techUK - Representing the tech industry in the UK Mon, 20 Nov 2017 07:57:01 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb NHS Digital Security Operations Centre Procurement Now Live

NHS Digital has now started work on procuring their Security Operations Centre to expand their current service offering. They have released the first stage of this procurement in the form of a Selection Questionnaire (SQ) through eSourcing.

The deadline for submission is Wednesday 20 December 2017.

Should you have any queries about this, please contact NHS Digital through the eSourcing platform.

NHS Digital looks forward to working with successful suppliers to deliver improved data security for the NHS. 

]]> (Kate Francis(techUK)) News Fri, 17 Nov 2017 15:01:48 +0000
How Will 5G Impact Us?

With the new 5th Generation mobile technology expected to launch in the UK by 2020, an exciting time lies ahead of us. The world has yet to understand the full impact of its global introduction and to what extent 5G will dramatically transform and impact our lives, but while most comment so far on 5G has focused on the promise of higher speed, there is a wide range of services and applications proposed which will need 5G before they could be cost-effectively made available.

Increased Speed

Records show that with investigations and trials, 5G services are set to transform the telecoms sector significantly including offering consumers’ faster broadband ahead of the current availability of 4G. Research by Professor Tafazolli at the 5G Innovation Centre at University of Surrey has predicted that it is possible to run a wireless data connected at 800Gbps, over 100 times faster than current 5G testing. Those speeds will allow you to download multiple high definition films within seconds, making streaming issues no more.

Qualcomm has recently announced its newest modem for mobile devices, Snapdragon X50 5G that is designed to support the next generation mobile networks. This modem chipset that will support operation in millimeter wave spectrum, initially in the 28GHz band (where Europe looks likely to adopt 26GHz), will provide an immediate connection between the customer and the cloud, opening up the potentials of a new generation of applications and services. Qualcomm plans to deliver the modem to mobile networks by 2018. Such increased speeds will now mean UK mobile networks will have to begin their transition into 5G and cope with the large increase in demand for telecommunications.

Professor Tafazolli also forecasts that deployment of 5G will will drive the creation of true IoT ecosystems, creating the communication channels that will link people, cars, sensors, infrastructure and businesses.

Autonomous Vehicles

5G's development is also being evolved to support a wide range of machine-to-machine and IoT applications. These applications will then help enable and enhance connected and autonomous vehicles including self-driving cars and place them into everyday situations. Intel has recently developed an GOTM Automotive 5G Platform, the industry’s first 5G-ready platform and complete end-to-end system for autonomous driving. This will allow car manufacturers to develop and test a wide range of use cases and applications ahead of the launch of 5G, where it looks like fully autonomous vehicles will arrive around the same time that 5G starts to be rolled out i.e. 2020.

5G will help deliver a safer, more convenient self-driving experience. Data is at the core of autonomous vehicles and connectivity is fundamental to their operation. 5G will enable the large quantities of data generated by these vehicles to be uploaded in real time, supporting navigation and enabling reaction to sudden changes in environment. Additionally 5G can positively improve safety and travel on the roads. Exchanging data with nearby vehicles to avoid collisions or setting up platoons to navigate intersections when there are no traffic lights.

Smart Energy

5G services will certainly be fundamental to our future energy systems including energy supply but also consumption Smart devices connected through 5G networks will be able to help control energy demand and reduce energy costs. With increased speed and connectivity, we will be able to expose new sources of data and increasingly interconnect a variety of different technologies and services. 5G could support predict and prevent maintenance of grid assets, minimizing instance and impact of failure. There are also opportunities to enhance demand flexibility allowing homes, cities and countries to reduce consumption at times of peak demand or make use of excess renewable consumption.

ZTE released the Blue Pillar Smart Streetlamp solution that enables a standard streetlamp to double as a 4G/5G Base Transceiver Station (BTS) and a charging point for electric vehicles. The solution also collects local data on weather, environment, transportation and security while its LED screen can be used to display information and advertising.

Looking to the way in which 5G can support the smart grid, Huawei have recently announced at the PT Expo China 2017 a new 5G network slicing application. The application can be customised to requirements and determine how 5G can help regain power within a certain area where power lines have been damaged or power has been lost. This is a great example of how 5G can support smart distribution networks and how it can ensure for a secure, reliable, and stable operation on the power grid as a whole.

We are still uncertain as to what exactly 5G will become until there is official testing. For now, techUK welcomes the Government's strategy and ambition for the UK to be a global leader in 5G and is excited to see the opportunities and transformations unfold in the UK and around the world and the major impact it will have in the future.


]]> (Sophie Weston(techUK)) Opinions Fri, 17 Nov 2017 10:47:11 +0000
Software is like a parachute. If it doesn’t work, you’re screwed

techUK and Testing Solutions Group Ltd on 6th February 2018 for an hour breakfast talk on Software Escrow.

Technology has revolutionised the world we live in. Computer software is capable of speeding up processes, improving quality, and enabling products and services to be delivered more quickly and cost-effectively.

Because of the pace of change and the cost of advancing and improving computer systems, most businesses now rely on third parties to supply and maintain their software systems. However, this reliance on third parties involves risk that needs careful management, particularly if the third party is responsible for the operation of mission-critical technology.

 Escrow drawing 2

What will be covered

  • Who we are
  • How we work with techUK
  • Why you need to have your software in escrow / benefits of having your software in escrow
  • The validation procedure
  • Mitigating Risk through testing
  • Q&A
]]> (Mariana Obetzanova (techUK)) Partner Event Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:22:21 +0000
Digital Policing Briefing with Chief Constable Mike Barton

This event is a chance for industry members to hear from CC Michael Barton, the Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary and the NPCC Chief Officer Lead for Crime Operations.


Date: 14th February 2018
Time: 10:30 - 12:30
Venue: techUK, 10 St Bride Street, London EC4A 4AD

Mike Barton and his colleagues are coming to techUK to brief members on Durham Constabulary’s digital transformation programme, the vision and strategic direction of the programme, and the opportunities for supplier engagement. Mr Barton will also speak about his role as NPCC Lead for Crime Operations, his mission to ensure British policing is in the vanguard of tackling crime on the internet, and his overall vision for tech in policing.

CC Mike Barton is the Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary, a position he has held since 2012. As Chief Constable he has introduced new ways of tackling organised criminals, using methods that challenge traditional policing and involve local beat officers and PCSOs, and encourage paradigm shifts. Durham is recognised as a leading force in tackling serious and organised crime as well as managing offenders. It was rated as the top Force in the country by HMIC in 2016’s PEEL Effectiveness report.

During his career CC Barton has worked on a variety of National Portfolios including Chair Operational Requirements Board, and lead for the Portfolios of Intelligence and Troubled Families, Police National Database, and HOLMES (Home Office Large Major Enquiry System).

After the briefing there will be a Q&A session, and the event will be followed by a light sandwich lunch and networking.

]]> (Henry Rex(techUK)) Briefing Wed, 15 Nov 2017 16:03:18 +0000
Future Connected Rail Working Group

Time: Tuesday 28 November: 11:00 – 13:00
Venue: techUK, 10 St Bride Street, London EC4A 4AD

The working group has been established to facilitate mutual understanding and collaboration between the rail sector, digital industries, government and regulators.

As a result of these discussions, RSSB established a project to develop a route map on the options (technological and business models) to improve digital (mobile and broadband) connectivity along rail corridors. Many of you have participated in the two workshops conducted by LS Telecom to help develop the route map.

Please join us at this meeting to hear from LS Telecom on their emerging findings and to discuss next steps on what needs to be done by industry and Government to achieve the improved connectivity on the railways.

We are also fortunate in having Matthew Griffin, Head of Digital at Transport for London, who will give an overview of the exciting initiative to bring WiFi and mobile coverage in the London Underground tunnels and through this to promote commercial opportunities. No doubt this initiative will have important parallels as well as lessons for those objectives in the national rail networks.

To register for this working group, please click the Book Now button.

]]> (Sophie Weston(techUK)) Meeting Wed, 15 Nov 2017 15:05:26 +0000
Short-term Risks in Exchange for Long Term Innovation: Government's SME Dilemma

By 2020, the government aims to increase the amount it spends on products and services provided by small and medium size business to a third (up from a quarter) of all spend.

“This is such an amazing opportunity for the country’s diverse and innovative small businesses, and today I urge them to get stuck in.” Says Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital.

Believe me Matt, we are trying.

The government’s Digital Marketplace, through which it procures technology products and services, has been successful in furthering the government’s aims. G-Cloud, the largest of the various frameworks by far, has awarded half of its business to SMEs since its inception in 2012. The others average out at around a third. So far so good. The trouble, however, is that less than 10% of government spending on ICT is done via Digital Marketplace.

How do things look when the other 90% of government spending is factored in? It’s hard to tell based on the data available, but almost certainly not as good. Progress is being made on some fronts, but probably not quickly enough for most people’s liking. For example, spend with the largest suppliers has been falling significantly and continuously since 2010. However, the somewhat alarming, if also understandable truth is that just five suppliers were the recipients of 51% of all central government spend on IT in 14/15 (which amounted to over £6.3bn in the same period) according to the House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts in 2016.

So what is holding Whitehall back?

tech UK’s 2016 survey of SME GovTech suppliers found that 94% of respondents did not think that civil servant buyers have a good understanding of how SMEs can meet their needs. Which, perhaps, is polite way of saying that civil servants do not always believe that SMEs can or will deliver. My personal suspicion, for what it is worth, is that there are at least three reasons for this mostly justified lack of confidence.

Firstly, buyers don’t always understand what they have decided to buy (or what they have been advised to buy) and are prepared to pay a premium to a big, safe brand that does. Or says it does. In doing so, they overcompensate for their lack of expertise and protect themselves against the risk of failure. No-one ever got fired for procuring from a large multinational, as the saying goes.

Secondly, and somewhat obviously, SMEs are not always able to deliver as much or absorb as much risk as the larger players within the required timescales. Put simply, big contracts sometimes need big suppliers. While disaggregation is helpful, central government departments remain enormous clients for SMEs to wrap their arms around.

Thirdly, and related to the first two points, small companies are often unable to offer the financial and other guarantees that the big firms are able to, and which government feels it needs.

More wise words, this time from John Manzoni, Chief Executive of the Civil Service: “Further opening up our marketplace to small businesses is good economic sense all round – making it easier for them to access and win government business opportunities, whilst encouraging increased competition and market innovation to deliver best value for the taxpayer.”

Surely, talking of best value for the taxpayer, not-for-profit SMEs should be among the most deserving. With no profit motive (ultimately) and in an many cases exactly the same objectives as the government, third sector suppliers should be regarded as independent allies rather than mere suppliers or partners. Furthermore, not-for-profit SMEs should be able to deliver more for less, not least because they are able to happily break even or invest any surpluses that would normally be lost to shareholders back into the cause. Historically, however, some have not managed to have much of a positive impact on society. Others have, but not as much as the private sector. A small number of others, at last, are leading the way, pan-sector.

New approaches to commissioning have helped. For example, the emergence of payment-by-results contracts, as tricky as they are to get right, have forced a growing number of third sector SMEs to match the capabilities and performance of their private sector competitors. Although a less than helpful and stubborn reputation on both fronts lingers, proven capabilities and performance are no longer insurmountable barriers to winning business for well-run not-for-profit organisations.

The real challenges for the best third sector SMEs are exactly the same as those for private sector SMEs, but the not-for-profit sector still has further to go in some respects. Although it is growing fast, there are still only around forty charities that turnover £100m or more. Furthermore, while the £15bn that third sector organisations receive from government (about a third of all its income and mostly in exchange for contracted services) may seem significant, it only accounts for 2% or so of government spend.

Just as SMEs (and particularly not-for-profit SMEs) must continue to invest in their capabilities and continuously improve their performance, the government must help them, not least by giving them more responsibility and accepting more risk. At the same time, the government must have the courage to hold SMEs (and again, particularly not-for-profit SMEs) to account and if necessary, and regardless of the short-term political risk, let them fail. Only then will the playing field be truly level and only then will Hancock’s “amazing opportunity for the country’s diverse and innovative small businesses” bring about Manzoni’s “increased competition and market innovation”.

Jude Sheeran is a member of tech UK’s Public Services Board and CEO of Eduserv, a not-for-profit SME that delivers cloud infrastructure, applications, data and security services to central and local government and the third sector. Eduserv’s primary aims are enabling its clients to get the most out of technology for the sake of society and in doing so, help close the UK’s digital skills gap.

]]> (Simona Paliulyte(techUK)) Opinions Wed, 15 Nov 2017 14:50:46 +0000
Policy Pulse | Your Weekly Update on Tech and Digital Policy

This week, the Government has announced a raft of measures to boost UK tech including doubling the number of exceptional talent visas for international tech talent. Meanwhile:

  • There’s an £84m boost to make the UK a world-leader in AI and robotics research
  • A major Royal Society report reveals schools are ill-equipped to teach computer science
  • techUK comments on what the Government’s new measures mean for UK tech

And plenty more! Get your weekly tech policy fix below.

Top Tech Policy News

New measures to help UK’s digital economy post-Brexit (Telegraph)
Government doubles number of exceptional tech talent visas, funds new £20m GovTech catalyst and transforms Tech City into UK-wide Tech Nation.

Government announces £84m for AI and Robotics research (Gov.UK)
Latest Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund awards from Industrial Strategy Minister Claire Perry to drive AI and robotics revolution in smart energy.

Royal Society urges Government to act on computing science curriculum (BBC)
Major new report reveals more than half of secondary schools in England do not offer GCSE computer science despite soaring UK demand for digital skills.

