According to the latest Tech Nation report, the UK digital economy supports 1.56 million jobs. Digital tech industries, as a whole, have achieved a £161 billion turnover over 2015. This has led to job creation 2.8x faster than the rest of the economy (over 2011-2014) and growth, 32% faster than the rest of the economy (2010-2014), respectively.
In terms of the companies leading the charge of digital tech businesses; app and software development is the fastest-growing niche in the digital economy, growing by 17pc overall in 2015.
As Mubaloo wrote about last year, the industrial revolution saw Britain put technology first.
The report highlights that the rise of digital technology businesses has led to the UK witnessing another period of productivity improvements. Data from GrowthIntel, shows that 44.7% of businesses operating within marketing, PR and design, and 33% operating within film and broadcast media, are now primarily digital technology businesses. Likewise, 18% of businesses in publishing, 17% in consumer goods and 16.5% in sports and leisure are also digital technology businesses.
Writing in the foreword for the report, which can be found here, David Cameron, the UK’s prime minister said, “The digital economy is expanding at an extraordinary pace, creating jobs and fuelling growth in regions and cities up and down the country, adding some £87 billion to the economy and every year, providing security and opportunities for working people.
This Government has stood foursquare behind the country’s digital transformation, backing new technologies, investing in infrastructure, supporting investment, removing barriers to innovation and helping upgrade the digital skills that a modern workforce needs.”
Last week, in an article about the UK Digital Strategy, we discussed that skills were a core concern to support the ongoing growth of digital tech industries. The Tech Nation report touched upon this issue, saying:
Inevitably the demand for digital skills in fast-growing, skills-intensive sectors within the Digital Tech Industries will outstrip domestic supply.
For this reason, digital businesses have stressed that access to international, as well as local, talent is vital to their growth.
The UK’s migration policy is central to bridging the skills gap, and the Tech Nation Visa scheme is a direct response to the needs of digital tech businesses.
Mubaloo is a strong believer that today, any business, in any industry, needs to think of itself as a technology company. Putting digital at the core of your offering will enable you to deliver the tools and services that your customers and employees need. This is evidenced by looking at the impact of mobile on the taxi industry and the disruption that Uber has bought. Additionally, many restaurants and takeaways have embraced technology to drive sales, with Deliveroo, Just Eat and Hungry House.
In any industry, there are companies who have sought to drive productivity and operational improvements through becoming digital technology companies. Ocado is one example of this. Last year, Ocado launched Ocado Smart Platform, a proprietary solution for operating online retail businesses. This was based on the systems it had created over the past few years, as an online grocery delivery company.
Mitie is another company that has focused on digital transformation over the past few years. As the leading property management company, it has sought to transform its operations through creating new digital tools for its workforce and corporate customers.
The Tech Nation report supports this notion; companies that embrace digital properly will be able to have more efficient operations, smarter ways of doing business and will be focused on continuous improvements to services and systems.