techUK Insights RSS Feed - techUK RSS feed for insights content. en Copyright (C) 2015 Guest Blog: IoT, Smart Meters and GDPR Mon, 22 Jan 2018 10:16:36 +0000 Talal Rajab (techUK) This guest blog explores the data privacy and security challenges that face the smart meter roll-out <p>The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing at a rapid pace and we are seeing its reach becoming increasingly diverse, crossing multiple functions and sectors. Be it for personal wellness, smart energy, smart cities or smart mobility, IoT applications continue to emerge and change the way we live and interact with our surroundings. A natural consequence of this is an increase in the amount of data being collected. Personal, location and health data are all used to personalise a customers’ experience and, in some cases, to ensure that IoT devices function correctly.</p> <p>The IoT in a nutshell, is an eco-system of connected devices which collects data about an end user and makes it available to a service provider. To enable this exchange of data, the end user needs to be identified and linked whilst interacting with various interfaces and devices. The IoT potentially increases the threat surface of a network and therefore can pose serious risks to an individual’s privacy. If the data is exposed over the course of these exchanges it can allow unauthorised parties to create a profile of an individual(s) which can be used for marketing or criminal activities. Steps are being taken to ensure there are best practices in place to tighten security and the EU’s Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is likely to help govern the risks around the IoT, a much welcomed piece of legislation.</p> <p>Smart meters provide a great case study to highlight some of these potential risks. By 2020 they are to be installed in the homes of energy consumers nationwide and their key feature is that they provide data via remote communications. Unlike the days of ‘Dumb Meters’, where readings were carried out by a physical inspection of the meter, ideally on a quarterly basis, readings can now be carried out remotely, in near real time. Whilst making the domestic energy market more user friendly and reducing the reliance on estimated billing, the regular transmission of user data can reveal very sensitive information about people’s habits and usages.</p> <p>The risks created by this infrastructure go way beyond criminals simply obtaining usage data to see whether families are at home or away. Information regarding usage can determine when people are asleep, when they’re awake, whether they use TV, how often they do their laundry and even down to whether anyone suffers from insomnia or whether people sleep in the same room when connected with other devices. There is more – analysis of our patterns of usage can be very useful for other purposes such as marketing and advertising. For example, usage information could be used to understand when, and how, we are using products, allowing for more targeted marketing campaigns.</p> <p>It is clear that legislation is needed and the GDPR is very welcome. In brief, the GDPR creates principles around data processing (articles 5 and 24) and sets out new data protection standards which will be very relevant to the IoT. These include data protection impact assessments, algorithmic transparency, automated decision making, privacy by design and by default, informed consent, notification duties, and profiling. Whilst exact details are still to be decided it will help to govern risks and create a privacy framework around the use of IoT (including smart meters).</p> <p>If we refer back to the idea of smart meters, the principles mentioned above would mean strengthening the privacy requirements around the smart metering network. One of the larger benefits which it would enable however, is that (as the GDPR is rights based) it will equip users with the necessary tools to manage their data and put them in control.</p> <p>Users will have clear information related to the sharing of their data on request. Users would also be able to exercise their rights of access, rectification and erasure. These rights foster the implementation of the GDPR’s guiding principle of transparency. Smart meters providers will have to adopt a user-centric access approach, and the GDPR requirement of privacy by design will make sure that this approach is embedded at the onset, and no longer an after-thought.</p> <p>Ultimately, processing data in a way that complies with a data subject’s rights and expectations will enhance user trust, and the GDPR is a welcome piece of legislation which will enhance data subject rights. Companies, including those in the energy sector, which will adapt to the new requirements and implement the right solutions, will ultimately edge their competitors and build stronger and longer lasting relationship with their customer base.</p> <p><em>Ivana Bartolleti,&nbsp;Principal Privacy and Data Protection Consultant at Gemserv</em></p> Will Open Banking Invite the Fraudsters in? Thu, 18 Jan 2018 17:03:44 +0000 Ruth Milligan(techUK) Open Banking is a great step forward, not a security gamble. <p>Ask&nbsp; the question above of anyone who understands and appreciates Open Banking and their answer would be ‘no’. Yet in recent days, some press articles have raised fears that the most sensitive of data people have – their financial information – will be put at unnecessary risk through Open Banking. techUK wants to set the record straight – such messages produce unnecessary concern, are misleading and could undermine this exciting project.</p> <p>The ethos behind Open Banking and the PSD2 (the underlying legislation) is to increase the ways customers can make the most of their finances – give them more information and more possibilities to enable them to use their money better. In short, provide benefits. But using or not using these services is up to the customer. Open Banking and PSD2 will widen customer choice and that choice is based on detailed consent. No new provider will be able to get access to customer data without their say-so.</p> <p>As explained in a <a href="insights/news/item/12101-open-banking-opening-doors-for-your-finances">recent post</a>, ‘Open Banking’ in the UK puts into place the infrastructure and the rules needed to enable new types of financial service to work. Many of these types of service have been around for years – account aggregation, comparison services – but Open Banking creates a more secure and wider way for them to operate. It does this by:</p> <ul> <li>requiring them to be registered with the FCA;</li> <li>enabling them to operate on secure APIs;</li> <li>allowing them to tailor their service to the individual by basing it on a customer’s real-time current account data.</li> </ul> <p>Open Banking and PSD2 together are innovations that will bring benefits to all users of financial services while putting security at its heart. techUK strongly believes this.</p> <p><strong>And Open Banking is only the first step</strong></p> <p>As we set out in our recent paper<em> <a href="insights/reports/item/11745-techuk-publishes-white-paper-on-open-banking">From Open Banking to Open Financial Services – the Long View</a></em>, PSD2 can be the catalyst for a digitalised financial services eco-system that can fully exploit the potential of tech to improve people’s lives.</p> <p>Change can of course be unsettling, even frightening. But the only way to make things better is to change existing systems. Open Banking will not happen overnight: it is still work in progress and has a long way to go to reach its best.</p> <p>But PSD2 opens doors to changes which can vastly improve our ability to make the most of our finances. Read our <a href="insights/reports/item/11745-techuk-publishes-white-paper-on-open-banking">White Paper</a> for more information on the steps needed to get there.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Meet the Public Sector tech Innovator Mon, 15 Jan 2018 11:26:14 +0000 Simona Paliulyte(techUK) techUK catches up with Carlos Oliveira CEO & Founder of Shaping Cloud <p><img src="images/assets/Carlos_Picture_1.jpg" alt="Carlos Picture 1" width="2857" height="2317" /></p> <p><em><strong>As part of the Public Sector Innovation Den programme, we undertake regular profiles of innovative techUK members working in the GovTech space. This month we catch up with Carlos Oliveira CEO &amp; Founder of Shaping Cloud</strong></em></p> <p><strong>Tell us about Shaping Cloud and the work you do in the public sector</strong></p> <p>Shaping Cloud are one of the UK's leading public sector cloud experts. We specialise in working with public sector organisations to unlock the potential for cloud solutions and platforms to accelerate their path to digital transformation and find new ways of working. Based on our years of experience in the sector we have spent the past 18 months developing our own hybrid integration platform – SPINR.</p> <p>We now live in a digital platform economy, citizen expectations have shifted from passive, when they would expect to interact with the public sector via letter or in person, to empowered, where they expect to be able to choose how they transact.</p> <p>The vast majority of the public sector is still reliant on line of business systems that weren’t built with web and mobile in mind. This creates process inefficiency when trying to build new digital services as the data remains locked within the individual systems of record. It also means that the same data about the same citizen will exist across many of these applications.</p> <p>SPINR connects these applications and their underlying data together, enabling public sector organisations to create their own modern API platform upon which new digital services and streamlined processes can be built.</p> <p><strong>What does innovation in the public sector mean to you?</strong></p> <p>Innovation in the public sector should all be directly attributable to improving citizen outcomes whilst reducing the cost and time required to deliver those outcomes. New technology solutions such as IoT, chatbots, machine learning and AI have a great deal of potential to transform the sector but two things really need to happen before that potential can be unlocked.</p> <p>Firstly, software vendors need to be able to tie those technologies directly to outcomes and efficiencies so that the business case for transformation is clear. Secondly, the sector needs to start offering a standardised and common way for software vendors to deploy their innovative solutions in a plug and play manner.</p> <p>If, for example every council in the UK adopted a common API standard for each of their key services, this would mean that a software vendor could build their solution once and then sell that across the entire market without the need to manage a complex and time consuming process of system integration. By lowering the barriers to entry and opening up the market, the sector will then see the kind of explosion in innovation and start-ups that we have seen over the past 5-8 years in the commercial sector.</p> <p><strong>What was your key pitch to the public sector GovTech leaders at the Innovation Den?</strong></p> <p>The public sector has to stop solving the same problems in isolation and an API-first approach is the best way to begin creating the common interfaces and service descriptions that will allow innovation to take hold and flourish.</p> <p>SPINR is currently running an early adopter programme and we are actively looking for partners for whom we will deploy the platform as part of a free of charge pilot. If any organisations are interested in being part of the programme please get in touch.</p> <p><em>Are you interested in pitching to public sector tech leaders at our next Innovation Den? If so, get in touch!</em></p> Guest Blog: CES 2018: DAY 3 (10th Jan). Future Worlds Thu, 11 Jan 2018 16:35:52 +0000 Harri Turnbull(techUK) Bringing you a round-up of the day three at CES is Dr. Reuben Wilcock who leads the Univeristy of Southampton's Future Worlds Program. <p>Never in the four years I’ve been to CES have I seen rain fall from the sky as it did this morning. Gazing out of my hotel window and casting my eye up to the strip I could see cars making their way through the deep water and the normally deserted storm drains turning into raging torrents. Without a doubt, today was a taxi day. I headed to the other Future Worlds apartment where Sophie and Jon were putting the finishing touches onto the day’s blog and shortly afterwards we found ourselves climbing into an Uber to head to the show.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="images/assets/Harri_T/Click.jpg" alt="Click" width="1200" height="900" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Everything felt different today as we passed into the familiar halls of the Sands Expo convention centre – the carpet was down, refreshment points were up and the hundreds of stands were all finally complete. There was a sense of anticipation in the air as we reached our stand and began to set out the cards and start the demos. Marcos and Filippo had had a terrible time flying back from San Francisco the night before, and were lucky to be there this morning at all, recounting tales of cancelled and delayed flights and unhelpful ground staff. Travis had made his way to the stand through the rain but seemed remarkably dry whereas Daniel turned up with shoes so wet he had to remove them so he could wring out his socks!</p> <p>The opening of the gates on the first day of CES at 10am is always a big event as hordes of delegates gather to see new technologies and the latest products. Sophie had scheduled a Facebook interview with me to coincide perfectly with this moment so we found ourselves at 9.59am hitting the start button and pointing the camera towards the expectant crowds. There was a shout of “OK get your passes ready” and the security suddenly began to let the thousands of impatient attendees pass through onto the show floor. So for a moment there we were, <a href="">broadcasting live on our Facebook page</a> walking just ahead of the masses like the pied pipers of technology.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Before long the stand was humming with activity, <a href="">Daniel’s showreel</a> was capturing the imagination of potential collaborators, Travis was getting people hooked on his <a href="">Handy Kanji app</a> and the <a href="">Soton Audio Labs soundbar</a> experience was being met with looks of amazement and disbelief.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It wasn’t long before Daniel started collecting some valuable leads. The Aura Vision Labs technology uses deep learning AI to track people on any camera feed and estimate demographics, like gender and age. This information is extremely valuable for retailers where understanding customers and how they move through your space is essential. The showreel and demo playing on one of the two huge Future Worlds screens was certainly having its desired effect – prospects from airports to casino owners and vast retail chains all wanted to find out how they could try the technology. His pitch was compelling and the call to action was simple – if they could send captured video data then Aura Vision Labs could train their algorithms on that data as part of a pilot study.</p> <p>It wasn’t long before Jon signalled that the official CES film crew were coming our way and I got ready to deliver a 15 second piece to camera. These moments are always a little pressured as your brain notches up a gear, the adrenalin flows and you desperately try and think of the most appropriate message. I’ve found that remarkably the human body has a way of dealing with these situations and before long I was delivering a convincing piece about Future Worlds and Aura Vision Labs to the beaming smiles of the interviewer, Bernice. We’ll keep an eye out to see whether it gets used in their official feed.</p> <p>The media events continued and soon we spotted another press team from Minnesota filming the Aura Vision Labs demo from the aisle, so Jon ran over and invited them to interview Daniel. Daniel delivered a great piece about how his technology could help retail and other applications and the second interview of the day was in the bag.</p> <p>Travis and his Handy Kanji app were also getting significant attention, with one of his big catches being a contact from the Japanese government. Everyone who tries his app gets addicted within seconds – it really is the best way to learn the Kanji Forms. The market for this app is huge even if you only consider the millions of Japanese schoolchildren who have to learn these characters every year. Travis has recently started employing another of the entrepreneurs we have helped in the past – Varun Gupta, and they make a powerful team together.</p> <p>Filippo and Marcos were busy amazing anyone who was lucky enough to experience their soundbar demo. I never fail to enjoy watching the expression on people’s faces the first time they hear the sound move right around their head, despite the soundbar being placed in front of them. Both Filippo and Marcos have a certain effortless charm which can make the rest of us highly envious. One brilliant example was when I overheard a delegate ask whether the head tracking would still work if he was sat on the sofa with his arm around his wife. Marcos leant in and replied, “listen my friend... this is an *intelligent* soundbar... trust me, if it sees you snuggling up to your wife then it will automatically start to play Marvin Gaye.”</p> <p>Future Worlds was also getting its fair share of useful leads. I had a long chat to Paul Hide from techUK who I had met last year. We discussed the UK pavilion and how techUK evaluated their events. It’s always nice to talk to someone who cares so passionately about what they do. Paul has really helped us this year – not only by putting us in the TechUK brochure, but also by posting our articles and blogs on their site.</p> <p>Charlie Cannell from Inflexion Private Equity also dropped by the stand and we talked about investment and the potential for him joining the <a href="">Future Worlds mentor network</a>. An exciting new connection was Chon Tang from SkyDeck who are our counterparts at the University of California, Berkeley. Chon was telling me about their setup and recent fund, and how they were keen to offer places to founders from Future Worlds. This fits perfectly with the founder exchange plans I’m keen to start which would help our entrepreneurs get global reach by sending them to Silicon Valley and Shenzhen.</p> <p>You may be wondering how our video sales email techniques worked out from yesterday. Well one of those was to Nick and Omar at BBC Click and just a few minutes after sending they responded positively. The BBC team are always extremely busy and it’s a challenge to get coverage from them so we were delighted when Spencer Kelly and Simon Hancock dropped by the stand to see what we were up to. They didn’t have time to film right then but we managed to get a photo for Twitter, and Spencer was blown away by the soundbar demo.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> On The Right Track: Improving Connectivity On Britain’s Trains Thu, 11 Jan 2018 14:43:50 +0000 Sophie Weston(techUK) The report, supported by techUK and rail industry stakeholders, comments on how to improve internet connectivity for passengers on Britain’s railways. <p>It could be argued that Britain’s rail industry is a victim of its own success. Although the last few quarters have shown a slight decline, over the previous 10 years passenger journeys increased by about 42 per cent and passenger kilometres by about 35 per cent. Evidence of increased demand can be seen most readily in more crowded passenger services, but also in investment in longer trains and platforms, and in the need for better signaling to enable trains to safely operate more closely to each other.</p> <p>As consumers are moving to a mobile-first world, where smartphones and tablets supplant PCs for personal and small business internet use, they increasingly expect to be connected wherever they are. And if they’re spending more time on trains, they don’t see why that environment should be any different.</p> <p>Unfortunately, though, it is.</p> <p style="text-align: right;"><img src="images/assets/Train_Series.jpg" alt="Train Series" width="306" height="203" style="margin: 5px; float: right;" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Anyone who spends time on trains is familiar with pockets of no mobile connectivity, not just in tunnels&nbsp;but also in sparsely populated areas,&nbsp;cuttings – and even as trains approach Clapham Junction, Britain’s busiest station. London Underground’s deep stations are also notoriously devoid of mobile connectivity, a problem which subway systems in some other countries seem to have cracked.</p> <p>In a post-Brexit environment, where the UK will be investing more resource into attracting inward investment and retaining what is already here, wherever digital infrastructure is suboptimal by comparison to countries competing for that same investment, it will have to be addressed.</p> <p>Both the National Infrastructure Commission and the European Commission have recently highlighted the need for improved connectivity along major rail and road corridors. The Transport Select Committee has also investigated this.</p> <p>While an increasing number of rail services already offer Wi-Fi, and this is a requirement for new franchises, the passenger experience is variable (with some rolling stock being delivered even now without Wi-Fi).</p> <p>How best to improve connectivity has been looked at several times over the years, including at least 10 attempts to offer mobile connectivity in deep Tube stations, but nothing much resulted from this.</p> <p>Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised at the lack of progress, given that telcos have very different operating environments (not least, the pace of change) from companies operating in the rail sector; also Network Rail has legitimate concerns about any safety implications of additional third parties accessing trackside equipment; and ongoing misalignment of incentives between the two sectors. The fragmented nature of the rail sector, where train operating companies have fairly short franchises and own neither the rolling stock nor the track, is also an obstacle to investment.</p> <p>As with modern office buildings, the materials which train carriages are made from, combined with the shorter wavelength spectrum which is most often used to provide internet connectivity, makes it harder for mobile operators to reach rail passengers using their existing base stations, which aren’t located trackside. Plus the current on-board Wi-Fi relies on mobile networks to connect to the internet. Tunnels, cuttings, foliage and (to date) the difficulty of fitting suitable antennas to rolling stock, have so far ruled out satellite playing a part, although this has worked in other countries.</p> <p>Clearly it is time for action.</p> <p>As the cost to UK plc of doing nothing could only increase, techUK stepped in to facilitate discussions between the two sectors. We established a working group comprising rail sector - Network Rail, Rail Delivery Group (RDG), Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), and Train Operating Companies - plus telcos and independent telecoms infrastructure operators.</p> <p>The desirability of developing a “roadmap” of steps to improve digital connectivity for rail customers was identified fairly early on. The RDG and the RSSB provided some funding to engage a consultant (LS telcom) to work with the working group to develop the roadmap. techUK and RSSB hosted a series of workshops to share intel and highlight issues needing addressing.</p> <p>This initial report, to be <a href="events/meeting/item/12053-trackside-connectivity-on-britain-s-railways-challenges-and-next-steps" target="_blank">launched at techUK on 6 February</a>, necessarily focused on short to medium term actions (which could be actioned in the next 3-5 years), and on improving passenger connectivity rather than connectivity and signalling for the rail industry itself.</p> <p>The report clearly showed that this isn’t a technology issue, technical solutions are largely available now.</p> <p>Trials have shown that satisfactory connectivity can be provided to passengers, including in cuttings and tunnels, if the telecoms equipment can be located trackside, where Network Rail currently has some 2,500 base stations providing the GSM-R secure communications service used by rail personnel.</p> <p>The report has a clear preference for the adoption of a “neutral host” model, where the infrastructure is perhaps operated by a company independent from both Network Rail and the mobile operators, and which is incentivised (subject to any health and safety concerns) to maximise the number of commercial operators sharing the trackside infrastructure. There is a range of companies (e.g. Arqiva) which have extensive experience operating neutral host models, which would ensure healthy competition for the resulting contract(s).</p> <p>This won’t be fixed overnight.</p> <p>Significant funding would be needed to upgrade existing infrastructure, not just masts (possibly in addition to those currently supporting GSM-R), but also fibre to those masts, and access to power. The neutral host approach is seen to be an approach whose time has come in facilitating the sharing of costs and benefits between the players while retaining competition for consumers.</p> <p>But there is now a momentum, with the Government launching a consultation only a few weeks ago and in the Budget announcing a Trans-Pennine connectivity trial, building on a number of trials around the country, including project SWIFT with Cisco and ScotRail. Crucially, both the rail and telecoms sectors are supportive.</p> <p>techUK is delighted to have helped bring this about, and we will continue to work with all stakeholders to take this forward, including looking at what could be achieved over a longer timeframe than the current report considers.</p> <p>If we get this right, over the coming years investment in digital connectivity will not only provide the connectivity passengers increasingly expect, but also reduce the cost of operating train services (not least through predictive maintenance), and improve the speed of recovery and keep passengers informed when things go wrong.</p> <hr /> <p>Contact: <a href=""></a></p> So You Want to Employ More Women? Thu, 11 Jan 2018 14:26:22 +0000 Lucas Banach (techUK) Emma Fryer cogitates on the gender gap and suggests a few things we can do to improve diversity in the data centre sector. <p>The data centre sector struggles to attract and retain female staff, especially in technical roles. In truth, UK data centre operators find it hard to recruit enough technical staff of either gender. Missing out on half the workforce reduces the number of potential employees by 50%, which is not a good place to start. So what are data centres doing wrong? What can we do about it? Emma Fryer has worked within the sector since 2011, albeit not in a technical role, and makes some informal observations.</p> Accelerating Transformation in the Public Sector Thu, 11 Jan 2018 14:08:22 +0000 Simona Paliulyte(techUK) techUK joins up innovative GovTech SMEs with the public sector <p><img src="images/assets/Innovation_den_pic.jpg" alt="Innovation den pic" /></p> <p>To deliver the Government’s transformation agenda, the public sector must ensure it has access to the best innovative and disruptive technologies available in an ever-changing tech market. However, <a href="">techUK's research</a> has shown that civil servants need more engagement with suppliers as part of pre-procurement market engagement, but often do not have access to do so. This situation is confirmed by the <a href="">views of GovTech SMEs</a> showing that 90% do not think that civil servant buyers have a good understanding of how GovTech SMEs can meet their needs.</p> <p><strong>techUK Innovation Den</strong></p> <p>In response to this, techUK runs regular Innovation Dens offering GovTech SMEs the opportunity to pitch their ideas to panellists from public sector organisations currently delivering transformation programmes. In November 2017 we ran an Innovation Den focussing on innovative products or services that can support the delivery of excellent customer services. The panel for this Innovation Den included:</p> <p>● <strong>Danny Wootton:</strong> Head of Innovation Strategy, ISS Design Authority, Ministry of Defence</p> <p>● <strong>Nadira Hussain:</strong> Former President SOCITM and Head of ICT, London Borough of Enfield</p> <p>●<strong> Emma Jones:</strong> Founder Enterprise Nation and SME Crown Rep</p> <p>● <strong>Rob Driver:</strong> Head of Public Sector, techUK</p> <p>As a result of the Innovation Den techUK collated panellists’ feedback on the services pitched and provided feedback to pitchers on how to improve and refine their pitch to the public sector. The Innovation Den Programme has led to many follow-up appointments between GovTech companies and the public sector. Watch this space as techUK will be running profiles on all of the companies that pitched at the November Innovation Den!</p> <p>If you are a company that would like to participate in our next Innovation Den on 13 June 2018 get in contact now to register your interest - there is a high level of demand and places fill up quickly!</p> <p><strong>Further Information</strong></p> <p><a href="civil-servants-survey/main_findings">techUK’s Civil Servants Survey</a></p> <p><a href="insights/opinions/item/12009-making-the-case-for-govtech-smes">Making the Case for Govtech SMEs</a></p> The Open Age of Banking: Technology Driving Customer Trust and Loyalty Thu, 11 Jan 2018 11:04:48 +0000 Ruth Milligan(techUK) Guest blog from techUK member Richard Lowe, Director of BFSI UK, SQS <p>In the age of choice, where consumers can switch services at the click of a button, the only provider that has remained constant for many is their banking provider. UK consumers generally give a high amount of trust to their banking provider, with 85% of customers saying that they trust their bank with personal information and to manage accounts efficiently.</p> <p>While many banks interpret this as consumer loyalty, the reality is that many people stay with their chosen provider out of fear of the presumed upheaval switching providers entails, and concern that their data and money will be put at risk.</p> <p><a href="">Our research shows</a> that 48% of banking customers would worry that direct debits and standing orders would not be transferred accurately during the switching process. However, this is all subject to change with Open Banking coming into effect in January 2018.</p> <p>Open Banking will make it easier for customers to understand what’s available to them and more able to compare and switch providers, which means more will have to be done to retain customer trust and loyalty in the long run.</p> <p>And, in this open age of banking, trust can easily be broken if something goes wrong. For example, 62%&nbsp; of customers admitted that they would quickly lose trust in their banks, if the bank suffered a data breach. Similarly, 55% mentioned the same if they were to become a victim of fraud.</p> <p>But it’s not just these high-profile instances that can impact a bank’s reputation. Failure of the technology to 'just work' is also a trust turn off, with 37% of respondents stating they would lose faith in their provider if the website or mobile app isn’t functioning properly.</p> <p>The onus, therefore, is on banks to ensure that their technology is robust and reliable across all channels to prevent such situations from occurring, in order to build trust and a loyal customer base.</p> <p><strong>Acquire loyalty with a seamless digital experience</strong></p> <p>Technology is playing an increasingly greater role in our lives and, as such, our research has shown that customer preferences are changing. Customers are embracing digital banking and are choosing to interact with their banks more and more through mobile and online channels. In fact, 90% of UK consumers report that they are signed up to use online banking and 95% feel that it is making their day to day, current account banking quicker.</p> <p>When asked, 91% of respondents actually expressed a preference of checking their balance digitally and 74% cited this means as their preferred way to change personal details. Now, more than ever, it is vital for banks to ensure their customer experience is digitally focused. Banks need to be delivering a seamless customer experience across all touchpoints – both digital and physical. With more than&nbsp; <a href="">482 bank branches closing down</a> across the country this year alone, and RBS recently announcing a further 259 in the near future, delivering in-branch, personal experiences will become a thing of the past.</p> <p>It will not be enough to rely on the loyalty of the customer of yesteryear, a more technologically advanced and less loyal younger consumer is now coming into play. Our research shows that the rising tech-friendly millennials are less loyal than their older counterparts; 38% say that they would be likely to switch their bank with Open Banking compared to 13% of over 65 year olds, and banks need to be mindful of this in order to retain them as customers.</p> <p>Whether customers need to transfer money, check their account balance or even apply for a mortgage, banks need to be able to provide these services confidently online, just like they would in branch to meet the expectations of today’s customer.</p> <p><strong>Think differently with digital</strong></p> <p>As well as using technology to provide a better user experience, banks can also use it to differentiate themselves from their competitors. With the emergence of fintech and challenger banks, the retail banking sector has become much more competitive, meaning traditional banks have to be able to offer something different to be able to compete with the upsurge of this potentially more agile and customer responsive set-up.</p> <p>With customers having so much more choice, banks will need to think creatively to stand out from the crowd and technology will be a key differentiator in the sector. In many ways technology can deliver the in-branch human experience via different formats: chatbots can give loan advice or mortgages can be discussed via video calls. Integrated channels will mean that customers can start filling in applications via their smartphone on their daily commute and then picking them up from the same position on their desktops when they get home.</p> <p>Moving forward, banks will need to use technology in innovative ways to meet the needs of both existing and potential customers to retain and gain market share.</p> <p><strong>Quality assurance equals reassured customers</strong></p> <p>With Open Banking coming into play this week, it will be easier than ever for customers to vote with their feet if they lose trust in their bank and are frustrated with the technology it offers.</p> <p>However, with this rise in importance of banking technology and more of it being implemented, there is also more potential for things to go wrong. To avoid this, banks need to ensure quality assurance is consistently at the heart of all their banking systems.</p> <p>To retain and attract customers in an ever more competitive market banks will need to ensure the stability and reliability of the systems their customers rely on, from the smallest to the biggest transactions. After all, when personal information and finances are at risk, customers will be able to move to a more trustworthy provider a lot quicker with the new Open Banking regulations.</p> <p><strong>Download the full report <a href=";utm_source=TechUKBlog&amp;utm_campaign=RetailBankingReport&amp;utm_term=RetailBankingReport&amp;utm_content=RetailBankingReport">here</a>.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Guest Blog: CES 2018: DAY 2 (9th Jan). Future Worlds Wed, 10 Jan 2018 14:54:45 +0000 Harri Turnbull(techUK) Bringing you a round-up of the day two at CES is Dr. Reuben Wilcock who leads the Univeristy of Southampton's Future Worlds Program. <p>Someone once described being an entrepreneur as jumping on a horse with an unwieldy sword and galloping at high speed into the sunset alone, driven by an unrealistic belief of success. This has certainly been my experience during the five startups I’ve founded or been involved with and each time one reaches its conclusion, successful or otherwise, I always say ‘never again’. But like any powerful addiction it’s not long before that gnawing feeling comes back, another problem that needs to be solved is found, and on the horse we jump again.</p> <h3>Taking Future Worlds to CES is a profoundly important milestone for the University of Southampton entrepreneurs that join us on the stand. The steep learning curve of pitching to a vast spectrum of potential customers combined with the pressure to make the most of the opportunity whilst standing side by side with kindred spirits from around the globe makes this a special place indeed.</h3> <p>During the show, the Future Worlds team both here and back in the UK act as a well-oiled machine supporting the startups we promote in any way we can. Each morning, writing the daily blog at 5am makes me the first moving part in this machine which then sees <a href="">Jon</a> proofread and edit the text, <a href="">Sophie</a> select photos to accompany the narrative whilst<a href="">Alex</a> and <a href="">Natasha</a> process the video footage back home in the incubator.</p> <p><img src="images/assets/Harri_T/Image_7.jpg" alt="Image 7" width="600" height="480" /></p> <p>This year is Sophie’s first time experiencing CES and worries of incomplete video uploads during the night had seen her catch very little precious sleep. A strong coffee and she was back on her feet checking out the video Alex had sent through and helping Tyler iron another piece of the stand’s fabric. As they were doing this Jon’s head popped round the corner with our first good media news of the day, which was that <a href="">techUK had published our guest blog on their website</a>.</p> <p>It is extremely difficult to get media coverage during CES – after all we are up against products like LG’s latest 65” TV that <a href="">rolls up like wrapping paper</a>, so Jon had done very well with this one. He also confirmed that popular UK southern counties radio stations <a href="">Sam FM</a> and <a href="">The Breeze</a> were set to do a radio interview with me at 10am, which was another great catch. So Jon and I headed off early to the show to get prepped and ready for the interview whilst Sophie and Tyler finished off their morning tasks.</p> <p>Now, as many of you know, I’m a little out of practice at the moment so Jon fired potential interview questions at me as we paced around Eureka Park, narrowly avoiding the fork-lift drivers racing past with their freight deliveries. I already knew the best place to take a quiet call from last year, when <a href="">I had many a phone conversation with Minister for Digital and Culture’s press team</a>. This perfect location is an unglamorous corridor leading up to the first floor toilets. The phone rang and I dived into the space and got chatting to the interviewer about everything from Future Worlds to our founders and CES as a whole. Jon had remarkably guessed nearly all of the questions correctly and so being well prepared I felt that it had gone well. But why not judge for yourself – it will air on Wednesday and we’ll let you know more on that soon.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="images/assets/Harri_T/Image_8.jpg" alt="Image 8" width="600" height="451" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A little later, Sophie, Jon and I parked ourselves at one of the Venetian cafes to discuss media strategy at the show. We drank our coffee, ate biscotti and tried to ignore the deafening indoor theatre performance which began 10 minutes later. We reviewed our current list of media targets, brainstormed new ones, prioritised the list and divided it between the three of us before heading back to the stand with a renewed purpose. After sending the first few emails the familiar face of Dr Mike Short CBE appeared and we got chatting about the presence of UK startups at the show. Mike has been at Telefonica for 30 years, reaching Vice President level, and only left to become Chief Scientific Advisor at the Department of International Trade. I explained how the University was being so supportive of Future Worlds and we discussed the merits of having a UK pavilion at CES.</p> <p>When it comes to national presence, France is undoubtedly the leader this year with a colossal section of Eureka Park dedicated to its startups. Holland also has an impressive area promoting its entrepreneurs and it was fun to catch up with those I had got to know during my last startup, Joulo. Arjen Noorbergen, who was CTO of the company that acquired Joulo, dropped by and told me how his latest venture Triggi was going. A couple of hours later my old friend Andriy Shmyhelskyy appeared. Andriy founded CareToSave, now called Hyko and we had met at the British Gas Startup competition when I was pitching Joulo in 2013. Andriy’s proposition is wonderfully endearing and well worth a look – an internet-connected polar bear that helps teach kids to turn off the lights.</p> <p>We then buckled down to the job in hand – finding a creative way to tempt prospects and media to come to the stand and discover our startups. For Daniel we had realised that casinos were a perfect opportunity for <a href="">Aura Vision Labs</a> and so he spent a few hours searching for details of the surveillance directors of the largest casinos on the strip. Meanwhile Travis was amassing a list of the biggest bloggers on the internet who might be interested in covering his EdTech App, <a href="">Handy Kanji</a>.</p> <p>The plan I suggested was bold, simple and hopefully irresistible to the prospects: film a short pitch video just for them, personalised by a hand written message on an A4 sheet of paper held up at the start. Imagine you receive an email with an embedded video whose thumbnail shows someone holding up a card with your name on it. Who wouldn’t be tempted to play that clip? This technique goes right back to the 1930s and Dale Carnegie, the famous author of ‘How to win friends and influence people’, who said that a person’s name is the sweetest thing they will ever hear. So we spent a couple of hours creating and sending these highly personalised and targeted clips.</p> <p>During the later stage of the afternoon Tyler, who had been busily working on some code, announced that he had developed a Raspberry Pi-powered device that would automatically upload all the files from an SD card onto our media server back in the incubator. This meant that the team could just swap cards after filming and pop the one they had just used into its SD slot, allowing Alex back home to grab the footage coming through. This was quickly employed to upload a tour of the stand that was planned to be the blog video for today.</p> <p>Thanks for the messages many of you have sent about the first blog, and special thanks to Jon’s relatives who kindly pointed out that in all the footage so far he appears to be standing around doing nothing! I’ll make sure he pulls his weight today.</p> <p>One last request, if you do enjoy these blogs, is to help us by sharing them on your social feeds. As ever, Future Worlds is powered by its network, their connections and goodwill and helping promote what we are doing is a great way to play a part in the journey of some of our exciting startups.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>If you want to find out more about Future World's, head over to their website at <a href=""></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> techUK CES 2018: DAY 1 (8th Jan). Press Launches Tue, 09 Jan 2018 09:11:47 +0000 Harri Turnbull(techUK) Paul Hide, COO at techUK, brings us his round-up from the first day on the ground at CES 2018. <h3 style="text-align: left;">Vegas, here we go! The World’s greatest tech fair is on for the 51st time and, rather than growing old gracefully, it is bigger, brasher and more energetic than ever. 3900 exhibitors are showcasing 20,000 new products and will be seen by 170,000 visitors from 150 countries</h3> <p>Day one is press launch day, where we get to hear from the major tech players about their key new offerings a day before the show floor opens for viewing. The major press launches are dominated by the big consumer brands and the car manufacturers.</p> <p>The message from all the key consumer electronics giants is that everything will be connected, voice control enabling connectivity ease of use is key and artificial intelligence and machine learning will be adopted across all consumer tech devices.</p> <p>I’ve summarised some of the key messages from the key players in this blog. techUK will report in greater detail on the key tech and CE sectors and products launched at CES once we get to visit the booths from tomorrow onwards.</p> <p>LG announced the launch of their new AI platform, ThinQ, which is being applied across all of LG’s consumer home, mobile and in-car offerings. Positioned as ‘AI in everyday products’ and designed to be led by voice control, learning your behavioural and lifestyle preferences LG are positioning this technology as an open solutions platform to enable LG products and technology to connect with other manufacturers’ offerings. LG are promoting their alliance with Google Assistant as the interface for connected home devices, accessed through ‘Chloe’, a table top, voice activated, ‘AI Assistant’, in the mini robot mould.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="images/assets/Harri_T/Image_1.jpg" alt="Image 1" width="464" height="261" /></p> <p>Panasonic, who no longer see the traditional consumer electronics AV products as a key sector for them in the USA, talked about their broader aims across the total connected infrastructure, from homes, to vehicles, to road networks. They announced a third-generation communications network for airlines that will provide 20 times the current data speeds for passengers. Panasonic have a strong partnership with Amazon Alexa to jointly develop the next generation of in-vehicle communications and user interfaces. Two thirds of Panasonic’s revenues now come from connected world devices so, as the company enters its 101st year of existence, this sector will be its primary focus. Panasonic referenced its commitment to sustainable energy technologies as the No.1 producer of electric vehicle battery technology, supplying the likes of Tesla and Toyota.</p> <p>Samsung had the biggest, brashest, slickest press launch of the day along with the biggest line of delegates queuing to hear what is new in 2018. It talked about the 3 core Samsung strategies of Investment, Connectivity and Intelligence. It made a bold claim that, by 2020, that every Samsung device sold will have AI capability and cloud connectivity as it too focused on connectivity and open standards, driven by its propriety SmartThings Cloud service and Family Hub home and in-car connected platform. As well as compatibility with Android and IOS operating systems and partnerships with Google and Amazon, Samsung will continue to develop its own Bixby voice control interface. Samsung launched its new Micro LED TV technology, the winner of this year’s CES ‘Best Innovation’ accolade. This technology utilised self-light emitting LEDs which delivers picture quality claimed to out perform the current OLED industry leading picture quality standard. Micro LED technology also allows the building of module displays, enabling up to 146” screen sizes.&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="images/assets/Harri_T/Image_2.jpg" alt="Image 2" width="640" height="480" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sony’s launch re-iterated its heritage across Video, Audio and Imaging categories and a focus on the detail of the 2018 product range. Its strength and focus on gaming, with over 73 million PlayStation units sold, will be retained. Sony was one of the first to showcase robots and those that remember the original Aibo robot dog will be pleased to hear that it makes a comeback in 2018. Sony also made several references to connected and AI technologies along with its links to autonomous vehicles.</p> <p><img src="images/assets/Harri_T/Image_3.jpg" alt="Image 3" width="1378" height="1033" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Possibly the biggest challenger to the ‘Big 4’ home AV manufacturers (LG, Panasonic, Samsung and Sony) are Hisense. The Chinese CE manufacturer is rapidly growing its global market share, investing in brand exposure through sponsorship of this year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia. The press launch focussed on Home AV technologies, in particular its range of super-sized Laser Projection TVs. These short throw DLP projection TVs deliver some of the biggest screen sizes available for the home. Up until now it has led the ‘size matters’ war with their 100” Laser TV. At CES they announced a new 150” TV which definitely puts it in front in terms of the biggest available (for now at least).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="images/assets/Harri_T/Image_4.jpg" alt="Image 4" width="464" height="464" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The motor vehicle sector again has a strong presence at CES.</p> <p>Toyota is forecasting a fully electric vehicle (EV) line up by 2025. It unveiled its e-Palette autonomous EV, delivering highly customisable options including ridesharing and social collaboration. E-Pallette is an industry alliance with a broad range or partners, including Amazon, Mazda, Uber, DiDi (Chinese ride-sharing company) and Pizza Hut. The common goal is the development of ‘Mobility as a Service’ solutions, an example being the transportation of goods and services within standardised containers onboard autonomous electric delivery pods.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="images/assets/Harri_T/Image_5.jpg" alt="Image 5" width="464" height="348" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Intel announced a partnership with Ferrari, bringing AI to the Ferrari challenge series as well as a partnership with Mobileye for autonomous vehicle development. In fact Intel is going far beyond earth based vehicle technologies as its partnership with NASA to evaluate how AI can support space exploration demonstrates.</p> <p>Qualcomm announced a partnership with Jaguar Land Rover, Honda and BYD to bring SnapDragon infotainment to vehicles.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="images/assets/Harri_T/Image_6.jpg" alt="Image 6" width="1378" height="1033" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p>Volkswagen and NVIDIA are to collaborate on AI integration and Nissan launched its Intelligent Mobility programme and is showcasing the new Leaf electric car.</p> <p>That’s 12 hours of launches compressed into a few paragraphs. Stay tuned for more show news over the coming days.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> IoD Calls for Open Partnership with Public Sector Fri, 05 Jan 2018 12:00:03 +0000 Simona Paliulyte(techUK) Digital skills and data sharing key to delivering ‘smarter services’ <p><img src="images/assets/Fotolia_89617027_XS.jpg" alt="Fotolia 89617027 XS" width="698" height="466" /></p> <p>This week the Institute of Directors (IoD) released a <a href="">report</a> calling on the public sector to have an ‘open partnership’ with business to enable ministers to ‘deliver the high quality digital services that citizens expect’. The 30,000 member organisation (supported by techUK member Atos) warned in the report that Whitehall does not currently make adequate use of private sector expertise, and that better use of data is needed to make services more productive.</p> <p>The IoD report reflects techUK’s <a href="images/smarter_services_DIGITAL_FINAL.pdf">Smarter Services: Delivering the Next Wave of Digital Transformation in the Public Sector</a> recommendations calling for digital skills and data sharing to be key components to public service transformation. These recommendations draw on the findings from techUK’s Civil Servants Survey 2017 of over 940 civil servants from all grades and across the country. The survey shows that there is a lot of good work being done on public service transformation and most civil servants (79 per cent) agree that there is an appetite amongst citizens for conducting more interactions with Government online. However, a shortage of skills and capabilities is regarded as the largest barrier to tech adoption in Government; 57 per cent of respondents saw it as a problem, an increase on last year.</p> <p><strong>Public Sector Innovation</strong></p> <p>During last year’s <a href="insights/opinions/item/11742-making-the-case-for-govtech-smes">SME Campaign Week</a> on government transformation techUK sought to raise awareness of the fundamental role innovative GovTech SMEs have in the transformation of public services. As demonstrated by <a href="">techUK’s 2017 SME Survey</a>, the Government is on the right track to make it easier for innovative GovTech SMEs to supply to government with a majority of respondents viewing frameworks such as G-cloud as being useful for SMEs to access the public sector market. However, 95 per cent stated that government should be doing more to improve the experiences of SMEs as part of the supply chain.</p> <p>Rob Driver, Head of Public Sector at techUK commented:</p> <p><em>“It is clear from the views of business leaders, civil servants and GovTech SMEs that there is an urgent need to improve engagement between the tech industry and government to expose civil servants to the innovative technology that’s available in the fast moving UK market. There are pockets of strong engagement with the tech industry across the public sector, but there is still much room for improvement.”</em></p> <p><em>“The public sector has come a long way in a short amount of time and deserves its place amongst the World’s most innovative. However, to successfully deliver end-to-end transformation Government needs to both embrace new technologies and new ways of delivering services that ‘Digital’ makes possible. To ensure the Government has access to the best innovative technologies, techUK will be building on the strong relationships we already have with central and local government to deliver a range of market engagement events in 2018.”