Virtual Reality to become the top trend for South West tech innovators

A survey of businesses throughout the region, conducted by Tech South West, has disclosed the newest developments that will be leading the way during 2017 and revealed high levels of optimism in the sector. For the full story and the trends which the survey has highlighted, please read the article below which appeared in the Western Morning News today.

Roger Mundy, Managing Director, Beardsley Theobalds. 16th March 2017



Virtual reality top trend for Westcountry tech innovators

Virtual Reality will be the top trend for South West tech innovators. A survey of businesses from Cornwall to Bath has revealed the newest developments that will be leading the way for 2017. And the results, compiled by Tech South West, has revealed high levels of optimism in the sector.

South West Tech Trends 2017

1) Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality

2) Internet of Things

3) Cloud Services

4) Cyber Security

5) Artificial Intelligence

6) Big Data

7) Social Media

8) 5G

9) Video – interactive, live streaming

10) Health tech

11) Agile working through tech

12) Robotics

Technology is the region’s fastest growing sector, worth £2.8bn in 2015 and expected to be worth £4.2bn in 2020. There are already more than 10,900 technology companies in the South West employing over 126,000 people.

Philip Letts, Tech South West Chairman and CEO of blur Group in Exeter, said: “It’s clear that there is genuine and sustainable growth across the tech sector in the South West combined with high levels of optimism that look set to continue.

“Like all businesses, there are of course concerns about Brexit and what it will mean specifically for the technology sector. Many of our members are trading internationally, and rely on brilliant talent wherever that may be. The Government’s recent publication of its Industrial Strategy was encouraging, putting a strong emphasis on technology and the regions.”

Carried out by Tech South West, the survey found that 80% of technology firms in the region believe 2017 will be a better year, with greater growth, than 2016, with no business expecting this year to be worse than last. Tech South West has more than 500 members across the region, acts as a showcase and champion for the fastest-growing sector in the South West.

The survey, which featured organisations based in Bath, Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Somerset, also found that 72% of those who responded expect their recruitment of new employees in 2017 to outstrip the previous year, with just 6% anticipating a potential reduction in their workforce.

But despite the optimism, there are longer-term concerns about Brexit, with 35% admitting that the vote to leave the European Union and subsequent economic and political uncertainty has already had a negative impact on their business, although 6% say they have benefited from the decision, whilst 59% have seen no difference.

Members were also asked to choose their top tech trends for 2017. Joint top were the internet of things and virtual and virtual and augmented reality, then cyber security and artificial intelligence.

The survey, which was carried out over December 2016 and January 2017, found:

  • Business prospects better, the same or worse in 2017 compared with 2016? 80% better; 20% same; 0% worse.
  • More, the same or less concerned about availability or funding in 2017 compared with 2016? 13% more; 67% same; 20% less concerned.
  • Likely to recruit more, the same or fewer people in 2017 than 2016? 72% more; 22% same; 6% fewer.
  • Brexit impact on your business so far? 6% good; 59% no difference; 35% bad.