Uptake of digital amongst businesses could add £100bn to economy (City AM)
A CBI report echoes techUK’s calls that digitisation is key short-term lever to boost UK’s chronic productivity problem.

techUK Action & Reaction

Extra visas welcome but whole economy needs new tech skills (techUK)
Commitment to exceptional talent sets the right tone but will be insufficient to provide UK’s wider digital skills needs says Antony Walker.

New GovTech fund a landmark in public sector digitisation (Gov.UK)
Jacqueline de Rojas says fund will create a ‘front door ’into the public sector for tech businesses with exciting new ideas to put citizens first.

Oh, we’re halfway there (on Brexit negotiations) (techUK)
techUK’s Giles Derrington says that until there’s sufficient progress in first phase of negotiations, businesses will remain in dark on huge amounts of Brexit detail.

Climate Change Minister welcomes techUK report on decarbonisation (techUK)
Claire Perry MP states innovation and technology are key to growing the low carbon economy, echoing recommendations from techUK’s new report.

More News & Comment

techUK President discusses how future tech will work for the many (TBI)

The brilliant Diane Coyle on how to have a productive Brexit (Prospect)

Rachel Neaman: Empowerment is the key to a connected society (ComputerWeekly)

Upcoming Events - View full events calendar

Nov 21 - techUK Innovation Den: Accelerating Transformation in the Public Sector

Nov 23 - Who Rules The Internet?

Dec 05 - Local Government Roundtable: Harnessing Digital to Prevent Homelessness

Dec 13 - Digital Ethics Summit

As ever, please get in touch with the team and let us know if there are topics you'd like us to include, leave out, or talk about. We really do like feedback!


]]> (Tom Morrison-Bell(techUK)) Newsletters Wed, 15 Nov 2017 14:53:00 +0000
Pitch @ Palace

His Royal Highness the Duke of York set up Pitch@Palace as a charitable trust in 2014 to support his work with entrepreneurs. It aims to guide, help and connect early-stage businesses with potential supporters, including CEOs, influencers, angel investors, mentors and business partners. Pitch@Palace offers the chance to get Tech businesses in front of a global audience of influencers who can catapult them to the next level and, according to its website, has helped over 247 grow, with some now enjoying huge global success. Each Pitch@Palace campaign has a different theme, with is a focus on different areas of the UK Tech industry.

Entrepreneurs who apply to the Pitch@Palace are first selected to participate in an On Tour Event, one of three regional heats from which they may get the invitation to attend a Boot Camp. At Boot Camp they receive support and guidance on how to develop and hone their pitch, as well as support with investment, introductions and strategic guidance. All of the entrepreneurs selected for Boot Camp are invited to the final event at St. James’s Palace, and a selection of these pitch directly to an influential audience from the worlds of entrepreneurship, technology, media and investment. All of the Pitch@Palace Entrepreneurs, whether selected to pitch at St. James’s Palace or not, join the growing alumni network of entrepreneurs and receive ongoing support.

A Defence themed On Tour Event is scheduled to take place on 31 January 2018.

For more information please click here.

]]> (Dan Patefield(techUK)) News Wed, 15 Nov 2017 13:44:56 +0000
techUK Publishes White Paper on Open Banking

The techUK Open Banking White Paper examines the need for the UK to follow-up the impetus of Open Banking with a wider-ranging strategy to encompass the full range of financial services into a collaborative digital ecosystem.

Technology is the driving force behind all progression and innovation in financial services businesses. 'FinTech' and financial services are not separate sectors - the two are inter-dependent. The possibilities of tech require and allow changes in business models and regulation - so the policy direction of financial services must be led jointly by technology companies and incumbent banking/FS players.

The UK's Open Banking work will set open standards for APIs, thus allowing access to non-bank providers to customer data (with consent) and widening competition in the payments market. With cross-sector backing, and strong governmental support, this can be the first step in truly innovative, joined-up financial services for UK consumers and SMEs.

In From Open Banking to Open Financial Services - The Long View, techUK sets out six key recommendations for achieving this aim:

  • A long-term vision: The UK Government must come together with regulators and industry to formulate a long-term strategy for creating an innovative, diverse financial services sector based on open data. The current disparate initiatives should be brought together into a coherent strategy.
  • Digital ID: The key to a long-term connected sector is access for the customer through a single digital ID. This is required to minimise the burden of know-your-customer (KYC) and anti- money laundering rules (AML) on individual companies and to remove barriers to entry for new players. 
  • Open and inclusive governance: Collaboration relies on trust which is engendered through working together. The long-term governance of Open Banking and future work on open financial services must be governed through principles of transparency and inclusion.
  • Collaboration to enhance competition: Traditional ideas of competition must be tempered to facilitate competition through collaboration. All industry sectors must work together to create a connected ecosystem in which all players can thrive – and end consumers and small businesses benefit.
  • Common open standards: All collaboration needs a common language to communicate. The interoperability of IT systems depends on common standards – nationally and internationally. We emphasise the need for the UK to work towards common standards.
  • Customer communication: Open Banking will only succeed if it is used by the customer. There is an urgent need for these new services to be communicated and explained to the public. Thought should be given to the mechanisms required to provide reassurance for consumers and small businesses.
]]> (Ruth Milligan(techUK)) Reports Wed, 15 Nov 2017 11:40:33 +0000
Government Commits To Doubling Exceptional Talent Visas

As the Prime Minister Theresa May meets leading digital entrepreneurs and innovators today, the Government has announced several measures to support the UK’s world-class tech sector, including a commitment to double the number of visas available to the brightest and best talent from around the world, including in digital technology. 


Commenting on the expansion of the number of visas available, Antony Walker, deputy CEO at techUK, said: 

“Doubling the number of visas available to tech is a welcome and practical step towards supporting the UK’s fastest growing sector. As our economy continues to digitise, more and more businesses depend upon tech talent to support their growth. This isn't just a London phenomenon. There is going to be huge demand for tech skills in businesses right across the country.

“For the announcement to be truly valuable, however, the Government must couple it with further flexibility on Tier 2 high skilled talent. It must also address concerns about the speed and costs associated with Tier 1 and 2 visas to ensure they can be used by companies large and small.

In relation to the UK's immigration system post-Brexit, Antony Walker, went on to say: 

“While this announcement shows the UK’s desire to be open to talent once we leave the EU, it alone will not compensate for the impact of Brexit. There is still a huge amount of work to do to clarify the rights of EU citizens that already work in the sector and to build a fit-for-purpose immigration system once we leave the EU. We ultimately need a light-touch UK/EU visa system based on an ‘ESTA for work’ model where companies can quickly and easily self-certify EU workers taking on roles.

“International tech talent makes a huge contribution to the UK economy. For every ten highly skilled jobs that are created an additional four lower skilled jobs are created. The tech sector is increasingly the backbone of the economy, and making sure it can thrive post-Brexit is in everyone’s interest.”

“For a services-exporting tech sector, we need a kind of arrangement similar to what David Davis spoke of yesterday to enable the mobility of workers and professionals across the continent. Exporting tech services depends on our ability to temporarily locate staff across Europe for both delivery and support.”



For media queries, please contact: 


]]> (Alice Jackson(techUK)) News Wed, 15 Nov 2017 11:18:37 +0000
The Connected Home: A View of the UK Market and Future Trends

techUK has today launched its inaugural annual State of the Connected Home report, looking at current consumer understanding of the connected home market. Developed in partnership with market research firm, GfK, it explores the appeal and ownership of different categories of devices, and makes recommendations to encourage further adoption in the UK.

Key findings within the report include:

  • Awareness was high but in-depth knowledge was lacking – 77 per cent of respondents were ‘aware’ of the connected home, although only 10 per cent ‘knew a lot’ about it.
  • The most appealing connected home categories were smart entertainment (45 per cent), smart energy (42 per cent) and home monitoring and control (39 per cent).
  • Individual device ownership was high (80 per cent), however, many respondents did not own multiple devices as part of a connected home ecosystem (only 35 per cent owned more than three).

Despite the proliferation of devices and awareness, there are several barriers preventing the seamless development of fully connected homes. These include:

  • A lack of clarity on the most suitable business models for connected home services and technologies – 80 per cent of respondents expected to pay only once for a connected device with no further recurring costs.
  • Concerns around price (39 per cent), privacy (22 per cent), interoperability (16 per cent) and security (15 per cent) were cited as barriers to choosing a connected home service or device.

Julian David, CEO of techUK, commented on the report:

“Connected devices and services empower consumers by giving them more control over their daily lives than they have ever had before. Improved security, better remote health monitoring, greater energy efficiency and more personalised experiences within the home are just some areas where consumers can feel the benefits of a connected life.

“There are, however, challenges in ensuring the widespread adoption of connected home devices and services, which we shouldn’t underestimate. This report shows we have some way to go to ensure that consumers embrace this technology as we overcome concerns around cost, privacy, security and interoperability.

“Government, industry and consumer bodies must collaborate to address the concerns identified by addressing trust issues, communicating clearly to consumers and promoting the benefits that connected home tech will deliver.”


For media, please contact:



]]> (Manar Al-Muflahi(techUK)) News Wed, 15 Nov 2017 09:42:07 +0000
Making the Case for GovTech SMEs

A huge thank you to everyone who participated in the techUK SME campaign week by providing guest blogs and contributing to the social media discussions. We have had an impressive variety of opinions from tech leaders across the UK on the campaign week theme of 'Government transformation'.

Government needs to ensure it has access to the best innovative technologies in the tech sector to deliver transformation and real progress has been achieved in making it easier for innovative SMEs to do business with the public sector. Despite this progress, techUK’s 2016 SME Survey showed that companies are still struggling to access the public sector market - highlighting procurement processes and terms and conditions in contracts being amongst the top barriers to entry.

Get involved!

To promote a collaborative relationship between the tech sector and government the techUK public sector programme has a range of market engagement activity planned for the rest of 2017. Highlights include an opportunity to meet the Crown Commercial Service tech Directors on 30 November, where you will have the opportunity to quiz them on how SMEs can supply to the public sector. We will also be holding our regular Snacks & Sips GovTech networking event on 11 December.

To better understand the views of GovTech SMEs operating in the public sector tech market, techUK has launched a comprehensive survey to capture their experiences. This is the third SME survey techUK has undertaken, and the findings will be used to develop recommendations to promote innovation in the public sector, and help dynamic British based SMEs to scale and grow. Complete the survey now!

Join the debate or start your own on social media using #procuring4growth

]]> (Simona Paliulyte(techUK)) Opinions Tue, 14 Nov 2017 10:56:47 +0000
New Pharmacy and Medicines IT forum launched

techUK and NHS Digital launched the Pharmacy and Medicines IT forum today. At a busy inaugural session - attended by representatives of Pharmacies, IT suppliers and DH and NHS stakeholders - the team at NHS Digital outlined their plans for further digitisation of the medicines and prescribing arena.

Programme Lead Richard Ashcroft thanked techUK for convening the group:

“Establishing this forum is a fantastic first step. It is only by working closely with the supplier community that we can deliver the changes to help clinicians to help patients. Pharmacists collect such rich information but it often stays there. By promoting better, digitised information flow to and from pharmacists we can support better decision making and relieve some of the pressures on the rest of the system.”

The session was chaired by Rob Blay, Chair of techUK’s Health and Social Care Council. Rob added:

“By co-creating this forum we hope that suppliers will be able to plan with more certainty. Having a structured overview and timeline of what NHS Digital are trying to deliver; and establishing open dialogue with the team is especially helpful.”

Slides from the event are available at

For more information please contact Ben Moody.

Digital Pharma Event

]]> (Kate Francis(techUK)) Meeting notes Tue, 14 Nov 2017 10:35:57 +0000
MOD’s New Cyber Protection Requirements In Contracts

From 1 October 2017 MOD requires that its cyber protection measures are flowed down through all levels of its supply chains. Suppliers in all tiers of the supply chain will find it increasingly difficult to secure contracts unless they have appropriate cyber protection controls in place to protect MOD’s information. ADS, techUK and Team Defence Information are holding a half day briefing on the practical implications and what this will mean for SMEs and lower tier suppliers. The briefing will cover:

  • What has to be protected – MOD Identifiable Information
  • Assessing the Cyber Risk Level – the Risk Assessment Questionnaire
  • Cyber Risk Levels and their controls – DEF STAN 05-138
  • Demonstrating Compliance – the Supplier Assessment Questionnaire
  • The Cyber Essentials Scheme - demonstration and development
  • 1-2-1 sessions and demonstrations with experts on the Cyber Essentials Scheme, and the Risk Assessment and Supplier Assessment Questionnaires (by prior booking)

Who Should Attend This Briefing

The briefing is primarily for smaller companies and lower tier suppliers and will be of interest to their tender preparation and procurement staff, and IT professionals. It will focus on the practical steps which have to be taken to demonstrate compliance with cyber protection requirements when bidding for contracts and how to flow them down to suppliers when placing subcontracts and purchase orders. The briefing will also review the range of cyber protection controls and how they are selected for each contract.

Benefits of Attending

Attendees will gain (i) an understanding of the changes MOD has made to its contracting requirements, (ii) what their organisations need to do in order to comply and thereby avoid delays to tender and contract award processes, (iii) the types of information that must be protected, (iv) how the Supplier Assessment and Risk Questionnaires work and how to access and complete them. The role of the Cyber Essentials Accreditation Scheme will be explained and there will be an opportunity to discuss with experts how the accreditation process works, and what has to be done to obtain and maintain accreditation.

The event is free for ADS, techUK and Team Defence Information members.

To register for this event please click here.

There is limited capacity for the event and places will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

]]> (Dan Patefield(techUK)) Partner Event Mon, 13 Nov 2017 16:22:15 +0000
December ISS Industry Engagement Day

The December ISS Industry Engagement Day will be held at techUK on Monday 18 December 2018.

The ISS Team will be providing a draft agenda in due course.

Please book your place now.