</em></p> <p><strong>Further Information</strong></p> <p><a href="">The Future of Public Sector ICT Procurement</a><br /><a href="">Making the Case for GovTech SMEs</a><br /><a href="civil-servants-survey/main_findings">Smarter Services: Delivering the Next Wave of Digital Transformation in the Public Sector</a></p> Isn’t it Time IoT Devices Were ‘Secure by Default’? Fri, 05 Jan 2018 09:35:39 +0000 Aimee Betts-Charalambous(techUK) Security continues to be a key consumer concern. But what does this mean for devices and the companies innovating in this space? Gemserv’s Sean Gulliford takes a look. <blockquote>The Internet of Things (IoT) has incredible potential to impact and improve the way we live, with innovative solutions being proposed across multiple market verticals. However, for the IoT to reach its full potential, security must be taken more seriously.</blockquote> <p>You wouldn’t consider connecting a PC to the internet without first ensuring that the latest updates were patched, and some form of anti-virus software installed. So why do consumers and businesses connect IoT devices to the internet without the same consideration?</p> <p>The first thing to realise is that there is very little difference between a PC and an IoT device at a network level; both can communicate using standard protocols and therefore, once connected, are able to communicate with any other device on the internet, both essentially speak the same language, and are defined by software to specify their function.</p> <p>However, unlike PCs, that have the resources to run additional anti-malware applications, IoT devices can be resource constrained and therefore it is important that security is built in from the start. Any IoT device should therefore be “Secure by Default” , meaning that it meets a certain level of security without required intervention from the user. As a minimum this should include:</p> <ul> <li>Protected access to the device via a unique password, not a default password shared across multiple devices</li> <li>The capability to support secure remote updates.</li> <li>The ability to encrypt and protect sensitive data.</li> </ul> <p>Consumers should ensure that a device meets these basic security criteria before connecting. Businesses that host IoT devices must understand that these devices form part of the organisations IT network, and therefore should be included in any security audit (e.g. ISO27001).</p> <p>Whilst the pace of IoT innovation puts pressure on the ability to regulate these devices it should be noted that the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and Network Information Systems (NIS) directive both come into force in May this year. Both regulatory measures have the potential to impact IoT devices and systems, for example:</p> <ul> <li>Article 32 of the GDPR defines the requirements regarding “security and processing” of personal data, specifically listing the key security triad of confidentiality, integrity and availability. Therefore, an IoT device that collects and stores personal data is likely to be required to meet these regulatory requirements.</li> <li>The NIS directive is concerned with the protection of essential services such as transport, water, energy, health and digital infrastructure, against cyber-attacks. IoT devices employed as part of any essential service will likely fall under this directive.</li> </ul> <p>It should also be noted that the Department for Digital, Culture, Media &amp; Sport (DCMS) is developing a “Secure by Default” code of practice that will provide essential guidance to both businesses and consumers.</p> <p>In summary,</p> <ul> <li>The IoT has enormous potential but more must be done to understand and communicate the potential risks that insecure devices pose.</li> <li>Consumers should be aware of the minimum-security requirements for an IoT Device before connecting.</li> <li>Businesses and Service Providers should ensure that IoT devices are “Secure by Default” and meet best practice requirements.</li> <li>Businesses must include IoT devices in any network security audit and understand the impact of the GDPR and the NIS directive, coming into force May this year.</li> </ul> <p><sup>_______</sup></p> <p><sup>[i] <a href="" target="_blank"></a></sup><br /><sup>[ii] <a href="" target="_blank"></a></sup><br /><sup>[iii] <a href="" target="_blank"></a></sup></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Post written by Sean Gulliford, Principal Consultant - Connected Devices, <a href="" target="_blank">Gemserv</a>.</strong></p> <p><strong>020 7090 1075</strong></p> <p><strong><br /></strong></p> <p><a href="insights/reports/item/11743-the-connected-home-a-view-of-the-uk-market-and-future-trends" target="_blank"><img src="images/Connected_Home_2017_Cover.png" alt="Connected Home 2017 Cover" width="170" height="239" style="float: left;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This post is part of a recently launched initiative looking at trends&nbsp;in the Connected Home market. <a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> to find out more.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For further information on techUK's Connected Home work contact <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.</p> Guest Blog: doppel Wants the US to De-Stress at CES This Year Wed, 03 Jan 2018 14:01:54 +0000 Harri Turnbull(techUK) doppel CEO Dr. Fotini Markopoulou, will be showcasing its revolutionary wearable tech at CES 2018 in Las Vegas. <h3>techUK CES 2018: London-based wearable start-up, <a href="">doppel</a>, explains why it values being part of Great Britain and Northern Ireland pavilion at CES</h3> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="">doppel</a> is a British wearable tech company producing devices designed to reduce stress for those who sport them. The company was founded by Dr Fotini Markopoulou, Jack Hooper, Andreas Bilicki and Nell Bennett in 2014 after they met on the Innovation Design Engineering joint MSc/MA course at Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art. It has received considerable interest from future customers with a highly successful Kickstarter program and global press coverage.</p> <p>Dr. Fotini Markopoulou, CEO of <a href="">doppel</a>, explains why CES is an important event to maintain business momentum:</p> <p>“Stress is now an epidemic, with one in five of us suffering. Many of us find our lives and jobs are high pressure, and mental performance is essential. Yoga or meditation can be relaxing but many of us don’t have the time. <a href="">doppel</a> is a unique solution that’s easy to use, natural and effective. This is the message that we want to get across to the US market at CES this year. We believe it could be our biggest market for partners, buyers and customers and being part of the Pavillion will allow us to reach key stakeholders and create the momentum for our business to grow throughout 2018.”</p> <p>Find doppel at Stand 51916, Eureka Park</p> <p>For more information, please visit <a href=""></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Guest Blog: What Happens in Vegas With Ruark? Wed, 03 Jan 2018 13:41:22 +0000 Harri Turnbull(techUK) Ruark Audio’s founder, Alan O’Rourke, discusses the its plans for CES 2018 in Las Vegas <h3>techUK CES 2018: <a href="">Ruark Audio</a>’s founder, Alan O’Rourke, will be showcasing a full range of products at the international show</h3> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="">Ruark Audio</a> is one of several innovative UK companies who have been selected by the UK’s DiT in partnership with techUK to showcase the best of British at CES 2018. This will not only give this SME a global stage to showcase its design prowess and high-quality production methods but also create more opportunities to engage with global tech media and retailers.</p> <p>Alan discusses where he sees opportunity:</p> <p>“It’s an exciting time for all at <a href="">Ruark</a>. With just over a decade of consistent growth, CES marks an ideal opportunity to shape the long-term expansion of our British family-run business. Our aim is to use the show to further develop existing markets but also focus on breaking into new territories such as the US, Canada and South America. We have seen success across retail and hospitality partners in many regions and our products are already known internationally. Our vision is to now replicate this across the US and other new markets.”</p> <p>Find Ruark at Suite 29-129, The Venetian Resort Hotel</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe src="" frameborder="0" width="640" height="360" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" gesture="media" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For more information, please contact <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Making the Case for Govtech SMEs Tue, 02 Jan 2018 14:44:46 +0000 Simona Paliulyte(techUK) SME survey findings will help improve access to the public sector market <p><img src="images/assets/Fotolia_124568856_Subscription_Monthly_XL.jpg" alt="Fotolia 124568856 Subscription Monthly XL" /></p> <p>To better understand the views of SMEs operating in the public sector tech market, techUK undertakes an annual survey to capture their experiences. The key findings of the 2017 survey of nearly 140 GovTech SMEs include:</p> <p>• 90% did not think that civil servant buyers have a good understanding of how SMEs can meet their needs (a 4% improvement on the previous year)</p> <p>• 95% supported the government’s 33% target of awarding central government procurement spend to SMEs and a majority of respondents viewed the G- cloud framework as being useful for SMEs to access the public sector market</p> <p>• 95% stated that government should be doing more to improve the SME experience as part of the supply chain route to selling into the public sector</p> <p>The findings highlight the urgent need to improve engagement between the industry and government earlier in the commissioning process to expose civil servants to the innovative technology that’s available in a fast moving market. Throughout 2018 techUK will be working with the Cabinet Office and government departments on a range of activities to improve access the public sector tech market, including a series of market engagement events to help SMEs gain business with government.</p> <p>techUK will be launching a report on ‘Procuring the Smarter State: key steps to promote innovation and growth in the public sector’ on 30 January 2017. This report will provide further analysis on the SME survey and outline key recommendations to promote innovation in the public sector, and help dynamic British based SMEs to scale and grow.</p> <p><strong>Further Information</strong></p> <p><a href="">The Future of Public Sector ICT Procurement</a></p> <p><a href="">Making the Case for GovTech SMEs</a></p> Highways England – Forward Thinking, Vision Driven, Connected Roads for England Wed, 27 Dec 2017 09:00:00 +0000 Aimee Betts-Charalambous(techUK) Highways England recent activity is promising for the increasingly important SRN. <p>December 2017 has been a busy month for Highways England, publishing two future-focused reports – <a href="" target="_blank">Strategic Road Network Initial Report</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Connecting the Country</a>.</p> <p>Highways England is on a mission to revolutionise our strategic roads to create a modern Strategic Road Network (SRN) that supports a modern Britain. The SRN Initial Report outlines Highways England’s vision and objectives for 2020-2025 as well as reviewing the progress in the first few years of the first road period (2015-2020). The organisation’s customer focused and action-oriented approach has meant that England’s SRN is now one of the safest in the world. Highways England are looking to build upon this in the second road period, with a variety of aspirations. At techUK, we are particularly excited about the aspirations to “build the smart motorway spine of the network” and “prepare for the future”, as these objectives tie in closely with the <a href="" target="_blank">SmarterUK initiative’s Transport group</a>.</p> <p>Connecting the&nbsp;Country pulls together trends&nbsp;in demand,&nbsp;infrastructure and vehicles, sets out potential future scenarios, and provides longer-term thematic plans inspired by the company’s guiding principles – Safety, Customer and Delivery.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="images/hui.png" alt="hui" width="648" height="331" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Together the reports balance future-facing visions and objectives with an understanding of current infrastructure needs and priorities. At a r<a href="events/workshop/item/11668-putting-the-user-back-into-transport-innovation" target="_blank">ecent workshop</a> looking at how technology and data can unlock new potential across our transport system, techUK members explored new solutions to support Highways England’s maintenance strategy. Discussing novel ways to maximise efficiency and productivity across the network, members were given an opportunity to explore the principles set out in these reports in more detail. If you would like to find out more about outputs from the workshop contact <a href="" target="_blank">Jessica Russell</a>.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Highways England is responsible for the roads in the SRN that carry over 4 million vehicles every day. These millions of vehicles make up one third of all traffic and over two thirds of all freight. Highways England appears to be working hard to place itself at the forefront of future-proofing England’s SRN.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">techUK is highly supportive of these efforts and looks<span style="text-align: right;">&nbsp;forward to working more closely with Highways England going into 2018.</span></p> Defence Industrial Policy Refresh Thu, 21 Dec 2017 09:00:00 +0000 Andy Johnston (techUK) techUK's initial views on the Refreshed Defence Industrial Policy released at the end of 2017. <p>techUK welcomes the Government’s Defence Industrial Policy Refresh (DIPR) released in mid-December 2017.</p> <p>The DIPR is the UK Government’s primary policy document concerning how MOD contracts for services and equipment, and how it plans to work with industry to deliver national capabilities. The DIPR sets out to clarify a number of procurement and commercial elements of Defence policy that greatly affect UK industry. Affecting everything from research &amp; development activities, and requirements setting, through to support to exports and intellectual property rights, the DIPR is a broad document that will demand much work to implement in 2018.</p> <p>MOD’s commitment to ‘Competition and Strategic Choice as the best means of delivering value for money, increasing innovation, and opportunities for SMEs’ is welcomed by techUK, indeed our members welcome competition and the chance to justify the efficacy of their products and services. techUK encourages MOD to pair this approach with a commitment to sustaining a level and fair environment in which to compete. As explored below there are elements of UK defence procurement that persist from previous years that reinforce outdated ways of working and make it hard for new entrants to compete with incumbent suppliers.</p> <p><strong>Commercial Transformation</strong></p> <p>The importance of commercial transformation with UK Defence cannot be understated, especially when placed in the context of engagement with the digital industries. The digital transformation led by ISS has progressed over recent years and has been coupled with a new approach commercial activities in Corsham too. As the Cabinet Office directives encourage shorter and more agile agreements for ICT services ISS has attempted to break down monolithic contracts intro smaller groupings of services. This approach should favour SMEs, offering them routes into MOD that were previously held by the traditional suppliers. Although there is evidence of this, it is widely known that progress here has been slow. techUK members are keen to support this transformation and to embrace modern ways of contracting for digital products and services. In 2018 we look forward to working with Andrew Forzani, MOD’s new Chief Commercial Officer, and the yet to be appointed Commercial Director at ISS.</p> <p><strong>The Digital Industries</strong></p> <p>techUK is somewhat disappointed to see that much of the references to digital platforms and information systems within the document is restricted only to industrial engagement purposes. Throughout the document ‘industry’ is described as broad groupings of capabilities, offerings, service providers, and innovators. As the Defence industry becomes ever more diverse this is very much welcomed and commended. However, there is no reference to the intricacies of the digital industries and the potential of such companies to revolutionise the public sector. As this is a broad policy document covering a multitude of areas this omission is understandable, however techUK will continue to work with MOD officials in order to ensure this message is communicated.</p> <p>techUK greatly welcomes the direct use of the Land Open System Architecture (LOSA) example within the document. LOSA is a good example of how the UK can lead on the development of open systems and create innovative commercial mechanisms. LOSA allows UK SMEs to be directly involved with an important and influential project, whilst maintaining full control and rights over their intellectual property, traditionally a tough challenge when dealing with open systems. techUK encourages MOD to maintain this approach to opportunities that allow UK SMEs to engage in collaborative discovery work. For work such as this it is critical that MOD identifies and defines the user-side demand, ensuring that the results of LOSA have a customer and an end-user, eliminating the Valley of Death.</p> <p><strong>Collection of Industry Data</strong></p> <p>As part of the Government’s prosperity agenda MOD will increase the frequency and rigour with which they collect information about UK Defence jobs, supply chain depth, and contribution to economic prosperity. The collection and utilisation of this kind of information should greatly support the extant efforts being made to show the economic value of Defence to the UK economy. However, it is important that the processes being established in order to collect this information are not overly arduous on industry. UK companies already provide much information to different government departments, and efforts should be made to discover and use the information already within MOD’s reach, then make sensible efforts to collect what else is needed.</p> <p>techUK would also suggest that the information that is being collected should also be at a level of granularity that makes it multi-purpose and useful for other purposes. To give an example; the collection of information on high-skilled technical roles within Defence would be used to demonstrate how Defence provides and maintains a number of high-value roles within the UK shores. Alongside this efforts should also be made to collect information on skills gaps in these areas. What jobs cannot be filled, what skills gaps are growing, and what can Govt. do to assist industry with this situation? The collection of data for the purpose of making positive statements about Defence and the industry that supports it is a worthwhile endeavour, and efforts should be made to ensure that this activity helps address as many of Defence’s challenges as possible. This activity is a good opportunity to increase efficiency and effectiveness in industrial engagement.</p> <p>The progress of the joint industry-MOD discussions on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) are of vital importance to techUK members. At the time of writing the DEFCON currently being worked through by industry and MOD applies to more traditional equipment and services. However, following the completion of this work the next task in the process will be a DEFCON covering digital products and services, and contracts dealing with data-driven assets. The outcome of the primary DEFCON will heavily influence the approach made to the digitally-focussed DEFCON. techUK looks forward to engaging further on this work and will continue to urge MOD to take a sensible and future-leaning approach to IPR, recognising the huge investments that the private sector makes in order to develop innovative IP. techUK members develop products and services for a wide range of public sector customers; adequate protection of IPR is a major factor when looking for business; MOD has a real opportunity to appeal to innovative companies with a modern approach to IPR.</p> <p><strong>SME Policy</strong></p> <p>An important part of MOD transformation, both commercial and wider, in recent years has been the SME policy and Defence’s cultural approach to working with the UK’s smaller sized contractors. This has been a major point of interest for techUK since it was launched in 2015, and continues to be of importance for our members looking for business with the MOD. Overall techUK members have been disappointed with the pace at which the various activities within the SME Policy have been progressed since its launch. Elements such as the Supply Chain Advocate Network have struggled to gain traction within the Department and around the Commands, offering only limited opportunities for business.</p> <p>The DIPR shift towards early engagement and a simpler requirements setting process both favour SMEs, indeed many of the practical changes noted in the document would increase MOD’s ability to contract directly with SMEs. It is important for MOD to work with industry when forming these new engagement mechanisms, in fact it may be more important that MOD work with non-Defence contractors in order to understand how to appeal to potential new entrants.</p> <p>Transparency and visibility of opportunities is tackled directly in the DIPR paper; with the Twitter account @defenceproc and the new Supplier Portal ( being the two new primary engagement routes. techUK welcomes the technologically enabled nature of these additions and will work to share awareness within our community. However, DIPR does not address an important part of SME and new entrant engagement that overshadows these kinds of changes. The access that is afforded to incumbents across Defence is a huge bonus when searching for new business opportunities. Across the public sector the temptation for customers to ‘stick to those they know’ is undoubtedly strong, and unfortunately Defence is no different. Incumbent suppliers have the advantage of having physical presence on the floorplates of MOD sites, as well as relationships with civil servants. In some situations and contracts this is preferable for all, including national security considerations. However, this culture does stifle the SME agenda and makes it hard for SMEs to feel they can compete on a level playing field. techUK implores MOD to ensure the Supplier Portal is treated as the definitive place to post contracts, and that (as much as is possible) contracts are released to industry concurrently across all sites and platforms. UK SMEs welcome competition and the chance to prove their products and services are the best available, Government has an obligation to ensure the playing field is as level as possible.</p> <p>techUK members also look forward to assisting MOD with the development of the ‘supply chain plans’ for contracts worth more than £100 million. With increasingly effective cyber-attacks and economic uncertainty given the Brexit negotiations the resilience and health of the UK Defence supply chain is more important than ever before. Efforts to better understand and monitor the supply chain should be matched with initiatives from MOD, wider Government, and the prime contractors to support SMEs if they do encounter trouble.</p> <p>As noted in the DIPR techUK would greatly welcome a closer relationship with MOD in order to improve the guidance on engaging with potential suppliers and making more use of digital platforms. Digital ways of working are of particular importance and can be very powerful when working with SMEs outside of the traditional Defence localities around the UK (London and the South-West).</p> <p><strong>Final Thoughts</strong></p> <p>The DIPR is largely a collection of policies and activities that MOD and wider Government have publically stated previously. This consistency and stability is welcomed by industry; indeed policies that encourage competition and drive opportunities for new entrants are ideally suited for the fast-paced nature of the digital industries. However, it is the deployment of these policies that will be of pivotal importance. DIPR has allocated a number of tasks to MOD and to industry to fulfil in the coming months; there are a number of initiatives that require industrial input and support, and there are extant processes that require resolution. 2017 was a year that challenged the way that MOD distributed responsibilities, funds, and resources – arguably this affected the ability for officials to enact policies such as those noted in this DIPR. techUK looks forward to working with MOD on all the issues noted above, the digital industries are growing in their experience of affecting public sector markets and vastly improving the efficiency and effectiveness of traditional suppliers and customers.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>So, what will techUK be doing to support the implementation of the DIPR? The bullet points below are techUK’s primary DIPR issues:</p> <p><strong>· Digital Transformation</strong><br />- techUK will continue to encourage MOD to develop more digital ways of working, and in particular, digital industry engagement mechanisms. We will continue to push for an approach to industrial engagement that engages directly with the digital industries and makes allowances for the intricacies of how our industry operates.<br />- techUK will continue to encourage the Front Line Commands to consider digital capabilities when setting all future equipment and service requirements.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>· SME Policy</strong><br />- We will engage directly with MOD and Minister Defence Procurement through the Defence Supplier’s Forum SME Forum to monitor the progress of the changes. techUK will offer support to the Supply Chain Advocates in order to help grow their profile as well as their knowledge of the digital industries.<br />- techUK will also survey members who use the Supplier Portal and feedback their thoughts to MOD on its ease of use and efficacy in helping them discover new opportunities.</p> <p><strong>· Commercial Transformation</strong><br />- techUK will support MOD with the development of standard contracting templates and the move to shorter and more agile contracts.<br />- Working directly with ISS techUK will offer industry support to shape information systems and services contracts in such a way that delivery and value for money are prioritised and innovation is encouraged.</p> <p><strong>· Defending the UK defence enterprise</strong><br />- techUK will continue to support and promote the CES+ and DCPP initiatives by extolling the importance of appropriate cyber security measures to all our members and partners.<br />- We will offer direct support to MOD in their activities to discover more information about the UK defence supply chain, including offering industry views on what data can be most readily collected and what will require more time or resources to collect and analyse.</p> <p><strong>· Support to Exports</strong><br />techUK will continue to work with MOD and DIT in order to provide UK companies, particularly SMEs, with opportunities in international markets. This will require techUK to engage with stakeholders and industry about a shift to support smaller opportunities within target markets. Recognising that not all SMEs can be supported directly by Govt. but that they may well be a minimum expectation from industry as to the support and expertise that they can access from the civil service.</p> <p><strong>· Intellectual Property Rights</strong><br />techUK will continue to work with MOD and ADS to complete the current work on IPR, prioritising the interests of industry who develop and utilise IP as a core part of their business. We then look forward to deeply engaging on the forthcoming DEFCON expected to address digital services and products later in the year.</p> National Infrastructure Commission Looks at Data for the Public Good Wed, 20 Dec 2017 16:35:59 +0000 Aimee Betts-Charalambous(techUK) New report recognises the important role of data in infrastructure, although lacks clarity on implementation. <p>Following its recent Technology Study, on 14th December 2017, the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) published a new report - <a href="" target="_blank">‘New Technology Study: Data for the public good</a>’. The study “examines the opportunities that new innovations present – and makes recommendations to increase open data sharing to make the most of them”.</p> <p>The report recognises the important role that data, technology and innovation can play in supporting and improving government service delivery and cost efficiency.</p> <p><img src="images/NIC.png" alt="NIC" width="540" height="485" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p>Careful attention is given to the thematic challenges associated with data, particularly around inaction, connectivity requirements, security and privacy. techUK supports an approach to digitalisation that adequately incorporates solutions and means of addressing these concerns.</p> <p>The NIC asserts that the UK needs a “Digital Framework for Infrastructure Data” that will be a “national resource”, “as open as possible” and balanced with the ability to address “security risks and concerns”. This will be a momentous challenge, and if the NIC gets this right, it will be a fantastic opportunity for the country providing a strong foundation for innovation and development in the future of infrastructure. techUK supports an approach that takes these into consideration. However, there are key aspects missing from the framework that will be integral to its success, relevance and longevity. During the Call for Evidence (CfE) techUK submitted that the sharing of best practice across the infrastructure sector will play a crucial role in increasing the pace of innovation in the sector. techUK urges the NIC to reconsider this as a priority and build it into all aspects of its strategy and implementation in this area. The NIC then identifies technologies that generate and use data such as sensors, machine learning, digital twins and IoT as the most useful technologies in regards to maximising existing infrastructure.</p> <p>There is clear excitement around the intention to develop a “national digital twin: a digital model of our national infrastructure” which will support real-time monitoring as well as simulation and testing. While this has proven to be practical in some specific use cases – such as on <a href="" target="_blank">ships</a> and in <a href="" target="_blank">Singapore</a> – it is yet to be done on a scale similar to what the NIC has envisioned. The lacking precedence does have the potential to diminish interest or validity in terms of developing a business case that can prove value-for-money.</p> <p>The choice to focus so heavily upon the digital twin, as opposed to other options, and how the NIC proposes to approach the development of such a large-scale project is not explored in depth. As a result, it is unclear at this stage whether a digital twin will indeed be the best option to address the challenges currently being faced by UK infrastructure and the infrastructure industry as a whole. The original CfE sought to address a variety of priorities across energy, water, transport, digital, waste and flood defence, questioning what the immediate technology priorities were and what innovation initiatives were already underway. Importantly the NIC sought comments on how activities could be brought together more holistically to deliver on Government strategic ambitions.</p> <p>Questions remain over whether the NIC expect the framework and the digital twin to automatically encompass these existing initiatives? If not, how will the NIC work to bring these together and align them, particularly with its ambition for a digital twin?</p> <p>techUK does support the forward-facing vision that the NIC has presented in its ‘New Technology Study: Data for the public good’. However, to ensure greater engagement and buy-in from the general public, and industry the NIC needs to be more explicit in why it has made these specific choices, and how they will answer to the varying priorities, needs and concerns from the various stakeholders. Embracing a smarter approach to how we build, operate and maintain our infrastructure is critical to tackling the UK’s productivity challenge.<a href="" target="_blank"> techUK is committed to supporting key organisations</a> that are driving change in our infrastructure sector, and we look forward to working with the NIC in making its recommendations a reality.</p> Guest Blog: Reflecting on a year of working together in partnership Mon, 11 Dec 2017 15:56:11 +0000 Kate Francis(techUK) James Hawkins, Director of Programmes at NHS Digital, reflects on a year of working together in partnership with techUK and industry <p><img src="images/assets/rsz_james_hawkins.jpg" alt="rsz james hawkins" style="margin-right: 7px; margin-bottom: 7px; float: left;" />I wanted to take this opportunity to share an update with you all on the work Tracey Watson and her Innovation &amp; Partnerships team have been undertaking for NHS Digital with our strategic partner techUK.</p> <p>​I recently attended a review of the achievements that our strategic partnership has accomplished during its first year, with Julian David, Chief Executive at techUK. It was an opportunity for us to reflect on the success of the partnership, how it has transformed the way NHS Digital and industry are working together and how it is helping both industry and NHS Digital to be able to better plan for the opportunities and manage the risk that come with running a such a large digital health programme of work.</p> <p>It was great to hear from NHS Digital’s Nosober Latif and techUK’s Ben Moody that, during the past 12 months, positive steps have been taken by both parties to establish our collaborative approach. As a result, our organisation is recognising the value of input from industry by enabling industry knowledge and expertise to shape and inform our work. It was also refreshing to hear that it’s not just us that are benefiting from the partnership, but industry too. They are finding it easier to work with us and feel that we are being much clearer and consistent with our engagement across our delivery agenda. I am hopeful that it demonstrates that NHS Digital are ‘open for business’ and we are listening to both our suppliers and our customers to help us evolve.</p> <p>I spoke to Shane Tickell, CEO of IMS MAXIMS, about the changes the partnership is delivering, and it was refreshing to hear his positive thoughts. He thinks that in his experience over the last 20 years, the engagement with industry is at an all-time high. It is highly welcomed, productive and important to have this dialogue and he hopes very much that it continues. He believes the benefits are real for companies big and small; to remain relevant and to develop a partnership approach to provide the best possible systems to deliver for the needs of all of our customers, now and the future.</p> <p>It has been a busy 12 months working across our entire portfolio of programmes. We have completed 27 joint events with techUK with over 1600 delegates attending. We have run 7 market consultations that have informed commercial plans and activities.</p> <p>We have established 3 joint initiatives in the areas of Cyber Security, Pharmacy and Medicines and the Supplier Information Exchange – a digital self-service for suppliers to interact with NHS Digital.</p> <p>Looking forward towards the next 12 months, we aim to launch the new beta of the Supplier Information Exchange for Industry in Spring, work with SMEs and start-ups to think about how we can address barriers into the health market and create a system where innovation, adoption and diffusion is supported whilst horizon scanning technology advances.</p> <p>I’m excited about how this new way of working can help NHS Digital work with Industry and our wider health and social care partners, to deliver the digital transformation needed across health and social care and help industry gain a much clearer insight into what the NHS needs both now and in the future.</p> The Future of Public Sector ICT Procurement Mon, 11 Dec 2017 14:18:06 +0000 Simona Paliulyte(techUK) techUK’s Head of Public Sector, Rob Driver provides an overview of the annual ‘meet the directors’ briefing with the Crown Commercial Service <p><img src="images/assets/Capture_Simona.PNG" alt="Capture Simona" /></p> <p>Last week techUK hosted a ‘meet the directors’ briefing with the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) tech pillar. A packed room of public sector ICT suppliers had the opportunity to hear about the work of the strategic category teams within the CCS Tech Pillar: Digital Future, Technology Products &amp; Services, Network Services and Software. There was also a robust question and answer session with Niall Quinn, Director Technology Strategic Category and his Senior Leadership Team.</p> <p>The briefing began with an overview of the work CCS has been undertaking over the past 12 months helping ICT suppliers access government technology contracts. Suppliers were updated on the ongoing partnership work between techUK and CCS supporting suppliers (particularly SMEs) to gain a deeper understanding of how to win business and provide technology services to government.</p> <p>Suppliers were also updated on the role and strategy of the tech category, and how it provides commercial expertise to enable delivery of the Government IT Transformation Strategy and the Digital by Default agenda. It was encouraging to hear about the strategic focus on supporting the cultural and commercial transformation of government - including products and services from Legacy IT (on premise) being Digitalised (in the cloud). Suppliers were also very receptive to the ambition and plans of CCS to meet the government’s manifesto target of 33% of central government spend going to SMEs.</p> <p><strong>The view from suppliers</strong></p> <p>During the question and answer session a broad range of issues were highlighted including:</p> <p>• Suppliers were encouraged by the engagement that has taken place throughout 2017, particularly the framework briefings held in partnership with techUK. However, this engagement must continue in a planned and strategic way throughout 2018, with clear timescales published on planned engagement</p> <p>• Many SMEs highlighted the positive attributes of certain frameworks such as G- Cloud. There needs to be greater use of these frameworks across central government and the wider public sector to enable SMEs to gain a greater foothold in the public sector market</p> <p>• Although the feedback was broadly positive about the engagement on the specific frameworks, a number of suppliers highlighted the lack of communication and engagement around the extension of G- Cloud for up to 12 months, and the negative impact this will have on new suppliers wanting to provide to the public sector.</p> <p>In summary, it was a great event and a good end to the year for the engagement techUK has had with CCS and I look forward to building on this engagement throughout 2018. There is still much work to do – and if CCS is serious about reaching the objectives of 33 percent of central government spend going to SMEs, and expanding use of frameworks across the wider public sector, we need improved communication and engagement between the tech industry and government. On G- Cloud specifically, it is imperative that an update is provided to the tech market on this ASAP via techUK. I look forward to ongoing partnership work with CCS, departments and the wider public sector to deliver these objectives.</p> <p><strong><em>Please do get in contact if you want any more information on anything covered above, or if you would like to join techUK’s Public Sector Procurement Working Group.</em></strong></p> <p><strong>Further Information</strong></p> <p><a href="images/CCS_Meet_the_Tech_Directors_Briefing_Nov_30_2017.pdf" class="wf_file"><span class="wf_file_text">CCS Tech Directors Briefing Presentation</span></a></p> Spotlight on Vulnerable People in our Society Mon, 11 Dec 2017 11:28:07 +0000 Georgina Maratheftis(techUK) Guest blog by Jim White, Industry Director - Public Sector, EMEA North, SAP as part of our #CounciloftheFuture campaign <p>The subject of vulnerable people is a burning issue at the top of the agenda across those Public-Sector bodies that exist to safeguard individuals and families in our society; but is it a battle that they can win with people alone? What role might technology play to enable better outcomes?</p> <p>With continuing austerity and the need to do even more with less, these organisations exist in a world that is becoming more and more complex, especially when it comes to safety, crime and technology.</p> <p>But what does the term ‘Vulnerable Person’ cover?</p> <p>According to the College of Policing in the UK:</p> <p><em>‘Vulnerable and at-risk individuals, who have become (or are at risk of becoming) victims of:</em></p> <p><em>Child abuse; child sexual exploitation; domestic abuse; female genital mutilation; forced marriage; honour-based violence; modern slavery; prostitution; serious sexual offences; stalking and harassment.’</em></p> <p>There is much written about the cause and effect across society. But most of us would agree that the proponents can originate form all aspects of society. From the underprivileged, to the over privileged, from all Ethnic and Cultural backgrounds, from dysfunctional (or maybe functional looking!) families to seriously organised cross-border crime gangs.</p> <p>How can these government agencies manage to keep up with this tsunami of a challenge? Undoubtedly more expert resources would help, but will resources alone suffice?</p> <p>The one obvious and well recorded opinion from the professional and academic communities is that <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>proactivity outweighs reactivity in every instance.</strong></span> What is the cost of saving a child from abuse or from violence, protection of any person in society from being abused or people being shipped into slavery or prostitution? It is well proven that earlier intervention leads to better outcomes for individuals, our communities and saves money.</p> <p>To become truly proactive, authorities need information to make decisions at the right time and with the most authentic and credible data sources, ideally in real time. Technology is a key enabler in this situation – most of the perceived ‘data sharing and information governance’ issues are related to organisational culture and behaviors. Numerous case studies have shown that is possible to share data, collaborate from a multi -agency perspective and deliver better, more targeted services to our constituents.</p> <p>These data sources may be owned at different sources and by different organisations, but the question is: If this data can be shared, then as a Police Officer or a health worker or a social care professional surely this makes common sense? Each of these stakeholders is trying to profile their (often silo’ed) information so that they can make the right decision at the right time.</p> <p>Technologies such as automated data matching, predicative analytics, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence are now regarded as mature. If deployed, these approaches present a great way for public sector bodies to identify people at risk and free up our professional resources to do the things they signed up to do – help people, prevent crime, safeguard and improve the wellbeing of our communities.</p> <p>The question now must surely be “why not”?</p> NHS England Issue Invitation to Expert Suppliers Fri, 08 Dec 2017 12:03:34 +0000 Simona Paliulyte(techUK) A guest blog by Bob Ricketts, Director of Support Services Strategy and Market Development , NHS England <p>NHS England invites you to register to take part in the forthcoming ACS &amp; STP Development Partner Framework to give commissioners and providers access to Population Health Management support.</p> <p>To fully achieve the transformation identified in the Five Year Forward View, Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs) and Accountable Care Systems (ACSs) will need to supplement their core capabilities with more advanced innovations and solutions.</p> <p>This includes tools to identify patients who are at high risk of an adverse event and are likely to be amendable to a particular intervention (i.e. ‘impactable’ patients); electronic patient records that give clinicians across all care settings a full picture of their patient’s health and well-being; support to monitor wider system programmes; and enhanced tools to integrate clinical workflow with patient activation data to ensure patients are being treated in the right place at the right time.</p> <p>Most of all, it will require a fundamental cultural shift in how clinicians, managers and patients use (and are supported to embed) these new digital technologies, data tools and innovations to deliver meaningful change on the ground for patients.</p> <p>The ACS and STP Development Partner Framework will provide an easy and supported route to accessing these capabilities from expert and experienced suppliers. It will be structured around three areas (though this is subject to ongoing consultation):</p> <ul> <li><strong>Infrastructure:</strong> encompassing EPR and place-based digitalisation; Local Integrated Care Records and Health Information Exchange; primary care IT support and transformation; and data management and information governance;</li> <li><strong>Insight:</strong> population health analytics and digital tools for system modelling, planning, risk stratification and impactability, care coordination and care management.</li> <li><strong>Impact and Intervention</strong>: transformation and change; primary care transformation; self-care, patient empowerment and activation; and system optimisation.</li> </ul> <p>To register and find out more, visit <a href=""></a>.</p> <p>The framework is planned for launch on 15 December 2017 to allow suppliers to apply for accreditation and will be open for use by ACSs and STPs from early next financial year 2018/19.</p> 'Sufficient Progress' is Crucial Step Towards Securing a Good Deal For Tech Fri, 08 Dec 2017 11:56:15 +0000 Harri Turnbull(techUK) Today's announcement is a crucial step towards securing a positive deal. The next priority is to deliver a transition agreement to reduce uncertainty. <h3>Commenting on the announcement by Jean-Claude Junker that the EU Commission will recommend to the Council that ‘sufficient progress’ has been made in the first phase of negotiations between the UK and the EU, techUK Deputy CEO, Antony Walker, said:</h3> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“We strongly welcome the significant progress that’s been made today which is a key step to opening up the vital negotiations in stage two. For a globally competitive industry such as tech, agreement of a comprehensive trade deal between the UK and EU is fundamental. Today’s decision on sufficient progress having been made is a crucial step towards securing that deal.</p> <p>“We strongly hope that the Council will back the Commission’s judgement on progress having been made and that talks can turn to trade discussions immediately. This is not the end of the challenges a UK/EU agreement will face, and it will be vital for both parties to understand the complexities and compromises needed to deliver a deal that works for all tech businesses, including services.</p> <p>“The first priority for the second phase must be delivering agreement on a transition deal. Tech businesses considering future investment decisions must be assured that the U.K./ EU relationship will continue to offer the same access to markets as currently enjoyed until a final deal is done. Anything less risks further uncertainty and risk to a sector on which both the UK and EU economies rely.”</p> <p>Contact: <a href=""></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Building Confidence in the Connected Home Fri, 08 Dec 2017 11:24:07 +0000 Aimee Betts-Charalambous(techUK) Smart Energy GB discuss how smart meters are helping to bridge the gap <blockquote>There has never been a more exciting time for the connected home. With ever advancing technologies and solutions coming to market, and increasing consumer demand for these, the outlook is bright.</blockquote> <p>As techUK’s most recent State of the Connected Home 2017 shows, appeal and knowledge has grown significantly in the past year alone.</p> <p>Great progress has been made, but the report also unearths challenges which industry needs to address. In particular, how to give everyone the confidence and opportunity to engage with these new technologies.</p> <p>Smart meters are proving to be one of the ways this is being addressed. They are providing a stepping-stone for people to engage with more connected products and services.</p> <p>Earlier this year we published Smarter Living; what consumers want from smart energy products and services, where we spoke to over 3,000 people about their attitudes to technology and new services.</p> <p>Most of the people we spoke to told us they were excited about technology and felt confident using it. Although some, particularly those who were older and no&nbsp;longer in work, tended to say they were less excited about technology and wanted more reassurance.</p> <p>Yet, this small group also told us they were open to taking up new products and services, particularly if they already had a smart meter installed.</p> <p>We found that people who already had smart meters found every new product or service we asked them about more appealing.</p> <p>For example, half of people said they found the idea of alerts if the energy patterns of an elderly relative changed appealing, and this rose to 64% of smart meter users. Similarly, just under 60 per cent of people said they would like appliances which could automatically turn on when energy is cheapest, rising to 70% of smart meter users.</p> <p>The adoption curve of smart meters has tended not to follow the usual trend of technology adoption – where young tech savvy people taking up new tech first.</p> <p>The smart meter users we spoke to in this research skewed towards older people, with over half of people being over the age of 55 – an audience who tended to say they were less confident with technology.</p> <p>This new technology is being&nbsp;offered to every home in Britain at no extra cost, providing a new platform for innovation in the energy market and in connected home technologies.</p> <p>The rollout of smart meters creates a vital technology platform. And is also an important tool getting people ready to take up products and services in the future, including those who don’t yet share our enthusiasm for technology today.</p> <p><strong>Post written by Rob Smith, Head of Policy and Public Affairs, Smart Energy GB</strong></p> <p><img src="images/Report_Cover_Image.PNG" alt="Report Cover Image" width="142" height="200" style="float: left;" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This post&nbsp;is part of a recently launched initiative looking at trends in the Connected Home market. <a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> to find out more.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For further information on techUK's Connected Home work contact <a href="" target="_blank"></a></p> Customer-centric value propositions Mon, 04 Dec 2017 14:23:11 +0000 Mariana Obetzanova (techUK) Guest white paper from Cindy Barnes, Director of Innovation at Futurecurve, leader of the Marketing and Sales Group Value Proposition Design Sprint <p>The business world has changed forever. The difference between companies that are thriving and those struggling to survive is how well they harness and align their value to customers. There is a widening gap between what companies offer and sell and what customers actually value and are willing to pay for.</p> <p>You can start to close this gap by truly understanding what your customers value, looking at your products or services and how you interact with customers – this determines your single ‘customer truth’. This saves time, effort, resources and money and stops marketing, sales, product and communications people each creating multiple ‘customer truths’ for multiple purposes.</p> <p>In this white paper we show you how to:</p> <ul> <li>Understand the 4 key reasons why your customers don’t value what you offer them</li> <li>Start finding your real differentiators</li> <li>Begin determining your value</li> <li>Know what effect weak value has on your market positioning, sales and profitability</li> <li>Start creating your value proposition using our proven model the Value Proposition Builder</li> </ul> <p><a href="" target="_blank">You can download the full white paper here</a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Laying the Building Blocks for Your Council’s Digital Future Fri, 01 Dec 2017 10:15:00 +0000 Georgina Maratheftis(techUK) Guest blog by Sam Manson, Sector Director – Public, Orange Bus as part of our #CounciloftheFuture campaign <p><strong>With Councils staring into a hugely uncertain future, the first steps to meaningful digital transformation vary greatly from one authority to the next. With this in mind, we make our case for developing digital resources with targeted research and a design-led approach.</strong></p> <p>Councils are trying to achieve everything at once. With one eye on Smart City prestige, it’s easy to forget that their main objective is still to calibrate traditional services for a digital world.</p> <p>Future visions of “Smart” status are often miles away from immediate transformational needs, but these two objectives share the same foundations - catering for user needs and progressing naturally from there.</p> <p>To illustrate our point, some UK councils take an aggressive (and expensive) approach to the adoption of new technology, taking the view that to get things moving, an organisation needs to make experimental leaps rather than considered steps.</p> <p>Whilst innovation with AI, sensors, chatbots and automation is commendable, the end goal is still catering directly for users ‘on the ground’.</p> <p>Valuable technology is being developed daily, but if councils feel pressured into taking on the latest innovations, they may end up leaving these users behind, and the next big tech investment may not necessarily mean big benefits. So what are the first steps in digital evolution?</p> <p><strong>Taking the First Steps</strong></p> <p>From our perspective, councils need to first understand their user base, understanding where citizens fit into their service architecture, and what digital and non-digital touchpoints they are using.