This is a guest blog by Sophie Christopher, head of events, PR and external marketing communications at Office Depot and Viking.
It’s safe to say that the past five years have been an extremely trying time for the UK economy. Since entering recession; Britain has seen industry sectors that were once described as sturdy and solid, such as construction, fight to survive. Although affected, the technology sector in the UK seems to have weathered the storm and has fought to maintain a level of strength, managing to still remain innovative and creative.
With positive reports on the improving economy, the first signs of recovery are being met with true optimism and those individuals who are fully immersed in the industry are pondering what’s next in the technology market. According to UKTI, the technology sector is one of the largest wealth creators in the UK and has become one of the fastest growing sectors over the last decade. Recent research by Office Depot garnered unique insight into UK businesses spanning 15 industry sectors – including technology, and what was found was extremely compelling.
It’s always difficult to draw realistic conclusions from what is reported in media headlines in relation to the state of the economy; however 41% of businesses owners and managing directors in technology believe that the positive reports about the economic upturn are completely accurate and representative of their sector. Our recent research was an opportunity to gain an honest overview of the sector at a grassroots level. Results revealed that 72% in the technology sector believed that business had improved over the last three months and 89% were expecting growth over the next 12 months.
This not only solidifies the general positive consensus of the sector, it also illustrates the mindset of those working in the technology field, with a focus at present to further expand not only their offering but also the value it brings to the UK economy.
As one of the most thriving sectors within the UK, recruitment is set to play a pivotal role in the industries further expansion. Nearly three quarters of tech managing directors said that they would be recruiting this year, which would indicate a conscious and motivating step to grow the existing talent pool in order to elevate the UK’s technology position further on a global platform.
What remains even more remarkable is the fact that managing directors are not anticipating the challenge of navigating a high turnover of staff, which often presents itself when positive reports about the economy become more common place. It would seem that businesses sense that employees feel content in the roles they currently hold, which is further reflected in the fact that when asked whether they feel pressure to give pay rises 55% said no. Although they don’t feel under pressure, 50% did say that they would be rewarding staff with pay rises throughout 2014.
In comparison to other industry sectors involved in this research, those in technology remain confident in the future of the sector. As companies continue to push the boundaries of innovation there’s a positive feeling that begins to grow in relation to the development of its fresh and original concepts – which means the sector is well on the way to meeting the vision of making the UK one of the leading technology capitals of the world.