SCOTLAND’S digital technologies industry is optimistic for the future and continuing to grow sales, profits and headcount, according to new research from ScotlandIS.

The Scottish Technology Industry Survey 2017 found that 82 per cent of businesses expect sales to increase in 2017 and 78 per cent of those surveyed said they have a very optimistic or optimistic view for the year ahead.

The digital technologies industry’s positive outlook follows the sustained growth of the sector in 2016 when seven out of 10 companies reported an increase in sales, some by more than 50 per cent year on year.

Predicted employment growth is also on the up since last year’s survey with 78 per cent of firms forecasting that they will hire more staff in 2017, compared with 66 percent in 2016 and this rises to 84 per cent for small businesses when taken on their own.

Polly Purvis, chief executive of ScotlandIS, says: “The results of this year’s survey show the confidence and resilience of the digital technologies industry which is continuing to grow and maintain its optimistic outlook despite uncertainties in the political environment.

“This is great news not just for our sector, but also for the economy as a whole. The digital technologies industry generates over £5 billion in GVA for Scotland every year and is becoming more and more important in our increasingly digital world.”

A skills shortage remains an issue but firms are looking a new ways to recruit, including apprenticeships.