It’s often at this time of the year when our finances shoot to the forefront. Once Christmas is out of the way we need to set in place the foundations for a more prosperous year ahead – eyeing up the ways to make the most from our money.
If you want to invest in stocks and shares, there are extensive online resources to take advantage of. From looking at spread betting options online, to monitoring the latest market movements in real-time, technology enables anyone to make a profit from investing.
Therefore, it is perhaps no surprise to hear that this industry continues to fuel economic growth in its own right as well as proving helpful to aid investors. In fact, a survey by Barclays back in February revealed that the tech sector is set to grow four times faster than GDP this year.
As a result, the stocks and shares of public companies will also prove too lucrative to ignore. But does this mean that investment opportunities will continue to be as profitable in 2016 as well?
Gauging tech growth in 2015
Barclays’ Fast Growth Tech survey questioned owners and CEOs of UK tech firms in order to gauge confidence about future growth. On average, businesses predicted they would grow by 11 per cent over the course of 2015, which is in contrast to the UK’s GDP forecast of 2.6 per cent.
On top of that, the research revealed that more than half (58 per cent) also expected their business to grow by up to 10 per cent too. However, Barclays also went deeper with its study to find out what was behind previous prosperity as well.
Four fifths (79 per cent) of the firms surveyed said that strong leadership was at the heart of growth last year, whereas other factors such as new technology and equipment, the speed of decision-making and investment in their workforce also contributed significantly.
Overcoming the obstacles of growth
As for the things that could prolong such impressive growth over the next twelve months and beyond, businesses placed particular emphasis on marketing and advertising, both of which are also heavily dependent on technology.
Even so, the tech industry is not without its obstacles, as increased competition (29 per cent) and the ability to attract and retain talent (25 per cent) were the respondents’ biggest concerns and challenges.
Having said that, the overwhelming sense of positivity from these blossoming businesses is not only good news for the UK economy, but also for investors wanting to capitalise on the technology industry.
Looking forward to 2016
You only have to listen to Sean Duffy, managing director and head of Barclays’ technology, media, and telecoms team to realise that there will be tech investment opportunities aplenty next year.
“The fact that many firms are expecting further growth in 2016 shows that this trend isn’t transient and the UK is a real launch pad for innovative tech businesses,” he said. “Investors are seeing the UK as an international talent magnet and a platform to grow or launch their business for a number of compelling reasons, including the culture, light-touch regulation, supportive Government policies and access to finance.”
One such government policy is Innovate UK, an initiative that funds, supports, and connects with businesses to accelerate sustainable economic growth. With past and present funding opportunities for things like cross-platform production in digital media, intelligent data insights, and solar powered irrigation pumps, the UK’s tech sector shows no signs of slowing down.