Technology is playing a growing role across all forms of business in the North East, with computer-based services making a significant contribution to the local economy.
Some firms, though, have gone the extra mile when it comes to reaping the advantages of the internet age - and The Journal and Evening Gazette would to hear from them.
At the 2013 North East Business Awards, the winner of the Internet and ICT Award was the Stockton-based Visualsoft, which offers services including web design, development and online marketing to retailers.
The award-winning company has established itself as an ecommerce leader, constantly developing cutting-edge features to enhance the online shopping experience.
Between its establishment in 1998 by Rich Bendelow and Dean Benson, and its winning the award, Visualsoft’s industry experience and expertise allowed it to gain more than 500 ecommerce clients across the UK.
The company took the overall award after beating off stiff competition from Durham and Wearside’s winner 4th Aspect, of Sunderland, and Tyneside and Northumberland’s winner, Route Monkey of Newcastle.
Supporting the Internet and ICT category at the 2014 honours is Teesside University, which is founded on a rich past, with more than 80 years’ experience of innovation in education. The establishment started life as Constantine College in 1930 and is the first and only modern university to win the Times Higher Education UK University of the Year award.
Teesside also secured the Best Employer Engagement award in the same year and has twice been shortlisted as the UK’s Entrepreneurial University of the Year.
The university has been described by Dr Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, as “Britain’s best university for working with business”.
With a world-renowned reputation and expertise in digital media and digital technology, it has also played a key role in leading and supporting sector development and enterprise.
The university has also created hundreds of companies and jobs through its work with business and start-ups, from software companies through to social enterprises and everything in between.
A spokesman for the university said: “We are proud of our track record of delivering digital innovation in everything from undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications to DigitalCity Innovation which is the home of ideas, graduate talent and academic expertise.
“The university is committedto supporting the local and regional economy and is proud to sponsorthe Internet and Information Technology Award.”