UK economy gets £125bn from software industry, says BSA

The software industry contributes 125 billion a year to the UK economy and supports just under 2.6 million jobs. That's according to a new report from the BSA, a trade group representing the global software industry.

Revealed as part of a wider study into the impact of software on the EU's economy conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit, the figures reveal how vital Britain's tech sector is to the country as a whole.

"Unlike traditional industry sectors, software doesn't need an external catalyst for change - it is the catalyst," said BSA president and CEO Victoria Espinel. "Software will continue to revolutionise how we work, communicate, plan, and create, in ways that we can only now begin to fathom."

"Software-driven data innovation and data analytics are leading to benefits throughout broad sectors of the EU economy. Every aspect of every business and every government department depends on software to become more inventive, more creative, more competitive, and more efficient."

The study revealed that the software market directly contributed over 50 billion to the UK economy in 2014, which equates to almost 3% of the nation's total GDP. When factoring in induced and indirect effects, the total sum added rose to 124.8 billion , or over 7% of the UK's GDP.

Furthermore, it showed that the total number of jobs created by the software industry is over 2.5 million - over double the population of Birmingham. According to the study, the software industry creates more that 8% of all jobs in the UK.

Software is being touted as the central ingredient of the so-called 'fourth industrial revolution' - a business paradigm shift driven by data science and analytics. Concerns have been raised, however, about the potential impact of regulations like GDPR.

"We urge regulators to seize the opportunity to craft a regulatory framework that will allow such promising technology to thrive," Espinel said. "Championing the free flow of data across borders, opposing mandates on data localisation, fostering IoT technology applications, and pushing for the development of the next generation of digital standards in international fora would send a strong signal that the UK is ready to fully embrace the benefits of software."

Adam Shepherd

Adam Shepherd has been a technology journalist since 2015, covering everything from cloud storage and security, to smartphones and servers. Over the course of his career, he’s seen the spread of 5G, the growing ubiquity of wireless devices, and the start of the connected revolution. He’s also been to more trade shows and technology conferences than he cares to count.

Adam is an avid follower of the latest hardware innovations, and he is never happier than when tinkering with complex network configurations, or exploring a new Linux distro. He was also previously a co-host on the ITPro Podcast, where he was often found ranting about his love of strange gadgets, his disdain for Windows Mobile, and everything in between.

You can find Adam tweeting about enterprise technology (or more often bad jokes) @AdamShepherUK.