Glasgow Looks to the Future: A Growing Tech Economy

In a tech-heavy global environment a country’s tech industry is fundamental to its international contribution and relevance. While Edinburgh remains the biggest player in Scotland’s tech industry, Glasgow is also offering a large, growing and crucially interesting tech/IT scene. Having looked at tech and IT in Glasgow before in the form of infographics that have revealed new data about tech companies in Glasgow, Company Connecting would like to also take the opportunity to offer an overview of Glasgow’s tech scene and explain the benefits we can offer companies in the area.

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Glasgow is famously a very cultural, diverse city with loads going on, and with lots of attractive modern architecture it is – appearance wise at least – Scotland’s most modern city. Indeed in recent history its diversity and cultural vibrancy was shown on a global stage when it successfully hosted the Commonwealth Games in 2014. But does this forward-thinking approach translate into an exciting tech industry?

From looking at Company Connecting data we can see there are 538 IT and tech companies based or registered in Glasgow. The majority of these are smaller organisations; 53% are made up of 5 people or less. This is a sign that Glasgow’s tech economy is still growing but it is also welcome proof that there’s an entrepreneurial mind-set present in the city.

Glasgow is a culturally diverse city that is good at embracing change and technology

The most common skills found in Glasgow’s tech scene are based around Software Development, which is typical of what Company Connecting has found in most locations around the UK. However, there are also large quantities of individuals skilled in Website Design, Web Marketing, App Development and SEO to name just a few. A significant number of Glasgow tech/IT companies work in the Healthcare sector, which may be indicative of a bright future in the growing field of Digital Health. Financial Services also has a strong presence in Glasgow, and perhaps in coming years companies in the city will look to keep up with those in Edinburgh, Scotland’s financial services hub. For a full visual description of these skills and the tech scene in Glasgow see our most recent Glasgow infographic.

Glasgow IT Companies Infographic

An important factor in the continued growth of tech in Glasgow will be Glasgow companies’ willingness to collaborate with other tech / IT companies around Scotland. This collaboration is now crucial for any company that wants to maximise the usefulness of their capabilities and expertise. Company Connecting has a number of ways it can use its extensive data to help Glasgow companies get in touch with other companies in the UK to help grow their business.  

In a United Kingdom where there is much agreement about a need to be less centralised around London, Glasgow potentially represents an environment that could play a huge role in creating a more balanced and widespread UK tech economy. A number of significant global organisations have chosen a base in Glasgow to be a part of what is clearly seen as an interesting city for the tech industry. Morgan Stanley for example chose to base their European tech team in Glasgow.

Perhaps this is due to Glasgow’s consistent ability to move with the times and develop industries that are successful and relevant to the modern world. When you think about it, Glasgow has always embraced technology in industry. It’s been home to traditional manufacturing industries, it’s been the ship building capital of the world, and it’s now a culturally vibrant, artistic city that is embracing the modern world and striving to be part of the future. Is it any wonder that this kind of city is perhaps seen as Scotland’s most interesting technological hub with huge potential for success in the IT and tech industry?

Written by Liam Simpson

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"Glasgow Looks to the Future: A Growing Tech Economy" First published on Company Connecting December 2017

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