techUK - Representing the tech industry in the UK Mon, 24 Sep 2018 22:55:56 +0100 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb No Deal Notices show that negotiating in good faith must continue

Commenting on the release of the third group of No Deal Technical Notices, techUK CEO Julian David said:

“Publishing these additional No Deal notices is a sensible and responsible precaution for Government to take to provide some clarity for businesses about the obligations they would face in a No Deal situation. However, once again the notices demonstrate that a No Deal Brexit would be deeply damaging for our economy. 

“Clarification that the Government will continue to protect and enforce existing intellectual property rights in the UK will be welcomed by UK tech businesses. However, these notices demonstrate the additional costs and burdens businesses will face when seeking access to both the UK and EU markets, duplicating systems and regulators across a number of areas. For example, the requirement to register chemicals both in the UK and in Europe will lead to significant duplication. That is why Government is right to continue to champion a Common Rulebook approach to seek to limit duplication of processes for businesses trading in the UK and the EU. UK tech manufacturers, including SMEs, rely on a steady supply of safe and high quality chemicals to make the products we use every day, so avoiding additional complexity should be a priority. 

“The best way to avoid the consequences of a No Deal, as set out in these notices, is by renewing efforts to seek agreement on the outstanding issues within the negotiations. techUK urges both the UK and EU to continue negotiating in good faith to avoid the 29 March 2019 cliff-edge which is concerning businesses and consumers across the UK and EU27.”

techUK has also previously commented on the first and second set of no deal notices. 

For media enquiries please contact Alice Jackson.

{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) News Mon, 24 Sep 2018 15:19:13 +0100
Open Banking: view from the fintechs

Where are we at with open banking now and what needs to happen to ensure its success? These were the two questions addressed by a roundtable held at techUK on 17 September. Representatives from fintechs, techUK members, the banking sector and the FCA and NPSO filled a packed room to hear the views from the front-line: what do the UK’s innovative financial services firms think?

Tim Richards, Consult Hyperion kicked off with an overview of the state of play. There were certainly problems, he noted, but much progress has been made.  ‘Open Banking is a baby; it will take time to grow up. When it does, we will see real competition,’ he concluded.

But others were more equivocal. Caroline Plumb, of Fluidly, said that her company, although AISP and PISP authorised, was not currently using open banking APIs as the commercial risk is too great, at present, for the following reasons:

  • The coverage is still limited to current accounts. But her SMEs clients need data from across the range of accounts, from savings to corporate cards.
  • The consent journey for users is cumbersome, slow and difficult to cope with, especially for SMEs where multiple directors are account signatories.
  • API standards were meant to ensure consistency but in practice, each bank handles their customer flow differently, with no consistency of language, number of screens etc.

For Ashleigh Petrie of Moneybox, open banking should deliver great benefits, both to companies and users. She was looking forward to the extension to credit cards and the ability to use payment initiation instead of direct debit to collect monthly savings.

However, not all was rosy. She went on to list major difficulties in connecting to Santander bank. She illustrated a seven-step process for customers, different from their online banking and involving several passwords/numbers. Since Moneybox has no sight of the process after the customer leaves their app, assisting customers has been problematic and drop-off rates high. She contrasted this with Starling Bank, which has a 3-click process using biometric authentication. Yet, she acknowledged that the process was far easier for a digital bank operating only through mobile platforms.

Moneybox is not intending to link to any further banks immediately, as the process is too long and troublesome for a small company to manage.

Martin Threakall from Modulr Finance was very positive about open banking. He noted the obvious: it is only insiders who are debating success or failure – the public knows little about it and are unconcerned at slow progress. He believed open banking will really deliver when it has achieved full scope and payment services are up and running. Modulr is preparing an open banking service to allow their lender customers to collect moneys owed. He agreed, however, that the process must get much easier if consumers are to adopt.

For Ryan Edwards-Pritchard, Funding Options, speed and convenience for customers was paramount.  Currently the speed of APIs across the CMA 9 varies from 3 to 22 seconds and although he didn’t expect a seamless process, it does need to be swift and standard. Likewise, the customer journey must be standardised, using language that informs and does not scare the customer off. In his view, a trust-mark is needed, both to reassure customers and to give banks something to aspire to over and above the letter of the law.

The last speaker, Stefano Vaccino from Yapily presented what may be a solution for many TPPs – the integrator option. Yapily streamlines the process between TPPs and all banks – UK and internationally. It does not require FCA licence under current rules but works with regulated companies. For Stefano, the main issue was how to ensure EU and international standardisation and interoperability, both of regulation and process.

The roundtable discussion, moderated by Louise Beaumont, focussed on payments. The fintechs were keen to use open banking for payments to provide immediacy and enhance competition. Yet several barriers were identified:

  • The technology is currently clunkier than cards and, unless this changes, they will not be used.
  • Push payments do not carry the guarantees that credit cards do.
  • The must-have use-case for PISP is not yet clear – fintechs need to unearth opportunities where PISP will come into its own.
  • Payment initiation will be more interesting when it also covers future and variable payments.

Overall, the conclusions were:

  • It is too soon to say: open banking is not fully developed, many TPPs are waiting to see, but this will change. Banks also need more time to improve their processes.
  • As the market grows banks will better recognise the opportunities.
  • There is likely to be a key role for integrators to smooth over connection issues.
  • The success of open banking depends on customer adoption, which will require fewer steps, consistent user journeys, clear language and easy authentication (biometric). A trust mark would help.
  • Standardisation in the UK is not enough – we need international standardisation.
  • The ‘killer’ use-cases still need to emerge – especially for payments.
{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Reports Mon, 24 Sep 2018 14:10:02 +0100
Developers requested for new payment sector opportunity

The developer community can play a leading role in offering consumers and businesses greater control and flexibility while benefitting from potential £1.3 billion market opportunity.

Ever had an unexpected bill arrive at just the wrong time? Or been forced to nervously wait to find out if you will receive a payment on time for work you have carried out? They can be common problems for many people and businesses across the country, which a new solution being developed in the payments industry is looking to address.

The Request to Pay service

Request to Pay will be a secure messaging service for payments - akin to email - overlaid on top of existing infrastructure.

It will allow government, businesses, charities and consumers to send a message requesting a payment instead of a typical bill. For each ‘request’, payers will be able to pay in full, pay in part, ask for more time, communicate with the biller, or decline the payment.

It gives the payer more flexibility and control and has the potential to benefit billers in a wide range of sectors by, for example, making reconciliation easier. Research conducted by Accenture in 2017 estimated the service could save the UK economy £1.3 billion per year.

The New Payment System Operator (NPSO) – the organisation responsible for setting the rules and standards in retail non-card payments – is inviting developers to explore, test and feedback on the standards and technical specifications for the service.

Where do developers come in?

Final technical specifications for the service are planned to be published in spring 2019.

Ahead of this, developers are invited to participate in an open access developer portal – now live at - containing a library of the draft technical standards and the requirements of the service. Alongside this is a sandbox to developers to test their solutions ahead of the service’s expected market launch in spring 2019.

Developers are invited to review the draft standards and provide feedback on the draft design of the APIs, ‘message repositories’ and ‘end-user applications’ which will make the service possible.

We believe a Request to Pay service can remove the financial cliff edges caused by unexpected and unpaid bills, whilst simultaneously creating a new market opportunity - and developers have a key role to play.

If you would like to register for the sandbox or discuss the Request to Pay opportunity further please visit or contact our team at Initial feedback will be used to help inform the final technical standards which are currently provided as draft for illustrative purposes. There will also be the opportunity to further engage with the NPSO through regular working groups.

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) News Mon, 24 Sep 2018 12:16:33 +0100
Is the council of the future cloud?

When it comes to the current state of play of cloud adoption in local government, it’s a rather mixed picture. A recent Eduserv survey on local government cloud adoption found that councils aren’t yet adopting cloud fully, but some are at the start of their cloud journey with 40 per cent of participants said they have a formal cloud adoption strategy in place. While only 62 per cent of councils currently use cloud infrastructure, with 64 per cent of councils use both on-premise and cloud hosting. And the rate of adoption has only increased by 10 per cent in the last two years. Often, councils are choosing to run cloud alongside on-premise systems rather than displacing existing IT infrastructure entirely. The future isn’t bleak.

By adopting a cloud-first mindset, councils can reimagine how services can be delivered, as well as gain value by reducing demand on service, improving efficiencies, and enhancing the customer experience.

A truly digital council will be more connected and integrated with citizens, communities and businesses reaping the benefits. Using digital to reimagine service delivery that is user-centric and meets users’ needs.

This flexibility cloud offers increases innovation, productivity and operational effectiveness. Aylesbury Vale District Council were one of the first councils to move to the cloud and have attributed savings of £14 million after modernising its services and moving to the cloud. Being on the cloud has also enabled the council to bring more services online and harness emerging technologies to keep costs under control, such as the AI front-end which has reduced phone traffic by 20%.

A ‘council of the future’, will also be an organisation that allows employees to work collaboratively and flexibly. London Borough of Barking and Dagenham adopted a cloud-first approach to support smarter working and workforce mobility.  As a result, the council has reduced its operating costs by 25 per cent, while also driving a 35 per cent reduction in IT support costs. Not only can cloud help councils meet their efficiency savings but support collaboration and mobility by breaking down barriers to traditional public service reform.

In addition to the efficiency savings councils can make by adopting cloud, the real reward is how it can break down barriers to traditional ways of working and enable more joined-up/integrated services that benefit citizens. Cloud can help facilitate secure data sharing and collaborative platforms. Essex council, for example, has set-up a data sharing scheme to tackle millions of pounds in lost council tax revenues due to errors and fraud and this has been made possible through the cloud.

Each council will have their own vision of what the future will look like, from service delivery to the workplace itself. But collaboration, transparency and smarter working for both employees and citizens should be a common component to this vision and this is something that the cloud can enable.





To read more from techUK's Cloud Week, visit our landing page

{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Opinions Mon, 24 Sep 2018 12:02:06 +0100
Major risks practice

In this podcast, Sarah and Craig discuss the different types of cloud computing and risks to companies using this technology.

The lack of access to your data and placing your data and technological capabilities in the hands of others is a risk for companies using cloud computing. If something were to happen to the cloud provider, it would not be possible to continue to operate. Craig questions whether the cloud providers allow access to conduct a forensic examination to identify the problem or would companies merely have to take their word for it.

Additionally, security may be a low priority to the cloud provider, making it a risk to companies and cloud computing service agreements are often pro-vendor and may lack adquate protection for cloud users. 

To find out how companies can manage their cloud computing risks, listen here.





To read more from techUK's Cloud Week, visit our landing page

{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Opinions Mon, 24 Sep 2018 09:54:00 +0100
Multi-cloud allows for a digital transformation

Digital Transformation has become commonplace across the UK public sector due to government policies such as Cloud First and the Government Transformation Strategy. An opportunity exists for digital projects to deliver genuine benefits and save the public sector billions of pounds whilst vastly improving the public services delivered to citizens and businesses.

New services have adopted modern IT approaches but the scale of traditional and legacy IT within the public sector far exceeds these new systems. The UK Government Digital Service recognises the need for strategies and solutions that tackle these larger challenges, thus achieving even greater cost savings and service improvements.

At the heart of making transformation happen is delivering better value IT for UK taxpayers. The first wave of citizen facing digital services has ensured that technologies such as cloud, mobile and digital are much more widely accepted. Yet the cloud has not yet disrupted the bulk of the public sector’s IT which is most often locked into on-premises facilities or long term outsource agreements. The benefits of modernising these traditional IT systems will far exceed the benefits seen to date, but what worked for the first wave of their transformation, won’t be enough for the next wave, which is why investments into multi-cloud platforms that brings together Azure, OpenStack, Oracle and VMware environments enable customers to use the right cloud for every workload, no matter what system and platform. 

Multi-Cloud enables modern applications to harness dynamic cloud native technologies such as Azure and Kubernetes, whilst also accelerating the modernisation of traditional applications that are typically built for VMware and Oracle environments so that they come together on the same platform, within the same sovereign data centres. The diversity of multiple cloud technologies enables customers to avoid lock-in, harness their existing capabilities and enable greater agility to deal with uncertainty.

This trend also plays into the government’s recently announced Crown Campus which provides public sector organisations with the safety of high security, UK-based data centres and the flexibility of being able to use different cloud providers without having to worry about moving data and systems between third party data centres.  It means public sector organisations retain more control and ability to mix non-cloud, private cloud and public cloud services.  

The UK Government now has a clear ‘Public Cloud First’ strategy with the G-Cloud digital marketplace making it easy to procure. Cloud is easy to procure but needs focus on the applications intended to run in the cloud. To get the best value from cloud, existing applications need to be re-engineered or built completely new from the ground up to ensure that they are what is called Cloud Native. Most applications used across public sector were designed and built well before cloud became a ‘thing’ and it is often too costly and disruptive for them to be re-engineered or rebuilt for the global cloud platforms. 

A challenge exists for public sector CIOs to take the cost and inefficiency out of traditional IT and legacy applications that are not Cloud Native so that more resources can be focused on innovation and agility as they transform processes and workloads. This includes IT that is either running in under-invested on-premises data centres that might be at risk of closure as the government sells off property and moves to a consolidated estate – or IT that is tied up in wholesale IT outsource contracts that have proven to be inefficient and inflexible and so are being dis-aggregated. For many organisations simply keeping the lights on; managing upgrades, patches, backups, capacity management, infrastructure refresh projects which consumes about 80% of their entire IT budget.

Getting locked-in to a cloud platform during this process simply isn’t an option for most CIOs who not only need to be able to transform at their own pace, but also need to focus on longer term value and agility.  A true multi-cloud proposition means that organisations can maintain an Oracle (or other) infrastructure in the cloud, lift and shift a traditional three tier application onto as-a-service infrastructure and transform to Cloud Native at a pace required for that organisation, in a manageable phased approach within a secure environment.





To read more from techUK's Cloud Week, visit our landing page

{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Opinions Mon, 24 Sep 2018 09:52:00 +0100
techUK response to the PM's Brexit negotations statement

Commenting on the PM’s statement on the Brexit negotiations, Antony Walker, Deputy CEO said:


"With less than 200 days to go before the UK leaves the European Union it is not surprising that negotiations are entering their most difficult stage. We urge both sides to keep talking and to work towards a solution that can deliver the close trading relationship that both the UK and the EU need to support jobs and growth.

"The Prime Minister is right that this means we need more than just a ‘Canada-style’ Free Trade Agreement. techUK continues to believe that an Association Agreement approach, as set out in the Chequers plan is right. However it is clear that compromise on both sides will be required to make this workable.

“techUK welcomes the absolute guarantee in the Prime Minister’s speech that the rights of EU citizens in the UK will be protected post-Brexit. Neither side should seek to play politics with the lives of the over 180,000 EU-born workers who are integral to the success of the tech sector.

“techUK has consistently said that a good deal will only be delivered if both the UK and the EU are prepared to be flexible and approach Brexit with mutual respect. Both parties must commit to finding a solution that avoids the worst case scenario of no-deal which could wreak severe damage on the UK economy."


For media enquiries please contact Alice Jackson.

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) News Fri, 21 Sep 2018 15:24:50 +0100
Home Office announces new strategic direction for ESN

This afternoon the Home Office issued a press release about the new strategic direction for the Emergency Services Network (ESN). This follows a commitment earlier this summer to undertake a full "re-plan, engage in commercial renegotiations and recalculate the Full Business Case.

Today's statement from the Home Office announces that emergency services will be able to start using the ESN in the New Year following a decision to roll the project out in phases. This phased approach will see blue lights organisations able to use data services over the ESN from early in 2019. and it is planned that voice capabilities will follow shortly after that.

Crucially, this incremental approach means emergency services will be free "to test and choose which ESN products they want as and when they become available, rather than having to wait for the network to be fully implemented," as Government Computing reported last month

The Home Office announcement adds that "the decision secures the future of ESN, which will save the public purse £200 million a year once it has fully replaced the original radio-based network, Airwave... The dedicated 4G network will transform emergency services’ mobile working, especially in remote areas and at times of network congestion, with sim cards giving them priority over commercial users." A more detailed update will be provided to Parliament in due course.

If you're interested in the potential applications of 4G and 5G technology in the emergency services, come along to our event next month.

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) News Fri, 21 Sep 2018 14:24:51 +0100
techUK develops response to Geospatial Commission consultation

techUK is starting to formulate its response to the Government's Call for Evidence on how geospatial data can be utilised to support economic growth and productivity, as well as revolutionise public service delivery. 

