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Technology key to economic growth, say businesses

Executives say IT will deliver more than professional services

Almost 90 percent of business leaders believe technology will fuel UK economic growth over the next decade.

Barclays Corporate questioned 664 executives for a general survey about the growth prospects of the UK, and 88 percent said technology was key to growth.

This was ahead of professional services on 78 percent, hospitality and tourism (73 percent), and financial services (69 percent).

Public sector or infrastructure spending was seen as a growth driver by only 31 percent, reflecting the government's stated aim of slashing public spending.

However, despite these cuts, 85 percent of those questioned by Barclays in the UK technology sector were "confident" that their local infrastructure would support their needs over the next decade.

The "Politics and the Economy 2021" research also found that just over half (53 percent) of technology leaders believed that state education would support their business in 10 years. Concerns have been expressed in many quarters about the way technology is taught in schools.

The large majority of technology businesses are planning for a less public sector focused economy, with 82 per cent predicting the UK will be less reliant on the public sector, against just 17 percent that believe the economy will have a greater reliance on the public sector.

Lorraine Ruckstuhl, corporate director at Barclays Corporate, said: "The fact that most technology businesses are looking to private enterprise for growth in the UK is welcome news. There have been a lot of government IT projects in the past, but these results underline the fact that relying on the public sector alone is not a recipe for success over the coming decade."

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