The Public Sector – never dull and boring

ScotlandIS News | 15.03.2017

The Public Sector – never dull and boring

By Tommy Laughlin

The UK does seem to be waking up to the opportunities offered by digital technologies.  The last few weeks have seen the publication of not one, but two, strategies from the UK Government while Scottish Government will soon be publishing its revised strategy – watch this space.

We are seeing focus on the critical areas we have been highlighting for years – skills, integration of IoT technologies, infrastructure, data analytics, cyber security and the potential impact on workforce and work patterns. 

Some scary statistics abound about the potential impact on jobs of automation, robotics and general efficiencies through the introduction of digital technologies; but I can still recall the fanfare and warnings around the paperless office - and I’m still waiting.  Let’s embrace the opportunities as a potential force for good. 

ScotlandIS events in March reflect this movement.  In Stirling on the 28th Scottish Government has the first of its regional briefings and engagement sessions with the SME community.   Book now as space is limited. 

Having dealt with analysing the annual survey, our research and policy manager, Svea, has now turned her attention to the public sector.  Over the next few weeks we will produce a report of the ICT spend levels across the public sector in Scotland and integrate that with advice and guidance on the do’s and don’ts around public sector procurement.  Specialist support for that will come from our friends at Scottish Procurement so thanks to them for the help and advice.

Brexit continues to dominate column inches with the current battle between the Lords and Commons at least offering some light relief – if not shedding any great light on what might actually happen as the country tries to disentangle itself from the current set of relationships with our European neighbours.  No doubt time, and the exercise of Article 50, will tell.  The importance to our industry of reasonably free movement of labour and a ready supply of talent cannot be overstated, and, of course, the potential issue of losing talent from Europe is exacerbated by the tier 2 visa issue (or more accurately the lack of them).  

And, while it’s not public sector, the third sector does fill in many of the holes and gaps in service provision left by government services.  On that basis a quick mention of SCVO’s “The Gathering” at the SECC in February.  A fabulous and well attended event with a particular focus on the second day on the increasing importance of digital technologies and skills across the charity sector.  Full marks to David McNeill, Sally Dyson and the team for the fantastic show they put on – with a special mention to the quiz run on a Raspberry Pie with real fruit providing the input method.  

March will also see the start of cohorts 7 and  8 of the Scottish Government hosted Digital Champions Programme – but we will leave that to next month’s blog post.

Signing off, Tommy              

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