The consultation focuses on the proposed strategy of the Geospatial Commission. Established in November 2017,  its role is to maximise the value of data linked to location, which Government believes could generate £11 billion a year. The Government is particularly interested in what public data sets it can and should open up and the potential impact of new applications and services making use of this data in a variety of sectors - with emergency services, transport, digital infrastructure (particularly 5G), housing and smart cities seen as sectors which could benefit. 

techUK will be holding a conference call in the next fortnight to gather insights from members, if you are interested in participating please contact Matthew Evans

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Consultation responses Fri, 21 Sep 2018 12:35:25 +0100
Welcome to techUK Cloud Week

All this week we are highlighting the importance of cloud computing for the UK’s digital future.

Throughout the week techUK will be bringing you news, views and insights from the technology sector on how UK organisations can realise the benefits and opportunities of cloud, as well as the steps that need to be taken to drive the UK cloud market forward.  We will be sharing guest blogs and podcast interviews with business leaders, press articles and daily tweets reflecting on the current state of play around cloud adoption and what this may look like in the future.

During the week our members and other industry experts will be contributing blogs on:

  • Driving the adoption and use of cloud across all UK sectors and industries 
  • Addressing the cloud skills gap 
  • Cybersecurity and cloud computing 
  • Digitisation, business transformation and the cloud
  • Cloud 2020 and beyond 

You can also join the discussion on Twitter at @techUK #whycloud.


Catch up on all of this great material by viewing all of the posts so far in the links below.

Monday: Driving the adoption and use of cloud across all UK sectors and industries

Guest Blog: Why cloud is the cornerstone of digital transformation in healthcare by Roberto Mircoli, Virtustream 

Guest Blog: The key factors driving the adoption and use of cloud technology by Peter Jackson, Kahootz 

Guest Blog: Hybrid cloud is the answer for law enforcement by Mark Goossens, IBM

Guest Blog: Multi-cloud allows for a digital transformation by Simon Hansford, UKCloud

Guest Podcast: Major risks practice by Sarah Hewitt, Gallagher

Guest Blog: Is the council of the future cloud? by Georgina Maratheftis, techUK

{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) News Mon, 24 Sep 2018 09:55:00 +0100
techUK Policy Pulse | Your weekly update on digital and tech policy

First things first – Salzburg, the hills were alive with the sound of (informal) Brexit negotiations. Theresa May had 10 minutes after dinner to get out of a (von) Trapp of her own making. Whilst splits amongst the EU27 did appear to emerge over the two days, the official line that Chequers won’t work stands. With an agreement needed to be reached by mid-November, who will break the stalemate?

One of the most dominant reasons given for why we are Brexit-ing is immigration. The issue was back in the headlines this week with the MAC publishing their long-awaited report on EEA migration in the UK. They concluded that EEA migrants contribute more to the economy than they take out, and make a positive contribution to both productivity and innovation. The choice of wording has created a huge hostage of fortune which has been promptly kidnapped by the usual sorts to declare that the MAC recommends that there is no need for a preferential system for EEA nationals post-Brexit. This is a clear misreading of what the report actually says. To find out why read our insight and comments

Ofcom also published their report on addressing harmful online content on Tuesday. This report should be mandatory reading for everyone interested in this debate. Offering a taxonomy of harms and a useful overview of the similarities between broadcast and online, the report provides a welcome contribution to what can often end up being a polarised discussion. I’ve written a piece outlining the key takeaways which you can find here.

The Treasury Committee, on Wednesday, published their report on crypto-assets. The language will be very familiar to those in the tech space, with Chair of the Committee, Nicky Morgan MP, branding the crypto-asset market a “Wild West”. To remedy accusations of the Wild West with regards to the use of AI and algorithms, IBM is launching a tool to help detect bias. With explainability and transparency key requirements of GDPR and more attention being focused on ethics and AI this is a crucial step.

And who could forget, Liberal Democrat party conference took place in Brighton this week. Don’t worry I’m not going to go into the “exotic spresm” episode. Deputy Leader Jo Swinson announced that the Liberal Democrats were launching a Technology and AI Commission chaired by the wonderful @Dr_Black. It is early days but if we have learnt anything from previous Lib Dem Commissions it's that they are certainly not afraid to be bold!


techUK news and events

All eyes will be on Labour Party Conference next week where techUK will be running a number of fringe events (details below).

To keep up with the latest goings on, follow us @techUK. I’ll also be delivering the latest news via special briefings each evening. If you’d like to receive this, drop me a line at

Labour Party Conference

Liverpool, 23 - 26 September


Monday 24 September:

New Statesman Business Reception (invitation only)

18:30-20:00, Room 2, Lower Level, Hall 2, ACC Liverpool

  • John McDonnell MP, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
  • Antony Walker, Deputy CEO, techUK


Tuesday 25 September

Making Business Digital: Solving the UK’s productivity puzzle so that no-one is left behind

Google, Sage and techUK

11:00-12:00, Concourse Room 3, ACC Liverpool

  • Antony Walker, Deputy CEO, techUK (chair)
  • Sabby Gill, MD UK&I, Sage
  • Katie O’Dononvan, Public Policy Manager, Google
  • Bill Esterson MP, Shadow BEIS Minister
  • Martin McTague, Policy and Advocacy Chairman, FSB (invited)


Making the Future of Work, Work for All

Cisco and techUK

14:30-15:30, Concourse Room 3, ACC Liverpool

  • Antony Walker, Deputy CEO, techUK (chair)
  • Scot Gardner, Chief Executive UK & Ireland, Cisco
  • Lesley Giles, Director, The Work Foundation
  • Gail Cartmail, Assistant General Secretary, Unite the Union
  • Liam Byrne MP, Shadow Digital Minister


How can Autonomous Vehicles Benefit Cities?

FiveAI and techUK

16:00-17:00, Meeting Room 7, ACC Liverpool

  • Antony Walker, Deputy CEO, techUK (chair)
  • Stan Boland, Chief Executive and co-founder, FiveAI
  • Leon Daniels, former MD, Surface Transport, TfL
  • Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Industrial Strategy Minister
  • Darren Jones MP, Co-Chair Parliamentary Commission on Tech Ethics

Away from Conference, techUK’s Skills and Diversity Council is launching its guide to improving Gender Pay Gap reporting on Tuesday with some excellent speakers. There are still a few spaces left for the breakfast launch event if you and your company are interested in improving your gender pay gap reports next year (hint: you all should).

techUK will be at this year’s WTO Public Forum with a panel bringing industry, diplomats and development experts to explore the benefits of new technologies like 3D printing, and how global rules need to adapt to ensure that technological change is inclusive. You can read more here.

Last, but not least, Supercharging the Digital Economy comes to Manchester this year. Taking place on the 18 October, Supercharging will cover key themes such as the importance of increased digitalisation, the application of technologies to boost productivity and the prize for retailers who adopt digital technologies. You can find out more and book your place by following this link.

All the best,

Vinous Ali

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Newsletters Thu, 20 Sep 2018 15:56:36 +0100
Why cloud is the cornerstone of digital transformation in healthcare

Today every business has the potential to be a digital business. Businesses that digitally transform are able to connect more closely with customers, speed up the pace of innovation and, as a result, claim a greater share of profit in their sectors. In fact, according to a report earlier last year from IDC, the global economic impact of digital transformation to date already exceeds £14 trillion, a staggering 20% of global GDP. While Big Data and mobile technologies have driven digital transformation, the cornerstone of it all is cloud computing.

Flexible, cost efficient and accessible from anywhere, the cloud has already been a transformative technology for many industries. However, while migrating to the cloud is a top priority for virtually all organisations embracing digital transformation projects, the path to get there involves navigating many obstacles, especially for those operating in highly-regulated industries. Healthcare, in particular, is at the top of the list.

Over the past few years, cloud adoption has been on the rise in the healthcare industry. To date, organisations have primarily been testing the waters by focusing on modernising the back-end of their systems, moving financial, operational and HR applications into the cloud. Now there is increasing demand for transforming core healthcare systems and applications in order to improve the quality of patient care with new digital services that empower patients to take control of their own health and reduce costs of operations, as well as modernise infrastructure and create a more efficient environment in order to again reduce costs. In fact according to a recent study by Accenture, the healthcare industry stands to save over £44 billion in the long-term by making the right strategic technology investments today.

However, as anyone managing IT for a hospital or clinic understands, migrating is not as simple as signing up for a public cloud service. For IT leaders in the healthcare industry, it involves taking into account a wide array of complex factors, including regulatory compliance, information security and organisational change. Indeed, security mandates are increasing due to the upswing in cyberattacks on health providers; you only have to look at the WannaCry ransomware attack last year and how that impacted many NHS hospitals across the UK to see how healthcare, and in particular health information and systems, are being targeted.   This has led many healthcare providers to closely examine enterprise cloud options for hybrid and off-premises deployment models that meet or exceed high security and compliance requirements whilst offering utility-based billing and cloud flexibility.

The good news is that healthcare IT is now trending towards the cloud, with hospitals, care centres and clinics all undergoing some form of digital transformation, integrating their electronic patient record (EMR) platforms and new patient engagement systems and as well as emerging precision health platforms.

As digital technology continues to transform the healthcare industry, the right cloud infrastructure can pave the way for providers of every kind.  By choosing a cloud provider with superior service, governance, security and flexibility, healthcare providers can make significant improvements to their current IT infrastructure, while at the same time transforming their systems to be future-ready. Today digitally transformed companies have an edge; tomorrow, only those businesses that have digitally transformed will succeed.


@Virtustream, @RMircoli



To read more from techUK's Cloud Week, visit our landing page

{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Opinions Mon, 24 Sep 2018 09:42:00 +0100
Opportunity: Develop techUK’s Electric Vehicle Position

techUK has been invited to join the Steering Board for the Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce which was announced last week at the Zero Emission Summit in Birmingham.

The objective for the Taskforce is: To put engaging the electric vehicle user at the heart of preparing the electricity system for the mass take up of electric vehicles (EV), ensuring that costs and emissions are as low as possible, and opportunities for vehicles to provide grid services are capitalised upon for the benefit of the system, energy bill payers and electric vehicle owners. The main outputs are to help shape Government’s secondary legislation for the Automated and Electric Vehicle Act and to help shape Government’s wider strategy towards EVs.

The full terms of reference for the taskforce can be found here. The work will be driven by five work packages which will go through a series of sprints.  As well as being a member of the Steering Board, techUK is also the Sponsor for Work Package 4 which looks at accessible data for decision making.

Members can register their interest and keep up to date directly with the taskforce’s work here. However, we are also looking to develop a mailing group that can help form techUK’s input into both the Work Package and our contribution to the Steering Board. If you would like to be involved in this then please contact Manar.

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) News Thu, 20 Sep 2018 14:57:18 +0100
Summary of Brexit no deal notices

With the Brexit clock rapidly counting down, the Government has been preparing for a range of scenarios, including a ‘no deal’ Brexit, the worst-case scenario where an agreement with the EU on the terms of withdrawal is not reached.

Technical notices have been published to give business more information to enable them to better plan for a no deal and are intended as a guide as to what Government will do in a no deal scenario. These notices can be found here. They are not the preferred option and the Government is clear that they want a proper agreement. They also do not necessarily reflect what Government would do in the event of a no deal plus transition (i.e. no deal in December 2020), as different options may be available given a time delay.

While it is important for the Government to give further information on its intended policy in the event of a no deal Brexit, these notices show more clearly than ever why it is so important that the UK secures a comprehensive deal with the EU. They show that No Deal would mean significant new bureaucracy for businesses, and higher costs and reduced choice for consumers. While a no deal remains unlikely, tech businesses in the UK should review relevant technical notices to ensure that they are aware of actions they may need to take should that scenario come to pass. techUK has summarised the key takeaways from some of the key notices below.

If you would like to discuss these with techUK then please email Giles Derrington:


Data Flows

  • The Data flows paper fails, in techUK’s view to give the full picture, focusing instead on the process for delivering Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs).
  • The notice states that the preferred position remains adequacy and that this will be pursued
  • The notices say that the UK will unilaterally accept data flows from the UK to EU.  While not set out in detail, we assume this effectively means unilaterally granting an adequacy decision to the EU.
  • The paper states that to allow transfers from EU to UK, EU partners will need a legal basis- most likely SCCs.  It advises that business work with EU partners to identify the appropriate legal mechanism.
  • As EU to UK transfers will require an EU legal basis, not a UK one, the paper says that EU SCCs can be used, without the need for the UK to develop its own SCCs.
  • However, this does not help businesses who need to transfer on to third countries.  We have raised this with DCMS who says they will take it away and look at further.
  • The notice also does not give any information on Binding Corporate Rules (BCRs) and how existing BCRs approved by the ICO will be transferred in the event of No Deal.  We have also raised this with DCMS.
  • Finally, the notice does not set out any plans to support smaller businesses with the costs of putting in place SCCs or other transfer mechanisms.  We have said that DCMS need to pick this up, though they say this may come in further notices if and when a no deal looks more likely.


  • The notice on telecoms is clear that Government’s intention is for there to be no substantive changes to UK regulation of telecoms.
  • It highlights that parts of the Communications Act 2003 will need to be corrected using powers in the Withdrawal Act, including things like removing references to the promotion of the Single Market.
  • The notice says that if the EU Electronic Communication Code is adopted before exit day but not transposed until after we leave, the UK is “minded to implement where appropriate its substantive provisions.”
  • The paper also confirms that rules on spectrum allocation will be corrected so that Ofcom can continue to use an unchanged process.
  • Finally, the paper makes clear that UK telecom providers can continue to provide cross border services under the WTO’s GATs rules.

Space Sector

  • The UK will no longer participate in Galileo, the EGNO or Copernicus and so UK companies will not be able to bid for contracts for the programmes. 
  • However, we will continue to be able to utilise freely available and open source data from the programmes, such as position, navigation and timing information.
  • The Public Regulated Services will no longer be available in the UK when it is completed in Mid-2020.
  • The notices is not clear on existing contracts, saying that the UK “is seeking clarification” on these contracts.
  • On Galileo, the Government confirms that it is to invest £92 million from Brexit readiness fund to design a UK Global Navigation Satellite System.  This will “inform the decision to create a UK alternative to Galileo”.
  • On Copernicus, users could lose the right to higher bandwidth access from the Copernicus Sentinels.  UK will also lose data sourced from any contributory missions.

Mutual Recognition under the “New Approach”/CE Marking

  • The notice confirms that the UK will unilaterally accept goods that meet EU requirements and have the appropriate mark in the event of a No Deal.
  • This includes goods already on the UK market from the EU.
  • However, UK notified bodies will no longer be recognised by the EU, therefore any manufacturers selling goods in the EU that have been approved in the UK will need to have them reapproved by an EU notified body.
  • Manufacturers can choose to ask the UK notified body to transfer the relevant files to a new EU body, though even in this case, a new mark.
  • The UK will also convert UK notified bodies into new UK ‘approved bodies’ able to issue a UK specific mark. This will be optional as the UK will continue to recognise EU markets.
  • However, the paper suggests that this option will be time limited. This means that it is possible in the future that the UK will cease to recognise the EU mark and require UK approval via an approved body.
  • The papers states that the Government will lay out further plans on this issue later in 2018.

Mutual Recognition

  • The notice confirms that the UK will no longer be in scope of EU rules on mutual recognition of products.
  • This means that anyone selling goods to the EU will have to meet the national requirements of the first country to which they export.


  • The UK will operate a customs border with the EU in the event of a no deal.
  • Businesses will therefore have to register for a UK Economic Operator Registration and ID (EORI) number in order to export to the EU.  Registration for EORI numbers for EU export will open in advance of March 2019.
  • Business should also ensure that their INCOTERMS recognises their exporter status with the EU.
  • On the UK side, Government will aim to continue to conform with the EU’s Excise Movement and Control System, but it is not clear whether it will have full access to the system.
  • The paper does not make any references to AEO status or whether existing mechanisms with third countries will continue to apply.  It is likely that this is contained in the as yet unpublished paper on existing EU trade agreements.
  • The paper also suggests businesses explore measures to mitigate disruption, including warehousing, Inward Processing and Temporary Admissions.


  • The paper states that the UK will aim to keep the VAT regime as close as possible to the EU system.
  • The Government will introduce a Postponed Accounting mechanism for all EU and Non-EU good entering the UK.  This means that businesses will be able to account for VAT on their VAT return rather than paying VAT at point of entry and claiming back.
  • For VAT on small parcels (up to £135), the Government will seek to implement a system to enable overseas businesses to pay the VAT, rather than charging the recipient of the package.
  • This will mean an additional “tech based solution” in which oversees businesses shipping a parcel to the UK will have to register with HMRC for VAT via an online portal. This is likely to be an issue for third party suppliers via ecommerce portals (as is current case for non-EU suppliers currently).
  • For shipments to the EU, the UK will no longer be part of the EU VAT Refund scheme automatically.  Therefore businesses seeking to reclaim VAT for an EU export will have to register through the scheme through the non-EU route (i.e. going to individual Member States tax authorities).