Places are currently limited to 2 attendees per company.  You will be contacted if you have more than 2 attendees per your company.

techUK reserve the right to limit numbers to 1 attendee pe company should there be a large interest in the Briefing.

This event will be webcast and if you wish to register for the webcast option please contact Seema Patel.

]]> (Seema Patel(techUK)) Briefing Mon, 13 Nov 2017 15:41:44 +0000
Guest Blog: Unlocking the Full Business Value of the Cloud

New research from Trustmarque, part of Capita, reveals that 91 per cent of chief information officers (CIOs) want to migrate their on-premise apps to infrastructure as a service (IaaS), software as a service (SaaS) or platform as a service (PaaS) clouds within the next five years. James Butler identifies the key barriers to effective cloud app migration and highlights how they can be addressed.

Cloud computing has been on the CIO’s radar for over a decade. During that time, it has helped countless organisations across the globe to become more agile, productive and cost efficient.

Cloud migration is happening now – on a massive scale

There is a huge surge among organisations to migrate their apps as they realise the key business benefits it brings to their business. Our new report ‘Challenges and opportunities of cloud migration’ found that the biggest of these for almost two-thirds (61 per cent) of CIOs is the cost savings to be made from migration. This is closely followed by almost two-thirds (60 per cent) of them citing the advantage of scalability, with just over half (51 per cent) stating improving their businesses ability to deliver projects and new requirements quicker is the driver.

However, the full range of benefits cannot be unlocked without transforming the architectural and IT organisation. Simple lift and shift projects are not enough and may struggle to achieve a good return on investment.

These projects may create new technical debt and uncontrolled cloud sprawl so it’s vital customers put in place both the underpinning foundations for the new controls and operating model that are common across clouds, along with a holistic strategy that covers new innovation as well as the pre-existing IT estate.

With those in place they can safely build and deliver the application roadmaps to move to the cloud. There is no one-size-fits-all or silver bullet to cloud adoption and application migration.

Major barriers to cloud adoption persist

CIOs and IT decision makers do clearly appreciate the benefits for their businesses from effective migration. However, many are wary of the potential pitfalls and challenges to migration.

Traditional IT budgeting models have not kept pace with the rapid transformation of business technology. Many organisations have a fixed multi-year budget cycle and IT spend is often allocated on a Capex basis – meaning IT investments in infrastructure, platforms and applications are often accounted for as capital expenditure. More than half of CIOs feel this makes it more difficult, or slows down the speed at which they can adopt subscription-based cloud services.

More than half (56 per cent) of CIOs feel that the complexity of their current infrastructure is slowing their migration to the cloud. Most organisations are running IT infrastructure and services that have grown and evolved over time, meaning complex environments comprised of multiple moving and interdependent parts,. Additionally, a third recognise that their own in-house expertise may not on its own be enough, while nearly three-quarters see the process of modernising these apps as slowing their journey to the cloud.

Despite benefits to the IT function and the wider business, cloud app migration remains a resource-intensive task requiring highly skilled practitioners. As the report suggests several factors make it increasingly important to seek out a trusted third party to help with the process and provide all-important subject-matter expertise.

We see customers grappling with legacy application modernisation at the same time as investing in innovation, building microservices, using PaaS and exploring concepts like server-less and immutable infrastructure.

Addressing the challenges

Alongside the core technology, organisations have to change their information governance model and financial controls to ensure they can safely unlock the value of cloud.. An audit of their entire IT infrastructure is also a vital first step to gain the necessary visibility to proceed with migration. Alongside this, CIOs need to assess apps before they can be migrated as a large number of the applications currently being used in many organisations have not been built with the cloud in mind.

It is impossible to overstate the benefits of migrating apps to the cloud. But CIOs must also be aware of the potential challenges they may face in doing so – these can be expensive, resource-intensive projects. The complexity of existing infrastructure can slow adoption and visibility. This is a major problem for many organisations, and apps may need re-architecting to make them “cloud-ready”.

Moreover, there are growing concerns over data sovereignty, forthcoming EU data protection legislation through GDPR, and question marks over data sharing agreements between the EU and US. All this is made even more challenging when information from the vendor community lacks the details demanded by organisations.

There are organisations which can provide the right expertise alongside a range of services specifically designed to help CIOs in their quest for effective migration. Building the right cloud adoption strategy and governance, delivering the resulting roadmap by helping with app migration and the creation of new Cloud Native Applications, with a mixture of tailored and packaged services, are all services which CIOs should be looking to import if they don’t have the internal expertise to complete app migration themselves.

]]> (Harri Turnbull(techUK)) Opinions Mon, 13 Nov 2017 14:16:07 +0000
Welcome Announcements from Sajid Javid & Andy Street on Local Gov Transformation

On 6 November at the Custard Factory the West Midlands Combined Authority hosted the Urban Tech Summit, bringing together tech leaders from across industry and public sector to learn how the West Midlands can lead the UK’s cities and regions in transforming services using new technologies. Keynoting at the event was Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Department for Communities and Local Government and Andy Street, West Midlands Mayor. There were also two panels looking at role of startups on solving urban challenges and data innovation in local government services.

“But embracing digital is no longer optional"

Kicking off the day was Sajid Javid setting out the digital challenge facing local authorities and the role central government can help in driving forward innovation and transformation at the local level.

Javid spoke of how technology is changing the way we live and work and most importantly delivering services for citizens. Examples of best practice from Essex, Camden, Manchester and the West Midlands were highlighted but he very much emphasised that more can be done in unlocking the opportunities technology offers in delivering more efficient user-friendly local public services.

The Secretary of State acknowledge the fragmented nature of local government, but outlined more could be done on standards. While there may be over 350 councils they are delivering the same services but when it comes to digital, councils will often work towards their own standards and do their own thing. He highlighted planning application as an example of where standards could be beneficial to help avoid duplication of service and to the user. This is a very important point and a key area of focus for techUK’s Local Public Services Committee who in 2018 will be publishing a paper looking at the environment in which local government organisations and departments within organisations can be improved to foster increased technology innovation.

Another area he highlighted which techUK have championed and called for in the Digital Devolution: A Guide for Mayors is the important role of leadership in driving forward transformation. Digital belongs in the boardroom and should be embraced across the organization the Secretary of State stressed. As such, he has also appointed Paul Maltby as the department’s Chief Digital Officer to ensure councils make the most of technology. A key ask from the Secretary of State to the tech industry was that it must challenge the way it usually works but he is also called for more industry to work with local government. It is important for industry to speak the language of local government, and focus on outcomes and the residents.

The clear and welcome message from the Secretary of State was "embracing digital is no longer optional," we are able to transform public sector outcomes through the better use of tech and data. The speech was a step in the right direction and encouraging to hear central government’s backing for council transformation. A welcome announcement was DCLG working with councils and the Government Digital Service to create a new vision and a call to arms on local government digital, more details to be announced next spring. While transformation should be owned at the local level central government has an important role to play in co-ordinating and sharing what good can look like. The Secretary of State offered his support and backing to local leaders and to be bold when it comes to digital. A reassuring speech but the devil is now in the detail. We look forward to working with DCLG, local government and industry on creating the environment that enables successful transformation.

West Midlands Seeks Start-Ups to Help Solve Four Public-Service Challenges

The Summit was also an opportunity for the Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street to share his digital vision whilst launching the regions Urban Challenge. Early on in his campaign Andy launched a dedicated digital manifesto and it was great to hear first-hand what has been achieved and the next steps in delivering his pledges from skills to driving innovation to enable the West Midlands to be a globally competitive tech hub. The Mayor announced the Digital Skills Institute and shortly there will be an Office of Data Analytics in West Midlands.

In partnership with Public, which runs an incubator programme for government technology firms, the Mayor launched the Urban Challenge. It is an open call competition for technology startups to develop new ideas to make the West Midlands a better place to live and work by pitching directly to the Mayor and the chance to work directly with officials from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).

The Challenges

The WMCA has set out the following four challenges where start-ups can get involved.

1) Wellbeing – What innovative ways are there to improve current public outcomes in and out of hospitals?

2) Homelessness – What new technology solutions could we adopt to identify and prevent households that are at risk of becoming homeless?

3) Youth Unemployment – How can we use innovative technology to support young people and provide them with a route nap back into employment?

4) Digital Citizenship – How might new technologies help local government become more responsive to and interactive with citizens?

Each challenge winner will receive £10,000 plus a three month pilot with West Midlands.

Applications close January 2018, for more details and how to apply click here.

]]> (Georgina Maratheftis(techUK)) Opinions Mon, 13 Nov 2017 12:47:42 +0000
Stuck in the middle with EU - the halfway point for Brexit.

We have reached the half way point in the mammoth constitutional and diplomatic exercise that is the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. 505 days ago the UK voted to leave the Union and in 505 days’ time we will do just that. Yet for tech businesses with an international outlook, reliant on EU talent and trade, the future in many areas seems as clouded now as it did on 24th June 2016. As the sixth round of negotiations between David Davis and Michel Barmier concluded today, now is time to take stock – what do we know now, and what do we need to know by the time March 30 2019 comes around?

What We Know

It’s very easy to get lost in the daily headlines and political back and forth that surrounds Brexit and think that we frankly haven’t moved on a great deal from the panic that greeted the Referendum result. There is no doubt that uncertainty is beginning to take its toll economically and that tech businesses are getting impatient to see real progress to the negotiation talks. But if we take a step back, it is clear just how much has been done since the vote.

The UK’s Plan

For starters, the Prime Minister has set out some clear red lines for the negotiations. The Lancaster House speech remains the foundation stone on which the UK’s expectations are built. Under the plan, the UK will leave the Single Market, leave the Customs Union and leave the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

Of course, these red lines come with a whole host of complexities for business. It remains unclear how leaving the ECJ will work given the close regulatory cooperation needed within tech, leaving the Customs Union potentially presents a whole host of problems for businesses operating “just in time” services, and leaving the Single Market puts the free flow of data under threat. Yet the fact remains that the Government has been clear about their intentions and that gives more clarity as to the kind of Brexit we are likely to see.

The First Phase

We also know a lot about the likely landing zones for agreement on the range of issues contained in the first phase of negotiations. For example, we know that the UK is prepared to pay a hefty bill in order to meet is contributions to the current EU Budget cycle, in addition to further payments, though these are still a contentious point for the negotiations.

We also know far more about EU citizen’s rights here in the UK. The Government’s last revisions to the ‘Settled Status’ scheme take on a number of techUK recommendations including allowing EU citizen’s with Permanent Residency status to have this status automatically converted to the new Settled Status scheme. Gone too are proposals to require finger printing of citizens or the retention of biometric residency data. While there are still outstanding issues, such as the concerns about the cost of application, this marks real progress since the Government’s first attempt at providing reassurances to those EU citizens living and working here in the UK.

Future Planning

The flurry of Future Partnership Papers produced by the UK Government over the summer also provided an insight into the UK’s ambitions in key areas for the next round of negotiations.

Of particuarl importance to tech was the paper on protection of personal data, where the government confirmed their desire to secure an ‘adequacy- like’ agreement to allow the continued free flow of data. Sitting alongside a continued role for the ICO in the future of data protection policy, this marks an ambitious, but sensible approach to this critical issue. Of course, the hard work is yet to come in securing such an agreement.

In other areas too the UK has set out a positive vision. In scientific cooperation there remains a strong desire to remain part of the European community, including participation in Horizon 2020. All this shows a real desire from the UK to balance the decision to leave with a strong future relationship.

What we need to know


Since the Prime Minister’s speech in Florence we have known that the UK accept the desire to secure a transition period in order to implement any final Brexit deal. However, despite broad agreement that this is desirable from Michel Barnier, until there is a formal agreement on such a period businesses cannot base their plans on the hope they will transpire.

Tech businesses urgently need to see a concrete agreement on transition, setting out exactly how long such a transition will be, and ensuring that it is a ‘status quo’ transition, with the UK remaining a member of the Single Market and Customs Union until any new system is put in place. Without clarification of these issues early next year, then businesses will start to assume a ‘cliff edge’ Brexit in 2019.

Getting to the Second Phase

Closing the last round of talks today, Michel Barnier stated that there are now two weeks to come to agreement on a range of outstanding issues in the first phase of the negotiations, most notably the Brexit Bill. Without a break in the deadlock then there is a serious risk that the December Council meeting concludes that sufficient progress has not been made to move to the next part of the negotiations. That would represent a serious risk for tech businesses, and likely precede a radical change of tech attitudes to the UK’s future. Getting agreement at the December Council meeting is absolutely critical for everything that is to come.

The EU approach

The EU 27 have been incredibly disciplined in not discussing the second phase of the negotiations, so it remains unclear how they will approach issues ranging from immigration, to trade to customs. At the October Council meeting EU leaders agreed to begin internal discussions on these issues, but as yet, we simply don’t know what from they envision from the future of the talks. Given the cautious approach and strict interpretation of the treaties seen so far in negotiations, it is likely that the EU will be very wary of giving the UK a deal that risks opening themselves up to challenge by other nations keen to secure greater access to the Singe Market.

A key issue will be whether the EU is willing to go further than simply scoping a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) before March 2019. The current attitude is that formal negotiations cannot start until after the Article 50 process, but this is a long way away from the UK’s hope of agreeing all but the technical detail of an FTA in 2018 ahead of the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement.

...and almost everything else

The reality is that, until sufficient progress is secured for the first phase of negotiations, businesses will remain in the dark on huge amounts of Brexit detail, from what kind of customs system we will have, what our future immigration system will be, and the extent to which the UK can fulfil the ambitions it has set out while maintaining the red lines outlined. What is truly clear is that, there remains a lot to do in the 505 days left before Brexit, and the clock is very much ticking.



]]> (Giles Derrington(techUK)) News Fri, 10 Nov 2017 16:51:27 +0000
Smart Energy & Utilities Update October 2017

Welcome to the latest edition of techUK's Smart Energy & Utilities Newsletter.

