London's Technology Industry
London is one of the most technologically advanced cities in the world. It has a huge number of financial transactions that take place electronically each day through it financial services industry. Because London relies on its financial sector so much, it has invested heavily in its communications infrastructure, and continues to do so, under the auspices of its private IT sector and other partners, such as the Greater London Authority and the Corporation of the City of London. However, the technology industry that is part of London's economy is not simply there to support the financial services sector. It is a big player in its own right.
Nowhere exemplifies London's commitment to the technology industry more than East London Tech City which, because it is centred on the road and tube intersection at Old Street, is also known as Silicon Roundabout. Just to the north of the City proper, Tech City is a cluster of hi-tech offices that are home to smart start ups and long-established international internet giants. At Tech City you are as likely to come across a web-app development firm with a couple of employees as you will find a hardware giant, such as Cisco, who are probably best know for their routers. A recent big addition to the hub is Google who have made their London headquarters there. One of their great internet rivals, Facebook, also operates from Tech City. Crucially, the area is also sponsored by top-class academic institutions, like Imperial College London and University College London.
The government have looked at the success of Tech City and sought to copy it elsewhere. MediaCityUK, which is in Manchester, is one of the first attempts to reproduce the success of the London hub. However, the Greater London Authority is also looking to emulate its own success with another cluster tech hub in East London. Part of the former Olympic Games site, which were held in Stratford in 2012, is undergoing a change which will see a second large tech centre being brought to fruition.
Of course, technology companies are not just located in these specialist clusters. They are dotted all over the city. The West End has a particularly good track record of being the home to trendy online brands which appeal to young people, especially with new media streaming services. Games programmers can be found in all parts of the city, but they tend to be grouped around Southwark and Shoreditch. Wherever you look in the city, a tech start up seems to be moving in.Events
Being a major tech hub, major tech conferences and events are a routine event in London:
The Cloud Computing World Forum highlights the latest trends and happenings in the world of cloud computing. This annual forum attracts the maximum number of participants from Europe, when compared to other similar events.
The Operations Support System (OSS) / Business Support System (BSS) World Summit is a world event to discuss and update on these two critical functions, for the telecom industry.
London also hosts many world famous tech related conferences regularly such as the M2M World Congress, London Technology Week, SMi's Annual Cyber Defence and the Green Data Centre Conference and Exhibition.