  • The UK will have a full tariff regime with the EU in event of a no deal
  • The UK will aim to meet the same tariff scheme as the EU at WTO
  • It is not clear what this will mean in terms of UK compliance with Rules of Origin Requirements.
  • The UK will seek to continue preferential tariffs on developing countries, such as the General Scheme of Preferences

Broadcast and Video on Demand

  • The paper confirms that the AVMS Directive will no longer apply and the UK will be a third country for EU purposes.
  • It confirms that under Recital 54 of the directive, EU Member States will be able to impose whatever measures they deem appropriate.
  • However, for the 20 EU Member States that have signed and ratified the European Convention on Transfrontier Television (ECTT), they will be required to permit reception of broadcasts from the UK- though national interpretation of the ECTT is likely to make this a complex picture.
  • The UK will be required to license receptions from ECTT signatories as a signatory to ECTT itself.
  • The paper notices that the ECTT’s standing committee to resolve disputes hasn’t met since 2010 and requires arbitration.
  • Companies will need to assess each individual licence and secure a local licence for any country receiving broadcast that isn’t signed up to the ECTT.
  • Technically after exit HQs can remain in the UK if there are decisions and a significant part of the workforce based in an EU country, so as to give EU landing rights.  However, this is likely to be highly complex.
  • Finally, the paper notes that a UK company may be able to apply for UK landing rights under Art 2(4) of the AVMS if it provides an uplink service in a specific country- this is most likely to apply to France or Luxembourg.

Trade Remedies

  • The Trade Bill creates the Trade Remedies Authority.  This will be in place by March 2019.
  • All existing trade remedies imposed as part of the EU will be reviewed by the TRA and adjusted to the UK market (we anticipate that some will not be needed as they don’t apply to the UK at the moment)
  • When the TRA is operational, companies seeking trade remedies should approach the TRA in tandem with the Commission until we leave the EU.
  • After leaving the EU the TRA will unilaterally handle any decisions on UK trade remedies.

Export Control

  • Rules on control of exports of military items will not change as this is a reserved issue.
  • On Dual Use items however, while the aim will be for the system overall not to change, there will be additional requirements.
  • Existing Export Licences for dual use items from the UK will no longer be valid (as approve at EU level). Therefore, those with existing licenses will need to reapply.
  • There will be new requirements for dual use export licenses for products moving from UK to the EU.
  • The Export Control Joint Unit will be creating a new Open General License for export to EU countries shortly.

Banking and Financial Services

  • The UK will treat the EEA under the rules of a third country regime.  This will mean that EU licenses will no long apply in the UK.
  • However, the UK will apply Temporary Permissions, giving EEA license holders from outside the UK three years in which to register for a UK license.
  • UK-based payment services providers will lose access to the Single European Payments Area and TARGET2.  However, the Government is seeking to align as much as possible to enable third country access to SEPA.
  • The paper recognises that these changes will likely mean higher charges on credit card transactions and slower processing of transactions that move from one currency to another.
  • The Government will bring in a range of new pieces of legislation to allow for transition, including regulations around Credit Rating Agencies, Data Reporting Services and Depositary Authorised Funds.
  • EEA Funds will likely need to take further action to comply with new EU rules although what is not clear from the papers.
  • The paper also references the importance of free flow of data and links to the as yet unpublished paper on this issue.

Horizon 2020

  • As already announced by the Chancellor, the Government will guarantee the funding for any Horizon 2020 bid that has been successful until 2020.
  • The paper says the UK is “seeking to discuss” with the EU cases where the consortium lead is from the UK and how this will work with the responsibility such as disseminating information and papers.
  • UK Research and Innovation will soon be opening an online portal through which all existing UK participants in Horizon 2020 will have to register in order to allow Government to guarantee their funding to 2020.
  • Non-UK parts of a consortium which includes UK elements do not have to register with the portal.
  • The UK intends to continue participation in all third country calls, but this will mean no longer having access to European Research Council grants, SME Instruments and certain medical research related funds such as the Marie Curie Actions programme.

EU funded programmes

  • The papers reassert the Government’s commitments to maintain funding of all EU funded programmes until 2020.
  • The paper says that on awards where UK wins a bid that runs beyond that date “we will work with the commission to ensure continued participation”.  It is not entirely clear what this means.

State Aid

  • The UK will retain effectively the same state aid rules as currently exist.
  • The Competition and Markets Authority will take over responsibility for agreeing state aid exemptions and barriers.
  • All existing state aid exemptions and barriers will automatically remain in place.
  • Any new applications under state aid will, from March 2019, by made to the CMA.

Workplace rights

  • The vast majority of rules in this area will stay the same.
  • However, there may be some issues around insolvency protection for companies operating in EU Member States.  Automatic protection will cease and any protection will depend on companies national rules.
  • Companies should therefore ensure they are aware of what protections exist for insolvency within any member states in which they have a business presence.

Medical Devices and Clinical Trials

  • The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will take over from the European Medical Research Network as the regulator of all medicines and devices.  They will consult on early autumn on the legislative changes necessary to facilitate this move.
  • The UK will unilaterally recognise medical devices approved in the EU and CE marked. 
  • However, MHRA will no longer be able to oversee Notified Bodies and so no UK assessment or approvals will be valid in the EU. Devices for EU markets will have to be tested with an EU Notified Body within a Member State.
  • The UK will continue to apply existing medicines and clinical trials regulations and will seek to comply with the Medical Devices Regulation and the In Vitro Diagnostic Regulation in 2020 and 2022 respectively as they come in to force.
  • They UK will also seek to align with the EU Clinical Trials Regulation when it is passed into law, which is expected to be before Exit Day.
  • For licensing of medical trials companies will likely need both an EEA and UK legal presence.

Civil Nuclear Regulation

  • The Office for Nuclear Regulation will run oversite of all regulation after March 2019.
  • Exiting supply contracts approved by the Euratom Supply Agency will need reapproved if there is both a UK and EU operator involved and the supply period extends past March 2019.

Nuclear Research

  • The UK will no longer be able to bid for Thermonuclear Experimental Research Contracts.
  • However, the UK Government is on track to sign up to the Bilateral Nuclear Cooperation Agreement ahead of March 2019.
  • The Government reiterates its commitment to fund Joint European Tours until 2020, subject to the Commission agreeing the tours’ extension to 2020 which is expected shortly.


  • The paper simply says that Government will “need to reach an agreement with the EU” to allow continued participation.

Tobacco and E-Cigs

  • The paper says that the UK will continue to apply all legislation affecting tobacco products.
  • However, picture warnings on tobacco products will all need to be changed as the EU owns the copyright on the current pictures.  This will likely mean requiring substantially different package printing for UK/EU markets.


  • The notices say that Government will legislate to require UK operators to apply financial limits on data usage abroad.  This will cap usage at £45 per month and require the same notifications around data usage as currently exist.
  • It confirms that no deal does not in any way prevent UK operators agreeing or honouring arrangements with EU operators.  However, this is entirely at the discretion of the contracting parties.
  • This means Government cannot guarantee roaming free of charge for UK consumers- and make clear in the notice it will depend on companies.
  • The notice also highlights inadvertent roaming in Northern Ireland, but does not set out a process to deal with such cases (where a person in Northern Ireland picks up a Republic of Ireland signal).
  • Finally, the paper confirms that there is no intention to change existing rules around mobile contracts or existing Ofcom guidance to consumers.

Nominated Persons

  • UK nominated persons will no longer be recognised in the EU. This means any company using a UK authorised representative should seek to hire a nominated person in the EU for all EU businesses.
  • The UK will unilaterally accept existing EU authorised representatives to deal with the UK.  However, new authorised representatives after Exit Day will be required to be located in the UK.

Mergers and Anti-Trust

  • The notice states that the Competition and Market Authority (CMA) will take responsibility for investigating mergers and anti-trust enforcement, with the Withdrawal Act used to give the CMA the relevant powers.
  • The domestic rules will remain the same, meaning no changes to the issues that will be investigated or the thresholds at which mergers become subject to investigation.
  • However, the EU will no longer be able to investigate UK aspects of mergers or anti-trust cases and the UK will no longer be part of the Civil Judicial Cooperation regime.
  • This also means the UK will no longer be part of the one-stop-shop on anti-trust cases, meaning companies could be required to comply with both UK and EU rules.
  • In addition, in merger cases, companies that meet the threshold may be investigated by both the CMA and the European Commission.
  • The paper strongly advises anyone engaged in existing merger applications at EU level, or in anti-trust cases, to take independent legal advice.
  • The notice does state that the companies will continue to be able to pursue EU breaches of anti-trust that arise post exit through the UK courts via a Foreign Tort claim. They may also pursue damages based on EU decisions through UK courts.

Public Sector Contracts

  • The UK will no longer be able to post its public sector contracts out for tender on the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) or Tender Electronic Daily (TED).
  • The UK will therefore create its own e-notifications system to replace OJEU/TED in the event of no deal. This system will be ready by exit day and will be free to access.
  • All existing opportunities listed on OJEU/ TED from the UK will be listed on this new system.
  • Suppliers will need to register with the new UK system when it opens on Exit Day.
  • Suppliers will also continue to be able to view OJEU/TED for EU opportunities.
  • The paper also confirms the Government’s intention to accede to the Government Procurement Agreement at WTO, meaning the basic principles of procurement will remain in place.

Travelling to the EU

  • The paper confirms that in the event of a no deal, the UK will be a third country for EU member states.
  • This means that to travel to the EU, a person will need to go through a third country procedure for Schengen processes.
  • These procedures limit a person’s stay to 90 days and require that a person has a passport that is valid for not longer than 10 years and not shorter than three months after the final point in which they could stay in the EU.
  • This three-month threshold coupled with the 90 day maximum stay means that in reality a person cannot travel to the EU unless there passport has more than 6 months.
  • Blue passports will be available for late 2019, but existing passports will not automatically have to be replaced.

Driving in the EU

  • The technical notice confirms that UK driving licenses will no longer be recognised in the EU in the event of a no deal. This means that in order to drive in the EU a person will have to apply for an international driving license.
  • An international driving license costs £5.50 and can be obtained from most Post Offices. However, some have raised concerns of the capacity of the Post Office to deliver against demand.

Trade marks and designs:

  • Existing EU trade marks and registered community designs will still be protected and enforcement in the UK by providing a UK equivalent trade mark or design.
  • Ongoing EU trade mark or registered design applications at the point of exit will have nine months to apply in the UK for same protection, retaining the date of EU application for priority purpose. Pending applications for trade marks or designs will not be notified automatically and will need to decide whether or not to apply for a new UK mark/design.
  • Government will work with WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation) to provide continued protection after March for Trade Marks and designs filed under the Madrid and Hague systems which designate the EU.
  • Existing EU trade marks or registered designs will have a new UK equivalent right which will come into force on exit from the EU with minimal administrative burden. The trade mark or design will then be maintained as if issued under UK law so:
    • Subject to renewal in the UK
    • Can form basis for proceedings before UK courts or IPO tribunal
    • Can be registered and licenced independently from the EU
  • Existing EU trade marks and designs will continue to be valid in EU27
  • Rightsholders will be notified of new UK right and offered an opt-out
  • Provisions will be made for any ongoing legal disputes at the point of exit.


  • Relevant EU legislation will be brought into UK law via the Withdrawal Act 2018
  • Existing systems will remain in place, operating independently from the EU, with all current conditions and requirements
  • EU legislation on supplementary protection certificates will be kept in UK law with a new UK version
  • Any existing rights or licences in force in the UK will remain in force after March 2019
  • No action required from rights holder or licence holder.
  • UK membership of UPC has two scenarios, depending on the outcome of the German constitutional challenge and whether the court is in force at the point of exit (it is not clear whether or not it will be):
    • If the Court is in force: The UK will not participate in the UPC. Domestic legislation already passed to bring court into force will never take effect in the UK. There will be no changes for UK businesses in this scenario.
    • If the Court is in force: The UK will become a member of the court and will explore remaining a part however if it needs to withdraw businesses can still use their new UPs in the EU27 but will not be valid in the UK. New UK-UPs will be created to replace these and provide continuity.


  • Most copyright law is international through various treaties which apply to the UK independently of its membership of the EU.
  • However there is a set of EU law based on cross border copyright and related rights such as:
    • Sui Generis database rights
    • Portability of online content services
    • Satellite Broadcasting and country of origin
    • Orphan works
    • Collective management of copyright
    • Cross-border transfer of copies of accessible copyright
  • On exit, in a no deal scenario, all EU cross-border reciprocal mechanisms will cease to apply to the UK.
  • EU directives and regulations will be retained by reciprocal nature will end. Amendments o legislation will be required to achieve this.

Exhaustion of intellectual Property Rights:

  • In a no deal scenario the UK will continue to recognise EEA regional exhaustion regime from exit day i.e. the UK will recognise a product placed in the EEA as exhausted
  • There will be no change to the rules affecting the imports of goods into the UK
  • However there may be a change on the rules of goods moving from the UK to the EEA and businesses may need to check with EU rights holders to see if a provision is required
  • UK Government is undertaking a research programme to see how exhaustion should work in the future under these circumstances
  • Goods placed in the UK after exit will not be considered exhausted in the EEA which means businesses exporting these goods from the UK to EEA may need rights holders consent. Businesses may need to seek legal advice on how this could affect their business model.

Generating low-carbon electricity:

  • Guarantees of origin from combined heat and power issued in Great Britain and Northern Ireland will no longer be recognised in the EU.
  • Existing contracts with EU countries’ electricity suppliers may be compromised if the contract requires the transfer of a guarantee or origin by the EU.
  • Renewable Energy guarantees of energy in UK will not be recognised in the EU. If this is required in a contract it may be compromised.
  • Certification of installers of certain microgeneration technologies – UK will continue to recognise EEA certification but UK’s will not be automatically recognised in the EEA.
  • Renewable electricity support schemes:
    • Feed-in-tariff schemes and contracts for difference: Government will remove legislation references to UK as an EU country. Scheme administrators will engage with electricity suppliers to inform them of their obligations under the levies
    • Renewable Obligations: Current sustainability requirements under ROs will continue to apply for bioliquids, solid and gaseous biomass.

Regulation chemicals (REACH):

  • Companies producing or exporting chemicals from outside the EEA must comply with REACH by ensuring the EEA-based importer they supply fulfils the requirements of REACH, or by producing an ‘only representative’ (OR). An OR is based in the EEA and acts as an agent to carry out tasks and responsibilities of importers to comply with REACH.
  • In No Deal situation, Withdrawal Act would ensure legislation replaces EU legislation and establish a UK regulatory framework
  • UK would build domestic capacity to deliver functions currently delivered by ECHA.
  • Legislation would preserve REACH with technical changes.
  • By doing this the UK would continue to monitor and evaluate chemicals in the UK to reduce risk posed to human health and the environment with minimised disruption to the supply of chemicals.
  • Health and Safety Executive (HSE) would act as the lead UK regulatory authority.
  • The UK’s new regulatory framework would:
    • Enable registration of new chemicals in a new and separate UK IT system (although this will be similar to the EU system)
    • Provide specialist capacity to evaluate the impact on health and environment
    • Ensure regulators and enforcement capacity in the HSE, Environment Agency and other regulators.
    • Enable them to recommend controls in response to the hazard or risk of substances
    • Provide an appropriate policy function in Defra and devolved administrations.
  • The UK would not be legally committed to maintaining medium or long-term regulatory alignment with the EEA.
  • Companies registered with REACH would no longer be able to sell into the EEA market without transferring their registrations to an EEA based organisation.
  • Companies will need to take action to preserve their EEA market access.
  • UK downstream users importing chemicals from the EEA would face new registration requirements. Under UK replacement of REACH, importers would have a duty to register chemicals. UK downstream users would not longer be able to rely on authorisation decisions delivered to companies in remaining EEA countries.
  • Aim to continue access to UK market:
    • There would be a transitional period before the full obligations would fall on the importers who would otherwise be most affected.
    • Defra would: carry across existing REACH registrations by UK-based companies directly into UK replacement of REACH via grandfathering; set up a transitional light touch notification process for UK companies importing chemicals from the EEA before the UK leaves the EU that don’t hold a REACH agreement; carry into the UK system all existing authorisations to continue using higher risk chemicals held by UK companies
    • Businesses with REACH registrations would have to register with new UK IT system to validate grandfathered registrations within 60 days of leaving the EU.
    • Businesses would have two years to provide the UK authority with full data package that was supplied for EU registration and held on the ECHA IT system.
    • Businesses that have imported chemicals from EEA before UK exit would need to notify the UK authority and provide data on the chemicals within 180 days of leaving (if there is no REACH registration).
    • Importing businesses would be responsible for identifying appropriate risk management measured and recommending them to their customers.
  • After no deal businesses wanting to place chemicals on both UK and EEA market would need to make two separate registrations.
  • In order to maintain EEA market access:
    • Businesses need to refer to ECHA guidelines and other no deal notifications
    • UK registrants would need to transfer their registrations to an EEA-based entity.