</p> <p>Council digital strategy needs to focus on evolutionary, incremental gains and effective investment. Careful research and gap analysis may indicate where digital interventions might be used to bring users into the digital loop, what resources need to be streamlined, which ones need to be scaled-up and developed outwards.</p> <p>The core digital interface for most councils is their website. It might sound simple, but this is increasingly the first stop for information, payments and requests. A vital step for councils is to develop ‘customer accounts’ portals for their citizens: Your account with all of your details, and requests, all in one place.</p> <p>This works two ways. The citizen has a single, tailored view of the council, and the council a single view of each citizen.</p> <p>These self-serve accounts are digital at its best - user-focused, simple, and efficient. This can be taken a step further, delivering, presenting and bundling services in a way that makes sense to the user and simplifies their journey by targeting the ‘life events’ which first drew them to the council site.</p> <p>Our own Local Government Digital Platform is tailored around this targeted user experience and the need for a “My Account” umbrella. It places citizens very much in control of their own digital lives, reducing the need for human intervention, increasing positive transparency and bringing user self-management in-line with other account-based services.</p> <p>Some councils need to reach this stage quickly in the ‘Smart City’ evolution. Others are already there, and ready to build from a good core user interface.</p> <p><strong>Growing the Relationship into the Future</strong></p> <p>Through our work with user experience and citizen need, Orange Bus is preparing the way for councils who want to build from the ground up - from efficient core services, onwards to bigger technology-led change.</p> <p>A relationship based on a sound understanding of citizen needs grows slowly but surely. As it does, future tech investment like AI and chatbots will naturally form resilient links to better customer engagement.</p> <p>This brings us to an interesting crossroads. Councils can realistically sit at the digital heart of the ‘place’ they serve. They can become a locally and globally connected digital body, investing in creating services valuable to their citizens. Or, they could become gratefully disintermediated, cutting costs by acting as a broker for local services where government investment falls down.</p> <p>To grow in both directions will mean a ground-up and top-down restructuring of local councils, developing the strategy and corporate accountability of big cultures like Amazon and Google, while retaining democratic accountability to their citizens.</p> <p>Digital redevelopment is simply one strategic challenge for council services, but designing around user needs brings a completely validated clarity of vision which will ready councils for a challenging new era.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #CounciloftheFuture To see more blogs like this, please visit the website <a href="insights/opinions/item/11782-council-of-the-future-campaign-week">here.</a></em></p> Shared Services Between Councils Will be the Norm Fri, 01 Dec 2017 10:00:00 +0000 Georgina Maratheftis(techUK) Guest blog by Brian Smith, Sales Manager, Kahootz as part of our #CounciloftheFuture campaign <p><a href="">Latest figures</a> show that sharing services is now all but universal in local authorities, with 98% of councils committing to some degree of sharing delivering savings of more than half a billion pounds.</p> <p>However, collaboration, sharing knowledge and resources, wasn’t always the way people worked.</p> <p>In 1914 John G. Bartholomew published “An Atlas of Economic Geography” which included an <a href="">isochronic map</a>. These maps show distances as time values and from the map it can be seen that, in 1914, it took between 10 and 20 days to get to India. An ambitious manager in India carrying out his job just before the outbreak of war in 1914, is, clearly, on his own.</p> <p>Asking London for information would take a minimum of 20 days to get an answer and that would depend on favourable winds and tides, an accommodating train schedule, and a prompt answer coming back from head office. The amount of written information managers in his position relied on was, by necessity, scant. Reporting cycles were annual at best and policy tended to be fixed with little or no centralised innovation. If our manager wanted to achieve anything, he had to think it up and get it done, himself. (I say “him” because in those times it almost certainly was a him.)</p> <p>Contrast our Edwardian manager with the way councils work today and the differences are stark. The figures show that almost without exception, councils of all sizes now work collaboratively. They rely absolutely on information; generating and consuming it on a vast scale and from many, varied sources. One decision could easily involve half a dozen or more people working in a variety of partner councils and other external agencies, and result in an exchange of emails and other documents and messages running into the 100s. And this new model of working – in what is often called the <a href="">Information Age </a>– means councils need to be able to communicate and share information easily, with people who work for them and many others who need to work with them.</p> <p>These needs are driving the enthusiasm for shared online collaboration environments which support both the new, semi-informal, social way of working in councils’ increasingly flattened hierarchies (no Edwardian despots here) and the acquisition, preservation and management of the priceless corporate asset information represents.</p> <p>Collaboration between councils requires secure storage, tight and resilient access control and easy interconnectivity. But most of all, to be successful, to achieve the necessary engagement and adoption, its usability needs to be intuitive. In the same way our manager in his lonely distant outpost couldn’t call on head office for help, councils needing to foster collaboration will find it impractical to commit to a system that requires specialists to set it up, experts providing lots of support, trainers going out from HQ, and so on.</p> <p>A collaboration environment needs to work the way people work, it needs to fit in with existing systems, it needs to be universal in so far as the equipment and software needed to access it are standard and in everyday usage, and how and when to use it need to be obvious. It also needs to be resilient and affordable with a clear return on investment. As much of it as possible should run on information utilities – so the cloud is a given – and on existing multi-purpose computer equipment. It must also be available on any device; smartphones and tablets as well as Macs and PCs.</p> <p>None of today’s social platforms would have achieved any traction if it were expensive, difficult to understand or required special equipment to use it. While their informality, lack of security and absence of useful business information processing functionality rules them out in the world of work, the way they established themselves through simple usability is an essential quality collaboration software providers must emulate.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #CounciloftheFuture To see more blogs like this, please visit the website <a href="insights/opinions/item/11782-council-of-the-future-campaign-week">here.</a></em></p> Weighing up the Digital Future of Social Care Fri, 01 Dec 2017 10:00:00 +0000 Georgina Maratheftis(techUK) Guest blog by Kieran Lee, Social Care Transformation Lead, Capita as part of our #CounciloftheFuture campaign <p>How we deliver social care to an aging population, with ever constrained budgets, is one of the biggest decisions we face as a society over the coming years. I’ll leave it to politicians and economists to discuss how it should be funded, but whatever we choose, technology will play a major role in the way it is delivered.</p> <p>In social care we find ourselves at a crossroads where we are precariously dabbling with two futures. The first, where the use of data, predictive analytics and potentially artificial intelligence can transform the decisions we make to improve the outcomes and independence of individuals. The second where people are replaced by machines delivering ‘care’ to our parents and grandparents.</p> <p>With the drive to automate low skill jobs the care sector is an obvious choice for transformation. How we decide to go about it will say a lot about us as a society. While assistive technology to monitor and help people is welcome development which will allow people to live independently and safely in their own homes, there is a risk we embrace all technology in the name of productivity leaving robot nurses to keep our elderly company. The key is deciding which technologies enhance the way we deliver, and which risk us losing the human touch.</p> <p>On the other hand, digital transformation is essential and an amazing opportunity to help us live longer, more independent and fulfilling lives.</p> <p><strong>Using data to better inform decisions</strong></p> <p>The benefits of using data effectively are obvious and clear to almost everyone. Better data means better information, and all this leads to improved decision making for social workers and the practice. Understanding the indicators for social care need now will lead to predicting future needs and the potential to intervene and prevent need escalation before it occurs. Getting this right means people living more independent and fulfilling lives with benefit of delaying or preventing the social care costs.</p> <p><strong>Artificial Intelligence</strong></p> <p>The next step in this is using AI to make informed decisions about the ideal care for a person. Already, care management systems can recommend the level of care required based on the information entered by practitioners. With the right data, AI will be able to consider multiple factors at once, consider past outcomes and recommend the ideal care package for even the most complex cases.</p> <p><strong>Assistive technology</strong></p> <p>Up until recently most assistive technology in social care has consisted of an alarm pendant that people can use to call for help if they have a fall or other emergencies. Now we’ve got the ability to kit our houses with sensors to detect falls or changes in patterns, we can make sure the correct medicines are dispensed at the right time, or monitor daily health condition such as heart rate, blood pressure and blood sugar levels. For patients with dementia, wearable technology can help monitor people who may get disorientated, giving families the peace of mind that your loved one is safe at home.</p> <p>As technology quickly becomes key to the way we deliver social care, it is important that we take a step back and think about what kind of future we want for our elderly. While productivity and better decision making are things we can all get behind, we need to be careful that we don’t lose the humanity within the system.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #CounciloftheFuture To see more blogs like this, please visit the website <a href="insights/opinions/item/11782-council-of-the-future-campaign-week">here.</a></em></p> What Do We Mean by Digital Leadership in Local Government? Thu, 30 Nov 2017 10:00:00 +0000 Georgina Maratheftis(techUK) Guest blog by Helen Reeves, Senior Policy Officer, the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers (Solace) as part of our #CounciloftheFuture campaign <h3 style="text-align: center;"><em>“What is digital leadership is surely as easy to answer as the two questions, what it leadership? And what is digital? As we know these can mean different things to different people and audiences, however, in the context of ‘Council of the Future’ then surely digital leadership is the leadership that is needed throughout the organisation of the future, where digital solutions are effectively harnessed to make the lives of our residents, businesses and visitors better.</em></h3> <h3 style="text-align: center;"><em>Making our places better to live, better to do business and better to visit. It’s great leadership using digital technology (existing and emerging) to deliver that blend of services (online and offline) that deliver the best outcomes at the best cost using accurate data to make real-time decisions, digital platforms to allow users to access the services they need at the time they need them, and digital technology and applications to make our workforce effective. Taking the best of the commercial digital applications and using them in council service delivery. Finally its making sure we still have the right resources for the most vulnerable in society – ensuring their needs are appropriately met.”</em></h3> <h3 style="text-align: center;"><strong>-Matt Prosser, Solace Spokesperson for Digital Leadership and Chief Executive of the Dorset Councils Partnership</strong></h3> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The world that everyday citizens inhabit is changing rapidly. Nowadays, a majority of people rely on the internet to engage in everyday interactions and transactions; and more and more of this is done by smartphone.</p> <p>The landscape for local government is changing too. With the uncertain, but nonetheless diminishing, nature of local government funding, local leaders have to find new and innovative ways to ensure the sustainability of local services for the future, as meanwhile day to day pressure on services continues to increase.</p> <p>There has been a growing recognition across the sector that it will not be possible to simply continue to ‘salami slice’ existing services. Instead, there needs to be a wholesale rethink about what services can be delivered into the future, who for, and how. This transformation will not be possible without digital innovation, and local leaders of place have a vital role in ensuring this is not only recognised but also championed.</p> <p>At Solace we know it is senior local leaders who will need to be invested in the transformation of our sector. We want to engage, inform and inspire them about the potential of digital technology. Digital innovation is a key pillar of the transformation the sector is currently undergoing. The ability to build shared services and deliver whole place-based policy depends on it. Above all, moving with the digital world ensures the best possible experience and outcomes for local citizens.</p> <p>For us, digital leadership means challenging local leaders to:</p> <ul> <li>Champion digital innovation in their own authority by acting as role model in the use of technology, making resources available, and finding space for innovation;</li> <li>Champion digital innovation across the sector, by sharing and promoting their own organisation’s best practice, as well as being open to learning from others and seeing potentials for collaboration;</li> <li>Share and collaborate not just across local government, but with central government, the NHS and other bodies too.</li> </ul> <p>Councils across the UK are at different stages on their digital journey, but there is much to be learned through sharing best practice, capabilities and ideas not only from others in the public sector, but in collaboration with the tech sector too through organisations like TechUK.</p> <p><strong>This article builds from our joint policy position on ‘Local digital leadership’ released last year, <a href="">read this in full here.</a></strong></p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #CounciloftheFuture To see more blogs like this, please visit the website <a href="insights/opinions/item/11782-council-of-the-future-campaign-week">here.</a></em></p> The Adoption of Technology in the Public Sector Thu, 30 Nov 2017 10:00:00 +0000 Georgina Maratheftis(techUK) Guest blog by Sangeeta Mukherjee, Content Specialist, Azeus Convene UK as part of our #CounciloftheFuture campaign <p>When it comes to technology adoption and innovation, it might be intuitive to think that the private sector is a clear leader compared to public organisations and governments. In reality, most private organisations lack long-time vision and adequate risk appetite, claims economist Mariana Mazzucato in her book ‘The Entrepreneurial State’. According to Mariana, despite popular belief, the most innovative countries have their governments leading from the front as opposed to the private sector. She also observes that the private sector starts investing in innovation and advanced technology only after an “entrepreneurial state” has made the initial high-risk investments and paved the way for success.</p> <p><strong>Technology adoption – slower in government sector?</strong></p> <p>In 2013, Forbes reported that governments all over the world are under significant economic pressure. Thus, they are compelled to undertake austerity measures, improve efficiency of processes and policies, and embrace new technologies. However, while the private sector often makes aggressive investments in technology and innovation, the public sector is catching up fast.</p> <p>The reason for the delayed investment in innovative technology by governments is because they are the stewards of taxpayers’ money. Governments need to perform comprehensive risk assessments, maintain high levels of transparency and accountability to the public. They also need to be compliant with legislative mandates before adopting any technology or investing in innovation. Public sector organisations face similar complexities and roadblocks in context of technology investment and adoption.</p> <p>Some key observations from the various studies are:</p> <p>Traditionally, the public sector lags behind private businesses when adopting the latest technologies and investing in innovation.Government employees are fundamentally dissatisfied with their digital workplace technology.A survey of 400 senior officials published by Deloitte in 2015, observes that the public sector lacks the skills and funding to successfully deliver digital public services.In the UK, 89% of leaders across the government, NHS, police and higher education divisions acknowledged that their organisations pursued digital solutions to reduce costs.For 32% companies the budget for digital increased while 28% companies believed they had sufficient resources to implement digitalisation and digital solution.Only a quarter of the participating organisations had sufficient skills within the organisation and only a third believed that their companies are prepared to respond to digital trends[4].</p> <p><strong>Is there more resistance at a Local Government level?</strong></p> <p>Contrary to the belief that people working in Local Government are 'digital dinosaurs', Theo Blackwell, author of the Start of the Possible report, found that local councillors hold positive views about technology, automation and data, and how public services can benefit from them.</p> <p>As mentioned before, digital leadership in government organisations has to be carefully considered due to the source of funds and the confidential nature of data. This kind of long-term thinking actually sets up Local Government for better planning when it comes to a digital foundation.</p> <p>As Theo Blackwell says:</p> <p>“Successful digital transformation requires redesign on every level — workforce, customer service, process, governance  and technology — to make public services faster at doing things, more adaptable, able to share more information and do so securely. For this to happen we need to support digital leadership right across our cities and counties in order to make public services more effective and make a difference to the people and communities they represent. This research shows that the vast majority of councillors are not 'digital dinosaurs', but hold positive views about the application of technology to public services and how councils should work together and share data."</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong></p> <p>In summary, we can say that technology adoption and investments in innovation might be slow-paced in the government sector but it is happening steadily. In spite of the numerous challenges and complexities that the government sectors around the world face, it is undeniable that technology adoption has indeed gained great momentum across the public sector. From choosing paperless applications, delivering public services digitally to successfully migrating entire offline systems online – governments all over the world are trying to do more every day. By embracing new technologies and investing in innovation, governments are aiming to become more responsive to citizen needs and implementing more sustainable and efficient modes of governance.</p> <p>For more information on Azeus Convene <a href="">click here.&nbsp;</a></p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #CounciloftheFuture To see more blogs like this, please visit the website <a href="insights/opinions/item/11782-council-of-the-future-campaign-week">here.</a></em></p> Behaving like the Council of the Future Thu, 30 Nov 2017 10:00:00 +0000 Georgina Maratheftis(techUK) Guest blog by Andy Theedom, Local Government Market Director, Capita as part of our #CounciloftheFuture campaign <p>Recently, I’ve spent some time talking to top teams in local public services about what it is to be ‘digital’. Often, there’s a room full of people listening intently and nodding; they recognise that the world has changed and that the next industrial revolution is unfolding before our eyes. But most also recognise that their own personal experience is by no means representative of the experiences of the people they serve or the organisation they are trying to build. Given that digital is as much about ‘doing’ as anything else, how do organisational leaders understand enough about this to become relevant to lead this doing?</p> <p>One view is that without personal experience you can’t be relevant or authentic – if you can’t connect over common experiences, this theory goes, you will struggle to communicate. This then turns into a potentially awkward series of questions, along the lines of: Does your home have an Amazon Echo or Google Home? Being accustomed to online banking, have you branched out into quantified self? Are you renting out your home PC’s processing power to contribute to science and earn a few more bitcoins? And how many new neighbours has Next Door allowed you to meet this month?</p> <p>So far, so superficial. So, could we mean something different? When we talk about digital, we are talking about making interventions into social systems that will cultivate new behaviours – where these new behaviours make the outcomes sought more likely. Technology is often part of the solution, but it’s a means, not an end in itself. So, the real question is not what new technologies are you using but instead what new behaviours are you developing? Could – or does – your organisation have a ‘digital mindset’?</p> <p>What might that look like? What might you see in an organisation with a digital mindset?</p> <ul> <li>It’s likely that in a world of continuous reinvention and improvement – not to mention complexity – you will need to learn as you go along; how confident in using iterative and experimental approaches are you?</li> <li>Given that ideas are usually improved through the input of others, how open are you? Are you confident about sharing work in progress and thinking in public?</li> <li>The new world is more networked and connected. How ready are you to collaborate across disciplinary (and sector) boundaries to bring in the people with the knowledge needed to solve difficult issues. As a leader how ready are you to create a safe space for these diverse teams to work together to that end?</li> </ul> <p>The answers to these questions will determine how far down your organisation is on the road to a digital mindset. If being digital is about behaviours – after all, digital is not a spectator sport and requires active participation – then I think it’s important that the things that organisational leaders do enable others to do more too. So, rather than making occasional use of a new bit of kit, I would recommend adopting a digital mindset, and seeding the behaviours that allow organisations to be successful in the future. See our blog <a href=""></a></p> The Role of Digital Leadership Thu, 30 Nov 2017 09:30:00 +0000 Georgina Maratheftis(techUK) Guest blog by Philip Baulch, CIO, Major Business and Public Sector, BT as part of our #CounciloftheFuture campaign <p>The world around us continues to change at an ever increasing pace and in much less predictable ways than we could have ever imagined. It’s sobering to stop for 30 seconds and consider the role digital technology plays compared with just two years ago. Think about how it’s changed how you work, travel, play and collaborate. <em>Think about how you feel about that.</em></p> <p>One thing we can be certain of is that this progress won’t stop. It will be relentless and whether you like it or not is fairly immaterial – what you need to deal with is that digital transformation is happening everywhere and you will have to have a position on it.</p> <p>Are you one of the front runners using the latest of everything leading the way? Or a tech laggard wondering how long you can hold off because you don’t have the skills, budget or organisational appetite to take the plunge? You are almost certainly somewhere in-between. The challenge is how you embrace the opportunity that digital brings because digital transformation does not come easy. It’s hard and complex and risky.</p> <p>Mix with this the fact that there are challengers all around you (people and organisations) in both the public and private sector and personally. People who are dreaming up radical changes to the way people can work; the way their employees can work; the way their organisation can engage with customers and citizens; the way they use the power of information and access. If you don’t feel left behind today then you should be just as worried as if you think you are.</p> <p>The problem is that embracing digital costs time, mental capacity, money and other resources (both quantity and access to key skills). This said, the drive to cut cost is relentless. Everyone wants their IT cost and IT organisation to be smaller. The fastest route is using traditional methods, such as standard frameworks; breaking up contracts; supply chain consolidation; moving everything to the cloud; labour arbitrage; the use of consumer-grade IT and network.</p> <p>The only problem is, that driving this agenda won’t digitise customer channels; it won’t mobilise workforce; it won’t allow you to connect everything and to embrace the opportunities brought from everything being connected; it won’t allow you to leverage the sharing and use of data to be smarter; or to become more flexible and adaptive; or to get closer to your end users to be more relevant and purposeful.</p> <p><em>All it will do is disaggregate technology and drive a lower IT cost.</em></p> <p>The irony is that embracing digital is actually the route to fundamentally changing the way an organisation works, including step-changing the cost. In fact, there isn’t any other way. It’s just we have to work out how to get started. If we want to mobilise our people, engage our citizens or customers digitally and transform our business to run off of insight – we will have little choice but to embrace it.</p> <p>So how do you to break the cycle of lower budgets; wrong skills; less recourse; less appetite for risk and failure - and move forward with conviction of an embedded and supported digital transformation journey. Two key ingredients are needed. Two sides of the same coin.</p> <p><strong>The first is strong leadership.</strong> Leadership that believes the fundamental medium-term future is in a digital world and taking incremental steps to cut cost is counter-productive.</p> <p>Just seeing technology as a cost will just get us to a lower cost case. Deciding to jump into digital transformation means starting with a really clear position on how an organisation will work in the new world. Which brings me to the second point.</p> <p><strong>The second point is strong leadership</strong>. Leadership that can articulate what you are aiming for and how you will get there. This is really important because 80% of digital transformation is about culture change and not about technology change. Which brings me back to having a strong leadership in place. It’s not that one cannot build a technology roadmap for digital transformation – I’m pretty sure you can.</p> <p>Earlier in this blog I asked you to think about the role technology plays today compared with 2 years ago. I wonder how many of us actually do that. Because right now is the time.</p> <p>The point is if we don’t embrace it now, we will only feel isolated and victimised. That’s why, if one decides to drive the digital transformation, it has to start with culture. Otherwise, you can’t set out on a journey hoping to open the champagne in two years. Whether you have succeeded will be more about the culture in your organisation than whether you’ve implemented a load of technology properly.</p> <p>Those who get diverted by short-term decision-making will not digitally transform. Neither will those who use technology roadmaps that are not created off the back of business and culture-led outcomes. To give my reader a simple example, mobilising a workforce requires technology but more than that it requires a change in attitude towards working in a mobile always-on way.</p> <p>Digital leadership is about having a clear single-minded vision that properly leverages the opportunity from the digitisation of everything; along with a stubbornness to not yield to the short-term; as well as an uncompromising attitude towards setting out on a path directed by culture instead of technology.</p> <p>These are not normally qualities people look for in an organisation but times have changed. Culture change has to be radical to keep up and keep ahead. Things will not slow down, they can only get faster.</p> <p>Life will feel very different in two years’ time.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #CounciloftheFuture To see more blogs like this, please visit the website <a href="">here.</a></em></p> Decisive Leadership in the Digital Age - Creating a Winning Momentum Thu, 30 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 Georgina Maratheftis(techUK) Guest blog by John Stokoe CB CBE, Head of Strategic Development, Dassault Systemes EuroNorth as part of our #CounciloftheFuture campaign <p>Strong leadership is essential for a business to flourish and succeed in an increasingly complex world. The degree of complexity is growing as the connected, digital economy takes hold across the commercial ecosystem. Data is fast becoming a key business asset, ranking alongside people, operational culture and financial dexterity as elements essential to growth, profitability and competitiveness. In addition, in today's complex and diverse commercial environment, companies which are not in tune with the political and economic nuances of the landscape invariably fail. No company is immune, whether a large corporate or a small enterprise. Global economic shock does not discriminate. Staying alert to - and where possible - anticipating political and economic change is key but even more relevant is retaining a willingness and desire to transform and change. Strong, intelligent and sympathetic leadership is fundamental to keeping pace with such digitally- inspired transformation.</p> <p><strong>Technology - friend or foe?</strong></p> <p>Business leaders can easily be swayed by technology and persuaded to buy the latest suite of digital tools in the assumption that it will propel them into the lead. The leaders in our increasingly digital world need the certainty of confident decision making if they are to make decisions for the right reasons, not beguiled by the increasing number of technologies being pushed towards them.</p> <p><strong>Courageous leadership</strong></p> <p>Transformation to retain a competitive edge is about creating a winning culture, seizing the advantage to be gained by imaginative ideas and innovation, the adoption of new, game-changing technologies, and motivating the most important business assets of people and teams, to be the willing drivers on the route to success. But there are numerous examples in large companies where, despite the application of technology, tortuous levels of approvals, bureaucracy and risk aversion remain, prolonging decision making, introducing unnecessary complexities and adding considerable cost. Such a culture stifles agility, strangles innovation and starts a business on the inevitable downward spiral to oblivion. The leader in the digital world, where data is instantly available and displayed, needs the courage to permit rapid decision making to get inside the competition's decision cycle - being able to think and act faster than a competitor in order to win. That requires the courage to take risks.</p> <p><strong>Trust, support and team work break down barriers</strong></p> <p>The need to trust leaders in this volatile environment is fundamental. Trusted leaders are supported leaders. Supported leaders breed active team work. Team work creates a culture where anything is possible and achievable.. Not doing so in the new, digitised world, makes a mockery of the very technology which is there to transform the business by serving the people who will drive that transformation.</p> <p>The culture must embrace the complex demands of leadership and encourage development and progress, giving impetus to the imagination of the young employees. Interns and graduates arrive enthusiastic and full of promise - all too often that enthusiasm is dampened by corporate processes and behaviours and the potential power of the individual is lost.</p> <p><strong>Leadership, sustainability and resilience to reduce fear of the future</strong></p> <p>To conclude, leaders who embrace the demands of the increasingly complex digital world will empower their people to think widely, to act differently and to be part of the success which comes from the appropriate use of relevant technology. Achieve the right balance and the company will strike the perfect relationship between customers and their expectations, business and its drive for efficiency and competitiveness, and academia as the powerhouse for developing the people at the heart of the digital future.&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #CounciloftheFuture To see more blogs like this, please visit the website <a href="insights/opinions/item/11782-council-of-the-future-campaign-week">here.</a></em></p> 7 Principles Councils Should Consider for the Future of Customer Experience Wed, 29 Nov 2017 10:27:27 +0000 Georgina Maratheftis(techUK) Guest blog by Chris Melia, Head of Digital Customer Experience, Capita as part of our #CounciloftheFuture campaign <p>Austerity measures, rapid technology enhancements and customers’ digital expectations have all acted as a catalyst in the demand for (and ability to deliver) online public services. From registering the birth of a child, or providing an environment for customers to interact 24/7 with a council, most councils are somewhere along the road of transforming their services to make them easier to use and more efficient.</p> <p>Inevitably, there will be local challenges and digital drivers – but we also see several common principles that all local authorities should be considering when embarking on projects to improve the customer experience.</p> <p><strong>1. Many small gains</strong></p> <p>Pragmatism can often be overlooked in the race to implement the next piece of technology or a slicker customer journey. Very often it is the smaller, iterative changes that can add real benefit. In a world of fast moving technology and reduced budgets, digital pragmatism is exactly what local authorities require. Many small gains can accumulate to large-scale savings.</p> <p><strong>2. Start at the end</strong></p> <p>Start with the end user. It means you can truly understand the demographic of your service users and will allow you to design a service in the optimal way to achieve objectives.</p> <p><strong>3. Behind the front door</strong></p> <p>Always focus on the end-to-end journey. You could create a well-designed website, full of online services, but how do you get customers on the website in the first place? Consider how new and existing access channels work together seamlessly.</p> <p><strong>4. Don’t be disjointed when it comes to technology</strong></p> <p>It’s not just about the technology. Whether you are buying an off-the-shelf product or building a bespoke system, software is clearly an enabler to achieving your financial and customer satisfaction objectives. However, the extent to which you have integration as part of your customers’ journey is the key to maximising success, as this supports a seamless customer experience</p> <p><strong>5. ‘Can’t find what you are looking for?’</strong></p> <p>A council’s website is increasingly becoming the front door to services. Housing good quality and accessible content is more important than ever. Poor navigation, broken links, jargon-heavy pages or simply not putting the online options at the fore can have a negative impact and result in customers defaulting to non-online options. Investment is being made into e-forms and content management systems (CMS) but the way in which content is being managed is not always changing at the same pace.</p> <p><strong>6. One size doesn’t always fit all</strong></p> <p>Off-the-shelf products can provide a generic solution for webforms. This makes sense, for example, reporting a missed bin is the same wherever you are, right? But does that form have the same user experience as the rest of your site? Is the layout accessible to the service user and demographic? Does the form integrate to core back office systems? And, do you have the skills and access to update the form to respond to customer behaviours without incurring significant cost? These questions should always be addressed to generate the best results.</p> <p><strong>7. You’ll never design the perfect customer journey</strong></p> <p>This might sound strange but there will always be room for improvement because technology, customer habits and public services never stand still. When a programme or project is finished there should always be a function for quality monitoring and reviewing customer feedback and interactions. As services become further digitised, the role of contact centres will change and you should think about how you re-invest some of these financial efficiencies into resources to continually drive further improvements in service delivery.</p> <p>Achieving the right balance of customer journey improvements and financial efficiencies can present resourcing challenges. Understandably in this climate, local authorities won’t always have the in-house capacity or blend of skills to do all of these things, but many organisations are now identifying where they have gaps and are finding flexible ways to access specific skills and capacity, for example through agile project delivery or ‘work alongside models’ from the private sector. Councils adopting this pragmatic approach to digital will be more likely to generate higher returns on digital and be well-placed to adapt as technology continually evolves.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #CounciloftheFuture To see more blogs like this, please visit the website <a href="">here.</a></em></p> Future Gazing: What Tech will the Government of 2030 Use? (Part 2) Wed, 29 Nov 2017 10:00:00 +0000 Georgina Maratheftis(techUK) techUK’s Local Government Programme Manager speaks to Paul Tomlinson, Managing Director, IEG4 as part of the #CounciloftheFuture campaign <p><em>You can view the first part of the interview <a href="insights/opinions/item/11801-futuregazing-what-tech-will-the-government-of-2030-use">here.</a>&nbsp;</em></p> <p><em><strong>What is the challenge related to adoption (why aren't all governments using the tech now?)</strong></em></p> <p>Local government services often require difficult judgements even in routine processes – for example, the provision of benefits - and dealing with complex cases requires time and skill. There can be a conflict, however, as council employees currently spend a lot of time on the mundane elements of the process, giving them less time for considering the evidence and thinking through those judgements that are not routine.</p> <p>The outlook is already changing, however, with the emergence of Robotic Processing Automation (RPA). RPA provides a new, more efficient approach to dealing with those routine tasks. There is already the potential to free up valuable staff time from the mundane, enabling them to focus on the complex decisions and interactions that really need the human touch.</p> <p>RPA robot processes can also consistently automate the implementation of decisions based on council rules, just leaving the subjective to interpretation by the council officers. By 2030, RPA will be commonplace in every area of processing, whether in the public or private sector.</p> <p>The technological implementation of rules within citizen facing web forms has been available for some time. However, government has been slow to adopt this relatively straightforward technology, which is used extensively in the private sector. The implementation of rules enables a ‘form’ to give a definitive ‘yes or no’ to a service request, based on the council rules and the data the citizen input, with non-conclusive cases being deferred to a council officer for investigation and decision. This has advantages around both citizen experience and time saving for the citizen and council. However, council culture, and the willingness to ‘let go’ of decisions to technology has meant adoption has been low.</p> <p>Councils may have been slow to adopt some of the newer technologies prevalent today. But, speaking with those working in government, I see this changing. It is changing as a result of pressure and expectation from citizens, pressure and expectation from an efficiency or cost-saving point of view, and pressure and expectation from officers themselves, who now want to provide an ‘Amazon-like’ experience for their citizens. By 2030, all of the above technologies I mention will be mature. Some may survive, some will evolve.</p> <p>But the key will be what the generation born since 2000 will expect from government tech in 2030. And, who knows what that will be?</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #CounciloftheFuture To see more blogs like this, please visit the website <a href="insights/opinions/item/11782-council-of-the-future-campaign-week">here.</a></em></p> (Machine) Data and the Council of the Future Wed, 29 Nov 2017 10:00:00 +0000 Georgina Maratheftis(techUK) Guest blog by Gordon Morrison, Director for EMEA Government Affairs, Splunk as part of our #CounciloftheFuture campaign <p>The world is changing. By 2020 there will be more connected devices (200Bn) of all sizes and in all walks of our lives[1]. Astronomical (and I used that term purposely) amounts of data[2] will be processed annually in the UK, and machine learning will potentially transform our lives[3].</p> <p>There will also be a continued and perhaps increased need for citizen services provided by local and regional councils. People will still need social care and environmental services. They will still require roads to be repaired and planning applications to be processed. They will need the council to be prepared to respond in a crisis and engage with them in ever evolving new ways. But, the council must do this as the world gets more complex, citizen service expectations increase and resources become scarcer.</p> <p>Because of this councils will evolve to be very different in the future. Services will be citizen enabled, meaning the individual will interface directly and create the demand. They will be organisationally smaller in size and they may also become technology leaders in fields such as Internet of Things deployment and data sharing / analytics.</p> <p>In fact, as staff numbers and budgets decrease the only resource that’s going to increase is the amount of machine data a council will generate and perhaps harness. In the near to long term future councils will generate huge amounts of machine data as they operate large IT estates, deploy automation and develop IoT based services.</p> <p>As we move to a more automated citizen centric model, effective utilisation of machine data will become more and more critical. A council of the future will be an outcome focussed ‘factory’, producing targeted and perhaps anticipated outcomes for its citizens, and radical exploitation of machine data will support this.</p> <p>The council will be able to use data analytics to predict potential problems not only in their underlying service provision and cyber operations but will perhaps be able to see underlying trends. We are seeing this in other industries already - Toufic Boubez in our 2017 Splunk Predictions commented; ‘In 2017, industries will leverage machine learning to execute predictive maintenance. As automation is used to quickly and efficiently ensure business continuity, enterprises will turn to machine learning to up the ante.’</p> <p>Using the ‘factory’ analogy - councils will monitor outcome generation performance by linking citizen service satisfaction with the process that generated it. They will also be able to manage the increasing complexity, not only achieving visibility across their IT estate but ensuring that as we move into an era of IoT and smart cities, IT Ops, Cyber and Service owners will operate strategically though a ‘single cohesive organisational view’ rather than a stove piped tactical view.</p> <p>Finally, process automation will become increasingly common in the council of the future. Currently mundane human tasks in Cyber, IT Ops and Service Provision will be increasingly automated and machine data is critical to this. This is not about displacing the people that work in the council of the future but about using machine data and automation to put those people where they will really benefit the citizen.</p> <p>Our call to action around the council is positive. Things will change significantly over the next few years and it’s going to be difficult, but the services a council provides will remain critical to its citizens. The council of the future will be at the forefront of this technological revolution – industry, government, the citizen and other parties should embrace this and recognise it, life will be complex but the way we change people’s lives can be revolutionised.</p> <p>[1] <a href=""></a></p> <p>[2] <a href=""></a></p> <p>[3] <a href=""></a></p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #CounciloftheFuture To see more blogs like this, please visit the website <a href="insights/opinions/item/11782-council-of-the-future-campaign-week">here.</a></em></p> The Case for AI Tue, 28 Nov 2017 10:00:00 +0000 Georgina Maratheftis(techUK) Guest blog by Phil Brunkard, CIO – Regional Government & Health, BT as part of our #CounciloftheFuture campaign <h3><strong>Keeping the lights on</strong></h3> <p>While some experts believe <a href="">several major structural factors are converging to create new impetus for innovation and experimentation</a>, many councils are struggling to ‘keep the lights on’ in the face of ongoing budget challenges. Council leaders are having to <a href="">make tough decisions to find the funds to support increasing pressures of adult social care, housing and homelessness.</a></p> <p>I think most of us recognise the familiar 80/20 principle for IT budgeting, i.e. 80% of the budget is typically needed to keep the lights on with only 20% available for innovation and new development. And this is a familiar problem that many councils still face today. The challenges remain – how to migrate from incumbent systems, shift to cloud, deploy digital channels and outsource services whilst trying to maintain and improve frontline services. And all the time meet increasing citizen expectations in the face of decreasing funds.</p> <p>But are the lights that councils are keeping on energy efficient? While there are several examples over the years of councils applying lean techniques to streamline processes for efficiency savings, there are arguably still opportunities to re-examine what work council ‘knowledge workers’ do each day. How much of their work is really about knowledge and value versus admin and wasteful paperwork?</p> <h3><strong>Where’s the light at the end of the tunnel?</strong></h3> <p>Even if many councils have reduced the amount of paperwork through digitising services and providing community/field workers with access to information and systems via smart mobile devices there is still a considerable amount of drudge work that staff must do. This drudgery usually relates to information based tasks – getting information; documenting and recording it; processing it; analysing or evaluating it and reporting it. All this effort impacts time that could be spent concentrating on more beneficial skill based activities such as adult and social care. Isn’t focusing on the life-changing part of their work the reason why carers took up the job in the first place?</p> <p>This is where automation through adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and cognitive technologies can really drive transformation outcomes for the council of the future. The technologies can significantly ease the amount of casework information handling and administration for care workers. For example, AI technologies can be used for the following tasks:</p> <table style="height: 389px; width: 449px; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Technology</strong></span></p> </td> <td> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Use</strong></span></p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p><strong>Chatbots</strong></p> </td> <td> <ul> <li>Appointments scheduling</li> <li>Handling queries</li> <li>Automated follow-up and documentation processing</li> <li>Remote diagnosis</li> </ul> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p><strong>Robotic Process Automation (RPA)</strong></p> </td> <td> <ul> <li>Case application screening, verification and qualification</li> <li>Form auto-filling</li> </ul> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p><strong>Machine Learning</strong></p> </td> <td> <ul> <li>High-risk cases assessment</li> <li>Fraud detection</li> <li>Personalisation of service delivery</li> <li>Case prioritisation</li> </ul> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>Clearly this can be seen as beneficial for staff and citizens alike if the focus is on improving service and not strictly about reducing costs.</p> <h3><strong>A bright future?</strong></h3> <p>The technology does not have to be about cutting staff headcount but about providing new tools to work in new ways to deliver better outcomes for citizens. AI enabled automation will unlikely displace tasks or roles instantly. Change is likely to be gradual and manageable. No doubt there will be social and political resistance but ultimately, as history shows, revolutionary change becomes the norm over time. While many tasks and some jobs will be displaced, <a href="">new higher-skilled jobs will be created</a>. Someone will be needed to train and explain to the robots!</p> <p>Ultimately, more forward-thinking local authorities will see AI technology as an opportunity to reimagine how future services can be delivered making the most of integrating human and machine-based skills side by side and essentially delivery better citizen outcomes in a high-paced ever-changing digital world.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #CounciloftheFuture To see more blogs like this, please visit the website <a href="insights/opinions/item/11782-council-of-the-future-campaign-week">here.</a></em></p> Will Voice Controlled Smart Devices Change the Game for Council Communications? Tue, 28 Nov 2017 09:27:00 +0000 Georgina Maratheftis(techUK) Guest blog by Mark Garvey, CEO, Whitespace Work Software Limited as part of our #CounciloftheFuture campaign <p>As practical applications grow, the British scepticism towards Smart Devices appears to be on the wane, with an estimated 40% of UK households owning a Smart Speaker by the end of 2018.</p> <p>No longer are Voice Controlled Smart Devices confined to playing music and turning your lights on. The IoT industry is seeing huge investment from the likes of Amazon and Google to ensure that Voice Enabled Smart Devices become the go to method for online services within the home.</p> <p>“<em>It has become more than acceptable for people to have a conversation with a smart device in their home</em>” comments Mark Garvey, CEO of Whitespace Work Software. “<em>As this level of communication becomes more prevalent, one must ask how councils will act to respond to the public’s expectations</em>.”</p> <p>The Smart Speakers market is seeing new entrants every month, but the UK market is still dominated by Amazon and its Alexa based Echo products. “<em>We chose to partner with Amazon because of their market position, willingness to work with software suppliers and competitive pricing for the public</em>.” states Nick Hales, CTO of Whitespace Work Software.</p> <p>By partnering with providers, local authorities will be able to provide a mass market solution with a low barrier to entry. Much like the smartphone market with the Android and Apple operating systems, local authorities can focus on providing maximum efficiencies to the public whilst only having to support popular services or devices.</p> <p>Whitespace Work Software is actively pushing the boundaries of Smart Speakers and Voice Assistant integration to Council services. By integrating their Waste and Environmental Software with Smart Devices Whitespace allows the public to request a whole variety of information such as “<em>when will the council next collect my bin?</em>” or “<em>what can I recycle?</em>”</p> <p>Whitespace’s technological advances also allow the public to notify or request a number of services from their local authority including recording a missed bin collection, faulty streetlight or even antisocial behaviour.</p> <p>The potential benefits of embracing this technology within a local authority are huge. “<em>By embracing Voice Controlled Technology we have been able to open services to residents who previously were unable to use Smart Devices, websites or the telephone, whilst simultaneously increasing the use of online council services directly helping to drive down costs</em>” states Mark Garvey.</p> <p>Much like advances with the internet and email drove councils to embrace online interactions with the public, the question remains whether or not this latest technology revolution will drive innovation and efficiency in a voice controlled future.