How North America is leading the way in tech

It’s no secret that the US has played a huge role in the development of a significant amount of the technology that we use in our daily lives. From the birth of giant online retailers to the development of global social media apps and the growth of the cloud, the US has a proud history as an innovator in all things tech. But within North America,  the US isn’t the sole source of tech innovation - Canada is quickly becoming a centre for technology. The tech capabilities of this region have been recognised in our recent survey of more than 1,600 technology professionals, who rated North America as the most industry leading region for technology in the world.

But what really makes this region so successful?

Historic success

The so-called .com bubble in the late 90’s and early 00’s produced online retail giant and the equally popular 1998 saw the birth of which has become the world’s no.1 internet search engine. A few years later saw the launch of social media heavyweights Facebook (2004), Youtube (2005) and Twitter (2006) which have become a daily digital habit for millions of people around the globe. Although in existence before the 00’s, Apple exploded onto the scene in 2007 with the first smart phone (iPhone).

Fast forward to 2017 and we can see the ERP, CRM and Cloud database and technology firm transforming the way we use and store data. For this reason, North America has become a haven for tech start-ups and as a result has attracted some of the finest technology professionals to work in the region.

Once the origin of several chip manufacturing companies (who used silicon as a main material in the manufacturing process), Silicon Valley in California has become the leading technology hotspot in the world. 

Overall confidence

It comes as no surprise then that these strong foundations have bred confidence. In our survey 71% of tech professionals currently working in North America believe that the sector they work in will grow and increase its revenues over the next 12 months. This is something that Matt Evelt, Managing Director – The Americas, Networkers, finds encouraging:

“With the amount of investment and advancement in technology as a whole, this is a robust time for the North American technology industry. Developers, manufacturers and consumers alike are keen to push advancements of smart technology with the likes of IOT (Internet of Things) and Eng Tech applications. More exciting times for technology lie ahead and those who immerse themselves within its advancement will reap rewards.”

Geographic hotspots

So where are the top tech locations in North America? Our survey found that of the 31% of global tech professionals who would be willing to move to North America, 31% would want to move to California, 26% to Canada, 13% to New York, 8% to Texas and 7% to Florida (other locations 15%).

Clearly Silicon Valley in California continues to be a major draw for technology. Home to more than 39 tech giants from the fortune 1000 and 27,000 tech start-ups offering over 9,000 jobs, Silicon Valley offers vast career opportunities within a range of technology disciplines. This is backed up by research from which shows that over the past year out of 15 of the top IT hiring hotspots, California covered three locations on the list with a total of 338,745 job postings. Outside of the valley and the United States as a whole, Canada is also making its mark as a centre for technology, as Anas Kadva, Business Development Manager, Development, Networkers, explains:

“It’s amazing to see the transition of technology in Canada. Toronto and the general GTA (Greater Toronto Area) are going through rapid digital development and as a result, software development, IT security and cloud skills are in high demand.”

Future gazing

With North America acting as the catalyst for many monumental technological developments, can other regions keep up with the pace of change? And how much more change can we expect in the future? According to the tech professionals working within North America, the answer is quite a lot. 40% anticipate that their job role will change in the next five years.

One area that is anticipated to create even more of an impact in the near future is cyber security, which was identified as the factor with the biggest potential to disrupt the industry in the next five years.

Richard Carter, Divisional Manager - US, Networkers, suggests how the industry and the roles within it might change:

“Due to the rapid pace of digitalisation, vulnerabilities have emerged in the way systems are developed. We anticipate that cyber security will need to be incorporated into every technology role in some way or another. This means that developers, cloud consultants and other tech professionals will need to learn these skills in order to develop more robust systems, to manage and monitor processes which keep data secure. They also need to keep pace with the evolving threats such as ransomware and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks that are becoming more widespread and increasing in scope and severity.”

Along with cyber security and political/policy change, IoT and Big Data were tied for third place as potential disruptors to the industry. We are already seeing trials in place for Amazon’s floating warehouse (Amazon Prime Air) and ‘queueless’ shopping centres (Amazon go) which rely heavily on IoT and Big Data technologies. But how prepared are tech organisations for the future? Of those respondents that work in North America, 34% believe the company they currently work at is proactive in implementing changes to be fit for the future and 39% believe the company they currently work at embraces new technology and uses it to its advantage. This is a region which looks set to continue leading the tech world in the future.

Download our full Technology: Voice of the Workforce report here

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To see our latest technology jobs in the USA please click here.

To see our latest technology jobs in the Canada please click here.

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