techUK Insights RSS Feed - techUK RSS feed for insights content. en Copyright (C) 2015 New initiative launched to bring women in cyber together Wed, 19 Sep 2018 12:15:07 +0100 CRM Sync Queue for the Loo initiative launches at techUK event on bridging the gender skills gap in cyber <p><span style="font-size:14px"><span style="color:black">On Monday 17 September, techUK held its <a href=""><strong>Bridging the Cyber Gender Skills Gap</strong></a> event in partnership with Brightsec.&nbsp;The event, held at techUK&rsquo;s offices, brought together senior women from across the cyber security sector to discuss topics such as their journey into the sector, how to attract and retain more female cyber professionals and ways in which to promote a diverse workplace. &nbsp;</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:14px"><span style="color:black">Central to the event was the announcement of the <strong>Queue for the Loo</strong> initiative; a series of events and online resources aimed at women in the cyber security sector.&nbsp; The initiative, spearheaded by Sian John of Microsoft, will include quarterly networking events for female cyber professionals to network, exchange ideas and find mentors.&nbsp; According to a recent study, the proportion of women in the UK cyber security sector stands at just 8 per cent, one of the lowest proportions in the world, with men earning an average of 16 per cent more than women.&nbsp;This initiative looks to not only create a stronger network between women in cyber but also to encourage them to do more to get others to consider their options in this space. &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:14px"><span style="color:black">Commenting on the event and launch of the Queue for the Loo initiative, <strong>Sian John</strong>, EMEA Chief Security Advisor, Microsoft &nbsp;said:</span><em><span style="color:black"> &ldquo;A stark sign of the lack of gender diversity in our industry is shown at technology conferences where women are in such a minority that we rarely have to queue for the loo, unlike every other public event we attend. This is why I&rsquo;ve started the #queuefortheloo campaign. The aim is to increase the breadth of talent in our industry by encouraging more women to join it so that we are more included and a sign of success will be when we have to start queueing to use the facilities at technology conferences.&rdquo; &nbsp;</span></em></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:14px"><span style="color:black"><strong>Ruth Davis</strong>, Head of Commercial Strategy and Public Policy, BT Security, said: </span><em><span style="color:black">&ldquo;Demand for cyber security professionals is growing, but we are failing to attract nearly 50 per cent of the UK&rsquo;s workforce to the sector. I&rsquo;m delighted to be a part of this initiative which I hope will inspire many more women to explore the opportunities a career in cyber security has for them&rdquo;</span></em></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:14px"><span style="color:black">Speakers</span> at the event <span style="color:black">included Ruth Davis, Head of Commercial Strategy and Public Policy at BT Security, Sian John, EMEA Chief Security Advisor at Microsoft and speakers from the National Cyber Security Centre&rsquo;s CyberFirst Girls project.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:14px"><span style="color:black">For more information on the new Queue for the Loo initiative and the cyber skills shortage, please do get in touch with <a href=""><strong>Talal Rajab</strong></a><span style="color:black"> </span>or follow us on twitter at @q4theloo </span></span></p>Contact: <a href=""></a>Contact: <a href=""></a> techUK scores MAC report Tue, 18 Sep 2018 15:16:59 +0100 CRM Sync Today the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) released its long-anticipated report into EEA workers in the UK Labour Market. Read the techUK analysis here. <p>Today the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) released its long-anticipated report into EEA workers in the UK Labour Market. The report, commissioned in the Summer of 2017, seeks to advise policymakers on the current use of EEA labour in the UK workforce as well as review the existing framework for the &lsquo;Rest of World&rsquo; immigration system.</p> <p>techUK welcomes the MAC&rsquo;s recognition of the valuable contribution immigration makes to the UK economy, and their attempt to demystify the assumption that immigration damages the upskilling of the UK-born workforce or that EEA nationals in the UK take out of the economy more than they put in.</p> <p>Disappointingly, the MAC has failed to recommend whether or not immigration should form part of the negotiations with the European Union. Instead it has premised the entire report on the new immigration system being created in isolation, where it sees no reason for preferential access to the UK for EU nationals.</p> <p>The language in the report sets it up to be inaccurately reported. It is absolutely vital that parliamentarians and policymakers should not fall into the trap of thinking that the MAC is recommending that there should be no preferential access which could unlock huge value.</p> <p>Bearing that very important caveat in mind, techUK has assessed the MAC&rsquo;s report against the ten asks of the future immigration system we published last week. Here&rsquo;s what we think:</p> <p><strong>Overarching policy</strong></p> <p>techUK called for a split in process between short-term business critical travel and long-term immigration, something that is currently bundled together in existing Rest of World immigration and political rhetoric.</p> <p><em>Verdict: </em>There is an acknowledgement of this need as the report flags that ending free movement does not mean visa-free travel for EEA citizens would end, instead a visa would be needed to settle and work in the UK for any period of time. We hope the differentiation between settlement and mobility is kept at the forefront of both the debate and is reflected in the White paper.</p> <p><strong>Improvements to the existing Rest of World system</strong></p> <p>Whilst the MAC report makes a number of recommendations to improve the existing Rest of World system, these are small tweaks around the edges and would not amount to the radical overhaul of the immigration system which is currently not fit for purpose. Particularly if going forward this system would encompass EEA workers too.</p> <p>techUK fully supports the removal of caps on Tier 2 workers, an action we have previously called for in our report. Furthermore, the MAC also recommends abolishing the Resident Labour Market Test. However, these are both only piecemeal solutions that does not take into account the package of recommendations techUK has called for or the ability of the current Tier 2 system to deal with this extension in remit.</p> <p>The removal of caps must happen alongside a wider review of Tier 1, including both a review and rebrand of the underused Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visas to make them more useful for employers to re-introduce post-study work visas for STEM graduates. Whilst the MAC have called for a review of Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) and Tier 1 (Entrepreneur), these are currently routes for the self-employed and do little to ease concerns from employers.</p> <p><em>Verdict: The MAC report provides policymakers with a series of isolated actions. However, for the UK digital economy to continue to remain globally competitive, government must look at the bigger picture and recognise the current strains preventing the UK from accessing high skilled talent; this is a unique opportunity for the UK to recast its immigration system to make it business friendly and fit for purpose. </em></p> <p><strong>Creating an efficient and streamlined application process</strong></p> <p>The MAC has given a nod to the need to improve the application process by calling for the abolition of Resident Labour Market Tests and suggesting that the in-country ability to transfer employers on to a Tier 2 visa is streamlined. By extending the Tier 2 system to EEA nationals, the MAC have also extended the Immigration Skills Charge. This is despite the report acknowledging that importing migrant labour does not damage the training of the UK-born workforce. Instead, this adds yet another obligation on employers that makes accessing global talent more difficult.</p> <p>Furthermore, it is important to look at the great work the Home Office has already achieved through the EU Settlement Scheme. The scheme allows individuals to register for settled status through an online application and does not require any original copies of supporting documentation, instead an individual can upload soft copies (photographs and scans). By embracing technology, the application process is less time consuming and more navigable for both individual and employer.</p> <p><em>Verdict: techUK commends the MAC for calling for the abolition of the broken Resident Labour Market Test but hopes government provides more detail in its Immigration Bill on how the application process will be streamlined and bought into the digital age. The EU Settlement Scheme should act as a gold standard. </em></p> <p><strong>The need for process and consultation between government and industry</strong></p> <p>The MAC received 400 responses to their original call for evidence in August 2017 and it was promising to see how heavily digital skills and the needs of the digital economy were flagged throughout their interim report, released in March. &nbsp;Beyond this call for evidence, the MAC does little to require government to better consult industry before actioning any new system.</p> <p><em>Verdict: A condition of the Tier 2 visa system is that employment is secured on arrival in the UK and employers spend a lot of time and money supporting individuals through the application process, therefore we must have a louder voice at the table of policy discussions.</em></p> <p><em>Final verdict: The MAC decision to caveat their report against the Brexit negotiations makes the final messages of the report easy to manipulate depending on which side of the table one sits on the Brexit debate. Looking beyond the politics, the report does little to reassure tech and digital employers. techUK remains committed to the 10 asks of our future migration system and calls for government to fully review the needs of the UK digital economy when considering a future immigration system.</em></p> <p><u><a href="">Read techUK CEO Julian David&rsquo;s comment on the report.</a></u></p> <p><a href=""><u>Read our 10 asks of the future migration system.</u></a></p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Ofcom's paper should be mandatory reading in online harms debate Tue, 18 Sep 2018 14:22:03 +0100 CRM Sync techUK summarises Ofcom's discussion paper on Addressing Online Harms <p>Ofcom has today published a discussion paper on <em><a href="">Addressing harmful online content</a>. </em>This is as very helpful paper that draws on Ofcom&rsquo;s experience in the regulation of content standards for broadcast and on-demand video services. The paper should be mandatory reading for all of those engaged in the discussion on how to tackle online harms.</p> <p>Ofcom is very clear that the scope and design of any new legislation is a matter for Government and Parliament and, Ofcom as a statutory regulator, has no view about the institutional arrangements that might follow. But the paper does provide some very useful insights on possible approaches to regulation.</p> <p>It is Ofcom&rsquo;s opinion that &ldquo;existing frameworks could not be transferred wholesale to the online world&rdquo;. This reflects the radically different nature of the internet. Take the sheer scale of content online - for example, 400 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every 60 seconds. Ofcom argues that this would make a regime similar to broadcast, including consideration of appeals by an external regulator, impractical.</p> <p>Similarly, unlike in broadcast, content on online platforms is predominantly user-generated and is published as soon as it is submitted. Bearing this in mind Ofcom has raised questions around the effectiveness or proportionality of pre-moderation by platforms arguing that it &ldquo;may not be practical given the large volume of content published online &ndash; or desirable, given the potential implications for freedom of expression.&rdquo;</p> <p>That being the case, what could regulation look like? Ofcom clearly believes a principles-based approach, which mirrors its own and allows for adaptability as services evolve, could work. Highlighting the &ldquo;risk that regulation might inadvertently incentivise the excessive or unnecessary removal of content that limits freedom of speech and audience choice&rdquo; Ofcom suggests that instead of looking at moderation and regulation at the point of upload, more weight should be given to the transparency and robustness of &ldquo;processes that platforms employ to identify, assess and address harmful content &ndash; as well as to how they handle subsequent appeals.&rdquo;</p> <p>Social media companies are already doing a great deal of work in this area &ndash; improving reporting mechanisms and investing in hiring and training moderators. More is also being done to help identifying illegal content and remove it &ndash; for example, Google&rsquo;s new AI tool that can help identify child sexual abuse images by up to 700% or Twitter&rsquo;s use of algorithms to identify trolls and deprioritise their content.</p> <p>Another useful element of the Ofcom paper is its taxonomy of harms. Ofcom is clear that each of these harms will require a different approach &nbsp;</p> <ul><li>illegal content &ndash; such as hate speech, child exploitation or incitement to terrorism;</li> </ul><p style="margin-left:36.0pt">&bull; age-inappropriate content &ndash; such as adult sexual material, disturbing or violent content;</p> <p style="margin-left:36.0pt">&bull; other potentially dangerous content &ndash; which poses a significant risk of personal harm, such as videos or images promoting self-harm or violence;</p> <p style="margin-left:36.0pt">&bull; misleading content &ndash; including &lsquo;fake news&rsquo;, the use of fake accounts and misleading political advertising, which may have undue influence on the democratic process.; and</p> <p style="margin-left:36.0pt">&bull; personal conduct that is illegal or harmful &ndash; such as bullying, grooming and harassment.</p> <p style="margin-left:36.0pt">&nbsp;</p> <p>There is a clear need to have a well-thought out and nuanced debate about how to counter online harms. We need policy responses that are</p> <p>effective, proportionate and give users the protection and recourse they expect when they go online.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Ofcom&rsquo;s contribution to this debate is thoughtful and useful. techUK hopes government will take note as it develops it&rsquo;s thinking on online harms ahead of the White Paper.&nbsp;</p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Don’t trap your apps Fri, 14 Sep 2018 10:01:37 +0100 CRM Sync Andrew Gough, Client Services Development Director at Agilisys, on why the cloud isn’t just for native applications and debunking the usual FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) about re-platforming public sector applications and services into the cloud. <p>If you&rsquo;ve ever been told &ldquo;<em>you can&rsquo;t move that app to the cloud</em>&rdquo;, we need to talk.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Over the years, we&rsquo;ve heard every imaginable reason why an application or service can&rsquo;t make the leap to the cloud. You might have been told that an application has been in your environment for too long, isn&rsquo;t well-documented, uses hardcoded IPs, or just isn&rsquo;t &lsquo;cloud-friendly&rsquo;. It&rsquo;s time to call these reasons what they are&mdash;excuses.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Although these excuses stem from different motives and interested parties, the simple truth is that re-platforming into the cloud is often wrongly perceived as impossibly costly or difficult. As a result, people talk themselves out of it&mdash;or allow themselves to be talked out of it. In almost every case, moving an application into the cloud isn&rsquo;t just possible, it brings major benefits.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Today, most public sector organisations run virtualised infrastructures. That means their applications and services are built on the same foundations of compute, storage and networking that underpin any hyperscale cloud provider.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Therefore, by definition, anything running in a Microsoft or VMware virtual infrastructure is a candidate re-platforming. Extensive, well-proven tooling exists to support the migration of virtual servers and storage to the cloud. The question is, are there good business reasons to make the leap? We think the answer is a resounding yes, and here are our top three:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>1) Create cost-savings</strong></p> <p style="margin-left:36.0pt">Most public sector organisations overprovision in their data centres to allow for spikes in usage, future growth and so on. Since infrastructure costs are fixed on premises, there&rsquo;s little to be gained by carefully controlling the resources applications use.</p> <p style="margin-left:36.0pt">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-left:36.0pt">In the cloud it&rsquo;s a different story. A consumption-based IT model means organisations should only pay for only the resources they need. That means significant savings can be made through rationalisation, optimisation and clever service management. Your applications may not be cloud-native, but you can still drive cloud-based benefits from them.</p> <p style="margin-left:36.0pt">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-left:36.0pt">For instance, by retiring legacy or sprawled databases that applications no longer need, you can drive a major reduction in the IT resources it demands. This is especially true if you have a tangled technology stack with systems that have grown organically over many years. We recently helped one London borough downsize its application footprint from 1250 to just 240, a reduction of more than 80%.</p> <p style="margin-left:36.0pt">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-left:36.0pt">Aggressive infrastructure management can do even more. Consider an application that only needs to be running during working hours. Outside of Monday to Friday, 9 to 5, the application can be turned off entirely&mdash;that&rsquo;s equivalent to 73% of the year! The same principle holds true for applications that see seasonal demand, such as council tax processing&mdash;they can be revved up around the year end or down for the rest of the year to drive savings.</p> <p style="margin-left:36.0pt">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-left:36.0pt">&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>2) Join the dots on data</strong></p> <p style="margin-left:36.0pt">Today, there&rsquo;s growing demand for more agile and efficient public services. The ability to access, share and analyse data effectively is crucial to achieving this vision. By harnessing data-led insights, the public sector can better understand customer needs, forecast demand and improve services.</p> <p style="margin-left:36.0pt">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-left:36.0pt">With applications on premises, data is likely to remain isolated in different siloes and supported by separate legacy IT systems. For instance, records about the same individual could be stored across multiple locations, with no ability to join the dots.</p> <p style="margin-left:36.0pt">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-left:36.0pt">Connecting and sharing information is far easier in the cloud, so re-platforming applications allows organisations to capitalise on the potential of data and analytics to work smarter. In the cloud, the same application can help inform a holistic picture of customers or the wider community.</p> <p style="margin-left:36.0pt">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-left:36.0pt">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-left:36.0pt"><strong>3) Prepare for the future</strong></p> <p style="margin-left:36.0pt">Once applications or services are re-platformed into the cloud, keeping pace with change also becomes easier. With an underlying infrastructure that&rsquo;s evergreen, organisations can break the cycle of regular infrastructure upgrades&mdash;saving time and money, while also enabling applications to meet growing demand seamlessly.</p> <p style="margin-left:36.0pt">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-left:36.0pt">More importantly, re-platforming into the cloud unleashes your access to a host of new innovations, from easier integration with the Internet of Things, to natural language queries, trend analysis and automatic reporting&hellip;as well as whatever Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Oracle, or Salesforce is dreaming up next. Neutral cloud services also offer a faster and more cost-effective platform for collaboration with other public sector organisations compared to modifying bespoke on-premises services.</p> <p style="margin-left:36.0pt">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-left:36.0pt">When a re-platformed application does reach end-of-life, migrating to a new cloud-native alternative can be done more simply and quickly. Better still, by dramatically lowering the time and cost of trialling new services, the cloud makes failure not just acceptable but to be encouraged, giving your teams the freedom to test fresh approaches to problems and opportunities.</p> <p style="margin-left:36.0pt">&nbsp;</p> <p>While the standard excuses are no reason to avoid re-platforming applications into the cloud, there are still, of course, good reasons not to make the move. Clearly, migrating an end-of-life application that&rsquo;s about to be retired doesn&rsquo;t make financial sense. Similarly, certainty over service levels can be a good reason to keep an application on premises, since you know your engineers can get into the data centre within a guaranteed response time. However, we&rsquo;re pretty sure that, in the vast majority of cases, moving to the cloud is the right choice&mdash;so ignore the claptrap and avoid the app trap.</p> <p>This blog was originally published on the Agilisys <a href="">blog here</a>.</p> Digital will be central to the future of Europe Thu, 13 Sep 2018 12:21:20 +0100 CRM Sync European Commission President Juncker’s final State of the Union speech highlights immediate and long-term issues facing Europe and digital will be front and centre of the debate. See techUK's Policy Manager Jeremy Lilley's thoughts. <p>Wednesday was a busy day in Strasbourg for the European Parliament. With key votes during plenary on Hungary and Copyright. These two controversial topics (<a href="">you can see techUK&rsquo;s view on the disappointing result on Copyright here</a>) almost, but not quite, took attention away from what is usually considered a highlight in the EU&rsquo;s calendar. European Commission President Juncker&rsquo;s State of the Union speech.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The speech was partly a run down of the Commission&rsquo;s achievements over the last five years as President Juncker proudly declared that the European Union was now a global force to be reckoned with. However, there was also plenty of acknowledgement that more needed to be done to tackle the significant challenges facing the Union and to secure a bright future for Europe.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This wasn&rsquo;t quite a farewell just yet though, with President Juncker setting out a number of policies the Commission would pursue ahead of next year&rsquo;s election. Despite reports to the contrary this included more than the monumental decision to abolish the semi-annual changing of the clocks allowing Member States to set their own times.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Digital is a clear theme for the Commission&rsquo;s final year, with proposals around <a href="">dissemination of terrorist content online</a>, the need to take action on taxation, efforts to protect elections from hacking and interference and improved cybersecurity defences. The tech industry shouldn&rsquo;t expect a &lsquo;lame duck&rsquo; period from this Commission it seems.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Given the focus on digital and with this being President Juncker&rsquo;s last State of the Union Speech before next year&rsquo;s European elections, it is worth considering what the future might hold for Digital and Europe.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Immediate issues </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Digital has been a clear focus of the Juncker Commission, with determined actors such as Vice-President Andrus Ansip keen to make progress on developing the <strong>Digital Single Market</strong>. How successful has that been? It would be fair to say its been mixed, with some success stories (see Free Flow of non-Personal Data) and some failures (see Copyright). As the Digital Single Market initiative has been developing, the digital sector has been on the receiving end of what has felt like an endless amount of legislation over the last four years.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It will take time for the various new pieces of legislation to bed-in and for their effectiveness to be evaluated. <strong>Enforcement of the new rules</strong> will likely be a key focus for the next Commission, who will need to allow time before producing another tranche of proposals for the European digital sector.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>That said there are some big questions that will be asked of the sector relatively soon. We can expect the conversation on <strong>platform liability</strong> to continue. Following yesterday&rsquo;s vote on Copyright a precedent may have been set that allows for the piece-meal transformation of the fundamental underpinnings of the free and open internet, and platforms&rsquo; role in moderating content uploaded by users. The <strong>new proposals on the dissemination of terrorist content online </strong>are evidence of this, which if passed will require platforms to remove flagged content within an hour. The objective of reducing the amount of terrorist content found online is of course right. However, legislators need to be incredibly careful about the tools used to act in this space. Definitions must be clear, scope targeted, and fundamental freedoms of users protected. At this stage it seems the proposals fail these key tests.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It is widely expected that the next Commission is likely to look again at the <strong>e-Commerce</strong> directive. This will be hugely significant and important in shaping the future direction of the digital economy in Europe and will touch on everything from limitations to liability, hosting provisions and caching.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Longer-term issues</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>President Juncker&rsquo;s last State of Union Speech also addressed some of the fundamental challenges facing the European Union, which will not be resolved over night (or by the end of Juncker&rsquo;s term in office).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>With the <strong>United Kingdom leaving the European Union</strong> (which in itself is one of those fundamental challenges), one might think these issues matter less to the UK. That is wrong. As President Juncker said yesterday the UK will never be an ordinary third country. Our histories are shared histories, and, in all likeliness, our futures will be shared futures. The UK and EU will always be key strategic and economic partners and the European market will remain vitally important to UK businesses. The exact shape of the UK and EU&rsquo;s future relationship remains to be seen. techUK has been clear that a close partnership is in the shared interest of UK and EU businesses and consumers.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The biggest challenge the EU is likely to face in the coming decade is <strong>migration</strong>, with increasing concerns coming from Member States about their ability to control borders. It is likely that technology will be sought after to provide a solution to these concerns. The industry will want to approach this carefully and avoid being caught up in the incredibly sensitive politics surrounding these concerns. The trend of rising nationalism, pointed at in Juncker&rsquo;s speech, fuels some of these concerns and should be carefully monitored.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The EU has been trying to tackle the issue of <strong>taxation</strong> in an increasingly global economy, with limited success. Expect this one to continue into the longer term as countries continually look to find an international solution to concerns around where companies pay tax. Much of this debate is targeted at tech companies, who have been clear they support an international-level agreement. Progress has admittedly been slow so will the EU put up with many more delays? Juncker suggested yesterday that Member States shouldn&rsquo;t be allowed to block EU tax policy so reluctant countries might not be able to delay much longer.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A large part of Juncker&rsquo;s speech focused on Europe&rsquo;s place in the world. <strong>Trade</strong> discussions will dominate the global conversation in the coming years which, matched with increasing nationalism, could take a different path to that trod in years gone by. The recent EU-Japan trade agreement and accompanying adequacy agreement is a clear indicator that the EU wants to demonstrate it is open to trade. With an increasing proportion of cross-border transactions taking place online, digital trade will be crucial in the coming years. Provisions for digital trade have been somewhat limited &ndash; if trade deals want to remain relevant that will have to change.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>President Juncker&rsquo;s final State of the Union speech certainly flagged a number of areas where work is needed to ensure unity and progress in Europe. Some will require immediate action and attention, some will require longer-term, more thoughtful, intervention. What is clear is that <strong>digital will play a key role Europe&rsquo;s future</strong>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For more information about techUK&rsquo;s activities in Europe please contact Jeremy Lilley.</p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Don’t fear lock-in Thu, 13 Sep 2018 08:07:25 +0100 CRM Sync Perform better, faster and cheaper with Platform Services writes Andrew Gough, Client Services Development Director at Agilisys <p><em>Andrew Gough, Client Services Development Director at Agilisys, argues that the benefits of platform services can outweigh the risks of lock-in for public sector organisations migrating to the cloud.</em></p> <p>Every public sector organisation heading to the cloud should ask itself a simple question: do you want to save money on technology, or use technology to save money?</p> <p>Those looking to save money on technology often advocate a multi-cloud approach. The idea is to freely move applications and services between different cloud platforms to take advantage of the cheapest rates at any given time. All this sounds great in theory, but the reality is that most organisations can&rsquo;t make their applications and services portable.</p> <p>Multi-cloud may be a cool topic amongst technologists at present, but don&rsquo;t be dazzled by the marketing spin. True portability demands applications and services that are ideally built using infrastructure-as-code, allowing them to be deployed into AWS, Azure or any other cloud platform. This in turn requires considerable upfront investment, scarce IT expertise and long development times&mdash;demands that many public sector organisations find challenging to meet.</p> <p>Perhaps even more importantly, a multi-cloud approach requires organisations to use only the lowest common denominator cloud building blocks of compute, storage and networking. This misses the whole point of being in the cloud: organisations should <em>be able to use</em> high-value creating services which have the greatest front-line impact and enable a future-ready stance on innovation.</p> <p>To illustrate this point, most local authorities use Microsoft SQL databases to power some of their critical services.&nbsp; To create truly portable apps, there will have to be re-engineering to, ideally, use My SQL.&nbsp; As an alternative, it might be better to get out of DBA (Database Administrator) operational work entirely and migrate to Azure SQL &ndash; a PaaS service that takes away the time consuming and ultimately costly admin.&nbsp; Ditching this significant overhead frees investment and time into much activities that deliver greater value.</p> <p>With a PaaS service, you also benefit from a platform that&rsquo;s managed by the same people that built it&mdash;that means it&rsquo;s evergreen (as the marketeers like to call it) and will always be up-to-date, fully patched and high-performing. It&rsquo;s also quite probably cheaper as a total cost of ownership. In an open source approach, you may not be paying for licensing, but you are paying for business skills. Where vendor services offer peace-of-mind, an open source approach can become unstuck if just one person with vital skills leaves.</p> <p>My take on multi-cloud is rather different. Instead of aiming for vendor independence and application portability, I believe organisations should make informed choices about which platforms are most suited to hosting different loads, then optimise their performance on an on-going basis. After all, IT teams have always chosen different hardware in their data centres to drive different outcomes.</p> <p>Accepting that premise, a crucial part of optimising cloud operations over time is to work out which elements of your application infrastructure, such as databases, middleware and service buses, can be handed-off into Platform Services.</p> <p>By accepting some degree of platform lock-in, organisations can remove a considerable administrative burden, while also gaining access to new capabilities at a lower cost. While it&rsquo;s true cloud providers can increase their fees, a highly competitive, commodity market makes this unlikely.</p> <p>For most cloud vendors, Platform Services are the future. From big data analytics and business intelligence, to the Internet of Things or AI, a host of technology innovations are now available that many organisations simply don&rsquo;t have the capacity to build or run internally. By embracing Platform Services, you will be ready to exploit the power of these new capabilities in a robust cloud environment that&rsquo;s designed and built for easy integration between platforms and services.</p> <p>Ultimately, Platform Services enable the public sector to do far more than just cut costs; they enable citizen services that are more agile, efficient and data-driven. What better way to use technology?</p> <p>This piece was orignially posted on <a href="">the Agiliys blog here</a>.</p> Why we need to redesign clinical flow around patient needs Wed, 12 Sep 2018 08:34:35 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Beverley Bryant, System C on the benefits of effective clinical flow driven by patient need <p>Take any successful manufacturing company, engineering firm or airport operator, they will have got their business and operational flow completely sussed. They will be using technology to give them visibility of what is happening at any stage in their business, and will use those insights to support real-time interventions and decision-making.&nbsp; Why isn&rsquo;t this happening yet in health?&nbsp;</p> <p>To say this is a wasted opportunity is an understatement.&nbsp; The flow of patients into, within, and out of the hospital is the biggest single headache facing the NHS today.&nbsp;</p> <p>The fact the NHS is lagging behind other industries is not because all health professionals are Luddites. Simply tagging airline bags and scanning them periodically as they move through the airport can provide a wealth of operational information. Finding an efficient and effective way to collect and view reliable information about what is happening to patients in real-time as they move about a healthcare system is a whole different order of complexity. &nbsp;</p> <p>In order to understand and manage flow in a hospital you need to access to real-time operational information such as where a patient is, what their current clinical status is and what they need as part of their care or ongoing support. Employing staff to collect and input all this information into a single dedicated system is clearly a non-starter, not least because it is resource-intensive and untimely.&nbsp; But by layering and integrating information collected by various different applications which are already in use, it should be possible to create a web of useful information which can be interrogated and analysed. The fact that clinicians are starting to use mobile technology as an intrinsic part of performing their core clinical duties, and are therefore routinely collecting important operational information and insights, is a game-changer.&nbsp;</p> <p>As a base layer of information, take the patient data collected through a mobile e-observations system. The primary function of this information is to allow clinicians to get to deteriorating patients quickly. But as by-product, it also gives a highly accurate, up to date, picture of patient location, bed occupancy and use, as well as the clinical condition of the patient. Linked with a hospital PAS, you can bring in waiting list information, people waiting in ED and links to social care.</p> <p>Then integrate this with a secure, mobile clinical communications and workflow solution. &nbsp;Anyone involved in the care of a particular patient can collaborate.&nbsp; Alerts can be set up (admissions, discharges, bed states for example, as well as EWS, Sepsis or abnormal results) to trigger speedy responses in reaction to events and ultimately predicted events.&nbsp; Team-based task management and handover means that we can understand at a glance what a particular patient is waiting for and where they are on their pathway. &nbsp;</p> <p>This is a long way from the monolithic healthcare solutions of old.&nbsp; &nbsp;Our own CareFlow solution, which integrates e-obs, communication and workflow, not only allows us to do this within an organisation, but across a health and social care system. Instead of communicating by fax, a social worker can receive an electronic alert that someone is ready for discharge.&nbsp; A community provider could see at a glance that a piece of equipment they are providing is all that stands before a patient getting home.&nbsp; Our early examples have delivered as much as a 20% reduction in length of stay.</p> <p>What we are working on now is applying simple algorithms and BI techniques to surface and interrogate the data to enable operational staff to take a grandstand view, looking across a whole health system to understand properly where the blocks lie and target the resources to unblock them.</p> <p>What this all adds up to is that the rise of integrated, mobile clinical systems is bringing the NHS manager&rsquo;s holy grail to reality &ndash; effective clinical flow where the patient&rsquo;s needs are driving the placement and actions of the operational teams, and where all staff - from the ward to the board - are making decisions on the basis of real-time clinical data captured by care teams. This will be the key to unlocking transformation across health communities.&nbsp;</p> <p>The fact that clinicians are starting to use mobile technology as an intrinsic part of performing their core clinical duties, and are therefore routinely collecting important operational information and insights, is a game-changer.&nbsp;</p> <p>By Beverley Bryant, chief operating officer of the System C &amp; Graphnet Care Alliance</p> <p><!--EndFragment--></p> Using technology & patient data in the fight to defeat brain tumours Mon, 10 Sep 2018 09:47:57 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Janet Dutton, Project Manager, on how The Brain Tumour Charity is making innovative use of technology to make a sustainable difference. <p>Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40, and 102,000 children and adults are estimated to be living with a brain tumour in the UK. Recently the disease was brought to the attention of the public by the decision of former cabinet minister Tessa Jowell to share her brain tumour diagnosis in September last year.</p> <p>In January, Tessa spoke on the BBC and in the House of Lords about the bleak prognosis for those diagnosed with a high-grade brain tumour and the urgent need for more effective treatments. Watched and heard by millions, one of the issues she highlighted was the importance of enabling people affected by a brain tumour globally to share information about their own treatment and experience, as a way of improving understanding of the disease.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>People living with a brain tumour often go online for reassurance, but quickly find themselves overwhelmed by a huge amount of material that is difficult to understand. It is hard for them and their loved ones to make choices that balance risk, quality of life and outcome. Many explore how they can use their situation to help others, particularly if they are facing the end of their own life. It is then that people often want to share their medical data, to help people in the future, and are frustrated to find there is currently no way for them to pro-actively do it. Meanwhile, researchers and clinicians struggle to get the data they need, which means projects take longer and cost more than necessary, or worse still don&rsquo;t even get started.</p> <p>The Brain Tumour Charity&rsquo;s project BRIAN (the Brain tumouR Information and Analysis Network), will make innovative use of technology to make a permanent, sustainable, difference in the fight to defeat brain tumours.</p> <p>The Charity is working hand-in-hand with people living with a brain tumour and their carers to build BRIAN &ndash; a trusted, collaborative, online platform designed to help defeat brain tumours.&nbsp; BRIAN will allow those affected by a brain tumour to share their medical records, upload information about their treatments and quality of life, and access anonymised information on others&rsquo; experiences.&nbsp;</p> <p>People will interact with BRIAN using their PC, tablet or smartphone, via a friendly web app, but the real power of BRIAN comes from the data warehouse that sits behind the scenes, joining patients, scientists and clinicians in the battle to defeat brain tumours.</p> <p>Initially BRIAN will be available to patients in England and linked to a wide range of healthcare data sources. Over time The Charity plans to collaborate across the UK and globally to create the best brain tumour research resource in the world.</p> <p>BRIAN, is a game-changing project designed to give people living with a brain tumour, and their carers, the ability to make informed choices and have the best possible quality of life. It will also give them the chance to improve life for people in the future, whilst empowering them to best manage their day to day treatment and care. BRIAN will reduce research costs, accelerate the path to results, enable more research to be conducted, and improve research validity. Clinicians&rsquo; standards will be raised and treatment should become more consistent across the UK. Ultimately, BRIAN should help to identify better treatments.</p> <p>Shortly before her death, Tessa Jowell herself signed up to BRIAN, demonstrating her commitment to action, not simply words.</p> <p>The Charity is honoured to say that BRIAN has been shortlisted for the 2018 WCIT Charity IT Award.</p> Growing the Local GovTech Market Fri, 07 Sep 2018 15:41:03 +0100 CRM Sync techUK’s local government programme manager highlights the importance of an eco-system approach to growing the local gov tech market as part of #techUKSmarterState <p>At techUK we want to showcase the innovation happening locally and champion a diverse local govtech eco-system. Local government is an innovative market and often leading the way in adoption of new technologies across the public sector. For example, even though AI is still a rather nascent market for public sector, local government is leading the way in its adoption and understanding of its value in transforming services for citizens. Aylesbury Vale and Enfield Council are good examples of this.</p> <p>As part of techUK&rsquo;s ambition to grow the local government digital eco-system we are holding several networking and briefing sessions in October to help inform industry on how councils operate, as well as bring together large and small companies active or looking to break into the local government market to develop potential new partnerships.</p> <p><strong>Events include:</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">Partnering &amp; Networking: Growing the Local GovTech Market </a>on 10 October</strong></p> <p>This speed networking event offers tech companies large and small the opportunity to network and identify partners with innovative solutions for transforming local public services. We are also encouraging digital folk working in Local Government to join us to pitch about what they&rsquo;re after from the market and give them exposure to the latest innovative tech solutions.</p> <p>To find out more about techUK&rsquo;s local government activity and how to get involved in the above events contact Georgina Maratheftis.</p> <p><strong><a href="">Help Shape the Supplier Commitment to the Local Digital Declaration</a> on 16 October</strong></p> <p>This summer saw the launch of the Local Digital Declaration, a shared ambition for the future of local public services written by a collective of local authorities, sector bodies and government departments. It outlines a shared ambition for improved collaboration and creating the conditions needed for the next generation of local public services.</p> <p>As this event is an un-conference there is no detailed agenda but all participants will have the opportunity to raise items they would like to discuss in conjunctions to the next steps in the suppliers response to the Declaration.