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What do changes in the digital economy mean for contractors?

Paystream News

Kerry Hull

Monday 2nd Feb, 2015

Since 2010, contractors in the UK have seen a massive growth in the digital industry, excelling contractor demand as businesses move towards a digitalised economy.

And the need for contractors is widespread, with Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey (along with the Department for Culture, Media & Sport) titling the UK as a 'Tech Nation', with more than 70 per cent of digital businesses now based outside of the capital.

In recent years, the UK has established itself as one of the most developed digital economies in the world, boosted by around £145 billion from digital businesses and technology.

Only last month, Baroness Neville-Rolfe MP stated that the government understands that contractors in the current digital world are crucial to the UK's economy and indeed to continued small business creation and expansion.

To continue with digitalisation, the government revealed that it will invest £1.8 billion in digital technology in the next four years so that by 2018, superfast broadband will be available to 95 per cent of businesses and homes in the UK.

A digital revolution

The government has supported entrepreneurs and contractors in creating the right environment for ideas and businesses to flourish.

Tech City UK specifically supports companies and contractors who are embracing the digital revolution with their Future Fifty programme, providing help so that digital businesses grow rapidly and establish the foundation for IPO readiness, M&A and global expansion.

According to the Department for Culture, Media & Sport, the government is helping accelerate digital advancements by opening up more than 20,000 government held data sources to the world, which are now used to underpin apps like CityMapper and Zoopla.

Small businesses

For contractors possessing key digital skills, small businesses can become the best workplaces, with one million small businesses in the UK unable to compete properly with the digital community. For limited company contractors, this could mean many small businesses will look towards their services to assist with the gaps.

The government has also pledged to make it easier for smaller businesses to bid for government contracts and sell services to the public sector- something that contractors will be able to assist businesses with.

The future of digital

Digital surrounds us every day, which means the skills digital contractors possess are becoming increasingly vital for businesses up and down the UK.

It has been estimated that around 90 per cent of all jobs over the next 20 years will require some level of digital skills.

Contractors are likely to see a growing shift in the digital and IT services industry, with recent statistics revealing that in 2016, some 65 per cent of telcos are looking to increase IT spend and 32 per cent are intending to raise current spend by six per cent or more.

To keep up with the increasing market competition, businesses must embrace the digital economy and utilise contractors and their specialist skills in order keep up with this ever growing digital industry.

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