The Full list of notices

  • Broadcasting and video on demand if there’s no Brexit deal
  • Data protection if there’s no Brexit deal
  • Mobile roaming if there’s no Brexit deal
  • What telecoms businesses should do if there’s no Brexit deal
  • Getting an exemption from the maritime security notifications if there’s no Brexit deal
  • Reporting CO2 emissions for new cars and vans if there’s no Brexit deal
  • Vehicle type-approval if there’s no Brexit deal
  • Driving in the EU if there’s no Brexit deal
  • Recognition of seafarer certificate of competency if there’s no Brexit deal
  • Accessing public sector contracts if there’s no Brexit deal
  • Funding for UK LIFE projects if there’s not Brexit deal
  • Using and trading in fluorinated gases and ozone depleting substances if there’s no Brexit deal
  • Industrial emissions ‘Best Available Technique’ (BAT) regime if there’s no Brexit deal
  • Upholding environmental standards if there’s no Brexit deal
  • Travelling to the EU with a UK passport
  • Travelling with a European Firearms Pass if there’s no Brexit deal
  • Trading in drug precursors if there’s no Brexit deal
  • Travelling in the Common Travel Area if there’s no Brexit deal
  • Connecting Europe Facility energy funding if there’s no Brexit deal
  • Handling civil legal cases that involve EU countries if there’s no Brexit deal
  • European Regional Development Funding if there’s no Brexit deal
  • European Social Fund (ESF) grants if there’s no Brexit deal
  • Merger review and anti-competitive activity if there’s no Brexit deal
  • Satellites and space programmes if there’s no Brexit deal
  • Trading under the mutual recognition principle if there’s no Brexit deal
  • Appointing nominated persons to your business if there’s no Brexit deal
  • Running an oil or gas business if there’s no Brexit deal
  • Trading goods regulated under the ‘New Approach’ if there’s no Brexit deal
  • Trade marks and designs
  • Patents
  • Copyright
  • Exhaustion of intellectual property rights
  • European Territorial Cooperation funding
  • Generating low-carbon electricity
  • Flights to and from the UK
  • Aviation safety
  • Aviation security
  • Operating bus or coach services abroad
  • Commercial road haulage in the EU
  • Vehicle insurance
  • Registration of veterinary medicines
  • Regulation of veterinary medicines
  • Accessing animal medicine IT systems
  • Exporting animals and animal products
  • Important animals and animal products
  • Regulation chemicals (REACH)
  • Manufacturing and marketing fertilisers
  • Producing and labelling food
  • Importing and exporting plants
  • Taking your pet abroad
  • Buying and selling timber
  • Producing food products protected by a ‘geographical indication’
{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Reports Mon, 24 Sep 2018 16:00:00 +0100
techUK at the WTO: Exploring how tech changes trade

This October, techUK is stepping onto the international stage with a panel at the World Trade Organisation’s Public Forum - 'Trade 2030'. Technology is at the heart of trade and new technological developments have transformed it time and time again. We are experiencing a Fourth Industrial Revolution, ushering in a new era of change in what is made, where it is made and how it is traded. The laws that govern international commerce have not yet caught up, but we are now at a pivotal moment as negotiators from across the world get together to agree new ecommerce rules. It is crucial that the voices of the UK’s world-leading tech sector are heard in that debate and that new rules reflect the opportunities that tech creates globally.

How new technology is disrupting international trade forms the basis of techUK’s first ever panel at the Public Forum: ‘The Rise of Digital: Tech and the Changing Nature of Value Added’. We are bringing together industry, diplomats and development experts to explore the benefits of new developments like 3D printing and the trade in intangibles across borders, and how global rules need to adapt to ensure that technological change is inclusive.

The panel will be chaired by Stuart Harbinson, former Chief of Staff to WTO Director-General Dr Supachai Panitchpakdi. Speaking will be Andrew Staines, UK Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative from the UK Mission in Geneva, who chaired the Information Technology Agreement Committee when it was last updated in 2015; techUK’s own Deputy CEO, Antony Walker, representing the views of the UK tech sector and the importance of a thriving digital ecosystem; Karishma Banga, Senior Research Officer at the ODI, who has written extensively on the digital economy and the future of the manufacturing-led development model; and Carlos Halasz, Customs Compliance Officer, Global Trade from HP, one of the leading manufacturers of 3D printers.

Cross-border flows of data are already estimated to be worth $2.8 trillion to world GDP, and with 3D printing also poised to disrupt $2-3 trillion of global manufacturing, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is quickly and fundamentally changing world trade. As the Public Forum looks towards what trade will look like in 2030, techUK is delighted to be at the forefront of the international conversation around this new future, and with a panel that looks set to have a fascinating debate.


techUK’s panel ‘The Rise of Digital: Tech and the Changing Nature of Value Added’ will take place at the WTO in Geneva in Room B, from 15.30-17.00 on 4 October. Follow techUK’s panel and wider engagement during the Public Forum on twitter with #techUKatWTO. For more information please get in touch with Thomas Goldsmith, Policy Manager, Brexit & Trade:


{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) News Thu, 20 Sep 2018 15:05:08 +0100
The key factors driving the adoption and use of cloud technology

The procurement of cloud products is continuing to rise. No longer held back by security concerns, Gartner recently announced that more than $1.3 trillion in IT spending will be directly or indirectly affected by the shift to the cloud by 2022, but why are organisations across the UK choosing to use and adopt the cloud?

Reduced costs

Purchasing and managing on-premise hardware can be costly. The cloud removes this burden, as typically, charges are on a per user basis reducing upfront costs.

Some vendors take this further by offering innovative pricing strategies such as active user licencing, which means only paying for those who use the software. Also, with no hardware to manage, your time can be spent on more important tasks.

Increased collaboration

If improving collaboration isn’t a priority for your organisation, it should be. A recent study found that companies promoting collaborative working were 5 times more likely to be high performing.

How can the cloud help? It allows project teams to view, share and collaborate in one secure, online workspace, without the issues that come with email such as lost conversations and multiple versions of documents.


When organisations need to move quickly, a solution taking weeks to implement just won’t cut it. Not only can cloud solutions be up and running in hours, it also makes it easy for you to scale user numbers up and down quickly to meet business’ demands.

Tighter security

Who has the best security credentials? Cloud v on-premise. This debate has been raging for many years. Both have their advantages. But what you may not have considered, is most cloud service providers will implement and manage IT security controls better than internal IT departments.

This is because they’re independently audited on a regular basis and have been awarded industry standard accreditations such as ISO 27001 and Cyber Essentials Plus.

Automated software updates

Time, effort and money are all required to manage on-premise software updates. But with evergreen technology, these are done automatically by the vendor. This also ensures that everyone within the organisation is using the same version of the software.

Work from anywhere

With 50% of the UK workforce expected to work remotely by 2020, organisations need to adapt to this change in working habits or risk being left behind.

The cloud can help with this transition. Because you can login anytime, anywhere with an internet connection, you can empower your staff to be productive on the move, anywhere, anytime, on any device.





To read more from techUK's Cloud Week, visit our landing page

{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Opinions Mon, 24 Sep 2018 09:44:00 +0100
Cloud, Data, Analytics and AI Newsletter

Welcome to techUK’s September edition of the Cloud, Data Analytics and AI newsletter! For those of you who took a break over the Summer, welcome back!

We’re excited to be kicking off Autumn with techUK’s Cloud Campaign Week. Throughout the week we’ll be highlighting the importance of cloud computing for the UK’s digital future - bringing you news, views and insights from the technology sector. Please get involved in the conversation on Twitter @techUK using the #whycloud.

We’re in the process of organising some great events between now and December. Two big dates for your diary should be the Supercharging the Digital Economy on 18 October in Manchester and the Digital Ethics Summit on the 12 December.

I hope you find this month’s update a helpful overview of the latest news, events and opportunities to get involved with the Cloud, Data Analytics and AI programme. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or queries.

All the best! 

Katherine Mayes
Programme Manager, Cloud, Data Analytics and AI

techUK Cloud, Data, Analytics and AI News

techUK No Deal Notice on Data shows legal complexities faced by UK companies
Read techUK’s CEO Julian David comment on the release of the second group of No Deal Technical Notices, including a notice on the free flow of data.

Sage report on Building a Competitive, Ethical AI Economy
This report outlines the key steps for government and businesses to put ethical AI principles into practice to benefit industry, government and society. The paper was compiled with participation from government representatives and global businesses, including techUK.

Government publishes code of conduct for AI and data-driven technology

Read techUK’s thoughts on a new code of conduct for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other data-driven technologies in healthcare.

Join techUK’s local public services emerging tech working group!
Join a new cross-programme working group which has been set-up to demystify how the technologies of today and tomorrow can re-imagine local public service outcomes.

The future of IOT is AI
Phil Brunkard, CIO, Regional Government & Health, BT, looks at the intersection between the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Other news and comments

No deal would be a very bad deal for the tech sector (The Times)

Artificial intelligence system detects often-missed cancer tumours (Digital journal)

Joseph Stiglitz on artificial intelligence: 'We’re going towards a more divided society' (The Guardian)

India should let data roam free (Bloomberg)

Let's talk sbout AI ethics; We're on a deadline (Forbes)

AI art is on the rise – but how do we measure its success? (Apollo Mag)

Sir Alan Wilson appointed Executive Chair of the Ada Lovelace Institute (techUK)

AI and work (British Academy)

Upcoming Events 

24 September - Take control of (and secure) your cloud computing in 2019
InTech Forums will be hosting a session focusing on cloud cyber security. Delivered by Lloyd's market professionals and leading security experts, this lunchtime forum will provide an insight into some of the latest cyber and fraud threats and the proactive steps that market companies can take to help combat them.

2 October - Home Office DDaT Strategic Procurements: Supplier Engagement Event
This is a chance for the tech industry to learn about upcoming procurements and to shape Home Office thinking and strategy Public and Private Cloud, Networks & Infrastructure and the commercial opportunities these present. We anticipate high demand for this event so book your place now!

3 October - techUK October Introductory Evening
Whether you are new to techUK, thinking of joining us or would just like a reminder of the many benefits and services that we have to offer, then this is the event for you. Join us for an introductory evening, where we will tell you more about techUK, how we work and how you, as a member, can access our many member benefits and services.

Get Involved: 15 – 20 October - techUK Green Week
Coinciding with Green GB Week, we are looking for members and stakeholders to contribute blogs and articles looking at where they see the real opportunities for digital transformation. techUK is running a campaign week looking at how tech and digital are helping deliver a low carbon and sustainable Britain. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to contribute!

18 October Supercharging the Digital Economy
Focusing on the ways in which digital increasingly underpins Britain’s economy, 200 business leaders from industry will hear how the adoption and deployment of cutting-edge digital technologies, products and services produced by the UK tech sector is, and can, enable every sector of the UK economy.

1 November - Cloud Adoption in the Financial Services Industry
Join us for an in-depth roundtable discussion focusing on the opportunities for financial service organisations adopting and deploying cloud services, the barriers preventing the sector from moving to the cloud and how these can be addressed.

3 December techUK’s Cloud 2020 Vision – Are we there yet?
In 2016, techUK published its Cloud 2020 Vision for keeping the UK at the forefront of cloud adoption. With 2020 nearly upon us, techUK wants to review what progress has been made and what may still need to be done. Check out this follow up!

12 December Digital Ethics Summit
On 12 December, techUK will hold its second annual Digital Ethics Summit. The event will bring together stakeholders to assess the progress made over the last twelve months to build the capacity and capabilities needed to recognise and address digital ethical issues and concerns. Watch this space for more information on how to secure your place!

If you have trouble registering for an event, please contact:

{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Newsletters Thu, 20 Sep 2018 13:44:07 +0100
Hybrid cloud is the answer for law enforcement

adjective: hybrid

                of mixed character; composed of different elements.

                e.g. "hybrid petrol-electric cars"

As a self-confessed petrol head, I tend to relate everything back to cars. Having just one car in your garage is always going to be a compromise between fun to drive and utility. A similar analogy could apply to cloud, but it’s probably more useful, as cloud is a service, to relate it to something like airlines. Making the decision to always fly British Airways, whilst admirable isn’t always the best answer. Maybe BA don’t go where I need to go, or maybe I want to ship freight...

Any organisation adopting cloud services should have an open mind. “We’ve decided to use XYZ Cloud for all our needs”, suggests laziness or ignorance. Equally, “cloud is not secure enough for law enforcement”, misses the point. We tend not to keep cash under the mattress, instead relying on banking professionals to keep it safe – surely the same applies for our data?

There are now a number of secure cloud offerings available to law enforcement. It is sensible to decide to use a specific cloud for a specific purpose – e.g. “let’s keep all of our Office documents in the Microsoft cloud” – given appropriate access management, this allows people from across law enforcement to securely share documents. However, this doesn’t mean that you’ve chosen your cloud for storing Body Worn Video or Crime Intelligence, which are both quite different problems. For long term storage of evidential BWV, the choice of solution needs to be based on three things:

  • How cheaply can I store the video with decent performance initially? 
  • How cheap is it when I just need to keep it safe with infrequent access?
  • How much does it cost to move it to a new supplier, when someone cheaper comes along?

When comparing costs, remember cloud includes everything – ensure that you compare this to your true in-house costs which include hardware, network, security, datacentre, electricity and people.

Historically, IT vendors did a good job of locking people in. Today, we live in an open standards world with defined ways for systems to talk to one another. For a long time technology has allowed us the ability to share data across systems, however typically people find excuses not to share data. Cloud as an enabling technology gives us a rosy future. The National Law Enforcement Data Programme, the bringing together of the Police National Computer and Police National Database into a single cloud hosted solution will change the way we work. Using the PNC data as an index for all of the PND data from all forces will mean that we will have one coherent view of intelligence across the UK.

Next, this solution will exploit Artificial Intelligence, to spot patterns in complex data sets that are just too complex for humans to digest. There are many IT organisations, large and small, creating specific AI capabilities, ranging from “automating the extraction of POLE data from witness statements”, to “spotting all the young men in a video sporting a red baseball cap and facial hair”. These will all be delivered by cloud, but not the same cloud. The modern police system will need to make these automated enquiries across the multiple ‘hybrid’ cloud landscape, to use the best capability to solve the specific problem. When somebody comes up with a better/cheaper facial recognition system, we just point the query at that cloud instead.

Hopefully you can now see that the answer is hybrid, multiple clouds plus in-house capabilities. This approach enables the sharing of data. Because of the open nature of modern IT, it also doesn’t mean that we’ve increased complexity – just improved functionality and reduced cost.





To read more from techUK's Cloud Week, visit our landing page

{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Opinions Mon, 24 Sep 2018 09:08:00 +0100
What makes a 'good' Digital Board? - new report from SmarterUK

The key theme for the Smart Cities and Communities programme this year has been “practical steps for delivering smart city solutions” which has largely focused on leadership. This has included examining the roles and responsibilities for central government and local authorities in creating smart places around the UK. Local authorities are on the front line when it comes to smart, place-based digital initiatives. Although they should not be tasked with delivering the nation’s smart agenda without overarching support and ambition from central government, there are steps that local authorities can take to improve their own capacity and capability.

The first step towards this is building a greater understanding of digital, data and technological solutions into local authorities by establishing and maintaining “a dedicated and legitimate decision-making body that is empowered by the executive leadership of the local authority” - a digital board. A digital board will engage representatives from a mixture of local actors, including academia, local businesses, consumer/citizen groups, and tech companies. By drawing on such broad expertise, a digital board can raise awareness of opportunities for digital evolution, as well as support implementation efforts and ultimately deliver positive and sustainable citizen-focused outcomes for a locality.

With the help of industry and local government professionals, we have developed a series of recommendations for establishing and maintaining a digital board. The recommendations address key themes for digital boards to consider; ensuring meaningful engagement with local stakeholders, establishing a culture that supports an action-oriented and delivery focus and a collaborative approach to digital evolution.

If you would like to hear more about SmarterUK's work on leadership for smart places, please contact Matthew Evans or Jessica Russell.


{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Reports Wed, 19 Sep 2018 09:00:00 +0100
techUK to launch its Gender Pay Best Practice Guide

Is your business searching for measures to implement ahead of next year's Gender Pay Gap reporting deadline? Are you overwhelmed by the plethora of great gender diversity initiatives in the tech sector? Are you looking for tangible steps to take to improve your Gender Pay Gap? Are you an SME concerned about Gender Pay Reporting in the future?

techUK is hosting a panel event on Gender Pay Gap to launch our Gender Pay Gap Reference Guide. The Guide provides tech companies with steps to improve their reports and signposts them to a number of initiatives seeking to improve gender representation in the tech sector. We welcome HR and public policy professionals to attend as well as anyone keen on improving their company's commitments to diversity and inclusion.