</p> <p><strong><a href="">Future Trends, Opportunities &amp; Challenges Facing Local Gov</a> on 17 October</strong></p> <p>This event is an opportunity for new entrants and those active in the market to develop a better understanding of the current local government landscape, latest tech trends and be more informed in the way councils operate. We are delighted to have Paul Davidson, CIO, Sedgemoor District Council to give the local government perspective.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKSmarterState To see more blogs like this, please visit the&nbsp;<a href="">website&nbsp;here.</a></em></p> The case of Lucy McHugh and Facebook Fri, 07 Sep 2018 11:10:34 +0100 CRM Sync A look at the laws that govern how and when companies can hand over data to law enforcement agencies <p>Facebook has recently come under fire in relation to the tragic murder of Lucy McHugh. On Friday, Stephen-Alan Nicholson was charged with a number of offences, amongst them an offence under section 49 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act. For those unfamiliar with the detail, this clause makes it a criminal offence to refuse disclosing a password or other key when compelled by the relevant authorities. In this case Nicholson refused, twice-over, to provide law enforcement with the password to his social media account. The alleged perpetrator&rsquo;s argument was this would incriminate him in illegal drugs activity. Unfortunately for him, self-incrimination is not a defence accepted by this clause and so he was sentenced to 14 months for the offence.</p> <p>The consequence of his failure to disclose has meant that Hampshire Police have been forced to go through the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) process to obtain the evidence (Facebook messages) held in the US that they believe is key to their investigation.</p> <p>Facebook&rsquo;s policy is crystal clear &ndash; where there is imminent harm to a child, or risk of death or serious physical injury to any person they will give access to law enforcement to aid the investigation. This policy has undoubtedly saved lives and rescued vulnerable individuals through timely interventions. However, for disclosure of account records in all other cases they must act in accordance with the law &ndash; which in this case stipulates the need for an MLAT request.</p> <p>In the aftermath of this trial there has been a clamour for Facebook to break the law and simply hand over the alleged perpetrator&rsquo;s data. Facebook, like other companies, has been clear they cannot break the law regardless of how distressing the case, so law enforcement agencies and Facebook alike must rely on the MLAT process. A process that has been widely criticised, it can take up to nine months for information to be returned and the process is hugely bureaucratic, this is something that governments in the US, UK and in Europe have all recognised and are looking to change.</p> <p>In 2015 Nigel Sheinwald, the former British ambassador to Washington, was commissioned to look at this very issue and whilst the full review was never published<a href="">, the summary document</a> made clear Sheinwald&rsquo;s recommendation that a new international framework was needed &ldquo;to allow certain democratic countries - with similar values and high standards of oversight, transparency and privacy protection - to gain access to content in serious crime and counter-terrorism cases through direct requests to the companies&rdquo; . Since then a great deal of work has been done, and whilst we&rsquo;ve not yet reached the point of an International Treaty, moves have been made to speed up processes. The US Cloud Act for example has simplified the process of accessing data and the UK and EU are now following suit. In the UK, Parliament is currently discussing the Crime (Overseas Production) Bill, if passed this would mean law enforcement agencies in the UK would no longer need to navigate long foreign legal processes, instead being able to go straight to the holders of the data. To aid Parliament&rsquo;s discussions, the full report prepared by Sheinwald should be published, there is absolutely no reason for this not to happen.</p> <p>This drive to speed up processes should be applauded. Of course, it is horrific that justice is being delayed in the case of Lucy McHugh, but these seemingly easy decisions often require the unravelling of decades worth of bureaucracy and legislation &ndash; something governments have been notoriously slow to do. We should welcome the fact that in future no parent will be forced to wait so long for justice&rsquo;s cogs to turn and we should also welcome the fact that businesses follow the law.</p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Health Sec gives landmark speech on bringing world's best tech to NHS Fri, 07 Sep 2018 10:39:33 +0100 CRM Sync Interoperability Push at heart of Matt Hancock’s NHS Expo Speech <p>Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock made a landmark speech on Thursday, clearly marking NHS IT as his main priority in the job. He made his frustrations with NHS IT clear in a keynote speech at the NHS Expo Conference in Manchester. Speaking to a packed hall at the Central Manchester conference, Mr Hancock, who has made technology one of his &lsquo;early priorities&rsquo; said:</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;Having thousands of databases that don&rsquo;t talk to each other costs lives. A world in which a hospital can&rsquo;t pull up a patient&rsquo;s GP record is downright dangerous.&rdquo;</strong></p> <p>techUK has been a long-time advocate of NHS interoperability, fostering cooperation between suppliers through our <a href="">interoperability charter</a> and our joint work with <a href="">INTEROPen. </a></p> <p>techUK&rsquo;s Ben Moody who chaired an event on the value of health data at the conference, welcomed Mr Hancock&rsquo;s comments:</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s great to see such a change in gear. Mr Hancock clearly shares our vision that technology can drive a paradigm shift in how we deliver healthcare. It&rsquo;s great to have a Health Secretary who understands the environment in which NHS suppliers are operating. We need to create a level playing field where suppliers are competing on innovation and price to deliver the best value for the NHS.&rdquo;</strong></p> <p>However, he also cautioned against repeating some of the mistakes of the past:</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;What suppliers value above all else is certainty. We need clear and consistent messages from the system about what the NHS wants to build and what it wants to buy. This is vital for the sector as it looks to invest the money and talent in this sector into creating world class technology that will ultimately save lives.&rdquo;</strong></p> <p>Mr Hancock also announced the creation of an advisory panel to be chaired by Ben Goldacre and reconfirmed a &pound;200m fund to help hospitals become Global Digital Exemplars.</p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Eco-design rules for servers risk increasing energy use in data centre Fri, 07 Sep 2018 08:30:20 +0100 CRM Sync Commission plans to take 75 per cent of servers off the market despite industry warning that some of these are the most efficient to run <p>Operators and manufacturers have warned today that proposed eco-design requirements from the European Commission for servers, designed to cut energy and carbon, may increase them.</p> <p>The proposals have emerged under the Eco-Design Directive. The full draft regulation is available here: <a href=""></a></p> <p>Industry had proposed using an &ldquo;active efficiency metric&rdquo; as the means to measure server efficiency in different operating conditions. The Commission, however, has opted for an &ldquo;idle limit&rdquo; metric which measures only the energy consumed during occasional server waiting periods and not the efficiency of servers when they are both idle and operational.</p> <p>Susanne Baker, head of programme, environment and compliance, at techUK said: <em>&ldquo;Servers have become better performing and are more efficient when operational, the trade-off is a slight increase in idle energy. Overall though it results in energy reductions. Measuring server efficiency by only using idle power metrics will see the most efficient and best performing servers banned from the EU market.&rdquo;</em></p> <p>Emma Fryer, associate director for data centres at techUK, said: <em>&ldquo;Data centre operators are very concerned because imposing limits on idle power consumption will not decrease total server energy consumption. The best way to reduce unproductive energy use is to increase utilisation through consolidation and virtualisation. Imposing idle limits without considering performance is likely to preclude the sale and deployment of many high performance energy efficient servers, driving the market in the wrong direction, away from larger machines that can consolidate work towards a proliferation of smaller devices with a much larger combined energy and resource footprint.&rdquo;</em></p> <p>Data centres are energy intensive and operators are already strongly incentivised to improve efficiency. Operators are worried that these proposals will reverse the productive trend towards larger, more efficient machines, limit choice, create market distortion and render the EU sector less efficient because operators and their customers will be prevented from accessing the best devices.&nbsp;</p> <p>For colocation providers, the proposals create a potential situation where customers who would usually reduce their infrastructure requirements at each refresh stage by consolidating activity onto fewer, more powerful machines, will instead have to deploy more devices and increase the burden they impose on infrastructure. Under this perverse situation, EU operators are rendered uncompetitive because their customers are forced down a less efficient, more expensive route. Data is the most mobile commodity on earth and those customers may simply choose a location outside the EU.&rdquo;</p> <p>See also Communication from the UK Council of Data Centre Operators:&nbsp; <a href=""></a></p> <div><strong>Background information&nbsp;</strong></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div> <ul><li>Servers come in many shapes and sizes and the current trend within the data centre environment is towards fewer, larger and more powerful devices with higher processing capacity. These deliver economies of scale because one large machine has the processing capability of multiple smaller machines but a lower energy footprint. This trend has been driven by the increasing demand to compute data and by the consolidation of multiple workloads onto single servers (e.g. through virtualisation).&nbsp;&nbsp;</li> <li>There is market demand for a spectrum of devices, from very large, often bespoke machines at one end (known as High Performance Computing, used for research and batch processing and outside the scope of the proposals) to &ldquo;single socket&rdquo; servers with one processor.&nbsp; In between are more powerful two and four socket servers with more processing power. There are also variations in processing power within these ranges.</li> <li>This trend to higher performance machines is not just driven by computing demand but by cost and environmental considerations: these larger machines are much more energy efficient.&nbsp; They are, as a result, cheaper to run and have, relatively, lower embedded energy, materials requirement and disposal implications, because one machine does the work of many.&nbsp;&nbsp;</li> </ul></div>Contact: <a href=""></a>Contact: <a href=""></a> How secure cloud collaboration is enabling SKYNET 6 team Fri, 07 Sep 2018 07:53:37 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Luca Leone, Defence Business Development manager at Kahootz, discusses how secure cloud collaboration is enabling SKYNET 6 team as part of #techUKSmarterState <p>One of the greatest challenges facing today&rsquo;s Defence industry is keeping up with the rapid pace of change. With the increasing cost of platform acquisition and squeezed defence spending, the MOD can often no longer afford to be at the forefront of research and development in many areas, with their budgets dwarfed by those in the technology industries.</p> <p>The pace of technological change has also dramatically increased, leaving project teams struggling to keep up with the demands for cutting edge technologies from front line commands, whilst adhering to traditional requirements definition and acquisition processes.</p> <p>In 2015 is was identified that to ensure the British Armed Forces still have access to the best capabilities the MOD must improve its access to innovative ideas developed by SMEs, and must find ways of streamlining its acquisition; essentially a rebalancing of the Industry/MOD relationship in a secure environment.</p> <p>Joint Force Command&rsquo;s Information Systems and Services (ISS) identified Kahootz as their chosen secure collaboration provider, adopting a system that had been proven and certified for use in other security conscious government departments. The system became known as Defence Share, and following certification by Defence Assurance and Information Security (DAIS) the service was accredited for use up to OFFICIAL SENSITIVE (OS). This certification was a key enabler for use within Defence Equipment &amp; Support (DE&amp;S), removing the need for the encrypted disks and couriers that had previously been used for the transfer of sensitive information. Defence Share remains the only system of its type to achieve this certification in this context.</p> <p>Following the roll out across the defence community, now with users across DE&amp;S, ISS, DIO and the Front Line Commands, the system is now giving SMEs direct access to delivery teams, allowing better informed purchasing decisions to be made and reducing the risk of cost escalation and delays.</p> <p>One well known example of this is the SKYNET 6 information sharing environment, used by the ISS Delivery Team to conduct premarket engagement with a broad range of companies and recently described by one industry user at the ISS Engagement day held by techUK as &ldquo;the gold standard in industry engagement&rdquo;.</p> <p>A second order benefit for the MOD that hadn&rsquo;t been anticipated was the creation of &lsquo;Corporate Knowledge&rdquo;. At a time when an increasing amount of staff are no longer permanent and with a move towards complimenting teams with secondees, agency staff and contractors, the risks of knowledge leakage become more apparent. Defence Share allows all users to see the context and reasons behind decisions made by their predecessors and delivers the full trail that will enable new team members to enter the process with the background understanding required.</p> <p>Outside of the MOD, the same system has been adopted by Team Defence Information and has been shown as an example of how new ways of working can enable a more flexible workforce, offering the ability to work on mobile devices or with your own device, removing the anchor to a secure desktop or laptop. It has also moved conversations away from email exchanges into contextual discussions and forums, allowing better stakeholder engagement and ultimately allowing programmes to deliver faster.</p> <p>The success of Defence Share within the MOD and Team Defence environment has not gone un-noticed by the wider Defence community, with more and more defence prime contractors adopting the service to improve their engagement with their supply chain and industrial and academic partners. Kahootz now boasts thousands users across the defence network and was also recently selected by Babcock as one of their Innovation Partners at the Underwater Defence Technology Exhibition; along with winning the GDS 2017 Award for Best Cloud Based Collaboration Tool.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKSmarterState To see more blogs like this, please visit the&nbsp;<a href="">website&nbsp;here</a></em><a href="">.</a></p> Understanding G-Cloud 10: Opportunities for SMEs Fri, 07 Sep 2018 07:53:37 +0100 CRM Sync Guest Blog: Andrew Mellish, Six Degrees, explains how the decision to push G-Cloud 10 live in June provides opportunities for new cloud suppliers to pitch for UK Government work as part of #techUKSmarterState <p>The Crown Commercial Service&rsquo;s decision to <a href="">push G-Cloud 10 live in June</a> has provided opportunities for new cloud suppliers to pitch for UK Government work.</p> <p>According to UK Government figures, sales through the G-Cloud framework totalled over &pound;2.8 billion at the end of 2017. SME vendors made up a sizeable share of this, accounting for 47 per cent of total sales by value and 73 per cent by volume.</p> <p>These figures support the argument that the G-Cloud framework has facilitated an increase in cloud adoption, and broadened the pool of SME suppliers into the public sector. It is why the Crown Commercial Service&rsquo;s (CCS) decision to push G-Cloud 10 live in June was thoroughly welcomed, providing the opportunity for new cloud suppliers to pitch for government work, and existing suppliers already on the framework to update their service offerings.</p> <p>G-Cloud 10: Opportunities for SMEs Since its launched in 2012 the G-Cloud framework, with its sleek procurement processes, has created opportunities for SMEs to provide innovative, cloud-based IT solutions for the public sector. It reduces time, cost, and risks for suppliers and customers, resulting in an attractive solution being procured within a much shorter timeframe.</p> <p>Essentially, the G-Cloud framework has been the gateway for many SMEs to work in the public sector and secure business. But while G-cloud has created many opportunities, increasing transparency and levelling the playing field to a large degree, it hasn&rsquo;t always been smooth sailing.</p> <p>The Importance of the CCS&rsquo;s About-Turn The framework agreement for G-Cloud 9 was initially supposed to expire in May 2018. However, the UK Government decided in <a href="">November 2017 to extend it by another 12 months</a>. This was intended to give the CCS and the Government Digital Service (GDS) time to &lsquo;deliver a revolutionary transformation to the platform to meet more user needs &ndash; both central government and wider public sector&rsquo;.</p> <p>The decision was met with criticism from SMEs, who as suppliers were unable to alter prices or update their service offerings due to the constraint of having to wait until the next iteration was available to make updates. Given the level of innovation driven by SMEs, locking down the framework for two years and blocking technological advances would surely slow change and progress.</p> <p>The good news is that the CCS reversed its decision, and a new iteration &ndash; G-Cloud 10 &ndash; was delivered in June. Oliver Dowden, Minister for Implementation, <a href="">acknowledged that &lsquo;small businesses are the backbone of our economy, so it&rsquo;s crucial we listen to them when shaping policy&rsquo;</a>.</p> <p>Challenges May Not Change in the Near Future</p> <p>Many public sector suppliers have welcomed G-Cloud 10. However, some argue that the high proportion of suppliers still not engaging with the framework suggests that a radical overhaul of G-</p> <p>Cloud is required. This would make it work better for all, and a year&rsquo;s delay is a price worth paying for getting it right.</p> <p>There is some merit in this argument, as many suppliers agree that with G-Cloud there&rsquo;s no visibility of tenders and opportunities &ndash; knowing if you&rsquo;re in the running for an opportunity is a key area for improvement. Another issue already mentioned is the fact that the framework is inflexible when it comes to suppliers needing to adjust pricing.</p> <p>Leaving the framework &lsquo;as is&rsquo;, however, would likely have had a detrimental effect on new suppliers to the public sector market, to those developing new services, and to any that need to make pricing changes. Delaying changes by 12 months means that the buyer (and, by extension, the tax payer) is being denied innovation and the positive impact of increased competition.</p> <p>At Six Degrees, we believe that the benefits of moving to G-Cloud 10 this summer far outweigh the disadvantages, and we&rsquo;re hopeful that the challenges will be ironed out as iterations progress.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKSmarterState To see more blogs like this, please visit the&nbsp;<a href="">website&nbsp;here</a></em><a href="">.</a></p> Diverse open collaboration drives innovation success Fri, 07 Sep 2018 07:30:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Phil Brunkard – CIO, Regional Government & Health at BT writes about open collaboration driving innovation success for #techUKSmarterState <p>In July I had one of the best weeks of my career when I participated in Northumbrian Water Group&rsquo;s fantastic and second very successful <a href="">Innovation Festival.</a></p> <p>The Northumbrian Water Group (NWG) leadership took the bold step to invest in taking their staff off-site for a whole week to collaborate with a diverse and eclectic mix of organisations and individuals to tackle some of the biggest issues the water industry faces. A huge investment - but it works and it was totally worth it.</p> <p>The event included different experts from some of the largest UK businesses, local and national SMEs and start-up organisations from many different sectors. Not only that, but there were innovation experts, scientists, students, engineers, designers, universities researchers and academics, local schools, artists and members of the public, comedians and me. Everyone came together to collaborate through a series of innovation sprints to come up with ideas and explore innovative ways to help change the world of water. It was ambitious, great fun and uniquely successful in finding some <a href="">very creative and innovative solutions to tough problems.</a> The sprint I was involved in resulted in obtaining <a href="">&ldquo;power from pooches&rdquo;</a>. The challenge was to demonstrate how Northumbrian Water and other organisations can go beyond carbon neutral. We ended the week by providing a new source of power from waste that currently goes underground. Over 92,000 tonnes of dog poo (yes I&rsquo;m serious!) is currently sent to landfill or causes contamination in the organic recycling process. By using the existing sewer network, the ideas is this will feed into the anaerobic digestion process and power 14,000 homes. The idea will now be taken forward as a series of trials in collaboration with number of partner organisations and make the idea come to life.</p> <p>So isn&rsquo;t this a great example of how SMEs and partners could work together with the public sector to find innovative solutions to solve some of the biggest problems the public sector faces today?</p> <p>Some may argue that overstretched and under-resourced public sector organisations cannot afford the &lsquo;luxury&rsquo; of taking key workers off-site for a number of days without disruption to service. But as one of my <a href="">customers testified</a>, you can achieve more from this type of activity in days than you would achieve in months tackling the challenges in normal &lsquo;in-office&rsquo; projects.</p> <p>I also find that bringing the expertise from within your <a href="">organisation together with a diverse range of external experts</a> really makes the difference for achieving positive and tangible solution outcomes.</p> <p>The benefits of the whole collaborative approach is backed up by a recent Nesta blog that outlines the <a href="">five key reasons why collaboration drives public sector innovation</a> &ndash; which boils down to having a wide diversity of people, thoughts, ideas, experts, novices all collaborating together.</p> <p>It does not have to be as large-scale as NWG&rsquo;s innovation festival. We&rsquo;ve run successful &lsquo;hot-house&rsquo; events with the same principles in 2-3 days resulting in some <a href="">great innovative ideas whilst also embedding an innovation culture</a> into the organisation. Success was still down to the diversity of people, organisations and ideas.</p> <p>Public Sector organisations can achieve much more by collaborating and <a href="">experimenting with partners and SMEs</a> to find those innovative breakthroughs to the big challenges. The relationships don&rsquo;t have to be constrained by formal procurement models. A more open, collaborative and diverse approach will drive innovation success across the public sector and deliver better outcomes sooner to meet the ever rising demands on public services. It just takes a little dogged thinking to make it happen.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKSmarterState To see more blogs like this, please visit the&nbsp;<a href="">website&nbsp;here</a></em><a href="">.</a></p> Trust is paramount to the operation of smart cities Thu, 06 Sep 2018 08:00:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest Blog: Mike Pannell, BT, introduces the need to gain public trust for smart city applications and the issues of protecting the personal information for #techUKSmarterState <p>Smart cities offer the exciting prospect of creating an environment that is easy to live in, quick to navigate and adaptive to changing circumstances. Information on citizens&rsquo; behaviour and the environment in which they live in is central to the operation of this plan. Including personal identity in the data will personalise the user experience. Therefore, data security in smart city applications is paramount, as it underpins the integrity and trust in their operation.</p> <p>Examples of smart applications that require this data include dynamic car sharing programs, waste management initiatives and micro-grids for power generation. All of these have the potential to dramatically improve the lives of citizens and their city ecosystem.</p> <p>The data required to operate these applications needs a large range of sensors. These would track the movement of people and cars, and monitor energy consumption and generation for each building. Brought together these give information on how the city is performing, but the amount of data generated will be huge as people and objects are tracked across the networks.</p> <p>Small scale trials of technology in this field has largely operated with only the implied trust of the public. Networks of sensors that use Bluetooth tracking of vehicles to monitor traffic flow have been available for years. These have run without personal information with measures being taken to anonymise the data and thus far the implied trust model has worked.</p> <p>Smart city applications have a much larger scale of data acquisition and there is a potential perception of invasion of personal privacy. To progress this agenda, I believe a wider public debate is required to achieve explicit consent of the people.</p> <p>The public trust in government bodies handling personal data is already low. A recent <a href="">YouGov ODI</a> survey &ldquo;Attitudes towards data sharing&rdquo; recorded the percentage of citizens who trust the government to hold private data being between 37% and 44% and private organisations scored much lower. Asked whether &lsquo;data is useful when governments use it to understand and better serve society with improved public services&rsquo;, only 51% of respondents agreed. Personal location data and journey information was particularly sensitive with only 33% agreeing to its use. Clearly work is required to gain public acceptance of smart city applications and trust can only be gained if robust measures and controls can be demonstrated.</p> <p>Public confidence would evaporate if there was any perception that this valuable data was misused for malicious intent. For example, fictitious vehicle movements sent to roadside sensors could induce gridlock as traffic controls adapt to false information, or if smart city data was accessed to reveal the location of a person, this would be a severe invasion of personal privacy.</p> <p>The complexity of protecting this data shouldn&rsquo;t be underestimated. It will move quickly across different applications and cloud providers; artificial intelligence solutions will be required to make sense of the vast amount of data. The traditional approach to modelling risk by devices and networks will not adapt well to this data centric world. The three pillars of information security, Confidentiality, Data Integrity and System Availability are insufficient as Non-Repudiation and Authentication of data are equally important. Smart city applications depend on sharing and moving data for different purposes, so they need to be considered together. As such, data usage is central to any risk, architecture or management planning and understanding how your data behaves provides a better position for response to changes in regulation.</p> <p>You must ensure correct design and security controls are used to protect against induced malfunction and uphold privacy of the people. Demonstration of these measures is fundamental to establish public trust.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKSmarterState To see more blogs like this, please visit the&nbsp;<a href="">website&nbsp;here</a></em><a href="">.</a></p> Data, security & trust in policing Thu, 06 Sep 2018 07:45:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Henry Rex, Programme Manager, Justice & Emergency Services, techUK, blogs as part of our #techUKSmarterState campaign <p>Our &lsquo;Building the Smarter State&rsquo; Week is all about re-imagining public service delivery. And since the state&rsquo;s first duty is keeping the public safe and secure, policing must be central to any such discussion.</p> <p>In a period of rising demand and budgetary constraints, the police service is increasingly turning to digital technology to drive operational improvements and increase efficiency. And one of the most fertile areas for delivering a step change in public safety is better use of data and analytics. If police forces and other local agencies can harness their data in the right way they will be able to identify interventions and prevent harm.</p> <p>There have of course been significant efforts to improve use of data across policing over a fairly long period of time. As far back as 1974 the Police National Computer (PNC) gave all UK forces access to a series of databases of relevant local and national information. Then 1985 the HOLMES systems (Home Office Large Major Enquiry System) was introduced, a national system to improve information management for investigating major incidents. The 2002 Soham Murders led to the Bichard Report recommending in 2004 that a national police intelligence system be set up. And so, in 2010 the Police National Database (PND) went live. And now the National Law Enforcement Data Programme (NLEDP) is going to replace PND and PNC.</p> <p>Alongside national initiatives, there are also several examples of good practice among individual police forces. <a href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">Durham&rsquo;s Red Sigma</a> system is designed to improve the speed and ease for officers recording and accessing data, as well mapping POLE (People, Object, Location, Event) information to aid investigations. Essex Police, together with Essex County Council, are developing&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">an analytics capability to identify those at risk</a>&nbsp;of exploitation and modern slavery. Data Driven Insights project in West Midlands Police looks at the &lsquo;footsteps of criminality&rsquo;, spotting crime patterns to identify interventions and prevent harm. Meanwhile Avon and Somerset Constabulary are using <a href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">data analytics platform to mitigate the impact of budgetary constraints</a>. They analyse officer availability, resourcing, workload, performance and demand to optimize deployment of resources.</p> <p>These efforts are just the first early steps towards harnessing the power of data analytics to prevent harm. To move further along this path local agencies will have to collaborate more effectively, and the police service on the whole will need to get better at procuring innovative products. But above all the key to progressing along this journey is constant efforts to establish and maintain trust in policing&rsquo;s use of data.</p> <p>In this regard, the recently enacted GDPR and Law Enforcement Directive present a terrific opportunity for police and local public services. There is a real opportunity here for these regulations to be seen not simply as a compliance issue, but as a chance to share and manage data more effectively across local public services. And the key to this is trust. Maintaining public trust is vitally important. Trust in data may well be the next frontier in the issue of public trust in policing. So if police forces can get on top of new data protection regulations, they will be able to preserve and increase public trust, and deliver major improvements in harm prevention.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKSmarterState To see more blogs like this, please visit the&nbsp;<a href="">website&nbsp;here</a></em><a href="">.</a></p> Don’t race into the cloud: Why transformation should start on premises Thu, 06 Sep 2018 07:40:00 +0100 CRM Sync Andrew Gough, Client Services Development Director at Agilisys, questions the usual cloud advice to ‘migrate now, transform later’, arguing it makes better sense to optimise IT in situ first as part of #techUKSmarterState <p>Andrew Gough, Client Services Development Director at Agilisys, questions the usual cloud advice to &lsquo;migrate now, transform later&rsquo;, arguing it makes better sense to optimise IT in situ first. When it comes to cloud migration, it&rsquo;s no surprise public sector organisations are in a hurry. Facing tight financial constraints and rising public expectations, the cloud offers the chance to modernise services and drastically reduce technology spending.</p> <p>That&rsquo;s why, when vendors recommend an immediate &lsquo;lift and shift&rsquo; to the cloud, organisations might be tempted to agree. After all, the faster you replicate your existing IT environment in the cloud, the faster you can switch off on premises equipment and start saving&mdash;right?</p> <p>A &lsquo;lift and shift&rsquo; certainly sounds simple enough. In theory, building like-for-like should make it easy to understand how your target environment ought to look, as well as simplifying on-going management&mdash;after all, you&rsquo;ve been managing it for years already.</p> <p>However, in practice, replicating your existing IT environment in the cloud can not only present plenty of hurdles, it&rsquo;s also likely to be a false economy. The problem is many organisations don&rsquo;t have a clean, well-documented IT environment. In fact, it&rsquo;s not unusual to find on that premises systems have grown organically over many years, resulting in a complex and tangled technology stack.</p> <p>In our experience, the challenge isn&rsquo;t just hundreds of applications, servers and storage volumes&mdash;it&rsquo;s years of underinvestment, employees leaving with critical knowledge, or old systems that were never consolidated or switched off. These &lsquo;lots of little things&rsquo; make migrating into the cloud on a like-for-like basis an uphill struggle. Even if you can replicate your existing environment, poor documentation can mean you don&rsquo;t know how services talk to each other and their dependency on the infrastructure configuration.</p> <p>Our point is this: given that some remedial work is always required, why not do it in situ first? That way, you can start spring-cleaning your IT environment incrementally, with the ability to make changes easily. Simply put, transforming your IT in situ is a failsafe approach.</p> <p>With a lean, spring-cleaned and well-documented IT environment that consumes fewer resources, you&rsquo;ll be perfectly positioned to start cloud migration. Ensuring your existing IT is fit for purpose, correctly sized and still required makes the migration more robust, faster, simpler to manage and cheaper to undertake.</p> <p>To give just one example of how dramatic the difference can be, consider one London borough we worked with recently. With our support, the borough reduced its server estate from 915 to just 236&mdash;a drop of almost 75%. Needless to say, this made the subsequent cloud migration vastly less complex. In our experience, rationalising and optimising existing IT in situ can halve the cost of cloud migration.</p> <p>A smaller IT estate also substantially reduces the cost of operating in the cloud, compared to supporting a much larger, unoptimised tangle of systems. Inevitably, some of the saving is spent on the remedial preparation work itself. However, this process also acts as a kind of &lsquo;cloud insurance&rsquo;&mdash;protecting organisations against the costly and convoluted problems that can result from a cloud migration that&rsquo;s too rapid.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s also worth considering that many organisations will have higher business priorities than optimising and rationalising cloud-based IT after a migration. Ultimately, those distractions can mean that savings planned beforehand may never actually be realised afterwards.</p> <p>So, the next time you&rsquo;re invited to &lsquo;migrate now, transform later&rsquo;, remember that cloud transformation may be a race, but preparation is rarely wasted.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKSmarterState To see more blogs like this, please visit the&nbsp;<a href="">website&nbsp;here</a></em><a href="">.</a></p> Securing the Smarter State Thu, 06 Sep 2018 07:30:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Talal Rajab, techUK, Head of the Cyber programme at techUK talks Securing the Smarter State as part of #techUKSmarterState <p>We may say this every year, but 2018 really is shaping up to be an important year for cyber security in the public sector.&nbsp;</p> <p>Firstly, from a regulatory angle, the landscape has changed considerably for public sector organisations, and this has meant that their responsibilities when it comes to cyber security have also changed.&nbsp; Take the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), for example, which many of see as a game-changer in data security, specifying that personal data must be processed with an appropriate level of security.&nbsp; This means that public sector bodies must take responsibility for both technical and organisational measures, and carefully think about the ways to effectively secure personal data.&nbsp;</p> <p>There is also an equally important piece of regulation that seeks to improve the security of network and information systems across the UK.&nbsp; The Network and Information Systems Directive (NISD), implemented a couple of weeks before GDPR, increases the cyber security responsibilities of operators of those essential services which, if disrupted, could potentially cause significant damage to the UK economy.&nbsp; From ensuring the supply of electricity and water, to the provision of healthcare and passenger and freight transport, the Directive correctly recognises that the reliability and security of our critical infrastructure is essential to everyday services and requires adequate protection.&nbsp;</p> <p>So, what are the next steps for those public sector bodies that have a responsibility to meet the requirements under GDPR and NISD?&nbsp; Well, for one, it means that public sector organisations are in dire need of the cyber security skills that we constantly hear are in short supply.&nbsp; Depending on which study you read, there will either be a 1m or 2m global cyber skills shortage by 2020, with the UK&rsquo;s share of unfilled cyber security jobs expected to be around 100,000.&nbsp;</p> <p>To help the UK in this regard, the National Cyber Security Strategy sets out a series of interventions aimed at plugging the growing gap between demand and supply for key cyber security roles.&nbsp; This long-term strategy will look at areas such as the lack of young people entering the profession, the shortage of current cyber security specialists, the insufficient exposure to cyber and information security concepts in computing courses and the absence of established career and training pathways into the profession.&nbsp;</p> <p>Most of these initiatives, however, are long term in nature and will take a long time to come to fruition.&nbsp; That is why it is important that public sector bodies procure services with security built in from the outset.&nbsp; We cannot expect everyone within a government department, for example, to understand all of the different security requirements of the products and services on their premises. They want to take use internal products and services straight away, without having to configure security settings or specifically turn them on.</p> <p>Government has attempted to help in this regard, and has conducted a &ldquo;secure by design&rdquo; review and report, published in March of this year, which at its core contains 13 principles that IoT manufacturers can follow to embed security into the design process rather than bolt them on as an afterthought. Government has stated that whilst the principles in the code of practice are voluntary, they may be made into a regulation some time in the future if the state of play doesn&rsquo;t change.&nbsp;</p> <p>So that is why 2018 is such an exciting time for the UK cyber security sector and gives a sense of where the sector is going; a mix of regulatory action, work to develop skills and capabilities and action taken by manufacturers themselves to ensure that security is embedded into everything that we do.&nbsp; It is crucial that the public sector takes the lead in this; where public sector leads, the private sector will follow.&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKSmarterState To see more blogs like this, please visit the&nbsp;<a href="">website&nbsp;here</a></em><a href="">.</a></p> How long until public sector IoT networks fail? Thu, 06 Sep 2018 07:30:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Josh Hewer, Lead Analyst – IoT, GlobalData for #techUKSmarterState <p>Hull City Council has joined many of its peers and is launching a Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN). They&rsquo;re becoming very much in vogue for UK councils with smart city ambitions. These Internet of Things (IoT) networks are for their own projects and, hopefully, to sell access to others. The problem is when everyone&rsquo;s selling whose going to buy? This is far from a UK only phenomena: The City of Lake Macquarie in Australia is working with a local partner to build a commercial network to support smart parking, lighting, and other smart city applications along with the needs of local businesses.</p> <p>This LPWAN technology is ideal for a wide range of IoT use cases, particularly within the smart city space which typically requires massive number of smart things sending small packets of data. Connectivity need support very low power usage allowing owners to leave low cost devices in the wild with very little maintenance requirements.</p> <p>But, the true goal is sell access these networks both as a potential revenue stream and to foster local businesses with IoT ambitions. York&rsquo;s own network is explicitly for this albeit admirable purpose. But, the UK public sector doesn&rsquo;t always have the best reputation when it becomes to operating commercially.</p> <p>This is far from a lack of business nous, rather as with shared services centres, good ideas are replicated and we ended up with a market wherein so many public agencies where offering corporate services that no one was left to buy them.</p> <p>LPWAN networks used to improve public services, for example using IoT data to inform council workers when a street light is out or when a bin needs emptying, is a fantastic way to reduce local taxes and offer better services to citizens. If this is the goal for these networks, they will succeed. If the goal is to commercialize that&rsquo;s a more challenging proposition and one wherein they are not just competing with other public agencies.</p> <p>Operators around the world are starting to launch cellular LPWAN solutions, namely NB-IoT and LTE-M. Agencies will also be competing with non-cellular networks such as Digital Catapults own LoRaWAN network or Sigfox. The advantages of these networks is that they are national allowing devices to roam around the UK.</p> <p>Whilst smart city applications more often than not static assets, such as street furniture, business&rsquo; own IoT use cases will products and goods on the move for example monitoring the condition of a smart &lsquo;thing&rsquo; sold to a customer.</p> <p>However, whilst this is being demanded by businesses, UK telcos have been surprisingly slow (versus international peers) in unveiling and timetabling the launch of these types of networks. So if the public sector can collaborate and permit roaming this provides a much needed service for UK plc.</p> <p>There is positive and leaders in this space, with Essex and Herts investigating how they can share their own Telensa networks to investigate roaming and facilitating data sharing to improve civic services for residents in both counties.</p> <p>UK public sector should continue to invest in these networks as long delivering operational efficiencies is the primary aim. There is a commercial opportunity, given the delays in NB-IoT or similar, by UK telecommunications giants.</p> <p>But to succeed, public agencies with LPWAN need to quickly establish Public Sector Network (PSN)-like agreements to foster collaboration and provide wide ranging low power IoT connectivity for UK plc they can&rsquo;t currently access from mobile providers.</p> <p>Josh Hewer Lead Analyst &ndash; IoT, GlobalData @josh_hewer</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKSmarterState To see more blogs like this, please visit the&nbsp;<a href="">website&nbsp;here</a></em><a href="">.</a></p> Driving culture change for digital policing Wed, 05 Sep 2018 09:37:14 +0100 CRM Sync Guest Blog by DCS Paul Keasey, Programme Lead – National Digital Intelligence and Investigations NPCC Digital Policing Portfolio for #techUKSmarterState <p>Digital Intelligence and Investigation (DII) is an ambitious and ground-breaking initiative designed to help police forces transform how they respond to the challenge of policing in the digital age. It is one of three national programmes within the Home Office-funded Digital Policing Portfolio (DPP). It sits alongside Digital Public Contact (DPC), developing new, digital ways for the public and the police to come together, which are as trusted as 999, and Digital First (DF), enabling police and the Criminal Justice System to deliver justice in a digital way.