Understanding the tech industry in the region is a new challenge for me. For various reasons, including out of personal interest, I have been grappling with this as a problem over the last few months. You would think that information about businesses, markets and turnover would be readily available. Perhaps it is but so far I have not found it.
Not getting very far I had decided to chat with other people to get their ideas and in a way things has started to move. I was also reminded of a couple of quotes. The first was from the fictional John Locke in the TV series Lost: ‘The best way to find something is to stop looking,’ and the second from a less fictional Albert Einstein quote: ‘If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions.’
These conversations and quotes made me realise two things, I was looking in the wrong places and that I hadn’t defined the question.
Finding information about the tech industry is hard because on reflection it doesn’t really exist. It is a collaboration and enabler of many different sectors. There are companies who develop and sell technology, some hardware and other’s software. There are companies that support others in making use of technology and implement other’s products. There are companies that develop technology in order to support their own business and there are companies that have big technology departments that are essential to running their operations. Which are in the tech industry and which are not?
There is so much information available now through government sites, industry groups, individual websites and social media. Indeed there may be too much and the problem in deriving value lies in avoiding being swamped by the rest.
Clearly I need to give this a bit more thought and then perhaps my contacts at the National Innovation Centre for Data could help. After all this should be meat and drink to them.