UK tech industry insights; growth spreads beyond London

UK tech industry insights; growth spreads beyond London

While the UK’s tech sector shows considerable potential, the challenge it faces, relates back to the issue of cost and connectivity. Until now, the UK’s tech companies have made substantial progress with recent reports showing, that the progress is not just limited to London. Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Bristol, as well as Oxford and Cambridge, are being recognized as growing tech hubs, and are also attracting companies and other startups from London.

According to some experts, people want to create a healthy work-life balance and these cities provide the opportunity for growth without the notoriously high price-tags of London; relocating to less expensive cities is something that seems prevalent across all industry sectors. Currently, Leeds accounts for 22% of UK digital health jobs with the fastest scale up growth in the North.

Despite the anticipation around innovative technologies such as AI, big data and cloud vendors, Forrester’s latest forecast for the global tech market shows growth is slowing down to around 3% in 2020 and 2021. According to the report, the UK, US, China, amongst others, have been impacted by a number of factors such as tariff and trade disputes, and political uncertainty. Less spending and investment will be made on voice and data telecommunications services. However, software growth will beat other areas of slow activity with cloud-based infrastructure set to grow at a faster rate than the overall tech market.

Access to low latency, high-speed connectivity has become a necessity among populations. As such, the UK government have stepped up efforts to expand network coverage in the country. The deployment of full fibre connectivity across the UK will accelerate efforts to boost the UK’s technology industry. In the recent days, plans to publish The National Infrastructure Strategy had been delayed; the government’s formal response to the National Infrastructure Assessment. Its key proposals include deployment of full fibre broadband across the country by 2033, half of the UK’s power provided by renewables by 2030 and £43 billion of transport funding for regional cities preparing for 100 per cent electric vehicle sales by 2030. It is clear that irrespective of time frame, the government remains committed to the upgrade of UK infrastructure and technological innovations.

Despite uncertainty over the completion of full fiber deployment, the plan will provide solid network infrastructure to accelerate socio-economic development across the UK. If the UK’s technology industry is to continue to flourish, then FTTP (fiber to the premises) connectivity will be instrumental in development of tech hubs beyond the capital city.