This article was originally posted on the Tech City UK website.
Predicting the future is a difficult game. Frustratingly, the future never arrives as quickly as you would like. For those in the digital tech sector, however, dreaming big is part of our mindset. If there is a challenge, we want to try to overcome it. Show us a problem and we think we know a way to resolve it.
In the last few years, London has become recognised as the digital tech centre of Europe, attracting significantly more venture capital funding than other European capitals and creating record numbers of jobs and companies. Our survey shows that aspirations and ambitions for London and the UK remain strong, whatever the changing political and economic backdrop.
In our Tech Nation 2022 survey we asked people across the tech sector to imagine what tech in the UK might look like in 2022, and the results were reassuringly upbeat.
What will UK tech look like in 2022?
Most people (73%) believe that the UK tech sector will grow over the next five years
Just over two-thirds (67%) think that the UK is Europe’s digital tech leader
Almost as many (62%) think that the UK will continue to be Europe’s digital tech leader in 2022
Cybersecurity, healthtech and fintech are identified as the sectors with the most growth potential
Fintech and cybersecurity are predicted to attract the most investment for the UK
The sectors where we have global leadership are: Fintech, E-Commerce and AI
Our panel discussing the results of the survey at our Tech Nation 2022 event
So how will this tech sector strength manifest itself across the country? Some of the strongest messages from the survey were that:
The internet of things will have become the norm at home and in business by 2022, with 82% of respondents saying this is likely to happen
Co-working spaces are expected to mushroom by 2022 and be common right across the UK
The survey also found high levels of confidence that technology would increasingly be harnessed for social good, with 73% expecting that it will tackle social challenges.
The survey also revealed strong levels of optimism about what is possible for the digital tech sector to achieve by 2022:
Half of those asked think that exits for UK tech startups will have increased year on year and will be at a record high
Almost half think that 5% of UK cars sold in 2022 will have driverless technology
Just under half of people (45%) think that women will represent nearly half the digital tech workforce
43% of people think that drones will be used for express parcel delivery
While 41% think that Augmented Reality/ Virtual Reality will have gained ground so much that it will be used in many classrooms
Less likely by 2022
3D printers are more commonplace in UK homes (26%)
Government services delivered digitally are as good as consumer services (eg. Amazon) (27%)
Virtual reality headsets are in the majority of UK homes (36%)
A UK tech company competes on a global stage and is compared favourably alongside Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google (36%)
The number of tech workers from overseas is down by over 30% compared to 2017 (39%)
All areas of the country receive either 5G or super-fast fibre broadband (39%)
However, even these “less likely” scenarios are heavily backed by a significant minority of those questioned. More than a third of those asked think that the UK will have a tech company that competes on a global stage by 2022 and is compared favourably alongside Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google. Those are odds that many people would happily take.
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