A global leader
The UK’s technology and telecoms sector is larger than the rest of Europe combined. It has been one of the fastest growing sectors in the UK over the last decade. British technology underpins all sectors from financial services and high-value manufacturing to retail and agriculture.
The UK offers an outstanding environment for global tech companies, with a strong start-up culture bolstered by tech clusters all over the UK. It ranked third in the world in the Global Innovation Index in 2016, has an active venture capital community, and hosts the largest e-commerce market in Europe. The UK’s technology economy has strengths in electronic systems, communications, data management and analytics, data centres, cloud services, Artificial Intelligence (AI), semiconductor design and sensors.
Hertfordshire’s IT companies are particularly strong in computational R&D and digital media, including specialisms in security and cybercrime. Hertfordshire was home to the first digital radio manufacturer in the UK, Pure; formerly a division of Imagination Technologies. Hertfordshire also hosts the headquarters of market leaders such as EE, the first mobile telecoms company to launch 4G networks in the UK; Imagination Technologies, whose multimedia and communications semiconductor Intellectual Property (IP) cores are at the heart of innovative consumer electronics products; and Bank Machines Ltd, the largest independent ATM operator in the UK. Computacenter, Europe’s leading independent provider of IT infrastructure services, is also based in Hertfordshire.
The county is home to the headquarters of electronic product manufacturers including Kodak, Kenwood, Harman International, and Epson UK. Meanwhile, Aeroflex Test Solutions are working on the next 5G networks, and there are several other global satellite communications operators including Global Invacom.
IT & Telecoms employed 32,100 people in 2015, working in 6,090 enterprises. The number of firms has increased by 5.6% annually since 2010. A total of 50,100 science, research, engineering and technology professionals and associate professionals work in Hertfordshire.
Centres of excellence include the Centre for Computer Science and Informatics Research, the Centre for Applied Science and Technology, the Institution of Engineering and Technology, and UH Animation. Other research strengths include adaptive systems, algorithms, bio-computation, compiler technology & computer architecture (CTCA), and software for the finance sector.
Connections to markets
Hertfordshire’s infrastructure and excellent access to London and other finance and innovation marketplaces make it a prime choice for IT and Telecoms firms. Companies like BioPark Technology are leaders in CORE (common open research emulator) network platforms and M2M (Machine to Machine) services. With a growing number of cloud service providers serving the local and London markets, there is plenty of opportunity for innovative cloud based service providers and services.
Prominent firms such as ACI Global, Fidelity Information Services, GBST, and Cardtronics UK (Bank Machines Ltd) provide software for the finance sector. There is a strong cluster of IT software and outsourcing providers, including Computacenter (HQ), Sopra Steria (HQ), and Northgate Information Solutions (HQ). Data centre providers include Gyron Internet (NTT Communications), CORETX (C4L), and ServerChoice. ACI worldwide (EMEA) Ltd is a world leader in electronic payments for financial institutions, retailers and processors.
With its global HQ and technical centres in Kings Langley, Imagination Technologies is one of the UK’s most significant breakthrough companies in recent years, developing the graphic technology found in many smartphones and PCs.
Computacenter is Europe’s leading independent provider of IT infrastructure services. The firm advises customers on IT strategies and manages technology infrastructures on their behalf. With its headquarters in Hatfield, Computacenter delivers on-site services in nearly 60 countries and supplies IT hardware and software to more than 100 countries.