Improving Gender Pay in the Tech Sector
Date & time:
08:30 - 10:00 on Tuesday 25 September 
Location: FDM Group, Cottons Centre, 3 Cottons Lane, London

The event will be chaired by Sarah Atkinson, Vice Chair of the techUK Skills & Diversity Council and Vice President of EMEA Communications at CA Technologies. 

Panelists include:

  • Helen Wollaston, Chief Executive, WISE
  • Karina Govindji, Group Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Vodafone
  • Inge Woudstra, Director, W2O Consulting and Training

Interested in attending? Register on our portal.

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Event round-ups Thu, 20 Sep 2018 10:14:08 +0100
Digital Dental Network Suppliers Forum with techUK

The Digital Dental Network Suppliers forum in collaboration with techUK is the first step as part of the Digital Dental Network launched in June 2018 . The aim to bring the profession , industry and NHS stakeholders together to discuss the future integration of dentistry in to the wider healthcare service. 

The forum will explore the art of the possible for NHS primary care dental suppliers to engage with the Digital Dental Strategy and provide input in to the digital dental roadmap, working with industry suppliers to discuss NHS standards, challenges and next steps. Full agenda to follow. This event is led by the NHS Englands Digital Development Directorate in-conjunction with NHS Digital and NHSBSA.

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Briefing Wed, 19 Sep 2018 14:17:19 +0100
New initiative launched to bring women in cyber together

On Monday 17 September, techUK held its Bridging the Cyber Gender Skills Gap event in partnership with Brightsec. The event, held at techUK’s offices, brought together senior women from across the cyber security sector to discuss topics such as their journey into the sector, how to attract and retain more female cyber professionals and ways in which to promote a diverse workplace.  

Central to the event was the announcement of the Queue for the Loo initiative; a series of events and online resources aimed at women in the cyber security sector.  The initiative, spearheaded by Sian John of Microsoft, will include quarterly networking events for female cyber professionals to network, exchange ideas and find mentors.  According to a recent study, the proportion of women in the UK cyber security sector stands at just 8 per cent, one of the lowest proportions in the world, with men earning an average of 16 per cent more than women. This initiative looks to not only create a stronger network between women in cyber but also to encourage them to do more to get others to consider their options in this space.     

Commenting on the event and launch of the Queue for the Loo initiative, Sian John, EMEA Chief Security Advisor, Microsoft  said: “A stark sign of the lack of gender diversity in our industry is shown at technology conferences where women are in such a minority that we rarely have to queue for the loo, unlike every other public event we attend. This is why I’ve started the #queuefortheloo campaign. The aim is to increase the breadth of talent in our industry by encouraging more women to join it so that we are more included and a sign of success will be when we have to start queueing to use the facilities at technology conferences.”  

Ruth Davis, Head of Commercial Strategy and Public Policy, BT Security, said: “Demand for cyber security professionals is growing, but we are failing to attract nearly 50 per cent of the UK’s workforce to the sector. I’m delighted to be a part of this initiative which I hope will inspire many more women to explore the opportunities a career in cyber security has for them”

Speakers at the event included Ruth Davis, Head of Commercial Strategy and Public Policy at BT Security, Sian John, EMEA Chief Security Advisor at Microsoft and speakers from the National Cyber Security Centre’s CyberFirst Girls project.

For more information on the new Queue for the Loo initiative and the cyber skills shortage, please do get in touch with Talal Rajab or follow us on twitter at @q4theloo

{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Opinions Wed, 19 Sep 2018 13:15:07 +0100
Internet of Things September Newsletter

techUK has been involved in DCMS’ Secure by Design project since its inception. This has included sitting on its External Advisory Group and hosting several workshops between members and members of the DCMS team – you can read more about our involvement here

We are hosting a conference call to discuss DCMS' Secure by Design Project in advance of publication. The purpose of this call is for us to update you on additional engagement with the DCMS, discuss our support for the project and adoption of the Code of Practice which sits at the heart of it, and gather feedback on members’ support or opposition to the Code. 

We have published The Second Edition of the Connected Home Report! It looks 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 include:

  • Device ownership is growing. The number of households owning more than three devices up by a quarter since last year’s report .
  • The number of smart speakers/home assistants has doubled and seems to be powering ownership of other devices .
  • Knowledge and appeal of the connected home, in general, has stagnated.

Register for our Healthy Ageing Interactive Workshop, Thursday, 20 September, 9:30 – 14:00. 

The event is an interactive workshop with industry and the public sector in healthy ageing with delegates working in groups reviewing challenges that cut across social isolation; falls and prevention; physical activity and cultural changes. Attendees will review the problem statements and together explore potential solutions and what new products and services will help people to live in their homes for longer, tackle loneliness, and increase independence and wellbeing. The session will offer industry the opportunity to hear first-hand from practitioners about the challenges posed by an ageing society with a view to helping organisations better shape their products/services, and network with individuals across the social care eco-system.

As you may already know we are also looking forward to our marquee Supercharging event on the 18 October which will look at increased digital adoption, particularly in the transport and retail sectors.

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Newsletters Wed, 19 Sep 2018 11:46:44 +0100
Why Marketing Campaigns Can Miss the Mark…

Marketing and Sales Group Event


The challenge

Marketers today have access to advanced digital technologies to help them. Yet, they often fail to meet marketing objectives. Moreover, marketing team members tend to be misaligned with colleagues, the sales team and the wider organisation, all of which can limit the effectiveness of marketing activities.


The solution

By adopting an Agile Marketing approach, marketers can more quickly and accurately respond to the business requirements. Agile Marketing is based on the principles of agile software development. It is a nimble, responsive and scalable way to deliver successful marketing activities through collaboration, short iterations, continuous learning and feedback.


Attend this free training on Agile Marketing to learn:

  • The key principles and benefits of Agile.
  • Agile ways of working through engaging team games.
  • How successful companies are using Agile marketing.
  • Ways to try Agile concepts within your marketing teams.



Laurence Wood is an Agile Leadership Coach at Mastek. He inspires teams and leaders to deliver more value, more often. An APMG accredited educator/examiner for the AgilePMTM methodology and creator of the Real Roles educational team game series, his Lean and Agile experience spans 25 years at organisations including Marks & Spencer and Jaguar Cars.


{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Meeting Wed, 19 Sep 2018 10:49:47 +0100
techUK scores MAC report

Today the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) released its long-anticipated report into EEA workers in the UK Labour Market. The report, commissioned in the Summer of 2017, seeks to advise policymakers on the current use of EEA labour in the UK workforce as well as review the existing framework for the ‘Rest of World’ immigration system.

techUK welcomes the MAC’s recognition of the valuable contribution immigration makes to the UK economy, and their attempt to demystify the assumption that immigration damages the upskilling of the UK-born workforce or that EEA nationals in the UK take out of the economy more than they put in.

Disappointingly, the MAC has failed to recommend whether or not immigration should form part of the negotiations with the European Union. Instead it has premised the entire report on the new immigration system being created in isolation, where it sees no reason for preferential access to the UK for EU nationals.

The language in the report sets it up to be inaccurately reported. It is absolutely vital that parliamentarians and policymakers should not fall into the trap of thinking that the MAC is recommending that there should be no preferential access which could unlock huge value.

Bearing that very important caveat in mind, techUK has assessed the MAC’s report against the ten asks of the future immigration system we published last week. Here’s what we think:

Overarching policy

techUK called for a split in process between short-term business critical travel and long-term immigration, something that is currently bundled together in existing Rest of World immigration and political rhetoric.

Verdict: There is an acknowledgement of this need as the report flags that ending free movement does not mean visa-free travel for EEA citizens would end, instead a visa would be needed to settle and work in the UK for any period of time. We hope the differentiation between settlement and mobility is kept at the forefront of both the debate and is reflected in the White paper.

Improvements to the existing Rest of World system

Whilst the MAC report makes a number of recommendations to improve the existing Rest of World system, these are small tweaks around the edges and would not amount to the radical overhaul of the immigration system which is currently not fit for purpose. Particularly if going forward this system would encompass EEA workers too.

techUK fully supports the removal of caps on Tier 2 workers, an action we have previously called for in our report. Furthermore, the MAC also recommends abolishing the Resident Labour Market Test. However, these are both only piecemeal solutions that does not take into account the package of recommendations techUK has called for or the ability of the current Tier 2 system to deal with this extension in remit.

The removal of caps must happen alongside a wider review of Tier 1, including both a review and rebrand of the underused Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visas to make them more useful for employers to re-introduce post-study work visas for STEM graduates. Whilst the MAC have called for a review of Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) and Tier 1 (Entrepreneur), these are currently routes for the self-employed and do little to ease concerns from employers.

Verdict: The MAC report provides policymakers with a series of isolated actions. However, for the UK digital economy to continue to remain globally competitive, government must look at the bigger picture and recognise the current strains preventing the UK from accessing high skilled talent; this is a unique opportunity for the UK to recast its immigration system to make it business friendly and fit for purpose.

Creating an efficient and streamlined application process

The MAC has given a nod to the need to improve the application process by calling for the abolition of Resident Labour Market Tests and suggesting that the in-country ability to transfer employers on to a Tier 2 visa is streamlined. By extending the Tier 2 system to EEA nationals, the MAC have also extended the Immigration Skills Charge. This is despite the report acknowledging that importing migrant labour does not damage the training of the UK-born workforce. Instead, this adds yet another obligation on employers that makes accessing global talent more difficult.

Furthermore, it is important to look at the great work the Home Office has already achieved through the EU Settlement Scheme. The scheme allows individuals to register for settled status through an online application and does not require any original copies of supporting documentation, instead an individual can upload soft copies (photographs and scans). By embracing technology, the application process is less time consuming and more navigable for both individual and employer.

Verdict: techUK commends the MAC for calling for the abolition of the broken Resident Labour Market Test but hopes government provides more detail in its Immigration Bill on how the application process will be streamlined and bought into the digital age. The EU Settlement Scheme should act as a gold standard.

The need for process and consultation between government and industry

The MAC received 400 responses to their original call for evidence in August 2017 and it was promising to see how heavily digital skills and the needs of the digital economy were flagged throughout their interim report, released in March.  Beyond this call for evidence, the MAC does little to require government to better consult industry before actioning any new system.

Verdict: A condition of the Tier 2 visa system is that employment is secured on arrival in the UK and employers spend a lot of time and money supporting individuals through the application process, therefore we must have a louder voice at the table of policy discussions.

Final verdict: The MAC decision to caveat their report against the Brexit negotiations makes the final messages of the report easy to manipulate depending on which side of the table one sits on the Brexit debate. Looking beyond the politics, the report does little to reassure tech and digital employers. techUK remains committed to the 10 asks of our future migration system and calls for government to fully review the needs of the UK digital economy when considering a future immigration system.

Read techUK CEO Julian David’s comment on the report.

Read our 10 asks of the future migration system.

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Opinions Tue, 18 Sep 2018 16:16:59 +0100
Ofcom's paper should be mandatory reading in online harms debate

Ofcom has today published a discussion paper on Addressing harmful online content. This is as very helpful paper that draws on Ofcom’s experience in the regulation of content standards for broadcast and on-demand video services. The paper should be mandatory reading for all of those engaged in the discussion on how to tackle online harms.

Ofcom is very clear that the scope and design of any new legislation is a matter for Government and Parliament and, Ofcom as a statutory regulator, has no view about the institutional arrangements that might follow. But the paper does provide some very useful insights on possible approaches to regulation.

It is Ofcom’s opinion that “existing frameworks could not be transferred wholesale to the online world”. This reflects the radically different nature of the internet. Take the sheer scale of content online - for example, 400 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every 60 seconds. Ofcom argues that this would make a regime similar to broadcast, including consideration of appeals by an external regulator, impractical.

Similarly, unlike in broadcast, content on online platforms is predominantly user-generated and is published as soon as it is submitted. Bearing this in mind Ofcom has raised questions around the effectiveness or proportionality of pre-moderation by platforms arguing that it “may not be practical given the large volume of content published online – or desirable, given the potential implications for freedom of expression.”

That being the case, what could regulation look like? Ofcom clearly believes a principles-based approach, which mirrors its own and allows for adaptability as services evolve, could work. Highlighting the “risk that regulation might inadvertently incentivise the excessive or unnecessary removal of content that limits freedom of speech and audience choice” Ofcom suggests that instead of looking at moderation and regulation at the point of upload, more weight should be given to the transparency and robustness of “processes that platforms employ to identify, assess and address harmful content – as well as to how they handle subsequent appeals.”

Social media companies are already doing a great deal of work in this area – improving reporting mechanisms and investing in hiring and training moderators. More is also being done to help identifying illegal content and remove it – for example, Google’s new AI tool that can help identify child sexual abuse images by up to 700% or Twitter’s use of algorithms to identify trolls and deprioritise their content.

Another useful element of the Ofcom paper is its taxonomy of harms. Ofcom is clear that each of these harms will require a different approach  

  • illegal content – such as hate speech, child exploitation or incitement to terrorism;

• age-inappropriate content – such as adult sexual material, disturbing or violent content;

• other potentially dangerous content – which poses a significant risk of personal harm, such as videos or images promoting self-harm or violence;

• misleading content – including ‘fake news’, the use of fake accounts and misleading political advertising, which may have undue influence on the democratic process.; and

• personal conduct that is illegal or harmful – such as bullying, grooming and harassment.


There is a clear need to have a well-thought out and nuanced debate about how to counter online harms. We need policy responses that are

effective, proportionate and give users the protection and recourse they expect when they go online.


Ofcom’s contribution to this debate is thoughtful and useful. techUK hopes government will take note as it develops it’s thinking on online harms ahead of the White Paper. 

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Opinions Tue, 18 Sep 2018 15:22:03 +0100
Cybersecurity Industry Roundtable – South Africa

Frost & Sullivan, commissioned by the UK , Government’s Prosperity Fund, released five white papers in July providing an overview of emerging digital market opportunities in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Brazil and Indonesia. The white papers assess digital market size and forecast growth, through the lenses of cybersecurity, telecommunications and digital services, providing market data and trend analysis, along with opportunities for UK digital businesses.

The UK Prosperity Fund is working to better understand opportunities for the UK cyber sector in these five countries and stimulate digital market economies, opening up opportunities of UK and international business. techUK is supporting the FCO’s efforts by bringing industry together with key stakeholders from the 5 relevant countries at a series of events over the next 6 months.

This initial session will focus on the South African cyber sector, exploring the business and political landscapes, and the maturity of the current sector. A key part of the event will be discussion around the various opportunities in cyber within South Africa, with speakers from both Government and industry discussing their experience. You can view the current agenda here.

More information will be added shortly, and for more details please get in touch with the techUK Cyber Team.


{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Roundtable Tue, 18 Sep 2018 15:17:40 +0100
BofE call for interest re RTGS - 28 Sept deadline

Synchronisation involves what is called ‘atomic settlement’ – i.e. the transfer of two assets is linked so that the transfer of one asset occurs if and only if the transfer of the other asset also occurs.  For certain transaction types - e.g. housing transactions, corporate transactions and cross-border payments -  this functionality could reduce cost and risk, improve efficiency, and support innovative new methods of settlement.  

The Bank is now seeking to consult with interested companies to further explore demand. To find out more, and to register your interest, please visit the Bank’s website or contact

In particular, the Bank wants to understand:

· How a Synchronisation Operator could connect to the renewed RTGS service; 

· What functionality and capabilities the renewed RTGS service might need in order for third parties to offer innovative synchronisation services; 

· What functionality a Synchronisation Operator might need in its own systems in order to deliver synchronisation services; and 

· The Bank’s policy with regards to how it expects this functionality to be used (and by which infrastructures). 

Companies can get involved at 2 levels:

·      By completing a questionnaire and receiving update emails. Please complete the questionnaire on Key Survey by 28 September 2018.

·      By attending face-to-face session at the Bank These will be held later this year; dates to be confirmed.

Further information and the questionnaire are on the Bank’s website

Or feel free to contact the Bank at

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) News Tue, 18 Sep 2018 11:38:24 +0100
MAC report highlights positive contribution from immigrants

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has today released its report on EEA workers in the UK labour market.  In response to the report , Julian David, techUK CEO commented:

“We welcome the MAC’s recognition of the positive contribution EEA workers make to the UK and the need for continued skilled migration. We hope the Government will act on the MAC’s recommendation to lift the cap on Tier 2 scheme and abolish the Resident Labour Market Test – both of which make it harder for the UK to access the talent it needs. However, as we bring down these barriers, we should be wary about erecting new ones. 

“The UK’s rest of the world immigration system is creaky, bureaucratic and difficult to navigate. If the UK Government decides not to implement a preferential system for EEA nationals, then the rest of the world system needs to be entirely overhauled.  Our current system is simply not fit for purpose to support the kind of immigration the UK’s digital economy needs.

