Concerns over emerging recession rife among UK tech leaders

CommsCo research has found that 83 per cent of UK tech leaders are concerned about a looming recession, but are optimistic for 2023

77 percent of UK tech sector executives believe the recession will affect investment in the tech market, with plans to mitigate the effects of recession including increasing service costs (49 per cent) and reducing marketing spend (47 per cent).

In terms of particular sources of unease for respondents, 37 per cent cited economic climate as the biggest threat to their operations, followed by staff retention (26 per cent).

Meanwhile, remote working is being believed by many tech leaders (45 per cent) to bring negative impacts in an uncertain economic environment, and that the workforce needs to be physically present in an office environment to ensure maximum productivity and collaboration.

When asked what has been the single worst event for business in recent times, 43 per cent of respondents pointed to COVID; 25 per cent cited Brexit; and war in Ukraine was stated by 18 per cent.

Conversely, over half (59 per cent) feel optimistic for 2023, with 52 per cent planning to expand their business in the next 12 months.

“Following a tumultuous couple of years for all sectors, the tech industry is ready for a difficult end to 2022,” said Ilona Hitel, founder and managing director at CommsCo.

“It’s a testament to the UK tech sector’s resilience and entrepreneurship that its leaders are still optimistic about 2023, despite the triple challenges with Brexit, the Ukraine War and the threat of looming recession.”

Adam Hale, board advisor for many tech companies, commented: “These are certainly interesting times for startups and scaleups in the UK tech sector, with revised valuations, COVID, Brexit, war, rising prices, political instability and a looming recession.

“Recessions don’t have to be bad news; they are an opportunity for the best firms to demonstrate their market leadership and come out stronger. That means keeping closer to their customers than ever before and driving the quality of everything they do up, mistakes are not forgiven in a recession.

“Some companies will not make it, but as they say in a tornado even turkeys can fly.”

B2B tech PR agency CommsCo surveyed 185 UK IT founders and leaders, to uncover the concerns felt in the face of the current economic climate.


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Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst is Information Age's senior reporter, providing news and features around the hottest trends across the tech industry.