is also worth mentioning; home to MediaCityUK, the city has become the place to be for companies like the BBC and ITV. The tech sector here is worth £2.9 billion to the local economy.

Global connections are on the rise

Global connections have long been hailed as the key to domestic business success. The UK has established itself as one of the leading global technology providers. London provides 33% of its tech services to international customers, compared to 30% in Silicon Valley and just 7% in Beijing.

Further impressive global rankings include the UK coming in third place for total capital invested in digital tech companies, behind the US and China. London startups also have the fourth most international workforce in the world. With such a creative, diverse and supported sector, industry growth should come as no surprise.

The future looks bright for British technology startups and companies. With greater access to jobs and finance, the rise of disruptive UK technologies seems inevitable.

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