More growth expected in Scottish tech sector

Polly Purvis

More growth expected in Scottish tech sector

Scotland’s digital technologies industry is continuing to grow sales, profits and headcount, according to ScotlandIS’s latest survey.

The industry

The Scottish Technology Industry Survey 2017 found that 82% of businesses expect sales to increase in 2017, and 78% of those surveyed said they have a very optimistic or optimistic view for the year ahead.

Seven out of ten companies reported an increase in sales in 2016, some by more than 50% year on year.

Predicted employment growth is also on the up since last year’s survey. Overall 78% of firms forecast that they will hire more staff in 2017, compared with 66 percent in 2016. This rises to 84% for small businesses when taken on their own.

Polly Purvis, chief executive of ScotlandIS, says: “The results of this year’s survey show the confidence and resilience of the digital technologies industry which is continuing to grow and maintain its optimistic outlook despite uncertainties in the political environment.

“This is great news not just for our sector, but also for the economy as a whole. The digital technologies industry generates over £5 billion in GVA for Scotland every year and is becoming more and more important in our increasingly digital world.”

Over 90,000 people now work in digital technologies roles across the economy (up from 84,000 last year) with 40% of those individuals working in specialist technology companies and 60% working in other sectors. 

The skills shortage remains an issue for firms but the data showed companies are embracing alternative routes into the sector, with 38% of respondents reporting that they are likely to recruit modern apprentices in 2017, up from 29% last year.