The common challenges that all Lancashire tech businesses face, with viable solutions

The IT sector in Lancashire has seen 20% growth in the last five years. There are over 4000 digital and technology businesses based in the region and over 30,000 digital and tech professionals. It is estimated that the tech sector will outstrip the local economy 3x by 2028.

While it is reassuring to see the Lancashire tech industry flourish, there are challenges facing tech companies that need to be addressed for growth to be sustainable. Here we outline some of those challenges and offer viable solutions.

Retaining and attracting tech talent

We remain in a candidate-driven market, and nowhere is this more evident than in the tech sector. Tech companies continue to face the backlash of the ‘Great Resignation’ which widened the gap between the supply and demand of tech workers and left the industry with a shrinking talent pool.

To retain and attract tech talent, Lancashire tech companies need to develop the next generation of tech professionals by providing exceptional training and progression opportunities. This will give existing employees more job satisfaction and attract candidates from outside of the industry who want to give tech a shot.

Keeping pace with digital innovation

Digital transformation spiked during the pandemic as businesses found new ways to communicate and collaborate. Such innovation shows no sign of slowing down. Tech companies need to be a step ahead, or at least keep pace with digital transformation to give customers confidence that their expertise has value.

By partnering closely with clients, collaborating, and learning together, tech companies can continue to offer essential bespoke services.

Team building with remote workers

According to Tech Informed, the tech sector offers the highest proportion of hybrid and remote jobs, accounting for 30% of the UK’s advertised remote vacancies. For hybrid positions, 37% required engineers to work onsite three days a week.

Remote and hybrid working can cause team-building problems for Lancashire tech companies, especially as the work they do is often solitary. A focus on team-building days, inviting remote tech workers to the office for collaboration projects and organising social events will all help to build relationships within the team and boost productivity.

Cybersecurity challenges

As cyber criminals continue to find new, sophisticated ways of attacking Lancashire businesses and individuals, Lancashire tech firms need to keep ahead of the curve to provide cybersecurity software and services that keep customers safe from attack.

Particularly for companies with remote and hybrid workers where security is more likely to be compromised, tech companies need to be proactive to prove their worth. Regular, rigorous testing with meaningful results, and continuous security audits, can help focus the mind of businesses and employees in adopting procedures that minimise risk. Security controls need to change and evolve in much the same way as the threats that they’re designed to combat.

Having a voice in a crowded market

With the growing number of tech companies in Lancashire, it can be difficult to stand out. Customers who rely on the expertise of tech professionals don’t know how to identify a true tech firm from one that has jumped on the bandwagon, having seen an opportunity during the pandemic.

Demonstrate your company’s expertise by giving a voice to in-house and external experts who can promote your products and services. Collaborate and share knowledge with other companies. Become an influencer in your local business community, and be proactive when it comes to finding new clients. Client testimonials are also a powerful resource for generating new business.

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