Mobile App Development

Tech Nation Report 2017: 3 Key Takeaways

27th April 2017

The Tech Nation Report is the most comprehensive analysis of the UK’s digital technology ecosystem. The report combines over 2700 survey responses with over 1000 unique data points to identify the hottest geographical clusters and companies in the UK. Last year we covered the 2016 Tech Nation Report and discussed some of the key findings. The report uncovered some fascinating insights into the UK tech sector. In 2016 we discovered that big businesses are increasingly looking to cities such as Dundee, digital clusters, to develop and optimise large scale software applications (particularly mobile). The report also found that London was the most expensive city in the UK to develop mobile apps and Edinburgh was listed as the second most costly. In fact, Dundee was highlighted as being the best place in the UK to develop mobile apps when you consider the cost and the relative value of each new project. This information is crucial for businesses and brands seeking to kick-start new mobile initiatives. We’re delighted Tech Nation has again highlighted Waracle (and the company’s CEO Chris Martin). Today we’re exploring the findings from the Tech Nation 2017 Report and discussing some of the key takeaways.

Scarcity of mobile talent is a key challenge

It’s no secret that demand for mobile app development expertise vastly outweighs the supply of talent. Developing apps and kick-starting new mobile app initiatives is a serious challenge for modern businesses. We recently explored the damaging impact that the scarcity of mobile expertise is having on companies throughout the UK and further afield. A report published by Outsystems also indicates that 50% of companies have a backlog of between ten and twenty mobile app development projects (85% of big companies have a backlog of between one and twenty app development projects). From an economic perspective the mobile expertise bottleneck is damaging as businesses and brands struggle to kick-start new mobile development projects (64% of new app projects are designed to generate revenue). In today’s lightning paced business world, bringing innovative new products and services to market quickly is vital for sustained economic growth.

This is where Dundee (and Waracle) continue to play a crucial role in the ongoing evolution of the UK tech sector. Dundee’s two Universities are responsible for producing some of the best and most cost effective mobile expertise throughout Europe. Local tech start-ups can easily tap into and attract some of the brightest and most talented mobile app development expertise in the country. Here at Waracle we’re delighted to be playing our own part in solving this problem, delivering mobile and IoT apps for some of the world’s biggest brands and businesses.

UK leads European tech investment

In 2016 the UK successfully secured more than £6.8 billion in private equity investment and venture capital funding. This means that when it comes to investment in technology, the UK outperforms any other country in Europe. France came second in terms of tech investment at just over £2 billion, which means that investment in the UK was actually double that of any other European country. In fact, over the past 5 years, London has successfully attracted more VC money and tech investment than Amsterdam, Paris and Berlin combined. This means that for global businesses, the UK represents a great option when sourcing software development expertise.

Digital Tech Investments 2016 Graph

Digital Tech Investments 2016

Digital business growth is out-performing non-digital

Combined digital business turnover in the the UK reached £170 billion in 2015. This represents an increase of over £30 billion in the past 5 years, an impressive growth rate of 22% year on year. During the same time-frame, the number of digital businesses in the UK grew by over 28%. This means that the digital technology sector is growing more than twice as fast when compared to new non-digital companies entering the market. It’s estimated that in London a new technology business is formed every 60 minutes. Here at Waracle we’re proud to be a crucial part of the ever growing digital technology sector here in in the UK. In the Tech Nation 2017 report, our very own CEO Chris Martin was quoted as saying: “Waracle has been able to grow throughout the UK with the strong support of our Dundee, Glasgow, London and Edinburgh teams. Creativity and innovation thrive in these cities. The talent that comes from the leading computer science universities, including Dundee, Abertay, Glasgow, Strathclyde and Heriot-Watt, has enabled us to keeping pushing for leading-edge mobile apps and IoT developments. Waracle is one of the UK’s largest and most experienced mobile and IoT specialists. We work with some of the largest UK and European companies across industries including fintech, digital health and energy.”

Digital Business Growth Diagram

Digital Business Growth

It’s now estimated that there are now more than 1.6 million digital technology jobs within the UK. This is great news for the UK economy as a whole as these jobs require a highly skilled workforce and pay well above the national average. As the digital technology cluster in the UK continues to grow, it provides a crucial contribution to the growth, productivity and the overall well-being of the wider UK economy. It’s estimated that the average digital technology worker generates more than double the GVA (gross value add) per head compared to non-digital workers (£130,000 compared with £50,000 for non-digital)

Digital Tech Jobs Graph


The Waracle team are thrilled to have been included in this years Tech Nation Report. It’s an awesome feeling to know that the work we do via our offices in London, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee is being acknowledged on a national and increasingly an international basis. The Waracle development team are currently busy delivering on projects for major banks, energy and pharmaceutical companies. If you have a mobile app development project you want to get going, Waracle’s a great place to start.

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