Our goal is for businesses across our economy to be able to use technology to innovate, attract investment and grow.

What are the key actions that you think should be taken forward, and by whom, to achieve this ambition?

Why the contribution is important

Digital technologies and capabilities are vital for Scotland’s economic growth and to maintaining our international standing. Not just in specialist areas such as data science and informatics, sensors and health (spearheaded by our innovation centres), but also digital’s role as an enabler of business growth and innovation across our business landscape more widely.  We must also ensure that businesses have the confidence to invest in digital technologies and platforms, and the skills necessary to use these successfully.

by ScottishGovernment on November 03, 2016 at 12:18PM

Current Rating

Average score : 3.5
Based on : 2 votes


  • Posted by Rab November 15, 2016 at 22:52

    CivTech shows some progress here.
    Small companies getting direct access to Govt paid experts with real problems to solve through digital is refreshing to say the least.
    Make sure it works and do more.
  • Posted by Rab November 15, 2016 at 22:57

    CodeClan is very cost effective for small companies and is beginning to close the skills gap for them. Well done with grant in aid to get CC started.
  • Posted by Drjimhamill November 17, 2016 at 20:12

    I have contributed my first contribution to this debate in a post on LinkedIn.[…]=hp-feed-article-title-like

    Thank you and take care.

    Jim H
  • Posted by Drjimhamill November 24, 2016 at 15:31

    Further to my post of 17th Nov, please find 'Scotland's Digital Strategy (Part 2): Focus on Business Outcomes NOT Box Ticking' here[…]hp-feed-article-title-share

    Part 1 'Cut the Spin can be found here -[…]mill-dr-?trk=mp-author-card

    Also, would like to draw your attention to the comments made on both posts - very informative.

    Take care.

    Jim H
  • Posted by Drjimhamill December 11, 2016 at 21:39

    Part 3 in our series, " An Export Support Programme Fit for Purpose in a Digital World"[…]mill-dr-?trk=mp-author-card
  • Posted by lesleyfordyce_PAConsulting December 12, 2016 at 11:11

    Digital can drive productivity improvements and growth
    •The productivity and workforce implications of digital need to be fully understood and the opportunities seized (both in the private and public sectors)
    •However, we can’t separate connectivity from productivity & economic growth. As a starter for 10 we need great mobile coverage – it is still hard to get good coverage on a journey from Edinburgh to Aberdeen or Glasgow to Inverness.
    •In addition to an ambitious strategy, we also need to be ambitious and more risk-taking in how we deliver the strategy:◦For example, in terms of the support to businesses from Government, we need to refocus where the money is spent to target those who will benefit most from the adoption of digital and the exploitation of data and analytics. We hear the arguments often that suggest Government ‘can’t back winners’ but we do need Government (national and local) to catalyse those businesses with the most potential to win via digital. We can’t spread finite resources so thinly that they become ineffective.
    ◦Equally, our economic development offerings around digital need to change – we need to move beyond ecommerce, websites and digital awareness
    ◦We need to leverage the potential of digital to deliver business support – the (over)-reliance on face-to-face engagement has to end – it is not affordable nor effective.
    ◦We need to identify where Scotland can establish world-leading capability and then go after that aggressively including how we start to build it in schools

  • Posted by jamiegreeneUK December 14, 2016 at 13:53

    According to projections by Deloitte, Scotland is set to lose £9 billion in potential gains over the next 15 years if the Scottish Government does not adopt an entirely more visionary digital strategy. In the end, what this all comes down to is asking ourselves what kind of a country we want to be in the years ahead. One with the ambition to shape the global digital economy in the way that Estonia, Israel or Portugal is doing, or one that catches up with the others once the trailblazing is over?

    A new industrial revolution is on the horizon − the digital markets, products and services we know today are already on the cusp of merging with cyber-physical systems. Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, explains this new industrial revolution as “a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres”. For example, the current efforts by Harvard researchers to 3D-print human tissue. The challenge facing Scotland therefore, is to reach universal digital participation, not only as part of investing in a fairer, more equal society, but so that we remain economically competitive as a country that can respond quickly to innovation in the years ahead.

    In my view, if the Scottish Government does not adopt a more agile style of governance − in close collaboration with business, academia and civil society – we’ll be unable to benefit from the impact new technologies are expected to have on the global economy and the Scottish labour market in the next 15 years. As Schwab points out, “as the physical, digital, and biological worlds continue to converge, new technologies and platforms will increasingly enable citizens to engage with governments, […] governments will increasingly face pressure to change their current approach to public engagement and policymaking, as their central role of conducting policy diminishes owing to new sources of competition and the redistribution and decentralization of power that new technologies make possible.”

    For policymakers, one of the most exciting things about the digital economy is that advancements in areas like technology, data analysis and computer programming can be used to improve just about every aspect of our lives − from making the world’s great museums and art galleries accessible through virtual reality, to enabling the public to record incidents of hate crime from their phone. But, at the same time, the sheer extent of opportunities for innovation has led to a lethargic kind of policymaking in Scotland that embraces the idea of the digital economy in principle, but provides little in terms of concrete strategic input to develop and position Scotland’s digital economy in the global context.

    Therefore, a ‘Digital Strategy for Scotland − 2017 and beyond’ should (1) look at the global context (2) point to the sectors where Scotland is best positioned to lead emerging digital industries and (3) provide practical and measureable next-steps for raising up a workforce and innovation ecosystem that matches that ambition.

    The key to ensuring this strategy is more than just lip-service to Scottish innovation will be to monitor and evaluate our progress. We need to know if public support for digital innovation is leading to increased productivity in Scotland in order to draw conclusions about what’s working and what’s not. A recent Audit Scotland report highlighted that a lack of measurable targets and strategies set by the Scottish government for its economic development agencies, emphasising that it's not possible to measure how they contribute to delivery of the government's strategy.

    - Jamie Greene MSP
    Scottish Conservative Spokesman for Technology, Connectivity and the Digital Economy
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