</p> <p>Mark Garvey thinks so: “<em>The goal must be to have a fully connected world where Council services and information can be accessed at home, on the move and in the workplace. Smart Speakers and Voice Assistants are a key part of our strategy to keep Council residents, employees and third parties at the forefront of practical technology in the years to come.</em>”</p> <p>For more information on the Connected Council and how Whitespace Work Software can help visit <a href=""></a>, email: or call 01483 231650.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #CounciloftheFuture To see more blogs like this, please visit the website <a href="insights/opinions/item/11782-council-of-the-future-campaign-week">here.</a></em></p> How Artificial Intelligence is Helping Local Governments meet Residents’ Demands Tue, 28 Nov 2017 09:15:00 +0000 Georgina Maratheftis(techUK) Guest blog by Mikhail Naumov, Co-Founder and President, DigitalGenius as part of our #CounciloftheFuture campaign <p>Residents are the customers of governments and local councils. Perhaps a radical idea for some, but it shouldn’t be. As citizens, we pay taxes in exchange for public services. Just like when we pay a local restaurant for our meal, our patronage deserves a well-designed service experience in return.</p> <p>The private sector, more often than not, leads the way when it comes to the implementation of new and more efficient technologies to serve its customers. Customer-centric companies are ahead of the game when it comes to optimising customer service delivery. Through their work and experimentation, we've seen, for example, that rules-based robotic answers don’t work well in customer service. Great customer (and resident) service will always require the 'human touch' and this is why the combination of Human+AI works best in this scenario for the following reasons:</p> <p>First of all, customer service rules-based chatbots fail frequently. They don’t recognise context or emotions. This leaves customers frustrated when chatbots are not able to help them. Great customer service requires a healthy blend of efficiency and human touch to deliver a wholesome experience. By removing the human element completely in favor of a chatbot, proves dangerous for the customer or resident journey.</p> <p>Secondly, there are a few areas where machines do actually perform better than humans. AI is better at crunching repetitive tasks like ticket filing, routing or database searching. Delegating these tasks to an AI lets humans focus entirely on delivering empathetic customer service. Humans excel at injecting humour and creativity while understanding complex situations. Imagine contacting your local council about a difficult landlord. Would you want to be assisted by a bot? Or a caring human augmented by an efficient AI assistant?</p> <p>This method of empowering human reps with AI is already working well in the private sector. For example, with DigitalGenius, customer service professionals experience a 20-40% increase in response efficiency and customers see faster and better replies. Plus, because humans no longer spend time on repetitive, mind numbing tasks, they are able to put their skills to more valuable tasks. They’re happier and more fulfilled in their role. Which is what we need -- happy and empowered people on both sides of the customer service equation.</p> <p>The public sector has just as much to gain from adopting AI technology to help streamline service delivery to residents and constituents. Local councils are commonly stretched to do more with less as austerity measures and budget cuts come into play. These challenges shouldn’t translate to a poor experience for citizens. Implementing a Human+AI 'resident' service strategy can help local councils continue to improve access to government services for a large population with continuously growing set of expectations.</p> <p>The bottom line is that the public sector can tend to play catch-up with private businesses when it comes to implementing new technology. But they shouldn’t drag their feet on AI adoption. At DigitalGenius, we help enterprise companies to fulfill their customer demands in a timely and consistent manner and we are also helping governments and local councils like the <a href="Residents%20are%20the%20customers%20of%20governments%20and%20local%20councils.%20Perhaps%20a%20radical%20idea%20for%20some,%20but%20it%20shouldn’t%20be.%20As%20citizens,%20we%20pay%20taxes%20in%20exchange%20for%20public%20services.%20Just%20like%20when%20we%20pay%20a%20local%20restaurant%20for%20our%20meal,%20our%20patronage%20deserves%20a%20well-designed%20service%20experience%20in%20return.%20%20The%20private%20sector,%20more%20often%20than%20not,%20leads%20the%20way%20when%20it%20comes%20to%20the%20implementation%20of%20new%20and%20more%20efficient%20technologies%20to%20serve%20its%20customers.%20Customer-centric%20companies%20are%20ahead%20of%20the%20game%20when%20it%20comes%20to%20optimising%20customer%20service%20delivery.%20Through%20their%20work%20and%20experimentation,%20we've%20seen,%20for%20example,%20that%20rules-based%20robotic%20answers%20don’t%20work%20well%20in%20customer%20service.%20Great%20customer%20(and%20resident)%20service%20will%20always%20require%20the%20'human%20touch'%20and%20this%20is%20why%20the%20combination%20of%20Human+AI%20works%20best%20in%20this%20scenario%20for%20the%20following%20reasons:%20%20First%20of%20all,%20customer%20service%20rules-based%20chatbots%20fail%20frequently.%20They%20don’t%20recognise%20context%20or%20emotions.%20This%20leaves%20customers%20frustrated%20when%20chatbots%20are%20not%20able%20to%20help%20them.%20Great%20customer%20service%20requires%20a%20healthy%20blend%20of%20efficiency%20and%20human%20touch%20to%20deliver%20a%20wholesome%20experience.%20By%20removing%20the%20human%20element%20completely%20in%20favor%20of%20a%20chatbot,%20proves%20dangerous%20for%20the%20customer%20or%20resident%20journey.%20%20Secondly,%20there%20are%20a%20few%20areas%20where%20machines%20do%20actually%20perform%20better%20than%20humans.%20AI%20is%20better%20at%20crunching%20repetitive%20tasks%20like%20ticket%20filing,%20routing%20or%20database%20searching.%20Delegating%20these%20tasks%20to%20an%20AI%20lets%20humans%20focus%20entirely%20on%20delivering%20empathetic%20customer%20service.%20Humans%20excel%20at%20injecting%20humour%20and%20creativity%20while%20understanding%20complex%20situations.%20Imagine%20contacting%20your%20local%20council%20about%20a%20difficult%20landlord.%20Would%20you%20want%20to%20be%20assisted%20by%20a%20bot?%20Or%20a%20caring%20human%20augmented%20by%20an%20efficient%20AI%20assistant?%20%20This%20method%20of%20empowering%20human%20reps%20with%20AI%20is%20already%20working%20well%20in%20the%20private%20sector.%20For%20example,%20with%20DigitalGenius,%20customer%20service%20professionals%20experience%20a%2020-40%%20increase%20in%20response%20efficiency%20and%20customers%20see%20faster%20and%20better%20replies.%20Plus,%20because%20humans%20no%20longer%20spend%20time%20on%20repetitive,%20mind%20numbing%20tasks,%20they%20are%20able%20to%20put%20their%20skills%20to%20more%20valuable%20tasks.%20They’re%20happier%20and%20more%20fulfilled%20in%20their%20role.%20Which%20is%20what%20we%20need%20--%20happy%20and%20empowered%20people%20on%20both%20sides%20of%20the%20customer%20service%20equation.%20%20The%20public%20sector%20has%20just%20as%20much%20to%20gain%20from%20adopting%20AI%20technology%20to%20help%20streamline%20service%20delivery%20to%20residents%20and%20constituents.%20Local%20councils%20are%20commonly%20stretched%20to%20do%20more%20with%20less%20as%20austerity%20measures%20and%20budget%20cuts%20come%20into%20play.%20These%20challenges%20shouldn’t%20translate%20to%20a%20poor%20experience%20for%20citizens.%20Implementing%20a%20Human+AI%20'resident'%20service%20strategy%20can%20help%20local%20councils%20continue%20to%20improve%20access%20to%20government%20services%20for%20a%20large%20population%20with%20continuously%20growing%20set%20of%20expectations.%20%20%20The%20bottom%20line%20is%20that%20the%20public%20sector%20can%20tend%20to%20play%20catch-up%20with%20private%20businesses%20when%20it%20comes%20to%20implementing%20new%20technology.%20But%20they%20shouldn’t%20drag%20their%20feet%20on%20AI%20adoption.%20At%20DigitalGenius,%20we%20help%20enterprise%20companies%20to%20fulfill%20their%20customer%20demands%20in%20a%20timely%20and%20consistent%20manner%20and%20we%20are%20also%20helping%20governments%20and%20local%20councils%20like%20the%20Aylesbury%20Vale%20District%20Council%20with%20our%20Human+AI%20solution%20to%20provide%20more%20efficient%20services%20to%20residents.%20-%20Link%20to%20press%20release.%20%20Empowering%20contact%20centres%20with%20AI%20leads%20to%20faster,%20high-quality%20responses%20to%20citizens,%20happy%20public%20sector%20workers%20and%20reduced%20contact%20centre%20costs.%20AI%20innovation%20is%20a%20win-win-win%20for%20citizens,%20public%20and%20private%20sector%20in%20the%20UK.%20%20To%20find%20out%20more,">Aylesbury Vale District Council with our Human+AI solution</a> to provide more efficient services to residents.&nbsp;</p> <p>Empowering contact centres with AI leads to faster, high-quality responses to citizens, happy public sector workers and reduced contact centre costs. AI innovation is a win-win-win for citizens, public and private sector in the UK.</p> <p>To find out more, please download our best-selling book <a href="">AI is my Friend: A Practical Guide for Contact Centers </a>or contact to request a hard copy.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #CounciloftheFuture To see more blogs like this, please visit the website <a href="insights/opinions/item/11782-council-of-the-future-campaign-week">here.</a></em></p> Emerging Tech Trends: Revolutionising Local Government Tue, 28 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 Georgina Maratheftis(techUK) Guest blog by Jos Creese, Strategic Advisor, Advice Cloud as part of our #CounciloftheFuture campaign <p>20 years ago, it was technological sacrilege in any organisation to suggest that IT should drive the business – it was a tool and a utility, the purpose of which was there to serve the business. Responsive IT meant an IT department that was able to bend and to adapt technology potential to fit the needs and preferences of the business, and anything less was a failure of technology.</p> <p>Today much has changed and, for many organisations, including councils, the future is one where technology IS the business. It is technology that is creating new digital operating models, empowering staff, citizens and partners to self-serve and leading to information insights into intractable public service challenges unimaginable a few years ago.</p> <p>This does not mean that councils should or will become increasingly remote, faceless, impersonal and robotic in the future. In fact, the reverse will be true in the best performing councils. It is about freeing the potential of technology to revolutionise the business of local government to reinvigorate local democracy, bring communities and services closer together, maximise choice of how scarce public resources are spent and allow people to be in more control of their interactions with public services.</p> <p>Technologies such as robotics, wearable IT, personal apps, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and virtual reality all offer enormous untapped potential for councils to rethink not just how they operate, but fundamentally what they do. Technology can, ironically perhaps, make service more personal, more designed around the individual, more responsive and less likely to say ’no’ or to make a mistake.</p> <p>But it needs a significant culture shift in the relationship with technology, recognising that digital solutions must be designed around the user, not the efficiency of the business. This means changes to roles, structures, governance, services, processes, decision-making, risk models, policies, style and cultures ... pretty much everything councils do, and that is scary. It is not about more, or new IT in isolation, it’s about a vision of how traditional council services can be transformed by new technologies, not just modified or enhanced, or made more efficient and bit more joined up.</p> <p>I want to see the current paraphernalia of UK public services dating from the 1990s and earlier, stripped back, and a new digital finish applied. I want control of my data, I want to have a say in how my money is spent where possible, and where it is for community of national benefits to see transparently how its spent and to what effect. And I want it to be as local as feasible.</p> <p>Councils will and should still be paternalistic, offering support when required, but better targeted, timed and aligned across related services (whoever provides them) than happens today. That depends on new technologies which allow those who can, to do things for themselves, and those who need help to receive it quickly and effectively – in many ways future technology offers vulnerable and disabled people more opportunity for life chances and equality than for any group.</p> <p>That is an exciting future for councils. It is one where difficult and complex problems such as ‘troubled families’, stimulating local economies and jobs, waste management, congestion, voter apathy, equality, and more, may for more readily tackled through local partnerships, devolution of resources and data insights. It is one where <a href="">today’s resources pressures may be alleviated by operating differently</a>, shedding generations of overheads and outdated working practices. And it is one where, in smart places, local government could become the most important player in defining how technology can be used for public good.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #CounciloftheFuture To see more blogs like this, please visit the website <a href="insights/opinions/item/11782-council-of-the-future-campaign-week">here.</a></em></p> Digital Identity for Crime Prevention Mon, 27 Nov 2017 17:02:07 +0000 Francesca Whyte (techUK) Guest blog by the Sponsor of our upcoming Justice & Emergency Services Reception, Yoti <blockquote>Sponsor of the upcoming Justice &amp; Emergency Services Reception: Written by Julie Dawson,&nbsp;Director of Regulatory &amp; Policy, Yoti</blockquote> <p>Yoti can be of significant use in the battle against crime. As our lives are increasingly spent online, the digital platforms we use become the predominant attack surface for criminals. Recent stats show that fraud and computer misuse make up almost half of all crime — with anonymity online being identified as a key driver of the proliferation of digital crime.<br /> <br />How then, can Yoti’s digital identity and age verification platform help to reduce fraud and safeguard the vulnerable in their online interactions?</p> <p>Given the rise of identity fraud, a great first step would be to remove the burden and associated risk of carrying around our identity documents, like our passport or driving licence. With Yoti, people have control of a digital version of their driving licence, passport or PASS card to prove who they are online and in person. This provides individuals and businesses with a trusted anchor document, and in turn makes life significantly harder for fraudsters.</p> <p>Online age verification helps to ensure that young people are not accessing potentially harmful age restricted content (e.g. anorexia chat rooms or adult content sites) and prevents underage users from opening inappropriate online accounts. When the Digital Economy Act comes into play in April next year, Yoti will be helping providers of age restricted content with compliance and safety for their users.</p> <p>Yoti can also help retailers with self-checkouts to confirm that someone is eligible to buy age restricted goods, like alcohol, in person. Identity verification on online dating sites gives people the confidence they need to meet up with the people they talk to online.</p> <p>Immigration fraud would be curtailed and finding somewhere to live would be easier too. When tenants have digital identities linked to official documents there is less risk and time involved for everyone.</p> <p>Online identity checks can help to prevent fraud in high value retail transactions, like electronic goods and for KYC (Know your Customer checks; while peer to peer network activity can be made much safer with digital identities. Buying and selling on classified sites, renting out rooms online or sharing a car trip on sharing economy sites will, with Yoti, make for safer transactions and experiences all around the world.</p> <p>Lastly, linking third party attributes (like criminal record checks, first aid, safeguarding qualifications) to a digital identity can help youth organisations to attract and manage the volunteers they need while deterring applicants with the wrong motives. With digital identities we can empower citizens to take responsibility for a degree of crime prevention.</p> <p><strong>For more information about Yoti, <a href="" target="_blank">click here.</a></strong></p> <hr /> <p>For further information, please contact:</p> Autumn Budget 2017: A Step in the Right Direction for Digital Devolution Mon, 27 Nov 2017 16:30:12 +0000 Georgina Maratheftis(techUK) techUK’s Local Government Programme Manager looks at what the Autumn Budget means for future of devolution <p>Last week’s Budget reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to devolution by announcing a number of policies empowering cities to grow their economies. Firstly, a £1.7 billion new transforming cities fund through the National Productivity Infrastructure Fund (NPIF) to improve connectivity and support jobs across England’s great city regions. The Transforming Cities Fund, newly launched, main focus will be funding local transport links. It will address weaknesses in city transport systems in order to raise productivity and spread prosperity.</p> <p><strong>More Devolution Deals</strong></p> <p>Further devolution deals included North of Tyne, covering Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland, as well as a second round of devolution deal for the West Midlands. Tees Valley and Liverpool City Region will also look to build on their first deal.</p> <p><strong>The Role of New Metro Mayor Can’t Be Underestimated</strong></p> <p>The city regions with metro mayors were the clear winners from the Budget when you see where the investment, particularly for the new Transforming Cities Fund, has been allocated. Furthermore, the success of the second West Midlands devolution deal illustrates the potential and influence a new metro mayor can leverage.</p> <p>The West Midlands devolution deal also paves the way for future deals to commit digital capability at the heart. This devolution agreement commits Government and the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to a number of steps which support the delivery of a local industrial strategy in areas including housing, skills and employment, transport, air quality, energy and digital and through investment in key growth sectors such as advanced manufacturing, digital and new technologies. As highlighted in <a href="insights/reports/item/10665-digital-devolution">techUK’s Digital Devolution: A Guide for Mayors,</a> the WMCA recognises the potential of data to improve public service delivery using data and analytics securely and effectively for integrated local decision-making, planning and delivery. This is a very welcome move and <a href="insights/news/item/10804-inventing-the-future-techuk-launches-2017-manifesto">techUK’s 2017 Manifesto ‘Inventing the Future</a>’ called for digital to be a core part of all future devolution deals. Digital devolution enables a strong digital infrastructure and culture across a place that will ultimately deliver improved service outcomes for all and drive continuous economic growth.</p> <p>The Autumn Budget clearly shows the Government’s commitment to devolution. Devolution presents one of the biggest opportunities to do things differently, breaking down the traditional barriers to service delivery to drive improved outcomes for all. The Budget shows the potential that can be leveraged by having a metro mayor. However, the mayors, with their direct and convening powers, must use their new and unique position to accelerate the pace of transformation, working closely with public sector, the community and industry to deliver better outcomes for all citizens by creating truly joined-up services and places where citizens want to live and thrive. That is why techUK published earlier this year, <a href="insights/reports/item/10665-digital-devolution">A Guide for Mayors,</a> which included a series of questions for the new mayor to ask their team in their first 100 days to help them engender change, build capacity across the eco-system of the place. Other city region areas and the Government should take note of the second WMCA deal and place digital at the heart of their plans and future devolution deals.</p> Future Gazing: What Tech will the Government of 2030 Use? (Part 1) Mon, 27 Nov 2017 11:17:44 +0000 Georgina Maratheftis(techUK) techUK’s Local Government Programme Manager speaks to Paul Tomlinson, Managing Director, IEG4 as part of the #CounciloftheFuture campaign <p><em><strong>What tech do you have in mind for 2030? </strong></em></p> <p>There is no doubt that the technology we have in mind for the government of 2030 to use will be something very different from what we know today. Whether or not you believe that the government lags behind the private sector now in terms of digital transformation, by 2030 a whole new bunch of digital natives or millennials will be in charge - and they are unlikely to be satisfied with public services based on current technology, which by then will be a couple of decades old.</p> <p><em><strong>What is it going to look like in 2030? </strong></em></p> <p>Feel free to be imaginative and speculative. It is likely that services will be grouped around the citizen, in healthcare there will be place-based care, and local hyper-directories which will be accessed by citizens through dedicated Apps. Data analytics will enable the better targeting of services in these directories and will be used to highlight areas of poor or non-existent provision. Predictive forecasting and Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be useful in forecasting and enabling future service provision.</p> <p>This will mean greater emphasis on preventive services, in an endeavour to stem the increasing demand for help before the support need becomes critical or acute, and therefore expensive. This will reduce the demand on scarce resources and deliver the help required more cost-effectively.</p> <p>Wherever government holds data about someone, the citizen will expect the public sector to know who they are and to use that data to deliver a great end-to-end service experience, personalised with instant answers to their questions, and the ability to track progress against service level requests.</p> <p>Voice will play an increasing part in citizens’ interaction with councils, not as a part of costly call centres which have limited operating times, but in the form of voice responses from robots, using AI, relaying information to citizens, in whatever language or medium they choose. Chatbots will grow alongside social media to become a primary source of question and answer process interaction between a citizen and a council. This will not be limited to typing questions and receiving simple text back. With the right infrastructure, your interaction with the bot can be verbal.</p> <p>Smart chatbots will learn, deferring unknown questions to a council officer, but then adding the given answer to their increasing knowledge base. Additionally, smart bots will be able to ‘read’ data from back office silo databases, and ‘tell’ the citizen what he or she needs to know.</p> <p>Increasingly, councils will become ‘commissioning agents’ as opposed to having to directly employ staff to deliver services. And, they will be responsible for coordinating and promoting services provided by others, such as charities and community based providers. As a consequence, the focus will be on citizen outcomes, rather than services, with providers being paid on results.</p> <p>Data sharing using Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) between different public-sector bodies will make the citizen’s digital experience so compelling that it will become the service route of choice. By 2030, it will almost definitely have been assisted by new regulations around software suppliers making APIs freely available to use.</p> <p><em><strong>Why is that so good. Ideally, with evidence. e.g, how much could be saved? Is anyone using the tech today?</strong></em></p> <p>Examples of data sharing in the public sector exist already. The DVLA shares its data to enable those responsible for senior railcard applications to see the evidence that the DVLA already has, thus eliminating the expense and inconvenience of citizens and third parties handling the same evidence twice or more. However, by 2030, I expect this sharing of data to be across multi-tier government. For example, the DVLA may be interacting with a taxi licensing process in a local authority. This can be achieved with a smart API, without the need to pass data both ways. For example, a local authority could push data to the DVLA such as ‘surname’, ‘driving licence number’ and ‘postcode’, and just receive a ‘true’ or ‘false’ response, enabling the application to progress. This interaction could be in real-time across secure pathways, saving many lapsed processing days, and saving council officers and citizens real time to process evidence.</p> <p>Check in on Wednesday for the final part of the interview!</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #CounciloftheFuture To see more blogs like this, please visit the website <a href="insights/opinions/item/11782-council-of-the-future-campaign-week">here.</a></em></p> Finding the Future in the Past Mon, 27 Nov 2017 11:00:00 +0000 Georgina Maratheftis(techUK) Guest blog by Cliff Graham, Vice President – Health and Local Government, CGI as part of our #CounciloftheFuture campaign <p>To see the future, look at the past. In the 1870s, the mayor of Birmingham, Joseph Chamberlain, exploited a slum clearance Act to transform the town into a great city, replete with civic buildings and community pride. Businesses flocked there. Birmingham became powerful. The electorate backed him because he communicated his ideas brilliantly – he even invented the political flyer.</p> <p>Move on to the 21st century. Local authorities’ central government financing has shrunk substantially but demand for their services has grown. Our aging population means that by financial year 2019/20, 56 per cent of all council tax* will be spent on social care. Something has to give. Either tax shoots up or services are slashed – or we take a different approach.</p> <p>Instead of shrinking, the role of local government could expand. At the same time, service users (that’s the public, local businesses and local communities) could involve themselves in delivery, enabled by mobile technologies.</p> <p>Councils – the only elected multiple-member bodies at a local level – could become responsible and accountable for neighbourhood policing, taking on minor crimes such as shoplifting. That’s not such a big change, given that, until a few years ago, police handled parking offences.</p> <p>Councils could also take on local community healthcare, particularly post-operative recovery and chronic conditions, such as those caused by aging. Greater Manchester is already a pathfinder, merging NHS local healthcare and council adult social care budgets.</p> <p>Councils with an expanded role would be the focal point for local communities and a one-stop shop for all local services. Councils become agents, mining the billions of pieces of data they already hold to match supply and demand across services. Each service’s budget allocation would become fluid and evidence-based, rather than subject to annual departmental lobbying.</p> <p>Data mining also allows councils to match services to people – and vice versa. Cross-agency and cross-departmental data sharing becomes possible when people give informed consent, as they do for a DBS check.</p> <p>So, for example, home visit volunteers can be partnered to elderly or convalescent people, reducing demand on social workers and community nurses. This works – our Community Care 360 project in Finland and Norway is already matching clinicians and mobile care workers, including volunteers.</p> <p>Rich data can also be used to grow local economies, identifying opportunities and providing information that helps development agencies to bring resources and talents together.</p> <p>The benefits of data mining do not end there. It is also a step towards recasting council websites as mobile-friendly, two-way portals where citizens can access services, provide ideas and offer their own services.</p> <p>Currently, council websites are siloed, with different application processes for different amenities. With portals, users could place all the services they need in one scrapbook. Application details that are currently duplicated, such as alcohol licensing and planning permission or council tax payments and parking zone permits, could be shared automatically, online. Easier for users, cheaper to service.</p> <p>In multiple-authority areas, an app could merge the different councils’ data. We have seen how using our digital collaboration platform can improve both decision making and citizen services. Similar apps for banking agglomeration have already proved the concept. With local authority portals, citizen self-service would become the norm, reducing costs significantly.</p> <p>Local government becomes more open – and a truly social enterprise. That, in itself, will encourage younger people to be more fully involved in their communities, in the same way as they are immersed in social media.</p> <p>This future of local government will need the same skills Joseph Chamberlain had – a willingness to embrace the latest technologies, great energy, leadership and brilliant communications. It’s a modern version of a Victorian truism: if you want something done, step up and make it possible.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #CounciloftheFuture To see more blogs like this, please visit the website <a href="insights/opinions/item/11782-council-of-the-future-campaign-week">here.</a></em></p> A Digital Future for Joined Up Local Services Mon, 27 Nov 2017 10:30:00 +0000 Georgina Maratheftis(techUK) Guest blog by Steve Knights, Principal Consultant – Public Services, Sopra Steria as part of our #CounciloftheFuture campaign <p>We now view the world through a digital lens, with social media, smartphones and the internet creating a complex future that we must all embrace to survive. We see disruptive technologies, not just changing, but in many instances totally replacing the previous world order. For councils this is leading not only to an immediate need to adapt the way essential services are delivered, but it also raises additional questions about how councils provide community leadership, local democracy, economic growth and cultural change in a constantly and rapidly changing environment.</p> <p>Councils have a long and successful history of adapting to meet the regular challenges placed before them. In recent years we have seen councils rise to the challenge of delivering crucial and critical services in times of deep austerity. These financial challenges still continue and the world around us is changing with citizens’ needs, demands and expectations increasing, often driven by new technologies. To meet these new challenges the ‘council of the future’ no longer just needs to change the way it delivers traditional services but it also has to reconsider its very role and purpose.</p> <p>Councils are beginning to forge new rules of engagement, realising that when we talk of a digital future it is not just about technology change but also about social, cultural and business change. The ‘council of the future’ must provide the local leadership to successfully navigate these rocky waters on behalf of and alongside their individual communities.</p> <p>At Sopra Steria we observe digital change across all sectors and would make the following observations as to the key factors that will support the ‘council of the future’.</p> <p>Strong leadership is essential to managing change that will be predominantly measured by community outcomes. We see the priority for councils being their continued development as the primary leaders of ‘place’, coordinating and organising effective partnerships across all agencies to provide whole life, effective services that fully meet citizen expectations. Citizens increasingly demand joined up services and will increasingly expect seamless delivery paths. Key areas to address are seamless health and care journeys, increasing citizen confidence in law and order and effective integration of local transport.</p> <p>This view of the future is supported by the annual <a href="">digital government survey </a>that IPSOS undertakes on behalf of Sopra Steria to understand citizen expectations of digital services. Consistently the highest priority in the UK has been the ‘creation of a one-stop digital portal for undertaking interactions which need to be performed with multiple agencies’.</p> <p>Data is the bedrock for change – effective management of complex data will support not only the effective delivery of services, but it will allow greater interoperability between agencies. Clear information dashboards will both inform management processes but also improve democratic transparency.</p> <p>Digital platforms need to be implemented that use cloud based technologies to reduce the dependence on fixed infrastructures which will reduce the cost of change and allow the development of agile and dynamic solutions.</p> <p>Automation, robotics and Artificial Intelligence will increasingly be introduced to improve business processes, improve digital communication channels and to release human resources to higher value activities. An example of a successful implementation of this was the introduction of self service and automation to support the delivery of <a href="">Shepway Council’s Revenue and Benefits service.</a></p> <p>Social engagement will increasingly use social media as a channel of choice for the solving of community problems, provision of information and to enhance the democratic process.</p> <p>For many the digital future has already arrived so the ‘council of the future’ needs to prepare to lead their community and place to a new prosperity based on new technologies, new cultures and new ways of delivering business that fully meet the demanding expectations of their citizens.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #CounciloftheFuture To see more blogs like this, please visit the website <a href="insights/opinions/item/11782-council-of-the-future-campaign-week">here.</a></em></p> Investing in Digital Transformation is Just the First Step for the Public Sector Mon, 27 Nov 2017 10:00:00 +0000 Georgina Maratheftis(techUK) Guest blog by Steve Golding, Business Development Director, CenturyLink as part of our #CounciloftheFuture campaign <p><em>Steve Golding, Business Development Director, CenturyLink blogs on how optimising cloud environments can free up revenue for vital public services</em></p> <p>Earlier this year, the government launched its latest <a href="">Digital Strategy </a>outlining its vision for digital public services in the UK. From the delivery of world-class broadband connectivity to robust cybersecurity practices, public clouds and improved digital skills, the government has committed to developing single cross-government platform services – regardless of any departmental divides.</p> <p>With the goal of securing 25 million GOV.UK Verify users by 2020 and adopting new services onto the GOV.UK Pay and GOV.UK Notify platforms, the IT team certainly has its work cut out.</p> <p>Today, government departments, local authorities and devolved assemblies are typically trying hard to tackle fragmented IT environments - with legacy, multiple cloud and on-premise systems often acting as too many cooks in a very complex and busy kitchen. Not only is this environment difficult to manage, it’s also very costly and potentially puts highly sensitive citizen information at unnecessary risk.</p> <p>The technology industry is awash with frightening statistics about what the incoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will mean for organisations, but we have to consider citizens and end-users as key stakeholders in this debate. How can members of the public put their trust in digital government services if it can’t ensure the safety of their private information?</p> <p>The simple answer is they won’t.</p> <p>So how can the government ensure this doesn’t happen? Given that it has set such ambitious goals for public services, building citizen trust in the security of its data is critical.</p> <p>An underlying method for IT to keep information safe is to ensure you have a consolidated view of your IT infrastructure at any given point in time. With a common mash of disparate, siloed and disconnected systems all operating at once - from devops to Oracle and SAP, alongside legacy on-premise systems - you’ll know this isn’t a simple thing to do.</p> <p>Yet it isn’t all doom and gloom. There are tech solutions available right now that work with your existing IT environment – to give you a real-time overview as to how your infrastructure is working (or not). Giving control back to IT means you can define how your cloud services are working at any given time. For example, you’re unlikely to require full-power access to Dev Ops environments on a weekend, so why have so much resource dedicated to it?</p> <p>The benefits of this 360 degree view goes way beyond data security. With a broader perspective on your live infrastructure, you can ensure IT only spends exactly the amount required on optimised cloud services – giving vital funds back to the CFO for other critical investments.</p> <p>As the government embarks on the biggest digital transformation investment of our time, it is crucial that it ensures all projects are fully optimised and efficient – securing data and freeing up revenue to modernise the digital citizen experience across the board.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #CounciloftheFuture&nbsp;To see more blogs like this, please visit the website<a href="insights/opinions/item/11782-council-of-the-future-campaign-week"> here.</a></em></p> Council of the Future………..Right Here, Right Now Mon, 27 Nov 2017 09:30:00 +0000 Georgina Maratheftis(techUK) Guest blog by Alison McKenzie-Folan, Deputy Chief Executive, Wigan Council as part of our #CounciloftheFuture campaign <p>Wigan Council was named Digital Council of the Year last year and passionately champions the role digital plays in improving public service delivery.</p> <p>Alison McKenzie-Folan, deputy chief executive, picks out <strong>five</strong> ways Wigan Council is using digital to enable public service delivery transformation.</p> <p><strong>1. A digital strategy that genuinely drives change</strong></p> <p>Several years ago we embedded a new strategy, The Deal, to deliver a different relationship between the Council and our residents with digital at its heart. This had support from the very top of the organisation and plays a key role in achieving our ambitions for the Borough with digital and technology as a key enabler for reform and growth. Wigan is well placed to take advantage of the growth in digital and technology industries in Greater Manchester and wants to ensure that residents are able to fully benefit from this. The strategy is far-reaching, enabling public sector reform and growth, with a strong focus on equipping residents with the skills for an increasingly digital future. The council has worked closely with voluntary, third sector and private sector partners, to support community initiatives which use technology to create self-reliance.</p> <p><strong>2. Upskilling our workforce in digital skills</strong></p> <p>Wigan Council employs 4,200 staff directly. In asking council staff to adopt a digital-first approach we felt it was crucial that they were encouraged to develop their own digital skills. One way of achieving this is the roll out of the Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award (iDea) with hundreds of staff members now successfully upskilling through online learning. Our staff are also working every day in smarter ways, to enable greater flexibility, reduce travelling time and transport costs. Health and social care staff are working in a completely agile way with other public and community sector services to respond to changes in how people live their lives. In other service areas, inspection staff are mobile, collecting, updating and reviewing data as they visit sites across the borough. Services like waste collection are informed by real time information about resident issues. Our democratic processes are becoming more digital, with paperless meetings, covered live on social media and elected members engaging with residents using social media.</p> <p><strong>3. Let data shape tailored services</strong></p> <p>Wigan has historically made great use of data to help identify those at risk of being unwell or experiencing poor health in the future, but is stepping up its game in terms of making greater use of the data available on a public sector basis. We are pushing data out via our open data site, so that residents can use this to develop innovative solutions for future services, enable self-help or to develop tailored information and services. Developments in consumer technology provide us with great opportunities to build these in to our offer and engage differently with our residents.</p> <p><strong>4. Use digital to assist those most in need</strong></p> <p>We all came into public services to make a difference to those most in need. The potential for digital and tech to improve the lives of residents who access our adult social care services is enormous. We are already using a range of innovative digital assistive technologies, as part of our People Powered Technology (PPT) project, to create new models of independent living and enable self-care. This technology monitors and supports people with disabilities to stay safe and more independent in their homes. In addition the council has already implemented innovative smart technology with social housing residents to reduce energy consumption therefore reducing bills and lowering the risk of problem debt.</p> <p><strong>5. Seize the opportunity</strong></p> <p>Advancements in technology mean that in the future residents will not only be able to transact online but they will be able to see, view and contribute to their records. Residents will have control over who they share their information with and will have choice and control over the services they receive. Lines between public sector organisations are becoming increasingly blurred with the delivery of Place based working in Wigan, this trend is set to continue with information sharing, intelligence and data leading the delivery of services that truly meet the requirements of the population living in a distinct place</p> <p>The pace of technology change is incredible and “new” technology like robotics, drones are finding a place in public sector service delivery, taking over some of the more straightforward aspects of service delivery, creating space for the more important elements of a Council’s role, place shaping, enabling communities and building sustainable futures. We need to approach all of this with an open mind, seize the opportunities and remind ourselves how far we have already come on this journey.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #CounciloftheFuture To see more blogs like this, please visit the website <a href="insights/opinions/item/11782-council-of-the-future-campaign-week">here.</a></em></p> Council of the Future Campaign Week Mon, 27 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 Georgina Maratheftis(techUK) The Campaign Week (27 Nov – 1 Dec) will highlight what the future of local public services will look like in a digital age #CounciloftheFuture <blockquote><img src="images/assets/Local_Gov._Website_banner4.jpg" alt="Local Gov. Website banner4" width="640" height="150" /></blockquote> <blockquote>This week techUK is celebrating how technology is transforming public service outcomes and re-imagining what future local public services will look like</blockquote> <p>A familiar and well-rehearsed narrative for local government is that it is increasingly fragmented and hard to navigate. While this is true, local government is unique in the number of lines of business it operates from zoo licenses to waste congestion! Managing demand and rising expectations at a continued time of financial constraints is no easy feat, and as such councils are embracing and seeing digital as an enabler to doing things differently to deliver more efficient, improved services.</p> <p>During this week’s ‘Council of the Future’ Campaign Week will showcase how tech can be used to drive better local public outcomes and create places where citizens want to live, thrive and work. It will highlight what the ‘art of the possible’ is and showcase the technologies that are disrupting the sector and helping to re-imagine service delivery.</p> <p>Throughout the week we will be looking at topics central in helping to create the environment for the vision of a ‘Council of the Future’ to flourish and succeed:</p> <h3><strong>Monday 27 November -&nbsp;Future Scenarios of the ‘Council of the Future’/What Will Future Local Public Services Look Like</strong></h3> <p>- <strong><a href="insights/opinions/item/11797-council-of-the-future-right-here-right-now" target="_blank">Guest blog:&nbsp;Council of the Future...........Right Here, Right Now</a>&nbsp;</strong>by&nbsp;Alison McKenzie-Folan, Deputy Chief Executive, Wigan Council</p> <p>- <a href="insights/opinions/item/11794-investing-in-digital-transformation-is-just-the-first-step-for-the-public-sector" target="_blank"><strong>Guest blog:&nbsp;Investing in Digital Transformation is Just the First Step for the Public Sector</strong></a> by&nbsp;Steve Golding, Business Development Director, CenturyLink</p> <p>-<strong> <a href="insights/opinions/item/11795-a-digital-future-for-joined-up-local-services" target="_blank">Guest blog:&nbsp;A Digital Future for Joined Up Local Services</a>&nbsp;</strong>by&nbsp;Steve Knights, Principal Consultant – Public Services, Sopra Steria</p> <p>- <a href="insights/opinions/item/11796-finding-the-future-in-the-past" target="_blank"><strong>Guest blog: Finding the Future in the Past</strong></a><strong>&nbsp;</strong>by Cliff Graham, Vice President – Health and Local Government, CGI</p> <p><strong>-&nbsp;<a href="insights/opinions/item/11801-futuregazing-what-tech-will-the-government-of-2030-use">Guest blog:&nbsp;Future Gazing: What Tech will the Government of 2030 Use? (Part 1)</a></strong>&nbsp;by&nbsp;Paul Tomlinson, Managing Director, IEG4</p> <h3><strong>Tuesday 28 November -&nbsp;Emerging Tech Trends/The Tech Driving the Service Transformation Outcomes</strong></h3> <p>- <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Guest blog:&nbsp;The Council of the Future -&nbsp;How Will Councils Evolve and What is the Role of Technology?</a>&nbsp;</strong>by&nbsp;Paul Clarke, Head of Practice - Government, esri UK</p> <p>- <strong><a href="insights/opinions/item/11798-emerging-tech-trends-revolutionising-local-government" target="_blank">Guest blog:&nbsp;Emerging Tech Trends - Revolutionising Local Government</a>&nbsp;</strong>by Jos Creese, Strategic Advisor, Advice Cloud</p> <p>- <strong><a href="insights/opinions/item/11803-how-artificial-intelligence-is-helping-local-governments-meet-residents-demands" target="_blank">Guest blog:&nbsp;How Artificial Intelligence is Helping Local Governments meet Residents’ Demands</a>&nbsp;</strong>by&nbsp;Mikhail Naumov, Co-Founder and President, DigitalGenius</p> <p>- <strong><a href="insights/opinions/item/11805-will-voice-controlled-smart-devices-change-the-game-for-council-communications" target="_blank">Guest blog:&nbsp;Will Voice Controlled Smart Devices Change the Game for Council Communications?</a>&nbsp;</strong>by Mark Garvey, CEO, Whitespace Work Software Limited</p> <p>- <strong><a href="insights/opinions/item/11799-the-case-for-ai" target="_blank">Guest blog: The Case for AI</a>&nbsp;</strong>by&nbsp;Phil Brunkard, CIO – Regional Government &amp; Health, BT</p> <h3><strong>Wednesday 29 November -&nbsp;The Power of Data in Unlocking the Potential of the ‘Council of the Future’</strong></h3> <p>- <strong><a href="insights/opinions/item/11806-machine-data-and-the-council-of-the-future" target="_blank">Guest blog:&nbsp;(Machine) Data and the Council of the Future</a>&nbsp;</strong>by&nbsp;Gordon Morrison, Director for EMEA Government Affairs, Splunk</p> <p>-<strong> <a href="insights/opinions/item/11825-7-principles-councils-should-consid" target="_blank">Guest blog:&nbsp;7 Principles Councils Should Consider for the Future of Customer Experience</a>&nbsp;</strong>by&nbsp;Chris Melia, Head of Digital Customer Experience, Capita</p> <p>- <a href="insights/opinions/item/11802-future-gazing-what-tech-will-the-government-of-2030-use-part-" target="_blank"><strong>Guest blog:</strong>&nbsp;<strong>Future Gazing: What Tech will the Government of 2030 Use? (Part 2)</strong></a>&nbsp;by Paul Tomlinson, Managing Director, IEG4</p> <h3><strong>Thursday 30 November -&nbsp;The Role of Digital Leadership</strong></h3> <p>- <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Guest blog:&nbsp;Decisive Leadership in the Digital Age - Creating a Winning Momentum</strong></a> by&nbsp;John Stokoe CB CBE, Head of Strategic Development, Dassault Systemes EuroNorth</p> <p>- <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Guest blog:&nbsp;The Role of Digital Leadership</strong></a> by&nbsp;Philip Baulch, CIO, Major Business and Public Sector, BT</p> <p>- <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Guest blog:&nbsp;Behaving like the Council of the Future</a>&nbsp;</strong>by&nbsp;Andy Theedom, Local Government Market Director, Capita</p> <p>-<a href="" target="_blank"><strong> Guest blog:&nbsp;The Adoption of Technology in the Public Sector</strong></a> by&nbsp;Sangeeta Mukherjee, Content Specialist, Azeus Convene UK</p> <p>- <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Guest blog:&nbsp;What Do We Mean by Digital Leadership in Local Government?</a></strong>&nbsp;by Helen Reeves, Senior Policy Officer, the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers (Solace)</p> <h3><strong>Friday 01 December -&nbsp;New Models of Working</strong></h3> <p>- <a href="insights/opinions/item/11831-shared-services-between-councils-will-be-the-norm" target="_blank"><strong>Guest blog:&nbsp;Shared Services Between Councils Will be the Norm</strong></a> by Brian Smith, Sales Manager, Kahootz</p> <p>- <strong><a href="insights/opinions/item/11833-weighing-up-the-digital-future-of-social-care" target="_blank">Guest blog: Weighing up the Digital Future of Social Care</a></strong>&nbsp;by Kieran Lee, Social Care Transformation Lead, Capita</p> <p>- <strong><a href="insights/opinions/item/11832-laying-the-building-blocks-for-the-your-council-s-digital-future" target="_blank">Guest blog:&nbsp;Laying the Building Blocks for Your Council’s Digital Future</a></strong>&nbsp;by Sam Manson, Sector Director – Public, Orange Bus</p> <p>Join the conversation on #CounciloftheFuture @techUK</p> Guest Blog: Prescriptive Security: Using the Haystack to Find the Needle Fri, 24 Nov 2017 11:05:03 +0000 Talal Rajab (techUK) Zeina Zakhour, Atos Global CTO for Cyber Security, writes a guest blog for techUK on the role of cyber security data analytics <p><em>In our increasingly data-driven world, organisations are engaged in a race to gather operational and customer data and apply analytics to transform that data into valuable business insights. Yet one important application that is still rarely addressed is cyber security data analytics.<strong><br /></strong></em></p> <p><strong>From Proactive to Prescriptive</strong></p> <p>We regularly hear about major cyber security breaches and wonder whether they were preventable. Prescriptive Security is about exactly that: preventing breaches from happening by leveraging big data and supercomputing capabilities. As technologies advance, cyber security is shifting away from a reactive and proactive model to a prescriptive model that can analyse analytics patterns in order to identity the next threats and to automate the security control responses.</p> <p>While cyber security has been focused on finding the needle in the haystack, Prescriptive Security instead uses the haystack to find the needle by leveraging big data and machine learning analytics and utilising all data generated within the organisation and outside the organisation, in order to bring 360° security visibility and eliminate all potential blind-spots.</p> <p>With a Prescriptive Security Operations Centre (SOC), organisations will be able to:</p> <p>• <strong>Face the ever-evolving threat landscape</strong>: The threat landscape has been increasing exponentially as the adoption of new technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), big data and cloud computing are expanding the attack surface. Every three months, over 18 million new malware samples are captured, with zero-day exploits (malware that goes undetected by traditional anti-virus software) expected to rise from one per week in 2015 to one per day by 2021. With Prescriptive Security, threat intelligence is no longer a separate technology-watching process managed through alert bulletins, but an integrated part of the SOC where threat intelligence feeds give actionable risk scorings and can detect unknown threats before they even reach the organisation</p> <p>• <strong>Significantly improve detection and response times</strong>: Time is on the side of any adversary who is patient, persistent and creative. We’re fighting human ingenuity and attackers aren’t playing by the same rules as we are. Prescriptive SOCs can change current operational models and considerably improve detection times and response times. Instead of thinking in days and months to detect and correct threats, with machine learning and automation we can neutralise emerging threats in real time and prevent future attacks</p> <p>• <strong>Optimise cyber security resources</strong>: While cyber attacks are growing in volume, complexity and pervasiveness, organisations will need to counter these using limited resources. The latest research estimates that by 2020, over 1.8 million cyber security jobs will not be filled due to a shortage of skills. Prescriptive Security, by introducing artificial intelligence and automatic response, will optimise the use of cyber security professionals who will be able to automate responses to common cyber attacks and focus on the more complex and persistent ones. It will also introduce new cyber security roles, such as cyber security data scientists to integrate statistical and mathematical models and provide innovative mechanisms to detect future cyber attacks.