</p> <p>Over the next two years DII will deliver a range of strategies, standards and tools that will drive a step-change in policing, and dramatically improve forces&rsquo; digital skills, capacity and capability. We&rsquo;ve already developed a National DII Target Operating Model, a national-level model setting out the ideal approach to digital intelligence and investigation and how this can be achieved, and a Digital Culture, Behaviour and Skills Strategy, aiming to improve the police&rsquo;s collective &lsquo;digital IQ&rsquo; and setting out how we&rsquo;ll achieve the necessary cultural and behavioural change. In the coming months we&rsquo;ll also be delivering a DII Self-assessment Toolset, which will help forces to assess and improve their digital capabilities and enable us to identify and share trends and best practise at a national level.</p> <p>The Digital Culture, Behaviour and Skills strategy establishes a new vision for what we, as a workforce, aim to achieve on behalf of the public we serve. It identifies the outcomes we&rsquo;ll have to reach in order to achieve the vision (e.g. national consistency, continuous improvement), defines the capabilities we&rsquo;ll need to deliver the outcomes (e.g. identifying new skills, making changes to culture and behaviour), and references the assets necessary to develop these capabilities (e.g. human assets such as subject matter experts, organisational assets like academic partnerships and commerce).</p> <p>Using this methodical approach to developing the strategy enabled us to consider each &lsquo;building block&rsquo; carefully, understand how one development leads to another and what action we&rsquo;ll need to take to achieve them. It was also crucial that the strategy was operationally rooted, and really meaningful for the people it is aimed at, so we developed it collaboratively with extensive input and feedback from police forces and a range of partner organisations, including the College of Policing. Finally, because we know that the best approaches to digital embrace a range of ideas, influences and collaborations, we also looked to new and different places, spaces and sectors for inspiration, potential solutions and emerging best practise.</p> <p>Of course, culture change doesn&rsquo;t happen overnight, and it will take time for our strategy to bed in and start delivering. To make sure this happens, alongside the strategy itself, we&rsquo;ll complete a business impact assessment, outlining the key changes that will occur as a result of the strategy, who it will impact, and the required changes to ways of working and/or behaviours to embed these, and develop a dedicated business change strategy and plan, to enable the change to be managed and embedded in a consistent manner. Because we&rsquo;ll also be reliant on individual forces applying the strategy consistently, we&rsquo;ve shared the strategy, and our methodology, direct with a range of contacts in forces &ndash; both strategic and operational &ndash; inviting them to adopt similar approaches themselves. We&rsquo;ll be doing more of the same, communicating regularly and extensively, with forces and the tech business industry in the coming months and years.</p> <p>If you feel like you or your organisation have something to offer the DII programme, or you&rsquo;d like to find out more about what we&rsquo;re doing, email us at</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKSmarterState To see more blogs like this, please visit the&nbsp;<a href="">website&nbsp;here</a></em><a href="">.</a></p> Customer-centric approach to public services Wed, 05 Sep 2018 09:31:14 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Mick Halliday Chief Digital Officer, Public Sector, at Capgemini UK for #techUKSmarterState <p>We are all having more and more digital interactions in each aspect of our lives, including mobile banking, online shopping and we&rsquo;re even meeting our future partners through apps. That means that now more than ever, public sector organisations must provide innovative, digital solutions to improve both internal efficiencies and the experience of their customers. But digital on its own is not the answer &ndash; the user needs to be at the heart of the design process for new digital services.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Improving the customer journey</p> <p>Some current government digital initiatives are not as effective as they could be as they are specific to the remit of an individual department and its need for transactional improvements, instead of being based around real user needs and the citizen&rsquo;s life events.</p> <p>For example, consider a family moving to a new home, a new child arriving, or an individual entering the world of work for the first time. Currently each of these events triggers many segregated interactions with multiple departments or agencies. Each contact adds effort and delay for the citizen; for government, it means cost, complexity, and duplication. Starting a digital initiative with the user story being &lsquo;I want to register birth&rsquo; rather than &lsquo;I have just had a baby&rsquo; introduces constraint to the user centricity of the outcome by focusing on a single interaction with government &ndash; and this needs to change.</p> <p>Good news is that great strides have been made over the last few years to put the citizen at the heart of the design process, which often uses agile methods, is based on users&rsquo; needs, empirical evidence and seeking feedback throughout. That kind of human-centred design almost certainly results in solutions and interactions that are easier to use and more appropriate.</p> <p>However, these initiatives are highly dependent upon the skills and experience of the teams established to deliver those services; and these skills are in limited supply in the UK and attracting premiums, which may be hard for government to sustain unless positive action is taken.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Internal efficiencies</p> <p>Initially, digital transformation in UK Government was externally focused and not considering the internal needs of processing and administration. This has recently changed (but is still hampered by constraints of legacy IT) and the customer-centric approach will have further impact on driving internal efficiencies.</p> <p>Designing services aligned to user needs will drive efficiency, especially where these approaches embrace AI and Robotic Process Automation to further streamline internal operations. &ldquo;Joining the dots&rdquo; to integrate the government&rsquo;s internal processing of each citizen interaction, from initial contact through to delivery of the service, should create greater value for government, and a lower cost to serve.</p> <p>However, while this is undertaken in the context of stove-piped departmental transactions, the radical improvements which are possible will remain beyond reach. Service provision should be seamless and transparent, regardless of the number of departments involved.</p> <p>To make radical improvements, each department or agency should consider not only a specific interaction that needs to be improved, but also the whole context of that interaction. This involves asking what the citizen is trying to achieve, what life event has triggered the interaction, and which related government services may be needed, and then creating a user experience that seamlessly and efficiently transacts across these.</p> <p>Government Digital Services (GDS), under the Cabinet Office, are encouraging various departments to cooperate more effectively through initiatives such as the Cross-Government Design community. One suspects, however, that departmental priorities and associated budgets will impact the extent of this collaboration.</p> <p>Despite challenges, digital has the potential to help us provide the public with seamless and more effective services. However, we must consider lifestyle demands and trends, and embrace what our customers are looking for whilst recognising that their expectations will continue to evolve. We must be prepared for a journey rather than a specific destination.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKSmarterState To see more blogs like this, please visit the&nbsp;<a href="">website&nbsp;here</a></em><a href="">.</a></p> Is it time for the Public Sector to start experimenting? Wed, 05 Sep 2018 09:18:56 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Sean Luke CIO at BT discusses innovation in the public sector and whether experimenting is the key to surfing the tsunami of change as part of #techUKSmarterState <p>Public sector has been using the same basic model to procure technology for decades. The rapid emergence of new technology and the exponential change it heralds are reason enough to take another look at the underlying models for public sector innovation. Are the current modes going to be adaptive and responsive enough to exploit new digital technology? I'd argue they are not.</p> <p>I've been talking to my public sector counterparts about experimental culture recently and have seen a positive response. There seems to be wide agreement that the current modes aren't really up to scratch when it comes to fast-moving technologies like AI, Blockchain, IoT, and Machine Learning. It's also clear that public sector organisations need to be much more adaptive and responsive to new technologies. But it's difficult to know how to achieve that.</p> <p>This is NOT a technology thing!</p> <p>We've reached a point in human existence where many new technologies are rapidly emerging at the same time. The rate of change will go into hyperdrive when these new technologies start to combine to yield countless more digital possibilities, many of which we are incapable of imagining today. This is very much new territory for humans and the societies they thrive and survive in.</p> <p>Traditional models tend to involve many prior commitments to outcomes. Service providers have to imagine these outcomes and match technology to them, committing to deliver to the letter of contracts. The public sector organisation on the other side is typically ill-informed about the practical implementations and limitations of technology, meaning the work that follows is often an exercise in the political management of disappointment. This isn't a good use of time for either set of employees.</p> <p>There is no point trying to adopt a rapidly evolving technology without taking steps to optimise the way the organisation gets work done. With several rapidly evolving technologies arriving together it becomes even more important to do so.</p> <p>Experiments never fail: there's always a benefit!</p> <p>I'm proposing that the IT industry and public sector come together to explore a new collaborative framework that makes experimenting easy and cheap. It would be underpinned by academia with quality research on the outcomes of experiments. This is NOT a technology thing! Experiments would be undertaken for commercial and organisational adaption.</p> <p>It's worth noting that large corporations suffer just as much from the paralysis of procedural inbreeding as public sector organisations. They are just as compartmentalised and can be just as risk averse as public sector organisations. This means there is much to learn and many benefits to be gained for both public sector and industry.</p> <p>I'm not suggesting that all civil servants transform into boffins</p> <p>I was a civil servant myself for quite a while and I know how risk averse civil servants can be. Experiments equate to risk, which is true, but you can take calculated risks by iterative experimentation - it's how the new massive corporations have evolved. Was there ever and end vision for Amazon? Google? Facebook? I think not. They built experimentation into their culture from the start and it allowed them to adapt to and evolve with new technologies as they emerged. Experiments don't pass or fail: they prove something or you learn something, or both. There's always a benefit!</p> <p>The thing about experiments is that they're very touchy-feely (the technical term is 'experiential') so it's easy to imagine the ensuing tangible benefits. It's much harder to do that with an abstract theoretical description and 'faith-based' (the technical term is 'conceptual') implementation.</p> <p>I'm not suggesting that all civil servants transform into boffins. I think we should experiment with experimental culture for a while. Run some small experiments to see if experiments really are the key to surfing the impending tsunami of change. Define some completely new models for developing public sector ideas with the direct input and advice of academia and industry, define a new way to procure and implement services, define a simple way to assess and tweak organisational processes to adapt to the new service. Then test them on a range of small projects.</p> <p>Can we expect exponentially better results?</p> <p>I think so.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKSmarterState To see more blogs like this, please visit the&nbsp;<a href="">website&nbsp;here</a></em><a href="">.</a></p> Built to last: A sustainable analytics approach Wed, 05 Sep 2018 09:05:40 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Accenture MD Chris Gray talks data management as part of #techUKSmarterState <div><iframe frameborder="0" height="360" src="" style="position:absolute;width:100%;height:100%;left:0" width="639"></iframe></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><em>Join the discussion on #techUKSmarterState To see more blogs like this, please visit the&nbsp;<a href="">website&nbsp;here</a></em><a href="">.</a></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> You can’t always get what you want - (and why you shouldn’t try) Wed, 05 Sep 2018 09:00:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Andrew Pavord , CEO, Apply 4 Technology & Director, FilmFixer Ltd shares his experience of SaaS procurement in the public sector as part of #techUKSmarterState <p>Traditional methods of procurement generally involve some sort of &ldquo;scoping&rdquo; before a formal specification is drafted. Usually the service director wanting the software is asked to make a business case; from this, the product to be procured is defined. A list of requirements is created, and circulated to potential suppliers for comments, and eventually a draft Service Level Agreement and/or Specification is created so that procurement can begin.&nbsp;</p> <p>Recently we received a&nbsp;12 page&nbsp;document listing the requirements for a new event applications process. It was full of detailed descriptions of the various functions that the consultation group had thought up, all described as &ldquo;essential&rdquo;. It was a very thorough piece of work, outlining a software service that would complement the work of a city council&rsquo;s busy events department perfectly. It looked remarkably&nbsp;similar to&nbsp;the original &ldquo;wish list&rdquo; we created when we first started to make our event application platform (EventApp), six years ago.&nbsp;</p> <p>As I read the document, I was reminded of heated discussions between our development team and our user group, (refereed by me), as we worked out our stage 1 scope. The process of paring down the wish list was painful. Cherished functions were&nbsp;dropped&nbsp;and workarounds were devised, to make the project scope fit the budget. Also, the user group could not agree on how some of these functions should work; to build something for one faction would have alienated the rest. The only way forward was to drop the subject and agree to revisit it in stage 2.&nbsp;</p> <p>As the project progressed, and we evaluated user feedback from version 1, we discovered that including these dropped functions might make the system unworkable. We would be adding considerable extra complexity, for very little added value. Real world experience meant we could work out which functions were useful and more importantly, which were not. As new versions were released, we included some new functions to improve the platform. We still did not include many of the ideas that seemed important in the original wish list.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>I have a background in the film industry, and I am a fan of serious editing. All the best editors have a saying, &ldquo;if in doubt, cut it out&rdquo;. Producers and directors are often horrified by a good editor&rsquo;s willingness to discard scenes that cost a fortune to shoot. Generally, cuts make the film leaner and better, but it&rsquo;s so difficult to see this at the script writing stage. The film editor and the software developer are both striving to remove complexity, and the earlier this is&nbsp;recognised, the less resources are wasted.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>To win this tender, and to comply with the 12 pages of requirements, we would have to include the functions that we have already discarded. However, we would never do so, because our software (and our existing clients) would suffer. During&nbsp;development we avoided many blind alleys and expensive rabbit holes, because we did not follow our predefined wish list.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>So, a purchaser has a choice, they can commission bespoke&nbsp;software&nbsp;or they can save a lot of time and money by choosing an existing SaaS platform that&rsquo;s stable and proven to work. If they choose the latter option, like Mick Jagger, they must accept that&nbsp;&ldquo;you can&rsquo;t always get what you want&rdquo;. However, as the song continues, &ldquo;But&nbsp;if you try&nbsp;sometime&nbsp;you find, You get what you need&rdquo;.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKSmarterState To see more blogs like this, please visit the&nbsp;<a href="">website&nbsp;here</a></em><a href="">.</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Don’t fear the robots, but fear what you could be missing out on Wed, 05 Sep 2018 08:06:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Richard Porter, solutions development director at Agilisys, explains why robotic process automation is poised to unleash huge benefits for the public sector #techUKSmarterState. <p>&ldquo;There aren&rsquo;t many moments in human history when a technology turns up that changes everything&rdquo;. So said Richard Wood, the UK&rsquo;s Ambassador to Norway, <a href="">commenting</a> on the government&rsquo;s new billion-pound artificial intelligence (AI) deal. The initiative, launched in April this year and backed by 50 leading technology firms, will help the UK remain a leader in the digital economy and enable &ldquo;AI to transform our society for the better&rdquo;.</p> <p>The public sector is already laying the right foundations for this transformation.<a href=";utm_medium=email"> Almost three-quarters </a>of organisations are heading to the cloud in response to rising citizen expectations and tougher financial demands. In the cloud, the public sector can deliver modernised digital services fit for the 21st Century, but this move also lays the foundation for future innovation. The cloud enables organisations to adopt a host of emerging technologies that they don&rsquo;t have the capacity to build or run internally&mdash;including robotic process automation (RPA), machine learning and, ultimately, AI.</p> <p>The <a href="">UK now leads all other OECD countries</a> in its readiness to implement AI in public sector delivery. Of course, readiness is one thing&mdash;willingness is another. For many, the mere mention of &lsquo;AI&rsquo;, &lsquo;machine learning&rsquo;, or &lsquo;robots&rsquo; still conjures up visions of employees being ousted and replaced, or at least the need for lengthy and expensive technology rollouts. Fortunately, the reality isn&rsquo;t robots sitting in our offices, drinking our coffee. RPA is simply another tool; think of it as a virtual workforce sitting in the cloud that can help existing staff become more efficient and effective.</p> <p>Deploying this virtual workforce brings enormous benefits. Automating repetitive activities like form-checking, transaction processing and refunds saves considerable time and money. Better still, a virtual workforce doesn&rsquo;t make mistakes, ensuring greater accuracy and eliminating wasted time and effort. One London council recently automated housing benefit processing, slashing the time needed from 240 person days to just 19 days&mdash;with not a single error made. A virtual workforce also enables far greater agility, since it can scale up at little additional cost to deal with a sudden leap in demand and lighten the load on staff.</p> <p>Instead of fearing robots, the public sector should greet them with open arms. After all, no one enjoys dull, mundane tasks. The more routine processes are automated, the more time staff can spend making a meaningful difference in the lives of citizens when it matters most. Ultimately, this translates into greater job satisfaction and higher retention rates. A good example of this in practice comes from <a href="">Enfield Counci</a>l, which recently deployed a chatbot to deal with straightforward citizen enquiries, freeing staff to focus on more complex cases. Far from taking our jobs, it seems robots will help keep us in them for longer.</p> <p>In the digital age, security and trust are also becoming increasingly crucial for the public sector. It&rsquo;s often forgotten that a virtual workforce can help here too: processes that depend on sensitive citizen data can be automated to eliminate the risk of human misbehaviour and ensure a clear audit trail for activities.</p> <p>Ultimately, the robots are coming. Every year, virtual workforces become cheaper and easier to deploy, while their capabilities increase. Our own pilot programmes suggest an average return on investment of at least 6:1. As the benefits of RPA become more widely understood, so too the myths and fears surrounding it are being eroded. The robots aren&rsquo;t coming for our jobs; they&rsquo;re coming to make our lives easier and more fulfilling. So, while we focus on exceptional citizen outcomes, why not leave the nuts and bolts to the robots?</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKSmarterState To see more blogs like this, please visit the&nbsp;<a href="">website&nbsp;here.</a></em></p> The Connected Home Devices Market Potential and Uptake 2018 | Teaser Wed, 05 Sep 2018 08:00:00 +0100 CRM Sync Jay Chinnadorai, techUK's Chair of the Connected Home Group Insight on The State of the Connected Home 2018 <p>This is the second year in a row for the techUK Annual State of the Connected Home Report. The 2018 Report will also focus on the same key aspects of the Connected Home Market, as in the previous year, including <strong>consumer familiarity, device ownership, cost, privacy and security.</strong></p> <p>Our definition of the Connected Home (CH) is the ability of everyday devices and sensors to connect, communicate and carry out actions within the consumers home. By this definition, in 2017 we had estimated that there were around 5.2 billion consumer IoT devices with an estimated market value of around $725Bn. This number has grown by 35% in 2018 to around 7 billion devices.</p> <p>As before, we measure consumer familiarity with CH alongside other new technologies such as Mobile Payments, Wearables etc. We also reveal the growth in the number of households who own more than three smart home products. I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the actual percentage growth here. But to find out precisely, you will need to wait just another week!</p> <p>The 2018 CH Report also looks at the &ldquo;appeal&rdquo; of CH devices. Last year, the top 3 categories were Smart Entertainment, Smart Energy and Smart Home Monitoring &amp; Control. Will it be the same this year?</p> <p>In terms of device ownership, whilst the usual suspects (i.e.) Smart TV, Smart Set Top Box and Smart Energy Meters still feature prominently, there is a brand new entry into the top 10 which might not come as a surprise to many.</p> <p>One of the key reasons for producing this Annual State of the Market Report, in partnership with GfK, is to inform the sector on some of the key barriers and concerns as perceived by end consumers. In the 2017 Report, the top 3 concerns were cost, privacy and interoperability. One of these has dropped off of the top 3, but which one?&nbsp;</p> <p>Finally, we find out customer views on installation of smart devices &ndash; whether they prefer DIY to a professional installation. We also find out about their preference between one-off purchase vs subscription.</p> <p>Answers to this and much more besides will be revealed next <strong>Wednesday, 12 September</strong> at the launch event for the <a href="" target="_blank">techUK Second Annual State of the Connected Home Report</a>.</p> <p>Do join us if you can.<strong> More information could be found<a href="" target="_blank"> here</a>.&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Jay Chinnadorai</strong></p> <p><strong>Chair of the Connected Home Working Group&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p>Contact: <a href=""></a>Contact: <a href=""></a> I’m only Human – designing public services for our needs Tue, 04 Sep 2018 10:38:16 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Niamh McKenna, Managing Director, Accenture Health #techUKSmarterState <p>Governments in many countries are urging us to install smart meters in our homes&mdash;in the belief that once we realise how much electricity we&rsquo;re using it will improve our consumption. But studies have shown that it makes very little difference to us, with just around a 2 percent reduction in usage. So why is this initiative not delivering on the promise? I think the challenge is that the information that we get from these meters doesn&rsquo;t really help us at our point of need&ndash;for example, when I&rsquo;m frantically stuffing the washing machine with a family load, rushing to to get it switched on before I run out the door.</p> <p>There are many behavioural studies looking at this issue and one of the recommendations is that utilities companies translate kWh usage into more meaningful data. However, I think that that is approaching it from the wrong angle. I&rsquo;d recommend that companies need to be more &ldquo;human-centred&rdquo; in their entire design approach. So, imagine a world where the whole utility and appliance eco-systems were connected to respond to our "point in time" needs? Utility suppliers connect to smart meters and all I need to do is tell my washing machine when I need the wash done by&mdash;it will then work when is the best time to do it, subject to electricity &amp; water supply. Futuristic? No&mdash;this kind of technology is absolutely possible &ndash; an IoT powered eco-system, connecting all the components and providers throughout the utilities chain. Then perhaps next we could start to tell appliances the outcomes we want rather than decide on the input parameters to set.</p> <p>By designing a system, based entirely around human needs, we will also future-proof the services. If we focus on human requirements rather than the technology itself, then advances in technology (e.g. a wholescale move to solar looks very feasible) means that the system itself will adapt when the appliances are running rather than us needing to adjust our usage patterns.</p> <p>This concept of human-centric design, rather than throwing new technology at us, should be at the core of how we design the future of public and health services.</p> <p>I recently read about a victim of a terrible crime&mdash;which took place in a different part of the country to where she lived. When she tried to access the necessary health and social support services to assist her at this awful time, it became a process nightmare, because she kept getting referred from one part of the country to another. Ask yourself, how many times have we battled to make sense of government administration? Why do we have to follow process paths that reflect how things are done in the back-end rather than our needs as citizens? Let&rsquo;s make the crucial move of putting our understanding of human behaviour at the heart of service design&mdash;and transform how we live our lives and access public services.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKSmarterState To see more blogs like this, please visit the</em><a href=""><em><u>&nbsp;website&nbsp;here.</u></em></a></p> Why digital inclusion has to be at the heart of every place Tue, 04 Sep 2018 09:30:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Alex Cousins, business development director at Capita discusses the importance of digital inclusion as part of #techUKSmarterState <p>Digital inclusion leads to improved social inclusion and economic and social wellbeing, while the negative effects of digital exclusion are increasingly far reaching. At the Digital You event in Salford earlier this year, it was great to see two mayors, the CEO of a social enterprise, the CEO of Salford, and the director responsible, all speak passionately about the need to enable digital inclusion. But it was the guy from the community &mdash; who was digitally excluded and is now helping others &ndash; who stole the show. He spoke with conviction and thought, and you could see how the experience changed him as a person and changed his life chances, and that for me is what it's all about.</p> <p>Digital exclusion matters. It matters on an individual level: with research clearly showing a link between digital exclusion and social exclusion, not to mention the opportunities the internet opens up in terms of job seeking, education, public services, cheaper goods, cheaper bills / services, health information (and the list goes on). Digital exclusion affects some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups in society so those who are already at a disadvantage, and with so much potentially to gain from the internet, are becoming more and more disadvantaged.</p> <p>But it also has an impact on families, communities, political processes, democracy, public services and the economic and social health of the nation as a whole (Digital divide in the UK).</p> <p>Digital skills are important, not just nice to have There are still 4.3 million people (8%) in the UK with zero Basic Digital Skills and 11.3 million adults (21%) do not have all five Basic Digital Skills (Lloyds Bank UK Consumer Digital Index 2018). Many of these people have a smartphone, so are technically &lsquo;online&rsquo;, but would have no idea how to use a laptop or PC &ndash; and it&rsquo;s still unlikely that you can, for example, write a CV and apply for a job via your phone alone, or fill out long application forms for, say, housing benefit.</p> <p>The rise of the digital council</p> <p>Local authorities are rightly increasingly embracing the opportunities offered by technology and digital tools. The LGA report &lsquo;Transforming public services using technology and digital tools and approaches&rsquo; highlighted over 50 projects showing how services can be improved and better targeted, as well as delivering over &pound;41m of direct savings &ndash; but it is about more than that. The report recognised the huge</p> <p>benefits to citizens of making services, support and information easily available online &ndash; but also highlighted the damaging effects of digital exclusion and the importance of digital access and inclusion.</p> <p>Councils are keen to tackle that however &ndash; Leeds City Council with 100% Digital Leeds, and Salford&rsquo;s DigitalYou are both great examples of a collaborative, local authority-led approach to digital inclusion, and there are plenty more. Working with organisations like Good Things Foundation, initiatives include digital upskilling groups, free resources and even free broadband.</p> <p>People are doing it for themselves too</p> <p>People are &lsquo;digital placemaking&rsquo;, using digital platforms designed to support collaboration and setting up their own online communities, using WhatsApp, or Facebook, etc. I heard of one that started off as a neighbourhood watch group, which has now turned into a social and supportive network, with people posting for help with small jobs, to attend community and social events, or just to say they are new to the area and would like to meet new people.&nbsp;</p> <p>And, with the majority of the adult population having a smartphone (85% of 16-75 year olds &ndash; Deloitte&rsquo;s 2017 Mobile Consumer Survey), these communities are easily accessed.</p> <p>Councils can get in on this too, not just through their own social media channels, but by councillors joining their local online community groups (they are part of that community after all), listening to and entering into the discussions &ndash; and lending support and advice where appropriate.&nbsp; Or they can collaborate with other local stakeholders to set one up, such as MyCity Salford.</p> <p>The digital community &ndash; with everyone in</p> <p>MyCity Salford is more than just a website &ndash; by galvanising support from large corporates, social enterprises, community groups and individuals, it&rsquo;s more like a movement. This needs to happen everywhere and everyone has to get on board (we&rsquo;re doing it here at Capita too, within our Urban Vision partnership for example). Digital communities are on the rise &ndash; and they&rsquo;re here to stay. Used in the right way, they can support the social and economic wellbeing of individuals. Harnessed in the right way, they can not only create vital connections between local authorities and communities, but also be a force for good, helping to alleviate &ndash; rather than contribute to &ndash; mental health and isolation issues.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKSmarterState To see more blogs like this, please visit the</em><a href=""><em><u> website&nbsp;here.</u></em></a></p> The Cities of the Future Powered by Cloud Computing Tue, 04 Sep 2018 09:23:56 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Sri Elaprolu, Senior Manager, Worldwide Public Sector IoT Practice at Amazon Web Services talks about Cities of the future being powered by Cloud Computing <p>Introduction</p> <p>Cities around the world are leveraging technology to provide better services to citizens &ndash; and in the process, trying to transform communities into &lsquo;smart&rsquo; communities. Cities have access to a wide range of data sources that they can leverage in decision making process. Analytics capabilities that cities need will range from simple correlation tools to complex predictive modeling logic on top of integrated data sources. Cities have diverse stakeholders so timely and appropriate dissemination of information is important.</p> <p>Volume of data that cities are generating and collecting is increasing rapidly. Ingesting, storing and analyzing this real-time data requires significant computing capacity. With limited inhouse compute and storage capacity to design, implement and manage cutting-edge technology; and limited funding to get started, how can cities tackle this?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Smart Cities on the Rise</p> <p>Any city that collects data, transforms it into information, and uses the latest information to make decisions in or near real-time to provide better services to citizens, improve operations, and lower cost can be deemed as a smart city. For example, a smart city might lower congestion on its streets and lower pollution by optimizing transportation infrastructure and assets.</p> <p>Smart cities are well placed to take advantage of an increasing range of solutions that promise to deliver improvements in mobility, safety, energy, health, education, logistics, and government services.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Building Blocks for Smart Cities</p> <p>Most smart city solutions rely on a combination of core technologies like compute, storage, databases, data warehouses, and advanced technologies like big data analytics, machine learning (ML), Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence (AI).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Rising Importance of Data</p> <p>The most important aspect of smart city solutions is not the sensors on the ground; rather, it&rsquo;s the data that deployed sensors allow cities to collect.</p> <p>Why is data important? Because data, when transformed into information, provides insights into what is working well, what is not working, or what needs to be changed to meet the objectives of the city government.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Large-Scale Computing and Data Analytics Infrastructure</p> <p>To meet the demands of smart city solutions, cities need to plan for scaling IT resources securely and cost effectively. Cloud computing can help with:</p> <p>1. Agility: Pilots can be used to evaluate multiple solutions at minimal cost. This helps lower risk when projects are scaled beyond pilots and into city-wide implementations.</p> <p>2. Lower Total Cost of Ownership: By leveraging cloud computing, projects can be initiated with zero capital and pay for only what you use.</p> <p>3. Better Security and Compliance: Cloud security at AWS is the highest priority. AWS customers benefit from a data center and network architecture built to meet the requirements of the most security-sensitive organizations around the world.</p> <p>4. "Ready to Deploy" Solutions: Cities are able to leverage a wide range of off-the-shelf solutions available on AWS by launching them directly from the AWS Marketplace with just a few clicks.</p> <p>5. Data Integration and Analysis: The cloud can act as a secure data-hub, allowing the integration of disparate systems and data sources.</p> <p>6. Advanced Capabilities: As solutions get more complex, advanced services like AI, ML, and voice interaction become increasingly useful.</p> <p>7. Greener in the Cloud: Combining the fraction of energy required with a less carbon-intense power mix, customers can reduce carbon emissions by up to 88% by operating on AWS.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>Many cities and communities around the world are starting the journey to leverage data in new and innovative ways to help improve the decision-making process. It is imperative that cities share and learn from each other. By sharing lessons learned and best practices, cities can lower risk and increase chances of success.</p> <p>Cities can start exploring and experimenting with proven smart city solutions right away. There are a number of solutions available on the AWS Marketplace.</p> <p>Refer to for more details on how AWS is enabling cities to become connected, smart, and sustainable.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKSmarterState To see more blogs like this, please visit the</em><a href=""><em><u>&nbsp;website&nbsp;here.</u></em></a></p> The key to creating smart communities Tue, 04 Sep 2018 09:20:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Stu Higgins Head of Smart Cities and IoT at Cisco talks about creating smart communities as part of #techUKSmarterState <p>This is something I discussed recently at this year&rsquo;s LGA Conference, in a Capita workshop entitled &lsquo;Creating a connected Digital Place&rsquo;. The session focused on &lsquo;the art of the possible&rsquo; in terms of digital infrastructure and connected citizens and communities.&nbsp;</p> <p>Common challenges</p> <p>While each community has its own unique pain points, there are nevertheless, many common challenges that affect the vast majority:&nbsp;</p> <p>* Mobility and accessibility: traffic congestion, lack of parking spaces, poor road quality and inadequate public transport all compromise a community&rsquo;s ability to move freely and can make any town or city a less attractive place to live, work or invest in.</p> <p>* Health and care: with growing and ageing populations, the provision of adequate access to GP surgeries, dentists, hospital beds, housing and social care is a growing and increasingly costly concern.</p> <p>* Safety: in addition to physical wellbeing and the delivery of effective emergency services, cyber security and data integrity have become equally important.</p> <p>* Productivity: communities must be competitive. A town that is seen as an attractive investment proposition by employers, will encourage more people to live and work there.</p> <p>* Environmental sustainability: by developing greener, cleaner environments and managing natural resources, communities can reduce costs, cut pollution and improve air quality to create healthier spaces.</p> <p>As I said before, each place also has its own specific pain points in addition to those touched on above, and in such a challenging financial environment, focusing on one key area can provide the starting point for a smart community, such as improving air quality, reducing lighting costs or cutting traffic congestion.&nbsp;</p> <p>People first</p> <p>The most important consideration will always be people - smarter, connected communities are ultimately about supporting citizens and creating the right environment for them, whether they are residents, workers or visitors. Take our work in Newcastle-upon-Tyne for example, where smart sensors are currently gathering data on parking space availability, traffic congestion patterns, air quality, bins and street lighting. We&rsquo;re also using AI to predict road surface wear and tear. All of these initiatives are aimed at making an already great city an even better place to live, work and visit.</p> <p>Bringing together the digital and the physical</p> <p>Yet although the data accrued by these sensors and predictive analytics is interesting, it is worthless on its own. And the technology being used to generate this information can&rsquo;t resolve these issues alone. What they can do however, is offer council leaders valuable insights into these areas and their effects of on the community, which can help them consider how best to address them.</p> <p>When embarking on projects aimed at creating smart, connected communities, it&rsquo;s important to:</p> <p>* Avoid silos &ndash; a smart community requires collaboration across public sector, business, academia and citizens, combined with a genuine desire to break down internal barriers and securely share data across all parties.</p> <p>* An integrated digital strategy that is commonly agreed and provides clear direction, together with leaders who are prepared to carry it through.</p> <p>* A realistic budget; an initial outlay is inevitable in order to achieve long-term savings &ndash; take smart lighting, which has been proven over time to substantially reduce costs.</p> <p>&nbsp;Working in real environments like Newcastle upon Tyne and Manchester, with real residents, workers and visitors, is helping us bring together the physical and the digital for the benefit of local people. And by bringing together different digital technologies in one place, we are really able to assess the art of what is possible.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKSmarterState To see more blogs like this, please visit the</em><a href=""><em><u> website&nbsp;here.</u></em></a></p> Building super-connected cities Tue, 04 Sep 2018 09:15:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Calum Handforth, Digital Infrastructure Programme Manager at Southwark Council talks about Building super-connected cities as part of #techUKSmarterState <p>In Southwark, we recognise the importance of connectivity. It is essential in enabling communication, building businesses, delivering public services, and in democratising information and knowledge. Connectivity is the utility of the 21st century.</p> <p>In recognition of this, we are running an ambitious Digital Infrastructure Programme that focuses on creating better connectivity over the short, medium, and longer-term. We're building a borough-wide network of full-fibre, adding to this with wireless broadband, and exploring the potential of Internet of Things and 5G. By improving connectivity in the borough we want to improve the lives and livelihoods of our residents, enable the dynamism of our businesses - both large and small - and support the millions of commuters and visitors that travel to Southwark each year.</p> <p>We're learning a lot through this work. In particular, we've realised the importance of three central ideas.</p> <p>First, building properly connected cities takes time. It demands a longer-term perspective, and councils (and their leaders) must be brave and recognise that it's not about short-term income, but about long-term, transformational, and fundamental progress. It's about 'getting out of the way', and removing the barriers that prevent residents and businesses from getting the technology they deserve.&nbsp;</p> <p>An example of this has been the council&rsquo;s approach to wayleave provision. We signed a non-exclusive agreement with both Community Fibre and Hyperoptic to connect-up our entire residential portfolio with full-fibre broadband. As part of this agreement, we&rsquo;ve worked with both providers to tackle the barriers that are typically associated with rolling-out connectivity.</p> <p>Second, is the importance of building a multifaceted approach to connectivity. It's about taking a strategic approach, and recognising that there is no panacea. Instead, it's about engaging with partners across the public and private sector to build a collaborative process. As part of this, we must ensure that no one is left behind and avoid creating a 'connectivity divide'. If not, the most marginalised will be unable to benefit from the potential that connectivity affords. Digital inclusion is at the heart of our approach. We&rsquo;re working with connectivity providers, and civil society organisations, to build residents&rsquo; skills and competencies for them to benefit from the digital revolution.</p> <p>Third, and finally, connectivity is a crucial tool in driving organisational and cultural change. Connectivity provides enormous value and opportunities, and enables ideas and innovations across the public sector. It's able to reconfigure how we engage citizens and customers - however, this demands a focus on the individuals behind the wires and spectrum. It's about understanding the lives, realities, and challenges of each connection. Recognising this allows councils to truly leverage the catalytic role of connectivity.</p> <p>The multipliers, both good and bad, of connectivity are significant. Good connectivity can drive progress, interaction, and innovation. However, poor connectivity can have a serious and negative impact. Businesses struggle to grow, individuals become isolated, and economies and societies are stifled by being unable to share ideas and direction. Good connectivity is not negotiable.