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We’ve read the Tech Nation report so you don’t have to!

Posted: Tuesday 30 April 2019

Tech Nation is the UK-government backed body which measure the size and changing shape of their digital economy. Digital Jersey invited them to take an ‘outside in’ look at the island’s tech sector to see what’s going well and where we should focus to make things even better in future.

You can read the full report here, but – because we know you’re busy – here are ten key takeaways from their study:

Jersey’s digital sector is now roughly equal in size to the tourism sector. Tech Nation’s analysis of data shows the tech sector now contributes around £180 million of value to Jersey’s economy, also known as GVA, annually. It means we’re at a critical juncture where measuring digital as a standalone pillar is big enough to measure and track.

Digital/tech employment in Jersey has grown by more than an average of 100 jobs each year for the past 9 years. The Tech Nation reports shows there are 3,032 people currently working in the digital economy in Jersey, compared with around 2,050 people in 2010. Average salaries are £44,500.

Telecoms now has a similar level of productivity to Finance. It means the Telecoms sector is a key component of the digital economy. Productivity per full time equivalent worker is approximately £100,000, which compares to £36,000 in agriculture and £33,000 in tourism. The Telecoms industry in Jersey employs more than 600 staff.

Fibre broadband and state-of-the-art data centres remain key strengths. They were highlighted again and again as key selling points for the sector, along with the ease of travel from Jersey to London and internationally.

The UK is an under-utilised market for Jersey tech companies. Only 8% of survey respondents were primarily trading in the UK, while 50% sold their products in Jersey. Nearly 40% sold their products internationally. More of Jersey’s digital tech companies have the opportunity to consider scaling into the UK market.

Angel investment and venture capital are an under-utilised means of investment for Jersey tech firms. Of those who had raised finance, 70% had raised private equity finance. Only 5.4% of respondents had raised angel investment, while only 2.7% had raised venture capital. This suggests that angel investment and venture capital are under-utilised means of investment.

The shortage of tech talent is having a significant impact on Jersey businesses. 75% of survey respondents said recruiting skilled workers was a challenge and is affecting their ability to scale. This is leading them to opening offices off-island, or employing off-island remote workers. Top of the shortage list are software developers, graphic designers and data analysts.

Diversity is a contributing factor to talent supply challenges. A number of respondents said a lack of ethnic and gender diversity was having a negative impact on recruitment, innovation and creativity.

Jersey’s regulatory framework is an advantage to the tech sector. The report found Jersey’s small size, and the ease of access to government set Jersey apart from other jurisdictions and could be used for the tech sector’s advantage. Respondents said regulators in the island were approachable and open to the needs of the tech sector.

The tech sector is optimistic. Those who responded to the Tech Nation study spoke of their industry as “good”, “progressive” and “worthwhile”. They highlighted the industry’s strength and helpfulness as an asset, as well as Jersey as a whole as being a great place to live and work.

 

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