</p> <p><strong>Next-generation infrastructure</strong></p> <p>Prescriptive Security advances a tri-dimensional paradigm by increasing the detection surface, increasing the velocity of response and decreasing the reaction time. By using big data, analytics and supercomputing, it also effectively optimises the cost factor (human resources cost plus storage/compute power costs).</p> <p>Prescriptive Security SOCs will be the next-generation cyber security infrastructure that the digital economy needs to enable and engender confidence. With this in place, organisations will be able to effectively protect their business assets including valuable business data and customer personal data.</p> <p><strong>Digital Vision for Cyber Security</strong></p> <p>This article, by Zeina Zakhour, Atos Global CTO for Cyber Security, is part of the <a href=";utm_medium=social&amp;utm_campaign=dvfcs" target="_blank">Atos Digital Vision for Cyber Security</a> opinion paper. It covers what every business should know about cyber security, why a concerted response is essential, and how to protect data, systems and services from any attack.</p> What does the Autumn Budget mean for Smart Transport, Cities and Energy? Wed, 22 Nov 2017 18:27:57 +0000 Aimee Betts-Charalambous(techUK) techUK Programme Manager IoT & SmarterUK responds to 2017 Autumn Budget <p>This years’ Budget had a strong focus on digital, identifying as a priority how the UK can seize the opportunity and maintain its position at the forefront of the tech revolution.</p> <p>With a raft of policy and funding announcements that strike at the core of innovation across multiple markets the future looks bright. Below you will find further detail on Budget Announcements as they relate to techUK’s Internet of Things and SmarterUK programmes.</p> <p><a href="insights/news/item/11773-techuk-responds-to-2017-autumn-budget">Click here</a> to view techUK’s deputy CEO, Antony Walker comment.</p> <h3>Cross Sectoral</h3> <p>Amongst a number of ground breaking approaches to regulatory frameworks to support AI and driverless cars the Chancellor announced a <strong>Regulators’ Pioneer Fund. The new £10 million fund</strong> seeks to unlock the potential of emerging technologies, supporting regulators to develop innovative approaches aimed at getting new products and services to market. This builds on the already successful sandbox approaches of the FCA and Ofgem.</p> <p>In support of infrastructure investment, the Budget announced a boost to the <strong>National Productivity Investment Fund – now at £31bn</strong>. Targeting new funds to areas crucial for productivity such as housing, transport, R&amp;D and digital communications. Government made a further commitment to disrupting how we deliver infrastructure by pledging <strong>£80m to opening up the UK’s geospatial data, working with Ordnance Survey to open up the OS MasterMap.&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>To support the companies who will deliver this future the Chancellor set out an action plan to support growth in innovative business including <strong>£2.3bn in R&amp;D support for innovative technologies</strong>, unlocking over<strong> £20bn of patient capital investment over the next 10 years,</strong> and an increase in <strong>R&amp;D tax credits to 12%</strong>.</p> <p>With AI at the heart of our economy going forward Government has also confirmed the creation of a <strong>n</strong><strong>ew centre for Data Ethics and Innovation</strong>. The new centre will focus on enabling safe, ethical and ground-breaking innovation in AI and data-driven technologies. Supporting wider innovation across the board including within the Internet of Things.</p> <h3>Smart Transport</h3> <p>The Budget saw several announcements supporting the future of UK transport with <strong>£35bn spend allocated for 2018-19. </strong></p> <p>The Chancellor has maintained the commitment to modernising the UK rail network with <strong>£84m for digital signalling</strong>. Building on <a href="insights/news/item/9762-autumn-statement-internet-of-things-and-smart-infrastructure">£450m allocated in 2016</a> to trial new technologies.</p> <p>We welcome the announcement of <strong>£30m to trial new solutions on the TransPennine route to improve mobile and digital connectivity for rail passengers</strong>. Through our <a href="file:///T:/Common/1.%20Smarter%20UK%20&amp;amp;%20IoT/3.%20Policy/o%09The%20list%20of%20energy%20saving%20technologies%20eligible%20for%20Enhanced%20Capital%20Allowances%20(ECAs)%20will%20be%20updated%20%E2%80%93%20this%20is%20an%20ask%20we%20put%20to%20government%20back%20in%20September%20as%20part%20of%20our%20work%20on%20the%20Clean%20Growth%20Strategy.%20We%20are%20continuing%20to%20work%20with%20Government%20on%20what%20this%20looks%20like%20for%20%E2%80%98smart%E2%80%99%20technologies.">Rail Connectivity Forum</a>, techUK is continuing to work alongside the rail industry to realise untapped opportunities from improved (digital) connectivity, promoting innovative applications and services that can exploit new connectivity.</p> <p>With a nod to autonomous vehicles and further regulatory announcements to follow it is important that we have a realistic focus on investment in existing infrastructure on which those vehicles will run. We welcome the announcements of a new <strong>NIC innovation prize - Roads for the Future -to determine how future roadbuilding should adapt to support self-driving cars.</strong></p> <p>Investment in transport is crucial to a strong and resilient economy. The government is right to ensure investment is future proofed by looking towards digital.</p> <h3>Smart Cities &amp; Communities</h3> <p>The Budget set out a clear agenda for improved investment in urban areas, including investment in not just services but also infrastructure to help Local Authorities better meet public needs in the future.</p> <p>Under new measures Local Authorities will be able to take advantage of a <strong>£1.7bn Transforming Cities Fund</strong> focused on improving transport within cities, <strong>£1bn in investment support for high value infrastructure</strong>, and a <strong>£190 million Challenge Fund aimed at encouraging faster rollout of full-fibre networks</strong>. This commitment to local infrastructure build will enable cities to take advantage of the data revolution. Providing a framework for cities to develop IoT-enabled solutions to better manage challenges and build economic opportunities.</p> <p>The Government has also announced new support for companies working in the public sector. A new <strong>GovTech Catalyst is to be launched</strong>, giving businesses and innovators a clear access point to government, helping them to navigate government and collaborate to solve public sector challenges. Our recent publication <a href="">Top Actions to Accelerate IoT Implementation</a> identifies the need for challenge based procurement. With this new Catalyst we may very well have the body who can help deliver the shakeup. Industry will further be bolstered by a <strong>£20m GovTech Fund</strong>.</p> <h3>Energy</h3> <p>The Budget was relatively light on energy this time round, with most announcements hitting at environmental considerations instead of technology. Key announcements included:</p> <ul> <ul> <li>No new low carbon electricity levies until 2025</li> <li>£557m for further Contracts for Difference</li> <li>The Total Carbon Price (currently the total of EU ETS and Carbon Price Support was deemed to be at the right level, and will be at a similar price until unabated coal is phased out</li> <li>The First Year Tax Credit scheme will be extended until 2022, to help loss making firms invest in energy efficient tech.</li> </ul> </ul> <p>One announcement worth noting however is the upcoming <strong>update of the Energy Technology List</strong>, a government list of energy saving technologies eligible for Enhanced Capital Allowances. This is an ask we put to government back in September as part of our work on the <a href="insights/meeting-notes/item/11558-clean-growth-strategy-roundtable-meeting-notes">Clean Growth Strategy</a>. There is no detail yet on how the list will be changing but over the coming months we will continue to work with Government on how we ensure the right status of new ‘smart’ technologies under efficiency policy.</p> <p><strong>Read further content regarding the Autumn Budget:&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><strong>&gt;&gt;<a href="" target="_blank">techUK Responds to 2017 Autumn Budget</a></strong></p> Connected Home Makes My Dad "Feel A Little Bit Cooler" Mon, 20 Nov 2017 16:28:33 +0000 Aimee Betts-Charalambous(techUK) A look at how the connected home is changing real lives today! <blockquote>In today’s technological world connected homes are becoming more apparent.&nbsp;The use of various integrated devices and services across a range of sectors has shown to offer better convenience and peace of mind in the domestic environment.</blockquote> <p>Smart home monitoring and control in the UK has not yet had the same recognition as in other countries, however, the variety of devices now available means the connected home is becoming more appealing. Here is an account of how connected technologies have helped one of our customers:</p> <p>“<em>My Dad, who is elderly and can’t get around so easily these days, is now using a connected doorbell and&nbsp;smartlock. He can see who is at the door on his iPad or TV - even if he’s in bed - and in some cases, let them in. When he’s out my brother and I get the notifications and can choose to let the cleaner or meal delivery person&nbsp;in,&nbsp;if we recognise them - or direct them to a neighbour.&nbsp;</em></p> <p><em>It’s a great example of how something simple (both products work reliably over wireless) and easy to install, has made a really big difference. The total cost was under £400 and the whole thing was installed in under half an hour. It has been working for about two years, so it’s worked out about £4 a week - much less than any other service we pay for.</em></p> <p><em>My brother and I have greater peace of mind, and we can view a timeline too, which means we can check that he goes out regularly, that the physiotherapist comes, and so forth. The best thing is that Dad likes it too - even though he was sceptical to start with. He feels much more independent, and a little bit cooler!”</em></p> <p>Although there is a rise in demand for such gadgets to make home life easier, consumers admit they still do not fully understand the benefits of connected technologies. It is down to companies and retailers to inform the market on how technology can make life smarter, easier and more fun. These connected devices and services need to empower people and give them more control over their lifestyles.</p> <p><strong style="font-size: 16px;">Post written by Steve Moore, Chairman&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">SMC</a>.</strong></p> <p><img src="images/Report_Cover_Image.PNG" alt="Report Cover Image" width="140" height="198" style="font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; float: left;" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This post is part of a recently launched&nbsp;initiative looking at trends in the Connected Home market.&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a>&nbsp;to find out more.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For further information on techUK's Connected Home work contact <a href=""></a>.&nbsp;</p> How Investing In Cloud Can Enable The Government To Spend Less On IT Mon, 20 Nov 2017 16:25:06 +0000 Seema Patel(techUK) Sponsor of our Upcoming Winter Defence Dinner, Siobhan Hafferty, CenturyLink <blockquote>Written by Siobhan Hafferty, Account Director – Public Sector, CenturyLink</blockquote> <blockquote>CenturyLink - sponsor for the Defence Winter Dinner</blockquote> <p>The government has made considerable strides in its IT strategy, services and delivery in recent years. From starting in a costly world in which departments led and managed IT processes themselves, we then moved into an era of outsourcing, with large-scale contracts commissioned with systems integrators and other IT vendors - to varying success.</p> <p>Today, we’re at a cross-roads. In the current political and economic climate, the public sector has to think carefully about every investment it makes – ensuring it can demonstrate a clear return on investment on all outgoings. This is why the culture of long-term outsourced projects, in which departments are ‘locked-in’ to fixed contracts, simply isn’t sustainable as an ongoing practice.</p> <p>Alongside this requirement for flexibility, when a department seeks to deploy new systems or applications, its principle go-to solution shouldn’t need to be the purchase of more servers, equipment and data centre provisions.</p> <p>Departments such as the Ministry of Defence have the opportunity to put cloud computing at the heart of a wider, more agile IT vision. While not all data is suitable for the cloud - especially with the varying sensitivities around security - there are significant volumes of information that can be hosted, managed and deployed in the cloud. And by identifying this data and migrating it from on premise, departments can save huge sums of money, while delivering better services and improved access to data and information in real-time.</p> <p>Platforms like our multi-cloud solution, or Cloud Application Manager, orchestrate the delivery of infrastructure, applications and services in any cloud environment. This enables departments to manage their infrastructure from one single, simple interface – to view and provision resources, manage their lifecycle and benefit from consolidated billing.</p> <p>For the government, this would enable its staff to securely access data and end-user services from all environments – wherever they’re based and working. It also provides IT teams with a true insight into how their infrastructure is working at any one point in time, and can help provide them with recommendations as to how best to streamline operations.</p> <p>As the public sector continues its journey to become more agile, streamlined and cost efficient, managed IT services should play a key role. The government of course has a multitude of challenges to address. If it is going to meet all of its objectives, it needs to be in a position whereby it can put more resources into the mission and less into IT. Putting the cloud at the core of its service delivery strategy would be a key first step towards this goal.</p> How Will 5G Impact Us? Fri, 17 Nov 2017 10:47:11 +0000 Sophie Weston(techUK) 5G is right around the corner and it will certainly be a large step forward for mobile network technology yet. So how exactly will this new technology impact us? <p>With the new 5th Generation mobile technology expected to launch in the UK by 2020, an exciting time lies ahead of us. The world has yet to understand the full impact of its global introduction and to what extent 5G will dramatically transform and impact our lives, but while most comment so far on 5G has focused on the promise of higher speed, there is a wide range of services and applications proposed which will need 5G before they could be cost-effectively made available.</p> <p><strong>Increased Speed</strong></p> <p>Records show that with investigations and trials, 5G services are set to transform the telecoms sector significantly including offering consumers’ faster broadband ahead of the current availability of 4G. <a href="" target="_blank">Research by Professor Tafazolli</a> at the 5G Innovation Centre at University of Surrey has predicted that it is possible to run a wireless data connected at 800Gbps, over 100 times faster than current 5G testing. Those speeds will allow you to download multiple high definition films within seconds, making streaming issues no more.</p> <p>Qualcomm has recently announced its newest modem for mobile devices, <a href="" target="_blank">Snapdragon X50 5G</a> that is designed to support the next generation mobile networks. This modem chipset that will support operation in millimeter wave spectrum, initially in the 28GHz band (where Europe looks likely to adopt 26GHz), will provide an immediate connection between the customer and the cloud, opening up the potentials of a new generation of applications and services. Qualcomm plans to deliver the modem to mobile networks by 2018. Such increased speeds will now mean UK mobile networks will have to begin their transition into 5G and cope with the large increase in demand for telecommunications.</p> <p>Professor Tafazolli also forecasts that deployment of 5G will will drive the creation of true IoT ecosystems, creating the communication channels that will link people, cars, sensors, infrastructure and businesses.</p> <p><strong>Autonomous Vehicles</strong></p> <p>5G's development is also being evolved to support a wide range of machine-to-machine and IoT applications. These applications will then help enable and enhance connected and autonomous vehicles including self-driving cars and place them into everyday situations. Intel has recently developed an <a href="" target="_blank">GOTM Automotive 5G Platform</a>, the industry’s first 5G-ready platform and complete end-to-end system for autonomous driving. This will allow car manufacturers to develop and test a wide range of use cases and applications ahead of the launch of 5G, where it looks like fully autonomous vehicles will arrive around the same time that 5G starts to be rolled out i.e. 2020.</p> <p>5G will help deliver a safer, more convenient self-driving experience. Data is at the core of autonomous vehicles and connectivity is fundamental to their operation. 5G will enable the large quantities of data generated by these vehicles to be uploaded in real time, supporting navigation and enabling reaction to sudden changes in environment. Additionally 5G can positively improve safety and travel on the roads. Exchanging data with nearby vehicles to avoid collisions or setting up platoons to navigate intersections when there are no traffic lights.</p> <p><strong>Smart Energy</strong></p> <p>5G services will certainly be fundamental to our future energy systems including energy supply but also consumption Smart devices connected through 5G networks will be able to help control energy demand and reduce energy costs. With increased speed and connectivity, we will be able to expose new sources of data and increasingly interconnect a variety of different technologies and services. 5G could support predict and prevent maintenance of grid assets, minimizing instance and impact of failure. There are also opportunities to enhance demand flexibility allowing homes, cities and countries to reduce consumption at times of peak demand or make use of excess renewable consumption.</p> <p>ZTE released the <a href="" target="_blank">Blue Pillar Smart Streetlamp</a> solution that enables a standard streetlamp to double as a 4G/5G Base Transceiver Station (BTS) and a charging point for electric vehicles. The solution also collects local data on weather, environment, transportation and security while its LED screen can be used to display information and advertising.</p> <p>Looking to the way in which 5G can support the smart grid, Huawei have recently announced at the PT Expo China 2017 a new <a href="" target="_blank">5G network slicing application</a>. The application can be customised to requirements and determine how 5G can help regain power within a certain area where power lines have been damaged or power has been lost. This is a great example of how 5G can support smart distribution networks and how it can ensure for a secure, reliable, and stable operation on the power grid as a whole.</p> <p>We are still uncertain as to what exactly 5G will become until there is official testing. For now, techUK welcomes the <a href="" target="_blank">Government's strategy</a> and ambition for the UK to be a global leader in 5G and is excited to see the opportunities and transformations unfold in the UK and around the world and the major impact it will have in the future.</p> <hr /> <p>Contact: <a href=""></a></p> Short-term Risks in Exchange for Long Term Innovation: Government's SME Dilemma Wed, 15 Nov 2017 14:50:46 +0000 Simona Paliulyte(techUK) Guest blog post by Jude Sheeran CEO of Eduserv as part of our #procuring4growth week <p>By 2020, the government aims to increase the amount it spends on products and services provided by small and medium size business to a third (up from a quarter) of all spend.</p> <p><em>“This is such an amazing opportunity for the country’s diverse and innovative small businesses, and today I urge them to get stuck in.”</em> Says Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital.</p> <p>Believe me Matt, we are trying.</p> <p>The government’s Digital Marketplace, through which it procures technology products and services, has been successful in furthering the government’s aims. G-Cloud, the largest of the various frameworks by far, has awarded half of its business to SMEs since its inception in 2012. The others average out at around a third. So far so good. The trouble, however, is that less than 10% of government spending on ICT is done via&nbsp;Digital Marketplace.</p> <p>How do things look when the other 90% of government spending is factored in? It’s hard to tell based on the data available, but almost certainly not as good. Progress is being made on some fronts, but probably not quickly enough for most people’s liking. For example, spend with the largest suppliers has been falling significantly and continuously since 2010. However, the somewhat alarming, if also understandable truth is that just five suppliers were the recipients of 51% of all central government spend on IT in 14/15 (which amounted to over £6.3bn in the same period) according to the House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts in 2016.</p> <p>So what is holding Whitehall back?</p> <p>tech UK’s 2016 survey of SME GovTech suppliers found that 94% of respondents did not think that civil servant buyers have a good understanding of how SMEs can meet their needs. Which, perhaps, is polite way of saying that civil servants do not always believe that SMEs can or will deliver. My personal suspicion, for what it is worth, is that there are at least three reasons for this mostly justified lack of confidence.</p> <p>Firstly, buyers don’t always understand what they have decided to buy (or what they have been advised to buy) and are prepared to pay a premium to a big, safe brand that does. Or says it does. In doing so, they overcompensate for their lack of expertise and protect themselves against the risk of failure. No-one ever got fired for procuring from a large multinational, as the saying goes.</p> <p>Secondly, and somewhat obviously, SMEs are not always able to deliver as much or absorb as much risk as the larger players within the required timescales. Put simply, big contracts sometimes need big suppliers. While disaggregation is helpful, central government departments remain enormous clients for SMEs to wrap their arms around.</p> <p>Thirdly, and related to the first two points, small companies are often unable to offer the financial and other guarantees that the big firms are able to, and which government feels it needs.</p> <p>More wise words, this time from John Manzoni, Chief Executive of the Civil Service: <em>“Further opening up our marketplace to small businesses is good economic sense all round – making it easier for them to access and win government business opportunities, whilst encouraging increased competition and market innovation to deliver best value for the taxpayer.”</em></p> <p>Surely, talking of best value for the taxpayer, not-for-profit SMEs should be among the most deserving. With no profit motive (ultimately) and in an many cases exactly the same objectives as the government, third sector suppliers should be regarded as independent allies rather than mere suppliers or partners. Furthermore, not-for-profit SMEs should be able to deliver more for less, not least because they are able to happily break even or invest any surpluses that would normally be lost to shareholders back into the cause. Historically, however, some have not managed to have much of a positive impact on society. Others have, but not as much as the private sector. A small number of others, at last, are leading the way, pan-sector.</p> <p>New approaches to commissioning have helped. For example, the emergence of payment-by-results contracts, as tricky as they are to get right, have forced a growing number of third sector SMEs to match the capabilities and performance of their private sector competitors. Although a less than helpful and stubborn reputation on both fronts lingers, proven capabilities and performance are no longer insurmountable barriers to winning business for well-run not-for-profit organisations.</p> <p>The real challenges for the best third sector SMEs are exactly the same as those for private sector SMEs, but the not-for-profit sector still has further to go in some respects. Although it is growing fast, there are still only around forty charities that turnover £100m or more. Furthermore, while the £15bn that third sector organisations receive from government (about a third of all its income and mostly in exchange for contracted services) may seem significant, it only accounts for 2% or so of government spend.</p> <p>Just as SMEs (and particularly not-for-profit SMEs) must continue to invest in their capabilities and continuously improve their performance, the government must help them, not least by giving them more responsibility and accepting more risk. At the same time, the government must have the courage to hold SMEs (and again, particularly not-for-profit SMEs) to account and if necessary, and regardless of the short-term political risk, let them fail. Only then will the playing field be truly level and only then will Hancock’s <em>“amazing opportunity for the country’s diverse and innovative small businesses” bring about Manzoni’s “increased competition and market innovation”.</em></p> <hr /> <p>Jude Sheeran is a member of tech UK’s Public Services Board and CEO of Eduserv, a not-for-profit SME that delivers cloud infrastructure, applications, data and security services to central and local government and the third sector. Eduserv’s primary aims are enabling its clients to get the most out of technology for the sake of society and in doing so, help close the UK’s digital skills gap.</p> Making the Case for GovTech SMEs Tue, 14 Nov 2017 10:56:47 +0000 Simona Paliulyte(techUK) SME campaign week focused on delivering government transformation <p>A huge thank you to everyone who participated in the techUK SME campaign week by providing <a href=";view=itemlist&amp;Itemid=175&amp;date_direction=past&amp;date=3&amp;cat%5B3%5D=290&amp;cat%5Bmain%5D=43_40_41_39_42_233_38&amp;format=raw">guest blogs</a> and contributing to the social media discussions. We have had an impressive variety of opinions from tech leaders across the UK on the campaign week theme of 'Government transformation'.</p> <p>Government needs to ensure it has access to the best innovative technologies in the tech sector to deliver transformation and real progress has been achieved in making it easier for innovative SMEs to do business with the public sector. Despite this progress,<a href=""> techUK’s 2016 SME Survey</a> showed that companies are still struggling to access the public sector market - highlighting procurement processes and terms and conditions in contracts being amongst the top barriers to entry.</p> <p><strong>Get involved!</strong></p> <p>To promote a collaborative relationship between the tech sector and government the techUK public sector programme has a range of market engagement activity planned for the rest of 2017. Highlights include an opportunity to <a href="">meet the Crown Commercial Service tech Directors</a> on 30 November, where you will have the opportunity to quiz them on how SMEs can supply to the public sector. We will also be holding our regular <a href="">Snacks &amp; Sips GovTech networking event</a> on 11 December.</p> <p>To better understand the views of GovTech SMEs operating in the public sector tech market, techUK has launched a comprehensive survey to capture their experiences. This is the third SME survey techUK has undertaken, and the findings will be used to develop recommendations to promote innovation in the public sector, and help dynamic British based SMEs to scale and grow. <a href="">Complete the survey now</a>!</p> <p>Join the debate or start your own on social media using #procuring4growth</p> Guest Blog: Unlocking the Full Business Value of the Cloud Mon, 13 Nov 2017 14:16:07 +0000 Harri Turnbull(techUK) James Butler, chief technology officer, Trustmarque, part of Capita explains why it's impossible to overstate the benefits of migrating apps to the cloud. <p>New research from <a href="" class="wf_file"><span class="wf_file_text">Trustmarque</span></a>, part of <a href="" class="wf_file"><span class="wf_file_text">Capita</span></a>, reveals that 91 per cent of chief information officers (CIOs) want to migrate their on-premise apps to infrastructure as a service (IaaS), software as a service (SaaS) or platform as a service (PaaS) clouds within the next five years. James Butler identifies the key barriers to effective cloud app migration and highlights how they can be addressed.</p> <p>Cloud computing has been on the CIO’s radar for over a decade. During that time, it has helped countless organisations across the globe to become more agile, productive and cost efficient.</p> <h3>Cloud migration is happening now – on a massive scale</h3> <p>There is a huge surge among organisations to migrate their apps as they realise the key business benefits it brings to their business. Our new report <a href="">‘Challenges and opportunities of cloud migration’</a> found that the biggest of these for almost two-thirds (61 per cent) of CIOs is the cost savings to be made from migration. This is closely followed by almost two-thirds (60 per cent) of them citing the advantage of scalability, with just over half (51 per cent) stating improving their businesses ability to deliver projects and new requirements quicker is the driver.</p> <p>However, the full range of benefits cannot be unlocked without transforming the architectural and IT organisation. Simple lift and shift projects are not enough and may struggle to achieve a good return on investment.</p> <p>These projects may create new technical debt and uncontrolled cloud sprawl so it’s vital customers put in place both the underpinning foundations for the new controls and operating model that are common across clouds, along with a holistic strategy that covers new innovation as well as the pre-existing IT estate.</p> <p>With those in place they can safely build and deliver the application roadmaps to move to the cloud. There is no one-size-fits-all or silver bullet to cloud adoption and application migration.</p> <h3>Major barriers to cloud adoption persist</h3> <p>CIOs and IT decision makers do clearly appreciate the benefits for their businesses from effective migration. However, many are wary of the potential pitfalls and challenges to migration.</p> <p>Traditional IT budgeting models have not kept pace with the rapid transformation of business technology. Many organisations have a fixed multi-year budget cycle and IT spend is often allocated on a Capex basis – meaning IT investments in infrastructure, platforms and applications are often accounted for as capital expenditure. More than half of CIOs feel this makes it more difficult, or slows down the speed at which they can adopt subscription-based cloud services.</p> <p>More than half (56 per cent) of CIOs feel that the complexity of their current infrastructure is slowing their migration to the cloud. Most organisations are running IT infrastructure and services that have grown and evolved over time, meaning complex environments comprised of multiple moving and interdependent parts,. Additionally, a third recognise that their own in-house expertise may not on its own be enough, while nearly three-quarters see the process of modernising these apps as slowing their journey to the cloud.</p> <p>Despite benefits to the IT function and the wider business, cloud app migration remains a resource-intensive task requiring highly skilled practitioners. As the report suggests several factors make it increasingly important to seek out a trusted third party to help with the process and provide all-important subject-matter expertise.</p> <p>We see customers grappling with legacy application modernisation at the same time as investing in innovation, building microservices, using PaaS and exploring concepts like server-less and immutable infrastructure.</p> <h3>Addressing the challenges</h3> <p>Alongside the core technology, organisations have to change their information governance model and financial controls to ensure they can safely unlock the value of cloud.. An audit of their entire IT infrastructure is also a vital first step to gain the necessary visibility to proceed with migration. Alongside this, CIOs need to assess apps before they can be migrated as a large number of the applications currently being used in many organisations have not been built with the cloud in mind.</p> <p>It is impossible to overstate the benefits of migrating apps to the cloud. But CIOs must also be aware of the potential challenges they may face in doing so – these can be expensive, resource-intensive projects. The complexity of existing infrastructure can slow adoption and visibility. This is a major problem for many organisations, and apps may need re-architecting to make them “cloud-ready”.</p> <p>Moreover, there are growing concerns over data sovereignty, forthcoming EU data protection legislation through GDPR, and question marks over data sharing agreements between the EU and US. All this is made even more challenging when information from the vendor community lacks the details demanded by organisations.</p> <p>There are organisations which can provide the right expertise alongside a range of services specifically designed to help CIOs in their quest for effective migration. Building the right cloud adoption strategy and governance, delivering the resulting roadmap by helping with app migration and the creation of new Cloud Native Applications, with a mixture of tailored and packaged services, are all services which CIOs should be looking to import if they don’t have the internal expertise to complete app migration themselves.</p> Welcome Announcements from Sajid Javid & Andy Street on Local Gov Transformation Mon, 13 Nov 2017 12:47:42 +0000 Georgina Maratheftis(techUK) techUK’s Georgina Maratheftis explores key themes from the Urban Tech Summit where Secretary of State for Local Gov & West Midlands Mayor shared their digital visions <p>On 6 November at the Custard Factory the West Midlands Combined Authority hosted the <a href="">Urban Tech Summit</a>, bringing together tech leaders from across industry and public sector to learn how the West Midlands can lead the UK’s cities and regions in transforming services using new technologies. Keynoting at the event was Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Department for Communities and Local Government and Andy Street, West Midlands Mayor. There were also two panels looking at role of startups on solving urban challenges and data innovation in local government services.</p> <h3><strong>“But embracing digital is no longer optional"</strong></h3> <p>Kicking off the day was Sajid Javid setting out the digital challenge facing local authorities and the role central government can help in driving forward innovation and transformation at the local level.</p> <p>Javid spoke of how technology is changing the way we live and work and most importantly delivering services for citizens. Examples of best practice from Essex, Camden, Manchester and the West Midlands were highlighted but he very much emphasised that more can be done in unlocking the opportunities technology offers in delivering more efficient user-friendly local public services.</p> <p>The Secretary of State acknowledge the fragmented nature of local government, but outlined more could be done on standards. While there may be over 350 councils they are delivering the same services but when it comes to digital, councils will often work towards their own standards and do their own thing. He highlighted planning application as an example of where standards could be beneficial to help avoid duplication of service and to the user. This is a very important point and a key area of focus for techUK’s Local Public Services Committee who in 2018 will be publishing a paper looking at the environment in which local government organisations and departments within organisations can be improved to foster increased technology innovation.</p> <p>Another area he highlighted which techUK have championed and called for in the <a href="insights/reports/item/10665-digital-devolution">Digital Devolution: A Guide for Mayors </a>is the important role of leadership in driving forward transformation. Digital belongs in the boardroom and should be embraced across the organization the Secretary of State stressed. As such, he has also appointed Paul Maltby as the department’s Chief Digital Officer to ensure councils make the most of technology. A key ask from the Secretary of State to the tech industry was that it must challenge the way it usually works but he is also called for more industry to work with local government. It is important for industry to speak the language of local government, and focus on outcomes and the residents.</p> <p>The clear and welcome message from the Secretary of State was&nbsp;"embracing digital is no longer optional," we are able to transform public sector outcomes through the better use of tech and data. The speech was a step in the right direction and encouraging to hear central government’s backing for council transformation. A welcome announcement was DCLG working with councils and the Government Digital Service to create a new vision and a call to arms on local government digital, more details to be announced next spring. While transformation should be owned at the local level central government has an important role to play in co-ordinating and sharing what good can look like. The Secretary of State offered his support and backing to local leaders and to be bold when it comes to digital. A reassuring speech but the devil is now in the detail. We look forward to working with DCLG, local government and industry on creating the environment that enables successful transformation.</p> <h3><strong>West Midlands Seeks Start-Ups to Help Solve Four Public-Service Challenges</strong></h3> <p>The Summit was also an opportunity for the Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street to share his digital vision whilst launching the regions Urban Challenge. Early on in his campaign Andy Street launched a dedicated<a href=""> digital manifesto</a> and it was great to hear first-hand what has been achieved and the next steps in delivering his pledges from skills to driving innovation to enable the West Midlands to be a globally competitive tech hub. The Mayor announced the Digital Skills Institute and shortly there will be an Office of Data Analytics in West Midlands.</p> <p>In partnership with Public, which runs an incubator programme for government technology firms, the Mayor launched the Urban Challenge. It is an open call competition for technology startups to develop new ideas to make the West Midlands a better place to live and work by pitching directly to the Mayor and the chance to work directly with officials from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).</p> <p><strong><em>The Challenges</em></strong></p> <p>The WMCA has set out the following four challenges where start-ups can get involved.</p> <p>1) Wellbeing – What innovative ways are there to improve current public outcomes in and out of hospitals?</p> <p>2) Homelessness – What new technology solutions could we adopt to identify and prevent households that are at risk of becoming homeless?</p> <p>3) Youth Unemployment – How can we use innovative technology to support young people and provide them with a route nap back into employment?</p> <p>4) Digital Citizenship – How might new technologies help local government become more responsive to and interactive with citizens?</p> <p>Each challenge winner will receive £10,000 plus a three month pilot with West Midlands.</p> <p>Applications close January 2018, for more details and how to apply <a href="">click here.</a></p> The Role of SMEs in Delivering Government Transformation Fri, 10 Nov 2017 12:29:07 +0000 Simona Paliulyte(techUK) Guest blog post by Graham Booth, CEO & Co-founder of 2iC as part of our #procuring4growth week <p>The UK has a large pool of high tech small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that can play a huge role in transforming government, if only they were given the chance!</p> <p>A small to medium enterprise (SME) is, by very definition, not a large organisation. Accordingly, to survive and thrive an SME must focus on what it is, and what it can be, very good at. This narrow focus makes most SMEs subject matter experts, so an SME in every sense.</p> <p>Further, most SME are small (less than 50 people in the whole company group) and many are micro (less than 10 people). This is particularly true in the tech sector. This small size means that there is little bureaucracy and flat management structures allowing the business to operate in a most nimble and agile manner.</p> <p>For most SME, a £0.5m contract will be significant and will have visibility across the company, including senior management. This will motivate the company to deliver on the contract both in letter and spirit. While a large multinational company could reputationally recover from failing to deliver a contract like this, an SME would be unlikely to recover the reputation damage and so won’t allow failure.</p> <p><strong>SMEs and Government transformation</strong></p> <p>One of the key characteristics of SMEs is an agile and coherent group of highly motivated experts often accompanied by existing “ready to use” innovative intellectual property. These characteristics are key enablers to transforming Government.</p> <p>What is clear from the messages of political leaders, and evidence ‘on the ground’ is that UK SMEs can play a huge role in transforming government, if government chooses to give them the opportunity.</p> <p>More needs to be done to address the misconception of SMEs around risk and cost – and better communication of the benefits and barriers for SMEs working in the Public Sector. These messages should focus on how greater use of SMEs provides citizens with innovative services, and Government leaders have a reduced risk of failure.</p> <p>The Government should be doing more to address the barriers to SMEs - for a start the Public Sector should commission more smaller-scale focused projects and use shorter contracts with payments on time to minimise risk!</p> <p>What about the situation where the scale of the government need is wider than the focus of a single SME? There are many case studies of SME working together to deliver broad scope projects with each SME delivering expertise in their area. There are even government template collaboration agreements to support this - a model that enables a Government service a team of motivated experts. These just need to be used more!</p> <p>In summary, with SMEs Government customers get experts in the bid, and experts in the delivery and they help innovative companies scale. It’s a Win-Win!</p> Guest Blog: 9 Mindset Steps in the Digital Transformation Journey Fri, 10 Nov 2017 12:25:09 +0000 Harri Turnbull(techUK) Peter J Reynolds, digital transformation director, Capita lays out the transformation timeline for businesses to help them achieve optimal results. <p>Exploring nine points along the transformation timeline, from first understanding what it means to your business, to finally judging whether it’s been a success.</p> <h3>1) What is a digital transformation about?</h3> <p>I’ve been involved in transformations with all different names over the years – but the fact is, whether you call it digital or not, this is about a step change in organisational performance.</p> <p>Digitisation should be about optimising (and <a href="">automating</a> where possible) the end-to-end process across all parts of the business. That might involve providing better information, advice and guidance so people don’t have to call in the first place. It might be about routing those calls more efficiently to the right people, with the right skills, at the right time; or it might be about automating enquiries into back end systems faster.</p> <p>But, whichever way, it’s not just about the call centre or IT.</p> <p>It’s about really transforming the business and the customer journey end-to-end.</p> <h3>2) When doesn’t it work?</h3> <p>Often it doesn’t work when an organisation appoints a chief digital officer or a chief transformation officer, then says, ‘OK, our job here is done’. The ones that succeed are where the CEO and executive committee take responsibility and have an active involvement. Then your transformation person becomes the facilitator, ensuring the right controls and disciplines are in place, and the right partners brought to bear.</p> <h3>3) What mindset does an executive committee need to make such a transformation successful?</h3> <p>There are two, really. The first is recognising that they are going to be making a lot of decisions and investing a lot of effort in driving large-scale change throughout their organisation, in many areas, all at once. That will need to be complemented by cultural change, new skills, new disciplines and new partners.</p> <p>The second is really thinking about the amazing disruptive digital technology that’s out there, and how it’s changing the world. When it comes to the art of the possible, the bar has been significantly raised and it’s very hard to see that unless you have some idea of what those possibilities are.</p> <h3>4) Where do you start?</h3> <p>We tend to start by leveraging the assets that are already in place, in order to drive out cost. Then, once you begin to understand how to mobilise and drive the organisation to perform at scale – and that’s not just the technology but also the people and the processes – you can take on a more ambitious slice of service redesign.</p> <p>But, you can’t just transform the contact centre. When you think about the end customer journey – whether that’s someone booking a flight or reporting a missed bin collection – that experience for the customer is impacted from everywhere – from the website, the contact centre, the back office, the finance systems, logistics... no part of the business should be excluded.</p> <h3>5) What helps a digital transformation gain momentum?</h3> <p>Successful transformations gain momentum not because of some new tool or piece of technology, but because you’ve worked in a smart, agile way and quickly delivered something that is ‘wow’ for the customer. People see that and start to think differently, become more responsive to customer needs and better at implementing change.</p> <h3>6) What does Capita bring to projects like these?</h3> <p>At its heart, Capita understands how to run operations within an organisation. Importantly we’ve done lots of our own transformations where we’ve taken on a lot of people and had to go through very rapid transitions to improve efficiencies. That’s our core proposition. We’ve done this before, in our own business. It’s deep, pragmatic experience – it’s not just a PowerPoint!</p> <h3>7) What surprises organisations when they find themselves in the middle of transformation journey?</h3> <p>I think they are often surprised at the pace their organisation can move when it’s set up the right way, and when you introduce new skills.</p> <p>They’re also often surprised at how little they understand of the workload that’s either coming into, or being produced within, their organisation. I’ve been surprised myself sometimes!, But that’s the power of data within a digital transformation, really being able to measure everything and getting this amazing transparency.</p> <h3>8) How do you measure success?</h3> <p>You need one or two very clear metrics of success. Are we about improving customer service and reducing costs? Or increasing revenue? Or reducing turnaround time? Be really crystal clear what that metric is.</p> <p>In IT transformations of old, you’d have to wait two years until it was all in, and people were retrained and using it, before you could see if it worked. By which time, by the way, the business was likely to have changed immensely so how could you even tell?</p> <p>However, when you start doing individual customer journeys as part of a digital transformation, you can measure everything. So, in the programs we’ve done, we’ve known the benefits at each stage before and after implementation.</p> <p>Good transformations are the ones where you can measure the benefits at every stage and you know, straight away, if it’s working, every time a solution goes live.</p> <h3>9) What’s the big opportunity for customer service in a digital transformation?</h3> <p>I think it’s about getting organisations to think more broadly about delivering their end customer services. It’s not just about having the most efficient contact centre; it’s about having the most efficient end-to-end processes, making it frictionless for the customer, and therefore reducing the workload coming in and handling it in the most efficient way. That’s the potential of a really powerful digital transformation.</p> UK Public Sector: The SME Secret to Digital Success Fri, 10 Nov 2017 10:43:48 +0000 Simona Paliulyte(techUK) Guest blog post by Gary Todd, CEO & Founder of Famiio as part of our #procuring4growth week <p><strong>Public Sector innovation</strong> and digital transformation in local government is taking hold, picking up pace and starting to have real impact. The <strong>GovTech market</strong> is expanding and we are seeing new innovations and approaches every day from innovative localgov teams and pioneering startups, underpinned by GDS standards, service design methods and localgov best practice.</p> <p>Historically, local government has admirably sought to <strong>deliver its local aim to see citizens’ lives changed significantly for the better</strong>.</p> <p>But with some wider thinking, there are even greater opportunities, and more significant and life-changing benefits to be harnessed. We need to look outwards, not inwards. Now is the time for the whole of the UK Public Sector to consider and embrace two much wider and more ambitious aims:</p> <p>1. For local authorities and other stakeholders (including SMEs) to work together, rather than independently, to find solutions that benefit everyone.</p> <p>2. For diverse, multi-sector teams to innovate together, for the benefit and unity of the union, establishing the UK as the world leader in Public Sector innovation.</p> <p>OK, so some of this is already happening, and there are many good examples at a local level, but there needs to be more willingness from the Public Sector to look for solutions beyond the walls of their own teams and ICT suppliers - there are a wealth of Public Sector innovations being developed nationally, but few ways for these organisations to identify the localgov change-makers and innovators with whom they should engage. So they get nowhere - and citizens miss out.</p> <p>For locally-delivered services, such as waste management, council tax collection, parking, blue badges, etc. this is often less of an issue. However, much of future progress is in cross-border services, interoperability &amp; data sharing, Open Data, APIs and digital standards - and all these need an outward perspective and a multi-sector solution. We need to deliver on the two aims above to make a subsequent difference to citizens. Only then will the UK truly be able to join up services, data and consistent delivery across borders.</p> <p><strong>The solution</strong></p> <p>To change the status quo and realise the UK as the global leader in Public Sector innovation, we must communicate more, fund innovatively, and make ourselves more available as follows:</p> <p>1. <strong>Market information days</strong> – SMEs can’t engage 152 ‘gatewayed’ organisations when they are trying to find solutions. It’s up to localgov to provide innovators with opportunities to present solutions to the Public Sector en masse. Examples of this include London Ventures and the techUK Innovation Den, but there needs to be more events, particularly outside of London.</p> <p>2. <strong>Localgov crowdfunding of solutions</strong> - Despite localgov austerity, there is transformation money, but much of this is being spent locally to address challenges 152 times over. Like the issue of GDPR faced by every local authority, localgov must embrace new cost-effective models to fund integrated national solutions to shared local problems.</p> <p>3. <strong>Better seed funding for GovTech collaboration and innovation</strong> - There is a significant need for larger sums to deliver national solutions to local problems, e.g. my personal favourite, childcare information. These challenges are best solved by a multi-sector team, not by localgov (or indeed a tech company) in isolation.</p> <p>So who is going to take up the challenge in their own capacity and role? Even beyond Brexit, the UK can be the world leader in GovTech innovation. But only if we change old habits, take a risk and go out of our way to discover the possibilities not quite in front of us.</p> Partnering for Digital Outcomes Opportunities Thu, 09 Nov 2017 13:37:22 +0000 Simona Paliulyte(techUK) Guest blog post by Ainga Pillai, CEO & Founder of Zaizi as part of our #procuring4growth week <p>Last week a SME Cloud business went into administration because HMRC had migrated away to another supplier. The contract originally won through G-Cloud as a two-year contract, but not subsequently renewed highlights one of the challenges for SMEs to win and successfully grow their public sector business.</p> <p>“Her Majesty’s Government is not in the habit of bankrupting SMEs”, I’m told often by procurement people within public sector, hence why they don’t want to give significant work to SMEs like us. The risks are obvious; you win a large engagement, hire more staff, get more equipment and move to new premises, thereby increasing your overhead which can bankrupt you when the engagement ends and you are unable to find further work. Government departments are aware of this and ensure SMEs don’t win a large contract relative to their turnover and that their department doesn’t represent a significant proportion of an SME’s revenue. This is a challenge for ambitious SME’s like Zaizi looking to grow rapidly.