</p> <p>We&rsquo;re working hard to transform connectivity across the borough, and to deliver its benefits and positive multiplier effects. In the next few months, hundreds more residential properties will be</p> <p>connected-up with full-fibre broadband, digital inclusion training will be providing essential skills to our residents, we&rsquo;ll be testing how best to deliver connectivity to SMEs, and exploring a range of Internet of Things pilots. Connectivity is a fundamental foundation for Southwark, and essential in enabling our citizens, businesses, and other organisations to realise their potential.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKSmarterState To see more blogs like this, please visit the</em><a href=""><em><u> website&nbsp;here.</u></em></a></p> Open technology and data connects citizens and cities Tue, 04 Sep 2018 09:00:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Phil Brunkard – CIO, Regional Government & Health, BT talks about how Open technology connects citizens and cities as part of our #techUKSmarterState <p>There is much interest across the public sector and media attention about Smart or Connected Cities. Being smart or connected is about a place-based strategy that is focused on improving lives by using the power of technology and data for delivering better public sector services within the place. The &lsquo;place&rsquo; strategy must also address the needs of towns and rural communities as well as cities.</p> <p>There are many political, social and economic challenges in achieving this but if technology and data are not to be barriers we will need open platforms as a foundation for integrated and beneficial smart place services.</p> <p>Being open (and secure) is at the heart of achieving smart &ndash; not just technology or data but also about way of working &ndash; collaboration is key. But collaboration requires interoperability. Interoperability requires open and secure data sharing, which requires open and secure technology platforms.</p> <p>This will require an open platform approach to create an eco-system for sharing, collaboration and developing innovative solutions.&nbsp; The platform provides the eco-system for engaging those with the ideas to drive the solution that smart technology can benefit places and society.</p> <p>Technology vendors who take an open systems approach rather than a monolithic or proprietary approach can differentiate within the marketplace and potentially gain better engagement from public sector stakeholders.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>It is not just about infrastructure but about the power of data to better inform how services should be delivered. Open and standardised data sharing services will be needed. There is lots of evidence on the ground that sharing data is critical but there is still not enough join up across organisations for data sharing.&nbsp;</p> <p>Lots can be done at a local level if authorities collaborate more together. Pockets of data need to be joined together &ndash; internal data; data about the population; NHS data. If NHS organisations restrict</p> <p>access to some data this can impact patient outcomes when it comes to adult care services. Whilst there are concerns for sharing, organisations need not be so over-protective. Behaviours and attitudes must change to overcome this and we need organisations to share data to drive change.</p> <p>&nbsp;It is therefore about bringing technology and place together to create the environment for the solutions to solve the problems for sustainable communities. It is about how we reconstruct communities; use public spaces more effectively and enable people to live better healthier lives; living at home for longer. These strategies will need the right data analytics on secure open platforms to provide the insight and hence planning needed.</p> <p>Local authorities need to better understand how areas are currently used through such better data enabled understanding - which will then inform how areas can be better used. This can support planning to build the right type of safer and happier communities and enable regeneration in the area.&nbsp;</p> <p>Examples of this from the BT IoT platform include:&nbsp;</p> <p>* Being able to discover where people travel to and from, the routes they take, and what time they make their journeys</p> <p>* Insight into where and when people visit certain locations</p> <p>* Combining air quality and location data to see how many people&rsquo;s health is affected in certain areas. This can help local authorities make plans to reduce pollutants and create cleaner, healthier places.</p> <p>Ultimately we (citizens) also need to change the way we live our lives &ndash; people must better engage with their environment to make it more sustainable for future generations. If we had more insight into the consequences of some of our actions maybe this would make a difference (e.g. waste and air pollution). An open platform approach will potentially open up the opportunities for achieving this.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKSmarterState To see more blogs like this, please visit the</em><a href=""><em><u> website&nbsp;here.</u></em></a></p> Connecting the smart city to it's citizens Tue, 04 Sep 2018 08:20:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Gregor Kochendoerfer, Senior Engagement Manager at T-Systems <p>By 2030, 60 percent of the global population is expected to live in large cities providing new challenges. One key solution to manage the increasing urban space is the smart city &ndash; it stands for a better quality of life and reduced resource consumption.</p> <p>Car and bike sharing is just the beginning merging with public transport to a mobility as a service infrastructure.</p> <p>For example: just a few years ago, shared cars were exotic creatures in Germany's urban jungles. Today, premium car makers like BMW and Daimler &ndash; and now Opel &ndash; operate car sharing services. According to business consulting firm Frost &amp; Sullivan, some 15 million car sharing customers are expected by 2020.&nbsp;</p> <p>The vision of mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) becomes reality with smart public transport ticketing and live passenger information. Multimodal travel using car, bike, bus, tram and train with a single ticket, or even better no ticket at all but a pay as you go service, can be combined in the most convenient sustainable and effective way. GPS data helps users find the next available ride or vehicle and the operator bills according to actual use. For example, Hamburg has embedded around 2,000 sensors in the city centre. These devices register which parking spaces are free or occupied and transmit this information to the cloud, using an app to direct motorists to a free space.</p> <p>Data provides new insights</p> <p>&nbsp;The analysis of IoT data also harbours great potential. In the Czech Republic, for example, the Rodos Transport Systems Development Center has created a complex mobility model, based on data from the cellular networks and traffic monitoring systems. With this model, the Rodos team is able to advise police, fire departments and rescue services for planning and holding major events and optimizing public transportation services.</p> <p>Data privacy is a weakness&nbsp;</p> <p>In a survey of data privacy professionals in 2016, 16 devices and apps from different manufacturers that cater for some 70 percent of the German wearable market were tested. Their conclusion: users have no control of &ldquo;who else has their data&rdquo; and for how long it is stored. However, there are also already positive approaches that are exemplary when it comes to technology, data privacy and data security. A health insurer in France has equipped diabetes patients with smart phones and blood glucose meters. They record all disease-related data and send it directly to coaches who provide advice on the patients&rsquo; diet and activities. The health program is thus a very simple way of avoiding costs of treatment and reduces the risk of complications.</p> <p>Open platforms and standards needed</p> <p>At this point, cities are implementing individual IoT solutions to meet acute challenges. However, there is still a long way to go before we have completely connected smart cities. Historically the individual administrative bodies involved in the smart city mostly work independently from one another. There are several reasons for this, many of them are related to responsibility</p> <p>To capture the full potential and synergy effects, cities have to coordinate all their departments and involve residents. Some cities &ndash; such as Glasgow, Brussels and Atlanta &ndash; have already appointed smart city managers.</p> <p>The greatest challenge: developing internationally uniform open standards and platforms for connecting smart parts of the infrastructure with one another without great effort.</p> <p>Preventing meltdown</p> <p>As they become more dependent on ICT solutions, however, cities also have to keep IT security in mind and protect themselves against cyberattacks. In addition, the cellular network has to be able to cope with the demands of a connected city. New wireless communication standards such as 5G and Narrow-Band IoT are needed to transfer small amounts of data over long distances and network failure should not lead to a total meltdown of the urban infrastructure.</p> <p>&nbsp;For more information, visit:</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKSmarterState To see more blogs like this, please visit the</em><a href=""><em><u> website&nbsp;here.</u></em></a></p> Smart cities: local leaders are here, where’s central Government? Tue, 04 Sep 2018 08:00:00 +0100 CRM Sync Jessica Russell, Programme manager for Transport and Smart Cities at techUK talks about Smart Cities and the role of Central Government as part of #techUKSmarterState <p>Digitally enabled public service delivery is a global trend and is a golden opportunity for the UK. We have the potential to capture a significant portion of this highly innovative and dynamic market. But as well as looking at the export potential we must first look at our domestic situation.&nbsp;</p> <p>Realising the nation&rsquo;s smart ambitions is about more than just shiny new technologies and digital services. It is about using the ever-increasing amount of data we create to connect citizens with their surroundings, creating places that are capable of managing and optimising resources to address local challenges in sustainable ways. This involves a multitude of actors from across the public and private sectors cooperating to achieve common objectives for the ultimate benefit of the nation.&nbsp;</p> <p>Local authorities are naturally standing on the front line of implementing transformation initiatives. Devolution has allowed them to take greater control of the smart agenda and there has been much to applaud in what is a financially constrained environment.&nbsp;</p> <p>However, a side-effect of devolution is a loss of scale and fragmentation of approach amongst local authorities, impacted by the variation of understanding of technological and digital transformation. For this reason, techUK encourages local authorities to look to engage with local communities by establishing a Digital Board, bringing together experienced digital leaders from across the public and private sectors to build a stronger understanding of data, digital and technological solutions. By doing so, local authorities build capacity and capability to make more informed decisions and put in place the necessary foundations for meaningful transformation to meet current and future operational and service delivery demands. Looking around the nation, there are prime examples of this happening already, such as the Digital Delivery Plan as part of the Belfast Agenda, the Smart London Board, and techUK member Hitachi Europe&rsquo;s work with the Isles of Scilly Smart Islands Programme. These are all examples of place-based efforts to unite stakeholders in developing innovative solutions to key local challenges. They also demonstrate the importance of strong, dedicated and informed leadership in successful digital evolution.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>However, local authorities should not be left to deliver the nation&rsquo;s smart cities agenda alone. As it stands, a nation-wide process of delivering more sustainable and responsive communities, looks long and drawn-out. It doesn&rsquo;t need to be that way: Central Government can and should step into a strategic leadership role, taking responsibility for guiding and encouraging the acceleration of the domestic market by providing clarity and confidence for market actors.&nbsp;</p> <p>techUK believes that this should involve:</p> <ul><li>&nbsp;Re-instating the position of Smart Cities Minister, or at least bring the responsibility under one Minister's remit. The lack of a clear point of contact and sense of singular responsibility is widely vocalised pain point for the smart cities sector in the UK.</li> <li>Providing leadership through the development of a coherent, overarching policy that aligns transformation efforts and supports meaningful implementation. The UK has seen this concept in action with Manchester's CityVerve, where central government incentivised the local authority and delivery bodies to think and do differently. This support should be replicated to encourage other cities and regions to find innovative solutions to local challenges.</li> <li>Being consistently bold and ambitious in its approach to large-scale projects, tests, trials and demonstrators. The allocation of significant funding packages, such as the Urban Connected Communities Project under the 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme, is certainly promising. However, the Government needs to ensure that the various packages are not fragmented so that separate projects lose sight of the final goal to which the funding was originally dedicated.&nbsp;</li> </ul><p>With the right leadership, cities, towns and villages around the UK will be able to realise their smart ambitions. Ultimately, it will mean that citizens of the UK will be able to live, and enjoy living, in greener, cleaner and more sustainable places, connecting our citizens to communities.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKSmarterState To see more blogs like this, please visit the </em><a href=""><em><u>website&nbsp;here.</u></em></a></p> What Local Gov should buy on G-Cloud 10 Mon, 03 Sep 2018 14:04:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Jos Creese, Strategic Adviser, Advice Cloud writes about what he sees as the emerging tech trends and why local gov should be looking to purchase them via G-Cloud as part of our #techUKSmarterState campaign. <p>Challenges facing the public sector seem to come thick and fast. If the cuts to budgets were not enough, there is growing public demand, expectations of shared and digital delivery, devolution, cyber threats, and improving information governance required in the wake of GDPR.</p> <p>But these are, to be fair, not new. The problem is that reshaping public services to cope with the amount of change takes time. For that reason alone, the challenges facing CIOs in local government are as much as about dealing with legacy IT applications, contracts, skills and practices as they are about exploiting exciting new technology trends.</p> <p>That said, it is arguably the possibilities offered by new technology that could the key to solving many of these challenges.</p> <ul><li>The CIO in local government is therefore faced with complex tensions to manage:</li> <li>The need to &lsquo;keep the ship afloat&rsquo;, servicing mission critical, but possibly outdated applications, at least until such time as they can be replaced or upgraded</li> <li>Reviewing contracts which are often too restrictive and expensive in the face of newer solutions, such as cloud services</li> <li>Dealing with a changing threat landscape with &lsquo;cyber&rsquo; is now one of the main risks for councils. This is more about culture and behaviours in the business than it is about new IT</li> <li>Building the case for adoption of new technologies and new IT operating models, which requires a whole-organisation change programme, not just changing IT at the centre.</li> </ul><p>Grappling with these types of issues requires a CIO to be more of a politician and a communicator than a technology evangelist. Indeed, a CIO in local government who is too evangelical about the potential of new technology and does not empathise with the business constraints and issues, may find their tenure short-lived.</p> <p>However, the astute CIO ensures effective management and gradual migration from old technology solutions to new platforms. This helps to create space and the authority to begin to explore new technology possibilities, and many councils are already doing this, trialling leading edge IT procured in more innovative ways via frameworks such as&nbsp;G-Cloud.</p> <p>But each of these technologies has to solve business problems today, not innovation for problems which may be faced some time in the future. Their use must also typically be accompanied by business change &ndash; for example, bringing in artificial intelligence and machine learning automotive systems to contact centres requires business process re-engineering and target areas where the benefits to the public and service efficiencies are greatest.</p> <p>There are numerous areas which I see as the &lsquo;hot topics&rsquo; for the coming 12-24 months.</p> <h5><strong>Here&rsquo;s what should be exploited more today:</strong></h5> <p><strong>Cloud</strong></p> <p>The importance of cloud must be self-evident but take up in local government remains relatively low. This is partly due to IT legacy constraints, but also because it requires a new architecture to properly support, integrate and manage access. Cloud matters not just because of the potential to reduce cost and increase IT flexibility, but because it is one way of facilitating shared services and IT modernisation, especially for smaller councils.</p> <p><strong>Social Media</strong></p> <p>As a business tool, social media still has much to offer councils, from internal social media to reduce the reliance on email, to how social media can support improved citizen engagement and democratic renewal. But widespread use across the organisation requires digital maturity to manage the risks.</p> <p><strong>Here&rsquo;s what local authorities should focus on for the next 2 years:</strong></p> <p><strong>Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence</strong></p> <p>AI is very fashionable right now, with a variety of examples of voice activated machines such as Amazon&rsquo;s Alexa used in council contact centres. But these are really fairly basic steps towards exploiting AI will develop much further over the coming years to include support for a range of professional areas both internally (risk management, procurement, finance, HR) and externally (customer advice, service linkages, specialist service areas such as environmental health and care services).</p> <p><strong>Information intelligence tools</strong></p> <p>We are at last seeing &lsquo;data&rsquo; rising up the priority scale for councils, which have mostly been concentrating on business process re-engineering in the face of cuts. The demands and advantages of GDPR, citizen insight and performance intelligence all require a more mature approach to data and information governance, and the overheads of &lsquo;dark data&rsquo; (data we don&rsquo;t know anything about) are growing. There are a range of application agnostic tools emerging that can resolve data issues and demand for these from councils will probably grow.</p> <p><strong>Unified Communications</strong></p> <p>Unified Communications (UC) is not new, but the journey is far from complete. So, whilst video conferencing (say) is in use, it has still not changed working habits fundamentally, and tends to be limited to lower quality skype-type use. Unified communications is the next step in freeing employees to be truly mobile, while keeping in touch with colleagues, teams, data and systems.</p> <p><strong>Citizen account and ID</strong></p> <p>The needs to provide better intelligence around citizens is growing. It is essential in terms of joining up services and also in combating operational risk, security and fraud. If we truly want a more &lsquo;Amazon-like&rsquo; experience, it needs tackling. The trouble is, councils have been left to their own devices since Whitehall has failed, mostly for political reasons, to join up the many existing citizen identifiers (NHS number, driving licence, National Insurance, passport).</p> <p><strong>Virtual reality</strong></p> <p>Again, not a new technology, but its scope for local government is significant in terms of designing services, buildings use, roads, city centre use and specific support for vulnerable people. We are at the start of this journey but can expect to see some early trials in the next 2 years.</p> <p><strong>Robotic Process Automation</strong></p> <p>As distinct from AI, this is about automating and connecting high-volume transaction processing. Its not surprising therefore that early adoption is likely to be in Whitehall departments such as DWP and HMRC, but where councils have repeatable and predictable transactions, RPA offers the opportunity for intelligent automation which can add service value and spot outliers.</p> <p><strong>Newsfeeds</strong></p> <p>Not the standard newsfeeds, but the ones that can begin to link data together based on reader interests &ndash; individually and in communities. Councils have a key role in engaging with and informing the citizens in their patch, but still mostly use traditional approaches, including adverts, mailshots and leaflets. But sophisticated newsfeeds, linked to social media, could fundamentally change how services are accessed and viewed in turn enhancing democratic processes.&nbsp; This is some way off for most council marketing and communications departments though.</p> <p><strong>Blockchain</strong></p> <p>Much talked about as the technology behind cryptocurrencies, blockchain offers significant value in the future beyond this for councils. But only in the future. The areas for early adoption will be in particular where non-repudiated records are required &ndash; legal and democratic use spring to mind.</p> <p><strong>Biometric Authentication</strong></p> <p>No more passwords! Biometrics have been around for a while but are mostly in use for personal devices such as face and fingerprint recognition on smartphones. But the need for stronger authentication as services move to the cloud and are accessed with personal devices is clear enough, and the problems with growing cyber threats and multiple passwords has dramatically increased risks for councils. For a while though, more traditional methods are likely to endure.</p> <p><strong>Wearables</strong></p> <p>Not a new technology but using wearable technologies in the workplace can offer value not yet seen, from staff well-being, support for disabilities to lone-working monitoring. But this will take time to be accepted (and acceptable) and policies to ensure no abuse will be needed first.</p> <p>Although the G-Cloud uptake has been slower by local government than central government, it is clear that local government needs a vehicle to procure its technology in a simple and effective way. G-Cloud by its very nature should then be the first port of call for a local government CIO.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKSmarterState To see more blogs like this, please visit the <a href="">website&nbsp;here.</a></em></p> The future of IOT is AI Mon, 03 Sep 2018 13:23:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Phil Brunkard – CIO, Regional Government & Health, BT looks at the intersection between the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) as part of our #techUKSmarterState campaign <p>There is a clear intersection between the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). IoT is about connecting machines and making use of the data generated from those machines. AI is about simulating intelligent behaviour in machines of all kinds. Clearly an overlap.</p> <p>As IoT devices will generate vast amounts of data, then AI will be functionally necessary to deal with these huge volumes if we&rsquo;re to have any chance of making sense of the data.</p> <p>Data is only useful if it creates an action. To make data actionable, it needs to be supplemented with context and creativity. IoT and AI together is this context, i.e. &lsquo;connected intelligence&rsquo; and not just connected devices.</p> <p>Traditional methods of analysing structured data and creating action are not designed to efficiently process the vast amounts of real-time data that stream from IoT devices. This is where AI-based analysis and response becomes critical for extracting optimal value from that data.</p> <p>AI is beneficial for both real-time and post event processing:</p> <ul><li>Post event processing &ndash; identifying patterns in data sets and running predictive analytics, e.g. the correlation between traffic congestion, air pollution and chronic respiratory illnesses within a city centre</li> <li>Real-time processing &ndash; responding quickly to conditions and building up knowledge of decisions about those events, e.g. remote video camera reading license plates for parking payments</li> </ul><p>Actually to be more accurate when I say AI, I really mean machine learning. It is machine learning that provides the ability to detect patterns in data presented. It learns from these patterns in order to adjust the ways in which it then analyses that data or triggers actions.</p> <p>With machine learning embedded into an IoT environment you get more &lsquo;connected intelligence&rsquo;:</p> <ul><li>Predictive analytics &ndash; &lsquo;What will happen?&rsquo;</li> <li>Prescriptive analytics &ndash; &lsquo;What should we do?&rsquo;</li> <li>Adaptive/continuous analytics &ndash; &lsquo;What are the appropriate actions or decisions? &nbsp;How should the system adapt to the latest changes?&rsquo;</li> </ul><p>We are now also seeing AI being implemented in the edge. With greater processing power and longer battery life manufacturers are implementing AI processes in &lsquo;edge&rsquo; devices. Referring to the remote video camera example &ndash; you don&rsquo;t need to transmit the whole video, only data based on certain triggers, e.g. number and location of parking spaces or ANPR. &nbsp;This can be determined on the edge device.</p> <p>We&rsquo;re now seeing <a href="">significant investment in the convergence of IoT and AI </a>and even more sure with this &lsquo;intelligent edge&rsquo;. Microsoft announced in May its vision for intelligent cloud / Intelligent Edge. Azure IoT Edge will enable low-power devices to run containers and perform artificial intelligence locally but retain a connection to the cloud for management and modelling. Similarly in April, Amazon Web Services (AWS) updated its edge computing platform, Greengrass, to incorporate machine learning.</p> <p>So what does this all mean for the public sector? As the technology matures we will start to see the scenarios for IoT develop significantly beyond the traditional use cases we see today.</p> <p>A few examples:</p> <ul><li>Real-time public safety &ndash; thinking back to the video camera analysis example above &ndash; vehicle, facial and other visual patterns can be actioned sooner for quicker decision and response by the emergency services</li> <li>The ability of machine learning algorithms to foresee possibilities of a device failing will enable remote predictive maintenance to be a reality within a smart city context from street furniture to intelligent building management.</li> <li>The technology will be critical for autonomous vehicles to ingest millions of events from vehicles to ensure safety, reliability, and efficiency for driver less transportation.</li> </ul><p>IoT and AI combined could be the trigger to really drive smart city business cases &ndash; creating not just the connected city but the connected intelligent city.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKSmarterState To see more blogs like this, please visit the<a href=""> website&nbsp;here.</a></em></p> How to use data to underpin ever-more-personalised healthcare Mon, 03 Sep 2018 13:20:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Softwire Managing Director Zoe Cunningham looks at how clever use of data can enable us all to benefit from more tailored health services as part of our #techUKSmarterState campaign <p><img alt="" src="//" style="height:200px; width:133px"></p> <p>As health providers seek to achieve ever-better outcomes, care is becoming increasingly tailored to the individual. Advances in technology mean we can continually improve our understanding of our bodies and lifestyles, leading to ever-more-personalised health services.</p> <p>Tailored care is important, because one size doesn&rsquo;t fit all. A treatment that will be effective on one person, may not be the best course of action for another, even if both have the same condition.</p> <p><strong>Personalised healthcare today</strong></p> <p>Wearable technology already monitors our movements and advises us if we need to be more active. We&rsquo;re also seeing the emergence of highly personalised commercial healthcare services, where organisations analyse our bodies and lives to provide tailored wellbeing programmes.</p> <p>The exciting thing is that these examples are just the beginning. By collecting the right data and analysing it in intelligent ways using cutting-edge technology, we can quickly start to make our healthcare services more responsive to individuals&rsquo; situations, and therefore more likely to lead to positive outcomes.</p> <p><strong>The data challenge of delivering truly personalised medicine</strong></p> <p>Truly personalised medicine relies on the healthcare provider knowing and being able to analyse a huge amount of data. Factors such as age, gender, genetic makeup, personal and family medical history and general lifestyle all affect &ndash; to varying extents &ndash; the best course of action for you at any given time.</p> <p>Trying to collect, store and analyse all these factors and pick out which are relevant in a particular situation, poses enormous challenges. In some cases, these go beyond the capabilities of humans or consumer technology.</p> <p>So how do we tackle this data challenge, so that healthcare providers can offer services that match people&rsquo;s unique circumstances?</p> <p><strong>Compiling the right data</strong></p> <p>The first part of the answer is about gathering the data. The more complete the information is, the better the possible outcomes can be. Providers need to bring together individuals&rsquo; traditional medical histories with emerging health data, notably from wearable devices and programmes such as the 100,000 Genomes Project. This means opening up silos of data in innovative ways, given some won&rsquo;t have been designed to share information beyond the provider&rsquo;s own &lsquo;walled garden&rsquo;.</p> <p>All of this needs to be done carefully, to ensure individuals retain control over what information is stored, who can access it and how it&rsquo;s used. Granular, self-service privacy controls are a must.</p> <p><strong>Advanced data analysis</strong></p> <p>While it&rsquo;s important to create as complete a picture as possible of someone&rsquo;s health, not all the data will be relevant in every situation. This brings us to the other part of the answer, which is about processing and analysing huge amounts of data in a timely way.</p> <p>Because as well as sifting through the individual patient&rsquo;s data, systems will need to compare this against de-identified data from other patients (to look for patterns or commonalities), and intelligently decide when to disregard certain data, based on an ever-deeper understanding of health conditions.</p> <p>In many cases, this will require secure, high-performance cloud platforms.</p> <p><strong>Delivering better public services</strong></p> <p>As with all pioneering technology initiatives, the key is to create these capabilities step-by-step. Start where there&rsquo;s the greatest possible benefit and build out, adding data as required. Look first at traditional algorithms for analysis, then move to more sophisticated artificial intelligence once the former reach their limits.</p> <p>The prize will be ever-more-personalised healthcare offerings that result in patients leading longer and happier lives. Meanwhile, stretched public health services will be able to treat people more quickly and effectively, reducing the strain on scarce resources.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKSmarterState To see more blogs like this, please visit the <a href="">website&nbsp;here.</a></em></p> Digital technology in court reform Mon, 03 Sep 2018 11:21:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Balaji AnbiI, Head of Digital Architecture and Cyber Security, HM Courts and Tribunals Service as part of our #techUKSmarterState campaign <p>Technology is changing the way we think, feel, and how we serve our court users. It's also changing the way we work and can enable us to work better and smarter. To deliver the Reform programme, we&rsquo;ll be leveraging modern technology and associated skills and capabilities to build a modern system for administering justice. It will benefit everyone who uses it, for generations to come.</p> <p>The Government Digital Service (GDS) has set the bar high for digital transformation in government, and we plan to rise to the challenge by not only transforming our way of delivering services to citizens now, but also by building online services which will be fit for the future. Architecture, a borrowed term from the civil engineering discipline, applies equally well to technology systems engineering.</p> <p>We see digital architecture as one of the core pillars of the Reform programme. The reform is a far-reaching initiative across the country and is supported by the complete thinking of how to plan and build for the virtual world. We will drive planning for the creation of the technology building blocks to develop this new virtual world, underpinned by the Internet, as the information highway.</p> <p><strong>How are we helping the Reform programme?</strong></p> <p>The Digital Architecture team will bring a common framework to support the Reform programme in developing citizen-centric, sustainable, and resilient digital services to meet the needs of courts users.</p> <p>The changes we&rsquo;ve made over the past year (including reviewing the baseline of how our function operates; resetting the ways of working within digital architecture; and clarifying our functional remit) have been welcomed by our HMCTS colleagues for the increased clarity of direction and cross-team co-operation they will bring.</p> <p><strong>Data and security</strong></p> <p>I believe access to data in a timely manner is the main rationale to influence technology. The &lsquo;Digital Age&rsquo; is sometimes referred as the Information Age and I strongly prefer the latter term - digital is only the means, the harnessing of data is the actual benefit. It helps that our CEO, Susan Acland-Hood, is a strong advocate of open and accessible data, and our team has already started building its data as a domain capability and helping the Reform programme to shape data constructs. It's also our role to set the strong standards that will support this work, whilst ensuring that personal data is kept securely, and we have some of the best security architects supporting our teams to do this.</p> <p>In traditional transformation programmes, security used to be an after-thought, a bolt-on to technology and that worked well enough for a while; however, as the digital systems start to operate in the cloud, security requires a different perspective and has to be part of the design. We strongly subscribe to this principle of security by design and prefer not to publicise our security building blocks for obvious reasons. Cyber security is a key element within our work.</p> <p><strong>Our ambition</strong></p> <p>Our team has just initiated an overall architecture strategy review across data, applications, integration, cyber security and technology/platforms. We are also revisiting our vision and objectives, to re-affirm the direction and benefits of our work. This exercise aims to provide a stronger foundation and sharper focus to subsequent rounds of systems engineering and implementation at HMCTS.</p> <p>We want our role to define a consistent and agile approach to building technology. To enable the delivery of user-centred digital services for our legal system, both in the virtual and physical world, we will focus on how applications are designed, how they integrate and interact with other services and how data is shared securely. We will focus and execute the method in line with GDS principles that will enable the Reform programme to deliver a customer-centric modern justice platform for citizens and other court users. We are building a modern digital platform for an effective administration of Justice &mdash; that is not only for us, but for our forthcoming generations too.</p> <p><em>A version of this blog originally appeared on the <a href="http://Technology%20is%20changing%20the%20way%20we%20think,%20feel,%20and%20how%20we%20serve%20our%20court%20users.%20It's%20also%20changing%20the%20way%20we%20work%20and%20can%20enable%20us%20to%20work%20better%20and%20smarter.%20To%20deliver%20the%20Reform%20programme,%20we%E2%80%99ll%20be%20leveraging%20modern%20technology%20and%20associated%20skills%20and%20capabilities%20to%20build%20a%20modern%20system%20for%20administering%20justice.%20It%20will%20benefit%20everyone%20who%20uses%20it,%20for%20generations%20to%20come.%20The%20Government%20Digital%20Service%20(GDS)%20has%20set%20the%20bar%20high%20for%20digital%20transformation%20in%20government,%20and%20we%20plan%20to%20rise%20to%20the%20challenge%20by%20not%20only%20transforming%20our%20way%20of%20delivering%20services%20to%20citizens%20now,%20but%20also%20by%20building%20online%20services%20which%20will%20be%20fit%20for%20the%20future.%20Architecture,%20a%20borrowed%20term%20from%20the%20civil%20engineering%20discipline,%20applies%20equally%20well%20to%20technology%20systems%20engineering.%20We%20see%20digital%20architecture%20as%20one%20of%20the%20core%20pillars%20of%20the%20Reform%20programme.%20The%20reform%20is%20a%20far-reaching%20initiative%20across%20the%20country%20and%20is%20supported%20by%20the%20complete%20thinking%20of%20how%20to%20plan%20and%20build%20for%20the%20virtual%20world.%20We%20will%20drive%20planning%20for%20the%20creation%20of%20the%20technology%20building%20blocks%20to%20develop%20this%20new%20virtual%20world,%20underpinned%20by%20the%20Internet,%20as%20the%20information%20highway.%20How%20are%20we%20helping%20the%20Reform%20programme?%20The%20Digital%20Architecture%20team%20will%20bring%20a%20common%20framework%20to%20support%20the%20Reform%20programme%20in%20developing%20citizen-centric,%20sustainable,%20and%20resilient%20digital%20services%20to%20meet%20the%20needs%20of%20courts%20users.%20The%20changes%20we%E2%80%99ve%20made%20over%20the%20past%20year%20(including%20reviewing%20the%20baseline%20of%20how%20our%20function%20operates;%20resetting%20the%20ways%20of%20working%20within%20digital%20architecture;%20and%20clarifying%20our%20functional%20remit)%20have%20been%20welcomed%20by%20our%20HMCTS%20colleagues%20for%20the%20increased%20clarity%20of%20direction%20and%20cross-team%20co-operation%20they%20will%20bring.%20Data%20and%20security%20I%20believe%20access%20to%20data%20in%20a%20timely%20manner%20is%20the%20main%20rationale%20to%20influence%20technology.%20The%20%E2%80%98Digital%20Age%E2%80%99%20is%20sometimes%20referred%20as%20the%20Information%20Age%20and%20I%20strongly%20prefer%20the%20latter%20term%20-%20digital%20is%20only%20the%20means,%20the%20harnessing%20of%20data%20is%20the%20actual%20benefit.%20It%20helps%20that%20our%20CEO,%20Susan%20Acland-Hood,%20is%20a%20strong%20advocate%20of%20open%20and%20accessible%20data,%20and%20our%20team%20has%20already%20started%20building%20its%20data%20as%20a%20domain%20capability%20and%20helping%20the%20Reform%20programme%20to%20shape%20data%20constructs.%20It's%20also%20our%20role%20to%20set%20the%20strong%20standards%20that%20will%20support%20this%20work,%20whilst%20ensuring%20that%20personal%20data%20is%20kept%20securely,%20and%20we%20have%20some%20of%20the%20best%20security%20architects%20supporting%20our%20teams%20to%20do%20this.%20In%20traditional%20transformation%20programmes,%20security%20used%20to%20be%20an%20after-thought,%20a%20bolt-on%20to%20technology%20and%20that%20worked%20well%20enough%20for%20a%20while;%20however,%20as%20the%20digital%20systems%20start%20to%20operate%20in%20the%20cloud,%20security%20requires%20a%20different%20perspective%20and%20has%20to%20be%20part%20of%20the%20design.%20We%20strongly%20subscribe%20to%20this%20principle%20of%20security%20by%20design%20and%20prefer%20not%20to%20publicise%20our%20security%20building%20blocks%20for%20obvious%20reasons.%20Cyber%20security%20is%20a%20key%20element%20within%20our%20work.%20Our%20ambition%20Our%20team%20has%20just%20initiated%20an%20overall%20architecture%20strategy%20review%20across%20data,%20applications,%20integration,%20cyber%20security%20and%20technology/platforms.%20We%20are%20also%20revisiting%20our%20vision%20and%20objectives,%20to%20re-affirm%20the%20direction%20and%20benefits%20of%20our%20work.%20This%20exercise%20aims%20to%20provide%20a%20stronger%20foundation%20and%20sharper%20focus%20to%20subsequent%20rounds%20of%20systems%20engineering%20and%20implementation%20at%20HMCTS.%20We%20want%20our%20role%20to%20define%20a%20consistent%20and%20agile%20approach%20to%20building%20technology.%20To%20enable%20the%20delivery%20of%20user-centred%20digital%20services%20for%20our%20legal%20system,%20both%20in%20the%20virtual%20and%20physical%20world,%20we%20will%20focus%20on%20how%20applications%20are%20designed,%20how%20they%20integrate%20and%20interact%20with%20other%20services%20and%20how%20data%20is%20shared%20securely.%20We%20will%20focus%20and%20execute%20the%20method%20in%20line%20with%20GDS%20principles%20that%20will%20enable%20the%20Reform%20programme%20to%20deliver%20a%20customer-centric%20modern%20justice%20platform%20for%20citizens%20and%20other%20court%20users.%20We%20are%20building%20a%20modern%20digital%20platform%20for%20an%20effective%20administration%20of%20Justice%20%E2%80%94%20that%20is%20not%20only%20for%20us,%20but%20for%20our%20forthcoming%20generations%20too.%20A%20version%20of%20this%20blog%20originally%20appeared%20on%20the%20Inside%20HMCTS%20blogs%20page.">Inside HMCTS blogs page.</a></em></p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKSmarterState To see more blogs like this, please visit the <a href="">website&nbsp;here.</a></em></p> Building blocks for the Smarter State Mon, 03 Sep 2018 09:05:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Gary Todd, CEO Founder of Famiio dissects what actually is the Smarter State and how do we build it as part of our #techUKSmarterState campaign <p><strong>The UK can be a global leader in building the Smarter State.&nbsp; But what does this actually mean?&nbsp; And how can we help to realise this potential &hellip; and avoid missing opportunities?</strong></p> <p>Emerging technology is already bringing some amazing developments through IoT sensors, AI, data, etc.&nbsp; You have probably imagined what is possible in the future and you may be expectant for new innovations that are yet to be.&nbsp; As the GovTech market continues to grow, the optimist will anticipate the UK connecting citizens to information, empowering them to make choices for their families in network-enabled communities and cities.</p> <h3>1.&nbsp; &lsquo;Building &hellip;&rsquo;</h3> <p>So what do we actually need to build?&nbsp; What are the raw materials?&nbsp; More IoT sensor installations across our cities?&nbsp; Better algorithms, better tech?&nbsp; Yes &hellip; but there is a growing recognition that nothing can be done without better data, specifically &hellip; clean, open and ethical data.</p> <p>We must be intentional about building <a href="">Data As Infrastructure,</a> much like we would create water mains, broadband networks and highways.&nbsp; The infrastructure needed to create, collect and maintain &lsquo;trustworthy data&rsquo; is often underestimated &ndash; but it&rsquo;s fundamental to the Smarter State.&nbsp; We can&rsquo;t just expect &lsquo;someone else&rsquo; to build it.</p> <p>And there are a range of catalysts needed too &ndash; Government investment, legislation, governance, research, cross-sector development &ndash; without these we risk someone else having ownership of both the infrastructure and data, something that will inevitably stifle openness, innovation and outcomes.</p> <h3>2.&nbsp; &lsquo;&hellip; the Smarter &hellip;&rsquo;</h3> <p>So what of this word &lsquo;Smarter&rsquo; &ndash; what does it mean?&nbsp; There are already some excellent resources about this, from people better qualified than I; not least of which is <a href="">&rsquo;5 ways to make our cities smarter&rsquo;,</a> a superb blog post by Anil Menon (Smart+Connected Communities, Cisco).&nbsp; In his accessible article, he defines five &lsquo;smarter&rsquo; areas as:</p> <p>Global outlook and political will;</p> <p>Smart standards;</p> <p>Smart regulations;</p> <p>Public private partnerships;</p> <p>Local innovation.</p> <p>Whilst not an exhaustive list, addressing these will meet existing challenges, whilst exposing further opportunities to significantly accelerate the UK as a Smarter State.</p> <h3>3.&nbsp; &lsquo;&hellip; State&rsquo;</h3> <p>And what do we mean by the word &lsquo;State&rsquo;?&nbsp; Wikipedia highlights that a State is &lsquo;served by a continuous succession of different governments.&rsquo;</p> <p>For long-term benefits to be truly realised, a &lsquo;Smarter&rsquo; State should be robust enough to weather the inevitable changes in governments.&nbsp; This includes the need for continuity of sustainable funding, new innovative business models, and separation of data access from the bias of advertising revenue.&nbsp; Again, these are all areas where government and others must be intentional &ndash; left to chance, rewards will be short and shallow.</p> <h3>Summary &ndash; Our personal challenge</h3> <p>Are we serious about working together to build a Smarter State?&nbsp; Then we must each identify the challenge(s) &hellip; and take action!&nbsp; Whether in the private, public, voluntary or <a href="">fourth sector,</a> we should work in concert &ndash; individually, corporately and collaboratively &ndash; to realise this potential and deliver benefits to all.</p> <p>Here are three actions to consider &hellip;</p> <p><strong>Start (or respond to) a conversation.</strong><br> Open channels with innovative SMEs, get involved in Twitter threads, approach non-incumbent suppliers who suggest novel solutions &ndash; this needs to happen much more than now.