For further techUK and market related news sign up to our SmarterUK newsletter which provides a monthly roundup of activities within the whole forum.

]]> (Manar Al-Muflahi(techUK)) Newsletters Fri, 10 Nov 2017 16:27:16 +0000
Health & Social Care Newsletter | Your Vote Counts: Health & Social Care Council

Voting is now open for the Health and Social Care Council. We have 17 experienced candidates up for election and seven places available on the Council. Thank you in advance for your careful consideration of the new leaders who will shape the Health and Social Care programme at techUK. Voting closes on 17 November.

This month we hosted an Industry Briefings with NHS Digital in London and Leeds, an Industry Engagement on NHS Digital’s GP IT Futures Programme, and at ehi LIVE we launched our investigation into how tech can help avoid the winter crisis. This was followed by our aptly timed FHIR Works event on interoperability last Friday.

Next week we are hosting our Annual Health and Social Care Industry Dinner on Wednesday 15 November in Central London. You’ll hear from Matthew Swindells, Lord O'Shaughnessy, Prof. Rachel Dunscombe, and senior execs from NHS England, NHS Digital and other public bodies. It’s an excellent networking opportunity with limited tickets remaining.

Please get in touch with the team and let us know if there are topics you'd like us to include, leave out, or talk about in our newsletters. We really do like feedback!

techUK News, Views, and Opportunities

New, Fast-Track Route Into the NHS for “Breakthrough” Medicines and Technologies
techUK comments on the funding announced for Accelerated Access Scheme for transformative medicines and technologies.

FHIR Works. Showcasing Progress towards Interoperable Care
In the run up to the fireworks of Bonfire Night, a different sort of conversation on FHIR Works took place at our offices in London. techUK’s Kate Francis summarises this joint event hosted by techUK, NHS Digital and INTEROPen with guests, KLAS. At the event, we launched an addendum to the Interoperability Charter – please take a look and send us your comments.

Investigation Launch: How Tech Can Help to Avoid a Winter Crisis
At ehi LIVE at the beginning of the month, techUK launched an investigation which will take place over the 2017/18 winter period to report on how technology can help us to support the NHS in addressing the challenges it faces, particularly in the winter months. Download our paper and read more about the event here.

Health and Social Care News and Opportunities

Kings Fund Event: Sharing Health and Care Records
This conference, hosted by The King’s Fund, explores the different models developed over the past few years and provides you with the opportunity to learn how local areas are overcoming these challenges.

13 December 2017, Leeds, 15% Discount for techUK Members.

International Opportunities in India

Calling on the best British digital healthcare innovators to take part in the Healthcare innovation mission to India, from 4 – 8 February 2018.

To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the UK’s National Health Service, Healthcare UK, Department for International Trade and NHS Digital will be taking a trade mission of the most innovative healthcare providers and suppliers in the NHS to India.

The DIT invites expressions of interest from NHS and private sector organisations with an innovative offer in healthcare. The closing date for expression of interest is 15 November. Places are limited so please apply early.

Update from NHS Digital on Security Operations Centre Procurement

NHS Digital wishes to inform industry that the procurement of the Security Operations Centre (SOC) is currently going through a final stage of Government approvals. The procurement is still in ‘live’ status; NHS Digital are confident of approval and being in a position to release the SQ imminently. Once they have final approval, a revised timeline will be communicated to highlight each procurement milestone.

NHS Digital appreciate that Industry have had to manage their resources to fall in line with NHS Digital’s timelines and apologise for the delay. Any further significant delays to the procurement activity will be communicated to you across their channels.

]]> (Kate Francis(techUK)) News Fri, 10 Nov 2017 16:08:47 +0000
National Careers Service: Concept Viability Briefing

This Market Engagement is part of techUK’s Concept Viability Programme which allows public sector customers to have a two-way dialogue with the market, and provides suppliers of all sizes, including small businesses, with an opportunity to help shape and validate ideas, plans and requirements.

To ensure a robust engagement as possible we will be holding three identical sessions over a period of two weeks:

• 17 November 2017, 09:30am-3.30pm: Birmingham NEC Concourse Suites 22-23

• 22 November 2017, 09:30am-3.30pm: techUK, London

• 24 November 2017, 09:30-3.30pm: techUK, London

The Purpose of the Market Engagement

This National Careers Service Market Briefing will engage with potential suppliers, experts and other interested parties in advance of a future procurement. Organisations are invited to attend the event and contribute to this Market Briefing which is designed to discuss how the ESFA can best deliver the objectives of the new National Careers Service.

By engaging with the market the National Careers Service will gather feedback to further assess:

• The feasibility of the proposed operating model
• The appetite, capability and capacity to deliver the service
• Potential risks, issues and barriers to delivering the required outcomes
• The proposed commercial, financial and contractual arrangements

A notification for the procurement of Supplier(s) for the National Careers Service area based service has been published. All organisations interested in finding out more should contact the ESFA by using the online message board at

Who Should Attend?

Themes we will be covering include the target operating model; funding model; digital products and tools; data; technical challenges and transition to the new model. This should be a consideration for who attends from your organisation.

If you would like to register your interest to attend one of the sessions please respond directly to, providing details of which session you would like to attend, details of your organisation, and the names and job roles of who you would like to attend the session. Based on demand we may have to restrict the number of attendees per company.

Further details of the market briefing, including agenda and preparation, will be provided prior to the event.

]]> (Simona Paliulyte(techUK)) Briefing Fri, 10 Nov 2017 15:33:25 +0000
National Careers Service: Concept Viability Briefing

This Market Engagement is part of techUK’s Concept Viability Programme which allows public sector customers to have a two-way dialogue with the market, and provides suppliers of all sizes, including small businesses, with an opportunity to help shape and validate ideas, plans and requirements.

To ensure a robust engagement as possible we will be holding three identical sessions over a period of two weeks:

• 17 November 2017, 09:30am-3.30pm: Birmingham NEC Concourse Suites 22-23

• 22 November 2017, 09:30am-3.30pm: techUK, London

• 24 November 2017, 09:30-3.30pm: techUK, London

The Purpose of the Market Engagement

This National Careers Service Market Briefing will engage with potential suppliers, experts and other interested parties in advance of a future procurement. Organisations are invited to attend the event and contribute to this Market Briefing which is designed to discuss how the ESFA can best deliver the objectives of the new National Careers Service.

By engaging with the market the National Careers Service will gather feedback to further assess:

• The feasibility of the proposed operating model
• The appetite, capability and capacity to deliver the service
• Potential risks, issues and barriers to delivering the required outcomes
• The proposed commercial, financial and contractual arrangements

A notification for the procurement of Supplier(s) for the National Careers Service area based service has been published. All organisations interested in finding out more should contact the ESFA by using the online message board at

Who Should Attend?

Themes we will be covering include the target operating model; funding model; digital products and tools; data; technical challenges and transition to the new model. This should be a consideration for who attends from your organisation.

If you would like to register your interest to attend one of the sessions please respond directly to, providing details of which session you would like to attend, details of your organisation, and the names and job roles of who you would like to attend the session. Based on demand we may have to restrict the number of attendees per company.

Further details of the market briefing, including agenda and preparation, will be provided prior to the event.

]]> (Simona Paliulyte(techUK)) Briefing Fri, 10 Nov 2017 15:31:01 +0000
techUK Members Explore Opportunities in China at Bespoke Event

This Wednesday 8 November techUK ran a seminar that showcased the potential of the Chinese market for its members.

The half day seminar included speakers from government and business who discussed the market opportunities in China as well as how to overcome some of the challenges.

The event was aimed for those considering the Chinese market for the first time or who are relatively new to the China market and are considering how to grow their presence.

The morning started off with a welcome from techUK CEO, Julian David, who was followed by Minister Counsellor for Science & Technology at the Chinese Embassy, Mr Sunan Jiang. Mr Jiang discussed China's latest progress in science and technology innovation and Sino-British cooperation prospects as well as outlining some of the opportunity. Andrew Cockburn followed with an overview of the resources the Department for International Trade can offer in support of UK companies’ China excursions.


This event was followed by Bill Russell, Deputy Director of International Policy of the Intellectual Property Office who outlined what is considered IP, it’s importance, and how to protect it in the UK and globally. Mark Hedley, ‎ICT Sector Director & China Business Adviser at the China Britain Business Council gave more analysis to what the China market looks like and how to access some of the opportunities as well as sharing his extensive experience of conducting business in China.

Graham Curraan, CEO of UK company Sondrel shared with the group his experience of exporting to China and gave tips on the Dos and Don’ts. The event was concluded with a fascinating panel discussion exploring all things China with fantastic insights from panellists, Edward Brewster, Communications Director at Huawei Technologies UK & Ireland office, Heba Bevan, CEO of tech start-up Utterberry, and Professor Yike Guo, Founding Director of the Data Science Institute at Imperial College.


The event was part of an ongoing series of events and activities by techUK’s International trade programme aimed at assisting UK members engage internationally and facilitating international companies’ UK growth.

For further information on techUK’s international trade programme, please get in touch with Simon Spier.

]]> (Simon Spier (techUK)) News Fri, 10 Nov 2017 14:59:18 +0000
GTM USA eCommerce Mentoring Workshop

With U.S. eCommerce sales projected to grow to $461.6bn in 2018—are you ready to accelerate your U.S. sales?

Register for a free one-to-one 2-hour mentoring workshop session with international expansion experts from Shopify Plus, Lucid Fusion techUK, Department of International Trade, Silicon Valley Bank, Moore Stephens, Thorelli & Associates, Newable and Horizon International Cargo

Key topics covered: Establishing an effective U.S. eCommerce plan, Acquiring new customers, Optimizing your ROI, Identifying new advertising platforms, Fulfilment opportunities, Compliance and Scaling your growth

Timing: Choice of two workshops, morning or afternoon. Peer to peer networking with lunchtime food and refreshments.

Who should attend: eCommerce businesses with an active ambition to access US / international markets within a 3-6-month period and with a minimum annual turnover of £2 million.

Location: GS1, Hasilwood House, 60 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AW, United Kingdom

Date: Friday, December 1, 2017

Space is limited, so register now to secure your spot in one of our two sessions click here for more information.

]]> (Simon Spier (techUK)) Partner Event Fri, 10 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000
Guest Blog: 9 Mindset Steps in the Digital Transformation Journey

Exploring nine points along the transformation timeline, from first understanding what it means to your business, to finally judging whether it’s been a success.

1) What is a digital transformation about?

I’ve been involved in transformations with all different names over the years – but the fact is, whether you call it digital or not, this is about a step change in organisational performance.

Digitisation should be about optimising (and automating where possible) the end-to-end process across all parts of the business. That might involve providing better information, advice and guidance so people don’t have to call in the first place. It might be about routing those calls more efficiently to the right people, with the right skills, at the right time; or it might be about automating enquiries into back end systems faster.

But, whichever way, it’s not just about the call centre or IT.

It’s about really transforming the business and the customer journey end-to-end.

2) When doesn’t it work?

Often it doesn’t work when an organisation appoints a chief digital officer or a chief transformation officer, then says, ‘OK, our job here is done’. The ones that succeed are where the CEO and executive committee take responsibility and have an active involvement. Then your transformation person becomes the facilitator, ensuring the right controls and disciplines are in place, and the right partners brought to bear.

3) What mindset does an executive committee need to make such a transformation successful?

There are two, really. The first is recognising that they are going to be making a lot of decisions and investing a lot of effort in driving large-scale change throughout their organisation, in many areas, all at once. That will need to be complemented by cultural change, new skills, new disciplines and new partners.

The second is really thinking about the amazing disruptive digital technology that’s out there, and how it’s changing the world. When it comes to the art of the possible, the bar has been significantly raised and it’s very hard to see that unless you have some idea of what those possibilities are.

4) Where do you start?

We tend to start by leveraging the assets that are already in place, in order to drive out cost. Then, once you begin to understand how to mobilise and drive the organisation to perform at scale – and that’s not just the technology but also the people and the processes – you can take on a more ambitious slice of service redesign.

But, you can’t just transform the contact centre. When you think about the end customer journey – whether that’s someone booking a flight or reporting a missed bin collection – that experience for the customer is impacted from everywhere – from the website, the contact centre, the back office, the finance systems, logistics... no part of the business should be excluded.

5) What helps a digital transformation gain momentum?

Successful transformations gain momentum not because of some new tool or piece of technology, but because you’ve worked in a smart, agile way and quickly delivered something that is ‘wow’ for the customer. People see that and start to think differently, become more responsive to customer needs and better at implementing change.

6) What does Capita bring to projects like these?

At its heart, Capita understands how to run operations within an organisation. Importantly we’ve done lots of our own transformations where we’ve taken on a lot of people and had to go through very rapid transitions to improve efficiencies. That’s our core proposition. We’ve done this before, in our own business. It’s deep, pragmatic experience – it’s not just a PowerPoint!

7) What surprises organisations when they find themselves in the middle of transformation journey?

I think they are often surprised at the pace their organisation can move when it’s set up the right way, and when you introduce new skills.

They’re also often surprised at how little they understand of the workload that’s either coming into, or being produced within, their organisation. I’ve been surprised myself sometimes!, But that’s the power of data within a digital transformation, really being able to measure everything and getting this amazing transparency.

8) How do you measure success?

You need one or two very clear metrics of success. Are we about improving customer service and reducing costs? Or increasing revenue? Or reducing turnaround time? Be really crystal clear what that metric is.

In IT transformations of old, you’d have to wait two years until it was all in, and people were retrained and using it, before you could see if it worked. By which time, by the way, the business was likely to have changed immensely so how could you even tell?

However, when you start doing individual customer journeys as part of a digital transformation, you can measure everything. So, in the programs we’ve done, we’ve known the benefits at each stage before and after implementation.

