The UK ICT market: Software, cloud, data-centres and cyber security

The UK has one of the largest ICT markets in Europe with a focus on new technology and design and a sophisticated consumer base. UK consumers are early adopters of new technologies and design making the UK market an excellent ‘test bed’ for ICT companies.

The UK also has the strongest ICT skills in Europe and the highest number of ICT graduates in the whole of Western Europe.

The UK ICT Market

  • 8% of GVA (Gross Value Added) to the UK economy in 2011
  • 1.3 million employed in ICT Sector
  • (ONS data: 2011)

Software & IT

The UK is Europe’s leading market for software and IT services with a market value of £58 billion pa. Independent research by Microsoft has indicated that the market could drive the creation of 2,500 new businesses and 78,200 new jobs by 2013.

The UK’s success is built on several key strengths.

  • The UK is a powerhouse for software development attracting £930 million pa software R&D investment from international businesses.
  • In addition the UK is home to over 100,000 specialist software companies and all the major global software companies such as Microsoft, IBM and HP have sizeable operations here.

Cloud Computing and Data Centre

The UK offers the opportunity to secure one of the biggest cloud and data centre markets in the world, as well as access the broader European market. Nearly all software companies in the UK will have some degree of cloud focus. The UK capability in cloud research is extensive and spread throughout some of the country’s leading universities and research institutions.

Data centres present a similar opportunity. More and more companies in the UK are seeking to outsource their data centres and recognise the need to provide localised data centres to support their customers and employees around the globe.

The UK data centre market is currently estimated to be the second biggest in the world after the West Coast, USA. It is valued in excess of $3.35bn, with projected growth of 25 per cent in 2012 (source: Datacenter Dynamics). The UK’s mature data centre market offers a blend of specialised skills, an experienced supplier base, strong and proven market demand and a stable and business-friendly environment.

Home to some of the strongest research centres globally, three of the top five technology universities in Europe, the UK has a strong talent base to offer inward investors in cloud computing and data centres as well as access to a wide network of support.

Case study

In 2011, US technology company Zendesk established their new European Headquarters in London. Zendesk is the leading provider of proven, cloud-based help desk software.

Watch Matt Price, VP and General Manager EMEA, Zendesk, explain why the company chose the UK as the ideal location for their European HQ, the factors that influenced their decision, and how UKTI helped them along the way.

Cyber security

The UK offers opportunities in a vast number of areas under the broad cyber security heading including: authentication, authorisation, trust, identity management, cryptography, cryptanalysis, computer security (largely defence against malware), human aspects of security, privacy, information hiding, anonymity, digital rights management and watermarking.

The true cost of Cyber Crime is hard to measure however a number of recent studies have suggested the total equivalent cost to the UK economy could be as high as £26.9bn a year with by far the largest proportion of the cost bourn by industry. The UK cyber security market is currently worth around £2.8 billion and increased general awareness of the cyber threats, as well as other areas such as the continuing evolution of connected services, will continue to drive growth in this market. Mobile phone security is expected to be one of the largest markets over the next 2/3 years as more and more people use their mobiles for M-Commerce, as well as the growth in popularity of BYOD to work.

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