</p> <p><strong>Invest in &lsquo;Data As Infrastructure&rsquo;.</strong><br> Relying on technological osmosis will not deliver.&nbsp; Be intentional about funding, commissioning and innovative data opportunities.&nbsp; This is the lifeblood of the Smarter State.</p> <p><strong>Make tech solutions &hellip; open, accessible, interoperable, portable, trustworthy and accountable.</strong><br> Ask how you can improve to address unhelpful boundaries, siloes, bias, closed data, discrimination and data quality.&nbsp; Better data leads to better information, systems and outcomes for everyone.</p> <p>Whatever your Smart &lsquo;recipe&rsquo;, let&rsquo;s work together to build the Smarter State &ndash; to empower citizens to self-serve, make informed choices and improve their daily lives, outcomes and futures.&nbsp; <strong>This is truly building the Smarter State.</strong></p> <hr><p>Gary Todd<br> CEO Founder, Famiio<br> Twitter @Sonitude<br></p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKSmarterState To see more blogs like this, please visit the <a href="">website&nbsp;here.</a></em></p> Building the Smarter State Campaign Week Mon, 03 Sep 2018 08:18:00 +0100 CRM Sync The Building the Smarter State Campaign Week (03-07 September) will highlight how technology is transforming public services #techUKSmarterState <p><strong>This week techUK is putting the spotlight on the technologies shaping the public services of today and tomorrow. </strong></p> <p><img alt="" src="//" style="height:142px; width:600px"></p> <p>In conjunction with techUK&rsquo;s flagship public sector conference - &lsquo;Building the Smarter State&rsquo;, this week&rsquo;s Campaign Week will showcase through blogs, videos and case studies how organisations are preparing for change re-imagining public service delivery to ensure safety and security. We will also be identifying the technologies that are disrupting the sector; to allow the GovTech market to evolve through collaborative working and an environment that incubates innovation.</p> <p><a href="">The Building the Smarter state </a>conference, on the 6 September, will bring together hundreds of digital leaders from across the public and private sector, so they can exchange ideas to help re-think the public services of tomorrow. A lot will be discussed and shared on how we can create the right environment for the &lsquo;the Smarter State&rsquo; vision to come true.</p> <p>Make sure you join the conversation on Twitter (@techUK) using #techUKSmarterState.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p>You can catch up on all this week&rsquo;s material by clicking on the links below.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h4><strong>Monday 3 September - Emerging tech to deliver 21st century public services</strong></h4> <p>- <a href=""><strong>Guest blog: Building blocks for the Smarter State</strong></a> by&nbsp;Gary Todd, CEO Founder of Famiio</p> <p>- <strong><a href="">Guest blog: Digital technology in court reform</a> </strong>by&nbsp;Balaji AnbiI, Head of Digital Architecture and Cyber Security, HM Courts and Tribunals&nbsp;</p> <p>- <a href=""><strong>Guest blog: How to use data to underpin ever-more-personalised healthcare</strong></a> by&nbsp;Softwire Managing Director Zoe Cunningham&nbsp;</p> <p>- <a href=""><strong>Guest blog:&nbsp;The future of IOT is AI</strong></a> by&nbsp;Phil Brunkard &ndash; CIO, Regional Government &amp; Health, BT</p> <p>- <a href=""><strong>Guest blog:&nbsp;What Local Gov should buy</strong></a> on G-Cloud 10 by&nbsp;Jos Creese, Strategic Adviser, Advice Cloud&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h4><strong>Tuesday 4 September - Connected Cities and Connected Citizens&nbsp;</strong></h4> <p><strong>- Guest blog: <a href="">Connecting the smart city to it's citizens</a></strong> by Gregor Kochendoerfer, Senior Engagement Manager at T-Systems</p> <p><strong>- Guest blog: <a href="">Smart cities: local leaders are here, where&rsquo;s central Government?</a></strong> by&nbsp;Jessica Russell, Programme manager for Transport and Smart Cities at techUK</p> <p><strong>- Guest blog: <a href="">Open technology and data connects citizens and cities</a> by Phil Brunkard</strong> &ndash; CIO, Regional Government &amp; Health, BT&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>- Guest blog:&nbsp;<a href="">Building super-connected cities</a></strong>&nbsp;by&nbsp;Calum Handforth, Digital Infrastructure Programme Manager at Southwark Council</p> <p><strong>- Guest blog:</strong>&nbsp;<strong><a href="">The key to creating smart communities</a></strong>&nbsp;by&nbsp;Stu Higgins Head of Smart Cities and IoT at Cisco</p> <p><strong>- Guest blog:</strong>&nbsp;<strong><a href="">The Cities of the Future Powered by Cloud Computing</a></strong>&nbsp;by&nbsp;Sri Elaprolu, Senior Manager, Worldwide Public Sector IoT Practice at Amazon Web Services</p> <p><strong>- Guest blog:&nbsp;<a href="">Why digital inclusion has to be at the heart of every place</a></strong>&nbsp;by Alex Cousins, business development director at Capita</p> <p><strong>- Guest blog: <a href="">I'm only Human - designing public services for our needs</a></strong> by Niamh McKenna, Managing Director, Accenture Health</p> <h4>&nbsp;</h4> <h4><strong>Wednesday 5 September - Managing change in public services</strong></h4> <p><strong>- Guest blog:&nbsp;<a href="">Don&rsquo;t fear the robots, but fear what you could be missing out on</a></strong>&nbsp;by Richard Porter&nbsp;solutions development director at Agilisys</p> <p><strong>- Guest blog:&nbsp;<a href="">You can&rsquo;t always get what you want - (and why you shouldn&rsquo;t try)</a>&nbsp;</strong>by Andrew Pavourd&nbsp;CEO, Apply 4 Technology &amp; Director, FilmFixer Ltd&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>- Guest blog:&nbsp;<a href="">Built to last: A sustainable analytics approach</a>&nbsp;</strong>by&nbsp;Accenture MD Chris Gray</p> <p><strong>- Guest blog:&nbsp;</strong><strong><a href="">Is it time for the Public Sector to start experimenting?</a></strong>&nbsp;by&nbsp;Sean Luke CIO at BT&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>- Guest blog:&nbsp;</strong><strong><a href="">Customer-centric approach to public services</a>&nbsp;</strong>by&nbsp;Mick Halliday Chief Digital Officer, Public Sector, at Capgemini UK</p> <p><strong>- Guest blog:</strong>&nbsp;<strong><a href="">Driving culture change for digital policing</a>&nbsp;</strong>by DCS Paul Keasey, Programme Lead &ndash; National Digital Intelligence and Investigations NPCC Digital Policing Portfolio&nbsp;</p> <h4>&nbsp;</h4> <h4><strong>Thursday 6 September - The importance of ID, Security&nbsp;and trust&nbsp;</strong></h4> <p><strong>- Guest blog:&nbsp;<a href="">Don&rsquo;t fear the robots, but fear what you could be missing out on</a></strong>&nbsp;by&nbsp;Richard Porter, solutions development director at Agilisys</p> <p><strong>- Guest blog:&nbsp;<a href="">You can&rsquo;t always get what you want - (and why you shouldn&rsquo;t try)</a></strong>&nbsp;by&nbsp;Andrew Pavord&#8239;, CEO, Apply 4 Technology &amp; Director, FilmFixer Ltd</p> <p><strong>- Guest blog:&nbsp;<a href="">Built to last: A sustainable analytics approach</a></strong>&nbsp;by&nbsp;Accenture MD Chris Gray</p> <p><strong>- Guest blog:&nbsp;<a href="">Is it time for the Public Sector to start experimenting?</a></strong>&nbsp;by&nbsp;Sean Luke CIO at BT</p> <p><strong>- Guest blog:&nbsp;<a href="">Customer-centric approach to public services</a></strong>&nbsp;by&nbsp;Mick Halliday Chief Digital Officer, Public Sector, at Capgemini UK</p> <p><strong>- Guest blog:&nbsp;</strong><strong><a href="">Driving culture change for digital policing</a></strong>&nbsp;by&nbsp;DCS Paul Keasey, Programme Lead &ndash; National Digital Intelligence and Investigations NPCC Digital Policing Portfolio</p> <p>- Guest blog:&nbsp;<a href="">Data, security &amp; trust in policing</a>&nbsp;by&nbsp;Henry Rex, Programme Manager, Justice &amp; Emergency Services - techUK</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h4><strong>Friday 7 September - SME's and Partners working with the Public Sector&nbsp;</strong></h4> <p><strong>- Guest blog:&nbsp;<a href="">Diverse open collaboration drives innovation success</a>&nbsp;</strong>by&nbsp;Phil Brunkard &ndash; CIO, Regional Government &amp; Health at BT</p> <p><strong>- Guest blog:&nbsp;<a href="">How secure cloud collaboration is enabling SKYNET 6 team</a></strong>&nbsp;by&nbsp;Luca Leone, Defence Business Development manager at Kahootz</p> <p><strong>- Guest blog:&nbsp;<a href="">Understanding G-Cloud 10: Opportunities for SMEs</a>&nbsp;</strong>by&nbsp;Andrew Mellish, Six Degrees</p> <p><a href=""><strong>- Guest blog:&nbsp;Growing the Local GovTech Market</strong></a> by Georgina Maratheftis, Programme Manager - Local Government, techUK</p>Contact: <a href=""></a> A mobility revolution: the opportunities around the corner Wed, 29 Aug 2018 10:47:21 +0100 CRM Sync Supercharging's industry partner ICE provides an insight into mobility revolution: the opportunities around the corner. By Kelly Forbes, Policy Manager, ICE <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="//" style="height:326px; width:354px"></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Whether it&rsquo;s through connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs), electric (EVs), or shared vehicles, mobility is going through a revolution . The government&rsquo;s decision to champion this agenda provides a unique opportunity for the UK to be in the driving seat.</p> <p>The roundtable was hosted by ICE President Lord Robert Mayor and WSP Director Rachel Skinner FICE with a keynote speech from Jesse Norman MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Transport.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The role of data and information</strong></p> <p>How people will travel in the future will depend on information supplied. Greater use of real-time information will drive modal shift. More information also enables better transport planning choices. It was questioned whether transport planners are still the best people to make transport decisions. A better understanding of what people are travelling for is needed rather than additional capacity to accommodate &lsquo;peak&rsquo; travel.</p> <p>Attendees suggested that CAVs on the road will not necessarily result in lower congestion &ndash; it will be dependent upon load factor. For example, while Uber might reduce the number of private cars on the road, it&rsquo;s possible that city congestion is increased by Uber drivers cruising for business.&nbsp;</p> <p>Consideration of people&rsquo;s data, information ownership and data rights is also required.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>How do we pay for our future roads?</strong></p> <p>Attendees saw a risk of &lsquo;more stuff on the roads&rsquo;, which may be inevitable without a constraining mechanism &ndash; such as road user charging.&nbsp;</p> <p>Road user charging is politically difficult, in part because of the name. Road tax isn&rsquo;t really being discussed &ndash; government needs to consider this. Road pricing needs definition in the context of EVs and CAVs. When we remove the negative impacts of combustion engines and non-autonomous vehicles (pollution/safety) does it still require some level of tax? If no or low tax do we risk increasing load on our infrastructure?</p> <p>The public assume that private cars should continue, that they&rsquo;ll continue using infrastructure as they always have and that they&rsquo;ll pay as they have. We need to challenge this thinking. It is unclear that individuals really understand the full systems cost of transport.</p> <p>Many vehicles are already leased rather than owned. The &lsquo;mobility as a service&rsquo; model, to an extent, already exists. If we&rsquo;re able to demonstrate costs of private transport then mobility as a service becomes a more attractive proposition. In the future BMW envisages selling journeys rather than cars. We&rsquo;ll see a mixed ownership model but will also see new entrants to the market.</p> <p>The freight industry understands costs better than the individual. If we can reduce 15% peak freight movement then this will change behaviours. Night freight and automation will change how we provide freight. To reduce peak traffic could we better enable last-mile freight at night and compensate those impacted by night deliveries?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The need for leadership</strong></p> <p>We need to set the right framework to enable this in the UK. A combination of incentives and &lsquo;nudge&rsquo; tactics can realise this. An automotive council setting a vision, planning a path, and setting the right incentives, will be part of this. The role of government is about avoiding missed opportunities and creating a permissive regulatory environment.</p> <p>Markets exist because of the State and it has a duty to ensure we don&rsquo;t miss opportunities. Government has to create rights for new technological environments &ndash; i.e digital space. Primary powers will need to be devolved to regulators which while a democratic issue it is not insurmountable.</p> <p>Local authorities (LAs) have a role in this too. While government sets the agenda and industry delivers the technology LAs will have to deal with the roll-out and public acceptability point too. However, LAs are also empowered to make bold transport decisions. The Spanish city of Seville made a decision to invest heavily in cycling infrastructure, in spite of low previous cycling. Now it&rsquo;s heavily used. This was a local decision.</p> <p>Nissan are running a car sharing pilot in Paris. It&rsquo;s still an ownership model but it&rsquo;s different from BMW. New models are arising. Paris transport authorities are encouraging EVs/sharing/traffic exclusions &ndash; minimising traffic, so see this as part of that programme.</p> <p>Ultimately uptake and enabling of new transport technologies comes down to: what, why and how? &lsquo;What&rsquo; is about what products enter the market, which is for the manufacturers to address.&nbsp; Changing social and economic outcomes is about the &lsquo;why?&rsquo;</p> <p>We need to ask ourselves why things need to change, what problems <span style="font-size:11pt">we want to solve, and we need to get that right.</span><br><br> &nbsp;</p> <p>About ICE Thinks</p> <p><em>ICE Thinks is ICE&rsquo;s thought leadership programme, an initiative bringing together ground-breaking thinkers from across a range of sectors in order to identify the megatrends and disruptors that will have the biggest impact on future infrastructure design and delivery.</em></p> <p><em>Online, ICE Thinks offers insight via blogs, social media, webinars, events and videos, such as our highlights video: Transforming infrastructure, transforming cities</em>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<img alt="" src="//" style="height:245px; width:246px">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>ICE&nbsp;are&nbsp;Industry Partners&nbsp;of the 2018 techUK Supercharging the digital economy, taking place at the&nbsp;Bright Building on Thursday 18 October. For more information and to book tickets please see: <a href=""></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="//" style="height:248px; width:606px"></p>Contact: <a href=""></a>Contact: <a href=""></a> Creating a better world - building the smarter state Wed, 29 Aug 2018 10:13:19 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Rupal Karia, Head of UK & Ireland, Fujitsu outlines the highlights of next week's Building the Smarter State conference <p>The next few years present some big challenges for our government and us as a nation to act fast and learn quickly. Brexit is on the horizon, alongside a sense of global political uncertainty. But it&rsquo;s not all doom and gloom &ndash; and we are very fortunate as a nation to be at the front and centre of progress both locally and globally, and there is much to be proud of.</p> <p><strong>Creating a better world</strong></p> <p>Agreed by world leaders at the UN in 2015, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a historic global agreement to eradicate extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice and leave no one behind.&nbsp;</p> <p>The UK was at the forefront of negotiating the SDGs and will be at the forefront of delivering them. Through Department&rsquo;s Single Department Plans the Government is committed to their delivery.&nbsp;</p> <p>It&rsquo;s a historic global agreement to eradicate extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice and leave no one behind.&nbsp;I&rsquo;m incredibly proud that our President, Tatsuya Tanaka, worked on the SDG goals, made up of 17 targets to be implemented worldwide.</p> <p>President Tatsuya Tanaka said &ldquo;the SDGs are a key element in Fujitsu&rsquo;s services, and we strive to achieve these goals together with our customers and other stakeholders. We will help to solve global environment issues with the help of ICT&rdquo;.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s indicative of Fujitsu&rsquo;s belief that the immense power of technology should be harnessed for the good of people and societies &ndash; not for its own sake.</p> <p>Fujitsu calls this the human-centric intelligent society, which we can build together using technology to co-create a smarter state.</p> <p><strong>Building the smarter state</strong></p> <p>To discuss the progress we are making and consider what still needs to be done, I am delighted to be presenting a keynote session at <a href="">Building the Smarter State</a>, the conference from <a href="">TechUK </a>which opens on Thursday 6 September at County Hall, London.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s the first time the conference has run under this new title, which I like because it encapsulates the real heart of our shared challenge. It&rsquo;s a coming together of a vibrant mix of SMEs, new start-ups and larger established businesses to deliver public services that can flourish.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s a vision that we at Fujitsu understands and shares &ndash; which is why we&rsquo;re proud to be headline conference sponsor this year.</p> <p><strong>Technology at the heart of change</strong></p> <p>Technology is changing everything.</p> <p>Citizens today expect connected services that are delivered consumer-style; they don&rsquo;t differentiate between the commercial products they buy online and the services they receive from government.&nbsp; They are more demanding than ever, and there is no sign of a let-up in the pace of change.</p> <p>Ofcom&rsquo;s <a href="">Communications Market Repor</a>t revealed that citizens in the UK are dependent on their digital devices. 78% of the UK population now own a smartphone &ndash; which we use for 2.5 hours a day, on average.</p> <p>Our report <a href="">Technology in a Transforming Britain</a> examined how consumers and business leaders (including those in the civil service) feel about the wave of change sweeping through the UK today.</p> <p>Both business leaders (70%) and the public (77%) told us they feel that their world has been transformed by technological development in the last few years.</p> <p>But only 1 in 3 government leaders and members of public believe the UK is ready for digital future. Perhaps that&rsquo;s because delivering digital is more difficult than the hype of a few years ago led us to believe &ndash; in fact, although digital transformation is accelerating, 66% of executives told Fujitsu that failures had put them off pursuing digital transformation projects in future.</p> <p>So how do we resolve the paradox of ever-increasing demands and the challenges of delivering &lsquo;real digital&rsquo;?</p> <p><strong>What not to miss at this year&rsquo;s conference</strong></p> <p>There promises to be some great discussions at this year&rsquo;s conference.</p> <p>The keynote address from Oliver Dowden CBE MP, Minister for implementation at the Cabinet Office promises to be illuminating for public servants and business workers alike.</p> <p>I&rsquo;m also looking forward to chairing the panel discussion &lsquo;How Technology Can Be Used to support and Empower Citizens?&rsquo; featuring Theo Blackwell, Chief Digital Officer, Mayor of London's Office.</p> <p>And then I&rsquo;ll be making my own appearance to talk about Technology in a Transforming Britain in a keynote address at 15:00.</p> <p>There will also be some thought-provoking workshops on the second stage bringing together a range of experts from government and business.</p> <p>I&rsquo;m looking forward to learning from those at the forefront of digital transformation, participating in workshops and listening to practical advice on the public sector market.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>A smarter state comes from co-creation</strong></p> <p><a href="">Building the Smarter State </a>is going to be a great opportunity to discuss some of the biggest challenges facing the country today.</p> <p>These are hurdles that we will have to overcome together &ndash; which is why I&rsquo;m so excited to see what will happen when we bring public services and businesses into the same room at this year&rsquo;s event.</p> <p>At Fujitsu we believe in co-creation, so I&rsquo;m looking forward to seeing it in action on the 6th of September!</p> <p><em>Find out more at <a href=""></a></em></p> Powering potential and the frustration of restrictions Wed, 22 Aug 2018 09:27:06 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Read Susan Bowen from Cogeco Peer 1's summary of the company's study on IT-decision maker's opinions of their vendors. <p>Technological innovation is key to helping businesses thrive and grow to reach their full potential. As a result, businesses across all sectors must be supported by a flexible and agile IT partner - one that enables them to scale their IT operation up or down to meet their organisation&rsquo;s needs. &nbsp;</p> <p>In an attempt to gain a greater insight into whether businesses feel their IT vendors are providing them with the service they need to reach their potential, Cogeco Peer 1 commissioned a study canvassing the opinions of 150 IT decision-makers across retail, financial services, media, business services and higher education on the performance of their IT vendors.</p> <p>Interestingly, it would seem that the vast majority of IT influencers believe their IT vendors are hindering their organisations ability to move forward, with 85 per cent&nbsp;of respondents stating that their organisation would see faster growth if its IT vendor was less restrictive. Furthermore, the study revealed that 69 per cent of IT influencers actually believe their organisations growth is being restricted by IT vendors contracts, while a large proportion (84%) felt that their organisation is not currently running the optimum IT system.</p> <p>Inevitably, this leaves IT decision-makers frustrated, and it would appear that the lack of flexibility offered by IT vendors systems and services is at the root of the problem, with half (51 per cent) emphasising flexibility as the main issue with their IT vendor. Moreover, three quarters of the business leaders questioned stated that an IT upgrade they had purchased had not lived up to expectations, while 41 per cent stated that this had happened on multiple occasions. Respondents cited difficulties integrating upgrades with their existing systems (63 per cent) as the primary factor inhibiting their flexibility, while 45 per cent declared that the technology was too immature.</p> <p>It also highlighted business agility as a key area where IT vendors could dramatically improve its service, with 60% of respondents stating that their IT vendor could do more to help their business be more agile, while 21 per cent of respondents stated that their IT vendor does not do anything to enhance their business agility.</p> <p>Agility and flexibility are key to ensuring businesses are able to reach their full potential, as a result IT services and vendors must meet these demands. Far from being restrictive, properly scalable IT solutions can allow businesses to focus on what they do best, rather than being bogged down by system requirements.</p> <p><a href=";utm_source=Press&amp;utm_medium=powerin-potential-study-2018-lp"><span style="color:#0000FF">For more information regarding the study, visit here.</span></a></p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Culture eats transformation for breakfast: Part 2 Mon, 20 Aug 2018 12:00:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Why leadership, ownership and language are crucial to digital success. - Caroline Gray, Principal Consultant – Business Change at Agilisys. <h3><em>For two decades,</em><em> <a href="">Agilisys</a> has helped public sector organisations re-imagine their future and strive for positive change. <em>In this second insight in a three-part series, Caroline Gray, Principal Consultant &ndash; Business Change at Agilisys, explores why leadership, ownership and use of language are crucial cultural levers for successful digital transformation.</em></em></h3> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Transformation is no longer a choice for the public sector. With continued pressure to improve efficiency, combined with ever rising citizen expectations, it&rsquo;s become imperative to embrace real digital change.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Yet, when organisations try to realise their vision for the future they may start to notice that delivering that vision depends on more than simply introducing new technology . A subtle eye roll here, a shrug of the shoulders there, a quiet sigh from the back of the room&mdash;all of these are signs that the current culture may hinder, or even derail, long-term transformation.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Compared to other organisation change programmes, digital transformation requires a fundamentally different approach. Strict time limits, cost sensitivities and a hard deadline for completion mean that success demands a culture of clear accountability, ownership and &lsquo;can-do&rsquo; thinking. Cynicism about transformation can undermine efforts to change before they even get off the ground.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>So, how do you identify your culture and how can you evaluate it? Think of it as what people say and do on a daily basis. What kind of habits are encouraged in the organisation? Is unhelpful behaviour challenged by colleagues and leaders? Are employees curious and ready to try new things? Do people actively collaborate across teams?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>To enable successful transformation, it&rsquo;s essential to embed the right culture right at the outset. The wrong kind of culture will steadily eat away at transformation goals. It will slow down decision-making, it will mean important deadlines are missed, it will stifle innovation and prevent effective collaboration.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The solution lies in understanding what holds an organisation together and the pathways to change. Our experience across the public sector has shown that there are three crucial areas to examine that can also act as levers to drive culture change: leadership, ownership and use of language:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align:center"><img alt="" src="//" style="height:464px; width:600px"></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>No matter where an organisation lies on this spectrum, it is possible to develop a culture that will help that organisation to deliver the future it wants to create.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The first step is to discover more. Start by identifying those people critical to leading successful change and ensure they&rsquo;re fully on board. Remember to identify informal leaders too; the so-called &lsquo;change-makers&rsquo; and key influencers.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Ensure these &lsquo;change-makers&rsquo; are fully aware of the role they can play in embedding the right culture and proactively driving transformation: leading by example, instilling a sense of ownership and creating positivity and pace.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Of course, successful transformation doesn&rsquo;t just depend on project leaders or the most influential staff. Change needs to be led from the top, but then cascaded down to everyone else in the organisation.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Remember that when it comes to culture change, people &lsquo;act&rsquo; their way into new ways of thinking. Encourage involvement by showing the benefits of change, highlighting positive feedback and being as interactive as possible. Behaviour assessments, workshops, fresh communication strategies and new working practices&mdash;all these tactics and more can help create the right cultural conditions for success.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>If you&rsquo;re a GovTech leader, download our whitepaper on <a href=";utm_source=techuk&amp;utm_campaign=rethinking%20transformation&amp;utm_content=discover&amp;utm_term=comment">Rethinking Digital Transformation</a>&nbsp; now to discover the common traits behind successful change. We&rsquo;ve drawn on decades of experience with public sector organisations to help you drive bold thinking, ambitious transformation and successful outcomes.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Making the most of DOS 3 Mon, 13 Aug 2018 13:59:16 +0100 CRM Sync Georgina Maratheftis shares her key insights from the event with CCS, Advice Cloud and dxw <p>Back at the start of August I was lucky enough to chair a session on &lsquo;<a href="">Making the Most of Digital Outcomes Specialist 3 (DOS 3),&rsquo;</a> with a great line-up which included:</p> <ul><li>Niall Quinn, Strategic Category Director Technology, <strong>Crown Commercial Service</strong></li> <li>Chris Farthing, Managing Director, <strong>Advice Cloud</strong></li> <li>Harry Metcalfe, Managing Director, <strong>dxw</strong></li> </ul><p>It was very timely event and we were delighted to have a raft of experts from government and industry join us to demystify DOS 3 and share experiences on selling through the framework.</p> <p>The main take way that I took from the session is applying for Digital Outcomes and Specialists is easy! It was encouraging to hear how easy and accessible the framework is for suppliers.</p> <p>Other key insights included:</p> <ul><li>Firstly, the Digital Outcomes Specialist 3 framework is now open!</li> <li>Suppliers are encouraged to log on to the <a href="">Digital Marketplace</a> to ask any questions they have about DOS 3.</li> <li>There are lots of new entrants on DOS 3 and a good vehicle to engage with the public sector. Saying that, suppliers should not underestimate the value of early engagement also and continuing to build relationships.</li> <li>Suppliers should take the time to read the buyers guide to help be better informed in how they buyer will evaluate applications. Equally, industry should familiarize themselves with the sector landscape, understand their challenges and how they operate. For example, techUK often runs briefings on <a href="">&lsquo;Demystifying the Local Government Market&rsquo;</a> where council leaders and tech analysts share their insights on the future trends and biggest challenges facing the market to better inform industry and enable more meaningful conversations.</li> <li>Start small. Think about the opportunities carefully, better to start small to build case studies and then grow.</li> <li>During the Q&amp;A session a concern was raised about inconsistent and often no feedback being received from the buyer. If no adequate feedback is given the supplier should contact the <a href="">Mystery Shopper team.</a></li> </ul><p>From the feedback from the speakers and those that attended it really did come across that DOS 3 is quite groundbreaking, super easy to use with plenty of opportunities for suppliers, especially those new to the public sector market. It was interesting to note that DOS is also furthest ahead in meeting the SME spend.</p> <p>Make sure to also check out <a href="">Advice Cloud&rsquo;s Emina Demiri-Watson very through and insightful blog of the event too.</a> You can also find the speaker presentations below. &nbsp;</p>Contact: <a href=""></a>Contact: <a href=""></a> How can tech best be harnessed to combat the changing fraud threat? Tue, 07 Aug 2018 14:53:03 +0100 CRM Sync Some thoughts after techUK's roundtable event on harnessing tech to combat fraud... <p>Fraud is the most commonly experienced crime in the UK. The <a href="" target="_blank">Crime Survey of England and Wales published last month</a> indicated that there were 3.2 million incidents of fraud last year (over half of which is online), and another 1.2m incidents of computer misuse. This <a href="" target="_blank">NCA Strategic Assessment of Serious &amp; Organised Crime 2018</a>, published in May, emphasised the importance of fraud, and highlighted that &ldquo;our understanding of fraud in the UK is hampered by under-reporting; less than 20% of incidents are reported to the police.&rdquo; There is a challenge facing the police and other bodies charged with investigation: how to remain relevant in this arena as the proportion of non-reported incidents continues to grow.</p> <p>techUK is conscious of the challenges facing law enforcement and policy makers in a world where traditional governmental models of recording and investigating crime are struggling to match surging technologies - which enable credible threats to be delivered simultaneously to multiple targets at marginal cost. We convened a roundtable discussion last month where tech industry leaders could discuss the issue with senior figures from policing, the civil service, and the third sector.</p> <p>This event challenged technology innovators and others in the market place to engage with policy makers, the police and other bodies to suggest ways in which collaboration might level the playing field and redress the balance.</p> <p>The group identified a number of ways that improvements could be made. Bulk reporting tools for businesses, with clear signposting to a single point of contact for reporting is essential. There also needs to be closer working between industry and law enforcement. We must develop a model to encourage the sharing of data and tools. As a starting point, open APIs between systems would allow for much better sharing of threat data.</p> <p>Improving our understanding of the harm caused by fraud would help policing make the case for more resource, and would raise the issue up the public agenda. While there have been efforts to come up with a monetary value of fraud in the UK, we need to deepen our understanding of the harm caused &ndash; the reputational damage caused to business, the bankruptcies, the shame to individuals, and in the worst cases, suicides.</p> <p>Ultimately, law enforcement, Government and the tech industry must continue to work closely together and deepen those relationships to ensure that police are equipped with the skills and tools they need to tackle this threat. techUK will be using insights from last month&rsquo;s event to create a short briefing note on this subject. If you would like to get involved in techUK&rsquo;s work tackling fraud and cyber crime, please contact <a href=""></a>.</p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Q&A with Duncan Down, Deloitte for the UK Technology Fast 50 campaign Fri, 03 Aug 2018 09:58:28 +0100 CRM Sync A Q&A with Deloitte Lead Partner <p><img alt="" src="//" style="height:399px; width:600px"></p> <p><strong>What are the Fast 50 awards, can you tell us a bit about them?</strong></p> <p>We are now in our 21st year of the Fast 50 awards. The awards are focussed on identifying and recognising the 50 fastest growing technology companies in the UK, based on revenue growth over the last four years. We seek entries from across the UK, and the top 50 entrants are then invited to our awards dinner in November.&nbsp; Alongside the awards, we run a survey of entrants focused on topical themes &ndash; this year we will be looking specifically at growth and diversity.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>What is your current job role and what does it entail? </strong></p> <p>I am a partner in Deloitte&rsquo;s transaction services team, based in Reading. My day to day work involves carrying out due diligence on potential transactions for buyers, sellers or banks, to support their investment decisions. I work extensively with technology clients, as well as with private equity investors. As part of what I do, I get to see great businesses on a daily basis and interact with business owners and operators moving onto the next stage in their growth plans.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Technology is constantly changing and advancing, what is the one technology subsector that most excites you?</strong></p> <p>It&rsquo;s a struggle to choose one, so I&rsquo;ll pick two:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <ul><li>Internet of Things (IOT) &ndash; this is a fascinating sector which is experiencing rapid growth, addressing consumer and B2B markets, and in use across both tech and telco. To date, growth in IOT has been primarily B2B (for example telematics, security cameras, smart meters), but B2C is coming apace as Original Equipment Manufacturer&rsquo;s start to build programmable sims into their products. This will be game-changing in the impact it could make - think medical devices or monitors connected to phones, connected to doctors - rather than intelligent fridges that will re-order your milk&hellip;at least for now.</li> <li>Adtech &ndash; the online advertising ecosystem is huge. There are endless places to advertise, a vast amounts of data which helps to inform decisions, a quick speed of delivery of adverts and real-time information to support ROI assessment. It&rsquo;s a sector that is expected to continue growing at pace, and this growth, in turn, attracts interest from financial investors.</li> </ul><p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>In the current competitive environment, what can UK tech start-ups do to scale up as quickly as possible?</strong></p> <p>First off you need to have a great product/idea. Scaling it is then dependent on how you&rsquo;re going to go to market and how replicable the product is cross-border.</p> <p>Other potential limiting factors start-ups need to deal with to scale quickly are:</p> <ul><li>Management team - Ideally you would invest as soon as possible in key management (finance, sales, technology). Cash can be a constraint here, so sometimes a more agile approach is needed (contractors / part time roles / external support) to get the right skills round the table. The CFO and CEO are roles which are non-negotiable, and in the case of the CFO, having a safe pair of hands leading finance is important to support relationships with funders/investors</li> <li>Funding can be a limiting factor, depending on the working capital dynamic</li> <li>Talent can also be a constraint, people increasingly need to think more globally in their talent agenda. Even in the early stages of business, it&rsquo;s not uncommon to consider teams in Eastern Europe or South Africa to allow for more rapid scaling of capability.</li> </ul><p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Other than London, where else in the UK is best placed for start-up tech companies? </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We have increasingly seen tech communities established in Reading, the wider Thames Valley, Manchester, Bristol and Edinburgh, as well as outstanding tech incubators in Oxford and Cambridge. With the diverse means of communication we have, it is important to consider your location&rsquo;s access to skilled labour and a business community.</p> <p>This includes other start-ups/business owners/experienced chairmen and NEDs, but also an adviser community (accountants, lawyers, banks etc) who understand your sector and can support you through the various challenges you face as you grow. It is of course also important to ensure you have proximity to your end market.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>What are the challenges facing UK tech start-ups?</strong></p> <p>Two key factors are access to talent and access to funding. From a talent perspective, there&rsquo;s a high level of competition for skilled people, and companies are increasingly looking to recruit at an earlier stage to secure good people. Diversity in the workforce also remains on the agenda.</p> <p>Companies need access to funding for initial development and then for growth. Through this period they often need to invest in developing and launching new products, as well as building out the management team to ensure they have the right skills and experience to drive the business forward.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>If you could give one piece of advice to a tech start up in the UK, what would it be?</strong></p> <p>The start-ups that fly are those who:</p> <ul><li>Solve a problem</li> <li>Disrupt their market</li> <li>Are agile</li> <li>Continue to innovate and refine</li> </ul><p>I would say maintaining long term focus and ambition are key, as well as acting with speed in the here and now. It is essential to have the right board as well as some input and challenge from people not involved in the day to day running of the business.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>What do you look for when deciding which entrants make it into the Deloitte Fast 50?</strong></p> <p>There is no subjectivity in evaluating entrants to the Fast 50. It is an objective assessment of revenue growth over a four year period. We&rsquo;re therefore looking for fast growing businesses, of the likes of previous winners Deliveroo and Skyscanner. However, supersonic growth is not a pre-requisite to entering &ndash; by being part of the programme we include you in the survey and subsequent Fast 50 report.</p> <p>One thing we do insist on is that the entrants are UK-headquartered and UK owned and are technology companies, which we define as a company that:</p> <ul><li>Manufactures a technology related product</li> <li>Devotes a significant proportion of operating revenues to research and development of technology</li> <li>Is technology intensive, or uses its own unique technology to solve problems</li> </ul><p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Why should readers enter the Deloitte UK Technology Fast 50 awards?</strong></p> <p>The Deloitte UK Technology Fast 50 is a great opportunity for ambitious technology companies to demonstrate the success they have had so far. It&rsquo;s a chance to be recognised for the great success of your company and it&rsquo;s highly regarded by customers, suppliers and employees. The award programme has been running for 21 years, and has seen previous winners that are now &pound;1bn+ organisations. It is also an opportunity to not only reflect on your success, but to share views and perspectives from business leaders across the tech sector.</p> <p>The UK technology sector is in rude health and continues to be one that attracts huge interest from investors. I look forward to seeing the quality and diversity that this year&rsquo;s applicants bring.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For full details on the Deloitte UK Technology Fast 50 and the entry form please visit: <a href="" target="_blank"></a></p> techUK view on the Ofcom broadcaster prominence consultation Tue, 31 Jul 2018 14:59:43 +0100 CRM Sync With Ofcom consulting on broadcaster prominence within EPGs, techUK sets out why smart-TV manufacturers need the flexibility to control their own User Interfaces. <p>Ofcom has <a href="">published a consultation</a> on potential reforms to how public service broadcasters (PSBs) are presented within different TV electronic programming guides (EPGs). The PSBs (defined as the BBC, ITV, Channels 4 and 5 plus regional versions like STV and S4C) currently enjoy prominent spots on linear EPGs such as Freeview, Freesat, YouView and Sky, but the rules are quite old now and did not factor in the rise of online content and smart-TVs.</p> <p>The review was mandated by Parliament in the Digital Economy Act, which requires Ofcom to look at how public service broadcaster prominence is working in the online age. The consultation is good news for PSBs who have concerns around the loss of audience share to online content providers such as Netflix and Amazon, and indeed the PSBs have a point. Live broadcast still accounts for the majority of all viewing (58%) but among the 16 - 34 year olds this falls dramatically, as seen in the <a href="">Media Nations</a> report published earlier this month. This decrease has made PSBs want to ensure they and their online services get prominent positions across different online platforms and smart-TV user interfaces.</p> <p>Most&nbsp;of the review is aimed at the linear EPG licencees, though Ofcom are seeking&nbsp;information on the impact of online platforms and the specific issue of prominence within smart-TV interfaces is addressed in an open question (question 18). Although Ofcom does not offer any specific proposals it does discuss extending the licence to cover smart-TV&nbsp;UIs, online platforms and streaming sticks/boxes.</p> <p>techUK does&nbsp;not support solutions that restrict the opportunity for smart-TV manufacturers to customise and develop their own User Interfaces (UIs). Televisions aren&rsquo;t &lsquo;dumb&rsquo; sets anymore, they have very advanced software and UIs and are increasingly part of a manufacturer&rsquo;s broader AV offering. TV sets now incorporate features like artificial intelligence, metadata and voice control as standard, so cannot be constrained by one market&rsquo;s inflexible requirements. If so it will be consumers who lose out.</p> <p>Furthermore, TV manufacturers have global arrangements with content providers such as Netflix and Amazon and these help manufacturers stand out from the crowd and give consumers the access to content and services that they demand. If the UK imposed prominence requirements for PSB online services, this may make such partnerships less viable.</p> <p>It is also important to note that it is very unlikely&nbsp;that PSB services would ever be hard to find in smart-TV interfaces as PSB on-demand services are hugely popular with audiences. No smart-TV manufacturer would ever make highly valued and trusted services like iPlayer and the ITV Hub difficult to find as they are loved by viewers. What manufacturers do want however is the flexibility to control their own devices, intellectual property and innovations to serve their customers.&nbsp;</p> <p>techUK will be responding to the consultation, which ends on 5 October. Please get in touch if you would like to contribute to our response.