</p> <p>The Digital Marketplace has opened up public sector procurement for digital delivery services, making it easier and simpler for government departments to procure and for companies of all sizes to compete to provide those services. You answer 7 – 10 questions in 100 words on your skills and experience to pass the initial shortlisting; followed by a proposal and an optional presentation to win the digital outcomes project. The whole process could be 4 – 6 weeks long and you could be kicking off a new engagement with a new public sector organisation.</p> <p>The challenges for SME’s like Zaizi to be successful in engagement with public sector via the Digital Marketplace are;</p> <p>1. No visibility of what potential future work is coming up in the marketplace, to be lining up resources and preparing to bid for.<br />2. No ability to predict chances of winning a Digital Market outcomes opportunity. Recently we bid for an opportunity which had 54 suppliers bid - a record for Digital Marketplace I’m told.<br />3. Unable to forecast staffing needs and plan for hiring, as a successful Digital Marketplace bid could mean kicking off the project within 1 - 2 weeks of being notified of a successful bid.<br />4. Ability to onboard quickly and flex resourcing over the course of the engagement, which most projects require.<br />5. Meeting the wide set of skill and experience required in some Digital Marketplace opportunities.</p> <p>The obvious answer is to build an associate network you can call upon and overcome the challenges without increasing your fixed overheads. There are a number of SMEs that do this including a few who are recruitment companies, with a large pool of contractors. This approach works and is suitable for some of the digital engagements within the public sector, but not for all. Companies sometimes reference skills and experience of particular associates in response to a particular opportunity but who are unavailable for the engagement.</p> <p>At Zaizi, we’ve taken a partnering approach with like-minded SME’s to overcome the scaling, skills and experience challenge to be successful in winning Digital Marketplace opportunities. Our strength lies in open source delivery and cloud deployments. We’ve partnered with other SMEs who complement our capability like;</p> <p>● Fluent Interaction: a user research and user experience design specialist<br />● Securestorm: a cybersecurity specialist<br />● LA International: security cleared associate network</p> <p>By partnering with like-minded specialist SMEs, we have been able to rapidly assemble a strong digital team and successfully deliver Digital Outcomes opportunities. Our public sector customers tell us they like our partnering approach, because they get the breadth of specialist skills and experience they require; ability to flex resourcing – as the overhead risk is spread among different companies; and the committed engagement that only an SME companies can provide.</p> <p>If you are an SME who will you partner with for your next Digital Outcomes opportunity?</p> <p>If you think you can complete Zaizi, then please do get in touch at <a href=""></a>.</p> <hr /> <p>Complete techUK's SME Survey <a href="">here</a> and help us make the case on your behalf.</p> Why tech SMEs are Crucial to Public Sector Digital Transformation Thu, 09 Nov 2017 10:43:55 +0000 Simona Paliulyte(techUK) Guest blog post by Dave Briggs, Consultant at Advice Cloud as part of our #procuring4growth week <p>Public services in the UK are shielded to a certain extent from the disruption of digital age startups – environmental health is unlikely to be Uber-ised any time soon, after all. However, the twin challenges of severe budget reductions and increased demand from service users means that change is necessary, and digital transformation is a way of seeing how the sector can, in effect, disrupt itself.</p> <p>At a very high level, the digital transformation of a public service has three main elements:</p> <p>• The operating model – deciding how services should be delivered<br />• The service design – deciding how the needs of the user are best met in a specific process<br />• The technology – using online tech to make the service accessible anytime, anywhere, backed up with assistance for those that lack access or skills</p> <p>SMEs play a vital role in all three of these areas – by providing skills and capabilities that the public sector currently lacks in-house, and by delivering the kind of modern, flexible technology needed to deliver digital-age solutions.</p> <p>The latter is a particularly important point, and is one that requires a step change in culture in IT departments. The digital requirement to focus on meeting user need rather than organisational convenience means that the best approaches seek to knit together flexible, best of breed capabilities rather than investing in large, monolithic systems.</p> <p>After all, many of the line of business systems in use in the public sector do rather similar things – they are made up of case management, bookings, reporting, assessment, payments, notifications and so on. Rather than buying these capabilities over and over again, embedded into large, siloed systems, increasingly organisations seek to purchase these capabilities separately, stitching them together using APIs and web services to deliver a solution that meets the needs of the user, rather than bending processes to fit how the system works.</p> <p>This has a number of advantages:</p> <p>• Cost savings, in not duplicating the purchase of capabilities<br />• Easier to support, as the core set of capabilities are the same no matter what the service is<br />• Greater flexibility, as capabilities can be swapped in and out as the market matures and new innovations come into play</p> <p>What the public sector needs for this approach to flourish is a rich market of possibilities – different vendors focusing on developing brilliant specific capabilities rather than trying to develop vast platforms that do everything. Tech SMEs should be perfectly placed to provide the kind of innovation needed to grow this kind of ecosystem, whilst operating at the right scale to never lose touch with what the user outcome needs to be.</p> <p>Working with SMEs is easier now that it ever has been before, with procurement frameworks like the Digital Marketplace creating simple routes to market without the need to go through laborious tender processes. Advice Cloud works with many organisations on both <a href="">the supply</a> and <a href="">the buy side</a> to help make connections between the two and smooth the process of purchasing, minimising to hold ups to getting the real work done.</p> <p>Technology is not the be-all and end-all of digital transformation. However, any organisation looking to disrupt itself in this way must have a sufficiently flexible technology stack to support the radical change that is needed – and tech SMEs are in the perfect place to deliver what digital transformation demands.</p> <hr /> <p>Complete techUK's SME Survey <a href="">here</a> and help us make the case on your behalf.</p> Local Government as a Platform – How APIs will deliver the Council of the Future Wed, 08 Nov 2017 14:45:27 +0000 Simona Paliulyte(techUK) Guest blog post by Carlos Oliveira, Founder & CEO of Shaping Cloud as part of our #procuring4growth week <p>Let’s start with a couple of questions. How many pay-by-phone parking apps do you currently have on your mobile phone? If you are like me and you spend a good proportion of your time driving around the country then I would say you will have at least three or four. Second question: can you remember the painful experience of trying to get each of those parking apps set up for the first time when you are in a new location? You have to register your vehicle, register your payment method and put in the correct location code, all whilst trying to rush to your next appointment.</p> <p>Now picture this – you drive to a new town or city in the UK, you park your car, you open your favourite parking app and you press “Park.” Instead of being forced to use the parking app that the council has chosen for you, you get to chose whichever one you believe offers you the best and most friction-free experience.</p> <p>This is a really simple example of the kinds of opportunities that would be enabled by local government adopting an API-first approach in a standard and unified way. If each council agreed to provide a standardised Parking API that third party developers can then leverage, it would create a true competition within that eco-system of vendors where the primary driver is the citizen experience and not their ability to negotiate favourable terms with each different local authority. It is a true Win:Win:Win – better citizen experience, less overhead for the council and it will encourage SMEs to enter the market with new innovations.</p> <p>Now consider if you could expand that approach across all of local government – standard API’s for Council Tax, business rates, bin collection, housing benefits, etc. Every council is mandated to deliver the same core services, yet currently they each approach them in different ways which stifles the market and means that only a handful of suppliers are able to operate in many of these areas. By embracing the API economy councils would immediately unlock a huge amount of innovation in the market.</p> <p>Imagine the scenario: you are a new start-up business with some really clever technology, let’s say Machine Learning that can detect fraud. If you assess the local government market, there is a huge need for this kind of technology but as a supplier you know that it requires you to go and have 400 different conversations in 400 different local authorities and then in each one of those authorities the data that your software needs in order to work is stored in totally different ways, meaning each roll-out is unique and bespoke. This is a huge barrier to entry right now for SMEs and often that supplier ends up taking their technology into other sectors, such as banking and insurance, where standards exist. This barrier could be completely overcome if councils agreed on a standard set of APIs.</p> <p>There are already plenty of examples of how an API-first approach is transforming the public sector. TfL were one of the first to embrace opening up their data via APIs and a <a href="">recent impact report from GovLab</a> states that over 350 apps have since been built using that data.</p> <p><em>It is possible to conclude that TfL have so far saved between £15m-£42m through opening raw data to the app market, rather than developing all its apps in-house.</em></p> <p><strong>GovLab – Global Impact of Open Data Report</strong></p> <p>The same path is now being followed by other Central Government departments, with HMRC in particular embracing an API-first approach that has encouraged hundreds of suppliers and start-ups into <a href="">their developer programme</a> and saving them hundreds of millions of pounds in what would have been in-house development costs.</p> <p>So, the business case is proven, the technology is established and thriving in other sectors. It’s now time for local government to come together and standardise on an approach for deploying APIs and unlocking so much of the disruptive innovation that is currently on the outside looking in, unable to access the market in a scalable and cost-effective way</p> <hr /> <p>Complete techUK's SME Survey <a href="">here</a> and help us make the case on your behalf.</p> The Government Tech Market, Literally Includes Markets Wed, 08 Nov 2017 10:23:33 +0000 Simona Paliulyte(techUK) Guest blog post by Andrew Pavord, CEO of Apply4 Technology as part of our #procuring4growth week <p>Southwark Council’s most famous shopping area must be the ancient Borough Market, foodie favourite, and the film home of fictional Bridget Jones. But the council manages a network of 20 markets, from Bermondsey Square antiques to East Street off the Walworth Road, contemporary designers at Oxo Tower Wharf, and Peckham selling everything from ladies’ wear to ladies’ fingers (okra).</p> <p>A plethora of regulations dictates the permitting of these brilliant neighbourhood assets. Market managers have been struggling with a very complicated workflow that’s only become more difficult over the years. They know they have to replace paper forms with a digital solution. And budgets are tight.</p> <p><strong>What does this have to do with SMEs?</strong></p> <p>Market managers and traders are not generally well positioned to write up a technical specification from scratch. Only SMEs are able to operate on the human level required to develop technology at the stallholders’ pace, working closely with the traders and managers, growing a product organically, and gradually phasing out the old way of doing things.</p> <p>In the end, digital government will only advance if all the stakeholders take part. MarketApp, as we call it, and other products for niche users, must constantly change, and remain affordable, in order to stay useful.</p> <p>Stripping out cost, working together and sharing efficiencies is a key strength for SMEs, and has created many opportunities for smaller players like us.</p> <p>Why would an authority attempt to draft up – and finance – a bespoke specification when the knowledge and skills of so many others, developed over many years, and continually improving, is made available by a small SaaS provider?</p> <p>Our company was born initially out of a need to provide unified film permitting across London. We expanded to help deliver other government services. The cost for our first product, FilmApp, came beneath the threshold for procurement requirements. This made the system available directly to end users, with the approval of their budget holder. No IT support was required to get up and running, and continual maintenance and support is offered at no extra cost.</p> <p>Filmmakers working with next-level CGI expect more than incomprehensible paper forms that need to be posted back. Events operators managing productions from their smartphones will go elsewhere if councils don't keep up with their fast paced industries. Small business owners taking contactless payments on their market stalls aren’t going to ply their trade when the licensing authority takes months to licence their stall.</p> <p>Digital transformation has to deliver improved productivity, as well as better services, at lower costs. We’re convinced that through remaining practical and collaborative, SME providers will increasingly deliver affordable and future-proof government technology.</p> <p><strong>About Apply4 Technology</strong> (</p> <p>We make the UK and America’s favourite permitting software, providing simple, inexpensive solutions to public authorities and private companies for film, events, markets, streetworks, and venue hire.</p> <hr /> <p><em>Complete techUK's SME Survey <a href="">here</a> and help us make the case on your behalf.</em></p> Refocusing on the Role of SMEs in Delivering Government Transformation Tue, 07 Nov 2017 14:07:06 +0000 Simona Paliulyte(techUK) Guest blog post by Simon Hansford, CEO of UKCloud as part of our #procuring4growth week <p>As part of techUK’s SME Campaign Week, we wanted to look at the barriers that SMEs face in accessing the public sector market, and the fundamental part they play in the transformation and delivery of public services.</p> <p>In August 2015, the Cabinet Office and the Crown Commercial Service announced with great fanfare an ambitious target <a href="">that £1 in every £3 that the government spends will be with small businesses by 2020</a>.</p> <p>Matt Hancock, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, said: “This is such an amazing opportunity for the country’s diverse and innovative small businesses, and today I urge them to get stuck in. From computers to uniforms – there are so many opportunities for small businesses to work with us, and I want to see more of them providing value for money for the taxpayer and benefiting from our spending.”</p> <p>From one perspective, a great deal has been achieved in seeking to meet this target. Many UK tech SMEs are capitalising in particular on the opportunities provided by the G-Cloud framework to compete on equal terms with larger suppliers, and being more agile and innovative than their larger counterparts, to provide greater value to the taxpayer. On the surface, this would appear an ideal win-win scenario.</p> <p>Unfortunately, there is much anecdotal evidence that things are working out far less well for many SMEs. Key figures such as Baroness Lane-Fox, the architect of GDS, and Lord Maude, its greatest champion, have recently been o<a href="">utspoken about the state of the UK government’s digital transformation and reform agenda</a>, indicating that something may well be amiss. A critical part of the reform agenda, exiting legacy IT contracts and breaking the cycle of big government contracts, was always going to be a massive challenge, despite the ambitious SME target. And Brexit has complicated matters, with the Financial Times recently reporting that “there are hundreds of contracts expiring this year that are being renewed because civil servants are too busy with Brexit to focus on new and better-value tenders.”</p> <p><strong>Where Next for SMEs?</strong></p> <p>Let us not forget that it is the SME’s agility and their ability to innovate and drive value that is the critical driver behind the SME agenda. As John Manzoni, Chief Executive of the Civil Service said at the time of the SME announcement: “Further opening up our marketplace to small businesses is good economic sense all round – making it easier for them to access and win government business opportunities, whilst encouraging increased competition and market innovation to deliver best value for the taxpayer.”</p> <p>Let’s hope that they find a way to refocus on the SME agenda and fully capitalize the value that SME’s can provide.</p> <hr /> <p><em>Complete techUK's SME Survey <a href="">here</a> and help us make the case on your behalf.</em></p> Supercharging Global Britain's Technology Assets Tue, 07 Nov 2017 12:03:48 +0000 Aimee Betts-Charalambous(techUK) At techUK's Supercharging the Digital Economy event on 31 October a panel of experts discussed how the UK can become a world leader in innovative tech. <blockquote>Companies optimistic about opportunities for UK leadership in FinTech, AI/Automation and IoT.</blockquote> <p>With the worlds' economies digitalising around us understanding the areas where the UK can be a global leader will be fundamental to our future success. Chaired by Bryan Glick Editor in Chief, Computer Weekly, our first panel kicked off the discussion on how we can supercharge our digital economy by taking advantage of leadership potential in 5G, Blockchain, AI, IoT and quantum computing.</p> <p>Samsung's Dan Warren got the ball rolling by looking at where the UK stood in terms of 5G. With previous rollouts the UK was a clear leader but with 5G this isn’t the case and we are playing catch-up to a number of countries including the USA. With commercials having changed, meaning lower margins, industry has found that there is less money to play with. This has led to a reduction in inward investment impacting operator led R&amp;D - the hallmark of our advantage in 2G.</p> <p>This isn't the end of the story however. Much like other technologies represented on the panel, value to the UK economy is not just about being the first to define technical requirements, but rather there is an opportunity to look at use cases. Dan sees a real opportunity for the to define some of the economic requirements of 5G. In particular around latency and interfaces with new tech such as AI and IoT. It's important not to think of 5G as a silver bullet but there are very real opportunities for how 5G can support broader economic efficiencies particularly in a world where data is king and services are increasingly integrated.</p> <p>Turning to AI, Phil Brougham, DigitalGenius commented that we are reaching the peak of the hype cycle. Which means that now is the time define the real and tangible, breaking away from the 'Hollywood' version of AI and look to the real value AI can add to the economy.</p> <p>Some see AI as a threat to the UK economy however Phil is clear that this is actually a great moment to enhance productivity. AI is not about removing jobs, rather it's about augmenting them - helping people to do work which is more valuable to a company and ultimately the individual. This is work that involves less repetition and instead focuses on the more human elements of business, unlocking greater creativity in the process. Phil sees consistency and efficiency as the main benefits of AI and argues that this is what businesses should be clamouring at the door to take advantage of.</p> <p>Turning to export potential its useful to remember that UK has always been a leader in AI innovation. Although now owned by Google DeepMind was a UK-born innovation. However to keep this edge and drive the market forward it will be important to take a moment and look at what we are developing AI for. Much like 5G there is a great opportunity for the UK to diagnose use cases by finding pain points across the economy. This will not only tackle broader challenges around productivity but also drive greater acceptance of the technology.</p> <p>With Cloud the challenge is not about technology acceptance. Cloud is already mainstream in environments such as Enterprise. Instead the challenge is about what next and how companies can capture that value. IBM's Helen Kelisky noted that we are now moving into 'Phase 3' where the questions are about data. How we collect it, how we manage it and ultimately how we unlock the 'nuggets' held within. This is where Cloud can play a massive role, accelerating innovation and acting as an enabler by providing the part of the underlying infrastructure supporting the data economy and its spread across borders.</p> <p>Countering audience views that the UK has little opportunity to become a global leader in Blockchain Genevieve Leveille, AgriLedger, reminded us that Ethereum actually started in the UK. She noted that we already have the expertise, what we are missing is the right environment to capitalise on this expertise. As with many other areas of innovation the UK is failing to create the framework within which ideas can flourish, meaning those who are looking to build a market turn to other countries like Switzerland. What's more a failure to articulate how blockchain can improve business operations means UK companies are missing a trick. As vice chair of techUK's Distributed Ledger Technology Group Genevieve is clear that now more than ever we need to demystify the technology and its multiple applications. Most knowledge of blockchain is about bitcoin but actually that’s just one example of a blockchain in action. Blockchain is an infrastructure that can enhance trust in data by providing a trusted truth that an event has happened. It also serves to increase efficiency and reduce costs by removing intermediaries.</p> <p>Whilst the UK is certainly behind the curve there is still an opportunity within Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). ICOs are a new approach to public market offerings and are being used widely by the start-up community. £2.8bn has been raised so far, showing clear investor interest, however there are significant risks due to a lack of regulations. The UK has an opportunity to get a handle on this 'wild west', creating a framework which will allow ICOs to be explored more fully.</p> <h3>Productivity</h3> <p>It is a well-known fact that the UK has a productivity deficit. One reason is due to the failure of UK businesses to exploit technology in the same way as countries such as Germany for example. All of the technologies looked at this year offer a solution. AI offers an opportunity to increase productivity by freeing up people time, allowing them to focus on the creative and more personal elements of their role. Blockchain will further facilitate new ways of working reducing the number of intermediaries involved. This is already being seen in the financial services sector where trades that used to take days can now happen in a matter of seconds. Cloud delivers value by centralising operations cutting costs and enhancing agility delivering better services not just internally but also to customers. But using technology to solve the productivity challenge is not just down to businesses. To support all of this there is a clear need for improved connectivity, both to reduce latency but also improve coverage.</p> <h3>How can a CIO take advantage of innovation?</h3> <p>When asked how larger companies can take advantage of opportunities the panel agreed that creating the right framework to empower CIO's is fundamental. This includes ensuring the governance around innovation labs allows a proper assessment of the value of new technologies. Large organisations should also seek to explore the innovation that already exists within their business. Taking a view of how grass root innovations can add value across multiple business lines.</p> <p>The message was clear - don't let being overly cautious get in the way, now is the time to be bold. Take new technologies and innovations seriously. Emerging technology is not out of the box, so if you see an opportunity be patient and keep testing. One failure does not mean the game is over.</p> <h3>Brexit</h3> <p>Of course no discussion is complete without the mention of Brexit. With more than 2/3 of attendees seeing Brexit as a challenge and the panel citing the loss of talent; policy isolation; and loss of Commission R&amp;D funding as real risks to the UK there is clearly more to be done in providing certainty, ensuring the UK economy is kept on track. The story isn't all bad however. As the panel showed there are still areas within which the UK can thrive, growing export potential but also supporting domestic productivity. What is needed is affirmative action within companies to explore innovation despite uncertainty and a government willing to explore new support frameworks.</p> <p></p> <hr /> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Supercharging Brtian's Role in Global Trade</a></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">How to Supercharge Digital Adoption and Use</a></p> It’s Time to Bust the Myths about SMEs Tue, 07 Nov 2017 10:30:14 +0000 Simona Paliulyte(techUK) Guest blog post by Elizabeth Vega, Global CEO of Informed Solutions as part of our #procuring4growth week <p>If optimism is the faith that leads to achievement, there’s a good reason that SMEs don’t always win their rightful share of government contracts. It’s because, more often than not, they’re held back by a negative narrative, tired myths and a residual cultural resistance to change within too many pockets of government and the public sector.</p> <p>In these areas, SMEs are still most frequently defined not by what they are achieving and by their capabilities but rather by a narrative that focuses on their perceived limitations and the ‘barriers’ and ‘risks’ to doing business with them. There is far less focus on understanding what has enabled the SME to be a successful innovator, served their other customers so well, and the benefits that a buyer gets from direct access to an SME’s Main Board and their commitment.</p> <p>Latest government figures show SME spend has fallen as a percentage of overall government spending. We have work to do to help meet Ministers’ target of spending £1 in every £3 with SMEs.</p> <p>To get back on track, we must challenge the stifling narrative, myths and engrained cultural behaviours that are holding us back. It is time to emphasise the achievements of UK SMEs; their proven capabilities, innovation, ability to create value and the modernising, energising power that SMEs deliver into the marketplace. We need to look beyond the prejudices and negative rhetoric to the facts.</p> <p>For example, since it was established in 2012, Cabinet Office’s Digital Marketplace has spent £1.26billion with SMEs and this has delivered innovative new services, very substantial savings and created a huge amount of social and economic value for the UK. Waste has been cut and replaced by modern solutions that provide more responsive, user-centred services and operational efficiency at a lower cost. Cabinet Office delivered £755million of savings in the last year alone, primarily by working with SMEs.</p> <p>There are many, many examples of SMEs doing excellent, pioneering work in the public sector. However, instead of highlighting these successes, too many conversations are dominated by the barriers and challenges that need to be overcome. Lessons learned should of course explore the things that can be done better. However, lessons learned must also look at understanding what is working, why it works, and how we can get on with doing more of it.</p> <p>At a time of significant economic turmoil and uncertainty, there’s never been a more critical time to shine a light on what we’re achieving and on using balanced learnings and insights to encourage government and public sector buyers to do more business with SMEs.</p> <p>As a member of Cabinet Office’s SME Panel for some six years, I have had the privilege of meeting wise, committed and hardworking SME champions across many Departments, Agencies and Local Authorities. They are making a difference in breaking down barriers and prejudices. However, I still see many pockets (some large) of deep cultural resistance and complacency within government and the public sector. Here, all too frequently, buyers and procurers try to legitimise a lack of meaningful progress by resorting to that old chestnut called ‘risk aversion’.</p> <p>It is probably also a good time to remind ourselves that there’s no genuine ‘safety’ in the comfort zone of continuing with the old ways of doing things. The market has experienced a seismic shift and no company is too big to fail, as we’ve seen with household names such as Worldcom, NTL, Compaq, Woolworths, Blockbuster, Comet and Monarch.</p> <p>I want to bust the myth that SMEs don’t have sufficient skills and capabilities to do heavy lifting on projects for large organisations. It is a fact that the most cost effective, successful and proven route to innovation for large businesses is to partner with SMEs.</p> <p>Large corporates know this already – and that’s why research shows they are spending 31% more on delivering innovation through SME collaborations than on internal R&amp;D, to help them modernise their operations, adopt new technologies and ways of working. Most recently, Network Rail called out the stagnation that is evident in the rail industry, encouraging operators to partner with SME “disruptors” to innovate, as a way of delivering a better customer experience, drive service improvements and reliability.</p> <p>Lastly, I want to bust the myth that dismisses all SMEs as being much of a muchness. The Harvard Business Review applauds a new and growing breed of highly successful SME, whose business model is that of a “nano-multinational”; characterised by commercial maturity, agility, an elastic and scalable operating model, global outlook and big ambition. SMEs are busy innovating, modernising and delivering value for the UK economy. It’s time to focus on a more positive narrative around SMEs and to overcome the engrained cultural resistance that is still limiting too many areas of government and the public sector from doing business with them.</p> <p>We can do this by debunking all the myths and prejudices that are currently holding us all back.</p> <hr /> <p><em>Complete techUK's SME Survey <a href="">here</a> and help us make the case on your behalf.</em></p> GDPR: A Force for Good? Mon, 06 Nov 2017 13:55:47 +0000 Simona Paliulyte(techUK) Guest blog post by Nabil Nistar, Marketing Manager at Securestorm as part of our #procuring4growth week <p>The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has come at an interesting time in our lives. People make their personal data readily available to companies or through a multitude of social media tools, either knowingly or unwittingly. Just looking at the proliferation of ‘Connect’ requests on Linked-In, Facebook etc gives a sense of our personal data being available to a wide body of people and organisations.</p> <p>I recently heard a comment that GDPR was brought in by the EU as a way to break what was seen as the data monopoly by some organisations. However, I like to think GDPR was brought about to strengthen the rights of individuals; improve protection by fixing what wasn’t working in the previous legislation; and enforce consistency across Europe by now passing a Regulation rather than a Directive.</p> <p>Public bodies, Government agencies etc. do not have a good track record of protecting people’s data – looking at the ICO website for enforcement action for Q1 2017 shows that 73% of all incidents were in this sector. That doesn’t mean that the private sector can gloat as 27% is not a good situation either!</p> <p>For those of you who were involved in the much-maligned Y2K or ‘Millennium Bug’ you could be excused for thinking that GDPR was déjà vu. It’s been 20-ish years since the Y2K projects started but the same “it’ll never happen” versus “we’re all doomed” comments seem to be resurfacing; the 2-4% global turnover regulatory fine has been effective at focussing attention on GDPR.</p> <p>I worked in a trading floor at the time and there was a huge (i.e. expensive and time-consuming) project to identify affected systems and processes. Quite a few instances were discovered and it did stop ‘things’ working. Was it the end of the world like some predicted: no. Would it have impacted operations on 01/01/00 if left unchecked: yes? Was it a timely overhaul of outdated systems and processes: definitely yes!</p> <p>What the lead up to Y2K did do was focus staff, and most importantly, the executive’s attention to the risks and impact of doing nothing - sound like current conversations? The risks of doing nothing far outweigh the investment. Did that result in getting systems, infrastructure and controls updated: yes.</p> <p>GDPR is an opportunity for anyone who thinks in such terms: we all win as our data will be more secure and we won’t be constantly pestered unless there is a lawful reason to do so.....and if there isn’t we can object and stop it; the public and private sectors can win as there is an opportunity to transform, streamline and improve their IT/processes and stop hoarding (and therefore paying to store) data; IT and developers can win if they design privacy into their tools – it makes them more attractive (and marketable) if they can say exactly what data is expected and the data flows are already mapped out.</p> <p>I believe that there are many opportunities for the implementation of GDPR for SMEs, and that it will be a great example of how an SME can deliver a positive change in Government. Not one to fear.</p> <p><strong>About Securestorm</strong></p> <p>Securestorm was formed when our co-founders made a decision to leave the limitations of the Big 4 environment to set up a lean, responsive cyber security consultancy that provided practical advice with the aim to simplify the world of Cyber and Cloud Security.</p> <hr /> <p><em>Complete techUK's SME Survey <a href="">here</a> and help us make the case on your behalf.</em></p> Small is Beautiful: The Advantages of SME’s to Big Business Mon, 06 Nov 2017 11:25:10 +0000 Simona Paliulyte(techUK) Guest blog post by Julia Ross, Chief Strategist Care and Health at PredictX as part of our #procuring4growth week <p>This famous phrase actually came from Ernst Schmaker’s teacher not the man himself but it was Schmaker that became famous and developed the concept in, ‘The study of economics as if people mattered’ 1973. Schmaker went on to say, “Wisdom demands a new orientation towards the organic, the gentle, the elegant and the beautiful.”</p> <p>In the world of technology today, small is indeed beautiful but beauty can be found in big too. So the challenge is how to marry the advantages SMEs bring with that of big business, so that the end recipients – people and citizens can benefit. This is especially true of the NHS where the current debate (see HSJ 30.10.17 Cowper’s Cut: The big machine or the eco system) is all about whether the NHS is moving from an eco-system to a big machine. Let’s look at the opportunities and the challenges.</p> <p>It’s often implied that small is better as well as beautiful because it’s inherently more innovative. Sometimes that’s true, as SMEs are usually nimble, often disruptive and being fast moving they can create new things without massive overheads. They also are good at doing a small number of good things well with great focus. We’ve found that in predictive analytics software, we can excel in certain areas but need partnerships with big business, or indeed increasingly with the public sector in others.</p> <p>However, because it’s all about relationships, partnerships take time to grow and to build trust. There is the beauty and the beast reality about competition too. It’s a force for good because it drives prices down but the ever present threat of collaborating with some big businesses is that it’s all about how to buy you, replicate you or squash you. We’ve recently spent a lot of time rebranding to reflect our direction of travel and new demands from our customers for predictive analytics. Our old brand was too small to be robust. Simularily proving we are safe with data is constant for us, simply because of our perceived size.</p> <p>Like techUk, we do believe the government’s SME agenda is committed but perhaps inevitably for the time being, procurement processes are lagging behind. techUk has had and is having a significant impact on this agenda<br />In our experience, many public sector bodies don’t know how to use the G Cloud for software procurement and revert to tried and tested processes. There is often an inherent reluctance to try something new and move away from cumbersome time consuming and expensive procurement processes. Expensive and time consuming for both parties. There’s also a lack of understanding that small businesses cannot be treated in the same way as large businesses, managing the risk and cash flow is king to all business but so is size. This is not always the case in the public sector.</p> <p>My view having worked in both public and private sectors is that SMEs and big business both have merits and the whole is better than the sum of the parts. That won’t work for everyone and everywhere but I’m pretty certain that partnerships with SMEs whether they be public, voluntary and private as opposed to competition with big business have the potential of delivering considerable benefits. My one recommendation would be that forget the 30% target for all public sector engaging with SMEs and go for 100%. Why not expect every contract to have some element of SME provision. That way public sector partnerships will flourish and Schmakers’ “people matter” could actually happen.</p> <hr /> <p><em>Complete techUK's SME Survey <a href="">here</a>&nbsp;and help us make the case on your behalf.</em></p> Defence Science & Technology Strategy 2017 - Initial Comments Thu, 02 Nov 2017 11:40:40 +0000 Andy Johnston (techUK) The Ministry of Defence has released a strategy for the injection of innovation and S&T work into UK Defence. techUK gives it's first thoughts. <p>This week the Ministry of Defence (MOD) released the Science &amp; Technology (S&amp;T) Strategy 2017. The document is the result of an injection of new thinking from the recently appointment Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA) Hugh Durrant-Whyte as well as an acceptance of a number of trends that have continued to affect Defence S&amp;T over recent years and months.</p> <p>As the private sector has increased investment in research and development (R&amp;D) activities (especially in the digital industries) and public sector spending in Government-wide S&amp;T continues to remain largely flat, the traditional balance has been upset.</p> <p>As efficiency and value for money becomes ever more important to Defence spending it is widely agreed that MOD needs to vastly improve pull-through from S&amp;T activity to the front line. techUK welcomes this subject being directly addressed in the strategy, noting the traditional difficulties that the Department has had in this area. techUK believes a central goal of this strategy should be setting out a plan to address this long-standing issue. Industry plays a vital part here, and the strategy also needs to acknowledge this and posit routes for closer collaboration.</p> <p>A major positive of the document is Annexe B which lays out MOD’s New Core Research Portfolio. The table shows 56 areas that MOD have identified for S&amp;T focus. They have been divided into three areas; driving programmes, responding programmes, and servicing programmes. Most importantly the table also allocates rough annual MOD core research investment figures for each of these areas. The ranges being £15m+, £10m - £15m, £5m - £10m, £2m - £5m. These are very helpful figures for industry that allow companies to better understand the value of the opportunities, as well as how invested MOD are in developing a specific capability set. The areas range from strategic decision making, and understanding the threat landscape, to conventional energetics and novel materials.</p> <p>The paper draws a connection between the viability of S&amp;T projects within MOD, and the point at which early adopters will accept a product from a commercial start-up. The argument that there is a point at which enough features are present for the customer / adopter to take up the offer is certainly a relevant concept when applied to the ‘customer’ relationship that the Front Line Commands have with Defence S&amp;T. However, here there is a wide cultural gap between MOD customers and the private sector, with commercial early adopters demonstrating a much more flexible and proactive approach to taking on risk than MOD customers traditionally do. This cannot be underestimated when creating an S&amp;T offer for Defence customers that requires joint development.</p> <p>The strategy highlights three areas of Defence S&amp;T where innovation has tended to stall. Requirements capture, procurement and funding, and a fear of new concepts are all very accurately identified as road-blocks to innovation with MOD. techUK has worked with industry partners and ISS in recent years to improve requirements capture and early industry engagement. When coordinated these two activities can provide a much richer picture of current and future industrial capabilities as well as an improved sense of how requirements can be captured in a more cost efficient and effective way.</p> <p>Hugh Durrant-Whyte intends for the CSA position to provide an independent technical challenge function to Defence. To challenge requirement definitions throughout the equipment acquisition approvals process and ensure that S&amp;T has a louder and more influential voice throughout the Department. This is most welcome by techUK members, many of whom who have good relationships with Dstl and the innovation elements of the Front Line Commands.</p> <p>Finally, throughout the strategy the Heilmeier catechism is used to demonstrate the questions that potential S&amp;T work will have to answer before it is considered for further funding and resource allocation. Proven as useful for similar research work in the past this set of questions will undoubtedly help S&amp;T staff justify and focus their work. However, an element missing from the question set shown in the strategy is that of the surrounding network that can be leveraged, most notably industry and academia. In this set of criteria there is no explicit impetus to engage with industry and seek support from that wide and varied community. techUK will continue to work with MOD, specifically DST, to ensure that industry remain a key pillar of S&amp;T decision making within Defence. Indeed, later in the strategy it is noted that in order for Defence to be an ‘intelligent customer’ S&amp;T will “work with, and influence, a broad industry supply chain.” The relationship of ‘influence’, market exploration and joint horizon scanning are elements that techUK would like to further explore with DST.</p> How to read your buyer’s mind: handling the real objections Wed, 01 Nov 2017 11:40:52 +0000 Mariana Obetzanova (techUK) An article by Neville Merritt, Director at Pure Potential Development Ltd on what are the real issues for objections <p>Objection handling is taught in every sales school, and we all have to deal with objections throughout our lives – from difficult customers to our nearest and dearest. I learned early on that an expressed objection was often not the real issue, and sometimes the individuals negotiating didn’t even realise what their underlying objection really was.</p> <p>Often we hear “it’s too expensive”, when the price isn’t the real issue but there is something else worrying the buyer. They want to slow the sales process or buy some time to resolve those other worries.</p> <p>Buyer’s priorities change during the purchase cycle. This is taught in several sales methodologies, and makes sense when it is explained. However, unless we are aware of this change we are in danger of handling the wrong objection.</p> <p>Let’s take a simple example to illustrate this. Imagine we are planning to buy a new family car. Budget is important, but specification is more important initially. We need a large car for our growing family, a spacious boot for the dogs and four-wheel drive because our house is on minor road which is not cleared in winter. Our requirements are the number one priority.</p> <p>Then we look at alternatives. We check features and options, read reviews, take a test drive and spend most of our time looking at the products that match our requirements. Are the cars reliable? Do they have good reputations? Risk is starting to become important too, but price has been pushed way down the list because we are selecting alternatives within our planned budget anyway.</p> <p>Finally we have made a decision – a Volvo XC70 in my case. However, I am now about to part with my hard-earned money. Am I doing the right thing? It is a big investment. What if the tax on 4x4s increases in the Budget? Will our dog trash the upholstery? When technology changes, will we still be able to plug in our devices? At this point, lots of worries come to the surface. We need reassurance, not price discounts or additional glitzy options thrown in.</p> <p>This diagram illustrates the buyer’s changing priorities over time very nicely:</p> <p><img src="images/assets/Training/Buyers_priorities.jpg" alt="Buyers priorities" width="1255" height="564" /></p> <p>The cycle is very similar in B2B purchases. I have negotiated many large software contracts and met more objections than I can list, but many of them were either about risk or a smokescreen to cover a concern about risk. The best way of uncovering the real reason is to simply ask, and keep gently probing. Price won’t have been a surprise, they will have known the ball-park figure up front. They wouldn’t have invested their time evaluating a solution if it was going to be too expensive. If the objection is about price, use the opportunity to get all the real concerns out onto the negotiating table.</p> <p>If you can tease out a list of final concerns, it is then worth asking which is the most important. By reading the body language you can usually home in on the real worry, which is very probably – “Am I making the right decision?” If you can find ways to make that a no-brainer “Yes”, then you have an agreement.</p> <p>Good luck!</p> <p>Neville Merritt,<br />Director,<br />Pure Potential Development Ltd</p> Disruptive Tech for Defence Panel - Skills and Technology Thu, 26 Oct 2017 09:16:33 +0000 Andy Johnston (techUK) Head of Defence Programme, Andy Johnston recently sat on a panel at the Disruptive Technology for Defence conference. <p>On Tuesday October 24 techUK were represented on a discussion panel at the Disruptive Technology for Defence conference by Head of the Defence Programme, Andy Johnston.&nbsp;</p> <p>The panel addressed themes of the changing nature of warfare, technologies currently applied by international forces across the globe, the disruptive nature of asymmetric warfare and the digital technologies utilised by non-state actors, as well as many more. The panel had international representation from Japan, the United States, and the UK, both military and civilian.&nbsp;</p> <p>techUK raised the vital issue of the national and international skills base and the importance of preparing militaries for the current and impending widening of the skills gap. techUK believes that discussion of disruptive technologies and thier deployments miss a vital component if the people element is neglected. techUK noted the impact that Brexit will have upon digital and wider STEM skills in the UK, both in the private and public sectors. As the supply of EU skilled workers becomes smaller added pressure will inevitably be placed upon the UK skills base, an area of the population that, due to security requirements, the Defence and Security industries rely on more than other sectors. This squeeze in skills will affect the development, maintenance and operation of technologies right across the national defence and security landscape. From data scientists in R&amp;D activities in industry, to cyber security and network engineers working on deployed operations, there are few areas of MOD and UK defence that will not be impacted.&nbsp;</p> <p>Another key consideration for the future of the UK's armed forces is a full understanding of the population from which the forces will recruit in the coming decades. Generations who grow up with regular access to digital technologies and experience regular high-quality connectivity relate to technology in a vastly different way to generations currently serving in the armed forces. Young people already expect the ability to modify and personalise their technology, and to treat it as a service rather than an investment in devices and equipment that must be maintained. This creates a very different mindset and approach to that which is currently prevalent within MOD procurement and capability strategy teams.&nbsp;</p> <p>As MOD looks at the cost of capabilities across the Department and the Government review national security capabilities from a wider perspective it is clear that tough decisions will be made and efficiency will be prioritised in the coming years. Digital technologies have the ability to demonstrate economic savings and increase efficiency across a range of armed forces services and capabilities. techUK will continue to work with MOD and our members to highlight where these savings and efficiencies can be most readily applied.&nbsp;</p> <p>techUK would like to thank Defence IQ and General Sir Richard Barrons for hosting a fascinating and very useful conference.&nbsp;</p> Dieter Helm's Cost of Energy Review Published Thu, 26 Oct 2017 08:31:54 +0000 Aimee Betts-Charalambous(techUK) Study concludes that current policy, regulation and market design are “not fit for purpose” and are cause of high costs. <blockquote>Independent government-commissioned study concludes that energy costs are “significantly higher” than necessary and that current policy, regulation and market design are “not fit for purpose”.</blockquote> <p>According to Helm, the government has “moved from mainly market-determined investments to a new context in which almost all new electricity investments are determined by the state through direct and often technology-specific contracts.”</p> <p>Consumers are not fully benefiting from the falling costs of gas and coal, the rapidly falling costs of renewables or the network efficiency gains coming from smart technologies. Helm blames the complex nature of our power market for rising costs and urges government to streamline green energy policy to encourage cheap, consistent power.</p> <p>To rectify the situation, Helm sets out a suite of 67 recommendations, including:</p> <ul> <li>Feed-in tariffs, contracts for difference and the capacity market auction should all be merged into a unified equivalent firm power (EFP) capacity auction. Low-carbon generators would be forced to bear the costs of their intermittency. This would support converged service offerings stimulating the market.</li> <li>The government should establish an independent national system operator (NSO) and regional system operators (RSOs) under public ownership. They should take on a number of duties currently undertaken by distribution network operators (DNOs) and Ofgem.</li> <li>The RSOs should be responsible for securing local energy supplies and should do this by contracting out system requirements.</li> <li>Carbon taxes and prices should be harmonised by setting a universal carbon price across the whole economy. There should be a border carbon price to prevent emissions being exported.</li> <li>The government should consider how to develop and enhance integrated pollution control to bring greater consistency between the CCA targets and the other policy objectives.</li> <li>Separate licenses for generation, supply and distribution should be replaced by a simpler, single license, at least at the local level.</li> <li>Standard variable tariffs should be superseded by default tariffs based on an index of wholesale costs, the fixed cost pass-throughs, levies and taxes, and a published supply margin. The government’s proposed price cap should take the form of a cap on the supply margin.</li> <li>The broadband USO requirements should be assessed alongside the smart meter roll-out. BEIS and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media &amp; Sport should coordinate the timings and scales of these investments .</li> <li>The market in the back-up for intermittency to assist the renewables should be further encouraged, so that the intermittency can be met through a portfolio of contracts. This market should further bring into play demand responses, storage and back-up generation.&nbsp;These suppliers of services will then be able to match up with the expected intermittency of the renewables generators. The renewables can then bid for less de-rated EFP contracts.</li> </ul> <p>Helm rightly notes that our power sector is going through a technological transformation, with technical change happening at such pace that predicting what this transformation looks like is a challenge. His recommendations seek to avoid picking winners – a condemnation he makes of current policy – and instead calls for a focus on the framework within which the private sector can bring new ideas, new technologies and new products to the end users. Helm views current uncertainty as a positive. Suggesting that the design of energy policy and the inventions required to achieve objectives should be driven by this uncertainty around the detail of our decarbonisation pathway.