London Roads Are Paved With Silicon

Map-of-London_mediumDick Whittington is a story from old English folklore. A poor orphan boy, hearing of the great city of London, where the streets were said to be paved with gold, Dick set off to seek his fortune in the big city.

With the help of his trusty cat (an expert mouse catcher who rid the King’s court of vermin) Whittington becomes fabulously rich and ultimately is made Lord Mayor of the City.

London’s Growth Market for IT Staffing & Services Firms

There are plenty of modern day Dick Whittingtons in London, all striving to make their fortunes, and many can be found in the competitive IT staffing and services sector. London’s appeal is based on its dominance within the U.K. economy, the city accounted for 80 percent of the U.K.’s national private sector jobs growth between 2010 and 2012. London’s IT staffing and services sector is expected to grow by a whopping eight percent in 2014 alone.

The return to economic boom at the beginning of 2014 has released a wave of pent-up demand for IT talent that suppliers, both large and small, are scrambling to take advantage of. Many of the gigantic banks and financial services groups based in Canary Wharf and the City of London are undertaking huge IT led change management programs that are replacing legacy IT systems with new cloud-based technology.

PREMIUM CONTENT: IT staffing growth update

London, to a far greater extent than the rest of the UK, is dominated by the service sector which has rebounded from the economic recession fastest and strongest. Here too, the demand for talent is intense with consulting groups, architects, and urban planning firms all racing to redefine the London skyline with more than 200 new skyscrapers proposed for the city during the next decade.

And then there is Silicon Roundabout, located on the boundary of the achingly cool London Borough of Hackney in East London. A concentration of creative and digital web businesses has grown up around the Old Street Roundabout, now referred to locally as Silicon Roundabout, with more than a few similarities to the mega-growth start-ups from Silicon Valley in California.

I cannot recall a time when London has been more ambitious, when the opportunities for growth have been so apparent, and when the pace of growth has been so breathtaking.

Back in Dick Whittington’s day, having the best mouse-catching cat could lead to fame and fortune. Today it is silicon chips, online talent networks and innovative resourcing tools that provide the opportunity. But London remains one of the most exciting places to operate an IT Staffing and Services business. And who knows — if you are successful, you may end up as Lord Mayor of the City!

MORE: RPO: A tale of two geographies


Andy Bookless

Andy Bookless
Andy Bookless is marketing director at ClearEdge Marketing.

Andy Bookless

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