&nbsp;</p>Contact: <a href=""></a>Contact: <a href=""></a> The four biggest challenges and opportunities of automation and A.I Fri, 27 Jul 2018 12:47:58 +0100 CRM Sync Guest Blog: Helen Rogers, Capita, provides her view of the key challenges and opportunities posed by artificial intelligence and automation. Key to this discussion is ethics. <h3>The future. When we talk about it, it comes in two hugely different guises. One is shiny, flying cars in a technology-filled utopia and the other is a more dystopian future that&rsquo;s hugely reminiscent of Skynet.</h3> <p>Thought leaders in tech have been debating these two vastly different futures for years now. Tesla&rsquo;s Elon Musk &ndash; a futurologist and visionary &ndash; talks about artificial intelligence in a way that definitely falls on the dystopian spectrum saying that &ldquo;Robots and AI will be able to do everything better than us, creating the biggest risk that we face as a civilisation&rdquo;. However, Mark Zuckerburg of Facebook believes that &ldquo;there are naysayers drumming up doomsday scenarios when it comes to robotics, AI and automation&rdquo;.</p> <p>But let&rsquo;s be honest, the reality is that the future isn&rsquo;t going to be either of these scenarios. It&rsquo;ll fall somewhere in between, utilising AI and automation in a way that helps humans but doesn&rsquo;t control or intrude on their lives.</p> <p>And honestly, this future is already starting to happen around us today in the public sector.</p> <p>Customer self service, chatbots in customer services, processing automation, virtual assistants, sensor AI and AI-assisted robotic process automation. They&rsquo;re all technologies that are happening now but they&rsquo;ve got ramifications and considerations for tomorrow.</p> <p>So, what are some of the big challenges we are facing with automation both today and tomorrow and what opportunities could it offer?</p> <h2>Automation and jobs</h2> <p>The automotive industry is well recognised for their automation maturity. Self-driving cars are already a reality, and in the future, they could drastically change how both taxis and road haulage work. But when you think about it realistically, there&rsquo;s going to be an awful lot of steps that have to happen after this technology is perfected before we get to a world where you&rsquo;re not calling a taxi driver or having your goods delivered by another human being. Safety legislation would have to change, road and highway infrastructure would have to adapt &ndash; there&rsquo;s going to be a lot of moving parts brought together before drivers are phased out. As far as automation in the public sector goes, we&rsquo;re delivering more personal services in which real human interaction is valued. However, where automation can help is through reducing simple task that take front-line service team efforts. This then frees up human time for complex cases where empathy, understanding and weighing up risks is required.</p> <h2>Supporting better outcomes</h2> <p>When we explore the world of automation, especially artificial intelligence and machine learning, we&rsquo;ve got to be ready to support better outcomes for our technology. Machines do not learn and use intelligence in the same way as we do. This could be seen as a negative when it comes to issues that require empathy and emotional understanding but the benefit of this is that a machine will be able to look through multitudes of data sources &ndash; in real-time &ndash; and spot trends that might be in underlying data. Automation could work in harmony with the public sector, helping to sift through scenarios and offer prompts and predictions based on past situations. Google AI functionality has shown that there are still issues with colloquial/localised language being used when interacting with automated Chat Bots. But to combat this barrier, Google AI has developed machine learning elements so that it&rsquo;s understanding of regional differences in language will grow and it will learn to understand. What is important in supporting these better outcomes as a council is journey mapping &ndash; so that if the automated conversation becomes strained, it can be seamlessly passed on to a suitable front-line team member.</p> <h2>Supply vs demand</h2> <p>We&rsquo;re now at a tipping point where digital is no longer seen as a thing or concept &ndash; it is part of everything we do. AI in the public sector might seem far away but we&rsquo;re starting to develop extremely beneficial smart Chat Bots and automated processes to help empower your citizens and customers. For example, for social housing, AI plugged into sensors in the property could measure the temperature across all properties and keep things comfortable or even be connected to GP services for more vulnerable residents.</p> <p>AI could also empower you working in the sector. Taking the human out of processing with automation makes things much more efficient, verifying and collating vast amounts of data before you&rsquo;ve even had your morning coffee. It could be your virtual PA, helping you to capture more time in the day and help you focus your time on the tasks that will have the greatest impact for the people you serve.</p> <h2>Where do ethics sit in automation?</h2> <p>The biggest challenge of all facing us both today and tomorrow is ethical automation. But do you think ethics even fit in automation? Should we be thinking of all these challenges from a philosophical perspective as opposed to any other piece of tech where you just plug it in, let it do its job and move on? AI should be there to support you and your citizens. Should we as humans always have primacy in every decision-making process or are we comfortable and happy to devolve some of that decision making to a machine? As Kurt Vonnegut wrote: &ldquo;The main business of humanity is to do a good job of being human beings&hellip; not to serve as appendages to machines, institutions, and systems.&rdquo;</p> <p><em>To read further on this Capita looks at&nbsp;ways it&nbsp;can utilise these technologies to benefit the public sector in a new white paper &ndash;&nbsp;<a href="">Changing lives: bringing disruptive technology to local government</a></em></p> Culture eats transformation for breakfast: Part 1 Thu, 26 Jul 2018 10:50:00 +0100 CRM Sync For part one of this series, 'Creating the right climate for digital change', Caroline Gray, Principal Consultant – Business Change, explains why instilling the right ‘change culture’ from the outset is crucial to successful transformation. <h2><strong><em>Part I - Creating the right climate for digital change.</em></strong></h2> <p><em>For two decades,</em> <em><a href="">Agilisys</a></em><em> has helped public sector organisations re-imagine their future and strive for positive change. </em><em>In the first piece in a three-part series, Caroline Gray, Principal Consultant &ndash; Business Change, explains why instilling the right &lsquo;change culture&rsquo; from the outset is crucial to successful transformation.</em></p> <p>It&rsquo;s said Peter Drucker, the famous management consultant, once quipped, &ldquo;<em><a href="">culture eats strategy for breakfast</a></em>&rdquo;. Whether Drucker ever actually uttered these words or not, they ring true for the public sector as it grapples with today&rsquo;s unprecedented transformation challenges.</p> <p>To keep pace with rapid technology change, rising citizen expectations, tighter financial constraints and more, the public sector must embrace wide-ranging digital transformation to modernise services. By applying new technologies, the public sector can also free staff from mundane tasks, allowing them to focus on what matters&mdash;doing work that&rsquo;s both more interesting and more meaningful.</p> <p>Yet, just like Drucker&rsquo;s corporate strategy, an organisation&rsquo;s embedded culture will chew up and spit out any incompatible agenda for change. At first this seems counterintuitive. Why would any organisation not embrace simplified systems and processes that make life faster and easier?</p> <p>While time and cost savings, new capabilities and better decision-making sound great in the head office, spare a thought for what frontline employees experience. Without clear leadership and effective communication, staff only see the individual pain of transformation, not the overall gains. Resistance and inertia are the inevitable results.</p> <p>That&rsquo;s why we&rsquo;ve found there&rsquo;s always one common theme behind successful transformation: a distinct view of where you want to get to and what you want to achieve along the way.</p> <p>By taking the time to establish a clear vision for the future, organisations can stay focused on the right goals and more effectively communicate the reasons for change to everyone involved. <a href=";utm_source=techuk&amp;utm_campaign=rethinking%20transformation&amp;utm_content=discover&amp;utm_term=comment">Evidence suggests</a> that digital transformation is six times more likely to succeed when CEOs communicate a compelling, high-level change story that&rsquo;s tangible and digestible.</p> <p>While developing and sharing a clear vision for transformation is crucial, don&rsquo;t overlook the wider importance of culture either. Think about the core values that will be needed to get where you want to go. Actions and attitudes need to be aligned&mdash;for instance, that could mean making failure acceptable to encourage innovation, even if it doesn&rsquo;t work out in the end.</p> <p>The process of gathering information and insights to underpin your transformation strategy provides a great opportunity to engage with your organisation&rsquo;s culture. Structured interviews with stakeholders, open and informal workshops, and the opportunity to comment anonymously via online surveys are all excellent ways to stimulate conversations, test ideas and achieve buy-in.</p> <p>The ultimate goal is to create a burning platform for change, built around a compelling vision that inspires people to take action because they can see that transformation is relevant and beneficial for them too.</p> <p>By aligning digital transformation to your organisation&rsquo;s culture and values, it&rsquo;s possible to supercharge your chances of success&mdash;particularly if you&rsquo;re embarking on large scale change. Create the right climate and you&rsquo;ll set your organisation up to succeed.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Download <a href=";utm_source=techuk&amp;utm_campaign=rethinking%20transformation&amp;utm_content=discover&amp;utm_term=comment">&lsquo;Rethinking digital transformation: step one&rsquo;</a> to discover the common traits behind successful change.</em></p> The increased use of AI in employment screening Thu, 26 Jul 2018 08:30:50 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: 'AI is already transforming recruitment – but we mustn’t get too complacent, or reliant,' says Matt Payne, Head of design and marketing, Security Watchdog, part of Capita. <p>Employment screening is getting increasingly complicated. More data about candidates is available than ever before, and regular changes to data privacy laws make the to-do list of HR managers longer and more extensive. Digital data harvested from social media, online applications and previous employment have all made procedures for hiring new staff more comprehensive, increasing man hours and hiring costs.</p> <p>But artificial intelligence has been relieving the human burden for some time now, by taking on some of the simpler recruiting tasks such as scheduling interviews and sourcing candidates.</p> <p>First-cut screening times can be hugely reduced by utilising AI CV readers, which are trained to pick out the most relevant qualifications, skills and experience. Intelligent screening can also employ chat bots, who can carry out initial interviews online. Together these methods can drastically reduce human workload by presenting HR managers with an already condensed list of the most appropriate candidates.</p> <p>When it comes to background screening applicants, AI can search the wider range of available data in a faster time, where previously data might have been missed or avoided due to time or manpower limitations.</p> <p>AI is also able to spot patterns in data which might not have been visible in old-style checking, which can highlight potentially risky candidates or flag up information which needs to be further investigated. Furthermore, AI can help direct research to only the most relevant data points, where humans could waste time and potentially make errors from being subject to an overwhelming amount of information, AI are able to wade through large amounts of data and focus only on the most relevant insights.</p> <p>While utilising AI in employment screening offers a faster, more comprehensive and less biased search by unearthing candidates which might be missed through traditional search methods, it is vital not to discount the importance of human interaction. Many recruiters report that their gut instinct has led them to the right candidate or directed them away from an applicant that on paper looked perfect but could have turned out to be a disastrous hiring decision.</p> <p>As machine learning and artificial intelligence grow more sophisticated, AI in employment screening will become more commonplace, but it is essential that we do not grow complacent. Ensure that all candidates are thoroughly screened to confirm their suitability for employment, to protect your customers, staff and your bottom line.</p> <p>First published by&nbsp;<a href="">Security Watchdog</a>, part of Capita.</p> Technology, prevention and social care Wed, 25 Jul 2018 10:17:22 +0100 CRM Sync techUK’s local government programme manager looks at Matt Hancock’s inaugural speech and what it means for social care <p>It was great to hear<a href=""> Matt Hancock, in his first speech as Health and Social Care Secretary</a> set out technology as an early priority, recognizing it&rsquo;s potential to improve outcomes. As <a href="">techUK&rsquo;s Head of Health and Social, Ben Moody </a>said &ldquo;We have worked closely with Matt Hancock in his time as Secretary of State at DCMS, so it is great to have someone in post who truly understands the transformative nature of digital health, and the investment required to make it happen.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>In his speech Hancock outlines how technology can transform patient care, but digital also has a role to play in supporting one of his other priorities &ndash; prevention. As Hancock says &ldquo;with an ageing society and 10 million more people projected to be living with a long-term condition by 2030, it is more imperative than ever that we look to make a radical shift in our approach &ndash; focusing on preventative, joined-up care that&rsquo;s centred around individuals.&rdquo; Managing demand and rising expectations at a continued time of financial constraints is no easy feat and, as such, some councils are embracing digital technology as an enabler to do things differently and to deliver more efficient, targeted social care. Technology has an important role to play in delivering genuine integrated care while data can be harnessed to provide targeted support and predict future needs. Getting prevention right means empowering citizens to manage their own health and live fulfilling independent lives.&nbsp;</p> <p>There are already several good examples from home and abroad showing how technology can support the re-modelling of social care services and improve outcomes:&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Barcelona&nbsp;</em></p> <p>Barcelona has an ageing population, with an associated increase in people with long-term health and care needs. The new model uses teleassistance to provide targeted support to people before they become more dependent, aiming to postpone and prevent the need for care by offering psychosocial support. Without the new approach a greater number of more complex interventions are likely to have been required, putting more pressure on statutory services and meaning a poorer quality of life for many older people in the region.1&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Hampshire Council&nbsp;</em></p> <p>By 2020, it is predicted 28 per cent of the population in Hampshire will be over the age of 65. A third will have dementia, while one in eight households will be occupied by a pensioner living alone. Making greater use of care technology was identified as a way of both saving money and providing valuable support to residents. Hampshire County Council has made assistive technology a mainstream part of its adult social care work. The approach has helped it achieve substantial savings with 100 new referrals being made each week into the service.2&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Collaboration &ndash; Healthy Ageing Workshop&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>To truly maximise the benefits of technology for social care there needs engagement from across the eco-system. As such, techUK will be hosting a <a href="">Healthy Ageing workshop on 20 September</a> with the tech sector and with some of the organisations who are in the frontline of the challenges that our ageing society poses. They will be setting out the major challenges that they face and what type of solutions they would like to see. Together attendees will tackle each challenge, workshoping through ideas on what the art of the possible is. If you would liked to attend please contact <a href="">Georgina Maratheftis.&nbsp;</a>&nbsp;</p> <p>We look forward to the launch of social care green paper in the autumn and working with the Department and stakeholders across the health and social care landscape to collaborate on how technology can improve outcomes.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><!--EndFragment--></p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Guest Blog: The battle for talent – are your benefits keeping pace? Tue, 24 Jul 2018 13:45:04 +0100 CRM Sync Affiliate member organisation Finch, explore the key challenge of retention for businesses. Key to solving this is an employee benefits strategy that has the needs and feelings of staff at its core. <p>Attracting and retaining talented staff is a key challenge for businesses in the technology sector, and competition to secure these individuals is at an all-time high.</p> <p>This challenge is encouraging many businesses to re-examine every aspect of their staff engagement and benefits strategy to ensure it remains relevant to the changing demands of their workforce.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align:center"><img alt="" src="//" style="height:400px; width:600px"></p> <p>There has been a huge amount of change in the employee benefits world in recent years, and traditional fixed contractual benefits such as life assurance and private medical insurance are being replaced or enhanced by flexible benefits that reflect current trends towards wellness and flexibility at work and home.</p> <p>Recent research shows that new benefits particularly valued by employees include:</p> <ul><li>The ability to tailor insurance to the employee&rsquo;s need, such as increasing Life Assurance cover or Critical Illness</li> <li>Immediate access to GP services</li> <li>Dental Insurance and Health Cash Plans</li> <li>Childcare Vouchers</li> <li>Cycle to Work</li> <li>Flexible working</li> <li>Buying additional holiday</li> <li>Salary sacrifice for the purchase of laptops, tablets, TV&rsquo;s and other gadgets.</li> </ul><p style="margin-left:21.0pt">&nbsp;</p> <p>There are tax efficiencies for both the employee and employer in many of these arrangements, as well as attractive corporate rates, policy terms and relaxed underwriting.</p> <h3>Linking staff engagement to your benefits strategy</h3> <p>In an attempt to understand the needs and feelings of their workforce, many businesses are increasingly investing in tools to measure &lsquo;employee engagement&rsquo; levels. &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align:center"><img alt="" src="//" style="height:400px; width:600px"></p> <p>These tools can provide the management team with invaluable feedback on all aspects of their workforces&rsquo; satisfaction, ranging from motivation levels to their understanding of the business strategy.</p> <p>These exercises can also show the management team how much their team understand and value their current benefits package meaning they are able to invest their budget in the most appropriate benefits structure.</p> <p>Mark Robinson, Finch Client Director specialising in the technology sector, commented, &lsquo;There is much research that suggests a highly motivated workforce generates significantly higher levels of productivity, increased profits and reduced staff sickness and turnover.</p> <p>A strong Employee Benefits package is a powerful tool for attracting and retaining the best workers and we are seeing a significant upsurge in the demand for innovative and flexible Employee Benefits as the battle to be the employer of choice continues.&rsquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For more information, please visit:&nbsp;<a href=""></a>&nbsp;</p> Is neutral host infrastructure the way forward? Mon, 23 Jul 2018 09:18:00 +0100 CRM Sync A look into the benefits and challenges of how neutral host infrastructure could be the best approach for the UK. <p>Mobile device usage is now a vital part of everyday life, but the provision of reliable connectivity can be a big challenge, particularly in busy locations such as conference centres, entertainment venues and large shopping centres, especially at peak times.</p> <p>Venue owners and Mobile Network Operators (MNO) face sustained periods of reinvestment to continually upgrade their networks and satisfy consumer demand for &lsquo;always-on&rsquo; mobile data access. However, the use of neutral host infrastructure service can be the key to balancing the network costs with the need for dense coverage and capacity within these locations.</p> <p><strong>What is neutral host infrastructure?</strong></p> <p>Neutral host infrastructure comprises a single, shared network solution provided on an open access basis to all MNOs and is used to resolve poor wireless coverage and capacity inside large venues or other busy locations. They are usually deployed, maintained and operated by a third-party provider and they are designed to support the full range of MNO technologies.</p> <p>Unlike vertically integrated networks that accommodate one technology or a single MNO&rsquo;s requirement, neutral host infrastructure is a shared platform, capable of supporting all MNOs and technologies giving their customers what they are looking for - seamless coverage and high capacity. A variety of different neutral host approaches are used to provide premium wireless services in different environments, such as Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) and Small Cells Networks (SCN).&nbsp; Typically fibre-fed, these networks are designed specifically to cope with periods of peak user demand and scaled to accommodate future generations of technology, including 5G.</p> <p><strong>What are the benefits of neutral host infrastructure for venue owners and network operators?</strong></p> <p><strong><em>Lower Cost</em></strong></p> <p>Neutral host infrastructure significantly reduces network lifecycle costs, whilst offering a pro-competitive solution that supports network sharing. Neutral host infrastructure operators, such as Wireless Infrastructure Group (WIG), challenge the larger, vertically integrated telcos by creating competition at an infrastructure level. This allows MNOs to differentiate purely on a service delivery basis (through technologies deployed such as 4G or 4G MIMO) and encourages innovation through new applications and new technologies delivered through new spectrum.</p> <p>According to EY&rsquo;s <em>&lsquo;</em><em><a href="">European Wireless Infrastructure Association Report</a></em><em>&rsquo;</em>, neutral host infrastructure leads to more cost efficient use of infrastructure through greater levels of sharing / utilisation and this enables MNOs to improve the quality of service for customers by increasing the number of available points of presence, and their network speed and capacity.</p> <p>Neutral host infrastructure lowers the economic threshold for new coverage by anticipating future sharing, launching with one or more &lsquo;anchor MNOs&rsquo; who receive the cost benefits of sharing up-front.</p> <p><strong><em>Better Connectivity</em></strong></p> <p>Independent neutral host operators can deliver a more efficient form of infrastructure; with a different business model to the vertically integrated operators they are encouraged to maximise use of the assets leading to higher productivity and better connectivity. &nbsp;Studies from the <a href="">EY report</a> shows that independent neutral hosts delivers up to 3x the connectivity of vertically integrated assets.</p> <p>Across the UK market, WIG has demonstrated the benefits of the neutral host approach both for indoor and outdoor networks. Examples of WIGs successful deployment of DAS can be experienced inside <a href="">intu Trafford Centre</a>, the second largest shopping venue in the UK, and across Anfield Stadium, the home of Liverpool Football Club, whilst a recent partnership with O2 <em>enabled the launch of the </em><a href="">UK&rsquo;s first fibre-connected SCN</a> <em>that supports C-RAN technology for faster and higher capacity mobile services in Aberdeen&rsquo;s city centre. The fibre-connected SCN approach opens the opportunity for 5G networks by enabling even faster speeds, lower latency and better coordination between MNO cells than legacy network architectures.</em></p> <p><strong>How to overcome the challenges in Network Sharing</strong></p> <p><strong><em>Restrictive RAN-Sharing</em></strong></p> <p>Other forms of network sharing present a variety of technical challenges and compromises that must be thoughtfully considered. For example, using a shared radio access network (RAN-share) can create restrictions for MNO&rsquo;s who wish to maintain competitive differentiation capability and avoid tacit collusion. The risk of sharing active equipment can also cause network congestion and restrictions to data in areas with high traffic demand.</p> <p><strong><em>Regulatory and Policy Considerations</em></strong></p> <p>Public policy may wish to encourage &lsquo;network sharing&rsquo; to reduce the costs of mobile service provision in rural areas.&nbsp; But forced network sharing of the MNOs, such as domestic roaming, will remove all investment incentives, where MNOs are required to share their networks with competitors and lose the ability to differentiate.&nbsp; Neutral host infrastructure offers a pro-competitive solution for reducing the costs of mobile broadband in challenging areas.</p> <p><strong>How the neutral host approach works best for London</strong></p> <p>Neutral host infrastructure sharing is becoming an increasingly recognised deployment tool for improving mobile broadband reach at the lowest cost; and this is essential as the next generation of 5G wireless technology is introduced. The UK MNOs face the challenge of investing in this new technology in dense urban areas whilst completing 4G coverage in rural areas.</p> <p>The UK&rsquo;s transport networks are pushing for greater levels of coverage and Transport for London has taken the step towards <a href="">resolving the issue of transport connectivity</a>, launching the <a href="">first stage of a tender process</a> to bring fibre and 4G to the Underground, through the deployment of neutral host infrastructure.</p> <p>The tender reveals that the contract winner will secure a 20-year concession to provide a network, not only in the Underground but across London&rsquo;s busy streets. TfL plans to award the contract for building and operating a neutral host network in March 2019, with commercial negotiations with the MNOs to begin shortly after. The winner will have to <a href="">provide network sharing</a> in the tunnels, stations and platforms of the London Underground together with the commercialisation of telecommunications assets above ground.</p> <p>The award of this concession could potentially mean progressive coverage within the tube from the end of 2019. techUK looks forward to the announcement of the winner for the tender contract and the further developments of transport connectivity in central London and around the UK.</p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Ofcom report shows huge growth in TV streaming services Wed, 18 Jul 2018 11:53:00 +0100 CRM Sync A new report form Ofcom shows services like Netflix and Amazon Prime have now overtaken pay-TV and decreasing investment in UK broadcast content. <p>Ofcom published their first <a href="">Media Nations report</a> looking at how the UK is changing the way it watches and listens to content.&nbsp;</p> <p>The biggest finding is that there&nbsp;has been a major shift, driven by young people, away from &lsquo;traditional&rsquo; TV consumption to signing up to subscription services like Netflix and Amazon Prime (called SVoDs) and YouTube. The report also finds that overall we are also watching less television and broadcaster investment in UK content has fallen to a 20-year low, mainly because of the decision to freeze the licence fee between 2010 and 2016.</p> <p>Ofcom says these findings should act as a wake-up call to broadcasters and they need to develop new ways to increase their spending on high quality original content (the biggest driver in people signing up to new services) and change their offerings to meet changing consumer demands.&nbsp;</p> <p>A potential short-term option is to increase broadcaster co-productions with SVoD platforms and sharing the rights. Sky and Netflix have announced a recent partnership and the BBC are trying this too. The joint funded <em>Troy: Fall of a City</em> saw the BBC own the UK rights, with Netflix offering it globally&nbsp; and they&rsquo;re trying the opposite too with <em>Killing Eve</em> and the upcoming <em>Good Omens</em>. Which model works best will only become apparent later.</p> <p>Longer term Ofcom believes the Public Service Broadcasters should collaborate on a UK centric subscription service to pool resources and make more original content (a huge driver in the rise of subscription services), but this is easier said than done. Previous attempts to work together have stalled (see Project Canvas/YouView), but there have been joint-venture successes too that have radically improved the consumer experience (see Freeview and the role out of HD). The broadcasters are competitors and it will be a challenge to get something like this working, especially as we are still quite early on in the 2016-26 Charter Period. But they know something needs to be done if they want to be relevant among younger viewers and we'd encourage them to look at options for developing new services.</p> <p>So it is all over for broadcast? Not at all. Some trends are concerning, but&nbsp;Digital Terrestrial Television is still hugely popular and profitable and has a significant trump card in the form of a very high level of consumer trust. It is still the most dominant form of viewing and the broadcasters are trying new online offerings and diversifying revenue streams. Whilst investment from broadcasters has fallen, this doesn't mean the UK creative industries are suffering. Hugely successful SVoD programmes like <em>The Grand Tour</em> and <em>The Crown </em>enjoy&nbsp;huge budgets and UK production bases and internationally British crews have a great reputation - see <em>Game of Thrones</em> as an example, as well as significant studio expansions at Elstree, Pinewood, Shepperton and Leavesden.</p> <p>The report also touches on audio services and we're pleased that Ofcom recognises the importance of digital radio, which reached the 50% threshold and we note the shift from owning to streaming with revenue jumping hugely for internet delivered music services.</p> <p>Key trends from the report are below:</p> <p><strong>Consumer trends:</strong></p> <ul><li>More people subscribe to SVoD platforms than pay-TV platforms (15.4m to 15.1m) and the majority of SVoD subscribers also have pay-TV.</li> <li>The average Brit watches 3 hours and 22 minutes of TV a day &ndash; a 9 minute decrease. Overall AV viewing across all platforms is 5 hours 1 minute.</li> <li>95% of UK homes have a TV set and 52% of sets are connected to the internet (44% via smart-TVs, rest via dongles, games consoles or laptops).</li> <li>67% of all VoD viewing is via a TV set.</li> <li>16 &ndash; 34 year olds watch 59 minutes of YouTube a day.</li> <li>Over 54s watch over half of all broadcast viewing.</li> <li>Overall 71% of all viewing is via broadcast, but this falls to 46% with 16-34 year olds.</li> <li>38% of SVoD&nbsp;viewing is on originally produced content.</li> <li>75% of consumers are &lsquo;very or quite satisfied&rsquo; with PSB broadcasting and are a trusted source for factual and news programming.</li> <li>50% of all radio is listed to digitally and 75% of audio listening is to live radio.</li> <li>23% of all adults stream music, rising to 51% of younger people.</li> </ul><p><strong>Market and commercial trends:</strong></p> <ul><li>Total broadcast commercial TV revenues fell 3.5% to &pound;11.1bn.</li> <li>Pay-TV revenues fell 2.7% to &pound;6.4bn.</li> <li>Online audiovisual revenues grew 25%&nbsp;to &pound;2.26bn in 2017. SVoD platforms grew the most with&nbsp;revenues of&nbsp;&pound;895m, while online advertiser-funded video generated over &pound;1bn for the first time (up 25% year on year). 30% of this stems from broadcast video on-demand players such as All 4 and ITV Hub.</li> <li>TV advertising revenue dropped 7% in real terms to &pound;3.9bn in 2017. Commercial Public Service Broadcasters saw a&nbsp;9% fall&nbsp;to &pound;2bn, with non-PSB portfolio channels falling 3% to &pound;773m.</li> <li>Non-advertising revenue for broadcasters (product placement, rights sales etc) increased 10% to &pound;898m.</li> <li>Sponsorship revenue decreased 1% to &pound;216m.</li> <li>Commercial radio revenue increased 1% to &pound;557m.</li> <li>Music streaming services have revenues of &pound;577m, &nbsp;47% of all music retail sales in 2017. This overtakes physical music sales for the first time.</li> </ul><p><strong>Broadcast and creative industry trends:</strong></p> <ul><li>Investment in UK-made content has decreased. PSBs and the wider BBC spent &pound;1bn less (&pound;2.5 bn) on UK made content than the 2004 peak (3.4bn).</li> <li>89% of total spend was on first run, original network programming.</li> <li>Local TV continues to spend more than it makes (&pound;20m costs and &pound;10m revenue).</li> <li>Spend on programmes made in the nations specifically for the nations fell 3%&nbsp;&pound;275m.</li> </ul>Contact: <a href=""></a> A lightbulb moment! Fri, 06 Jul 2018 13:06:18 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog by Mike Hennessey, Corporate Director for Adult and Community Services, Suffolk County Council <p>A lightbulb moment!<br><br> Last summer, as I sat onboard a new Boeing 787 Dreamliner at 2am waiting to start a massively delayed flight I become somewhat frustrated with the rapidly changing illuminations in the aircraft. The crew, rather than demonstrating the usual emergency procedures, talked proudly of the fact that the aircraft has a lighting array with 1.8 million lighting combinations. Later, in the very wee small hours of the flight I asked a member of cabin crew what was the point of having 1.8 million lighting combinations? She told me they help create a more soothing and stress-free environment for passengers. She said it was designed to help people who may be a little bit disorientated on long flights orientate themselves and become calmer.</p> <p>Now, leap forward a few months and I am sitting in the lounge of a care home talking to the owner and staff about the challenges they face. The care home is beautifully decorated with new furniture, new fittings and refurbished to a very high standard. It looks great, but it is very quiet, there are few residents. The owner tells me it is a constant challenge. It&rsquo;s the biggest issue, recruiting and retaining staff to support residents with dementia. The worst of it are the significant variations in levels of activity. There are peak times, for example, when more staff are needed, but these are not easy to predict so it&rsquo;s difficult to know when to roster extra people on. Creating the right environment can also be a challenge, different background music can help, but creating a relaxing environment which soothes anxious residents is a real challenge</p> <p>As I looked around the room mulling over these challenges, I noticed the rather harsh lights and was reminded of the 1.8 million lighting combinations on the Boeing787. If lighting can be used to create a more pleasant calming and relaxing experience during flight could it play a part in care homes? For example, could it help people with dementia cope with the passage of the time of day or even the changing seasons by using pre-programmed lighting effects?</p> <p>Technology in social care is part significant part of the future, where will the next new idea will come from? The use of lighting effects may have a small part to play in enhancing the lives of residents, but if it allows staff more time to invest in other elements of care it&rsquo;s role could be significant. I think it&rsquo;s certainly worth investigating.&nbsp;</p> Avoiding trial and error recruiting Thu, 05 Jul 2018 07:00:00 +0100 CRM Sync Malcolm Milligan explains that selecting new staff by trial and error can become extremely costly and disruptive, however, there is a better way. <p><strong><span style="background-color:#ffffff; color:#0000ff">Malcolm Milligan explains that selecting new staff by trial and error can become extremely costly and disruptive, however, there is a better way. </span></strong></p> <p><span style="background-color:#3366ff; color:#0000ff"><span style="background-color:#ffffff">Does this sound familiar?</span></span></p> <p>Your latest new recruit has turned out to be a Jekyll and Hyde character. The articulate, charming, highly qualified individual you were so excited about winning from the competition has, in a few short weeks, created mayhem in your organisation.<br> Many of your long term and highly valued staff are threatening to walk out, your most valuable customers are in revolt - even your personal car parking space has been claimed by the newcomer. This cannot possibly be the same person who impressed you during the interviews, and you subsequently hired - or can it?</p> <p>Selection errors like this are not only irritating and depressing, they are also very costly. You know only too well that if you were able to recruit the right people, first time, you would avoid all this unpleasantness and disharmony.</p> <p><span style="color:#0000ff">What&rsquo;s the problem?</span></p> <p>Learning by 'living with' and repeating past selection errors is just not a cost- effective way of running your business in the competitive and &ldquo;fast forward in everything&rdquo; commercial climate of today.</p> <p>Hiring the wrong person can, and sometimes does, put small companies out of business. Even large organisations with highly qualified and very professional HR departments can make selection errors.</p> <p>There are instances every year of multinational companies hiring a high-ranking executive who just did not fit in with the existing Corporate Ethos and, subsequently, suffering a huge dent in the bottom line as a result of the experience. Fees paid to head hunters, costs of 'settling in' the new person, and the final ignominy of having to pay the failed hire a huge severance payment. They may add up to millions in some cases.</p> <p>So how could such things happen to you when you are so fastidious in checking references and chatting with previous employers of an individual? The candidate had all the relevant qualifications. They had exactly the experience you were looking for and their previous employer gave them first class written reference and a glowing verbal one. Oh! and don't forget the professionally crafted CV - they all often only serve to deceive.</p> <p>Did you ask yourself, "Why then are they leaving"? "Why is their previous employer seemingly happy to let them go"? I think you will all know the answer to those questions.</p> <p>When we buy expensive machinery, we ensure that the small print covers us against consequential loss in the event of mechanical failure. However, why then when recruiting staff do we allow ourselves to fail to take the necessary steps to protect us against making wrong hiring decisions.<br> Unfortunately, when we interview someone, we seldom see the person as they really are. These days candidates are able to be coached, so they are often more adept at the interview process than the interviewer. They become interview savvy and hide behind a well-constructed interview mask.</p> <p><span style="color:#0000ff">So, what can be done about it? </span></p> <p>The business owners and business managers of today have a plethora of selection tools and instruments they are able to take advantage of - some are designed to help build you a defence against the interview savvy candidate.</p> <p>Certain Psychometric instruments give you Advanced Candidate Knowledge (ACK), that is, they offer you an insight into the behavioural signature of the candidate before you meet them. The psychometric questionnaire should be completed in advance. You then have the advantage of much pertinent information prior to your interview, which allows you to set your agenda more precisely.</p> <p>There are three Prime Categories of Psychometric Assessments - clinical, educational and occupational (usually a form of &lsquo;DISC&rsquo;-based assessment). They can and do vary dramatically in price, complexity and ease of use. They also vary in what they assess - ability, aptitudes and interests, attitudes and values, behaviour and personality (typically DISC), and knowledge and skills.</p> <p>Some instruments are very deep, clinical psychological instruments, which require interpretation by highly qualified, experienced psychologists. If you have the time, the money and the need, they should of course be considered.</p> <p>My personal view is, that if a management tool is to be of real and practical value, it must be scientifically proven, simple to operate and easy to administer.&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="color:#0000ff">Using a DISC-based system</span></p> <p>Over the years I have found DISC-based theory platforms to be the most suitable for my purposes. DISC measures four behavioural tendencies: Dominance (D), Inducement (I), Submission (S), and Compliance (C). They are helpful because they are, in the main, unpretentious and may be used effectively (with appropriate training) by most levels of management. DISC theory-based profiling systems are amongst those most frequently used universally by industry and commerce.</p> <p>Training in the use of any DISC-based instrument is vital so that maximum benefit may be enjoyed from these systems. This is usually available from the system vendor, however, finance for training purposes is often a more difficult sale to than the purchase of the original system software! The positive difference made by properly trained analysts, skilled in the use and interpretation of these instruments is immense.</p> <p>There are a number of ways in which psychometric profiling instruments such as DISCUS may assist you:</p> <ul style="list-style-type:circle"><li>As a part of your recruitment and selection procedure</li> <li>As part of your assessment process</li> <li>To help select team members for specific tasks</li> <li>For individual career guidance and development purposes.</li> <li>As part of a mentoring programme</li> <li>For task and job profiling</li> <li>To identify individual learning style and pace</li> <li>To confirm employee job compatibility</li> <li>For self-awareness and personal improvement by individuals</li> <li>To identify the most appropriate management style for employees</li> <li>To identify an individual's management style</li> <li>For outplacement and redeployment purposes</li> <li>Identification of response style to authority</li> <li>Relationship management between individuals</li> <li>Team building</li> <li>Conflict management</li> </ul><p>And many more.</p> <p><span style="color:#0000ff">The sales recruitment process </span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000">I will now concentrate on the recruitment and selection process because finding and keeping good sales personnel is not an easy task. Getting it wrong and reflecting back on past selection errors can be a painful and embarrassing business. Unless you are a trained personnel professional, the entire recruitment process can be a pretty daunting task.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000">It would be foolhardy to suggest that any management tool, scientific or otherwise, could forever, solve the issue of recruitment and selection error, however, there are instruments which may help you reduce the failure rate. DISCUS is but one of a number of DISC-based instruments available. Just select the one which works best for you. </span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000">Where the Human Element is involved there can be no cast iron guarantees of success, however, I suggest that, if used with sensitivity and applied with professionalism psychometric instruments can fulfil a positive role in your business. </span></p> <p><span style="color:#0000ff">Using a psychometric profiling system </span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000">Suppose you want to recruit a good sales person. </span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000">The first step is to profile the specific sales role you have in mind. To do this it is useful to have input from the various types of people who will be in contact with the new job holder, including customers if appropriate. This will offer a 360-degree view of the position. </span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000">The actual profiling is done by completing a pro forma questionnaire about the purpose, role and function of the job. This takes about ten minutes and the results are then entered into the system. </span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000">A detailed report is produced immediately. If the report does not accurately reflect what you are looking for, there are a number of ways in which you may edit the results until the printout is exactly what you are looking for. </span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000">Once you have a report which you are happy with, you are ready to match candidates with the job role. If you are advertising for the vacancy you may find it helpful to refer to the text. </span></p> <p><span style="color:#0000ff">Now you are ready for your first candidate </span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000">Have the candidate complete the profile questionnaire (I would always select a sentence set questionnaire) before they meet with the interviewer. This is important to maintain as much objectivity as possible. </span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000">It is also very important to make the candidate aware that the completion of the questionnaire is NOT a test. They should be informed that there are no right or wrong answers, just their answers which will simply offer an overview of their personal style. </span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000">It will of course also give the interviewer a reliable agenda to follow. </span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000">The interviewer then considers the profile report and makes note of any points of significant interest which may have a bearing on the appointment. These may then be discussed in detail with the candidate. </span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000">The report will offer much information on things such as the candidate's decision-making style, learning style, organisation and planning style and interpersonal skills. It will also provide useful information about how the candidate really feels about their current or immediate past job. </span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000">Such systems DO NOT to my knowledge predict success. They do though identify fairly accurately the personal style and likely patterns of behaviour under differing circumstances. This information will certainly help to determine whether the candidate is a good fit for the corporate culture in general and the local team in particular.