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Top tech stats: Post-Brexit tech talent concerns, startup financing & more

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Welcome to your round up of some of the past week’s most interesting surveys, statistics and reports relevant to those involved in the UK tech industry.

This week, we have statistics relating to open workspaces, European tech talent, the reliability of online information, software vulnerabilities, conference tools and the UK’s business infrastructure.

Open workspaces

A report by IPPR revealed affordable workspaces, such as coworking spaces, incubators and studios generate £1.7bn for London’s economy.

Top tech stats: tech salaries on the rise, northern tech gender gap increases & more

Additionally, one in four of digital and creative SMEs have used an incubator, accelerator or coworking space. Most users of open workspaces were found to be microbusinesses, which make up 96% of all businesses in London and provide jobs for 1.45 million London workers.

The report also outlined how coworking spaces have grown in response to London trends, such as the rise of the city’s self-employed work force from 15.9% in 2008 to 17.6% in 2016.

However, prime rents in the West End have risen by up to 70% since 2009, and 35% in the City of London, pushing up rent for workspaces and their tenants.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has already announced that he will implement new measures to help and protect workspace for small businesses, startups and entrepreneurs in London, and the report made recommendations to the Mayor in light of this. See the recommendations here.

European tech talent

Research by VC firm Balderton Capital revealed 82% of those surveyed indicated that access to talent was their biggest post-Brexit concern.

Other post-Brexit concerns were found to be the ability to raise finance (44%), the UK’s perception globally (43%) and the ability to sell in the UK (18%).

The report also found 22% of UK tech employees are not British. Some 42% of UK tech startups were founded with at least one non-native founder, and the total investment raised by those founders in 2015 was £1.8bn.

Read more about Balderton Capital’s report here.

Online information

Inaccuracies in important online business data have been exposed by Yext’s survey of 2,000 UK consumers.

The research revealed that 80% of consumers come across incorrect information about a business when searching online, and 43.2% claimed this was not a rare occurrence.

Just under half (49%) of consumers blamed businesses themselves for incorrect information. Only 20% of survey respondents believed it was the responsibility of the search engine or app where the incorrect data was shown.

Jon Buss, Managing Director for UK and Northern Europe at Yext, commented: “Consumers rely on mobile search to get the information they need quickly, and they expect it to be reliable. Our research has shown that businesses with out of date location information online are risking their relationships with customers and their revenue.

“Our research shows that UK businesses are falling behind the US, with twice as many incidents of incorrect information displayed, so they need to address this issue urgently,” he added.

Startup financing

Almost half (45%) of Britain’s entrepreneurs would not know where to turn for funding to found a business, according to new research by Crowdfinders.

Additionally, some 34% of entrepreneurs in Britain would resort to personal savings.

The research, which surveyed 2000 adults in the UK, also found that 28% of entrepreneurs would reach out to a bank whilst 15% of individuals would resort to friends and family for help.

Speaking about the findings, Luke Davis, co-founder of Crowdfinders, said: ” There has been a long-standing issue in the world of business that typically only entrepreneurs with deep pockets or wealthy friends and family can access the capital they need to start or scale-up their business.

“The alternative finance revolution was meant to democratise access to funding; however, more needs to be done to connect entrepreneurs with potential investors so they no longer have to rely on personal savings or the bank of mum and dad,” added Davis.

The findings follow on from research which showed that banks have withdrawn £5.7m a day in small business overdrafts alone in the last five years. This is believed to have cut available credit by $8.4bn at an estimated cost to the economy of £2.9bn.

Vulnerabilities

Flexera Software’s “Software Asset Management” survey found only 29% of enterprises monitor their systems for unauthorised or unlicensed software for security.

Some 73% said the vast majority of their desktop apps run on Microsoft Windows, and 20% of organisations reported that more than 25% of their apps are SaaS-based.

Additionally, 47% of enterprises said they are running some of their apps in a public cloud, and 84% run some apps within private clouds.

Smart home gadgets

Some 36% of Brits think smart home gadgets are too expensive, according to a survey by Broadband Genie. 22% of respondents also said they don’t see the point in them.

However, the survey also found 76% of smart home gadget owners say that using the technology has improved their home.

Of those surveyed, the most popular smart home devices were discovered to be entertainment-based gadgets (72%), central heating controls (20%), smoke and carbon monoxide alarms (20%) and light bulbs (19%).

Rob Hilborn, head of strategy at Broadband Genie, commented: “Many consumers are obviously still unsure on whether they need smart technology in their home, yet there’s no doubt that this is going become the norm in the not-so-distant future.

“Price is currently a barrier for many, but this will likely be less of an issue in time. However, manufacturers need to offer more support for the less tech savvy and better demonstrate how this technology can benefit the average household,” he added.

Conference tools

LoopUp’s survey of more than 500 office workers in the UK revealed 68% take part in 1-5 conference calls per week.

Some 19% reported taking part in 6-10 conference calls per week, and 25% of those surveyed said it often takes 6-10 minutes to start these calls.

Setting up a conference call – from downloading the capability to working out how to use it and confirming that everyone can see the screen – also takes time, and only 14% said they can do so immediately.

Some 47% of respondents said it took between 1 and 5 minutes, and 27% claimed it can take between 6 and 10 minutes.

The survey concluded that the total time users lose setting up a conference calls is worth a collective £1.8bn to UK businesses each year.

Digital economy

A global ranking published by the Global Perspectives Series, titled “The Indigo Index”, scored 152 countries according to five metrics to measure its business infrastructure.

These metrics were creativity and innovation, economic diversity, digital economy, freedom and stability and legal frameworks.

The Index ranked the UK 3rd for economic diversity and 4th for its digital economy. However, the UK falls behind in creativity and innovation, scoring 12th globally.

Overall, the Index placed Sweden as the top-rated country, followed by Switzerland, Finland, Denmark and then the UK in 5th place.

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