Almost 80% of Scottish tech sector optimistic for 2024

Karen Meechan (ScotlandIS CEO)

THERE are reasons for the Scottish tech sector to be cheerful, according to the latest industry report from ScotlandIS, the membership and cluster management organisation for Scotland’s digital technologies industry.

Despite a complex and challenging economic environment, the vast majority (78%) of respondents to the latest annual ScotlandIS Technology Industry Survey expressed optimism for 2024. A figure that is up from 72% in 2023. It’s perhaps unsurprising the industry has a hopeful outlook given that, of those surveyed, 90% expected to see an increase in sales, with the remaining 10% expecting to remain the same rather than decrease. What’s more, 29% predicted a rise by more than a fifth.

This optimism is clearly fuelling an appetite for expansion as 70% of businesses surveyed said they were expecting to increase their headcount in the next 12 months. Encouragingly, only 2% had any plans to cut jobs. Amid an ongoing skills shortage, businesses are set to turn to recent graduates to fill at least some of this expansion, with 62% planning to hire recent graduates.

ScotlandIS CEO, Karen Meechan, said: “Time and again, the tech sector in Scotland has provided a source of great economic optimism. The responses to this year’s survey are further proof of this. During one of the toughest economic periods in a generation, these figures show how robust our industry really is.

“With sales and job opportunities both expected to rise, the positive impact Scottish tech has on the national economy is only set to increase. However, it remains vital that we don’t take this for granted. Like any ecosystem, Scottish tech needs supported and cultivated in order for growth to continue.

“While we’re clearly cognisant of broader economic challenges, as well as the tough choices facing government, many of our members have faced extremely difficult times in recent years. COVID, Brexit and a sustained period of economic stagnation have all contributed to a challenging landscape. The chronic shortage of skilled tech workers, in particular, has proved problematic for many. What’s more, recent changes to the income tax bands north of the border have certainly not helped our competitiveness when it comes to attracting top talent. I only hope the positive responses to this year’s survey will reiterate the potential that exists within Scottish tech and remind policy makers how much the industry can contribute to Scotland’s economic prosperity.” 

The full report can be downloaded here.

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