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#0000ff">Job detail feedback </span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000">You have now come close to </span>the end of your series of interviews. You feel that you have explained in great detail just what the job entails. Now it is time to check to see how accurate a portrayal you gave of the job on offer.<br> You do this by asking the candidate, based upon the knowledge they now have, to complete a job profile questionnaire for the role they have been interviewed for.</p> <p>Be prepared for a shock!</p> <p>So often we believe we have accurately explained all the relevant facts to the new recruit, we also assume that they have been actively listening all of the time.</p> <p>Sadly, often, they retain only a fraction of what is said and would go away with a completely distorted picture. By using this technique, you are able to cover off any misinterpretations and misunderstandings which would otherwise come back to haunt you both in the near future.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&copy; 1999-2018 MSM Commercial Services&nbsp;</p> <hr><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Malcolm S Milligan FinstSMM has been involved in sales, marketing and human resources management issues for many years. After working for HM Customs and Excise straight from school, in 1962 he became a retail sales representative for a major computer stationery manufacturing company. Then in 1968 he joined the Life Assurance Industry as a self-employed salesman and over the next 24 years held Senior Branch Management and Regional Director posts.</p> <p>Malcolm has helped to build and develop the careers of many hundreds of sales and management personnel over the years. Since his first introduction to psychometric profiling in 1968, he has closely studied many psychometric offerings. It was a natural progression for him to become highly active in this field of human resource management.</p> <p><strong>Malcolm S Milligan</strong>&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank"></a> Skype 'discmaster'</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"></a>&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank"> </a></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"></a>&nbsp;</p> Cloud at the core of business innovation Wed, 04 Jul 2018 09:41:51 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Susan Bowen from Cogeco Peer 1 discusses how you can navigate your journey to the cloud and grow your business. <p>The cloud is fast becoming necessary for businesses in a world governed by data. According to new statistics, by 2021 at least 50% of the global GDP will be digitalised, with growth in every industry driven by digitally enhanced offerings, operations and relationships [1]. Cloud has emerged as a strategic enabler for organisations of all sizes, and by now there are few IT decision-makers who aren&rsquo;t at least aware of the cloud, or the opportunities it creates. Awareness however, doesn&rsquo;t always mean understanding, and there are still concerns and questions that remain unanswered.</p> <p>Businesses have long relied on technology to stay ahead of the competition and it has enabled organisations to streamline, innovate and compete. To thrive, organisations need to be constantly learning and reinventing themselves, innovating with better methods, services and products than their competitors. In order to successfully implement this level of innovation, organisations require an agile environment that supports the pace of fast-changing business needs, allowing for more flexibility and efficiency than is offered by traditional methods.</p> <p>Many businesses are already on some kind of cloud journey, or at the very least seriously considering it. Eighty-five per cent of customers today are now beyond the discovery phase, having implemented some form of cloud offering to their enterprise [2]. However, the shift is still emerging, and its potential is huge. Less than fifteen per cent of businesses have reached broad implementation, meaning that we will continue to see significant change in how businesses compete.</p> <p>The surge in cloud adoption allows organisations to move away from the manual efforts, processes and procedures of traditional networks. Simply put, cloud embraces the efficiencies of automation so that IT can better support business needs in an increasingly connected world. But the question is &ndash; how do you get there?</p> <p>Today customers are faced with a lot of choice, and the journey to the cloud may appear ever more complex. While no two journeys are identical, and no two businesses even begin from the same place, picking the one that&rsquo;s right for your organisation is crucial to long-term success.</p> <p>Cloud is not the future, it&rsquo;s already here, and at Cogeco Peer 1 we work with various enterprises globally on their journey, helping them unlock the potential of their business by designing, building and managing hybrid IT solutions. Migrations to the cloud are rarely simple, one cloud won&rsquo;t fit all, but one service provider can. By evaluating the structure and needs of your company, it&rsquo;s possible to find the best fit for your business. The sooner that organisations adopt cloud technology properly, the better positioned they are in today&rsquo;s increasingly competitive business climate.</p> <p>For more details on designing your own unique journey to the cloud, <a href=";utm_medium=Cogeco%20Peer%201%20Leads&amp;utm_campaign=Navigating%20your%20cloud%20journey&amp;utm_term=cdw-Cogeco%20peer%201&amp;utm_content=Cogeco-peer-1%7C%20White%20Paper%20%7C%20Navigating%20your%20cloud%20journey"><span style="color:#0000FF">download the &lsquo;Your Cloud, Your Business&rsquo; e-book here</span></a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>[1] IDC 2018</p> <p>[2] Cogeco Peer 1 &lsquo;Your Cloud, Your Business&rsquo; e-book 2018; Inc. 5000</p>Contact: <a href=""></a>Contact: <a href=""></a> High expectations for the new Austrian EU Council presidency Mon, 02 Jul 2018 13:32:40 +0100 CRM Sync The Austrian Government takes on the EU Council presidency at a critical time and inherits a tricky state of play for the Digital Single Market. <p>Yesterday, 1 July 2018, marked the commencement of the Austrian Presidency of the European Council. The Austrian Government will now hold the Presidency for the next six months, until the end of 2018.</p> <p>The Austrian presidency comes at a critical time for the EU&rsquo;s digital agenda, with the European Commission making clear it wants all the Digital Single Market files completed by the end of the year, in time for the European elections next year. That will be no easy feat given the list of outstanding issues the presidency inherits.</p> <p>The Bulgarian presidency had a mixed level of success on digital issues over the last six months. It had some notable wins including a political agreement on the free flow of non-personal data, which bans data localisation rules and is a welcome boost to the European data economy. The Bulgarians also managed to reach agreement on the Telecommunications Code, BEREC regulations and the AVMS directive. However, success in reaching agreement does not necessarily mean success in reaching a positive outcome and there is some question about whether these files will achieve the aims desired. &nbsp;</p> <p>Additionally, limited progress was made on a number of other critical DSM files. They include the highly contentious and politically-charged ePrivacy reforms. While the European Parliament agreed a position last year the Council has not managed to reach agreement and it seems there are still fundamental disagreements in Council and with the Commission on the shape ePrivacy should take in a &lsquo;GDPR world&rsquo;. The Austrian presidency has indicated that ePrivacy will be its top digital priority, however time will tell whether they successfully reach an agreement this year.</p> <p>While the Bulgarian presidency reached a position on the controversial Copyright directive towards the end of its term, the work is by no means done. The European Parliament will be voting on its position later this week and depending on the outcome the Austrian presidency will have to oversee trialogues which are likely to be difficult.</p> <p>The Austrians will also have to tackle the Commission&rsquo;s proposed &lsquo;platform-to-business&rsquo; regulation and ongoing work on online content among other issues, not least finding agreement on the new EU budget, which has earmarked &euro;9.2 billion for its next digital agenda.</p> <p>It will be interesting to watch how the Austrian presidency approaches these issues given Austria has not traditionally led on digital issues at EU level. They will however be under considerable pressure by the European Commission, which continues to view the DSM as a fundamental to completing the Single Market for services.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p>Aside from the outstanding DSM files, the Austrian presidency will also have to be heavily engaged in the enforcement of those parts of the DSM that have already come into force. Law is not static and with the first cases under GDPR already pending, how the presidency responds to the evolution of the DSM when out of the hands of the EU&rsquo;s political institutions will set the tone for future initiatives.</p> <p>The success or failure of the Digital Single Market initiative, which had ambitious aims, will likely be determined over the next six months. The Austrian presidency will play an important role in deciding whether the DSM achieves its stated ambitions, or whether the reality is that the DSM represents a set-back for the development of the European digital economy.</p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Doing digital Down Under Thu, 28 Jun 2018 16:15:56 +0100 CRM Sync As talks begin for EU trade deals with Australia and New Zealand, Policy Manager Thomas Goldsmith looks at tech’s place in them and what Brexit will mean for the UK’s prospects. <p>The past few weeks has seen the <a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF">long awaited start of EU trade negotiations</span></a> with both Australia and New Zealand. Free-trading, advanced economies, the have both been notable omissions from the EU&rsquo;s treaty collection, lacking either talks or a signed trade deal.</p> <p>Given the length of time it usually takes to negotiate and implement trade deals (negotiations were launched with Canada in 2009 and Parliament has only ratified the agreement this week) it is unlikely the UK will ever benefit directly from these talks. Nevertheless, the UK Government has <a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF">welcomed the start of the EU talks</span></a> and pledged to involve itself constructively.</p> <p>Both Australia and New Zealand are both priority countries for post-Brexit trade deals. Working groups have been started with them, which have preliminary discussions about ambitions towards bilateral trade and investment.</p> <p>But the pace in any future UK negotiations is going to inevitably set by the commencement of these EU talks, especially as the UK will still be negotiating its own future relationship with the EU. Given that, it is particularly pleasing to see that the EU&rsquo;s <a href=";utm_medium=email&amp;utm_campaign=Trade+with+Australia+and+New+Zealand%3a+negotiating+directives+made+public"><span style="color:#0000FF">newly published negotiating directives</span></a> once more feature digital trade as a key item.</p> <p>These directives build on the EU&rsquo;s <a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF">first separate digital trade chapter</span></a> in its renegotiation with Mexico. Trade is increasingly digital, and even more traditional trade is now digitally enabled, so getting this right in free trade agreements is important. The UK can build on this progress when its own negotiations begin and will need to make sure that it also puts digital and tech front and centre to ensure its deals stand the test of time.</p> <p>However, with the UK&rsquo;s own negotiations still at least 9 months away from even commencing, and the EU&rsquo;s discussions likely to take years, it is good to see that the UK is taking its own steps to boost digital trade with both Australia and New Zealand. <a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF">Measures like the UK-Australia &lsquo;fintech bridge&rsquo;,</span></a> which helps UK fintech firms expand internationally, are immediate and welcome ways that the Government can directly aid the expansion of UK tech businesses. Both countries are also already investing in the UK, with 95 FDI projects in the UK between them in 2017-18, with over 2,400 jobs created, there is already a substantial trade that the UK can actively secure and promote.</p> <p>Australia and New Zealand might physically be a long way away, but digitally they are closer than ever and making it easier to trade with them will bring them closer still.</p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Top things to avoid when using private equity Mon, 25 Jun 2018 10:45:05 +0100 CRM Sync A guest blog by Dominic Anthony, adviser to tech and high-growth businesses at BKL, a firm of chartered accountants. <p>There comes a time in the life of many businesses when owners cast around for ways to borrow money for growth. But those intending to use venture capital and private equity should plan particularly carefully before committing. Many don&rsquo;t, and the result can be catastrophic.</p> <p>The challenge is simple enough: to get the best deal whilst surrendering the least amount of control and equity. How to achieve that is less straightforward.</p> <p>What goes wrong is poor attention put into the three basics: business plan, motivation, and due diligence.</p> <p>Usually, the fractures start to appear because the borrowing enterprise has just not prepared itself. Unfortunately, the thought of &lsquo;free&rsquo; cash in return for a slice of equity can tempt owners to make growth predictions that overreach reality. But the wise tread carefully and take advice. Without careful execution, the deals turn sour, with original management teams seduced into arrangements that end up with them losing both money and control.</p> <p>There are horror stories out there. One UK business originally worth &pound;5 million saw a &pound;7.5 million private equity investment turn rapidly from a lifeline to a millstone, as it failed to meet challenging targets to which its owner had originally agreed. The software company now owes its backers &pound;22.5 million in unpaid interest and redemption charges. Only one of the original management team is still in place and their stakes are now worth little.</p> <p>This particular nightmare is neither the rule, nor the exception, but illustrates what can go wrong.</p> <p>Private equity and venture capital can positively transform the fortunes of a business, injecting expertise as well as cash to help it grow. When it works, everyone benefits from a deal between risk and reward. But when it fails, the biggest loser often turns out to be the original management team.</p> <p>In the end, the siren call of ceding absolute control for someone else&rsquo;s financial support is not for everyone. Clients of BKL stepped back from the brink, despite a willing lender. The reason was unease that the lender&rsquo;s need for a return on their cash over a fixed term was at odds with the more relaxed instincts of the management team to let things in their restaurant chain grow organically.</p> <p>The business plan is crucial and more than just a calling card. It is the basis on which the institutional equity investor decides how much to lend and what to demand in return. Firms that overstate likely growth to get investment are doing themselves no favours.</p> <p>This is because valuations, upon which the entire deal will be based, are dependent on cash flow forecasts. Get them right, or better still, set them lower than they subsequently turn out, and everyone is happy.</p> <p>But if the business has to keep going back to the investor, the lender will gradually wrest away control in exchange for their cash. They will insist, for example, on new agreements that may keep notional share ownership intact, but take control of decisions over fundraising and board membership.</p> <p>In simple terms, the more a business falls short of an agreed business plan, the more it ends up giving away.</p> <p>Which brings us to the next important area: motivation. A management team must ask itself what kind of life it wants. Once private equity is on board, a rollercoaster ride starts. Demands are made, targets need to be met. The lender&rsquo;s need to recover cost and secure a return requires growth at an agreed rate. This can be incompatible with watching your children play sports on a Wednesday afternoon, say. Do the soul-searching.</p> <p>Nothing will be a problem if your business is growing, of course. But if it isn&rsquo;t, expect a tough life. The management team must be wholly committed or problems start, particularly when targets in the all-important business plan fail to be met.</p> <p>The final key component to borrowing money is to carry out due diligence on any lender. Examine the portfolio that every equity house lists. Speak to the firms involved and find out their experience.</p> <p>Borrowing money from a bank is a far more removed, transactional experience than taking it from a venture capitalist or private equity lender. Their loans come with an expectation of involvement, so personal and professional chemistry is important. The process is effectively inviting a new member on to your key team.</p> <p>Sometimes organic growth is best &ndash; not only because it allows more control to be kept by the original owners, but it can also be better as a fit. The culture of a business can be rudely disrupted by the keenly focused financial demands of an agreement with venture capital and private equity funders.</p> <p>And choose wisely. The ideal lender will treat your enterprise as more than just a risk to be shared amongst many others. But remember: Private equity wants to have your cake. The trick is to avoid it being eaten entirely.</p> <p><a href=""></a></p> <p><em>This article was first published in Finance Monthly&rsquo;s April 2018 edition and is available on the Finance Monthly website.</em></p> What does successful public sector transformation look like? Wed, 20 Jun 2018 15:38:21 +0100 CRM Sync As part of the Agilisys cloud blog series, Sean Grimes, Managing Director of Cloud & IT Services, discusses how the public sector can capitalise on the cloud to drive successful digital transformation. <p>The UK public sector has been an early adopter of the first iteration of digital capabilities &ndash; what we might call &lsquo;Digital 1.0&rsquo;. Initial steps, such as channel shift by offering self-service online forms to reduce processing costs and increase accuracy, were relatively easy to undertake and brought clear and immediate benefits.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Despite those steps forward, more advanced &lsquo;Digital 2.0&rsquo; capabilities are fast becoming essential, with organisations citing both <a href="">budget pressures (56%)</a> and <a href="">citizen demand (26%)</a> as the leading drivers for service transformation. Citizen expectations are also key - already, <a href="">half of UK citizens</a> see digital services as &ldquo;very&rdquo; important to their daily lives, with <a href="">a quarter</a> saying they use digital applications or services whenever possible.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>However, it will come as no surprise that more advanced &lsquo;Digital 2.0&rsquo; capabilities are harder to achieve. The age of &lsquo;Excel warriors&rsquo; is coming to an end. Spreadsheets just aren&rsquo;t sufficient in a &lsquo;Digital 2.0&rsquo; world where joined-up data, advanced analytics, user-friendly presentation of information, automation and intelligence empowers not just better decision-making, but better services.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It follows that improving the use of existing information assets demands more agile and cohesive IT. But few organisations have the resources to develop on-premises systems that can deliver on the promise of &lsquo;Digital 2.0&rsquo; services &ndash; such as applying big data analytics to find citizens at risk and intervene earlier or integrating adult social care with the Internet of Things (IoT) to keep people at home longer with real-time remote health monitoring via wearable sensors.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3><strong>Enter the cloud</strong></h3> <p>In planning for &lsquo;Digital 2.0&rsquo; transformation, the public sector faces a maze of competing solutions, legacy requirements and security concerns. Amid unrelenting pressure from day-to-day operations and a lack of digital or cloud skills, organisations are also short on the time and expertise needed to deliver their desired outcomes.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>While <a href="">nine-in-ten</a> (87%) public sector workers agree that technology is critical to success, <a href="">half</a> (47%) also said their organisation lacked the digital skills to build a long-term vision.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Fortunately, cloud-based capabilities can address much of this heavy-lifting. When managed correctly, the cloud can free public sector organisations from the technical and financial hurdles that traditionally prevent service transformation. With millions of customers, hyperscale cloud platforms like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Azure have unleashed enormous economies of scale &ndash; dramatically reducing the time, cost and risk associated with IT innovation. Capabilities that would once have only been accessible to the largest and most profitable enterprises are now available to all. The public sector must capitalise on this opportunity.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3><strong>Failure is an option</strong></h3> <p>Building a digital vision fit for 2020 and beyond requires a new mindset. Public sector organisations should be at liberty to test, trial, fail fast and iterate with the knowledge that not all &lsquo;Digital 2.0&rsquo; services will succeed. However, by dramatically lowering the time and cost of trialling new approaches, the cloud also makes failure acceptable, giving organisations the freedom to test new ideas.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Meanwhile, adopting the cloud itself needn&rsquo;t be a risky process. The first step is identifying the right IT strategy and target operating model, as well as building a fully-costed business case.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>With this clear <a href="">roadmap</a> in hand, organisations can rationalise existing IT systems to ensure they&rsquo;re fit for purpose, correctly sized and still required. This not only reduces the cost of cloud migration, it also makes adoption faster, safer and simpler to manage.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>With on-going expert support, the cloud&rsquo;s value can then be increased over the long-term: flexibly scaling services up or down, ensuring organisations only pay for what they need, and exploiting new capabilities as they emerge.</p> Digital Health Interoperability in the UK Wed, 20 Jun 2018 14:15:55 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog by Jeremy Goff, VP International Research, KLAS <p>As the world grows increasingly digital, the distance that divides us shrinks. Few industries showcase this shift more dramatically than healthcare. I say this coming from the United States, where an expensive healthcare model that falls somewhere between &ldquo;flawed&rdquo; and &ldquo;absolutely horrific&rdquo; (depending on how you vote), forces our public debate to look at other nations.</p> <p>This dilemma is one factor driving my enthusiasm for the research KLAS has conducted recently in the UK. We&rsquo;ve just spent the last year scoping, gathering, and delivering research on the state of interoperability within the NHS.</p> <p>As KLAS is a research organisation based in Orem, Utah, USA (don&rsquo;t worry, I&rsquo;ll give you a second to google the place), it took quite a bit of elbow grease to put our traditionally North American&ndash;focused research arm to work across the Atlantic. But thanks to amazing, dedicated healthcare professionals in the NHS, we uncovered some deep insights on the state of NHS interoperability.</p> <p><strong>How Is Data Being Exchanged?</strong></p> <p>From interviews with 141 individuals at 124 different organisations across England, KLAS found that substantial data exchange is happening within the NHS, mostly through 61 local shared records across the country.<br><!-- Mobile Meta --><!-- Bootstrap core CSS --><!-- Font Awesome CSS --><!-- Plugins --><!-- Custom css --><!-- Hotjar Tracking Code for --></p> <p><!--EndFragment--></p> <p><!--StartFragment--><a href=""><img alt="Current Interoperability Method(s)" src=";MaxWidth=600&amp;MaxHeight=600&amp;ScaleUp=false&amp;Quality=High&amp;Method=ResizeFitToAreaArguments&amp;Signature=88DAFF11746D7DE6DC4E167E2918E71E63C6D6AE" title="Current Interoperability Method(s)"></a><!--EndFragment--></p> <p><!-- Mobile Meta --><!-- Bootstrap core CSS --><!-- Font Awesome CSS --><!-- Plugins --><!-- Custom css --><!-- Hotjar Tracking Code for --></p> <p><!--StartFragment-->In large part, respondents told us that orders/results, hospital data/discharge summaries, and GP records are the most exchanged types of data. However, a full 42% of those we spoke with indicated that exchanged data impacts care &ldquo;sometimes&rdquo;, &ldquo;rarely&rdquo;, or &ldquo;never.&rdquo; This doesn&rsquo;t seem too different from interoperability in the USA, where&mdash;when asked about the shortcomings of exchanged data&mdash;62% of respondents say their biggest problem is unwieldly or excessive amounts of data.<!--EndFragment--></p> <p><img alt="" src="//" style="height:504px; width:600px"></p> <p>For many organisations in the UK, the inefficient data exchange they have today is better than nothing, as one head of IT at an STP explained:</p> <p><em>&ldquo;Any information sharing is better than no information sharing. We did a project a few years ago around serious mistakes, [like] where people had died. . . . In every instance, lack of information sharing was a contributing factor. We surprisingly get a lot of value from the HIE. In our outpatient clinics, they do digital dictation, and that information is immediately uploaded into the GP record. We have had patients who were diagnosed with cancer in the morning, and then they went to see their GP in the afternoon, and the GP was able to give the right kind of advice because the GP had the information from that morning. There are numerous stories like that.&rdquo;</em></p> <p>Others&mdash;like Rachel Dunscombe (CIO at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust)&mdash;argue that this view is a touch shortsighted: <em>&ldquo;While people may be happy with the[ir] solutions [for interoperability] today, consulting the solution road map will allow them to see whether their suppliers are moving towards the interoperability standards needed to support future requirements.&rdquo; </em></p> <p>While we can celebrate the successes that have been achieved thus far, I agree with Rachel&mdash;going forward, a strategic vision of data exchange will prove invaluable to provider organisations as they work with suppliers on future upgrades and implementations.</p> <p><strong>Are Suppliers Meeting Organisations&rsquo; Needs?</strong></p> <p>In addition to gathering general data surrounding interoperability exchange, KLAS asked study participants to rate the key suppliers with whom they have worked (or attempted to work) in pursuit of their interoperability goals. The average NHS customer rating for this metric is 5.5 (out of 9.0). To put that into context, the average KLAS score across all market segments and questions is 7.0. Andy Kinnear of NHS South, Central and West CSU explained, <em>&ldquo;In England we have created the framework of principles, behaviours, and commitments necessary to create a truly interoperable digital health and care system. The Newcastle declaration, the TechUK Charter, and the INTEROpen movement are all established and have &lsquo;right&rsquo; on their side. What we need now is for the suppliers to adapt their approach and recognise the new future we are all heading towards. Collectively, we could create something truly special and will never have a better chance than this to do it.&rdquo;</em></p> <p>Ultimately, with this research and our future efforts to measure digital care in the UK, KLAS hopes to provide healthcare providers with the knowledge and data they need to drive an informed digital health vision across the NHS. As <a href="">W. Edwards Deming</a> said, <em>&ldquo;Without data, you&rsquo;re just another person with an opinion.&rdquo;</em></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">This blog was first published on the KLAS website and is republished here with their permission.</a></p> <p><!--EndFragment--></p> <p><!--EndFragment--></p> London Tech Week: Mission Critical Technologies Mon, 18 Jun 2018 16:14:15 +0100 CRM Sync Henry Rex gives his view on Mission Critical Technologies, a public safety expo part of TechXLR8, the headline exhibition of London Tech Week. <p>Mission Critical Technologies is a new addition to London Tech Week. Co-located within TechXLR8, the two day event set out with the intention of exploring the need to drive technology and innovation in public safety.</p> <p>Exploring the emerging tech that will transform the way emergency services keep the public safe, the event was split into two parallel strands, looking at both Back-End and Front-End innovations. This balance worked well, enabling the event to cover all the major themes and technologies needed to generate a comprehensive discussion of the future of public safety.</p> <p>The balance between industry and public sector was also very well struck. Not only in terms of the mix of delegates and speakers, but also in the exhibition stands. Demonstrations from established and emerging suppliers were complemented by stands from emergency services and Government showcasing some of their most ambitious tech initiatives. Perhaps most noticeable of these was the Home Office stand, which was showcasing some of the applications designed to run on the ESN.</p> <p>techUK chaired the session on Front-End Innovation: Unmanned Vehicles and Automation. Hot on the heels of <a href="" target="_blank">techUK&rsquo;s own Drones Futures event</a> the previous day, this session explored the scope of drones to augment public safety in mission critical situations and looked at some national and international case studies.</p> <p>The case for drones to aid the emergency services is perhaps the easiest one to make of all the drones use cases out there. So the real issue is how UK emergency services can take drone use from small pockets of use by a few agencies, and deliver it into the mainstream, making drones business as usual for blue-lights services. Events such as MCT can help bridge that gap, allowing industry and end-users the chance to explore best practice and see the transformative potential of technologies like this.</p> <p>In its first year MCT brought together a good range of public sector users and industry suppliers, and gave all involved an opportunity to immerse themselves in conversations about the technologies that will define how we keep people safe in the future. We&rsquo;re looking forward to what next year&rsquo;s event brings.</p>Contact: <a href=""></a> #DigiLeaders: Profiling Women in Tech by techUK and Baker McKenzie Mon, 18 Jun 2018 13:53:51 +0100 CRM Sync As we kick off Digital Leaders’ Week, Baker McKenzie and techUK are celebrating the great women working in our sector. <p>Women make up only 17% of tech sector workers, but this small cohort is shaking up the industry. As part of our celebration of the amazing women working in our sector, we have interviewed a number of women leading the charge on how they got into tech and what advice they would give to those aspiring to work in the sector.</p> <p>Here are some of these women&rsquo;s advice for those looking to enter the tech sector.</p> <p><a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF">To read the full interviews, please click here.</span></a></p> <h4>Jacqueline de Rojas, techUK</h4> <p>&ldquo;We are creating more jobs than we can fill in tech and our dependency on digital is growing. So this is your opportunity&hellip; as with everything though, it is really important to know&nbsp;what you want or at least be prepared to define it and make it real in your head. Bystander or participant &ndash; you are in control of your own destiny. So many people wonder why their careers aren&rsquo;t going anywhere but if you ask what their vision or ambition for the next role looks like they often say something too vague. Know what you want and go after it!&rdquo;</p> <h4>Amanda Cooper, Thales UK</h4> <p>&ldquo;Research what type of company and working environment suits you, as there are so many options out there now. Always consider an apprenticeship, it&rsquo;s a great way to get into the industry while being paid and without accumulating debt. Release that you can get into tech at any stage of your life &ndash; visit the techUK Returners&rsquo; Hub for more advice!&rdquo;</p> <h4>Narmada Guruswamy, EY</h4> <p>&ldquo;Tech does not mean programming &ndash; anything that enables technology to work falls into this space For example, User Interface Design, which builds the interface between man and machine, is part-science and part-art. From technical writing to podcasts to video game art design, people can get involved in a variety of ways that tap into their strengths.&rdquo;</p> <h4>Hema Marshall, Cisco UK</h4> <p>&ldquo;Don&rsquo;t choose a path, let the path choose you as you will never know where it will take you. If you asked me 2 years ago would I ever go into sales I would have laughed yet today here I am leading a sales organisation.&rdquo;</p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Lifting the Curse of Knowledge Mon, 18 Jun 2018 07:00:00 +0100 CRM Sync Sarah Hinchliffe considers how to fix a recurring reason why our sales proposals fail to hit the mark. <p><strong>Sarah Hinchliffe considers how to fix a recurring reason why our sales proposals fail to hit the mark.</strong></p> <p>As salespeople, we cannot afford to confuse, frustrate or anger our prospects. Yet every day, salespeople and their colleagues the world over are causing exactly those emotions with their writing.</p> <p>Sales proposals are often jam-packed with jargon, business speak, techno-babble and legalese, not to mention bad structure and poorly crafted language. Such documents risk misunderstanding, misinterpretation and false expectation. In the worst cases, your prospect may give up reading, unwilling to waste any more time fathoming what on earth you are offering.</p> <p>As a proposal consultant, I edit reams of written content, often making sense of nonsense. I marvel at how people can write in such a complex, obscure and cryptic fashion. Although some authors love to show off their expertise, most are simply suffering from the curse of knowledge &ndash; labouring under the assumption that their audience has all the knowledge they have.&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:right; height:162px; width:191px">When writing a proposal, it is easy to get wrapped up in telling the prospect how marvellous we are and describing all the bells and whistles of our product or service. We completely forget to consider who is on the receiving end and whether what we are saying resonates.</p> <p>So, let&rsquo;s unravel the wonderful concept of the curse of knowledge &ndash; how it is cast, how to recognise you or your colleagues are suffering, and how to lift and banish it for forever.</p> <p><span style="color:#0000FF"><strong>Brewing up a potion</strong></span></p> <p>In embarking on this section, I openly admit that I am not a linguist or any flavour of psychologist. In short, we just need to recognise that a lot is going on in our heads that subconsciously influences how we put pen to paper. But here&rsquo;s my layperson&rsquo;s understanding of the complex ingredients of the curse.</p> <p>The first ingredient is &ldquo;chunking&rdquo;. Chunking is one of the methods by which we learn. Think of a chunk as a building block. We assemble our knowledge bank by connecting chunks of information together into larger and more complex chunks - but we sometimes need to disassemble the chunks, so our audience can catch on.</p> <p>Unfortunately, chunking contributes to complex writing. Imagine a banker describing quantitative easing (something few of us had heard of before the financial crash a decade ago) to another banker. It would be easy because they are at the same &lsquo;chunk level&rsquo;. Ask the same banker to explain it to a child and the communication level would have to change. Quantitative easing is only comprehensible if you learn and understand the underlying chunks. Kids get buying and selling, and they&rsquo;ve probably been to a market. From there you can progress to explaining about economies and policies to manage the economy and so no.</p> <p>The second ingredient is &ldquo;functional fixity&rdquo;, the human trait of thinking about things in terms of their function rather than their form. <img alt="" src="//" style="float:right; height:204px; width:310px">Functionally a dinner plate is an object from which to eat a meal. Form-wise, it is a flat-ish, hard, round, easily cleanable surface. Functional fixity matters because it leads to abstract and conceptual writing. Take Steven Pinker&rsquo;s example: &ldquo;Participants were tested under conditions of good to excellent acoustic isolation&rdquo; (functional) as opposed to &ldquo;We tested the students in a quiet room&rdquo; (form). The latter is concrete and clear.</p> <p>Throw into the mix our four final ingredients &ndash; a dash of mindblindness, a pinch of egocentricity, a drizzle of hindsight and a splash of false consensus - and you&rsquo;ve got yourself a tasty potion for prosaic disaster.</p> <p><span style="color:#0000FF"><strong>The curse is cast </strong></span></p> <p>You will know if you have been cursed if your audience fails to understand and engage with your proposal. This will typically be due to some critical symptoms of your writing: incoherence; acronyms and abbreviations; jargon and gobbledygook; complexity and clutter; and abstraction. Examine your own and your colleagues&rsquo; writing carefully to spot if you are afflicted &ndash; or better still, get an opinion from someone you trust.</p> <p>As with many things, admission is the first step to cure. If you have a positive diagnosis, read on.</p> <p><span style="color:#0000FF"><strong>Lifting the curse</strong></span></p> <p>There are some traditional remedies you can use such as &ldquo;put yourself in your customer&rsquo;s shoes&rdquo; and &ldquo;imagine the reader on your shoulder.&rdquo; Who exactly is the audience &ndash; their role, their responsibility, their level of knowledge? Writing with the customer in mind is a good start.</p> <p>Make a working assumption that your customer is reasonably intelligent &ndash; you don&rsquo;t want to dumb your writing down to a na&iuml;ve and condescending level. It&rsquo;s just that they may not understand things to quite the level you do.</p> <p>With that advice in place, let&rsquo;s tackle the individual symptoms.</p> <ul><li>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Incoherence </strong></li> </ul><p>Incoherent writing is rambling and disjointed, without logical or meaningful connections. It is typical of someone who knows exactly what they are talking about and simply dumps it onto a page. There&rsquo;s no flow. There doesn&rsquo;t need to be &ndash; it&rsquo;s all just obvious, to them.</p> <p>Incoherence is the first symptom to cure. A business proposal must be structured overall and by section to ensure it addresses all the customer&rsquo;s points and tells your compelling story without losing the plot.</p> <p>The best medicine for incoherence is a content plan. Think of it as a skeleton that you will flesh out &ndash; the bones give it shape and hold it together. Take the time to work out the overall story you want to tell, decide on the sections and the key messages, gather ideas for content that will fit in each section. Check with colleagues that the skeleton is the right shape before crafting the body.</p> <ul><li>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Acronyms and abbreviations </strong></li> </ul><p>Contractions and initials are like spots &ndash; they pop up everywhere and need treating individually. No matter how obvious they are to you, always expand acronyms and abbreviations the first time and show the short form in brackets afterwards. Don&rsquo;t leave your customer guessing if ARMS stands for Aviation Resource Management System or an Automated Records Management System or one of almost 200 other options. In a proposal with many sections that may be split up amongst evaluators, repeat this for each section. And consider if a glossary would help.</p> <ul><li>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Jargon and gobbledygook</strong></li> </ul><p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:left; height:190px; width:264px">At the heart of the curse, we will find words or expressions used by a profession or group that are difficult for others to understand. These words and expressions get spun into language rendered meaningless to the layperson. Check out the example from Steven Pinker to the left, which simply means &ldquo;the more you eat, the fatter you get&rdquo;.</p> <p>Remember George Orwell&rsquo;s writing rule: &ldquo;Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.&rdquo; Make sure you write in plain English. If you need to use a specialist term, follow it with a short explanation and an example. &copy; i4 Consultancy and Design Ltd 2018</p> <ul><li>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Complexity and clutter</li> </ul><p>The curse of knowledge tends to cause prosaic diarrhoea - long sentences with pompous and unnecessary words in abundance. Try this wonderful example on the right. When President Roosevelt saw it, he instructed: <img alt="" src="//" style="float:right; height:190px; width:264px">&ldquo;Tell them, that in buildings where they have to keep the work going to put something across the windows."</p> <p>Focus on getting paragraphs down to one key point and sentences to a sensible average (15-20). In the words of the eminent Professor William Strunk, &ldquo;omit needless words&rdquo;, whether they be adverbs, adjectives or other fluff and bluster. If you choose your words wisely, you can still achieve some personality in your writing and get your point across.</p> <p>To test yourself, use software that will give you readability statistics &ndash; there are various options based on algorithms that assess how easy your prose is to read according to parameters such as sentence length and syllables.</p> <ul><li>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Abstraction</li> </ul><p>To kill off our final curse symptom, we need to eliminate abstraction. Remember functional fixity? It leads to writing about generalities, ideas, concepts or characteristics. In business proposals, we need to write about real things - objects, events and people. We need to use concrete language with examples and be clear about who is doing what, to whom, when, why and how.</p> <p><span style="color:#0000FF"><strong>Ward off the curse forever </strong></span></p> <p>Having taken all the pills &ndash; or got your colleagues to take them - you should be feeling better, and so should your customers. Your proposal successes should start to increase.</p> <p>Before you breathe a sigh of relief, don&rsquo;t forget, it&rsquo;s easy for the curse to come back. To ward it off forever, keep taking the medicine. Read more. And learn about writing &ndash; there are plenty of great books and videos out there.</p> <p>Check yourself. Take a break, then go back and read your writing again before editing. For a really effective test, try reading out loud.</p> <p>But there is a limit how far you can edit your own work, so get an independent check-up. Get someone else to read it &ndash; someone in your field can assess accuracy and completeness; someone outside your field can review it for readability and comprehension.</p> <p>And remember the readability statistics &ndash; always a useful test. This article is suitable for a 15-year old &ndash; about the right level for a proposal.</p> <p>Oh, and for extra protection, you can always find a white witch - like me!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:11px">With thanks to Steve Pinker and his book &ldquo;The Sense of Style&rdquo; for inspiring and informing this article.