As the UK economy steadily enters a recovery period, with GDP predicted to be well above 2% in 2014, the IT industry continues to outpace average growth across the rest of Europe.
According to a report on ComputerWeekly.com, the IT sector has been forecast to grow by over 3.6% in the UK for 2014, compared to just 3% for the rest of Europe. The only other country to have seen a greater increase in IT budget spend is Germany, with a rise of over 4.6%.
The report further highlighted that over 81% of UK IT professionals claim that their IT budgets are set to increase or remain at a steady pace over the course of 2014. Over a quarter of those surveyed are set to see a 10% increase in their yearly budget. This increase could set UK well on the way to overtaking Germany's growth in the IT industry.
It may have been initially surprising to see the UK IT industry as one of the first to recover, as it was also the first to experience a downturn from the impact of the recession. Nevertheless, 44% of IT companies now claim to be on the slow road to recovery with an optimistic 16% saying they are now back to normal.
The recent and rapid growth of Cloud Computing has been a major drive in the recovery of the UK economy. It is forecast to drive a 36% increase in IT spend, with a predicted 32% scheduled to purchase cloud services over the course of 2014.
Other sectors within IT that have been highlighted as key drivers for the industry are virtualisation, with over 50% or companies across the UK and Europe planning to invest and improve their virtualisation services. The next is analytics and data planning, with over 33% of organisations in the UK planning to invest or expand their data functions. The final of these major sector drivers is mobile. It has become apparent over recent years that mobile use, be it the use of smart phones or tablets has rapidly expanded. The survey highlighted that 40% of IT experts claim to have plans to continue investments into this technology.
The steady recovery and expansion of the IT industry spells a positive future for IT contractors. With growing cause for concern in skills gaps, contractors which specialise in the previously mentioned sectors potentially have a bright future ahead when it comes to vacancy opportunities and pay rates, which is good news for recruiters and contractors all round.