Good transformations are the ones where you can measure the benefits at every stage and you know, straight away, if it’s working, every time a solution goes live.

9) What’s the big opportunity for customer service in a digital transformation?

I think it’s about getting organisations to think more broadly about delivering their end customer services. It’s not just about having the most efficient contact centre; it’s about having the most efficient end-to-end processes, making it frictionless for the customer, and therefore reducing the workload coming in and handling it in the most efficient way. That’s the potential of a really powerful digital transformation.

]]> (Harri Turnbull(techUK)) Opinions Fri, 10 Nov 2017 12:25:09 +0000
The Role of SMEs in Delivering Government Transformation

The UK has a large pool of high tech small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that can play a huge role in transforming government, if only they were given the chance!

A small to medium enterprise (SME) is, by very definition, not a large organisation. Accordingly, to survive and thrive an SME must focus on what it is, and what it can be, very good at. This narrow focus makes most SMEs subject matter experts, so an SME in every sense.

Further, most SME are small (less than 50 people in the whole company group) and many are micro (less than 10 people). This is particularly true in the tech sector. This small size means that there is little bureaucracy and flat management structures allowing the business to operate in a most nimble and agile manner.

For most SME, a £0.5m contract will be significant and will have visibility across the company, including senior management. This will motivate the company to deliver on the contract both in letter and spirit. While a large multinational company could reputationally recover from failing to deliver a contract like this, an SME would be unlikely to recover the reputation damage and so won’t allow failure.

SMEs and Government transformation

One of the key characteristics of SMEs is an agile and coherent group of highly motivated experts often accompanied by existing “ready to use” innovative intellectual property. These characteristics are key enablers to transforming Government.

What is clear from the messages of political leaders, and evidence ‘on the ground’ is that UK SMEs can play a huge role in transforming government, if government chooses to give them the opportunity.

More needs to be done to address the misconception of SMEs around risk and cost – and better communication of the benefits and barriers for SMEs working in the Public Sector. These messages should focus on how greater use of SMEs provides citizens with innovative services, and Government leaders have a reduced risk of failure.

The Government should be doing more to address the barriers to SMEs - for a start the Public Sector should commission more smaller-scale focused projects and use shorter contracts with payments on time to minimise risk!

What about the situation where the scale of the government need is wider than the focus of a single SME? There are many case studies of SME working together to deliver broad scope projects with each SME delivering expertise in their area. There are even government template collaboration agreements to support this - a model that enables a Government service a team of motivated experts. These just need to be used more!

In summary, with SMEs Government customers get experts in the bid, and experts in the delivery and they help innovative companies scale. It’s a Win-Win!

]]> (Simona Paliulyte(techUK)) Opinions Fri, 10 Nov 2017 12:29:07 +0000
UK Public Sector: The SME Secret to Digital Success

Public Sector innovation and digital transformation in local government is taking hold, picking up pace and starting to have real impact. The GovTech market is expanding and we are seeing new innovations and approaches every day from innovative localgov teams and pioneering startups, underpinned by GDS standards, service design methods and localgov best practice.

Historically, local government has admirably sought to deliver its local aim to see citizens’ lives changed significantly for the better.

But with some wider thinking, there are even greater opportunities, and more significant and life-changing benefits to be harnessed. We need to look outwards, not inwards. Now is the time for the whole of the UK Public Sector to consider and embrace two much wider and more ambitious aims:

1. For local authorities and other stakeholders (including SMEs) to work together, rather than independently, to find solutions that benefit everyone.

2. For diverse, multi-sector teams to innovate together, for the benefit and unity of the union, establishing the UK as the world leader in Public Sector innovation.

OK, so some of this is already happening, and there are many good examples at a local level, but there needs to be more willingness from the Public Sector to look for solutions beyond the walls of their own teams and ICT suppliers - there are a wealth of Public Sector innovations being developed nationally, but few ways for these organisations to identify the localgov change-makers and innovators with whom they should engage. So they get nowhere - and citizens miss out.

For locally-delivered services, such as waste management, council tax collection, parking, blue badges, etc. this is often less of an issue. However, much of future progress is in cross-border services, interoperability & data sharing, Open Data, APIs and digital standards - and all these need an outward perspective and a multi-sector solution. We need to deliver on the two aims above to make a subsequent difference to citizens. Only then will the UK truly be able to join up services, data and consistent delivery across borders.

The solution

To change the status quo and realise the UK as the global leader in Public Sector innovation, we must communicate more, fund innovatively, and make ourselves more available as follows:

1. Market information days – SMEs can’t engage 152 ‘gatewayed’ organisations when they are trying to find solutions. It’s up to localgov to provide innovators with opportunities to present solutions to the Public Sector en masse. Examples of this include London Ventures and the techUK Innovation Den, but there needs to be more events, particularly outside of London.

2. Localgov crowdfunding of solutions - Despite localgov austerity, there is transformation money, but much of this is being spent locally to address challenges 152 times over. Like the issue of GDPR faced by every local authority, localgov must embrace new cost-effective models to fund integrated national solutions to shared local problems.

3. Better seed funding for GovTech collaboration and innovation - There is a significant need for larger sums to deliver national solutions to local problems, e.g. my personal favourite, childcare information. These challenges are best solved by a multi-sector team, not by localgov (or indeed a tech company) in isolation.

So who is going to take up the challenge in their own capacity and role? Even beyond Brexit, the UK can be the world leader in GovTech innovation. But only if we change old habits, take a risk and go out of our way to discover the possibilities not quite in front of us.

]]> (Simona Paliulyte(techUK)) Opinions Fri, 10 Nov 2017 10:43:48 +0000
techUK Responds to House of Commons Algorithm Inquiry

Following the recent General Election the newly reformed House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee relaunched its inquiry into the use of algorithms in public and business decision making. The inquiry is exploring how algorithms are formulated, the impact algorithms have on individuals and the ability to understand or challenge decisions made using algorithms. Based on member input techUK provided a written submission to the committee as part of its inquiry. Members can download the response below which has now been published by the Committee.

Key points of techUK's submission include:

  • Algorithms are at the heart of how the UK’s digital economy and society works. Every digital products, service or system functions uses algorithms which provide the instructions, or steps, a computer must take to reach a specific outcome or decision.
  • The convergence of algorithms with large datasets, machine learning and Artificial Intelligence is leading to the creation of intelligent, autonomous machines capable of making real time decision that affect and impact our lives.
  • The UK is a world leader in the development and use of algorithmic decision making technologies and this leadership must be both protected and accelerated to ensure the future development of the UK’s digital economy.
  • Algorithmic decision making technologies can also play an important role in achieving Government objectives. However, a number of challenges remain.
  • As we move quickly towards a world where humans increasingly live and work alongside intelligent, autonomous, decision making machines, there are public fears and concerns about the social and ethical implications of these technologies that must be recognised and discussed.
  • Key to building a culture of trust and confidence in automated decision making systems is ensuring decisions are auditable, challengeable and ultimately understandable by humans.
  • Public trust and confidence won’t be achieved by legally requiring companies to publicly open up algorithms; which are likely to be commercially sensitive and unlikely to be understood by people without the appropriate technological knowledge. Instead ensuring the right mechanisms are in place so organisations and individuals can challenge the outcome of automated decision making systems should be the focus of this discussion.
  • Government and industry must work together to ensure there is a balanced and constructive public debate on the positive benefits of these technologies rather than looking to regulate innovation out of the market.

For more information about techUK's work on data analytics, machine learning and AI please contact Sue Daley.


]]> (Sophie Weston(techUK)) News Fri, 10 Nov 2017 09:47:02 +0000
Climate Change Minister Endorses techUK Report On Tech Led Decarbonisation

techUK has today released a new report, Technology - Enabling CO2 Reductions, which explores how technology can drive positive change and meet future challenges in reducing CO2 emissions.

Launched during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) this week, the paper outlines how the Clean Growth Strategy must work in tandem with the Industrial Strategy, the Digital Strategy and forthcoming 25-year Environment Plan to ensure technology is used to achieve the Government’s ambitious carbon reduction targets.

In the paper, techUK covers:

  • How digital technology can support the delivery of carbon savings in a variety of sectors, including energy, construction and agriculture
  • The future opportunities for tech-led decarbonisation
  • Recommendations on how to accelerate cost-effective deployment of tech solutions.

Commenting on the report, Julian David, CEO of techUK, said:

“The UK is a world-leading digital economy but, to continue its success, it must also be a sustainable one. In its recent Clean Growth Strategy, the Government rightly acknowledged the role of digital in supporting a smarter, more sustainable economy, and this report highlights key opportunities for decarbonisation.

“Smart energy, connected homes, digital industries, and agritech are all segments where we can use digital tech to reduce carbon emissions and drive economic growth in parallel. The tech industry looks forward to working with Government to achieve both its ambitious carbon reduction targets and improve productivity.”

Claire Perry, Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry, said:

“The UK is a world leader in tackling climate change. Since 1990 we have cut our emissions by more than a third while growing the economy by more than two thirds – the best performance in the G7 on a per person basis.

“As set out in the Clean Growth Strategy, the transition to a clean economy presents significant economic opportunities across the country. Innovation and technology are essential to growing the low carbon economy and are a key part of our modern Industrial Strategy.”



]]> (Craig Melson(techUK)) Reports Fri, 10 Nov 2017 08:00:00 +0000
techUK Recommendations For Tech Led Decarbonisation

With the Technology: Enabling CO2 Reductions report launched today with support from the Minister, techUK sets out how different technologies can be deployed across the economy to deliver emissions reduction drive efficiencies, cost savings and make a smarter state.

The report looks at where techUK and the Government believe that tech can have a transformative effect. Supported by case studies from members across the tech sector and a series of roundtables with stakeholders and industry, there are some clear principles that need to be followed, which are:

  • Have a clear vision and direction of travel for decarbonisation.
  • Identify, prioritise and focus on the key sectors requiring transformation.
  • Signal any intent for regulatory intervention and the timeline for doing so.
  • Be robust and not subject to short-term changes.
  • Have technology at its heart.

The report also makes clear that there are three fundamentals the UK needs to get right before any widespread transformation can take place: Connectivity, Cyber security and skills. Without these, tech led decarbonisation will be more difficult to achieve.

The report details the sectors that can most benefit from tech deployment and specific recommendations are detailed below.

Decarbonising business and industry

  • Continue to explore policy and fiscal tools to incentivise businesses to take up emerging technology solutions.
  • Broaden the Energy Technology Product List to reflect the role that digital technologies can play.

Decarbonising the energy sector

  • Review energy flexibility services to deliver a cost-effective and more user-friendly system.
  • Continue to work with Ofgem in reviewing network charging, ensuring a holistic and open ended approach.
  • Invest in further innovation funding trials at scale.

Decarbonising the built environment

  • Explore incentives to reduce the initial cost of smart devices and appliances.
  • Facilitate and encourage dynamic tariffs.
  • Consider a public information campaign for home and business energy users about the benefits of smart energy products.

Decarbonising cities

  • Invest in more scale-level demonstrator smart city projects.
  • Use devolution deals to ensure that local authorities have the ability to develop and execute digital and smart city strategies.
  • Facilitate city data exchange platforms.

Decarbonising transport and logistics

  • Use the Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill to enable the policy framework for autonomous vehicles.
  • Set out a clear plan for a nationwide electric vehicle charging station roll-out.
  • Ensure all metro transport systems deliver open APIs to encourage the development of third party apps to make accessing public transport simpler.
  • Work with industry to improve connectivity across transport corridors.

Decarbonising agriculture

  • Support farmers to invest in cost-effective, off-the-shelf technology.
  • Expand support for the £4m Agri-Tech Catalyst.
  • Support demonstration farms equipped with emerging and available technologies to measure their potential.
  • Improve digital skills for agricultural workers.
  • Invest in rural connectivity.

Decarbonising the waste and resources sector

  • Increase support for R&D within companies to explore how tech can deliver circular business practices

With all this in mind and the fact the Clean Growth Strategy is now here, have a look at the full report below along with deeper recommendations and policy suggestions from our sector specific roundtables.


]]> (Craig Melson(techUK)) News Thu, 09 Nov 2017 17:05:21 +0000
The Tech World Tour

On Thursday 16th November 2017, Tech London Advocates will bring The Tech World Tour to Here East.

London remains the tech capital of Europe, but what does Global Britain mean for London tech? Can technology survive in post-Brexit Britain? Will international investment and talent continue flowing into the city?

Hosted by the BBC’s business presenter, Ben Thompson, this event will put these questions to high profile entrepreneurs, experts and Ministers.

Leaders from China, the US, France, Germany, the Nordics, Africa and LatAm will also be sharing their views on London.

If you care about the future of London tech and want to meet tech leaders from around the world, book your ticket now.

There will be 50 start-ups exhibiting in the Marketplace, food-tech start-ups and catering from Cobra Beer and Folly’s Wine.

More information is available here.


]]> (Sophie Weston(techUK)) Partner Event Thu, 09 Nov 2017 14:23:25 +0000
Partnering for Digital Outcomes Opportunities

Last week a SME Cloud business went into administration because HMRC had migrated away to another supplier. The contract originally won through G-Cloud as a two-year contract, but not subsequently renewed highlights one of the challenges for SMEs to win and successfully grow their public sector business.

“Her Majesty’s Government is not in the habit of bankrupting SMEs”, I’m told often by procurement people within public sector, hence why they don’t want to give significant work to SMEs like us. The risks are obvious; you win a large engagement, hire more staff, get more equipment and move to new premises, thereby increasing your overhead which can bankrupt you when the engagement ends and you are unable to find further work. Government departments are aware of this and ensure SMEs don’t win a large contract relative to their turnover and that their department doesn’t represent a significant proportion of an SME’s revenue. This is a challenge for ambitious SME’s like Zaizi looking to grow rapidly.

