ScotlandIS’s Scottish Technology Industry Survey has revealed that Scotland’s digital industry is continuing to thrive despite factors such as strong competition for talent and ongoing political uncertainty.
According to the survey, the number of companies in Scotland experiencing a growth in sales increased from 68% to 75%, while those with improving profits increased from 47% to 51%.
The impressive growth of the industry over the past decade is predicted to continue in 2019. 83% of respondents said they expected to expand sales over the next year, while 81% said they plan to create new jobs.
However, despite these positive figures, the number of businesses expressing optimism took a dip from 80% last year to 72%, with some of them saying they had identified some challenges ahead, which contributed to the decline.
Figures from the survey revealed that the key issues facing the sector in 2019 are staff recruitment and retention (52%), the current political situation (41%), and sales and winning new business (30%).
Demand for university graduates remains steady, with 70% of respondents likely to recruit graduates this year.
With digital industries generating, £6 billion in GVA, and £3.3bn in annual export earnings, 53% of respondents reported that they were already selling abroad, with a further 19% planning to do so in the future.
Polly Purvis, chief executive of ScotlandIS, said: “The digital technologies industry is a major contributor to the Scottish economy, so it’s great to see the vast majority of Scottish tech businesses are expecting a successful year, anticipating growth in sales and new job creation.
“2018 was a very strong year, and despite ongoing uncertainty, this year’s survey highlights the strength and resilience of the industry within Scotland. The technology landscape is constantly evolving and provides huge opportunities in areas as diverse as data, cyber, AI, robotics, fintech, healthtech and agritech.
“As increasing use of technology products and solutions permeates all parts of the economy, underpinning increased productivity and enabling innovation, there has never been a better time to be in tech.”
The Scottish Technology Industry Survey 2019 was carried out between 7 January and 16 February 2019 through an online survey platform and received responses from 160 businesses.