The outlook is looking positive for the Scottish digital technology industry. The sector, for the first time since 2008, has more IT jobs advertised than people to fill them. And with the UK IT industry predicted to need another 500,000 new entrants over the next five years, the sector could play an important role in improving productivity and generating exports for the Scottish economy.(1)
To keep Scottish technology firms ahead of the game, technology and business innovators from around Scotland are set to converge on Thursday 29th September to share the latest industry trends at ScotlandIS’s annual Global Forum at Prestonfield House Hotel, Edinburgh.
A highlight in the technology industry diary, the forum brings together leading industry figures to offer their insights and to debate the key trends and drivers which will shape the industry and impact the wider economy over the next few years.
This year’s speakers will share their views on some of key the challenges the industry faces and the opportunities these create. The speakers include:
· David Mitchell, Independent Industry Analyst. David Mitchell was responsible for Ovum's global IT research activities. In this role he brought together research covering the IT issues affecting major enterprises, and the providers of technology and services to those organisations. David’s research focuses on the major supply- and demand-side issues that are changing the IT value chain, and how the changing relationships between software, IT services and telecoms organisations affect the way that enterprises can deliver benefits from technology investments.
· Chris Van der Kuyl, CEO of brightsolid Limited. Chris is widely recognised as one of Scotland’s leading entrepreneurs. Chris is currently CEO of brightsolid Limited, the owners of Friends Reunited and one of the world's largest Internet family history companies. Chris is also a member of the Global Leaders of Tomorrow Programme at the World Economic Forum.
· Scott Gallacher, Director of the Aston Group. Scott is an expert in helping companies to grow through innovation – specifically through finding new ways for businesses to engage with consumers. He has assisted both multinational corporations including BSkyB, Lastminute.com, Facebook and American Express, and starts-ups. Scott is also Chairman of the Marketing Society’s Digital Network – a group comprising of the marketing leaders of FTSE 100 brands.
· Jim Norton, President of BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT. Jim Norton is an independent director, policy adviser and public speaker. He is an external member of the Board of the UK Parliament's Office of Science & Technology (POST) and a council member of the UK Parliamentary IT Committee (PITCOM), where he chairs the programme committee.
Polly Purvis, Executive Director of ScotlandIS said: “This year’s speakers bring a wealth of knowledge to the Global Forum, allowing Scottish businesses a unique insight into key industry trends. Businesses can use this information to get ahead of the curve, and importantly, to compete internationally.”
David Mitchell, Independent Industry Analyst, said: “The technology industry will help to lead our economy further out of recession. It will continue to be a growth sector in itself but also brings significant benefits to other industries. Although Scotland is an innovative and technologically advanced nation it needs to harness technology ideas from around the global industry if it is to reach its full potential.”
The Global Forum goes hand in hand with the ScotSoft 2011 awards dinner and the Young Software Engineer of the Year awards.
(1) eSkills UK Bulletin – For the first time since 2008, there were more IT jobs advertised than there were people to fill them. In Q3 2010 the number of positions advertised reached 101,000. And at the same time the unemployment rate for IT staff fell to just 3.1%, compared with 8.3% for the workforce as a whole. With the UK IT industry predicted to require another 500,000 new entrants over the next five years this trend can be expected to continue.
For further information please contact:
Lesley Ferguson, Perceptive Partners on 07762 769 659 or Julie Moulsdale, Perceptive Partners on 07734 932 578
Polly Purvis, ScotlandIS on 01506 472200.