The Digital Marketplace has opened up public sector procurement for digital delivery services, making it easier and simpler for government departments to procure and for companies of all sizes to compete to provide those services. You answer 7 – 10 questions in 100 words on your skills and experience to pass the initial shortlisting; followed by a proposal and an optional presentation to win the digital outcomes project. The whole process could be 4 – 6 weeks long and you could be kicking off a new engagement with a new public sector organisation.

The challenges for SME’s like Zaizi to be successful in engagement with public sector via the Digital Marketplace are;

1. No visibility of what potential future work is coming up in the marketplace, to be lining up resources and preparing to bid for.
2. No ability to predict chances of winning a Digital Market outcomes opportunity. Recently we bid for an opportunity which had 54 suppliers bid - a record for Digital Marketplace I’m told.
3. Unable to forecast staffing needs and plan for hiring, as a successful Digital Marketplace bid could mean kicking off the project within 1 - 2 weeks of being notified of a successful bid.
4. Ability to onboard quickly and flex resourcing over the course of the engagement, which most projects require.
5. Meeting the wide set of skill and experience required in some Digital Marketplace opportunities.

The obvious answer is to build an associate network you can call upon and overcome the challenges without increasing your fixed overheads. There are a number of SMEs that do this including a few who are recruitment companies, with a large pool of contractors. This approach works and is suitable for some of the digital engagements within the public sector, but not for all. Companies sometimes reference skills and experience of particular associates in response to a particular opportunity but who are unavailable for the engagement.

At Zaizi, we’ve taken a partnering approach with like-minded SME’s to overcome the scaling, skills and experience challenge to be successful in winning Digital Marketplace opportunities. Our strength lies in open source delivery and cloud deployments. We’ve partnered with other SMEs who complement our capability like;

● Fluent Interaction: a user research and user experience design specialist
● Securestorm: a cybersecurity specialist
● LA International: security cleared associate network

By partnering with like-minded specialist SMEs, we have been able to rapidly assemble a strong digital team and successfully deliver Digital Outcomes opportunities. Our public sector customers tell us they like our partnering approach, because they get the breadth of specialist skills and experience they require; ability to flex resourcing – as the overhead risk is spread among different companies; and the committed engagement that only an SME companies can provide.

If you are an SME who will you partner with for your next Digital Outcomes opportunity?

If you think you can complete Zaizi, then please do get in touch at

Complete techUK's SME Survey here and help us make the case on your behalf.

]]> (Simona Paliulyte(techUK)) Opinions Thu, 09 Nov 2017 13:37:22 +0000
Policy Pulse | Your Weekly Update on Tech and Digital Policy

This week, the Prime Minister promises to "back innovators & wealth creators" ahead of crucial Brexit talks. Also:

  • Publication of Government’s Brexit sectoral impact reports delayed;
  • UK and France to form world-first Cyber Threat Alliance; and
  • techUK makes case for R&D roadmap to the Science and Technology Select Committee.

And plenty more! Get your weekly tech policy fix below.

Top Tech Policy News

Prime Minister promises to "back innovators & wealth creators" (FT £)
Theresa May reaffirms ambition to give business as much certainty as possible on a Brexit transition period as clock ticks on Brexit talks.

UK and France to form world-first Cyber Threat Alliance (Gov.UK)
Digital Minister Matt Hancock MP tells Paris audience of shared ambition for greater cyber security cooperation.

Government to publish Brexit economic impact assessments (Independent)
Sector eager to understand Government’s own assessment on Brexit impact as companies seek security of transition arrangement.

Brexit threatens to split existing cross-border supply chains (FT £)
New research from leading procurement body shows 63% of EU27 supply chain managers expect to move some supply chain out of Britain post-Brexit.

techUK Action & Reaction

techUK urges Government to give R&D certainty (techUK)
Tom Morrison-Bell tells influential Science & Technology Committee Government could boost certainty by setting roadmap for 2.4% GDP spend on R&D.

What's in store for the UK's AI future? (techUK)
From bias to business growth, techUK’s report examines what AI really means for the UK.

Supercharging Britain's role in global trade (techUK)
techUK panel looks at the future of digital as Global Britain sets its sights on international trade.

Vote for the most influential person in UK tech 2017 (Computer Weekly)
techUK President and CEO both make shortlist along with a range of techUK members. Congrats to all and make sure to vote!

More News & Comment

Why making AIs fair, accountable and transparent is crucial (Guardian)

Korski and Kamall on what a digital Brexit means for GovTech (City AM)

Councils must tap into innovative startups to meet citizens demands (City AM)

Upcoming Events - View full events calendar

Nov 14 -  How will policing and justice be affected by the Data Protection Bill?

Nov 21 -  techUK Innovation Den: Accelerating Transformation in the Public Sector

Nov 23 - Who Rules The Internet?

Dec 13 - Digital Ethics Summit

As ever, please get in touch with the team and let us know if there are topics you'd like us to include, leave out, or talk about. We really do like feedback!


]]> (Tom Morrison-Bell(techUK)) Newsletters Thu, 09 Nov 2017 11:28:00 +0000
Leadership, Culture & Governance Central to Improved Multi-Agency Working
Co-operation, collaboration and data sharing between different public sector agencies at a local level is perhaps the single most important key to identifying interventions, improving efficiency and designing predictive services that ultimately help to improve outcomes for all citizens.

As such, techUK were delighted to host an event bringing together public sector and tech industry to share best practice, ideals, tools and resources on how we can work together to create the environment that supports and drives effective multi-agency collaboration and enables the technology to succeed. Speakers at the event included: Mark Goossens, Client Director, Home Office & Police, IBM; Robert Leach, Acting CEO, Police ICT Company; Jennifer Housego, Head of Digital, Essex and Kent Police; Hilary Simpson, Former Head of Information Management, Camden Council; Barry Lloyd, Head of Policing and Public Safety, MarkLogic; and Paul Drewett, Public Sector, Red Hat.

multi-agency panel

The overarching message from the event was that by effectively joining up data we can genuinely make a difference to citizen’s lives. Information sharing creates intervention opportunities and improves social outcomes. Key themes and insights from the session included:

Strategic Alignment

The relationship between councils and police is multi-dimensional, and this is on top of the existing fragmentation within each sector. Civic leaders have an important role in bringing partners together and a strategic alignment between local authorities and policing should be a precondition for data sharing. Leadership has a pivotal role in driving forward and formalising this agenda across public sector partners. A good starting point would be looking for common cultural points across agencies.

Place v Transformation Agenda

Devolution is enabling a shift towards a ‘place-based’ approach but may be seen as competing to the priorities of the organisations transformation agenda. There was lots of discussion on how this can be complementary and making ‘place-based’ actually work across different forces and councils where there might not be a champion, a metro Mayor, for example to act as the convener and leader for this.

Taking a Partnership Approach

We heard about the great work Essex and Kent Police are doing to solve the most complex problems with partners across academia, business, and councils. This raised how important meaningful engagement can be in helping public sector articulate the problem and creating a roadmap to solving it.

The GDPR Opportunity

It was emphasised that GDPR should be seen as an opportunity for public sector to review their existing information governance frameworks whilst also looking at data ethics and how consent will be captured. It was also noted that matching technology will have an important role in helping councils to get the whole picture of the citizen. Furthermore, GDPR can act as a good data maturity tool for local public services.

Art of the Possible

There is still some work to do in demystifying the barriers to data sharing and it can’t be underestimated the significance of doing and showing what works. Talking is no longer enough, we must demonstrate what the art of the possible is. Local public services and suppliers could do more together on problem solving and techUK is well placed to convene the market on understanding what the ‘art of the possible is.’

Next Steps

Following this event techUK will be a publishing a paper with key recommendations and showcasing base practice on breaking down the barriers to multi-agency working. If you would like to get involved in the paper or share a case study please contact either Georgina Maratheftis or Henry Rex.



]]> (Georgina Maratheftis(techUK)) Meeting notes Thu, 09 Nov 2017 10:55:39 +0000
Why tech SMEs are Crucial to Public Sector Digital Transformation

Public services in the UK are shielded to a certain extent from the disruption of digital age startups – environmental health is unlikely to be Uber-ised any time soon, after all. However, the twin challenges of severe budget reductions and increased demand from service users means that change is necessary, and digital transformation is a way of seeing how the sector can, in effect, disrupt itself.

At a very high level, the digital transformation of a public service has three main elements:

• The operating model – deciding how services should be delivered
• The service design – deciding how the needs of the user are best met in a specific process
• The technology – using online tech to make the service accessible anytime, anywhere, backed up with assistance for those that lack access or skills

SMEs play a vital role in all three of these areas – by providing skills and capabilities that the public sector currently lacks in-house, and by delivering the kind of modern, flexible technology needed to deliver digital-age solutions.

The latter is a particularly important point, and is one that requires a step change in culture in IT departments. The digital requirement to focus on meeting user need rather than organisational convenience means that the best approaches seek to knit together flexible, best of breed capabilities rather than investing in large, monolithic systems.

After all, many of the line of business systems in use in the public sector do rather similar things – they are made up of case management, bookings, reporting, assessment, payments, notifications and so on. Rather than buying these capabilities over and over again, embedded into large, siloed systems, increasingly organisations seek to purchase these capabilities separately, stitching them together using APIs and web services to deliver a solution that meets the needs of the user, rather than bending processes to fit how the system works.

This has a number of advantages:

• Cost savings, in not duplicating the purchase of capabilities
• Easier to support, as the core set of capabilities are the same no matter what the service is
• Greater flexibility, as capabilities can be swapped in and out as the market matures and new innovations come into play

What the public sector needs for this approach to flourish is a rich market of possibilities – different vendors focusing on developing brilliant specific capabilities rather than trying to develop vast platforms that do everything. Tech SMEs should be perfectly placed to provide the kind of innovation needed to grow this kind of ecosystem, whilst operating at the right scale to never lose touch with what the user outcome needs to be.

Working with SMEs is easier now that it ever has been before, with procurement frameworks like the Digital Marketplace creating simple routes to market without the need to go through laborious tender processes. Advice Cloud works with many organisations on both the supply and the buy side to help make connections between the two and smooth the process of purchasing, minimising to hold ups to getting the real work done.

Technology is not the be-all and end-all of digital transformation. However, any organisation looking to disrupt itself in this way must have a sufficiently flexible technology stack to support the radical change that is needed – and tech SMEs are in the perfect place to deliver what digital transformation demands.

Complete techUK's SME Survey here and help us make the case on your behalf.

]]> (Simona Paliulyte(techUK)) Opinions Thu, 09 Nov 2017 10:43:55 +0000
Opportunity: Future of Work Report | City AM
We are partnering with Mediaplanet for the national and targeted “Future of Work” campaign, also in collaboration with AI Business, BCO and Stylus.

This report launches on 12 December 2017 as an 8-16 page expert led print publication in City AM, sent to targeted events, and through and will be reaching CEOs, HR Directors, HR managers and CTOs.

Please visit for examples for the options for inclusion that techUK members will receive a 50% discount on.

Should you wish to know more about the campaign and the potential for involvement please contact Roz Boldy:

T: 0203 642 0738
M:07748 324843

]]> (Claire Leslie (techUK)) News Thu, 09 Nov 2017 10:17:44 +0000
National Careers Service: Concept Viability Briefing

This Market Engagement is part of techUK’s Concept Viability Programme which allows public sector customers to have a two-way dialogue with the market, and provides suppliers of all sizes, including small businesses, with an opportunity to help shape and validate ideas, plans and requirements.

To ensure a robust engagement as possible we will be holding three identical sessions over a period of two weeks:

• 17 November 2017, 09:30am-3.30pm: Birmingham NEC Concourse Suites 22-23

• 22 November 2017, 09:30am-3.30pm: techUK, London

• 24 November 2017, 09:30-3.30pm: techUK, London

The Purpose of the Market Engagement

This National Careers Service Market Briefing will engage with potential suppliers, experts and other interested parties in advance of a future procurement. Organisations are invited to attend the event and contribute to this Market Briefing which is designed to discuss how the ESFA can best deliver the objectives of the new National Careers Service.

By engaging with the market the National Careers Service will gather feedback to further assess:

• The feasibility of the proposed operating model
• The appetite, capability and capacity to deliver the service
• Potential risks, issues and barriers to delivering the required outcomes
• The proposed commercial, financial and contractual arrangements

A notification for the procurement of Supplier(s) for the National Careers Service area based service has been published. All organisations interested in finding out more should contact the ESFA by using the online message board at

Who Should Attend?

Themes we will be covering include the target operating model; funding model; digital products and tools; data; technical challenges and transition to the new model. This should be a consideration for who attends from your organisation.

If you would like to register your interest to attend one of the sessions please respond directly to, providing details of which session you would like to attend, details of your organisation, and the names and job roles of who you would like to attend the session. Based on demand we may have to restrict the number of attendees per company.

Further details of the market briefing, including agenda and preparation, will be provided prior to the event.

]]> (Simona Paliulyte(techUK)) Briefing Thu, 09 Nov 2017 09:49:29 +0000
techUK Urges Government To Give R&D Certainty
techUK’s Head of Public Affairs, Tom Morrison-Bell, told the influential Science & Technology Committee in the Commons that the Government should use the forthcoming Budget to set out a roadmap for meeting its target to spend 2.4% of GDP on R&D.

The Committee, chaired by former minister Rt Hon Norman Lamb MP, is holding an inquiry into the how the science budget should work with the Government’s broader industrial strategy to ensure the UK continues to be a world leader in both private and public sector R&D. Speaking alongside a distinguished panel, including Cambridge University’s Prof David Connell, and Innovate UK CEO, Dr Ruth McKernan, Tom stressed that the UK must do all it can to give some certainty to businesses amid the current uncertainty arising from Brexit. Showing leadership by setting out to UK tech how the Government intends to meet its 2.4% target by 2027 is one way of achieving this.

