What is happening in Aberdeen? Loads of interesting technology.

We regularly publish maps and infographics which provide insights into IT companies: what they do, where they are located, clusters of skills etc. This week and next we are concentrating on what is happening in the Aberdeen area.  We are taking a closer look at the data we have in the Company Connecting database and publishing several ‘Nutshells’ on some interesting entrepreneurs working in technology.

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In June 2016, we updated our infographic on IT companies working in the Aberdeen area. We have identified 284 IT SMEs in the area. Taking the population into account, this is a relatively high number in comparison with other areas of Scotland.  The oil & gas industry has been a huge part of the local economy for 40 years, so not surprisingly just over 40% of the IT companies provide services and products to the oil and gas sector. Engineering, energy and marine also feature as important sectors.

Many of the business areas that companies focus on have an oil & gas influence e.g. hydrocarbon accounting, process control, production reporting, metering systems and well performance monitoring. There is a strong showing for systems such as OSI Pi (Process intelligence) and IBM’s Maximo (Asset Management) in the area. However, companies are involved in many sectors and have a huge variety of skills. From the Company Connecting database there is a considerable diversity of IT companies in the Aberdeen area providing everything from farming software, football coaching software, through to network and cyber security services.

Across all regions we have looked at, Software Development comes top of the skills. It’s the same for Aberdeen and area, with 27% of companies providing software development skills which is in line with the average for Scotland. The most significant difference from the rest of Scotland is Project Management – with 16% of companies in the Aberdeen area having this skills, in comparison with 8% in the rest of Scotland.

Company sizes are also similar to the average for Scotland, with 65% of the companies having less than 10 employees and only a handful of companies having more than 100 employees. Although the majority (68%) of the IT companies are based in Aberdeen itself, there is a vibrant community and several sizeable companies throughout Aberdeenshire e.g. Rothienorman, Turriff, and Peterhead.

On Company Connecting we have researched 284 companies in the Aberdeen area and this information has been further augmented by the companies themselves. The skills in the area reflects not only the influence of the oil & gas industry e.g. diver communications, subsea reporting geophysics, etc. but also more general skills such as app development, cloud computing, data analytics and software development. Many of these companies have a strong international aspect. This is not just due to the oil & gas influence but given Aberdeen’s geographical position it is just as easy (and sometimes easier) to do business overseas. Borders and distance are not a barrier.

Aberdeen and area has many established IT companies, and there are new companies starting up all the time. The Elevator accelerator programme is helping both startups and companies wanting to scale up to transform their business. The fantastic Elevator facility at Bridge of Don has open doors to everyone and is helping to promote the technical ability in the area. It is now into its third cohort of the Elevator accelerator programme.

In our ‘nutshell’ series on people in the tech industry we have already featured Scott Petrie who is participating in the current accelerator cohort. We are also featuring Craig Buchan of Qpal (delivers a cashless event experience), and Kenny Steele of Pinnacle Visualisation (develops bespoke software and works in augmented reality) both of who have benefited from the Elevator accelerator.

Earlier in the week we featured Ewan Waugh of E-Wan Networks, Ewan has considerable experience in networks and has seen an opportunity in the area of Unified Communications.  In previous nutshells we have featured many other people from the Aberdeen area – all of who are enthusiasts in technology and keen to develop themselves and their business. So there is a lot going on in the area.

Organisations such as Elevator are great at providing support, and there are a number of other informal get togethers for people in technology and those who have an interest. However, the companies are not always easy to find – so if you need some help finding a company or a specific type of technical ability please get in touch. Company Connecting will be able to help you.

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First published on www.companyconnecting.com  July 2016

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