</p> <p>Helm suggests governments role should be to design infrastructure and industrial strategies that follow generic paths; rather than predicting future winners and creating scenarios in the hope of stimulating the market. Government should develop polices which “go with the grain of digitalisation", focusing on the use and regulation of data, as well as R&amp;D and innovation policies.</p> <p>Helm suggests a package of measures which are a major shift from original energy market design and the EMR. They would create a simpler, more competitive structure, where rather than low-carbon technologies being grafted onto a fossil-fuel based system, a new system backed up by new technologies, data, and new energy services can be created.</p> <p>Whilst recommendations seek to incentivise decarbonisation, digitalisation and smart demand a question remains around how to incentivise developments which the market may see as uncompetitive; but are a necessary component of future innovation (eg smart meters). There is also no comment on how to manage increasing convergence between sectors and the impact it will have on infrastructure planning. Once area where this is already being seen is EVs and connected and autonomous vehicles.</p> <p>The report does take time to focus on digitalisation and smart technologies, which is welcome. In particular Helm identifies the need for complementary broadband requirements if we are to realise the ‘information-age’ of energy and associated new markets, in particular driven by smart meters. However greater focus on the evolutionary impact, now and in the future, of ‘smart’ is lacking. In particular he underestimates the fundamental shift that had already occurred and misses an opportunity to identify policy failures in developing the digital infrastructure (beyond just broadband) required to unlock markets. Helm also fails to focus on the importance of standards development and the important role Government can play in identifying priority risks, and convening industry to identify core principles which technical solutions must deliver upon.</p> <p>Helm has recommended a near total rethink of our power market, suggesting changes to how the market is structured and regulated, as well as how new capacity is procured. Government now has to answer the question of ‘what next?’.</p> <p>The full report is available <a href="">here</a>.</p> The Connected Home, Hype, Hope or Here Today? Wed, 25 Oct 2017 10:47:59 +0000 Paul Hide (techUK) Paul Hide, writing for Innovative Electrical Retailing, gives his view on the future of the Connected Home and the opportunities for Retailers. <p>The Internet of Things is best described as a global network of machine to machine connections. Gartner estimate over 5.0 billion devices connected globally growing to 25 billion by 2020. The growth in patents for IoT based technologies is more than 8 times average levels.</p> <p>Within the IoT universe we have the connected world, the recording, sharing and analysing of data that can be used to enhance work, play and home environments. The potential prizes are huge. Global spending in this sector is forecast to exceed $1.7 trillion in 2017. Cisco has reported that IoT generated savings across public and private sectors is likely to exceed $19 trillion over the next decade.</p> <p>Connected technologies have the potential to transform the sectors such as energy, transportation, healthcare, manufacturing, shopping and public service provision, the Connected Home is one subset of the broader IoT agenda that links many of these core industries.</p> <p>The vision of a Connected Home is one where the energy using and generating devices are linked via a central communication platform and network. The consumer electronics space in this context covers not just AV and domestic appliances but also smart metering, local energy generation and storage, electric vehicles and personal health technologies. The connected world will monitor, control, command and share information across all connected devices through a central user interface. This UI can take many forms and is likely to be accessed via smart phones and tablets giving users access anytime anywhere.</p> <p>GfK and techUK have launched a report on consumer attitudes to Connected/Smart Home products and services. The research shows that consumers are aware of and are attracted to the Smart Home concept. Half of people surveyed expect the Smart Home to have an impact on their lives soon, citing interest in Smart Home technology above Connected Cars, Wearable Technology, Smart Cities and Cloud Computing.</p> <p>Home Security, Home Environment, Health, Appliances and Entertainment are all seen as key benefits. The barriers to adoption were rated at a lower level than the benefits. Cost, personal privacy breaches, a lack of knowledge about what products and services are available and a lack of interoperability between different devices and systems were highlighted as the major concerns. Two thirds of respondents expect devices supplied by different manufacturers to be able to communicate with other, suggesting that vertical siloed solutions are less likely to be favoured.</p> <p>In terms of payment models, 67% like the idea of a single upfront payment with no recurring fee, 45% were receptive to a subscription model in which the hardware is provided as part of the deal and 30% showed interest in a mix between an upfront payment and a recurring fee.</p> <p>We also asked consumers from whom they might buy these services. High street and online electrical retailers and consumer electronics manufacturers were the most commonly mentioned, followed by utility, telecoms and financial services providers. Consumers, whilst still viewing ‘traditional’ channels as important are more inclined to consider other routes of supply and this is a stark reminder of the constant challenges that independent electrical retailers face to remain relevant in an increasingly fragmented market place.</p> <p>This research, and similar research by others, confirms that consumers have both an interest and an awareness of Smart Home technologies, understand the benefits, see it as worth paying for and are aware of how to buy into the proposition. It does, however, highlight a lack of clarity over just what is available and how consumers can be sure that a purchase made today will still be relevant and compatible tomorrow.</p> <p>What I hear from Independent retailers is concerns regarding whether now is the right time to get into the connected/ smart home, concerns whether the proposition is relevant to their customers, and concerns whether they can gain a return on the investment or find the space in store to demonstrate the proposition. Yes, change creates risk, but so does standing still and we exist in an industry where the only constant has always been change. Those that stood still are no longer here to defend their entrenched positions.</p> <p>Don’t fear or fight the future, your future, embrace the connected world, it’s the smart thing to do.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Click here to view techUK's report</a>.</p> <p>Contact: <a href=""></a></p> Health Warning: marketing can seriously damage your sales Tue, 24 Oct 2017 13:15:22 +0000 Mariana Obetzanova (techUK) Has the buying behaviour changed? An article by Neville Merritt, Director at Pure Potential Development Ltd <h3>Buying behaviour has changed. We know that, because the way we make significant personal purchases now is very different to the way we bought similar things before. The companies that sell to us now use different methods than they did before. So is B2C different from B2B? Not really. B2B buying behaviour has also changed so our B2B selling methods have to change too. If sales and marketing activities are not aligned to the new way of buying, we risk alienating rather than attracting customers.</h3> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The main difference in buying behaviour is around the buying activity prior to contacting the seller. Whether it is a private or business purchase, we now conduct our own research of the market thanks to the wealth of information available. We check out product specifications, compare suppliers, look at expert reviews, ask our friends or colleagues and form an opinion about the product, supplier or brand based on available information. All before we start the “buying” process.</p> <p>Worse, if an unknown seller suddenly imposes on our research process, such a cold call that is actually offering the very product we are looking at, we pretend we are not interested. As savvy buyers, we now know that the seller will try and accelerate us down the path to a sale. Buyers set the rules, not the sellers.</p> <p>Buyers will buy when they are ready. And when they are ready, the sales process is nearly over and the seller will be successful if he or she does not screw up. That sounds easy, but if you were about to buy something and the web site crashed, or the sales executive was inattentive, how easy would it be just to switch to an alternative supplier? At that point there is no emotional investment; that sale goes down the road.</p> <p>So why could marketing damage sales?</p> <p>You can download the full article from the pdf link below.</p> Engaging with Empathy: Part 3 Tue, 24 Oct 2017 10:29:07 +0000 Mariana Obetzanova (techUK) How the Six Habits of Highly Empathic People, identified by Roman Krznaric in his book “Empathy”, can help us to write better proposals <p>In the last of a three part series, <a href="" target="_blank">Sarah Hinchliffe</a> explores how the Six Habits of Highly Empathic People, identified by Roman Krznaric in his book “Empathy”, can help us to write better proposals.</p> <p>In Part 1 of this series, we got acquainted with the concept of empathy; tuning in sensitively to our audience’s feelings and perspectives, and adapting our behaviour accordingly.</p> <p>In Part 2, we looked at empathy in selling – how it can help build relationships, differentiate and create shared values.</p> <p>Now, let’s explore how we carry our good work into our proposals.</p> <p><strong>The role of a proposal</strong></p> <p><img src="images/assets/Training/Buying_aand_selling_stages.png" alt="Buying aand selling stages" width="371" height="444" style="float: right;" /></p> <p>Last time, we established that aligning your sales activities to the steps in your prospect’s buying process shows empathy, which helps build trust – crucial for a successful sale in the 21st century. Modern selling is a far cry from sales methods such as the infamous ‘ABC’ (Always Be Closing), which are old-fashioned and downright un-empathic.</p> <p>In the six-step approach in Figure 1, the proposal is the fourth stage when the prospect requests a formal offer from interested sellers.</p> <p>By this time, if you followed the recommendations in Part 2, you should be in pole position to win. You will have brought insight to your prospect’s business, positioned your company as an important player and shaped your prospect’s needs. If you did a stellar job, your prospect may have decided not to bother with a proposal at all.</p> <p>Let’s assume your prospect wants or needs a proposal for legal or professional procurement reasons. Think of the proposal as a continuation of your work to date. Think of it as the opportunity to pull everything together in one compelling document confirming why you are the best choice. With that in mind, we can turn back to our six empathic habits.</p> <p>The full article can be downloaded from the pdf link below</p> Sgt. Pepper’s Guide to Building a Long-Lasting Business Tue, 24 Oct 2017 09:17:31 +0000 Mariana Obetzanova (techUK) A guest blog by Ben Wheeler, MCIM on The Beatles theory of creatively and business tips <p><em>To mark 50 years of Sgt. Pepper. Some Beatles inspired business tips from "the act we've known for all these years".</em></p> <p>32 million copies sold, number one in the U.K. for 27 consecutive weeks and now, 50 years later, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is back at the top. When Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play he did a pretty good job. There are many reasons for its greatness and longevity and this got me thinking - could there be some Pepper inspired business tips from the "act we've known for all these years"?</p> <p>To find out, let’s go back to 1967, or more accurately, 1966.</p> <p><img src="images/assets/Training/The_Beatles.png" alt="The Beatles" width="599" height="399" /></p> <p><strong>Stop doing what you don't want to do</strong></p> <p>The catalyst for Sgt. Pepper came from the simple act of saying no. The Beatles played their last gig in San Francisco in August 1966 - a tour marked by death threats following John's "Beatles are more popular than Jesus" comment. They hated every minute of it and Paul finally agreed with the others that they'd had enough. No more touring, the studio would be their new home.</p> <p>Saying no to touring in 1966 was unheard of but, to get to a place where they could produce their best work, they had to take back control.</p> <p><strong>Sgt. Pepper’s tip:</strong> Doing something you don’t want to do - or sell, isn’t a recipe for long-lasting success. If you aren’t feeling it, then your audience - or your customers - won’t either. Stop, and create something you believe in.</p> <p><strong>Be prepared to take difficult decisions</strong></p> <p>Most people listening to the title track, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band assume that it's played by all four Beatles. Not so. The dynamics in the band were starting to change. Written by Paul, he had such a clear idea of what he wanted, he insisted on playing all the&nbsp;guitar parts himself - including later overdubbing his own lead solos over George’s - much to his annoyance.</p> <p>To read the full article, please click on the pdf link below</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Guest Blog: Your Chance to Disrupt How Energy Consumers Switch Supplier Mon, 23 Oct 2017 13:14:27 +0000 Manar Al-Muflahi(techUK) Ofgem, the energy regulator, is leading a programme that will enable reliable next-day switching. <p>The energy industry is making technological leaps, from implementing smart meters, building smart grids and now, giving consumers the opportunity of faster more reliable switching.</p> <p>Many consumers do not switch energy suppliers as they believe it’s too complicated, takes too long and they worry that something might go wrong along the way. Currently switching suppliers can take three weeks. A consumer could miss out on £100’s of annual savings by remaining with the same supplier.</p> <p>In an effort to get consumers more engaged and realise the benefits of changing suppliers, Ofgem, the energy regulator, is leading a programme that will enable reliable next-day switching by replacing the existing gas and electricity switching processes with a new Centralised Switching Service (CSS). In order to facilitate this industry-wide change, Ofgem has appointed the Data Communications Company (Smart DCC) as its key delivery partner.</p> <p>Smart DCC will:</p> <ul> <li>Be responsible for designing and procuring a new CSS covering both electricity and gas.</li> <li>Award contracts to the service provider(s) for development and delivery of new services required.</li> <li>Be involved in shaping the development of the new switching arrangements.</li> </ul> <p>The CSS is expected to incorporate a number of features including a registration service, address matching database and a customer enquiry service. Whilst a number of decisions on the procurement approach are yet to be finalised, it is clear that an open approach to market engagement should attract a wide range of innovative responses to deliver a system fit for the future.</p> <p>There are a number of advantages that this programme aims to deliver:</p> <ul> <li>Improve data quality through a single database that links reliable address data with meters</li> <li>Provide faster and ultimately next-day switching</li> <li>Increase competition between energy suppliers</li> <li>Support innovation within the industry</li> <li>Provide a stress-free, reliable supplier switch for consumers, and</li> <li>Thus improve consumer engagement in the market.</li> </ul> <p>Smart DCC is in its early stages of designing the secure, central database that will underpin the end to end switching arrangements. It is keen to support a fully competitive procurement process by engaging with a wide range of organisations who would be interested in the scope of the switching solution and participate in the tendering process. Market engagement sessions are planned from November 2017 with procurement activity commencing in Spring 2018.</p> <p>For more information and to find out about the upcoming market engagement sessions, please get in touch with DCC at: <a href=""></a>.</p> Guest Blog: The Modern Ghostbusters Keeping Customer Scares at Bay Mon, 23 Oct 2017 10:23:13 +0000 Lucas Banach (techUK) Shivani Patel, Head of Business Analysis, SQS, gives her view on how companies using legacy systems can mitigate risks. <p>The news is reporting more and more cases of customers being incorrectly charged for bills such as mortgage repayments and bank loans. In fact, late last year, it was announced that more than 750,000 mortgage borrowers were in line for compensation after technical faults in their banks’ systems overcharged them for falling into arrears. Caused by ‘ghosts’, these IT faults (and the subsequent fines and legal fees that came with them) could have been avoided if ghostbusting measures had been put in place.</p> <p>Despite the risk of heavy fines, and the reputational damage inflicted on those publicly suffering from ghosts, many businesses within the financial services sector aren’t acting to exorcise their own.</p> <p>Ghosts themselves are relatively simple to define – inaccurate information or data, often customer information that is “hidden” in an IT system. However, pinpointing and exorcising such ghosts, and the issues they cause, is a different matter made increasingly difficult due to <a href=";utm_source=TechUKBlog&amp;utm_campaign=Blog&amp;utm_term=BlogCVP&amp;utm_content=CVPStory" target="_blank">ambiguous root causes</a>, with the added complication of legacy IT systems.</p> <p><strong>Finding the ‘marshmallow man’ hidden in IT systems</strong></p> <p>Any organisation using IT systems to bill and contact customers is immediately susceptible to ghosts, with some of the worst affected industries being banking, utilities, telecoms and insurance.</p> <p>Unfortunately, there isn’t much that can be done to stop ghosts from rearing their ugly heads once they are there. Prevention is key. With no single underlying cause for ghosts – it could be as simple as a human typo, a business process that wasn’t followed, bad system upgrades or even a system failure – they’re impossible to predict and only become visible to businesses once it is too late.</p> <p>For instance, in the banking industry, ghosts have been known to affect and increase interest rates without detection. While this may seem like a small issue, which can be easily fixed, it’s vital for organisations to understand the ramifications of unhappy customers and that these occurrences are avoidable. Any disruption in the customer journey will lead to disgruntled customers, each of which can cost a business anywhere up to £7,000. If a ghost causes an issue affecting every customer, businesses could be looking at potential bankruptcy before even facing regulatory fines.</p> <p>This only makes it more urgent that organisations do everything in their power to <a href=";utm_source=TechUKBlog&amp;utm_campaign=Blog&amp;utm_term=BlogCVP&amp;utm_content=CVPStory" target="_blank">stop ghosts</a> from infiltrating and compromising their systems. While testing all IT systems is vital for the smooth running of an organisation, ghost-busting is a different matter and should be treated so. <a href=";utm_source=TechUKBlog&amp;utm_campaign=Blog&amp;utm_term=BlogCVP&amp;utm_content=QAManagement" target="_blank">Quality assurance</a> is key.</p> <p><strong>Who you gonna call?</strong></p> <p>Organisations must work with third-party quality partners to go above and beyond traditional software testing. The fact there is no test environment which will ever precisely replicate a live working environment, and different departments within an organisation adhere to specific and unique processes, make ghosts immune to testing methods.</p> <p>While many variables are outside an organisation’s control, simple mistakes can be mitigated by employing capable third-party, real-life, ghostbusters – better known as quality assurance experts – to manage the entire lifecycle of IT systems responsible for billing, reporting, lending and repayments. These ghostbusters will undertake regular internal testing and monitoring to prevent quality slipping down the list of priorities and track down the anomalies in a system which are causing issues. It is vital that quality is a priority for the entire business, at every level and by implementing an end-to-end continuous quality approach, organisations can be confident they won’t be brought to their knees through dwindling consumer trust or irreplaceable financial damage.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>[1]</em></p> At What Price Progress? Fri, 20 Oct 2017 13:23:17 +0000 Tom Morrison-Bell(techUK) The decision of the European Council that sufficient progress has not yet been made in the Brexit talks will delay discussions on trade, but what happens next? <blockquote>Today the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, confirmed what we all knew was coming. Leaders of the EU 27 Member States have agreed that “sufficient progress” has not been made in the Brexit negotiations to allow the talks to move to the second phase and begin to discuss the future relationship between the UK and the EU.</blockquote> <p>In more positive news, however, the Council quickly agreed that talks are progressing smoothly enough for the 27 Member States to begin their own internal discussions about their strategy to the negotiations on issues such as trade, data and immigration that phase 2 will entail.</p> <p>The October Council meeting has been a key date in the diary of the negotiations since Article 50 was triggered. Falling after the German Elections, which saw Angela Merkel re-elected as Chancellor, albeit more precariously than many expected, it was seen as the point for the EU to give the green light on phase two.</p> <p>Yet for some time it’s been apparent that this was not to be the case. A stalemate that lasted most of the summer on the UK’s contributions to the current multiannual financial framework (MFF) period of the EU budget, coupled with continued disagreements on the role of the European Court of Justice (ECJ), progress in the talks has been far slower than businesses would have wished.</p> <p>Theresa May’s recent speech in Florence has gone some way to breaking the deadlock. Her commitment to fulfilling the UK’s current MFF obligations, at around €20- 22 billion, with further money available for other outstanding commitments to be agreed, is seen as real progress. However, the speech perhaps came too late for the fine detail to be hammered out before October’s Council meeting. That said, the tone of this week’s meeting has been much more positive from EU leaders, culminating in the decision to begin their own internal planning for phase 2.</p> <p>All eyes will now turn to the Council meeting on 12 December. There are clear signs that the green light on ‘sufficient progress’ may be given at this summit. Most notably, Angela Merkel’s overnight press conference where she specifically suggested that December may see progress. This was echoed by Donald Tusk in his statement on the summit, where he also referenced the December Council meeting as the point he hoped to see an agreement on sufficient progress.</p> <p>There is of course a risk for the UK Government in all this. The greater the pressure on the December meeting, the higher the stakes if progress fails to materialise during the next rounds of face to face negotiations. With time running out in the Article 50 process, the talks between David Davis and Michel Barnier are increasingly operating without a safety net.</p> <p>So what progress needs to be made by December? The top issue will be looking in detail at what additional financial liabilities the UK may be prepared to pay. This will require complex additional discussions to determine but could leave additional contributions of €20 billion. Some of the discussions around money will inevitably split over into phase 2, as agreements on future liabilities are likely to have to be included.</p> <p>Elsewhere, more progress is likely to be needed on EU Citizen’s Rights, potentially with the UK coming forward with further clarity about exactly how it intends to enshrine citizen’s rights in UK statute. It is likely additional discussions will also be needed around the ongoing right of EU Citizens to family reunification.</p> <p>On all these issues there is a route to agreement. The key for tech businesses worried about what the future holds, is for both the UK and the EU to take a pragmatic and flexible approach to reaching a deal on phase 1. With mood music from the negotiations now much more positive, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Whether or not that light is an oncoming train will depend on what deal can ultimately be reaching when talks on trade and future relationships finally begin.</p> <p>Contact: <a href=""></a></p> Lack of Sufficient Progress Worrying but ‘No Deal’ Remains a No-Go Fri, 20 Oct 2017 11:03:28 +0000 Sophie Weston(techUK) The European Council decision that sufficient progress has not been made to move to the second round of Brexit negotiations means all eyes now on December meeting. <blockquote>Commenting on the European Council decision that sufficient progress has not yet been made in the Brexit discussions to move the talks to Phase 2 techUK Deputy CEO, Antony Walker, said:</blockquote> <p><em>“It is predictable but disappointing news that the Brexit negotiations will not yet be able to discuss trade issues. For UK tech businesses operating in a globally competitive market, the impact of further delay to discussions means continued uncertainty - which is deeply worrying. However, it is welcome that the EU 27 have agreed to start their internal planning for this next phase. All eyes are now on the December Council meeting. If progress is not made by this point, businesses will be forced to assume we are heading for a cliff-edge Brexit.</em></p> <p><em>“It is absolutely critical that the UK and the EU reach a deal. Those suggesting the UK can fall back on to WTO rules are stuck in the past. We need a deal that is fit for the 21st Century. WTO has nothing to say on rules governing the free flow of data that underpins our modern economy, and little to support the service sector which now makes up the majority of UK business.</em></p> <p><em>“Further rapid progress is possible, but only if both the UK and the EU are willing to be flexible and make compromises. Much of the finer detail of the divorce Bill is tied to our future relationship. It is in everyone’s interest to begin discussing what this new relationship will look like as soon as possible.”</em></p> <hr /> <p>Contact: <a href=""></a><br />Contact: <a href=""></a></p> Turning Ideas into Reality: Latest Steps on Harrow Council's Innovation Journey Mon, 16 Oct 2017 10:28:35 +0000 Georgina Maratheftis(techUK) A guest blog from Cllr Niraj Dattani highlighting Harrow's next steps in becoming a 'Council of the Future' <p>This blog is the latest in a series documenting a journey of culture change within Harrow Council to create an environment which attracts, catalyses, and incubates innovation as a way to better deliver services.</p> <p>To see the previous instalment, click <a href="insights/opinions/item/10805-what-happened-at-techuk-s-harrow-council-workshop-what-next">here</a>. To read an overview of the programme, visit this<a href=""> Nesta blog.</a></p> <p><strong>Preparing to innovate</strong></p> <p>Far from experiencing the traditional local government summer hiatus, we have been pushing forward with our work to create a culture of innovation at Harrow Council. Having done a lot to show the potential of technology to innovate the way we deliver services, we wanted to get ourselves into a position where we could implement some of the potential solutions which we now had on the table.</p> <p>We had many ideas, from different departments. What we found though was that none of these potential solutions could be treated in isolation. All had a need to integrate with a central system or server at some point; with the potential for costs to simultaneously escalate. All had a data output which was valuable either to its own service or another department. And one of our ideas was even a cross-department data platform.</p> <p>So when deciding what to take forward, there was a need to work in a joined up way. We also needed to be pragmatic; we wanted to push the innovations beyond a discussion topic but couldn’t ask our already-stretched staff to put everything else on hold.</p> <p>We decided to do two things. First, we set up an Innovation Board under the corporate team. This team takes a view across the council anyway and has various teams whose functions spread across the council in a similar way. Keeping with the success of the cultural change programme to date, we also asked various councillors to sit on this board, including the Finance Portfolio holder and the Corporate Portfolio holder.</p> <p>Second, we decided that one of the innovations we would take forward would be the data platform (more on the details of this later). With data demand from each innovation we couldn’t ignore this aspect, and felt this could form the basis for innovation in the long-term.</p> <p>Innovation Board</p> <p>The Innovation Board brought together key stakeholders and decision makers from across the council. It now meets regularly with the mandate to:</p> <ul> <li>Encourage innovation in all areas of service delivery</li> <li>Bring together resource - internal and external – to support the development of ideas</li> <li>Ensure ideas have a robust business case and are future-proof</li> <li>Strategically prioritise solutions</li> </ul> <p>It therefore became the place where the decisions about what to take forward were made.</p> <p><strong>Data platform</strong></p> <p>We were acutely aware that the council already has many different systems it uses to gather and disseminate data. From the techUK workshop we were given the belief that there were platforms out there that could do this better, and therefore lead to better decision making.</p> <p>We decided that instead of trying to find a one-size-fits-all solution – as has been attempted in the past – we would concentrate on trying to find a platform that works for one service area, but has potential to expand and work for others.</p> <p>It was therefore important that in the first instance, we would work with a team which had an immediate need for better data or the better use of data.</p> <p>We identified and reached out to a few teams across the council, before eventually deciding on who to work with to scope out their data platform requirements over a couple of workshops.</p> <p><strong>Ideas to solutions</strong></p> <p>We realised that it wasn’t feasible to take all 6 innovations that were on the table from the techUK workshop forward, mainly due to timing.</p> <p>Through our travels and the mandate of the Innovation Board though, we did discover other sources of innovative thinking going on across the council. We received ideas and updates from other teams, who had been taking their ideas forward in parallel to our work.</p> <p>This was incredibly exciting, as it showed the importance and impact of getting the culture right. It meant the innovation didn’t stop with the small group of people who were working on the 6 ideas; it had a ripple effect. This made it easy for us to park some of the ideas originally on the table, and take forward those that were better positioned.</p> <p>T<em>his blog is part of techUK's Council of the Future: Preparing for Smart Cities project and for more information on Cllr Niraj Dattani <a href="">click here</a></em></p> <p><em>For further information on techUK's work with Harrow Council please contact Georgina Maratheftis or Aimee Betts-Charalambous.</em></p> <p>Contact: <a href=""></a></p> <p>Contact: <a href=""></a></p> Procuring Digital Services in Local Government Mon, 16 Oct 2017 10:08:13 +0000 Simona Paliulyte(techUK) Key Recommendations on ‘Procuring for Innovation’ in the Wider Public Sector <p><img src="images/assets/website_Smarter-State.jpg" alt="website Smarter-State" /></p> <p>Last month techUK’s Head of Public Sector, Rob Driver, had the opportunity to present to Local Government digital leaders at the Local Government Association (LGA) on how best to work with ICT suppliers to improve service delivery. With technology being one of the most important spend categories in Local Government, <a href="">spending around £2 billion per annum on IT</a>, the key theme of the workshop focused on&nbsp;‘Procuring for Innovation and Growth’.</p> <p>While we often hear Local Government described as a fragmented market and one that may be risk-averse, in reality it is often leading the way in Public Sector innovation and transformation. However, to accelerate the digital revolution happening in Local Government it is important that procurement is not seen as a blocker. So, what needs to happen?</p> <p><strong>Promote the use of the Crown Commercial Service Digital Future Agreements</strong></p> <p>The recent Government Transformation Strategy talks about embedding the Government Design Principles across the Public Sector landscape. What is now needed is further detail on how this will happen. To deliver the commitment of expanding the use of the Digital Future agreements (based on the successes of G- Cloud) across the wider Public Sector the Cabinet Office must clearly communicate across Government the approach they will undertake to promote adoption, and commit resources and dedicated officers to lead the engagement. Key to this will be collaborating with the wider Public Sector to collate the views on how to maximise the benefits for all, and to avoid a ‘build it and they will come’ attitude to Digital Futures Frameworks.</p> <p>As stated by techUK's <a href="insights/reports/item/10665-digital-devolution">Digital Devolution Guide</a>, tech leaders in Local Government including City CDOs and Metro Mayors are in influential positions to support this expansion by championing smarter procurement processes for their city or region. These leaders should also be working together with Public Sector finance and procurement leaders to collaborate with the tech industry to adopt meaningful pre-procurement engagement. Fundamental to this engagement is working closely with the breadth of tech industry to understand what innovations are available, and encouraging the use of SMEs by local authorities.</p> <p>Rob Driver, Head of Public Sector, techUK, comments:</p> <p><em>“It is important Local Government makes the most of existing centralised frameworks to drive better value and quality. To achieve this vision I urge LGA, the Crown Commercial Service, the Government Digital Service and other key partners to work together to demystify and raise awareness of the innovative and ‘digitised’ ways to buy in Local Government. Ultimately, it’s about working better together to maximise the opportunities presented by technology to transform local public services and improve outcomes for all citizens.”</em></p> <p><em><strong>Get involved with shaping future Government ICT procurement policy! techUK is developing a report on ‘procuring for innovation and growth’ – get in contact if you want to feed in to the recommendations!</strong></em></p> Guest Blog: Trust Me I’m a Digital Doctor: Building Digital Trust in Healthcare Fri, 13 Oct 2017 12:22:45 +0000 Harri Turnbull(techUK) Aimie Chapple, Accenture, explores the issue of trust in digital health and some of the solutions that are being deployed to improve it. <p>New innovations coupled with the technological speed of change, are transforming our expectations and placing greater pressure on our healthcare system to be more personalised, flexible, relevant and productive. As demands on our healthcare system increase, we’re seeing global digital advances technology starting to solve some of these challenges, to meet these new demands, and to enhance healthcare experiences worldwide.</p> <p>Patient demand for a digitally-enabled healthcare experience is growing fast; 38% of patients in England are aware that they can access their digital data, up from 21% two years ago. Many consumers are already leading the way, as evidenced by the boom in apps and wearables to manage health.</p> <p><img src="images/assets/Harri_T/11315.jpg" alt="Building Trust in Digital Health" width="640" height="427" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p>Progress and change are not without challenges, and data and trust represent perhaps the most pressing; our consumer dilemma is that we are becoming more empowered to care for ourselves, yet the more bespoke we require our experiences to be, the more personal data we are required to share. Concerns abound regarding the protection of this sensitive patient data – with four out of five Engilsh consumers worried about a data breach. Given the highly personal nature of healthcare data, the quandry is clear; we don’t want other people to have unnecessary access – but we understand that they must, especially when our health is at risk. In this new world of personalised health data ecosystems, sensitive data is increasingly held and exchanged by non-traditional healthcare organisations. The security of that data is paramount. Companies collaborating within that ecosystem have a huge responsibility to actively safeguard that data – and crucially to continue communicating that they are doing so.</p> <p>How then can new advances in technology and digital healthcare give consumers and clinicians the solutions they need, whilst simultaneously building digital trust?</p> <p>At Accenture, we have identified the key trends in our Technology Vision for Digital Health. They show that the future of healthcare will be defined not only by the power of technology to enable positive change, but crucially by the power of technology to adapt to the people who use it.</p> <p><strong>1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)</strong></p> <p>AI at its core enables interactions with digital technology that are smarter, adaptive and tailored. There are myriad potential healthcare roles for AI – from ‘curator’ – suggesting care plans based on the patient’s history, to ‘advisor’ – guiding both physician and patient to best outcome, or ‘orchestrator’ choreographing care, lifestyle and health benefits. Systems will know more detail than ever before about each patient - from your medical history and family to your allergies and lifestyle behaviour. So instead of googling your symptoms, you could expect a personal response in minutes delivered from a tool such as Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Home – guiding you to the appropriate course of action. Health Tap – is a company that not only delivers 24/7 virtual care services, but also uses AI for their Dr AI – the ‘doctor’ has been ‘trained’ by millions of patient-doctor interactions and is intended to give patients a self-service understanding of common symptoms and complaints. Other providers might use avatar based interaction to support healthcare workers in triage and patient navigation – such as Sense:ly or IPSoft’s Amelia.</p> <p>These intelligent technologies are designed to build a sense of comfort, familiarity and ease – empowering patients and practitioners alike.</p> <p><strong>2. Ecosystem power plays</strong></p> <p>We’re seeing a huge shift to patient-centred healthcare organisation, and big investment in ecosystems around the patient. We’re seeing collaborations across non-traditional channels, with innovative and impactful collaborations having the potential to improve loyalty and market share whilst maximising productivity across an unbroken continuum of care. In the UK we’ve seen the dating app Tinder partner with the NHS to increase organ donor registration and access to sexual health services. In the US, one the healthcare provider CareMore Health System has partnered with rideshare app Lyft to help vulnerable patients attend appointments on time – a big deal when an estimated 3.6 million Americans miss or delay appointments due to transport reasons.</p> <p><strong>3. Workforce market place – invent your future workforce</strong></p> <p>Given far-reaching changes in how we work, and changes in the very nature of the workforce, it’s no surprise that we’re seeing a corresponding change in care models. Mobile and virtual technology are being used to overcome virtual and geographical barriers between health plans, doctors, consumers, employers and care delivery networks. At service providers such as American Well’s Exchange, Babylon and Doctor Care Anywhere, new technologies allow doctors to ‘clock in’ at any time, making themselves available to patients, as well as giving doctors vital access to resources including telehealth training, clinical guidelines, peer support and billing. This move to a more liquid way of working is creating new paradigms across care provision and practitioner work.</p> <p><img src="images/assets/Harri_T/11327.jpg" alt="Building Trust in Digital Health" width="640" height="513" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p><strong>4.Design for Humans</strong></p> <p>Nowhere is human-centred design more important than in healthcare. Healthcare organisations that can use technology to make the experience more personalised, naturally boost levels of patient trust and loyalty. Human-centred design means that patients and clinicians are increasingly part of the design process, focused on solving problems. One company embodying this new design focus and inspiring new behaviour is a Finnish company called Noona helping oncology patients. Their cloud technology helps capture patient reported outcomes in oncology via a cancer patient toolset encouraging 24/7 reporting, thereby helping patients to feel safe, and increasing survival by ensuring the right care at the right time.</p> <p><strong>5. The unchartered</strong></p> <p>Healthcare enterprises aren’t just creating new products and services, they’re shaping new digital industries. This is throwing up a host of regulatory, ethical and governance questions, some of which aren’t easy to answer. We’re entering unchartered territory, with 66% of healthcare executives currently working on innovations that fall in to regulatory grey areas.</p> <p>Healthcare organisations need to help shape the new rules of the game, to show leadership in an evolving marketplace. Key amidst all this change, is building consumer and patient confidence – something that requires rigorous collaboration and connectivity. 42% of health organisations have already joined a consortium to self-regulate – but we need everyone to.</p> <p>It’s clear that building and keeping our trust is crucial in establishing effective digital healthcare for all. Without trust, none of these advances are possible: establishing and maintaining it must be our top priority</p> techUK 2018 Priorities: Tech Must Lead Productivity in FS Fri, 13 Oct 2017 08:00:00 +0000 Ruth Milligan(techUK) techuk sets out 2018 strategy for the Financial Services and Payments Programme <p>techUK members have outlined the overarching strategy for the Financial Services and Payments Programme for 2018. At our Financial Services Council meeting on 11 October, it was agreed to continue with the three current working groups - Insurance and Pensions, Open Banking &amp; Payments and Distributed Ledger Technology and to combine these under a linking strategy focus.</p> <p><strong>The message of this strategy is: technology will lead productivity growth in the financial service sector</strong>.</p> <p>A recent report from IPPR Commission, <a href="">Financing Investment</a>, notes that 'Despite huge advances in information technologies and analytical capacity, the unit cost of intermediation to the non-financial economy was higher in 2007 than it was in the 1950s'. This builds on earlier <a href="">analysis</a> by&nbsp;Thomas Philippon, Professor of Finance at the Stern School of Business, New York University. He put it even more bluntly:&nbsp;“unit cost of intermediation” – the sum total of wages and profits taken by the financial services industry – remains, over time, close to two per cent. During the past 130 years, there has been no productivity increase in finance."</p> <p>The conclusion we draw from this is that so far, new, innovative technologies have not been sufficiently embedded into the nuts and bolts of the workings of financial services. Technology has the capacity to bring a sea-change to the efficiency, speed, capacity and service-level of financial services across the board. To achieve this, the UK needs a joined-up strategy to bring technology into the heart of how financial services operate. The future of this industry is connectivity through tech, with data at its heart - we must recognise this and strive to achieve it. This will need leadership from government and regulators; buy-in from the industry and stakeholders. This is a message techUK has given before, in our 2014 paper '<a href="">Towards a New Financial Services</a>'. We will be taking up this banner again with the additional message that productivity depends on technology.</p> <p>All the specific areas of technology - regtech, DLT, insurtech, open APIs, together with AI, cyber-security, IoT, smart contracts - have a part to play in this basic transformation. But we must be careful not to lose the long-term aim amongst the detail of each distinct technology.&nbsp;</p> <p>techuk will shortly be publishing a paper, 'The Future of Open Banking - the Long View,' which introduces some of these ideas.&nbsp; Keep an eye on our website for news of publication dates. In 2018, we will build on these ideas further.</p> The Evolution of Infratech Thu, 12 Oct 2017 19:21:24 +0000 Aimee Betts-Charalambous(techUK) New report looks at how technology is shaping the future of infrastructure. <p>Yesterday saw Pinsent Masons, in association with the ICE and techUK, launch a new thought leadership report looking at global perspectives on the opportunities and challenges of infratech.</p> <p>Technology and data are increasingly taking centre stage and driving infrastructure projects. This report shines a spotlight on how industry is preparing for the future. Including a look not just at how the infrastructure sector is responding to the new risks and possibilities of digital; but also, how the technology sector is preparing for new partnerships with an industry that operates to very different demand and expectations.</p> <p>You don’t have to look to far to see how growing convergence between infrastructure and technology companies is driving better outcomes and benefits for owners, operators and users. Technology trends are shaping the future direction of infrastructure.&nbsp;There is no doubt that wireless networks (including mobile, IoT, small cells and mesh networks) will form the bedrock of projects going forward with <strong>80%</strong> agreeing that wireless tech will be increasingly embedded in projects over the next three years. Furthermore, <strong>97%</strong> highlighted how technology is now a deciding factor in new projects. With the quality of technology and the level of its integration being decisive, particularly for investors in greenfield and brownfield projects.</p> <p><img src="images/isdjsjd.png" alt="isdjsjd" width="414" height="634" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p>The infratech era is spurring a growth in collaboration with both infrastructure (<strong>76%</strong>) and technology (<strong>71%</strong>) companies expecting their engagement to increase over the coming years.</p> <p>Infrastructure and technology firms come from two different worlds however the report shows that infrastructure firms are adopting an open-minded approach to technology engagement. Looking at how they can benefit from joint ventures (<strong>53%</strong>), private-public partnerships (<strong>53%</strong>) or from the creation of an in-house tech unit or subsidiary (<strong>43%</strong>) in the next three years.</p> <p>Despite an openness to collaboration there remain several areas of uncertainty. One area which is of particular concern is data. <strong>38%</strong> of technology respondents and <strong>34%</strong> of infrastructure respondents identified agreeing data requirements or standards in smart infrastructure projects as a challenge. Other areas of friction include risk allocation and culture.</p> <p>That said over <strong>2/3</strong> of companies surveyed described their experience of working with their infrastructure and technology counterparts as positive.</p> <p>Turning to the major barriers to smart infrastructure the report saw industry cite <em>unsuitable regulatory frameworks</em> (<strong>38%</strong>), <em>siloed approach to infrastructure and technology</em> (<strong>37%</strong>); and c<em>oncerns about security (physical, cyber/digital, data)</em> (<strong>32%</strong>)&nbsp;as top issues.</p> <p>Already we are seeing government and industry working to resolve these. Yet, much more work is needed to understand the nuances of these challenges in an ever-evolving environment. Taking account of the experience of other sectors as they have gone through this transition will be the key to success.</p> <p>The report sends a very clear message that technology is no longer a bolt-on, or an afterthought, for infrastructure projects. The infrastructure industry is open to change but to realise the true value of this evolution we need further integration. Realising a smarter infrastructure future relies on all parties working together to break down silos and challenge traditional ways of doing things. Something techUK is committed to working with members and stakeholders across multiple sectors to achieve.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Click here to download a full copy of the report</a>.&nbsp;</p> Building a #Connectedsociety for the UK Thu, 12 Oct 2017 13:25:57 +0000 Harri Turnbull(techUK) Our President, Jacqueline de Rojas, presents her vision for how we can build a #ConnectedSociety. <p><em>As the <a href="">Corsham Institute</a> and <a href="">RAND Europe</a> <a href="">launch</a> their ‘Observatory for a Connected’ Society app and their ‘Building our Connected Society’ report, techUK President Jacqueline de Rojas maps out how we can build a connected society today.</em></p> <p>The digital revolution is a global one – it has no national boundaries, it is irreversible and it is unstoppable. To fully reap the rewards of this transformation, we must become a nation of digital optimists and arm all our people with the digital skills to embrace and benefit from this revolution.</p> <p>Technology is leading us into unchartered waters. Take cars as an example. There are now more lines of code in the latest Ford GT than in a 787 Dreamliner; its on-board systems gather and analyse huge amounts of data; and the next generation of driverless cars are being pioneered by tech companies as much as car companies.</p> <p>The UK is incredibly well placed to lead the digital revolution across the world and become a digital nation of significance. The country already boasts a digital economy that is the envy of many around the world. It is Europe’s largest tech hub, with twice as much investment in tech than any other country on the continent.</p> <p>Of course, Brexit will bring significant changes to how citizens live and how businesses function. But, there is another, equally important economic and social imperative that cannot wait – how to create a modern and open digital economy that works for everyone in the 2020s.</p> <p><strong>Instil digital ambition</strong></p> <p>To achieve the vision of a modern and open digital economy, the UK needs serious digital ambition. We already have the credentials - invention is in our DNA. As the pioneers of the First Industrial Revolution, Britain became the first industrial economy and the world’s innovation powerhouse. As we enter the Fourth Industrial Revolution – the digital revolution - we can build a 21st century economy that works for all.</p> <p>I’m a huge digital optimist. I believe technology is a great enabler. Improving people’s lives and creating exciting new possibilities is the outcome we are looking for. However, I also believe we have a huge talent problem and it is going to be a lack of diversity and inclusion that will stall our ambition. We must bring every citizen on this digital journey with us.</p> <p>The tech sector is creating jobs at nearly three times the rate of the rest of the economy, and demand far outstrips supply. And as all sectors across our economy become increasingly digitised, the gap looks set to grow. It therefore makes business sense to address this skills gap and upskill the workforce so that all are digitally-able.</p> <p><strong>Addressing the gender gap</strong></p> <p>Within the tech sector, gender diversity is a huge concern and improving the balance may help reduce the digital skills gap. Women currently represent just 17 per of the technology workforce and fewer than one in ten women within the sector hold leadership positions. Almost two million women in the UK are currently economically inactive due to caring commitments, and 76 per cent of professional women on career breaks want to return to work.</p> <p>To address the issue of gender diversity, we need to look at the pipeline – attracting, retaining and supporting the progression of women in tech.</p> <p>Diversity is not only a way to fill a gap, there is a strong business case. Ideas that originate from non-diverse teams do not often reflect the markets’ need. A diverse team can more accurately understand and serve a variety of customer bases and their requirements. Also, gender-diverse companies are 45 per cent more likely to improve market share and are 70 per cent more likely to successfully capture new markets.</p> <p><strong>Looking to the classroom</strong></p> <p>It is very concerning to see that the problem starts well beyond the working career. Studies have found 65 per cent of the UK’s mixed secondary schools have no girls doing Computing at A Level and many have no girls doing any STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) subject in the sixth form.</p> <p>Teachers also struggle with gender bias and often feel they lack the expertise to teach digital skills. A recent Centrica survey on teacher and pupil STEM perception found nearly a third of male teachers believe STEM careers are more for boys than girls. 