“The skills needed to power our modern, digital economy simply do not exist in sufficient quantity within the UK’s resident labour market today. The UK Commission for Employment and Skills has estimated we need an additional 1.2 million new technical and digitally skilled people by 2022. Whilst our industry is working in close partnership with Government to ensure the domestic pipeline is strengthened, this will not happen overnight. As the MAC states, immigrants make a positive contribution to both innovation and productivity and there is a continued need for skilled migration into the UK.  If the UK wants to be a global hub for tech, it needs to be a global hub for tech talent.”

techUK also recently published its asks for an immigration system that supports the UK tech sector. 

{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) News Tue, 18 Sep 2018 11:14:08 +0100
China-UK Blockchain Collaboration Seminar & Official Launch

There is a growing public consciousness on issues related to data privacy and security. A series of high-profile data breaches has served to erode trust in data controllers across the globe, while national governments are playing catch-up to regulate the rapidly evolving digital worlds in which we live.  Blockchain technology has the potential to this emerging trust deficit across many industries, and particularly in the area of payments. It combines the openness of the internet with the security of cryptography to give everyone a faster, safer way to verify key information, demonstrate transparency and establish trust.

China is the largest digital market with 802 million internet users, the largest market for online payments market, and is emerging as a crucible for blockchain innovation and adoption. The UK is a leading global hub blockchain technology, has a unique regulatory framework, and acts as a magnet for blockchain talent, investors and entrepreneurs. There are growing opportunities for closer collaboration between these two vibrant blockchain ecosystems.


This seminar, jointly hosted by UKDE Ltd and the China-Britain Business Council, to learn more about the potential role of blockchain to foster trust and build more sustainable institutions. Several blockchain experts and government bodies will share their views on the potential for greater UK-China collaboration across in the field of distributed ledger technologies and cryptocurrency.

UKDE will also launch its new blockchain payment solution and provide a live demonstration for guests and invited media. The seminar will be followed by a drinks networking reception.



Registration & coffee


Welcome and Opening Remarks

Mark Hedley, China-Britain Business Council


Welcome Speech by Chinese Embassy



Fostering Closer UK-China Fintech Links

Department for International Trade (DIT)


The Development of the UK Blockchain Industry

EY Fintech Specialist (TBC), and/or

British Blockchain Association (TBC)


Presentation and Live Demonstration by UKDE




Networking Reception & Media Interviews


Event ends

About UKDE:

UKDE is registered in London, UK, with subsidiaries including the Global Blockchain Finance Institute (BFI), Digital Asset Trading Platform (UKEX), Digital Asset Payment Platform (CNUK) and financial services agency Comaurum Holdings Limited. It is a financial technology group that integrates educational research, digital financial services and digital technology investment.


This event is invite only. To request an invitation please email  directly.

{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Partner event Tue, 18 Sep 2018 10:39:56 +0100
Making drones take flight in the UK

Drones can and will be revolutionary for the UK and should be viewed as part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution alongside other technologies defining our future such as AI/Machine Learning, robotics, autonomous vehicles, cloud services, Blockchain, the Internet Of Things, immersive technologies, biotech and ultrafast connectivity.

A recent report from PwC indicates drones could be worth £42 billion to the UK economy by 2030 and we’re seeing more and more enterprises and public sector bodies taking advantage. They are almost an essential for engineering firms and the user cases are only growing, as can be seen from our conference earlier in the year. So how do we get to this point?

A Department for Transport consultation on future regulation for drones has just closed and it’s great to see government engaged on this (not just DfT, BEIS also has videos of drones filling the walls to advertise the Industrial Strategy). techUK responded to the consultation (click the link below to download our response) and yes DfT recognises the potential of drones, but the tone is a bit too focused on command and control and we would have liked more on the benefits and opportunities of drone technology adoption.

Our major concern is around the introduction of a new ‘Flight Information and Notification System(s), or FINS(s), to manage the airspace and understand what is flying and where. As proposed FINS(s) could see those wanting to use drones having to register for the system, pay a fee, submit flight information/navigation plans, get insured and accept that this information can be shared with government agencies. Industry is moving towards a model where drones are a rapid response tool, so making users comply with all this will only discourage and inhibit wider drone adoption. Drone technology is growing, but still niche and industrial users need help and support from government, not complicated barriers and red tape.

Elsewhere in the consultation we have urged government to use the innovation principle to measure the impact of new rules on drone uptake and want to see the lowest possible minimum age for drone users (vital if we want to get more people into STEM). A significant portion is spent on options for new police and civil powers and our view is that existing powers should be used, and new powers should only be created if it becomes obvious current laws are inadequate.  

Overall, we are keen to work with DfT to do what we can to promote the cutting edge use of drones and look forward to working with government on making this happen. By adopting a more experimental and opportunities focused tone and aligning policy goals with those of the Industrial Strategy, we are confident drone tech can really take flight in the UK.

{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) News Tue, 18 Sep 2018 10:02:59 +0100
techUK Conference Call | DCMS Secure by Design Project

Dial in: 033 0336 1373 Pin: 217540

techUK has been involved in DCMSSecure by Design project since its inception. This has included sitting on its External Advisory Group and hosting several workshops between members and members of the DCMS team – you can read more about our involvement here.

The purpose of this call is for us to update you on additional engagement with the DCMS, discuss our support for the project and adoption of the Code of Practice which sits at the heart of it, and gather feedback on members’ support or opposition to the Code.

This will help our ongoing engagement with DCMS and direct our follow actions to the publication of the Code which we expect to be in early October.

]]> (CRM Sync) Conference Mon, 17 Sep 2018 16:39:38 +0100
Securing our roads - making smart roads safe roads

As we look to build increasingly connected road ecosystem, from cars to signs to the roads themselves, it is necessary to recognise the potential cyber threats, and how they may manifest in the road environment.

With over 80% of passenger kilometres taken by car, van or taxi, and over 75% of goods moved by road, it is hard to deny that they are a lifeline for the nation. Given their strategic importance, the potential financial and human safety risks means that cyber threats require due consideration from the outset. Fulfilling smart objectives for the road ecosystem will not happen without adequate cyber security.

This joint event between techUK’s Cyber programme and the Transport work stream of the SmarterUK programme will unpack threats associated with key trends in the road environment, in particular relation to connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) and smart road infrastructure.

The agenda for the day is as follows:

0900 - 0930: Registration

0930 - 1035: Session One: Connected and Autonomous Vehicles

1035 - 1100: Coffee Break

1100 - 1230: Session Two: Connected road infrastructure

1230 - 1240: Event wrap-up and 

We invite you to join us for lunch and networking following the event close. 

{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Briefing Mon, 17 Sep 2018 11:04:03 +0100
New SPF Report: Cyber-Spectrum Resilience-Framework

New UK Spectrum Policy Forum paper identifies 10-step Cyber-Spectrum Resilience Framework for spectrum users to minimise the spectrum threat to their businesses and contribute to the overall national cyber resilience strategy.


The new paper - Cyber-Spectrum Resilience-Framework - prepared by QinetiQ on behalf of the UK Spectrum Policy Forum, provides information and guidance to spectrum users, managers and installers to help them make informed decisions and contribute to the overall cyber resilience strategy.

Radio spectrum access, which underpins the UK’s economy and provides significant social value, is part of the UK’s (soft) infrastructure. Consequently, spectrum access should be appropriately resilient from malicious or accidental disruptions and the necessary spectrum protection measures should be implemented by businesses and users to ensure that the services they provide meet their needs.

The denial of spectrum access, through jamming, spoofing or hacking, either accidentally or intentionally, can result in similar effects to cyber denial of service attacks (DDoS).

To help keep spectrum-using systems safe, the paper includes the below ten-point checklist for spectrum users, managers and installers:

  1. Spectrum Audits: Do you know what frequencies you are using and why?
  2. Impact assessment: Do you know what would the impact be on your business if you lost access to spectrum?
  3. Detect/Monitor/Record: Are you checking the availability and usage of your frequencies?
  4. Respond and Recover: Have you got a plan for getting back to business as usual after an interruption to your spectrum access?
  5. Reporting: How and when do you report disruption?
  6. Practice: Have you stress tested your system and your response and recovery plans?
  7. Awareness: Are your staff aware of potential threats to spectrum availability?
  8. Update: Do you implement regular updates?
  9. Qualified personnel: Do you ensure that you are using suitably qualified personnel (SQP) to configure and control your systems?
  10. Board responsibility: Do your Directors take responsibility for spectrum resilience?


David Meyer, Chair of the UK Spectrum Policy Forum said:

“Digital is the fastest growing part of the UK’s economy and connectivity underpins almost every sector. Businesses and services are increasingly reliant on wireless technology - from banking IT systems and transport communications, to industrial manufacturing and AI. It’s therefore vital that these services are resilient from accidental or malicious interference.

The UK Spectrum Policy Forum’s broad membership enables us to address strategic spectrum issues and provide advice to Government and Ofcom on industry and user views around key spectrum policy issues. This Cyber-Spectrum Resilience Framework provides a 10-point check list for Government, businesses and organisations to enable informed decision-making to help ensure that their services can continue to be provided un-interrupted.”


Further information

The development of this cyber-spectrum resilience framework was a key recommendation of the recent SPF Spectrum Resilience White Paper, which was developed by QinetiQ for the SPF. Based on the outcomes of UK Spectrum Policy Forum workshops the paper demonstrated the need to conduct system level testing to ensure that unexpected (ripple or cascade) effects can be understood and mitigated.

The EU Directive (2016/1148) on the security of Network and Information Systems Directive (NISD), which came into force in the UK in May 2018, aims to improve the security of network and information systems across the EU. The NISD requires that significant disruption to service provision is reported within a pre-defined period or fines may be levied. It is important to note that the NISD does not confine the causes of the disturbance to wired infrastructure.

About the UK Spectrum Policy Forum:

Launched at the request of Government, the UK Spectrum Policy Forum is the industry sounding board to address strategic spectrum issues and to provide advice to Government and Ofcom on industry and user views around key spectrum policy issues. The SPF is open to all organisations with an interest in using spectrum and has over 240 members drawn from mobile and broadcasting, space and transport, equipment manufacturers and public services.  The SPF’s broad membership working together enables us to engage with challenging questions about how to get better value from spectrum use at the national and international level. A Steering Board performs the important function of ensuring the proper prioritisation and resourcing of our work.

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Reports Tue, 18 Sep 2018 08:17:00 +0100
Digital Optometry Network Suppliers Forum with techUK

Digitisation within the NHS is high on the agenda from the recent Secretary of State announcement. We explore how Optometry can be part of an integrated healthcare system and what short, medium and long-term step are needed to support this digital journey.


The Digital Optometry Network Suppliers forum in collaboration with techUK is the first step in creating a Digital Optometry Network, working alongside the NHS and their key digitisation plans. The aim of this network is to bring the profession, industry and NHS stakeholders together to discuss the future integration of dentistry in to the wider healthcare service. 

The forum will explore the art of the possible for NHS primary care Optometry suppliers to engage with Strategy and provide input in to the digital Optometry roadmap, working with industry suppliers to discuss NHS standards, challenges and next steps.


Full agenda to follow.



{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Briefing Fri, 14 Sep 2018 15:57:55 +0100
techUK Policy Pulse | Your weekly update on tech and digital policy

The big news this week is without a doubt the European Parliament’s adoption of the Copyright Directive with restrictive measures including upload filters which undermine the rules of a free and open internet. Don’t worry all hope is not lost - the proposals will now enter interinstitutional negotiations with the European Commission and European Council where there is an opportunity for further compromise. Read techUK’s analysis on Wednesday’s vote here.

Staying with Europe, the European Court of Justice has begun its considerations on whether the right to be forgotten, instituted by the Court in 2014, should be applicable globally. France's Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertes has taken the case to court arguing that delisting should be required not just on the French version of Google but across all versions of the website. Google, however, argue this could have negative consequences in less democratic regimes where it could be used as a tool for censorship. A decision is not expected until 2019 but expect this to be in and out of the news until then.

Over at another European Court, this time the European Court of Human Rights, the case of Big Brother Watch and others versus the United Kingdom has been decided. The Court found that aspects of RIPA violated both Articles 8 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights; however, it is important to note the Court stated that the operation of a bulk interception regime did not in and of itself violate the Convention and the Court did not consider amendments made under the new Investigatory Powers Act. Read our full summary of the judgement here.

Finally from Europe, Juncker delivered his last State of the Union speech on Wednesday morning. He used it to reiterate that the UK cannot cherry-pick in the Brexit negotiations but reassured that the EU’s future relationship would be close. Digital tax and protecting upcoming elections from foreign interference both featured as did new proposals for online terrorist content to be taken down within an hour of a ‘removal order’. For a full analysis of the speech from a tech perspective and a look ahead at the next Commission click here.

Back in the UK, the Government today published is second batch of technical notices on what will happen in the event of a No Deal on Brexit. This included important notices on data flows, the UK space sector, mobile roaming, broadcasting and CE marking. The No Deal notice on data is particularly concerning for millions of businesses who rely on the free flow of data. While it is right for Government to set out its plans as to what happens if everything goes horribly wrong ahead of March 2019, what the notices again show is the huge additional burdens that would be put on UK businesses and consumers, and why securing a Brexit deal is so important. You can read our comment here.

This week there have also been a couple of notable interventions from parliamentarians on tech issues:

First up, Labour’s Lucy Powell is using a ten-minute rule bill – the Online Forums Bill, to call for moderators to be held liable for the content that appears on groups they host and to demand that social media platforms ban ‘secret’ groups. I was going to write a blog piece about all the problems with this but thankfully Jamie Bartlett has done the job for me.

Meanwhile, Amber Rudd has taken up the issue of digital ID, proposing that NHS numbers could be the building block for a new ID system. The UK’s tech sector has been grappling with this issue for some time and it certainly is worth careful thought – there are no doubt alternatives to a centralised solution but for it to work government and tech will need to work hand in hand.

techUK news and events

Yesterday, techUK published its asks of a new immigration system post-Brexit. With the tech sector facing an acute skills shortage it is vital any new system ensures we can still access the talent we need to continue to grow and thrive. Read a summary of our report here.

For the second year in a row, techUK has launched its annual State of the Connected Home report, looking at current consumer understanding of the connected home market. It explores the appeal and ownership of different categories of devices and makes recommendations to encourage further adoption in the UK.

On Tuesday 25 September, techUK will launch its report ‘Remedying the Gender Pay Gap: the How To Guide”. From April this year, all UK companies with 250 or more employees were required to publish their gender pay gap. The techUK Skills & Diversity Council has created a quick guide on what makes a good report and the steps your company can take to improve its Gender Pay disparities. Join us for the launch event which will include a summary of findings and a panel discussion with identified best practices in the tech sector. RSVP here or contact India for more information.

Finally, get involved with our first Green Week on 15 – 20 October, a week of activity looking at how tech is leading the way in low carbon and sustainability. Further info here.

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Newsletters Fri, 14 Sep 2018 14:27:08 +0100
UK SPF Cluster 2: Innovation Licensing: Rural/Enterprise

UK SPF Cluster 2: Innovation Licensing: Rural/Enterprise


Tiered Sharing Models - Who is/are the incumbents and differing strategies
Peter Curnow-Ford, UK Spectrum Policy Forum Cluster 2 Chair

  • Review of CBRS (and the most recent developments in the US e.g. region sizes, and possibilities in 3.7-4.2GHz) US perspectives:


  • Dave Wright, Director, Regulatory Affairs & Network Standards, Ruckus Wireless ​(President of OnGo, CBRS Alliance)


  • Future enterprise networking requirements & the implications for spectrum policy

Dean Bubley, Disruptive Analysis


  • Spectrum sharing models for 5G, and implications for rural coverage

Adam Leach, Nominet


  • 5G, what's in it for rural Britain?​

David Happy, Independent


  • Licensing in the 3400-4200 MHz and mmwave bands in Europe

Reza Karimi, Huawei (representing the GSA) 


More information about the UK Spectrum Policy Forum is available here. SPF workshops are held under Chatham House Rule to enable cross-industry collaborative discussion.

{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Meeting notes Fri, 14 Sep 2018 11:55:56 +0100
CF Fund 2017 | Fast Tracked Research

A major study which will test plastic from waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) to ensure it can be safely recycled is one of two projects that has been fast-tracked for funding under the WEEE Compliance Fee.

[LONDON] 12 September 2018: Under the ICER-led study, over 25,000 samples of plastics from displays, large and small domestic appliances, power tools, fridges and printed circuit boards will be scanned and tested for persistent organic pollutants (POPs), and specifically bromine content indicative of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PDBEs), a group of brominated flame retardants, which while now no longer used in modern equipment, was used widely by industry in the past.

PBDEs were the first brominated persistent organic pollutants (POPs) listed in the Stockholm Convention because they are toxic, subject to long-range transport, degrade very slowly and persist in the environment. Their listing means that its manufacture, use or sale is prohibited.

Using a methodology agreed with Defra and the Environment Agency, the study will explore where these chemicals are and, if so, what type and in what quantities. The study will then assess options for separating out WEEE plastics found to contain POPs and identify sites where they can be safely destroyed.

