THE boss of Scotland’s digital technology trade body has declared the sector is in robust health as it prepares to host its annual ScotSoft in Edinburgh.
Polly Purvis, chief executive of ScotlandIS, said the success of Scottish technology stars Skyscanner and FanDuel has encouraged local companies to set their ambitions higher.
And she there is no shortage of tech companies coming through with exciting products and ideas.
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Ms Purvis said: “The industry is very buoyant. The great benefit of the success of both FanDuel and Skyscanner is encouraging people to think bigger.
“People look at what they’ve done think “if they can do it, we can”. I think that’s building confidence in the industry and building ambition. The other element is that it is also encouraging people to look at much more overseas markets, not just the UK market.”
She added: “Lots of the smaller and start-up companies are now a) very ambitious and b) thinking global from the beginning, which is great.”
Ms Purvis acknowledged not every company has the potential to join the “unicorn club” – the term given to technology companies worth at least $1 billion, such as Skyscanner and FanDuel. But she signalled that there is no shortage of exciting talent emerging across Scotland.
“I think there are a number of companies coming through who have got really exciting products and who have got big opportunities,” Ms Purvis said.
“We have a number of more established companies who are just quietly continuing to grow their businesses. It’s a good time to be in the technology sector and I can’t see it not being so in the next few years.”
Ms Purvis was speaking on the eve of ScotSoft, which takes place in the Sheraton Grand Hotel today.
She said a key aim of the event will be to “challenge” and “expand the knowledge” of those who attend. The morning session is targeted at developers, giving them the chance to expand knowledge and talk to experts in their field, while the afternoon will be devoted to a “leadership forum”, aimed largely at senior managers, chief technology officers and chief executives across the industry.
The conference speakers have been drawn from all over the world, with the bulk of the delegates drawn from the Scottish technology sector.