According to data from the Technology Strategy Board, the internet economy is already a crucial pillar of the UK’s overall economic strength and is rapidly growing in importance. The figures show that growth currently stands at 10 per cent a year and that the digital economy will account for 10 per cent of total UK GDP by 2016. The computing and telecoms, software and data, broadcast and publishing industries together already contribute more than £100 billion.
London also has a strong claim to being the second most significant cluster of digital businesses in the world after Silicon Valley. 582,000 people are employed in the tech sector, whereas New York, its nearest competition, has a total of 262,000 jobs in the industry.
James Wise, who is principal at Balderton Capital, a Venture Capital company that recently announced it would make $305m investments in European tech companies is advising enterprises entering the digital economy is not to think of themselves as purely “digital”:
“What we’re seeing is that there is no longer the idea of a distinct online world and offline world or even mobile versus desktop. Those lines are being blurred to the point where we’re constantly online, and people’s interactions with the offline and online world need to be seamless. As a company, you need to take a holistic approach,”
and he also warned that the UK needed to keep a close eye on skills levels in new web technologies and software, as well as entrepreneurship and business development ability.