The findings of the research, which is due to be concluded by February 2019, will be shared with Defra, the Environment Agency and industry to help inform policy, regulatory activity and business operations. The research is expected to cost between £446,000-£556,000.

 “This initiative, made possible by the Compliance Fee, enables industry and government to work together to benefit all stakeholders,” said Claire Snow, Director of ICER.

“The POPs Regulation sets maximum concentration levels for POPs in waste materials, including WEEE plastic. The ICER-led project will gather robust data on which to assess UK compliance and identify downstream solutions for contaminated material. By carrying out this work collectively, costs to the WEEE industry will be minimised.”

The other fast-tracked project, led by the WEEE Schemes Forum (WSF), is a review of existing protocols in preparation for regulatory changes in January 2019 which will see more electrical and electronic equipment in scope of the WEEE Regulations.

The review of the existing protocols – the Mixed WEEE Protocol and the Large Domestic Appliances (LDA) Protocol – will ensure they remain representative of the composition of these streams. The work will be run in two phases; the first is already underway and will run until later in the autumn which will result in a proposal for revised protocols. The second phase, which will run for six months in 2019, will seek to refine Phase I results. The project is estimated to cost around £413,000.

Nigel Harvey, WSF chair said “The current protocols, by which the UK measures the proportions of different categories of WEEE that are collected and recycled, were established nearly a decade ago. Significant changes in the equipment sold in the UK have occurred and, as a consequence, this may have affected the composition of WEEE arising.

The introduction of open scope from 2019 will have a profound effect on the WEEE regime, as additional products are brought within scope of the regulations. This review is therefore essential to ensure that producer responsibility costs are apportioned fairly as this change takes effect.

We welcome the provision of funding from the 2017 Compliance Fee, which has allowed this vital work to be undertaken. An external administrator, Katalyst Business Consulting, has been appointed to oversee the project.”

Susanne Baker, chair of the JTA said: “The significant sums of money accrued under the WEEE Compliance Fee in 2017 has meant that we are able to consider strategic projects and support for the UK WEEE System in a way we’ve not been able to in the past. The projects announced today are vital in supporting a sustainable and healthy WEEE recycling system in the UK, with more projects being considered in the coming weeks.”

More information on the WEEE Compliance Fee Fund 2017 is available at


Notes to Editors

For more information please contact the techUK press office on or 020 7331 2011.

The WEEE Compliance Fee Fund 2017

  • £8 million is being made available to support environmental projects from money that was collected through the 2017 WEEE Compliance Fee mechanism. The fund is expected to be spent over the next three years on a range of activities, including technical research, communications, behaviour change activities and local projects.
  • The compliance fee is a regulatory tool open to the Government to support the delivery of the UK Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations. If a Producer Compliance Scheme (PCS) misses their target, they have an option to pay a compliance fee for the tonnage shortfall. 
  • The law requires that the compliance fee is set at a level that encourages compliance through collection. The fee therefore complements national targets by creating an additional financial incentive to collect WEEE, because by definition it must at least reflect the true cost of recycling WEEE.
  • Each year, bodies are invited to submit proposals to run the Compliance Fee in any given year. For the 2017 compliance period, the JTA – a group of trade associations representing producers of electrical and electronic equipment – methodology was selected by the Secretary of State. The Compliance Fee is administered by Mazars LLP on behalf of JTAC, the registered company established by the JTA with the sole purpose of entering into contracts with third parties for services relating to the WEEE Compliance Fee. The current chair of the JTA is Susanne Baker from techUK.


  • ICER is the industry body that represents the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) sector. It is the forum for industry to work with Government and Regulators on WEEE issues and its members include equipment producers, producer compliance schemes, waste management companies, treatment facilities and recyclers.


The WEEE Schemes Forum

  • The WEEE Scheme Forum is the UK’s trade association for WEEE Producer Compliance Schemes.  The WSF meets regularly with Defra and the environment agencies, and provides members PCSs with a means to respond collectively to issues raised by the regulations.  The WSF estimates that its members are responsible for over 90% of the WEEE collected in the UK.  The organisation was instrumental in establishing the PCS Balancing System (PBS) in 2016, with the support of Defra.
{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) News Fri, 14 Sep 2018 12:15:53 +0100
Don’t trap your apps

If you’ve ever been told “you can’t move that app to the cloud”, we need to talk.


Over the years, we’ve heard every imaginable reason why an application or service can’t make the leap to the cloud. You might have been told that an application has been in your environment for too long, isn’t well-documented, uses hardcoded IPs, or just isn’t ‘cloud-friendly’. It’s time to call these reasons what they are—excuses.


Although these excuses stem from different motives and interested parties, the simple truth is that re-platforming into the cloud is often wrongly perceived as impossibly costly or difficult. As a result, people talk themselves out of it—or allow themselves to be talked out of it. In almost every case, moving an application into the cloud isn’t just possible, it brings major benefits.


Today, most public sector organisations run virtualised infrastructures. That means their applications and services are built on the same foundations of compute, storage and networking that underpin any hyperscale cloud provider.


Therefore, by definition, anything running in a Microsoft or VMware virtual infrastructure is a candidate re-platforming. Extensive, well-proven tooling exists to support the migration of virtual servers and storage to the cloud. The question is, are there good business reasons to make the leap? We think the answer is a resounding yes, and here are our top three:


1) Create cost-savings

Most public sector organisations overprovision in their data centres to allow for spikes in usage, future growth and so on. Since infrastructure costs are fixed on premises, there’s little to be gained by carefully controlling the resources applications use.


In the cloud it’s a different story. A consumption-based IT model means organisations should only pay for only the resources they need. That means significant savings can be made through rationalisation, optimisation and clever service management. Your applications may not be cloud-native, but you can still drive cloud-based benefits from them.


For instance, by retiring legacy or sprawled databases that applications no longer need, you can drive a major reduction in the IT resources it demands. This is especially true if you have a tangled technology stack with systems that have grown organically over many years. We recently helped one London borough downsize its application footprint from 1250 to just 240, a reduction of more than 80%.


Aggressive infrastructure management can do even more. Consider an application that only needs to be running during working hours. Outside of Monday to Friday, 9 to 5, the application can be turned off entirely—that’s equivalent to 73% of the year! The same principle holds true for applications that see seasonal demand, such as council tax processing—they can be revved up around the year end or down for the rest of the year to drive savings.



2) Join the dots on data

Today, there’s growing demand for more agile and efficient public services. The ability to access, share and analyse data effectively is crucial to achieving this vision. By harnessing data-led insights, the public sector can better understand customer needs, forecast demand and improve services.


With applications on premises, data is likely to remain isolated in different siloes and supported by separate legacy IT systems. For instance, records about the same individual could be stored across multiple locations, with no ability to join the dots.


Connecting and sharing information is far easier in the cloud, so re-platforming applications allows organisations to capitalise on the potential of data and analytics to work smarter. In the cloud, the same application can help inform a holistic picture of customers or the wider community.



3) Prepare for the future

Once applications or services are re-platformed into the cloud, keeping pace with change also becomes easier. With an underlying infrastructure that’s evergreen, organisations can break the cycle of regular infrastructure upgrades—saving time and money, while also enabling applications to meet growing demand seamlessly.


More importantly, re-platforming into the cloud unleashes your access to a host of new innovations, from easier integration with the Internet of Things, to natural language queries, trend analysis and automatic reporting…as well as whatever Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Oracle, or Salesforce is dreaming up next. Neutral cloud services also offer a faster and more cost-effective platform for collaboration with other public sector organisations compared to modifying bespoke on-premises services.


When a re-platformed application does reach end-of-life, migrating to a new cloud-native alternative can be done more simply and quickly. Better still, by dramatically lowering the time and cost of trialling new services, the cloud makes failure not just acceptable but to be encouraged, giving your teams the freedom to test fresh approaches to problems and opportunities.


While the standard excuses are no reason to avoid re-platforming applications into the cloud, there are still, of course, good reasons not to make the move. Clearly, migrating an end-of-life application that’s about to be retired doesn’t make financial sense. Similarly, certainty over service levels can be a good reason to keep an application on premises, since you know your engineers can get into the data centre within a guaranteed response time. However, we’re pretty sure that, in the vast majority of cases, moving to the cloud is the right choice—so ignore the claptrap and avoid the app trap.

This blog was originally published on the Agilisys blog here.

]]> (CRM Sync) Opinions Fri, 14 Sep 2018 11:01:37 +0100
techUK response to UK preparations for WRC-19

techUK's Communications Infrastructure Council has responded to Ofcom's consultation document which set out the key issues that will be considered at the conference and why they matter to the UK. The next WRC will take place in November 2019 and Ofcom represents the UK at WRCs.

The use of radio spectrum, and its role in today’s technology focused society, has never been so important. Most of us make direct use of spectrum in our everyday lives when we use mobile/smart phones, laptops, tablets and when we watch television (which may receive signals from transmitters on the ground or from satellites that orbit the earth). Outside these more familiar examples, radio spectrum is also used for many other purposes including for aviation, maritime and by the scientific community for the detection of emissions from space (radio astronomy) or from the earth itself.

To assist this usage, frequency band harmonisation plays a pivotal role. The most important global spectrum harmonisation activity are World Radiocommunication Conferences (WRCs), of the International Telecommunication Union. These Conferences are held approximately every four years and take key decisions concerning the identification and international harmonisation of spectrum bands.

techUK's response can be downloaded below [techUK member log-in required]

Further information is available on techUK's Communications Infrastructure Programme.

{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Reports Thu, 13 Sep 2018 16:28:46 +0100
Army Trials and Experimentation Planning Office Industry Day

On 3 October 2018, the Army Trials and Experimentation Planning Office (TEPO) and Army Innovation Team, based at Army Headquarters will be facilitating an Industry Day focusing on manned / unmanned teaming, urban operations and agile command & control.  Civilian industry of a small to medium (Small & Medium Enterprise Definition) enterprises are invited to attend, displaying their innovative products for potential military use.  The audience will be solely military trials and development operatives, managers and staff officers from the predominately, land based trials and development units (min of 9 units).  Time will be allocated to all civilian companies for military trials & experimental staff to engage, allowing for feedback of products on show.


The aim of the Industry day is to provide knowledge and sight of cutting edge technologies, innovate ideas which can potentially be applied to Defence in the near future without commitment and prejudice.


All interested parties should reply to

]]> (CRM Sync) Briefing Thu, 13 Sep 2018 16:33:57 +0100
NCSC questions to help Britain's boards understand cyber risk

Speaking at the annual CBI Cyber Security: Business Insight Conference 2018, Ciaran Martin offered boards five questions that will help them to prepare for a cyber attack.

  • NCSC creating a toolkit to help boards demystify cyber security and put it firmly on their agenda
  • Five core questions will help FTSE 350 boards understand initial risks and areas of improvement
  • NCSC CEO: Board members “need to get a little bit technical” if they are to understand and manage the risks they face

Experts in cyber security have published new guidance for Britain’s corporate leaders to equip them with the basic technical details they need to understand the threats they face in cyber space, and to direct effectively their organisation’s response to them.

Specialists from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), a part of GCHQ, have emphasised that boards of big companies cannot outsource their cyber security risks and need to understand what their technical staff are doing if they are to prosper securely in the digital age.

In support of this, the NCSC has published the first in a suite of guidance to businesses, setting out five questions – grounded in expert technical guidance – that Boards should ask about their company’s IT security.

The questions – and what to look for in responses – were proposed to board members at the CBI’s Cyber Security conference today (12 September) by the NCSC’s chief executive Ciaran Martin.

The FTSE 350 Cyber Governance Health Check Report 2017 found that while 68% of boards have received no training to deal with a cyber incident and 10% have no plan in place to respond to one. 

Ciaran Martin, chief executive of the NCSC, said:

“Cyber security is now a mainstream business risk. So corporate leaders need to understand what threats are out there, and what the most effective ways are of managing the risks.

“But to have the plain English, business focussed discussions at board level, board members need to get a little bit technical. They need to understand cyber risk in the same way they understand financial risk, or health and safety risk.

“Our sample questions today, which we’ve published in consultation with businesses, aim to equip board members to ask the right questions and begin to understand the answers.

“There is no such thing as a foolish question in cyber security. The foolish act is walking away without understanding the answer because that means you don’t understand how you’re handling this core business risk.”

The five questions the NCSC is recommending boards ask are;

  • How do we defend our organisation against phishing attacks?
  • What do we do to control the use of our privileged IT accounts? 
  • How do we ensure that our software and devices are up to date?
  • How do we ensure our partners and suppliers protect the information we share with them?
  • What authentication methods are used to control access to systems and data?

More detail around these questions can be accessed here.

These initial questions will form part of a broader toolkit released this winter to recognise and resolve gaps in boards’ knowledge. The questions and possible answers are designed as a starting point to help organisations begin effective discussions on cyber security.

NCSC guidance also tells boards how to distinguish good answers from waffle and encourages them to continue asking questions about how risks are managed.

Matthew Fell, CBI Chief UK Policy Director, said:

“Cyber threats now pose one of the biggest risks to a company’s finances and reputation. Digital security can no longer be the sole responsibility of the IT team and companies recognise this.

“Business boards are stepping up to challenge of improving their cyber literacy, but firms recognise more progress is needed. That’s why the CBI’s 3rd Cyber Conference brings together over 250 senior business leaders to help turn cyber awareness into action.

“The NCSC’s five question guide provides a great starting point for business boards to equip themselves against the ever-evolving cyber challenge.”

The NCSC has been working with boards as focus groups to determine what support is needed to ensure board members and staff who report to them are able to recognise threats, enable discussions and implement appropriate measures.

Jacqueline de Rojas, president of techUK and chair of the Digital Leaders Board, said:

“Cyber security is no longer just the domain of the IT department. It can’t be delegated. Those around the board table must understand the constant and persistent cyber threat to their businesses and to educate themselves of the steps they need to take to ensure that they are cyber-resilient.

“That is why the NCSC toolkit, specifically aimed at board members, is an important development.  It will help de-mystify concerns around cyber security, enabling senior executives to discuss their cyber risk appetite in a confident and proactive manner.

“techUK will continue to work with the NCSC to raise awareness of the toolkit in order to protect businesses both large and small in the UK.”

While primarily aimed at large companies, smaller businesses will be able to tailor the toolkit for their sector. The NCSC has also already published a cyber security Small Business Guide. It will be regularly updated to stay up-to-date and will be published for free on the NCSC website.

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) News Thu, 13 Sep 2018 15:34:06 +0100
UKSec Summit

The inaugural UKSec summit in London, 28-29 November, was designed by and for the service sector. Its purpose is to create a special platform for those industries that are the backbone of the UK’s economy and increasingly vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

UKSec is a CPD certified content-driven summit bringing together C-level executives from Banking & Finance, Healthcare, Insurance, Wholesale/Retail, and Transport & Media. Key themes to be addressed include: the skillset of the CISO in 2018, monitoring third party security risk, implementing an enterprise-wide digitalisation, and dealing with post-breach reputational damage.

Joining us onstage will be:

  • Nadeem Bukhari, Head of Information Security at House of Fraser
  • Christian Toon, CISO at Pinsent Masons
  • Deborah Haworth, CISO at Penguin Random House
  • Steve Pritchard, Group CISO at HomeServe PLC
  • Paul Watts, CISO at Domino’s Pizza UK & Ireland Ltd
  • Lewis Woodcock, Head of Information Security Compliance at A.P. Moller-Maersk

Attend to learn best practices against data breaches and how to prevent attacks, engage with third party risk management providers, and discover how to measure ROI in cyber security.

A limited number of passes for the UKsec Summit are available at 25% off until October 31st. Use discount code techUK25 at checkout online to redeem:

]]> (CRM Sync) Partner event Thu, 13 Sep 2018 15:10:22 +0100
No Deal Notice on Data shows legal complexities face by UK companies

Commenting on the release of the second group of No Deal Technical Notices, including a notice on the free flow of data, techUK CEO Julian David said:


“It is right that the Government takes a proactive approach to planning for No Deal. However, today’s notices show is that such a scenario would be hugely damaging to the UK.  On everything from the free flow of data that underpins almost every business transaction, to the ability to drive in Europe, both businesses and consumers will face additional costs, complexity and bureaucracy.  That is why techUK strongly supports the Government’s continued objective of securing a comprehensive deal between the UK and the EU.


“The technical notice on personal data is a text book example of the problems that a No Deal Brexit would cause. We recognise it would still be the intention of the UK to seek an adequacy decision and welcome the clarity that the UK is ready to start those discussions now. While we fully support the Government in its aim to achieve adequacy, this will not be ready in the event of No Deal.