The attractiveness of the UK’s R&D regime has been a key factor in both the development of world-leading UK tech companies, such as ARM, and securing significant investment from the world’s most innovative tech companies. With the Brexit clock counting down, Tom also stressed the need for the UK to remain as internationally competitive as possible, especially given the relatively footloose nature of many digital and tech firms.

Other issues Tom stressed to the Committee included:

Boosting digitisation across UK businesses

Digitisation in one of the few short-term levers the Government has for tackling the UK’s chronic productivity problem. According to the European Commission’s 2017 European Digital Progress Report, the UK is ranked 15 out of 28 EU member states when it comes to of integration of digital technology across businesses. As such, Tom urged the Treasury to consider demand-side initiatives to help with the uptake of productivity enhancing digital technologies for businesses in all sectors.

Tech companies benefit from the range of R&D initiatives

From R&D tax credits, to the Enterprise Investment Scheme, tech companies of all sizes benefit from the UK’s R&D regime. This is a critical component of the UK’s international competitiveness and must be retained, if not enhanced. The UK benefits substantially from the sorts of measures which encourage companies to do their cutting-edge innovation here.

The importance of international capital to UK tech

Around a third of venture capital invested in UK startups between 2009-2015 came from the European Investment Fund. Tom highlighted how important it is that the UK remains a part of the EIF, even though it will be required to leave the European Investment Bank.

This work is part of techUK’s broader work on the Government’s Industrial Strategy.


]]> (Tom Morrison-Bell(techUK)) News Wed, 08 Nov 2017 15:37:47 +0000
FDATA: Open Banking 2020-2030 Summit

FDATA, the Financial Data and Technology Association, will examine the prospects and potential of Open Banking over the next 10 years.


Open Banking is the midwife of innovation. It is driving innovation at a breathtaking rate. The consumer tools of the future have not yet been invented. This is the fintech revolution in action. But the journey is long, and we’ve barely left the start line.

  • So where do we go next? How do we get there?
  • What scope of data can we expect to access?
  • What technology will take us there?
  • How can we bring the whole world along for the ride?
  • And what will open banking in 2030 look like?

This will be a day of expert speakers, lively panels and Q&A with a keynote speech from Imran Gulamhuseinwala, Trustee of the Open Banking Implementation Entity.

For further details and full programme, click here

To register for the event, go to Event Registration


]]> (Ruth Milligan(techUK)) Partner Event Wed, 08 Nov 2017 11:27:29 +0000
Local Government as a Platform – How APIs will deliver the Council of the Future

Let’s start with a couple of questions. How many pay-by-phone parking apps do you currently have on your mobile phone? If you are like me and you spend a good proportion of your time driving around the country then I would say you will have at least three or four. Second question: can you remember the painful experience of trying to get each of those parking apps set up for the first time when you are in a new location? You have to register your vehicle, register your payment method and put in the correct location code, all whilst trying to rush to your next appointment.

Now picture this – you drive to a new town or city in the UK, you park your car, you open your favourite parking app and you press “Park.” Instead of being forced to use the parking app that the council has chosen for you, you get to chose whichever one you believe offers you the best and most friction-free experience.

This is a really simple example of the kinds of opportunities that would be enabled by local government adopting an API-first approach in a standard and unified way. If each council agreed to provide a standardised Parking API that third party developers can then leverage, it would create a true competition within that eco-system of vendors where the primary driver is the citizen experience and not their ability to negotiate favourable terms with each different local authority. It is a true Win:Win:Win – better citizen experience, less overhead for the council and it will encourage SMEs to enter the market with new innovations.

Now consider if you could expand that approach across all of local government – standard API’s for Council Tax, business rates, bin collection, housing benefits, etc. Every council is mandated to deliver the same core services, yet currently they each approach them in different ways which stifles the market and means that only a handful of suppliers are able to operate in many of these areas. By embracing the API economy councils would immediately unlock a huge amount of innovation in the market.

Imagine the scenario: you are a new start-up business with some really clever technology, let’s say Machine Learning that can detect fraud. If you assess the local government market, there is a huge need for this kind of technology but as a supplier you know that it requires you to go and have 400 different conversations in 400 different local authorities and then in each one of those authorities the data that your software needs in order to work is stored in totally different ways, meaning each roll-out is unique and bespoke. This is a huge barrier to entry right now for SMEs and often that supplier ends up taking their technology into other sectors, such as banking and insurance, where standards exist. This barrier could be completely overcome if councils agreed on a standard set of APIs.

There are already plenty of examples of how an API-first approach is transforming the public sector. TfL were one of the first to embrace opening up their data via APIs and a recent impact report from GovLab states that over 350 apps have since been built using that data.

It is possible to conclude that TfL have so far saved between £15m-£42m through opening raw data to the app market, rather than developing all its apps in-house.

GovLab – Global Impact of Open Data Report

The same path is now being followed by other Central Government departments, with HMRC in particular embracing an API-first approach that has encouraged hundreds of suppliers and start-ups into their developer programme and saving them hundreds of millions of pounds in what would have been in-house development costs.

So, the business case is proven, the technology is established and thriving in other sectors. It’s now time for local government to come together and standardise on an approach for deploying APIs and unlocking so much of the disruptive innovation that is currently on the outside looking in, unable to access the market in a scalable and cost-effective way

Complete techUK's SME Survey here and help us make the case on your behalf.

]]> (Simona Paliulyte(techUK)) Opinions Wed, 08 Nov 2017 14:45:27 +0000
techUK AI Week - Considering the UK’s AI future
New technologies such as predictive data analytics, machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) have the potential to be significant drivers of change across the UK economy and society. This ranges from personalising shopping experiences to improving public services delivery to increasing business efficiencies.

AI Week CovertechUK’s AI Week explored the opportunities and benefits that the technology can bring to the UK. Throughout the week, members and key stakeholders gave their views on the value AI can bring to UK organisations, both in the public and private sector, and its role in increasing the UK’s digital productivity and economic growth.

This is, however, just the start of the conversation with techUK members. It is vitally important that all businesses and citizens feel ready and able to take advantage of these evolving technologies, now and in the future.

Through briefing sessions, roundtable meetings and events, techUK is raising greater awareness and understanding of the opportunities offered through the application of AI technologies in different sectors, and discussing with members how to create the right environment for AI companies to thrive and grow.

The publication in October of the independent review commissioned by Government, Growing the Artificial Intelligence Industry in the UK, is an important step in identifying where the UK must strengthen its technical, academic and research leadership to make it the best nation in the world for AI companies to thrive. techUK has welcomed the report’s recommendations which include a role for techUK in supporting the uptake of AI in the UK, a task that will be a focus of our 2018 AI activities.

With the technology sector increasingly being looked to for answers on key issues such as digital and data ethics, techUK is holding a Digital Ethics Summit in December to discuss the ethical issues raised by AI. This Summit will bring together philosophers, academics, industry and policy makers to consider the digital and data ethics questions being asked today and identify future ethical issues that may need to be addressed.

If you would like to get involved and help drive forward techUK’s AI work and activities, including our 2018 AI Week, please do get in touch. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy reading these insights.


]]> (Sophie Weston(techUK)) News Wed, 08 Nov 2017 14:44:18 +0000
Data centre compliance health-check, November 2017

Data centre operators struggle to keep abreast of the alphabet soup of regulatory obligations placed upon them. Compliance, however, is not optional and ignorance of the law is not viewed as an acceptable excuse by regulators. So this complexity is worrying, especially where the reputational risk or penalties are severe. The attached document includes some legislation that tends to catch out operators from time to time. If any of these instruments are new to you then they might merit closer examination.

If you are aware of other potential compliance issues not identified below, please feel free to flag them to and we will pick them up in our next health-check. We already have a couple of potential candidates to add to the list!

]]> (Lucas Banach (techUK)) News Wed, 08 Nov 2017 14:27:01 +0000
Supercharging Britain's Role in Global Trade
At techUK's second annual Supercharging the Digital Economy conference, a panel of experts discussed how to protect and reinforce the UK as a partner of choice in the international digital markets.

Raj Sivalingam, techUK's Executive Director for Telecoms and UK Spectrum Policy Forum, welcomed the panellists to the stage and remarked that digital technologies in one way or another play a role in every global trade transaction. According to a McKinsey report, global digital data flows have grown nearly fifty fold in the last decade to over 210 terabits every second. With two thirds of the world’s population having a mobile subscription and the trend set to continue – the global marketplace is indeed a click away whether you are a budding ‘front room’ entrepreneur, start up, SME or a multinational.

Most important factorTo provide an initial snap-shot of attendee perspectives, an audience poll was opened asking "What is the most important factor to reinforce the UK as a preferred partner in global digital trade?" The top response selected was access to digital skills (32%), which was closely followed by an enabling regulatory environment (29%), and policy for investment and innovation (25%).

Panellists were welcomed to comment and share insight on what Government and industry should do to protect and reinforce the UK as a partner of choice in the International digital markets, as the UK develops new trading relationships with European partners and forges new ones world-wide. The panel of experts were:

  • Matt Houlihan, Director, Government Affairs, UK and Ireland, Cisco
  • Christine Ashton, CDO Digital Office, SAP ERP Cloud
  • Dan Byles, Vice President, Head of Corporate Development Living PlanIT
  • John Simmons, Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs, Embassy of the United States of America

Key messages that emerged from the panellist presentations included:

  • Emphasis on the importance of retaining strong access to the EU market through an effective, pro-digital trade deal;
  • The potential for UK-US digital trade;
  • Encouraging the need for the government to embrace a ‘digital-ready’ trade agenda that would facilitate data flows and help position the UK at the heart of the global tech economy.


There were a number of common messages identified by the panellists and in further discussion with the conference participants, some of which have been captured below:

Driving Take-up and Development

Panellists highlighted the importance of strengthening the UK’s existing infrastructure and digital connectivity, echoing techUK’s recent report From Good to Great: Digital Connectivity for a World Class Economy which highlights the importance of transforming the UK’s communications infrastructure to ensure every British business can become a digital business and create an open digital economy for everyone. Increased productivity could be achieved by Government encouraging digitisation of bussinesses and helping them to scale, suggested participants.

It was agreed that in the UK, there is a lot of meaningful activity currently developing from the bottom-up. Whilst there are a number of activities that currently have Government grants and funding, it is key to understand how the private sector will also help drive these activities. Some panellists suggested that companies should use the UK for trials and testbed case studies before developing overseas. Central to increasing the UK’s productivity and ensuring that it is a preferred partner in global digital trade will be the take up of technology and digital transformation within the different sectors to adopt and drive forward.

Breaking into New Markets

A number of audience questions identified specific potential markets, such as China and India. While very different business environments each country were recognised as having significant untapped digital business opportunities. For example, while UK remains the top G20 investor in India, despite our mutual historic and cultural links, neither country is among the top trading partners for each other. With countries such as India and China, discussions in the room highlighted the importance of partnership approaches. Given the borderless nature of ‘digital’, panellists were keen to point out the opportunities beyond the major emerging markets, such as African markets. Panellists and contributors in the audience urged the UK to build on its strengths of research and development, and welcomed a renewed focus on ensuring that SMEs and start-ups are internationally focused in their development.

Access to Digital Skills

In agreement with the earlier poll completed by conference attendees, access to digital skills was viewed as essential to ensuring the UK’s productivity. Certainty and investment within the current climate would also have a large impact on this access to talent. A panellist suggested that the UK was good at “experiencing” people. It is this access to digital skills from within the UK and overseas that would reinforce the UK as a partner of choice in the International digital markets.

The Importance of Data Flows

One of the panellists noted that a significant part of the UK’s GDP is from digital trade, and that almost 12% of the world's data flows travel through the UK. Participants discussed the existing international frameworks, such as the EU-USA Privacy Shield, which are key for companies who depend on transatlantic exchanges of personal data. It was noted that current negotiations are seeking to modernise the North American Free Trade Agreement to include e-commerce, and tax reform and trade missions undertaken by many countries reinforce the importance of driving ‘digital’.


]]> (Skye MacLeod (techUK)) News Wed, 08 Nov 2017 13:28:26 +0000
AG Elevate Fintech Accelerator Programme

techuk is pleased to partner with member Addleshaw Goddard on their AG Elevate fast-track 12 month programme for selected FinTechs, designed to accelerate them through start-up legal challeges.

Designed and delivered by expert lawyers at international law firm Addleshaw Goddard, the free and flexible programme will help FinTechs tackle the variety of legal challenges they may face as business scales up. The scheme gives access to legal mentors, legal advice and industry networks to help Fintechs elevate and grow their businesses. Two programmes are available depending on need:

Programme A: for early stage FinTech startup with no more than £1 million of seed or Series A funding:

  • an assigned legal mentor who will meet with you every month to identify legal challenges you are facing and any areas of concern; 
  • 20 hours of free legal advice per year on any of the FinTech specialist areas, being legal advice on funding, payments, financial regulation and technology;
  • one training session on a legal topic, to be selected from a list of topics provided by AG;
  • access to AG’s legal seminars and networking events;
  • access to AG’s legal updates and other publications;
  • All other legal advice offered by AG will be provided at a 30% discount.

Programme B: for FinTech startups with seed or Series A funding of more than £1 million:

  • an assigned legal mentor who will meet with you every month to identify legal challenges you are facing and any areas of concern;
  • 30 hours of free legal advice per year on any of the FinTech specialist areas, being legal advice on funding, payments, financial regulation and technology;
  • access to TORCHLIGHT, an online tool which helps you keep track of future legal and regulatory developments in the financial services sector;
  • one training session on a legal topic of your choice;
  • presentation to your board on key business and market risks to be mindful of;
  • access to AG’s legal seminars and networking events.


