Feeds

What's the future of the UK IT industry?

Knowledge economy?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Developing the Future Developing The Future is an annual report from Microsoft and various industry partners, which looks at the UK software development industry in the context of the UK economy as a whole.

The 2007 report is sponsored by City University, London; the British Computer Society, and Intellect (the trade association for the UK hi-tech industry); as well as Microsoft itself.

As well as its reports, it has closed workshop sessions which, purportedly, help give practicing government ministers an insight into what's really going on around IT.

The key findings of its latest report include:

  • The world is changing and the Knowledge Economy [whatever that is; you can guess, it's what knowledge workers and power users do in areas like financial services and IT services] is expected to contribute 50 per cent of the UK GDP by 2010.
  • We're actually rather successful at this, and London is becoming a global entrepreneurial hub, partly on the back of emerging economies such as China and India [For how long, might be the question to ask].
  • Private sector investment in "intangible assets" (such as software, R&D and brands) now equals the investment in tangibles such as manufactured products.
  • There is a serious IT skills shortage, IT degrees are increasingly unpopular - and only some 20 per cent of the UK IT workforce is female, which means we aren't fully exploiting the resources available to us.
  • There is pressure on the UK government to encourage school students to take up IT earlier – by reforming the National Curriculum, of course.
  • And, apparently, there is a "clear loud call for the UK government to develop appropriate IP rights for the Digital Age to support innovation". [Well, there probably is, but be careful of what you ask for, you might get it; and this sounds a bit like special pleading by Microsoft to me. Although IP does have a value and its ownership should be protected, I'm just a little worried that this will mean, in practice, bloating my software applications with unreliable DRM code.]

Nothing very surprising in those conclusions then, but the devil is, of course, in the detail and in the debate generated. There was in fact a reasonably healthy debate with the speakers at the launch

Julie Meyer (CEO of Ariadne Capital and founder of First Tuesday) for example, said the time was over for European "feudalism" and the way it limits entrepreneurial freedom (although she has plenty of European credibility, she rather likes the way the US does things and wasn't keen on EU regulation).

"Live free or die", is her cry, which is fine as long as you're given the choice (some of us would take our chance with tyranny if the alternative were a cruise missile through the front door). However, if this means that no future UK prime minister will ride into unwinnable battles at the heels of his feudal liege-lord in the US, then I'm all in favour. Whether you see her low tax, small government, entrepreneurial paradise as utopia or dystopia probably depends on how much money you have access to and whether you have a job and a roof over your head.

Ben Page of Ipsos MORI countered with a realistic view of what the UK is really like. We may have entrepreneurs and service industries, but take up of IT in the general population is levelling out and some people just aren't interested. That's quite a lot of people who aren't going to be members of the globalised entrepreneurial society and just ignoring them may not be a useful approach.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Microsoft to bake Skype into IE, without plugins
Redmond thinks the Object Real-Time Communications API for WebRTC is ready to roll
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Mozilla: Spidermonkey ATE Apple's JavaScriptCore, THRASHED Google V8
Moz man claims the win on rivals' own benchmarks
Yes, Virginia, there IS a W3C HTML5 standard – as of now, that is
You asked for it! You begged for it! Then you gave up! And now it's HERE!
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings
Oi, Windows, centOS and openSUSE – behave, we're all friends here
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?