“While the decision to unilaterally allow data from the UK to flow to the EU is the right thing to do, the Government can do nothing to help UK companies seeking to transfer data from the EU to the UK.  Instead, they will have to rely on complex processes such as Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs).  SCCs are currently subject to a major legal challenge in the EU and so their future is in doubt. While this is out of the UK Government’s control, businesses need to be aware of this fact and it is, therefore, disappointing that it is not recognised in the technical notice.


“techUK is also concerned that the notice does not identify any support that Government can give to businesses to help them put in place SCCs. The legal costs involved may prove prohibitively expensive for many smaller UK businesses and serious consideration should be given to what Government support can be put in place.


“It is also concerning that the data paper does not address regulatory uncertainty surrounding the Binding Corporate Rules used by larger companies that are administered by the UK’s Information Commissioner.  Companies will need to re-locate to the authority governing these rules, and yet, there is little guidance on or support for how this might work in practise.


“Data is not the only area that will be of concern to UK tech companies. The notice dealing with the space sector confirms what we have known for some time - the UK will lose the ability to participate in European Space programmes.  techUK strongly welcomes the £92 million to design a UK version of the Galileo Navigation Satellite System, but the effects on companies with existing contracts for Galileo remains uncertain.



“techUK also welcomes the flexibility shown by the Department for Business on plans around CE Marking. The notice states that while a UK version will be created, products with EU approval will continue to be recognised in the UK. This will prevent costly additional processes for manufacturers.  However, techUK is concerned at references to such a system being time limited.  Reducing friction on businesses must remain a key element of Brexit planning under either a deal or no deal scenario.”


For media enquiries please contact Harri Turnbull

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) News Thu, 13 Sep 2018 13:44:00 +0100
Digital will be central to the future of Europe

Wednesday was a busy day in Strasbourg for the European Parliament. With key votes during plenary on Hungary and Copyright. These two controversial topics (you can see techUK’s view on the disappointing result on Copyright here) almost, but not quite, took attention away from what is usually considered a highlight in the EU’s calendar. European Commission President Juncker’s State of the Union speech.


The speech was partly a run down of the Commission’s achievements over the last five years as President Juncker proudly declared that the European Union was now a global force to be reckoned with. However, there was also plenty of acknowledgement that more needed to be done to tackle the significant challenges facing the Union and to secure a bright future for Europe.


This wasn’t quite a farewell just yet though, with President Juncker setting out a number of policies the Commission would pursue ahead of next year’s election. Despite reports to the contrary this included more than the monumental decision to abolish the semi-annual changing of the clocks allowing Member States to set their own times.


Digital is a clear theme for the Commission’s final year, with proposals around dissemination of terrorist content online, the need to take action on taxation, efforts to protect elections from hacking and interference and improved cybersecurity defences. The tech industry shouldn’t expect a ‘lame duck’ period from this Commission it seems.


Given the focus on digital and with this being President Juncker’s last State of the Union Speech before next year’s European elections, it is worth considering what the future might hold for Digital and Europe.


Immediate issues


Digital has been a clear focus of the Juncker Commission, with determined actors such as Vice-President Andrus Ansip keen to make progress on developing the Digital Single Market. How successful has that been? It would be fair to say its been mixed, with some success stories (see Free Flow of non-Personal Data) and some failures (see Copyright). As the Digital Single Market initiative has been developing, the digital sector has been on the receiving end of what has felt like an endless amount of legislation over the last four years.


It will take time for the various new pieces of legislation to bed-in and for their effectiveness to be evaluated. Enforcement of the new rules will likely be a key focus for the next Commission, who will need to allow time before producing another tranche of proposals for the European digital sector.


That said there are some big questions that will be asked of the sector relatively soon. We can expect the conversation on platform liability to continue. Following yesterday’s vote on Copyright a precedent may have been set that allows for the piece-meal transformation of the fundamental underpinnings of the free and open internet, and platforms’ role in moderating content uploaded by users. The new proposals on the dissemination of terrorist content online are evidence of this, which if passed will require platforms to remove flagged content within an hour. The objective of reducing the amount of terrorist content found online is of course right. However, legislators need to be incredibly careful about the tools used to act in this space. Definitions must be clear, scope targeted, and fundamental freedoms of users protected. At this stage it seems the proposals fail these key tests.


It is widely expected that the next Commission is likely to look again at the e-Commerce directive. This will be hugely significant and important in shaping the future direction of the digital economy in Europe and will touch on everything from limitations to liability, hosting provisions and caching.


Longer-term issues


President Juncker’s last State of Union Speech also addressed some of the fundamental challenges facing the European Union, which will not be resolved over night (or by the end of Juncker’s term in office).


With the United Kingdom leaving the European Union (which in itself is one of those fundamental challenges), one might think these issues matter less to the UK. That is wrong. As President Juncker said yesterday the UK will never be an ordinary third country. Our histories are shared histories, and, in all likeliness, our futures will be shared futures. The UK and EU will always be key strategic and economic partners and the European market will remain vitally important to UK businesses. The exact shape of the UK and EU’s future relationship remains to be seen. techUK has been clear that a close partnership is in the shared interest of UK and EU businesses and consumers.


The biggest challenge the EU is likely to face in the coming decade is migration, with increasing concerns coming from Member States about their ability to control borders. It is likely that technology will be sought after to provide a solution to these concerns. The industry will want to approach this carefully and avoid being caught up in the incredibly sensitive politics surrounding these concerns. The trend of rising nationalism, pointed at in Juncker’s speech, fuels some of these concerns and should be carefully monitored.


The EU has been trying to tackle the issue of taxation in an increasingly global economy, with limited success. Expect this one to continue into the longer term as countries continually look to find an international solution to concerns around where companies pay tax. Much of this debate is targeted at tech companies, who have been clear they support an international-level agreement. Progress has admittedly been slow so will the EU put up with many more delays? Juncker suggested yesterday that Member States shouldn’t be allowed to block EU tax policy so reluctant countries might not be able to delay much longer.


A large part of Juncker’s speech focused on Europe’s place in the world. Trade discussions will dominate the global conversation in the coming years which, matched with increasing nationalism, could take a different path to that trod in years gone by. The recent EU-Japan trade agreement and accompanying adequacy agreement is a clear indicator that the EU wants to demonstrate it is open to trade. With an increasing proportion of cross-border transactions taking place online, digital trade will be crucial in the coming years. Provisions for digital trade have been somewhat limited – if trade deals want to remain relevant that will have to change.


President Juncker’s final State of the Union speech certainly flagged a number of areas where work is needed to ensure unity and progress in Europe. Some will require immediate action and attention, some will require longer-term, more thoughtful, intervention. What is clear is that digital will play a key role Europe’s future.


For more information about techUK’s activities in Europe please contact Jeremy Lilley.

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Opinions Thu, 13 Sep 2018 13:21:20 +0100
ECHR rules against bulk interception regime under RIPA

In a case brought against the British Government by a group of journalists and civil liberties organisations, the Court found that the bulk interception regime and the regime for obtaining communications data from communications service providers (CSPs) under RIPA violated both Articles 8 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. 

In relation to bulk interception, this was down to the lack of oversight both of the selection of Internet bearers for interception and the filtering, search and selection of intercepted communications for examination.  The Court also found that the safeguards governing the selection of “related communications data” for examination were inadequate. 

Crucially, in reaching this conclusion, the Court stated that the operation of a bulk interception regime did not in and of itself violate the Convention so long as such a regime respected the criteria set down in its case law.  This may have an effect on the bulk interception regime of the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 (IP Act), particularly in relation to the interception of bulk secondary data.

In relation to the regime for obtaining communications data from CSPs under RIPA, the Court held that it violated Article 8 as it was not in accordance with the law and that it violated Article 10 since there were insufficient safeguards in respect of confidential journalistic material.

It should be noted that the IP Act, when fully in force, will make significant amendments to both the regimes for bulk interception and obtaining communications data from CSPs, and that these amendments were not considered by the Court.

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) News Thu, 13 Sep 2018 10:37:35 +0100
Don’t fear lock-in

Andrew Gough, Client Services Development Director at Agilisys, argues that the benefits of platform services can outweigh the risks of lock-in for public sector organisations migrating to the cloud.

Every public sector organisation heading to the cloud should ask itself a simple question: do you want to save money on technology, or use technology to save money?

Those looking to save money on technology often advocate a multi-cloud approach. The idea is to freely move applications and services between different cloud platforms to take advantage of the cheapest rates at any given time. All this sounds great in theory, but the reality is that most organisations can’t make their applications and services portable.

Multi-cloud may be a cool topic amongst technologists at present, but don’t be dazzled by the marketing spin. True portability demands applications and services that are ideally built using infrastructure-as-code, allowing them to be deployed into AWS, Azure or any other cloud platform. This in turn requires considerable upfront investment, scarce IT expertise and long development times—demands that many public sector organisations find challenging to meet.

Perhaps even more importantly, a multi-cloud approach requires organisations to use only the lowest common denominator cloud building blocks of compute, storage and networking. This misses the whole point of being in the cloud: organisations should be able to use high-value creating services which have the greatest front-line impact and enable a future-ready stance on innovation.

To illustrate this point, most local authorities use Microsoft SQL databases to power some of their critical services.  To create truly portable apps, there will have to be re-engineering to, ideally, use My SQL.  As an alternative, it might be better to get out of DBA (Database Administrator) operational work entirely and migrate to Azure SQL – a PaaS service that takes away the time consuming and ultimately costly admin.  Ditching this significant overhead frees investment and time into much activities that deliver greater value.

With a PaaS service, you also benefit from a platform that’s managed by the same people that built it—that means it’s evergreen (as the marketeers like to call it) and will always be up-to-date, fully patched and high-performing. It’s also quite probably cheaper as a total cost of ownership. In an open source approach, you may not be paying for licensing, but you are paying for business skills. Where vendor services offer peace-of-mind, an open source approach can become unstuck if just one person with vital skills leaves.

My take on multi-cloud is rather different. Instead of aiming for vendor independence and application portability, I believe organisations should make informed choices about which platforms are most suited to hosting different loads, then optimise their performance on an on-going basis. After all, IT teams have always chosen different hardware in their data centres to drive different outcomes.

Accepting that premise, a crucial part of optimising cloud operations over time is to work out which elements of your application infrastructure, such as databases, middleware and service buses, can be handed-off into Platform Services.

By accepting some degree of platform lock-in, organisations can remove a considerable administrative burden, while also gaining access to new capabilities at a lower cost. While it’s true cloud providers can increase their fees, a highly competitive, commodity market makes this unlikely.

For most cloud vendors, Platform Services are the future. From big data analytics and business intelligence, to the Internet of Things or AI, a host of technology innovations are now available that many organisations simply don’t have the capacity to build or run internally. By embracing Platform Services, you will be ready to exploit the power of these new capabilities in a robust cloud environment that’s designed and built for easy integration between platforms and services.

Ultimately, Platform Services enable the public sector to do far more than just cut costs; they enable citizen services that are more agile, efficient and data-driven. What better way to use technology?

This piece was orignially posted on the Agiliys blog here.

]]> (CRM Sync) Opinions Thu, 13 Sep 2018 09:07:25 +0100
An immigration system that supports the UK tech sector

Ahead of the publication of the Migration Advisory Committee’s (MAC) report on EEA workers in the UK labour market, techUK has published its asks of the post-Brexit immigration system. techUK has developed a set of proposals based on the principles that we believe are necessary to support the UK’s thriving tech sector. These asks will be the criteria with which we will judge the government’s proposed future system – both in the highly anticipated Immigration White Paper and the legislation that stems from it.

The UK faces a digital skills crisis and as the economy digitises, competition for tech talent will only become fiercer. Whilst industry and government are working hard on creating a domestic pipeline of future tech talent, and much is being done now regarding lifelong learning, there is an immediate need for skilled labour in the tech sector. Migration, both EU and Rest of World, is key to the UK’s continued success.

The ease and simplicity of freedom of movement has taken the edge off an otherwise complicated immigration system, and so whilst the UK’s exit brings a number of challenges it is also a unique opportunity to address the UK’s migration system as a whole. Migration is key to a successful, globally-competitive UK tech sector.

In our 2017 report with Frontier Economics, it was clear that the majority of demand for Tier 2 visas came from the three major industry groups most closely associated with the digital sectors – information and communication; professional, scientific and technical activities; and financial and insurance activities. Furthermore, whilst we have seen a doubling of Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visas in November of last year and the London Tech Week announcement of a new Start-Up visa are encouraging first steps, they ultimately support entrepreneurs and do little for existing British tech firms seeking to fill employee vacancies right now.

That is why we are calling for, among other recommendations, a removal of arbitrary caps of Tier 2 skilled workers and above; a review of Tier 1 visas, both Exceptional Talent and Post-Study work visas; a stop to salary acting as a proxy for skill level; and a relaxation of continuous residency requirements for those undertaking business or research travel. There is also a clear need to streamline processes which is why we have also recommended: changes to supporting documentation requirements; a simplification of fee structures; and a review of the currently underused Tier 5 visa system.

The publication of the MAC report, due on 18 September, will undoubtedly reignite debate about what our future migration system should like and whilst techUK were encouraged that the Government chose to wait for this report before publishing its White Paper, an evidence-based approach that for too long has been missing from the immigration debate in this country, we are now only six months away from Brexit and businesses need to know what a new system will looks like. techUK will continue to push for a system that supports the tech sector and retains the UK’s position as a global tech hub.

Read the full report via the link below.

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Reports Thu, 13 Sep 2018 09:00:00 +0100
Drones and the emergency services

Drones have huge potential for the UK with the ‘drone economy’ potentially worth tens of billions if we get the policy and investment environment right. As emerged from our Drones Futures event earlier this year, the UK could lead the way in drone adoption and their role in supporting the vital work of the emergency services is the subject of a free conference we are holding on 9 November.

For the emergency services, drones offer some serious capability. Most obviously they are a cheaper and more rapid response alternative to helicopters, giving operational commanders better insight to best deploy resources. This flexibility can speed up search and rescue operations, limit the risk to staff, reduce costs and save lives. Right now, Lincolnshire Police, who spoke at our Drone Futures conference earlier in the year, are using drones to search for missing people, fighting rural crime, supporting local councils and managing traffic around large events. The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) ran trials using drones in real life rescues and West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue have started using drones to evaluate fires and reduce risks to their personnel.

In the future, who knows how the user cases will develop, but concepts for drone ambulances are being worked on and as drone tech becomes smaller, they could become more ubiquitous among emergency responders (who could imagine 20 years ago each emergency service employee would have access to smartphones?).

So the benefits of using drones in the emergency services are vast, but how systematic and effective are they being used? The truth is that like other technologies, drone adoption in blue light services has been patchy. The localised nature of emergency services makes it very difficult to have a single approach to technology rollout. Some police and fire services have got great stories to tell, whilst others have with invested poorly (bought the machines but not understood it) or are only at the start of their drone journeys. So what are the barriers?

Money and resources are the obvious barriers, but leadership culture is a big one too. It needs to occur to emergency service leaders to use drones and make sure those on the ground have the confidence, understanding and skills to effectively deploy them and no what they offer. The need for collaboration with other services is essential to addressing these gaps as is having examples and real champions for drones across all the blue light services.

We will be discussing this at a free techUK conference Blue Light Drones: from niche to mainstream on 9 November. Click here to book your space .

{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) News Wed, 12 Sep 2018 14:30:32 +0100
Copyright directive is a setback for the European digital economy

Commenting on the European Parliament's vote on the Copyrght directive, techUK's Head of Brexit, International and Economics, Giles Derrington, said:

"Today’s vote on the Copyright directive is hugely disappointing and represents a setback for an innovation-led European economy. Far from advancing the European digital economy through the Digital Single Market, the proposals adopted by the European Parliament today will lead to significant additional burdens on companies seeking to serve the European market. It is bad news, not just for UK digital businesses, but also for the general public who now risk seeing their freedoms online being restricted.

"While the aims of the Copyright directive proposals were understandable, the method that has been adopted will not achieve the stated objectives. Requirements for platforms to filter all user uploaded content will likely result in a reduced user experience and the over-removal of legitimate content. The creation of a new neighbouring right for press publishers will make sharing news articles online more difficult, making it harder for the public to find good quality journalism online. Today was also a lost opportunity to make Europe a more attractive place for Artificial Intelligence development. Instead, fragmented rules across the EU will mean a confusing picture on where text and data mining technologies are allowed.

"The proposals will now enter interinstitutional negotiations with the European Commission and European Council where there is an opportunity for further compromise. techUK urges the negotiators to take any steps possible to protect the open internet during these discussions.

"To be clear, the UK leaving the European Union will not protect UK businesses from these new requirements. Any UK business seeking to serve the EU market will have to comply with the directive which, given the size and importance of the EU market to UK businesses, will be a significant barrier to market entry."

techUK had previously welcomed the European Parliament’s rejection of the Copyright directive in July and called for further compromise. You can see that response here.

For media enquiries please contact Harri Turnbull 

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) News Wed, 12 Sep 2018 13:24:14 +0100