For further information:


]]> (Ruth Milligan(techUK)) News Wed, 08 Nov 2017 10:50:54 +0000
Tech at the Heart of UK Pavillion at COP23 Climate Talks

The next wave of climate talks (called COP23) are currently taking place in Germany and for the first time a small island nation (Fiji) is presiding over them.

The talks won’t produce any key new documents or commitments – rather they lay the foundations for major talks next year in Poland which will tackle some of the big issues that will help make the Paris Agreement operable: how can we ensure that country pledges match what’s needed to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees? How can these pledges be accountable and transparent?

The focus in Bonn will undoubtedly be on the US position after President Trump announced the US will withdraw from the Paris agreement, despite the fact the USA remains the only country in the world not aligned to the agreement following news this week that Syria has pledged to be a signatory.

But these headlines do a disservice to all the activities on the fringes and margins of the talks. Experts from academia, Governments, NGOs and industry are all there looking at climate science, the role of cities in fighting climate change, climate finance and more.

The UK Government, led by BEIS, will be keen to showcase and reconfirm their commitment to international leadership on climate action. It is running a pavilion (Stand A.04 for those in Bonn) with a ten page programme of activities, workshops and talks at COP23 and what is really exciting for us is the high profile of tech throughout the agenda. There are discussions on how blockchain can make carbon markets more transparent, smart energy systems, clean-tech (in all its guises) and a lot on the potential of IoT and smart city tech in carbon reductions. There are talks on how energy grids can be smarter, how investors can get returns on these innovations and discussions on the link between climate change, health and development.

However emissions reductions alone will never be enough of a reason to get widescale transformative tech into towns, factories and homes and it’s a sign of progress that BEIS recognise this in its recent Clean Growth Strategy, which sets out the UK’s plan to meet the country’s carbon targets out to 2030. Linking emissions reduction to business efficiency and productivity, energy supply security, cost savings, smarter services and comfort in the home is what will help to overcome investment barriers in smart or low-carbon technologies

The tech sector has a huge role to play in spelling out how digital transformation will go beyond carbon reduction and help customers save money, deliver better services and help business become leaner and more efficient. Furthermore the sector needs to educate policy makers and users on how tech never intended for emissions reduction can deliver them as a secondary objective.

The Clean Growth Strategy gives the UK a lot to talk about in Bonn and we look forward to seeing what comes out of COP23. There is a significant prize to be won if we get it right – not only limiting catastrophic warming, but also getting a big slice of the multi trillion dollar clean-tech market.

]]> (Craig Melson(techUK)) News Wed, 08 Nov 2017 11:04:22 +0000
The Government Tech Market, Literally Includes Markets

Southwark Council’s most famous shopping area must be the ancient Borough Market, foodie favourite, and the film home of fictional Bridget Jones. But the council manages a network of 20 markets, from Bermondsey Square antiques to East Street off the Walworth Road, contemporary designers at Oxo Tower Wharf, and Peckham selling everything from ladies’ wear to ladies’ fingers (okra).

A plethora of regulations dictates the permitting of these brilliant neighbourhood assets. Market managers have been struggling with a very complicated workflow that’s only become more difficult over the years. They know they have to replace paper forms with a digital solution. And budgets are tight.

What does this have to do with SMEs?

Market managers and traders are not generally well positioned to write up a technical specification from scratch. Only SMEs are able to operate on the human level required to develop technology at the stallholders’ pace, working closely with the traders and managers, growing a product organically, and gradually phasing out the old way of doing things.

In the end, digital government will only advance if all the stakeholders take part. MarketApp, as we call it, and other products for niche users, must constantly change, and remain affordable, in order to stay useful.

Stripping out cost, working together and sharing efficiencies is a key strength for SMEs, and has created many opportunities for smaller players like us.

Why would an authority attempt to draft up – and finance – a bespoke specification when the knowledge and skills of so many others, developed over many years, and continually improving, is made available by a small SaaS provider?

Our company was born initially out of a need to provide unified film permitting across London. We expanded to help deliver other government services. The cost for our first product, FilmApp, came beneath the threshold for procurement requirements. This made the system available directly to end users, with the approval of their budget holder. No IT support was required to get up and running, and continual maintenance and support is offered at no extra cost.

Filmmakers working with next-level CGI expect more than incomprehensible paper forms that need to be posted back. Events operators managing productions from their smartphones will go elsewhere if councils don't keep up with their fast paced industries. Small business owners taking contactless payments on their market stalls aren’t going to ply their trade when the licensing authority takes months to licence their stall.

Digital transformation has to deliver improved productivity, as well as better services, at lower costs. We’re convinced that through remaining practical and collaborative, SME providers will increasingly deliver affordable and future-proof government technology.

About Apply4 Technology (

We make the UK and America’s favourite permitting software, providing simple, inexpensive solutions to public authorities and private companies for film, events, markets, streetworks, and venue hire.

Complete techUK's SME Survey here and help us make the case on your behalf.

]]> (Simona Paliulyte(techUK)) Opinions Wed, 08 Nov 2017 10:23:33 +0000
techUK Launches Investigation into How Technology Can Help Avoid a Winter Crisis

Winter Crisis Paper At ehi LIVE, techUK launched an investigation which will take place over the 2017/18 winter period to report on how technology can help us to support the NHS in addressing the challenges it faces, particularly in the winter months.

Ben Moody, Head of Health and Social Care at techUK chaired the event. He introduced the problem paper produced by techUK which will form the basis of the questions we seek to answer over the winter period. You can download the paper below.

We will all see headlines about a Winter Crisis in the media over the next few months. Beneath the headlines lies a very real combination of high demand and constrained capacity in the NHS. Similar problems exist in social care; and the integration of the two is far from seamless. This has resulted in some patients waiting far too long for admission to hospital, whilst others are spending time in hospital when they are fit to be discharged. For NHS and social care staff, whose efforts play the greatest role in mitigating these issues, the winter period can result in an increase in stress and a fall in job satisfaction, which often results in retention issues.

There is a lot of good work currently being done across the Health and Social Care ecosystem to address these problems. The solutions - where they exist - are manifold, and the tech industry is conscious that technology is no panacea. We do, however, believe that the sector can make a valuable contribution to help solving these issues.

Beverly Bryant, Chief Operating Officer, System C & Graphnet Care Alliance, Mandy Thorn MBE, Managing Director, Marches Care Ltd, Deborah El-Sayed, Acting Director Digital and Multi-Channel, NHS England, and Roger Wallhouse, Chairman, Docobo also presented at the launch.

Roger highlighted the role that tech can play in reducing unscheduled admissions to hospital. This is both good for reducing demand and for patient outcomes as people who are unnecessarily spending longer in hospital tend to deteriorate further.

Beverley focused on the importance building an evidence base showing that tech is having an impact on reducing the winter crisis pressures. She also emphasised that funding for technology specific projects that have the potential to transform the NHS need to be protected and not used as emergency funds during the winter period.

Mandy addressed the importance of social care in this debate. She said that we need to stop looking at social care as the poor relation to health care as investment in tech in social care will pay dividends by freeing up hospital beds and supporting the workforce.

Deborah noted that it is no surprise that there is no one single answer or one single organisation that can solve the winter crisis problem. Tech is critically important for NHS transformation but it needs to be embedded in operational processes in order to make it accessible to NHS leaders that may not have ‘digital’ in their job title.

If you would like to be involved in our investigation please contact Ben Moody

]]> (Kate Francis(techUK)) News Wed, 08 Nov 2017 09:38:37 +0000
How to Supercharge Digital Adoption and Use
Last week at techUK’s Supercharging the Digital Economy event a panel of technology leaders discussed how to increase the adoption and deployment of digital products and services by organisations across the UK.

To begin the discussion the audience was asked to vote on how digital their organisations currently are. According to the real time vote 20% of the Supercharging audience consider their organisations to be digital natives while 43% saw their businesses as partially digital. The poll also showed that 14% are still going through a process of digital transformation with only 12% having fully completed this process.

In light of these results the panellists were asked what more needs to happen to encourage the increased digitisation of UK organisations.

Sheridan Ash, Technology and Investments Director at PwC, Richard Jones, Board Advisor at BluePrism, Anne Kemp, Director Atkins Global, Anand Chopra-McGowan Head of Europe General Assembly and Paul Brodrick, Development Director for Digitalisation at Siemens all agreed that the UK is a leader in the development of innovative digital technologies. However, the panellists highlighted key challenges that may be stopping companies from realising the full benefits tech has to offer and how these could be overcome by organisations.

Sheridan Ash highlighted the importance of senior leadership buy-in as key to driving digital transformation within organisations particularly the role of CIO that can help to keep businesses on the right digital path. She explained that results from PwC’s annual CEO survey which found that CEOs see digital as an imperative to their business and are investing accordingly in technology.

Richard Jones also highlighted the importance of leadership and called for businesses to be brave in embracing innovative technologies and be willing to “get their feet wet”. Paul Brodrick echoed this call to action highlighting the need for businesses to learn not just from successful tech projects but also from projects where things do not go according to plan. He also suggested that management within firms should explore their organisations to see if technological innovation is already happening but may simply be hidden from view. Paul also called for more businesses to develop a culture that encourages technological innovation to happen not just in IT but across all parts of the business.

Focusing on how to encourage adoption across all sectors of the UK economy Anne Kemp explained that the engineering and construction industry are currently going through a process of digital transformation. She highlighted the importance of removing silos that exist within organisations to enable greater digitisation and the need to encourage greater collaboration and sharing of best practice between organisations. The importance of identifying and promoting successful digital transformation stories and examples that can bring the opportunities to life and can then be scaled up was also seen as key.

Richard Jones explained that a key area of concern is that the UK labour pool is set to lose 2-3 million employees to retirement in the next decade with less people entering the UK workforce. It was suggested that technologies such as AI, automation and robotics could in fact help the UK address this looming situation, but that action is needed from government and businesses alike to encourage greater adoption and use of these evolving technologies in the years to come. This issue led the panel onto a common area of concern namely the UK’s digital skills gap.

Sheridan Ash explained that according to PwC’s research 78% of businesses have changed their people strategy to reflect the skills and employment structures needed for the future. In responding to concerns raised about the shrinking of the available pool of digital talent and the possible impact of Brexit on the UK’s digital talent pool Anand Chopra-McGowan, Head of Europe at General Assembly outlined how businesses are beginning to take action to ensure they have the digital talent needed. He outlined initiatives that businesses are taking to close the skills gap. For example, a global analytics consulting firm that is re-skilling 5,000 of its own staff to fill critical data science roles and a large bank building its own university to turn recent university graduates into productive web developers. Anand highlighted that companies are increasing realigning on their resources and initiatives to address the skills gap they are facing and are taking “matters into their own hands”.

Another key issue raised by the panel was the importance of ensuring the UK has the right regulatory and legislative environment that encourages adoption and deployment of advanced innovative tech. Sheridan Ash suggested that due to the speed of technological change regulators may already be “a bit behind” but highlighted that industry will soon need help from regulators to navigate a future driven by thousands of blockchain transactions and billions of connected IoT devices.


]]> (Sophie Weston(techUK)) News Wed, 08 Nov 2017 09:36:14 +0000
IoT is Here. Now we Need to Drive Adoption

IoT Asks


techUK has launched its new paper, Top Actions to Accelerate IoT Implementation, making a series of recommendations to both Government and industry to help drive the adoption of an increasingly mature technology to increase business productivity and improve the lives of citizens.

The IoT market in the UK has made grown steadily over the past three years but it has not seen the explosion of devices, services and benefits that was predicted. Trust issues are still a barrier to adoption and more work is needed to demonstrate the business case for IoT. Large scale test demonstrators can help to remedy this but further action is needed to drive increased adoption throughout the public and private sectors. The report highlights four key areas of action:

  • Government, in conjunction with industry, should strive to be more active in sponsoring and supporting proof of concepts, test beds, and demonstrators and market development activities.
  • Government should leverage existing investment in innovative infrastructure, to maximise investment productivity and recognise the synergy benefits of funding that supports broader ecosystem and cross sector benefits.
  • Public sector procurement should increasingly adopt challenge-based, outcome focused approaches to innovative technologies.
  • Government, industry and financial markets need to work together to identify measures that will attract long-term investment for IoT infrastructure.

Julian David, CEO of techUK, commented on the report:

“Driving the adoption of the IoT in the UK is critical to improving productivity, supercharging the economy and creating a smarter state.

“The Made Smarter Review published last week outlined that industrial IoT alone could boost the economy by £352bn by 2030[1]. IoT can deliver incredible benefits to the UK; done right, it can help enable better health services, cleaner and safer public spaces, more efficient infrastructure and generate more innovative businesses and business models. Yet these aren’t the only benefits. The IoT is estimated to be a global market worth up to $15 trillion in 2030[2] and boosting support for our domestic suppliers will allow them to take advantage of this incredible export market, driving more growth and investment into the UK.

“The IoT market has not developed as quickly as we thought it would, but the benefits it could deliver are still real and very worthwhile. This report can act as a framework to drive greater adoption, bringing direct benefits to the UK and our involvement in the global market.”





]]> (Harri Turnbull(techUK)) News Wed, 08 Nov 2017 09:06:30 +0000
techUK launches Addendum to Interoperability Charter for comment

Paul Cooper, Vice Chair of techUK’s Health and Social Care Council presented an addendum to techUK’s Interoperability Charter at the event on FHIR Works. Showcasing Progress towards Interoperable Care. The addendum clarifies some of the definitions in the Charter and aims to make it easier for some of our larger supplier members to sign up.

You can download the addendum below.

Please send any comments or suggestions to Kate Francis.

Paul Cooper

]]> (Kate Francis(techUK)) News Tue, 07 Nov 2017 17:59:34 +0000