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Tech City has released its Tech Nation report for 2016, looking at the impact of the digital tech economy in the UK.

I've had a read of the report (which you can download here) and these are the parts I found the most interesting.

Almost 45% of marketing businesses are digital tech businesses

Digital tech businesses are defined as businesses that provide a digital technical service/product/platform/hardware, or heavily rely on it, as a primary revenue source.

The chart below shows the percentage of companies in traditional industries that can now be defined as digital tech businesses.

Of course, some industries, such as film and media, are more likely to have seen transformation through digital tech than agriculture, for example, but this chart shows that each industry has a significant proportion of digital tech businesses.

Traditional industry digital ingress

A million online adverts for digital jobs

Over a million adverts for UK digital jobs were posted online in the first nine months of 2015, according to data from Burning Glass.

The average salary for these roles was almost £50,000, 36% higher than the national average.

If you're interested in learning more about marketing salaries, check out the Econsultancy Career and Salary Survey Report 2016.

Finding talent is a bigger challenge than finance

Challenges to growth of digital tech businesses are shown in the chart below.

Access to talent is clearly the biggest frustration for companies, identified by 43% of respondents. This trumps access to finance (39%).

This finding echoes that of Econsultancy's study into Effective Leadership in the Digital Age, where 40% of respondents (all senior staff) admitted that recruiting staff with suitable skills is a significant barrier to digital progress.

This was the foremost challenge, above legacy infrastructure.

It's interesting to see that in the Tech Nation survey, commercial property (23%) and lack of advice and mentorship (16%) are relatively low down the list of challenges to growth.

One could speculate that burgeoning collaborative working spaces and the support network around digital tech clusters means that day-to-day concerns are less pressing for newer and established businesses alike.

tech city challenges to growth

Digital tech economy job growth is 2.8X faster than the rest of the workforce 

There are 1.56m digital tech economy jobs in the UK, alongside 58,000 digital tech businesses.

41% of these jobs exist in traditionally non-digital industries. 80% of them exist outside London.

Digital tech economy jobs grew 11.2% between 2011 and 2014; the rest of the workforce grew by just 4%.

More tech businesses in data management than hardware

The chart below shows the breakdown of sector specialisms of digital tech businesses.

It struck me that 11.7% of these businesses are in data management and analytics (second only to app and software development).

Notable and relatively new specialisms include gaming (1.8%) and online gambling (1.3%).

Fintech (5%) is pushing towards digital media and entertainment (6.3%) and ecommerce (7.7%).

And though Internet of Things (IoT), Edtech and Healthtech have spawned many column inches, they each represent under 1% of UK digital tech businesses in 2016.

sector specialisms of digital tech businesses

For more on digital transformation, see the Econsultancy hub.

Ben Davis

Published 23 February, 2016 by Ben Davis @ Econsultancy

Ben Davis is a senior writer at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester, England. You can contact him at ben.davis@econsultancy.com, follow at @herrhuld or connect via LinkedIn.

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