16 per cent of female teachers feel the same and nearly a third of female teachers say they are "not at all confident" in their understanding of STEM careers, compared to 15% of male teachers.</p> <p>There have, however, been many positive developments in education in recent years – many of which have been driven by industry and Government working together effectively. The introduction of the Computing Curriculum, T-Levels, and a new National College for Digital Skills are notable successes. The UK, however, still faces a sizeable domestic digital skills gap, which must be closed if Britain is to be one of the world’s leading digital economies.</p> <p><strong>Importance of lifelong learning</strong></p> <p>It’s not just females and the classroom that we need to focus on. To capitalise on the next wave of digital growth, the Government must ensure developing the skills needs for the jobs of the future across all levels of seniority and throughout the workforce.</p> <p>We must acknowledge that we need to prepare for jobs today that may not even exist yet. Everyone will need basic digital skills to participate in daily life, whether it is to communicate, find information or purchase goods and services. Yet there is a digital divide where up to 11.5 million adults lack basic digital skills and 5.3 million people in the UK have never used the internet.</p> <p>Digital exclusion will be a major inhibitor to digitising public services and hamper social mobility. The Government must invest in initiatives to significantly reduce digital exclusion over the term of the next Parliament. One such opportunity is the Apprenticeship Levy which should be fully geared towards developing the high-skilled digital workforce of the future, and its implementation must meet the needs of some of the most innovative companies in the UK. Another would be to create an adult education infrastructure that provides an effective lifelong learning system.</p> <p><strong>Regional inclusion</strong></p> <p>The case for investment in digital skills is clear. Up and down the country people are increasingly living as digital workers, consumers and citizens. In fact, according to the Tech Nations report, in 2016, 68 per cent of digital tech investment was outside London, showing tech is leading the kind of balanced economic growth the country needs.</p> <p>Take these recent stats from Tech North: Digital jobs in the North are increasing at ten times the rate of jobs in non-digital sectors – with the total tech workers now reaching 283,500. Productivity of digital workers is 53 per cent higher than that of non-digital workers. This in turn has fed into higher earnings, with digital workers in the North enjoying a 60 per cent wage premium over their counterparts in the rest of the economy.</p> <p>Government and companies alike must end silos and duplication by investing in tech that helps people work better together and enable easy sharing of information. We must seize the opportunity and empower all citizens with the digital skills they need for the future.</p> <p>There will be complex questions and challenges along the way, but I remain a digital optimist. Tech can enable the social and economic challenges facing the UK today. We must work together to accelerate progress, or the dream of a digitally transformed nation will slip from our grasp. That includes promoting diversity in all its forms and ensuring inclusion for all.</p> <p>To find out more on this you can download the ‘Observatory for a Connected Society’ app and ‘Building our Connected Society’ report, <a href="">here</a>.</p> "We're All in It Together" - techUK Response to Internet Safety Green Paper Wed, 11 Oct 2017 13:16:37 +0000 Harri Turnbull(techUK) In response to the Government's paper on internet safety, Antony Walker says that there is no 'one size fits all' solution to this issue, <p><strong><em>Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Internet Safety Strategy Green Paper, Deputy CEO, Antony Walker, said</em></strong>:</p> <p>“The UK tech sector shares the Government’s ambition to make Britain the safest place for people to be online. The Green Paper highlights many of the excellent insights and initiatives that have been driven by industry over the last ten years. The Strategy will succeed if it is founded on collaboration between government, businesses, charities and internet users. When it comes to online safety, we’re all in it together.</p> <p>“Companies continue to develop powerful tools to keep users from harm, but education remains the key to empowering all people to stay safe. Any new initiatives, such as an industry-wide Levy, must not undermine the good work that is already being done by businesses. Companies will want to understand that any funds raised by the levy are being used effectively.</p> <p>“It is important to remember that not all tech companies are the same and there isn’t a one size fits all solution. Companies need the freedom to tailor their safety measures depending on where they sit in the digital ecosystem. Getting the Strategy right will depend upon strong engagement and effective dialogue between all those with real experience and expertise. This is too important to get wrong.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Contact: <a href=""></a></p> <p>Contact: <a href=""></a></p> Girls Can Do Anything Mon, 09 Oct 2017 12:49:12 +0000 Harri Turnbull(techUK) Sarah Atkinson calls on the better use of digital to reach and engage with our young female talent. <blockquote>Sarah Atkinson, VP Communications for CA Technologies, writes a guest blog on the importance of reaching out to young female talent to bridge the digital skills gap. Sarah is the Youth in Tech champion on techUK's Women in Tech council and also sits on the main board.&nbsp;</blockquote> <p><img src="images/1cfc7e9.jpg" alt="1cfc7e9" width="200" height="200" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <hr /> <p>The Girlguiding Girls Attitude Survey 2017, provides some fascinating insight into girls’ perceptions and one point that struck me was, despite the numbers of girls taking technology subjects, 76% of girls aged 7-21 feel confident in their digital skills.</p> <p>This is encouraging and represents an un-tapped opportunity for schools, parents and the technology industry as a whole to connect with girls to help them learn about careers that fulfil their ambitions. This confidence in digital skills has to be supported, so that these girls pursue their interest in digital and are not dissuaded by gender stereotyping. STEM is not just for boys, please.</p> <p>Despite the confidence that these young girls have, only a third of them would consider a job in technology.</p> <p>Here at techUK, we want to improve this statistic, and in order to do so, we’ve found one of the most impactful program is from the WISE Campaign and it is called People Like Me. It is a revolutionary approach that uses girls natural tendency to create and articulate their self-identity with adjectives to help them see themselves working happily and success in STEM. The pack aims to equip teachers and STEM Ambassadors with engaging content for girls aged 11-14 years old.</p> <p>At CA’s Girls Can Create Tomorrow Event, over 100 girls took part in a People Like Me workshop and the reaction was so positive. The girls were surprised at the range of job prospects out there and didn’t know that many tech roles which were not solely development focused. The challenge here is to reach more girls and scale the program, so WISE has launched People Like Me Goes Digital – and there are still opportunities left to get involved.</p> <p>The Girlguiding Girls Attitude Survey 2017, also highlighted that the industry needs to think about using YouTube as a platform for engaging young girls and showcasing female technology role models.</p> <p>A quarter of girls aged 7-11 say would take advice from a YouTuber over their own parents. Over half the girls in the survey said YouTube was the main place they would go to find out about something, and no wonder, considering there are thousands of videos out there, ranging from product reviews, to dance routine tutorials.</p> <p>So the call to action is clearly to go digital to reach and engage with our young female talent.</p> <p>For more information about support People Like Me Goes Digital, please contact Ruth Farenga at <a href=""></a><a href=""></a></p> <hr /> <p>For more information on techUK's Women in Tech Programme, get in touch with Doniya Soni</p> <p>Contact: <a href=""></a></p> To Give Your Citizens What They Need, Its Time You Asked Them What They Want Thu, 05 Oct 2017 08:29:52 +0000 Harri Turnbull(techUK) To mark National Customer Service Week Crispin Fu, Agilisys, shares his insights on how to help transform the delivery of public services through digital technology. <p><strong>Save money and provide better services by understanding your citizens</strong></p> <p>It’s a bold statement, but one that can be backed up. Do you know why your citizens are contacting you and what they want to achieve? If you don’t you could be wasting money and leaving citizens frustrated.</p> <p>There are plenty of tools to help you track what visitors to your website are doing. Site traffic is valuable data but without understanding your citizens it only gives you half the picture. Having the numbers doesn’t mean that you know what to look for when it comes to better serving your citizens.</p> <p>This is where Service Design - the activity of planning and organising people, infrastructure, communication and material components of a service to improve its quality and the interaction between the service provider and its customers - can really play a part.</p> <p><strong>Service Design starts with the citizen</strong></p> <p>It’s easy to talk about the user but then fall into the trap of looking at your service and its performance measures. Citizen needs can often be created by reverse engineering the service’s view of the world. Start by understanding the citizen and what they want to achieve. Research about your citizens will be invaluable in helping you to go deeper to understand their lives and go wider to understand what they were doing before, during, and after the transaction.</p> <p>You may know transaction numbers across different channels. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that you know what’s really going on. If you want to see the how the service is working for your users, then you need to witness how people are interacting with the other channels. A simple first step is to shadow the contact centre or front desk. You may be surprised how much you learn about how and why people make contact in the first place. You can also use it as an opportunity to interview citizens too. Witnessing the service in action may only take a few hours but the insight could radically change the way you see the service.</p> <p><strong>Solve the right problem</strong></p> <p>Once you’ve got a better understanding of your users you can figure out the actual problem you need to solve.</p> <p>Creating a ‘user problem’ statement focuses the mind on a citizen-centric solution. But remember, this starts with the citizen’s problem; it isn’t about your service. Articulating a clear citizen need, which is service agnostic, is especially useful for breaking down the barriers between traditional silos. Focusing on needs sets out the real challenges your citizens are facing, and it shouldn’t be about a specific service. This helps shift the internal conversation from how are we currently working to ‘how might we solve these challenges?’.</p> <p>Once you’re clear on the problem to solve then you can start to fix it. Your services are constantly changing so embrace it. If you view it as work in progress you can adopt a hypothesis mindset and take the opportunity to test your hypothesis and iterate towards a better solution. Creating a hypothesis allows you to use your data more effectively as you know what you’re looking for.</p> <p><strong>What about your website?</strong></p> <p>‘Do you know what this page is for?’ might sound simple but it can be a revealing question. If you can’t answer this question and provide a meaningful measurement from it, the page probably isn’t needed. If you can, define the page objective by asking yourself does it match the citizen need? Does it solve the problem statement? One quick way to test this is to add a pop up to ask the citizen ‘did you manage to do what you needed today?’.</p> <p><strong>See the difference</strong></p> <p>Satisfied citizens tend not to call, chase or visit. In one large local authority, simply by solving the right problem reduced phone calls to a single service by 10,000 in the first month and generated the savings to reflect it. Are you asking the right questions to make a real difference to your citizens lives?</p> <p><a href="">Find out more</a> about solving the right problem when it comes to delivering services to your citizens.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="wistia_responsive_padding" style="padding: 56.25% 0 0 0; position: relative;"> <div class="wistia_responsive_wrapper" style="height: 100%; left: 0; position: absolute; top: 0; width: 100%;"><iframe name="wistia_embed" src="" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="100%" height="100%" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" title="Wistia video player" allowtransparency="true" class="wistia_embed" mozallowfullscreen="" webkitallowfullscreen="" oallowfullscreen="" msallowfullscreen=""></iframe></div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Guest Blog: UK-NL Cyber Security Showcase Wed, 04 Oct 2017 13:27:50 +0000 Talal Rajab (techUK) Shadi Razak, CTO of CyNation, writes a blog for techUK on his recent experience at 2017's UK – Netherlands Cyber Security Showcase <p>Last month was certainly a busy one for the UK Cyber Security Industry. From major data breaches at Equifax to the ICO’s affirmation of the applicability of the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to British organisations and finally, Parliament publishing a new Data Protection Bill. However, one of the key highlights of the month was the <a href="" target="_blank">2nd UK – Netherlands Cyber Security Showcase</a>. The event took place at the World Trade Centre in the Hague, next to The Hague Security Delta, Europol’s Headquarter and The Dutch Government.</p> <p>Opened by Peter Wilson, British Ambassador to the Netherlands, Conrad Prince, UK Cyber Security Ambassador, and Saskia Bruines, Deputy Mayor of The Hague, the event brought together 50 of the most innovative British and Dutch based cyber security companies to showcase their knowledge, products and services. During the showcase, a programme of excellent speakers offered attendees with insights into the latest cyber security capabilities, innovations and thoughts on cyber security in the United Kingdom and The Netherlands. Hot topics were the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Third Party Risk and Compliance, Smart Cities and IoT, Cybercrime, Threat Intelligence and Psychology, and Cyber Security in Fintech.</p> <p>The participating organisations got the opportunity to pitch their innovative solutions and products to about 500 attendees:</p> <p>- <a href="" target="_blank">CyNation</a> - presented their award-winning cloud based GDPR Compliance Manager Platform: CyRegTM GDPR, and their Third Party Cyber Risk Assessment platform.</p> <p>- <a href="" target="_blank">Spirent</a> - pitched their automated vulnerability assessment platform.</p> <p>- <a href="" target="_blank">Axelos</a> - pitched their Frontline awareness learning platform.</p> <p>- <a href="" target="_blank">Cybersprint</a> - pitched their online reputation risk assessment portal.</p> <p>- <a href="" target="_blank">Compumatica</a> - presented their secure networks and secure email gateways.<br />- iProov - presented their innovation award winning face recognition and Identity management solution</p> <p>- <a href="" target="_blank">Dtex System</a> - presented their insider threat detection and psychological analysis</p> <p>After a buzzing day of talks, knowledge sharing and match-making meetings, the showcase closed with a great networking event at the Hague City Hall. The UK-NL Cyber Showcase was joined by attendees of a Europol conference, resulting in more than 1200 cybersecurity experts and professionals joining the celebration of such a great event.</p> techUK Join Call for EU Mandating of Radio Digital Capability Wed, 04 Oct 2017 09:35:59 +0000 Paul Hide (techUK) techUK back the WordDAB request to European Regulators to support the requirement that radios are digital ready. <p>The world is increasingly digital and this applies to the world of Radio as much as any other sector. Digital Radio adoption is growing fast with nearly 50% of UK listening to Radio via a digital source. Other European markets are following, Norway will complete the switchoff of analogue radio in 2017 and Switzerland have also confirmed the migration to a digital only radio landscape in the next few years.</p> <p>To support the transition to digital and to help ensure that radios purchased today will work post switchover techUK are supporting the requirement that all Radios above a Euro 20 selling price are compelled to have digital capability.</p> <p>WorldDAB and techUK have joined forces to write to confirm their support for Amendment 257 as published on 8 September in the Opinion of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO) on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Electronic Communications Code.</p> <p>A copy of this letter is available to download below.</p> <p>techUK run a Digital Radio Group whose objective is to secure a digital switchover mandate from Government once the laid down criteria on coverage and listening are met.</p> <p>To get involved or find out more about our work in this area contact:</p> <p>Contact: <a href=""></a></p> Minister Calls for Radios to be Digital by Default Wed, 04 Oct 2017 09:27:26 +0000 Paul Hide (techUK) The Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, Minister of State for Digital, has called for all new devices to have digital capability in anticipation of a future switchover. <p>The Minister was talking via a video interview, at the Drive to Digital event held on the 26th September&nbsp;to 250 industry executives including audio and radio manufacturers and retailers, vehicle manufacturers and broadcasters. Mr Hancock said the Government “strongly encourage, especially new devices, to be digital by default.” He cited the example of the new car market, where nine out of ten new cars now have digital radio as standard, saying it would be “unambiguously a good move to see that replicated across different areas of radio production.”</p> <p>According to industry GfK data, the majority of domestic radios currently sold are analogue-only. The Minister emphasised that whereas a digital radio would last listeners into the future, an analogue product has a time limit because “there will be a switchover at some point.”</p> <p>With digital listening now at 48.7% (RAJAR Q2 2017), Mr Hancock confirmed that when 50% is achieved Government will consider whether to set a timetable for switchover, and reiterated the need to proceed carefully saying, “we’ve got to bring people with us on switchover... so that everybody has the chance to move onto the new technology.”</p> <p>The Minister’s call to accelerate the transition to digital devices was echoed by Julian David, CEO of techUK, the industry body representing technology manufacturers, and Katrina Mills, Audio and Connected Home Senior Buyer at John Lewis, who confirmed that John Lewis, the UK’s leading radio retailer, is planning to phase out the sale of analogue portable radios in stores and online.</p> <p>The Drive to Digital conference, which is organised by Digital Radio UK, heard about the progress being made in transitioning UK radio to digital with speeches from leading audio and radio brands, including Roberts Radio, Ruark and Pure, as well as Amazon Alexa and Sonos, and vehicle manufacturer, Audi.</p> <p>Conference attendees also heard an update on Norway’s digital radio switchover, the first in the world, from Ole Jørgen Torvmark, CEO of Digital Radio Norway, who said that the country’s switchover is almost complete, and running on time and to plan, with the majority of Norwegians taking action to receive digital radio in homes and cars.</p> <p>Drive to Digital was chaired by award-winning presenter, Magic Radio’s Harriet Scott, and featured presentations from leading broadcasters including Paul Rodgers, Head of BBC 6 Music; Tony Moorey, Content Director, Absolute Radio and Magic Radio; John Cushing, Head of News Operations, Global; and presenter and radio legend Tony Blackburn, who was joined by Ben Cooper, Controller of BBC Radio 1, to mark the launch of new BBC digital pop-up station, BBC Radio 1 Vintage, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the launch of Radio 1 on 30 September.</p> <p>The Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, Minister of State for Digital, said: “It’s brilliant that radio continues to go from strength to strength and a large part of that is due to how it has kept moving technologically. The transition to digital is essential for radio’s future and we strongly encourage all manufacturers to ensure they are delivering digitally-enabled product to their customers.”</p> <p>Ford Ennals, CEO, Digital Radio UK, said: “We welcome the comments of the Digital Minister and of techUK about the importance of selling digital-enabled radios at retail. In a world where radio listening is transitioning to digital and where all digital radios have FM capability it makes no sense for retailers to continue to sell analogue radios which have a time limit and can’t receive the majority of available stations.“</p> <p>Julian David, CEO, techUK, said: “We welcome the Minister’s support of digitally-enabled devices, and know that it is something that many of our members would be keen to deliver particularly with the reassurance of a timetable for a propsed transition to digital.”</p> <p>Katrina Mills, Audio and Connected Home Senior Buyer, John Lewis, said: “We know that our customers are tech-savvy and early adopters of all technological innovations. This being the case, it makes sense for us to ensure we are exclusively presenting them with radios which are digitally enabled and begin to phase out the sale of analogue-only portable radios.”</p> <p>Ole Jørgen Torvmark, CEO, Digital Radio Norway, said: “Norway’s transition from analogue to digital radio is progressing well. In Nordland, the first region to make the switch, listening figures are now hitting the same level as before the switchover. This is in line with our forecasts, and is also what we expect to see for the rest of the country next year.”</p> <p>Contact: <a href=""></a></p> techUK Comments on the Irish High Court Referral of Schrems II to the CJEU Tue, 03 Oct 2017 16:06:33 +0000 Harri Turnbull(techUK) Following the decision of the Irish High Court to refer the Schrems II case to the ECJ, Antony Walker highlights the importance of adequacy <p><strong>Commenting on the decision of the Irish High Court to refer the Schrems II case to the CJEU Antony Walker, techUK Deputy CEO, said:</strong></p> <p>“The Irish High Court <a href="">decision</a> to refer the Schrems II case to the Court of Justice of the European Union is hugely significant.</p> <p>This ruling could have substantial implications because it highlights the question of the validity of Standard Contractual Clauses, for organisations when transferring data from the EU to ‘third countries’.</p> <p>As the UK considers its own future data transfer agreements post-Brexit, the legal uncertainty caused by this referral demonstrates the importance of establishing a secure and robust legal mechanism to transfer personal data between the UK and the EU. An agreement, based on adequacy, is in the mutual interest of both parties to ensure stability and certainty for the future of UK-EU data flows.”</p> <p>Contact: <a href=""></a></p> <p>Contact: <a href=""></a></p> GovTech Leaders Debate Skills and Innovation Mon, 02 Oct 2017 14:30:29 +0000 Simona Paliulyte(techUK) Smarter Services and Procurement were Key Themes of the GovICT 2017 Conference <p><img src="images/assets/GOV_ICT.jpg" alt="GOV ICT" /></p> <p><em><strong>Rob Driver, Head of Public Sector outlines the key findings of techUK’s SME Survey and Civil Servants Survey</strong></em></p> <p>Last week the GovICT 2017 Conference took place at County Hall, London and was attended by over 300 public sector ICT Professionals. The Conference addressed key issues and challenges facing the Public Sector such as delivering the next stage of digital transformation, and developing the right skills and culture for a digitally-enabled government.</p> <p>This year techUK’s Head of Public Sector Rob Driver addressed the conference and presented on the key recommendations of <a href="insights/news/item/10804-inventing-the-future-techuk-launches-2017-manifesto">Inventing the Future: techUK Manifesto 2017</a>. After the address, feedback from delegates focused on how it is only through harnessing the transformational power of digital technology that Government can protect front-end service delivery. The key takeaways from the session included:</p> <p><strong>Transformation and Civil Service Skills</strong></p> <p>Holly Ellis, Director of Capability for the Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) Profession at GDS, discussed the importance of nurturing a culture of diversity and creativity to position the Civil Service as ‘the destination of choice' for DDaT professionals. Emphasis was placed on people being at the heart of the industry, and outlining the challenge of delivering transformation in Government. From developers to designers, it was highlighted that talent and skills make government transformation a reality on some of the world’s largest and most complex technical projects. These key messages strongly resonated with the findings of techUK’s 2017 Civil Servants Survey, particularly how the skills of those developing and delivering public services are fundamental to <a href="insights/opinions/item/10951-shaping-the-smarter-state">‘Building the Smarter State’.</a></p> <p><strong>Smarter Services: the Next Wave of Digital Transformation</strong></p> <p>The key findings of the <a href="images/smarter_services_DIGITAL_FINAL.pdf">Smarter Services: Delivering the Next Wave of Digital Transformation in the Public Sector</a> report were presented at the conference, followed by a wide ranging debate on the steps Government must take to deliver transformed public services. Key findings and recommendations included:</p> <p>• Government needs to design services that can take advantage of the innovative solutions of Britain’s tech sector</p> <p>• The public sector must understand the value of a broad and diverse supplier base, so that it can take advantage of the range of solutions that companies of different sizes and with different specialisms offer</p> <p>• Initiatives such as the Government’s pledge to spend £1 in £3 of its procurement budget with SMEs is welcome, but research suggests that it has had a limited impact upon the attitudes of procurement staff within the public sector.</p> <p>Rob Driver, Head of Public Sector at techUK commented:</p> <p><em>“It is clear that those working in the Public Sector want to deliver World-class digital services to citizens, however a shortage of skills is seen as a barrier to delivering tech-enabled public services. The Government should focus on equipping Civil Servants with the understanding of how SMEs can be at the forefront of driving innovation in the public sector, and must also continue improving procurement processes to enable greater access for innovative SMEs”.</em></p> <p><strong>Further Information</strong></p> <p><a href="insights/news/item/11447-making-the-case-for-small-businesses">Making the Case for Small Businesses – techUk SME Survey</a><br /><a href="insights/opinions/item/11404-ps2030-building-smarter-services">Building Smarter Services</a><br /><a href="insights/opinions/item/11377-techukps2030-delivering-next-wave-public-sector-digital-transformation">#techUKPS2030: Delivering the Next Wave of Digital Transformation</a></p> How Tech Can Advance the Culture of Giving Mon, 02 Oct 2017 09:03:18 +0000 Doniya Soni(techUK) Guest blog from the Charities Aid Foundation explores the social impact of tech companies. <p>Katy Wood and Tamryn Stowell from the <a href="">Charities Aid Foundation</a> write a guest blog on the impact tech companies can have on the culture of giving.</p> <p><img src="images/Katy_and_Tamyrn.PNG" alt="Katy and Tamyrn" width="344" height="204" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <hr /> <p>Tech is universal, reaching into many industries, opening up access to information, communication, social platforms and creating innovations that directly contribute to the advancement of society.</p> <p>With the ubiquitous nature of technology comes great responsibility. The rise and spread of technology is not only ushering in the fourth industrial revolution but raising crucial questions around ethics, social change and globalisation. Increasingly governments and the general public are looking to technology companies themselves to provide answers.</p> <p>Far from shying away from this responsibility, in response to a rapidly changing environment, tech companies are being proactive in creating purpose beyond the purely profitable and are leading the way in corporate social responsibility. According to findings from the <a href="">Reputation Institute’s 2017 Global CSR Reptrak</a>, Microsoft, Google, Intel and Cisco Systems are all within the top 10 companies with the strongest CSR reputations.</p> <p>Each has effectively applied a combination of aligning their CSR strategies closely with corporate brand purpose, driving internal and external engagement, having a human focus that is about action rather than rhetoric and actively engaging senior leadership.<br /> <br /> These front runners prove that for tech companies, having authentic social purpose is essential in demonstrating to all stakeholders that they serve a useful role beyond profit and loss balance sheets. CAF’s recent <a href="">collaboration with Edelman</a> highlighted that developing an environment of trust is essential for companies: not only are people more likely to buy and recommend products and services from a trusted company but for many it reinforces a company’s licence to operate.</p> <p><img src="images/1.jpg" alt="1" width="174" height="166" style="margin: 3px; float: right;" /></p> <p>Demonstrating social purpose and meaningful impact is essential to attract and retain talent, particularly in a world where the Millennial generation are not only demanding employment but also authenticity., As the Deloitte <a href="">Millennial Survey 2016</a> states “the potential for a “profits-first” approach to alienate Millennials” is very real.</p> <p><a href="">At CAF</a> we are proud to partner with some of the world’s biggest technology companies to help them realise and achieve their social aims. Our expertise ranges from advising companies on how to establish a corporate foundation that reinforces their CSR objectives and commercial aims, to distributing philanthropic capital on a global scale and delivering employee engagement programmes that align directly with business strategy.</p> <p>SITA, global technology provider to the air transport industry, approached CAF to provide critical guidance and support in developing a community foundation which resonated with the IT and aviation industries that they operate in.</p> <p><img src="images/2.jpg" alt="2" width="188" height="179" style="margin: 4px; float: left;" />The initiatives that the <a href="">SITA Air Transport Community Foundation</a> have implemented are providing students in Africa with access to IT and education – &nbsp;giving opportunities to the next generation of young people across the continent.</p> <p>FTSE 100 tech company Sage gives SME’s and entrepreneurs the technology solutions and tools they need to succeed. These core values in turn shape the mission of <a href="">Sage Foundation</a>: to provide sustainable social, economic and entrepreneurial opportunities to non-profits in the communities worldwide that Sage operates in. They achieve this through the 2+2+2 model of giving their colleagues time, expertise and philanthropic funds. By working with CAF, grants are donated to organisations internationally, impacting lives and allowing communities to reach their full potential and creating positive social impact.</p> <p>Employee giving schemes play an increasingly important role in directing funds into the charitable sector and allow employers to demonstrate their own commitment to supporting the causes their workforce cares about. Siemens recognise the importance of fostering a culture of giving and work with CAF to administer the <a href="">Siemens Give As You Earn</a>&nbsp;scheme to facilitate personal giving as well as empowering staff to fundraise collectively for local causes. As part of their commitment to sustaining communities, Siemens double their employees’ payroll donations to disaster appeals, valuing their employees charitable giving and boosting the impact through company matched philanthropic donations.</p> <p>Social responsibility, social purpose, and social impact have enormous benefits for companies, employees and the wider world. With tech disrupting so many industries and reaching so many lives, the responsibility of the industry is growing. Have you considered your social impact?</p> <hr /> <p>To find out more, get in touch with <a href="">Katy </a>and<a href="">Tamryn</a>.&nbsp;</p> #techUKPS2030: The Council of the Future – Driving Value Through Digitisation Thu, 28 Sep 2017 08:54:39 +0000 Simona Paliulyte(techUK) Peter J Reynolds, Capita, explores how digital is affecting every part of councils and, by 2030, we won’t ‘do digital’ we will be digital. <p>At the recent workshop I held, as part of techUK’s <a href="">public services 2030 conference</a>, I talked about the importance of digital leadership to drive value from digitisation, and the particular challenges for the public sector.</p> <p>Public sector organisations drive value in three ways, including the standard delivery of council services but also recognising:</p> <ul> <li>the more complex stakeholder and delivery environment where services are delivered through others</li> <li>the development of infrastructure (physical and economic)</li> <li>social value (protecting society's most vulnerable)&nbsp;[1].</li> </ul> <p>Digitisation drives value in each of these areas:</p> <ul> <li><strong>delivery of services</strong> – the council’s own (internal) digital transformation of services as well as working through others (on-line self-services, automation and workforce management)</li> <li><strong>development of infrastructure</strong> – smart cities development (eg, intelligent infrastructure, sensors) and Economic development (eg, technology parks and university collaborations)</li> <li><strong>social value</strong> – evidence-based policy making which relies on data insights capabilities such as digital dashboards, segmentation or prediction.</li> </ul> <p>We had many earlier sessions talking about the availability of new disruptive technologies and the emerging GovTech market. The question for our session was <em>‘what does it take for a council to fully harness this capability and drive public value today?’.</em></p> <p>The starting point to this journey is digital leadership – the leadership to take the council on its digital journey, to build new skills and capabilities, to learn and to grow. This is a multi-year journey, which needs to be started now.</p> <p>At Capita, we define four stages of transformation: digital readiness, digital pragmatism, service redesign and future model – each stage is based&nbsp;on the learning and capabilities of the previous one and needs to be underpinned by a growing ‘digital mindset’.</p> <p><em>[1] See Alford, J. Towards a new Public Management Model: Beyond Managerialism” and its critics, Australian Journal of Public Administration, 1993.</em></p> <p><img src="images/assets/digital-curve-diagram-pagebody.png" alt="digital-curve-diagram-pagebody" width="1020" height="534" /></p> <p><strong>Digital readiness</strong> – requires the ability to make the case for change. This stage is about understanding and articulating the potential of digital.&nbsp;</p> <p>Digital leadership here requires the right mindset and understanding:</p> <ul> <li>what are the outcomes needed for citizens and the council?</li> <li>what are the customer journeys that need to be delivered?</li> <li>how can the customer experience be improved and costs reduced?</li> </ul> <p><strong>Digital pragmatism</strong> – ensures that value is extracted early. How can you get value from your assets today? We often find clients have implemented digital programmes but have not taken them through to the point where they can extract the customer service improvements of cost savings – often by redeploying staff to more value-added areas.</p> <p>Digital leadership here is about establishing the right capabilities and processes to drive value:</p> <ul> <li>understanding customer needs and demand managing failure demand, which is demand caused by a failure to do something or do something right for the customer in the first instance</li> <li>capturing and routing work electronically and / or automation of high volume / manual processes</li> <li>understanding the remaining manual workload and performance and scheduling this to the right people with the right skills.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Service redesign</strong> – involves re-thinking these services from an end-to-end basis, embodying new ways of working and partners as necessary.</p> <p>This includes:</p> <ul> <li>building digital capabilities / skills</li> <li>data-driven decision making</li> <li>stronger integration across the organisation, partners/ ecosystem and other councils.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Future model</strong> – capabilities are needed to respond and reconfigure to the emerging market place and new technologies to work with partners and preventative measures. It’s about sustainability and exploring new models of public service.</p> <p>In an environment of tight fiscal constraint and staff shortages, the first steps are often the hardest. We see successful councils are already on the journey. Typically, this is a virtuous cycle of starting with their own organisational transformation, which builds confidence and starts the cultural change for citizens in how they interact with the council, and council staff in how they interact with citizens.</p> <p>Council-wide transformation requires a significant change across people, process and technology, requiring new skills and an influx of resources to then re-train and release capacity for subsequent changes.</p> <p>Some councils are using partnerships to support, scale and accelerate this change to drive the journey. With one of most recent programmes we were able to:</p> <ul> <li>bring our experience of what works</li> <li>bring in new skills (business psychology, lean, data analytics, agile delivery)</li> <li>work together to evaluate opportunities in their environment</li> <li>scale digital delivery and move to agile working practices.</li> </ul> <p>This presents a new virtuous cycle of leadership, learning and delivery. Allowing confidence and re-investment.</p> <p>So, while the role of the future council remains centred on better services, improved infrastructure and improving equity, digital will play an increasingly integral role to that. Digital leadership is fundamental to take the organisation on this journey, reconfiguring people, process and technology in a virtuous cycle to create capacity and drive behavioural change for staff and citizens. And partnering provides one approach for supporting, scaling and accelerating this journey.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> What Will Healthcare Systems Powered By Blockchain Technology Look Like? Wed, 27 Sep 2017 12:54:33 +0000 Kate Francis(techUK) Guest blog: Helen Disney, CEO of Unblocked Events, discusses the potential of blockchain technology for healthcare <p>This might sound like a pipedream but in a variety of cases blockchain solutions in healthcare are already becoming a reality. Advanced healthcare data management, revolutions in how we organise the supply chain, reducing the administrative burden on insurers and healthcare providers, improving clinical trials – these are all examples of what’s happening already in blockchain healthcare applications, and they are just the start.</p> <h3>What is Blockchain and what does it have to do with healthcare?</h3> <p>It might seem like blockchain has little to do with healthcare. A technology designed to facilitate the exchange of digital currencies like bitcoin does not at face value seem to have much to do with patients, doctors, hospitals or healthcare providers. But blockchains – and there are now a range of different types of blockchains or distributed ledgers for developers to choose from – have certain properties which makes them beneficial to transforming healthcare in ways that were not open to us in the past.</p> <p>Blockchain technology provides a unique and reliable way to establish the provenance of information. A record added to a blockchain is recorded in real-time and cannot subsequently be changed, guaranteeing that the information genuinely existed at that moment. It has variously been called a trust layer on top of the internet, or even more grandly, a shared version of the truth.</p> <p>Participants in a blockchain network also have a secure digital identity and a private key, meaning that any records they place on the system are digitally signed so that users are unable to go back and alter the audit trail of information at a later date.</p> <h3>A solution to big data?</h3> <p>For those worried about big data in healthcare it is important to note that sensitive information, like personal healthcare data, is generally not stored on the blockchain itself but instead companies are creating blockchain-based systems to allow users to reference and find out where that particular piece of healthcare information is stored. This could be applied to improving the way medical professionals and hospitals share clinical data or to scientific researchers wanting to segment and sort reams of genomic data or even to patients themselves wanting to take charge of their own healthcare records.</p> <p>As a result of these new opportunities, startups are springing up to solve a range of entrenched problems in the healthcare industry. Real-world examples include creating electronic healthcare records, building a decentralized blockchain-driven database for genomic information, tracking the provenance of medicines to prevent counterfeiting and even combining blockchain with artificial intelligence to create interactive games which help asthmatic children to manage their condition.</p> <p>The era of blockchain in healthcare is just in its infancy but it may just be the remedy we need to fix our overloaded and broken healthcare systems for the decades to come and to create the new business models of the future.</p> <p><em>Helen Disney is CEO of Unblocked Events. If you’d like to find out more about blockchain and healthcare, she is hosting <a href="" target="_blank">‘Healthcare: Unblocked: Blockchain Solutions for Healthcare’</a> on 13 October at techUK.</em></p> Cloud, IoT and Healthtech: Turning healthcare on its head Wed, 27 Sep 2017 09:36:52 +0000 Sophie Kane(techUK) UKCloud Health explore the impact that digital technologies are having on healthcare. <p style="margin: 0px 0px 11px;"><span style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Calibri;">At opposite ends of the healthcare ecosystem, data is being harnessed to drive a revolution. </span></span><span lang="EN-GB" style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Calibri;">Below we’ll cover those two points and the impact they are having.</span></span><em><span lang="EN-GB" style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Calibri;"> </span></span></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><span style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Calibri;">Data standards and interoperability are enabling the patient to become the customer</span></span></strong></p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 11px;"><span style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Calibri;">There are currently a number of technological imbalances in the sector that are being corrected as the industry is turned on its head:</span></span></p> <ul> <li><strong><span style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Calibri;">Data gathering</span></span></strong><span style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Calibri;"> – traditionally the only data gathering in healthcare was conducted when patients visited their doctor or went to hospital, but gradually the proliferation of smart phones with health apps is turning this on its head. It is allowing patients to gather information themselves in real time.</span></span></li> <li><strong><span style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Calibri;">Health Devices</span></span></strong><span style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Calibri;"> – traditionally the doctors had all the gadgets. They still do when it comes to MRI scanners, x-ray machines and other high-value or specialist equipment, but as smart phone apps start to proliferate into all kinds of niches, this is also beginning to change. Think of any area of medicine or care and there’s probably ‘an app for that’ or indeed a number of them.</span></span></li> <li><strong><span style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Calibri;">Data access</span></span></strong><span style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Calibri;"> – until recently patients have had significantly less access to information than their clinicians did. The health and social care sector was a supply oriented industry, with clinicians having exclusive access to data and therefore leading the diagnostic and decision-making process. This is also morphing as increasingly well-informed patients with remote access to their own health data are becoming healthcare consumers and the industry is becoming more customer oriented.</span></span></li> </ul> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 11px;"><span style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Calibri;">Fundamental to all of this are data standards and interoperability, enabling a host of new devices and apps to work together to generate a wealth of new and enriched data. This rich data then enables and inspires a further wave of specialist solutions that can deliver new insights, reduce costs and improve outcomes.</span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 11px;"><strong><span style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Calibri;">Powerful secure platforms for pooling valuable datasets are providing clinicians, researchers and specialists solution providers with unprecedented capabilities </span></span></strong></p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 11px;"><span style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Calibri;">At the same time, there&nbsp;are limiting factors that might once have restricted what was possible with data in healthcare&nbsp;which are being overcome:</span></span></p> <ul> <li><strong><span style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Calibri;">Almost unlimited storage and processing power</span></span></strong><span style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Calibri;"> – where once pharmaceutical or genomic research might have been bounded by limited computing capabilities, the cloud provides a level of scalability that would once have been unthinkable.</span></span></li> <li><strong><span style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Calibri;">Big data analytics and AI</span></span></strong><span style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Calibri;"> – what do you do when you have almost unlimited processing power? You ask big questions and solve complex problems. Organisations with massive pharmaceutical or genomic datasets are leveraging this power to run anonymised analytics on an unprecedented scale. At the same time artificial intelligence, far from replacing researchers and clinicians, is assisting them and enabling them to reach quicker and more accurate conclusions.</span></span></li> <li><strong><span style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Calibri;">Privacy and security</span></span></strong><span style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Calibri;"> – previously organisations may well have recognised the importance of security, but until the recent malware outbreak, they may not have recognised the full extent of the threat. Specialist cloud providers are able to apply a greater level of investment, skills and capability on the security of their infrastructure than their individual clients ever could. Their cloud platforms are not only connected directly to health networks such as N3 and HSCN, but they also provide a secure environment for pooling valuable datasets and making them available on an authorised basis to a vibrant ecosystem of specialist solution providers.</span></span></li> </ul> <div>&nbsp;</div> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 11px;"><span style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Calibri;">While there are a host of technologies in play here, cloud is the central enabler for them all. The IoT (Internet of Things) devices that are gathering data like never before, are feeding it all into the cloud. It is in the cloud that the data is then securely stored and processed in order to mine it for insights and turn it into intelligence. It is in the cloud that collaboration between a vibrant ecosystem of specialist solution providers can then amplify and enrich this intelligence. And it is from the cloud that this intelligence is then accessed remotely by mobile devices, empowering clinicians, researchers and patients. </span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The above opinion piece was contributed by UKCloud Health, dinner partners of the techUK Health and Social Care Industry Dinner taking place on Wednesday 15 November. For more information please <a href="health-and-social-care-industry-dinner">see the event website</a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img width="633" height="375" alt="health and social care industry dinner logo for website FINAL.fw" src="images/HSCDinner2017/health_and_social_care_industry_dinner_logo_for_website_FINAL.fw.png" /></p> #techUKPS2030: Can Probabilistic Data Analytics Help Fight Terrorism? Tue, 26 Sep 2017 08:49:43 +0000 Harri Turnbull(techUK) Richard Seery of Think Big Analytics, a Teradata Company, explores how data analysis can be used in the fight against terror and crime. <p>Global terrorism is on the rise. Serious organised crime and cyber criminals are getting increasingly bold. Governments and enforcement agencies are under increasing pressure, with front-line services in the spotlight as they protect lawful and innocent citizens.</p> <p>The perpetrators of terrorism and crime hide their identity by falsifying their activities: travel, internet and social media, finances, welfare benefits, tax declarations, visa and passport applications – the sophistication of deception is pervasive like never before.</p> <p>The troubling truth is that the footprint of terrorists and other criminals is often hidden (in part) within the deluge of data owned by the same organisations that seek to identify them.</p> <p>If we could identify the footprints, the locations, events and objects that link them, that data could tell us where these perpetrators have been and what they’ve done. Crucially, it could help us predict when and where an attack is likely to occur next.</p> <p>It all sounds so easy: identify data, collect and store it, match it and then derive insights through analysis. In reality, there are layers of complexity to contend with and choosing the right analytical model is key.</p> <p>The technologies and methodologies in the storage and transfer of data have advanced tremendously over the last decade. Data storage in particular is a hot topic for government departments to consider, and decisions on the right technologies to adopt should focus on the trade-off between cost and performance.</p> <p>When it comes to actually analysing all this data, form is everything. You could do much worse than adopting a P.O.L.E.(R) data model with probabilistic matching. P.O.L.E. stands for:</p> <ul> <li>Party (person or cohort)</li> <li>Object (e.g. passport or plane)</li> <li>Location</li> <li>Event</li> </ul> <p>(R) focuses on the relationships between these four factors.</p> <p>When data is collected and stored using the P.O.L.E.(R) data model, it’s immediately ready for matching and analysis.</p> <p>With P.O.L.E.(R) in place, probabilistic matching can work to match entities between data sets. For example, the records of John Smyth and Jon Smith could share a telephone number, and so would match using probabilistic techniques. Deterministic matching, on the other hand, would not match these two records.</p> <p>Government departments and agencies the world over are seeing tangible results using P.O.L.E.(R) and probabilistic matching. Border control officials in Australia, for example, saw a substantial improvement in identifying higher risk travellers attempting to enter the country.</p> <p>The secret to successful analytics in government is nearly always speed. Border forces, for example, have a window of opportunity in which to analyse the data, and perform some action on the conclusions that have been drawn. For Australia, that window could be as long as five hours due to the relative isolation of Oceania from the rest of the world. In Europe however, there could be just 30 minutes between a person of interest boarding a plane and landing right in the middle of the continent.</p> <p>With variable data sources producing data on a truly monumental scale, speedy and effective analysis is required before the window of opportunity has closed. When it comes to analytics at scale, few can compete with Teradata; delivering near real-time analytics that have driven success in governments across the globe.</p> <p>Data analytics will change the way government front-line services operate. The experience and heuristic knowledge of front-line officers, when combined with near real-time data analytics, can innovate and transform the protection of the innocent.</p> <p>Richard Seery, Director of Client Services at Think Big Analytics, A <a href="">Teradata</a> Company</p> <p><em>To see more blogs like this from techUK's PS2030, please visit the website <a href="">here</a>.</em></p>