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11px">Sarah Hinchliffe is a Director of i4 Consultancy and Design Ltd, helping companies improve their win rates through sales and bid excellence. See <a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF"></span></a> or email <a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF"></span></a>.&nbsp;</span></p> London Tech Week: Highlights from IoTWorldEurope Fri, 15 Jun 2018 14:53:55 +0100 CRM Sync Matt Evans gives his view on IoT World Europe, part of TechXLR8, the headline exhibition of London Tech Week <p>IoT World Europe landed in London Tech Week with a splash as well as a bang at the Excel Centre. Sprawling over several of the conference halls, it was the place to be if you wanted to try out the latest in AR/VR, understand what the latest developments in IoT or delve into the possibilities that 5G might bring.&nbsp;</p> <p>It was great to chair a session in the Connected Consumer workstream about how we as a sector have to be more successful in meeting the 'challenge of simplicty' - that is, providing consumers with simple to use and resilient services which come from a variety of different sources and providers.&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:center; height:450px; width:600px"></p> <p>The panel discussion which featured Device Pilot, Mozaiq and Strategy Analytics covered some of the technical challenges of interoperability and interchangeability in the developing IoT ecosystem and covered both the potential standards which may assist in encouraging interoperability. On interoperability it was clear that the panel did not see individual apps for certain devices - say a smart fridge - disappearing as they provided the most tailored service, but that there was clearly a role for a hub approach that covered the most general day-to-day of activities.&nbsp;</p> <p>As to when we might see true interoperability on between IoT devices and services? The panel was split from 'right around the corner' to 'never - but it'll alsways be improving'! Where there was agreement though was that consumer's valued a simple approach and were prepared to pay for it from trusted channels such as telcos or retailers. There were clear exampes&nbsp;with both having the opportunity to deepen their relationship with users in providing&nbsp; both set-up and ongoing assistance of connected home services.&nbsp;</p> <p>Now, onto the splash reference. I confess my attention as Chair was being challenged by this incredible Formula 1 Power Boat.</p> <p><img alt="" src="//" style="height:600px; width:800px"></p> <p>What it's relation to the Internet of Things is, I don't know but I look forward to the VR experience at next year's event!</p>Contact: <a href=""></a> London Tech Week: The week in review Fri, 15 Jun 2018 14:29:47 +0100 CRM Sync Simon Spier, Head of International Trade, reflects on the week as a whole and discusses takeaways from some key events that were attended over the last three days. <p>As London Tech Week draws a close, it safe to say it has been a vibrant, enjoyable and somewhat hectic week. The energetic atmosphere that was created during the launch has not let up. After an action packed Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday provided the opportunity to meet the first Access India Programme cohort at the Indian High Commission.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>On Thursday I was pleased to join a panel at the Global Ecosystems Summit. (GES). GES provided a platform for global start-up hubs and innovation programmes to showcase their ecosystems. The event provided an opportunity for ecosystem leaders to share and gain insights from each other&rsquo;s experiences and for ecosystem startups and technology companies to find avenues for collaboration, partnerships and investment.&nbsp; Participation ranged from startups/ scaleups, entrepreneurs, accelerators/ incubators, corporate innovation, tech buyers, venture capital, family offices, and trade bodies.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I was privileged to join a panel in which we explored resources and opportunities to enable collaboration between companies and ecosystems. The event was very well organised and again showcased the rich talent in London, the UK and indeed around the globe. Following GES, I headed to the London Transport Museum for an event that explored technology in F1 organised by Orange Bus. The event hosted a range of fascinating talks that explored the use for applications of F1 tech to other industries.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Today, I had the opportunity to meet with a delegation of excellent India start-ups and players in the ecosystem. We explored opportunities in the UK for them to grow and shared tips with each other on how to make the most out of the UK ecosystem.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As anticipated London Tech Week has been intense, fruitful and fun. Bring on next year!</p>Contact: <a href=""></a> techUK comment on relaxation of Tier 2 visas Thu, 14 Jun 2018 10:01:00 +0100 CRM Sync Read techUK Head of Policy for Skills, Innovation and Digital Strategy Vinous Ali's comment on the Government's announcement regarding the relaxation of Tier 2 visas. <p><strong>Commenting on news that the Home Office will announce a relaxation of Tier 2 visa rules, Vinous Ali, Head of Policy at techUK, said:</strong></p> <p>&ldquo;The announcement on Tier 2 visas is hugely welcome. The tech sector in the UK is going from strength to strength. For this is to continue, we need an immigration system that works. Tech workers are some of the most mobile and in-demand professionals in the world. If the UK wants to be a global hub for tech then it needs to be open and attractive to the best tech talent. &nbsp;</p> <p>We hope this announcement marks a new approach from the Home Secretary &ndash; one where the needs of business and our economy come ahead of arbitrary caps and targets. The next challenge will be ensuring we get our future migration system right and we stand ready to work with Government to achieve that goal.&rdquo;</p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Modernising Justice Through Technology, Innovation & Efficiency Wed, 13 Jun 2018 14:40:36 +0100 CRM Sync Reflections from the 14th Annual Modernising Justice Conference, chaired by techUK's Henry Rex. <p>I was delighted to be asked to chair the 14th Annual Modernising Justice Conference, which was held yesterday in the QEII Centre in Westminster. The event brings public servants from across the justice system together with industry leaders, academics, and charities to explore the impact of, and future role of, technology in our justice system.</p> <p>Often when we talk about transforming the justice system, we break it down into a series of business processes, functions, budgets. We talk about customers and end-users. And this conference began with the always useful reminder that this is about justice. There are no customers, or clients, or end users. There are victims, witnesses, defendants, dedicated public servants. A fair and accessible justice system is the bedrock of our civilization, and as we talk about how we can transform and modernize the system, it is vital that we hold this in the front of our minds.</p> <p>The opening keynote speech was delivered by Jerome Glass, the Director of Strategy at the Ministry of Justice, who described the Ministry&rsquo;s work on their long-term vision: <em>Justice 2030</em>. This strategy goes beyond the traditional scope of programmes to transform the justice system, and is looking at a wide range technological and societal developments over the coming decades, and how they might impact the way the state delivers justice.</p> <p>In the years ahead there will be a profound change in the way citizens conduct their daily lives, and how they interact with the state, as technology evolves and demands changes. So it is reassuring that the MoJ is considering what these developments mean for the justice system.</p> <p>Next up was Tom Read, the Chief Digital and Information Officer at the MoJ, who outlined the transformation journey the Ministry has been on over the past couple of years, and how he and his team are redesigning MoJ services for the digital age.</p> <p>The following sessions covered tech transformation across the full gamut of the justice system: from digitally enabling frontline police officers, to improving efficiency and performance in the courts and Crown Prosecutions Service.</p> <p>Transformation is clearly difficult, but the presentations and case studies that we heard at the event demonstrated that the potential prizes are worth the effort. And as valuable as the insights from the formal sessions were, equal value was derived from the great opportunities for networking, providing attendees a chance connect and forge useful connections.</p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Government announce world-first AI Talent Scheme Wed, 13 Jun 2018 14:09:00 +0100 CRM Sync Julian David and other businesses and leaders back a world-first industry and government collaboration to develop the next generation of AI experts in the UK. <p><strong>Commenting on the Government's announcement of an industry and Government&nbsp;collaboration to develop the next generation of AI experts in the UK, techUK CEO Julian David said:</strong></p> <p>&ldquo;Today's announcement is more evidence of the Government's commitment to keep the UK at the forefront of innovation in AI. In building a world-leading framework for digital and data governance, the UK can be a pioneer in the development of responsible AI.</p> <p>We are pleased to see the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation start to take shape. Industry stands ready to support Roger Taylor in his new role and the consultation process announced today. The Centre has a crucial role to play in creating the&nbsp;right environment for industry, academia, civil society, regulators and policy makers to consider how best to ensure ethical decision making is at the core of all implementations of AI.</p> <p>techUK also welcomes the investment and commitment made by industry and Government in the new industrial masters programme.&nbsp;Building the next generation of UK AI talent is vital to securing the UK&rsquo;s AI future.&rdquo;</p> <p><a href="">Read the Government's full press release here.&nbsp;</a></p>Contact: <a href=""></a>Contact: <a href=""></a> techUK, DigitalEurope & SAP on importance of DPAs following GDPR Wed, 13 Jun 2018 10:25:01 +0100 CRM Sync A letter from Julian David, techUK, Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl, DIGITALEUROPE and Mathias Cellarius, SAP regarding the important task facing Data Protection Authorities. <p>GDPR took effect across Europe on 25 May 2018, but that is the beginning, not the end. GDPR will be an evolving story and we may not know its impact for some time to come. One of the key tests of GDPR will be in its enforcement by Data Protection Authorities across Europe, who have a significant responsibility to ensure the new rules are applied effectively. They are likely to face challenges in that task.</p> <p>Julian David, CEO, techUK, Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl, Director General, DIGITALEUROPE and Mathias Cellarius, Global Data Protection Officer, SAP have joined forces to outline the important task facing data protection authorities and call for the relevant resources to tackle that task effectively.</p> <p><em>"GDPR day was a major milestone for Europe. The EU can be proud that it has set the agenda on privacy in the digital age. But the real success of the GDPR will depend on how it is understood, interpreted and enforced.</em></p> <p><em>One of the most immediate consequences of the GDPR is that Europe&rsquo;s Data Protection Authorities (DPAs) are now not only privacy watchdogs but also, in effect, powerful economic regulators. Their actions and decisions will have profound implications for Europe&rsquo;s digitising economy.</em></p> <p><em>To fulfil the Regulation&rsquo;s ambitions, DPAs must give practical meaning to individual rights whilst also supporting the ability of businesses and other organisations to innovate and grow. To this end, they need to do three things:</em></p> <p><em>Firstly, commit to a long-term effort to drive understanding and not just awareness of the GDPR.</em></p> <p><em>Secondly, make themselves open to effective dialogue with stakeholders and organisations within and outside the EU, to ensure a deep understanding of the implications of evolving technology and develop effective solutions to new challenges.</em></p> <p><em>Thirdly, coordinate effectively through the European Data Protection Board and ensure that the &lsquo;One-Stop-Shop&rsquo; for dispute resolution lives up to its name.</em></p> <p><em>All of this will take more resources. Across Europe there are concerns that DPAs are not suitably resourced to ensure GDPR is enforced effectively. The test of GDPR will be in its application and enforcement. Regulators must therefore be in a position to meet that test, which may require additional investment. EU governments should prepare to resource their DPAs to suitable levels now."</em></p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Making interoperability easier through INTEROPen Tue, 12 Jun 2018 14:27:41 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog by David Hancock, techUK representative on the INTEROPen Board <p>As far back as Hippocrates, health information management has played a fundamental role in patient care, and clinical advances have been entwined with the exponential growth of information management, communication, and analytics technology. Healthcare organizations have deployed information technology (IT) widely to facilitate clinical, business and administrative operations and now have an extensive legacy IT base in place.&nbsp; Today the challenges in health and care are compounded by the increase in long term conditions populations of patients and the fact many have more than one.&nbsp; As healthcare moves from a break-fix model to one of long term condition management, care is now managed by Multi-Disciplinary Teams (MDTs) made up of workers from different Provider organisations using new models of care.</p> <p>As we have moved towards these models of care, it has become quickly apparent that the highest risks of poor quality care and gaps in care occurring is when care is handed over from one Provider to another, or where patient care has to be delivered by a Multi-Disciplinary Team made up of workers from different organisations, who use different systems. Necessary new models of care and health transformation require increased data liquidity and for this to happen, systems must be interoperable.&nbsp; Data must be able to flow throughout the healthcare system easily and securely, which a legacy IT base does not make easy. Information must be quickly available to clinicians, patients and others, whenever and wherever they need it.&nbsp; Interoperability at scale requires standards and as is often said:</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;Healthcare standards are like toothbrushes; everyone says they have them, but nobody is willing to share&rdquo;</strong></p> <p>Therefore we need a set of interoperability standards that suppliers can and will deliver (and share) and that health and care organisations will use.&nbsp; One of the problems with the development and implementation of interoperability standards in the past has been that there has either not been enough of a &ldquo;supply-push&rdquo; of standards that suppliers are bought in to support, or a &ldquo;demand-pull&rdquo; from health and social care organisations.&nbsp; Without having both of these forces in place the development and adoption of standards is going to fail.&nbsp; <a href="" target="_blank">techUK&rsquo;s Interoperability Charter </a>recognised part of this and tried to ensure that the &rdquo;supply-push&rdquo; was correctly defined but it couldn&rsquo;t address the demand pull.</p> <p>So we come to today.&nbsp;How do we obtain the necessary &ldquo;supply-push&rdquo; and &ldquo;demand-pull&rdquo;.&nbsp;This is why <a href="">INTEROPen</a> has been set up.&nbsp;INTEROPen is an OPEN collaboration of individuals, industry, standards organisations, health and care providers, NHS England and NHS Digital, who have agreed to work together to accelerate the development of open standards for interoperability in the health and social care sector.&nbsp; techUK is part of this and I sit on the INTEROPen Board as the techUK representative.</p> <p>INTEROPen aims to provide a forum to collaborate on the design and application of technical interoperability standards. The areas covered by the group include data exchange, data validation, defining APIs and governance. It is an action group whereby members commit to design, validation and demonstration using real systems.&nbsp; Commercial interests are put to one side in the group&rsquo;s activities.&nbsp;</p> <p>INTEROPen is a new way of doing interoperability across Health and Social Care.&nbsp; Ways of working are still evolving, but in my experience it is the best chance we have to actually do this successfully.&nbsp; INTEROPen is now at a point to engage the software supplier community and is about to do this through techUK.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p>INTEROPen wants to form a realistic assessment of where suppliers of IT software to the UK health and care sector, are today; what they are committed to delivering, the challenges they are facing, and the type of support needed. It is intended to offer software suppliers a voice, and you will be invited on multiple occasions to make suggestions and recommendations for change.&nbsp; This is being done with 2 questionnaires that are being issued today.&nbsp; We will send information out to these separately.&nbsp;</p> <p>For those of you whose organisations have not joined INTEROPen, I recommend you consider joining.&nbsp;It costs nothing and you will have the opportunity to influence and shape interoperability and plan it into your products earlier, rather than &ldquo;having interoperability done to you&rdquo;.&nbsp;</p> No.10 announce significant investment in the UK tech industry Tue, 12 Jun 2018 10:26:00 +0100 CRM Sync Read techUK CEO Julian David's response to the Government's announcement, which will provide a £2.3 billion boost to the tech sector and create 1,600 jobs. <p><strong>Commenting on the announcement, Julian David, techUK CEO, said:</strong></p> <p>&ldquo;This is another vote of confidence in the UK tech sector.&nbsp;The billions of pounds of investment and thousands of new jobs shows that the UK remains a global hub for tech. The Government is clearly determined not to abandon the playing field to France and others when it comes to presenting a strong offering to tech entrepreneurs and investors.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;The Industrial Strategy has been very positive for tech. The challenge is to build on these strong foundations. We need to digitise our economy, grow our domestic digital market and identify new export opportunities.</p> <p>&ldquo;The new start-up visas are a sensible move to encourage those with good ideas to come to the UK.&nbsp;However, start-ups are only one part of UK tech. For many established mid-tier and larger tech companies, there remain serious concerns around Tier 2 visas. We understand that approximately 1,000 tech workers with job offers were refused visas between December 2017 and March 2018. This is a handbrake on economic growth and needs to be urgently addressed.&rdquo;</p>Contact: <a href=""></a>Contact: <a href=""></a> KTP as the most effective route to innovation Tue, 12 Jun 2018 07:00:00 +0100 CRM Sync The KTP scheme supports UK companies to engage with universities and recruit highly motivated research associates, whilst gaining access to academic knowledge, market intelligence, technology and expertise not available in-house. <p><strong>Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) have been helping companies innovate and grow in the UK for the last four decades - but there are still many businesses yet to explore the huge benefits it can deliver.</strong></p> <p><strong>Part-funded by a grant</strong>, the KTP scheme supports UK companies to engage with universities and recruit highly motivated research associates, whilst gaining access to academic knowledge, market intelligence, technology and expertise not available in-house. For SMEs the grant rate is 67% of the project cost and for large companies 50%.</p> <p>KTPs enable businesses to bring in new skills and the latest academic thinking to deliver an innovation project through a knowledge-based partnership. This leads to improved performance, productivity and competitiveness.</p> <p>Monika Dabrowska, the KTP Specialist at MSC R&amp;D, is working directly with businesses to access the scheme and connect them with the right academic partners: &ldquo;<em>With subsidised access to university research and facilities, KTPs provide opportunities for companies to forge long-term, strategic relationships with world-class academia.&rdquo;</em></p> <p>According to the five-year 2011-2016 KTP national statistics, business could expect to benefit from a KTP, on average:</p> <ul><li>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &pound;60k increase in pre-tax profit during the lifetime of the project;</li> <li>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &pound;600k per annum increase in pre-tax profit for the three years following completion of the project;</li> <li>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &pound;650k per annum increase in exports for the three years following completion of the project;</li> <li>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &pound;300k investment in plant and machinery;</li> <li>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &pound;160k investment in further research and development;</li> <li>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 2 new jobs created;</li> <li>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 20 staff trained.</li> </ul><p>Partnerships can cover any sector and any discipline where there is a need for additional expertise and resources<em>. &ldquo;The remit for KTP projects is wide and includes building robust autonomous robots for compact warehouse applications, embedding knowledge for the effective management and use of information, development an underwater acoustic expertise as well as a new security solution using biometric technology&rdquo;, </em>says Monika.</p> <p>Through the programme, research associates work on projects at companies with the university supervision for one to three years to generate new products, develop markets, improve operating processes and systems or increase sustainability.</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Monika Dabrowska, KTP Specialist at MSC R&amp;D</p> <p>T: 07460216691 | E: <a href=""></a>&nbsp;| W: <a href=""></a></p> techUK comments on proposed Brexit customs backstop Thu, 07 Jun 2018 15:22:03 +0100 CRM Sync Proposal welcome, but Government must now focus on securing future agreement with EU, not internal agreement on fall back positions. <p><strong>Commenting on the release of the Government&rsquo;s <a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF">proposals for a &lsquo;backstop&rsquo; temporary customs arrangement</span></a>, techUK&rsquo;s Head of Policy for Brexit, International and Economics, Giles Derrington, said:</strong></p> <p><em>&ldquo;The Government&rsquo;s commitment to an all-UK backstop provides a sensible and pragmatic fall-back position. We hope that this can now be agreed with the EU so that progress can be made in negotiations on the Irish border and, crucially, the future partnership. We particularly welcome the clear commitment to remaining within existing EU VAT rules in any backstop process.</em></p> <p><em>&ldquo;However, with fewer than 300 days left until Brexit, tech businesses are conscious that Government cannot spend many more days focused on internally agreeing its fall back positions. There are huge areas of difference between the UK and EU on what a future agreement might look like.&nbsp; Far more time needs to be spent showing businesses that both parties are able to bridge that gap. For fast moving tech businesses, kicking the can even further down the road is not an option."</em></p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Cybersecurity and AI Wed, 06 Jun 2018 09:12:53 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Shankar Narayanan from Tata Consultancy Services discusses the help AI can offer in solving cybersecurity problems. <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:left; height:400px; margin:5px; width:267px">The phrase &lsquo;data is becoming the new oil&rsquo; has been overused in the last few years. However, with the cyber risk insurance industry anticipated to grow to a $7.5 billion dollar industry by 2020, compared with just $1.7 billion in 2015, the sentiment continues to be relevant. &nbsp;The reason for this growth is to do with the widespread adoption of intelligent devices analysing the data produced by every one of us every time we use a device connected to the internet. In fact, if we keep pace with the current rate of growth, by 2025 there will be over ten times the amount of data in existence than there was in 2016 - <a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF">163 zettabytes, or a trillion gigabytes</span></a>, if that&rsquo;s any easier to get your head around!</p> <p>Data is becoming increasingly valuable. It is imperative that companies make use of the information they gather to better their customer experience. <a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF">89 percent of business buyers</span></a> now expect companies to know what they&rsquo;d like before they even reach out. This is only possible with clever use of data. However, alongside the value put on utilising data held by companies, it is now even more important that companies protect the information that they are entrusted with. &nbsp;</p> <p>Companies now take out bespoke cyber risk insurance policies in order to protect themselves against cyberattacks, and to ensure their businesses are able to cope with any fine they are subject to. However, putting in place business assurances in order to protect the company is only half the battle. Companies must be proactive in ensuring their data is always secure and their systems have the latest malware devices installed. This is where CIOs and CTOs turn to Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Automation to protect their businesses.</p> <h3>Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Automation must be embraced</h3> <p>An AI security system does not only prevent initial entry into a system, it is able to analyse the system in real-time, identify anomalies and alert security experts to unexpected events. Today&rsquo;s digital landscape makes AI almost indispensable when it comes to monitoring Big Data, as it can analyse the status of internal systems in seconds. For instance, <a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF">Tata Consultancy Services&rsquo; ignio&trade; system</span></a> empowers IT operations by providing IT engineers with the information they need to prevent cyber-attacks. If, for example, a market research company was to be hit by an IT incident such as a cyber-attack, what would normally take 2-3 hours to identify, mitigate and resolve can take minutes. Not only do these intelligent systems limit the damage attackers can do to a company&rsquo;s system, they also allow insurers to assess the strength of their policy holder&rsquo;s internal systems. The Ignio system is able to identify problems lurking in a company&rsquo;s IT operation and then use its developing &lsquo;brain&rsquo; to figure out how best to fix the issue.</p> <p>For instance&nbsp;IAG, the fifth largest airline group in the world, rely on highly skilled engineers to keep on top of all the IT incidents that inevitably appear. Not only is this expensive, it is also time-consuming, preventing these skilled engineers from improving other areas of the business. Therefore it&rsquo;s easy to see why a system that uses artificial intelligence to do the same job, is an attractive proposition and prevents engineers from simply firefighting. Even though ignio&trade; isn&rsquo;t fully installed yet across the company, it is already cutting maintenance costs. Once fully integrated, it is hoped that approximately 85% of IT incidents at IAG that currently take service teams between 10 and 20 minutes to resolve, will be fixed within two to five minutes &ndash; without any human intervention.&nbsp;</p> <p>There are sure to be those who are skeptical that the best way to deal with IT problems is to install more IT, but AI-based technology is proving to be extremely well-suited for this kind of task. Technology is set to take an ever more central role in almost every kind of business. Reducing the cost of maintaining those systems is in everyone&rsquo;s interests.</p>Contact: <a href=""></a> A cybersecurity MOT for self-driving cars Wed, 06 Jun 2018 08:00:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest Blog: Daniel O'Neill, Rackspace, unpacks the need to address key cyber and physical challenges in the take-up of connected and autonomous vehicles. <p>We are on the verge of one of the biggest technological revolutions in human history. A development that will change the way cities are designed, the way we exercise, order food, maintain critical infrastructure and even&hellip; drive.</p> <p>This is, of course, thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), an industrial insurgency that has seen cars continuously begin to look and feel more like computers. Now, with an influx of onboard screens and sensors, they navigate, entertain, brake and even steer autonomously, and will soon drive us, rather than be driven.</p> <p>With over <a href="">1,700 deaths in the UK on the road each year</a> due to human error, driverless cars could potentially save thousands of lives. However, in our modern, interconnected world, as with any new ground-breaking technology, the opportunity is often fraught with risk and vulnerability.</p> <p>As we increasingly digitise the way we work, live and communicate, more and more of the everyday parts of our world are trans-coded into data and connected using the Internet of Things (IoT).&nbsp; This exponentially increases the risks of data being manipulated by cyber-criminals, with major cyber-attacks now regularly hitting the headlines. Where once these attacks just sought to steal credit card information or large amounts of money from major organisations, attacks on infrastructure and the use of weaponised cyber threats have grown in recent years and can now be easily targeted towards individuals.</p> <p>So, what if the &ldquo;IoT device&rdquo; is a self-driving car? Could the promised flood of autonomous vehicles create weapons on the road?</p> <p><strong>Security taking the backseat</strong></p> <p>The excited anticipation of driverless cars, as seen with many IoT devices, has seen security take a backseat, with other design features and a quick delivery pipeline taking priority. To date, there has been greater focus on the physical security implications, which is one of the main benefits of driverless cars, but a compromised brake or steering system could be equally deadly. To realise the benefits of self-driving cars, the cyber security challenges must be addressed with equal significance.</p> <p>Rather than data theft, disruption or defacing, the ability to remotely take control of a vehicle has far more worrying consequences and potential impacts. Whether maliciously programmed or via a functionality bug, a compromised driverless car&rsquo;s server could make the vehicle drive to an isolated location. Why? Hackers can in turn hold the owner to ransom and drive revenue for the return of vehicles, or even present the occupier with potentially physically threatening harm.</p> <p>Much like the rest of the cyber security industry, the opportunities for hackers have moved beyond financial gain. Mass scale autonomous attacks could be leveraged as an "in" to manipulate and control broader networks that connect with autonomous vehicles, such as financial processing of tolls, online parking payment, road sensors, traffic signals and cameras.</p> <p>At the very worst, the potential damage that may happen if someone were to successfully hack a self-driving car is scary. This isn&rsquo;t like breaking into a bank account to steal money or a law firm to steal secrets; a hacker could turn a self-driving car into a devastating terror threat; only the perpetrator could be operating remotely, several thousand miles away, safe from capture or detection.</p> <p><strong>Go full throttle on security</strong></p> <p>When it comes to protecting our connected devices and networks against these attacks, more must be done. Due to the growing scale of threat, the industry is struggling to keep up with the increasing sophistication of attackers. Establishing a framework for securing autonomous vehicles is a challenge and could take years to implement. Any cyber security measures need to be thorough and constantly evolving in line with the latest developments in the cyber threat landscape.</p> <p>Whilst driverless cars will overcome the challenge of parallel parking and traffic jams, before we can truly reap the benefits, the cyber security threats must be addressed. Only now it isn&rsquo;t solely about data, it&rsquo;s arguably also about protecting people.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">On 19<sup>th</sup> June Rackspace is participating in an event with the Bank of England and techUK called <em>Autonomous Vehicles and the Finance Sector &ndash; Monitoring the road to autonomy,&nbsp;</em>along with major insurers and representatives from the automotive sector to press forward the discussion on securing autonomous vehicles. You can find more information <a href="">here</a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Attributable to Daniel O&rsquo;Neill, Head of Rackspace Managed Security, EMEA</em></p> It’s high time to step into the cloud. It needn’t be a leap of faith Tue, 05 Jun 2018 11:38:13 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Sean Grimes, Managing Director of Cloud & IT Services at Agilisys, discusses why there’s never been a better moment for the UK public sector to seize the cloud opportunity. <p>It was almost seven years ago that the UK Cabinet Office outlined its <a href="">Digital by Default agenda</a> and &ldquo;<em>committed to the adoption of cloud computing [to] transform the public sector ICT estate</em>&rdquo;. In the intervening years, digital transformation has triggered an unprecedented rate of change.</p> <p>Today, more agile, efficient and data-driven public services are in greater demand than ever before, due to rising citizen expectations and modern workforce requirements, as well as changing demographics and tighter financial constraints.</p> <p>In the cloud, the UK public sector can deliver modernised digital services fit for the 21st century. At the same time, cloud adoption can drastically reduce public sector spending through mobile working, more effective and efficient services, property rationalisation, legacy system retirement, and more. Indeed, cost reduction is the primary driver for cloud adoption amongst almost <a href=";utm_medium=email">two-thirds (64%)</a> of public sector organisations.</p> <p>As a result, International Data Corporation (IDC) now predicts that demand for public sector cloud-based IT services will increase by <a href="">22.8% this</a> year, six times faster than the growth rate for the IT market as a whole.</p> <p><strong>What&rsquo;s the hold up?</strong></p> <p>With the benefits of the cloud almost universally acknowledged, why are so many in the public sector holding back? More than <a href=";utm_medium=email">a third of organisations (36%)</a> have no plans whatsoever for cloud adoption.</p> <p>For many, it&rsquo;s a question of risk. Naturally enough, IT leaders can be fearful of the unknown. A &ldquo;lift and shift&rdquo; to the cloud may sound simple, but effective design, migration and management also demands new skills and, more importantly, a new mindset. With headlines regularly dominated by the latest data breaches, <a href="">GDPR</a> on the horizon, and the public sector under almost constant scrutiny, it can be tempting to put off change and avoid any chance of decisions going awry.</p> <p>Even amongst the <a href=";utm_medium=email">41% of public sector organisations</a> already using the cloud, concerns &ndash; and in some cases, misconceptions &ndash; around security, migration and on-going management are preventing them from reaping its full benefits. Partial cloud adoption isn&rsquo;t enough. For those organisations who decide to keep critical IT services and workloads in-house &ndash; around <a href=";utm_medium=email">half of cloud adopters</a> &ndash; they are limiting the cost and flexibility gains they can achieve.</p> <p><strong>A path well-trodden</strong></p> <p>Today, reaping the greater cost and service benefits of a wholesale cloud migration needn&rsquo;t be risky. With the right guidance, public sector organisations can make informed decisions that accelerate and streamline the cloud adoption, ultimately building an IT estate that can be managed more cost-effectively and securely.</p> <p>By combining hyperscale cloud and specialist PSN services, public sector organisations can build a complete solution that leaves no legacy infrastructure behind &ndash; maximising cost-savings, agility, security and compliance. While this path is well-established, the most important factor in success is finding the right support.</p> <p>Cloud adoption can indeed be risky if organisations manage migration in-house without sufficient time or transformation experience to make the right choices. Instead, organisations should consider support from cloud specialists, with the expertise to design the right solutions and minimise the time, cost and risks traditionally associated with complex IT transformation. These same partners should also be able to provide on-going cloud management and optimisation &ndash; removing the need for in-house cloud expertise, while also ensuring solutions stay secure, cost-effective, and in tune with requirements.</p> <p><strong>Seize the cloud</strong></p> <p>Those not embracing cloud adoption should remember that even this is a decision in itself &ndash; and it comes with consequences. Change is inevitable. Today, there are more mobile connections <a href="">than people on the planet</a>, <a href="">three billion individuals</a> are online, and we&rsquo;re racing towards <a href="">25 billion</a> connected &lsquo;things&rsquo;. Delay it and you put yourself, your organisation and the citizens you serve at a disadvantage.</p> <p>Public sector organisations still relying on in-house skills to oversee racks and servers will find themselves steadily falling behind access and service quality expectations in the digital age. Issues such as shadow IT, technical debt and capacity shortfalls will begin to mount, as will the management costs for stranded legacy systems. When <a href="">cloud transformation</a> becomes impossible to put off, it will then need to be faced on much tighter timescales, under greater financial pressure and with no margin for error.</p> <p>In contrast, those embracing the cloud today can start reaping cost-savings sooner, while also benefiting from more time to oversee successful transformation, as well as innovate with new capabilities.</p> <p><strong>Make the leap</strong></p> <p>If your organisation still views the cloud as a leap of faith, here are our top five tips for successful transformation:</p> <ul><li><strong>Find the right partner:</strong> <ul style="list-style-type:circle"><li>Rely on experts with a holistic view of the cloud&rsquo;s capabilities and domain expertise in local government, not specialist systems integrators or in-house teams with limited knowledge. The right partner should be able to orchestrate an ecosystem of delivery partners to create the right environment for your needs.</li> </ul></li> </ul><ul><li><strong>Build a clear vision:</strong> <ul style="list-style-type:circle"><li>Work with your expert partner to identify the right IT strategy and target operating model for your organisation, as well as build a fully-costed cloud business case.</li> </ul></li> </ul><ul><li><strong>Rationalise existing IT</strong>: <ul style="list-style-type:circle"><li>Ensure your existing IT systems are fit for purpose, correctly sized and still required to reduce the cost of cloud migration, while also making the process faster, safer and simpler to manage.</li> </ul></li> </ul><ul><li><strong>Avoid half measures:</strong> <ul style="list-style-type:circle"><li>Retaining critical systems in-house will significantly reduce long-term agility and cost-savings. Look for complete solutions that leave no legacy infrastructure behind, for instance collocating specialist infrastructure that cannot be moved to the cloud.</li> </ul></li> </ul><ul><li><strong>Seek on-going support:</strong> <ul style="list-style-type:circle"><li>Expert management can increase the cloud&rsquo;s value over the long-term: flexibly scaling services up or down, ensuring you only pay for what you need, and exploiting new cloud capabilities as they emerge.</li> </ul></li> </ul> There is more to listening than not talking Tue, 05 Jun 2018 07:00:00 +0100 CRM Sync Blog by Neville Merritt, Director at Pure Potential Development <p>You can&rsquo;t go through sales training without having the importance of listening drummed into you. &ldquo;God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason,&rdquo; etc. etc. Yet I don&rsquo;t remember ever being taught how to listen in those courses &ndash; developing an understanding of listening skills came much later, through management development and an interest in psychology. I wish I had learned before.</p> <p>My favourite sales quote comes from Cicero (Roman politician, 106-43BC)</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>&ldquo;If you wish to persuade me, you must think my thoughts, feel my feelings, and speak my words.&rdquo;</em></p> <p style="text-align: center;">For persuade read influence, and as <a href="">Keenan</a> reminds us, the Number One job of a salesperson is to influence.</p> <p>If we are to influence Cicero, how are we to know what he is thinking and feeling? By listening first. This is where the need for a better understanding of the listening process comes in. It is not enough simply to stop talking and hear what Cicero is saying, as our Selling 101 course would suggest. We need to understand what true listening actually involves.</p> <p>There are many models for listening, and I like simple models best. Think of listening as being three levels of gaming.</p> <p><strong>Level 1</strong> is the base level. You stop talking and the other person starts talking. You hear what they say, but your mind is already planning your next question or heading for the sales pitch that is just busting to be heard. In truth it is not really listening at all. You are just going through the motions.</p> <p><strong>Level 2</strong> is more engaged. You actually are listening to what the other person is saying. You are making little encouraging noises, maybe asking confirmatory questions and taking it all in. But are you really taking it all in? You are listening to Cicero&rsquo;s thoughts and words, but you haven&rsquo;t yet reached his feelings.</p> <p><strong>Level 3</strong> is the whole thing. You are taking in what is not being said, watching the body language, picking up the emotion in the tone of voice. You are also stepping back and observing their interaction with you, and interaction with others. You are starting to have an insight into their feelings. That is so important to a salesperson, because people are influenced through emotion (often justified by logic afterwards).</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s an example. You are selling industrial paint to a manufacturer. You are constantly battling with the buyer over price, and getting nowhere. So you manage to get an appointment with the factory manager. He is looking stressed and his first words are &ldquo;I&rsquo;m busy, I can only spare you a few minutes&rdquo;. You get straight down to it, and after some introductions you ask what is going on today to make him so busy.</p> <p>&ldquo;We are constantly having to reschedule our batch production. Components have to go through the paint shop and if they go through in the afternoon that&rsquo;s fine, they can dry overnight. But if they go through in the morning, we have to hold them back in the</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>afternoon because the paint is still too soft to go to the next production stage.&rdquo; Facts, useful but not the whole story.</p> <p>You ask: &ldquo;Could you install a drying oven to speed up the process?&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;I would have to raise a capital project and I would never get it through the Board. Our CEO is very tight on capital spend and I wouldn&rsquo;t even want to raise the topic with her.&rdquo;</p> <p>He seems agitated, probably a little in awe of the board of directors.</p> <p>&ldquo;But you have discretion on material spend?&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;Oh yes, I have P&amp;L responsibility for the factory. As long as we achieve the output and costs are in line with planned margins that&rsquo;s fine.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;So if we supplied you with quick drying paint which is only about 10% more expensive, you could move your components within an hour of spraying. That would help you achieve your output targets without having to go to the board with a capital project. How does that sound?&rdquo;</p> <p>Result &ndash; a very satisfied customer, and you know that he feels happier regularly spending more on paint than keeping long-term costs down by battling with his CEO over a drying oven. Your Level 3 listening skills observed his reaction to discussing capital spend with the CEO, and you also noticed a warming of his relationship with you, as he realised you were interested in helping.</p> <p>That is what an understanding of listening skills brings to Sales: stop talking and don&rsquo;t just listen &ndash; engage your Level 3 listening skills.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Neville Merritt</p> <p>Director</p> <p>Pure Potential Development Limited</p> <p><a href=""></a></p> Move over telemarketing, there’s a new outbound strategy in town… Tue, 05 Jun 2018 07:00:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: James Snider, Director Sales & Marketing at Punch! shares his experience <p>Move over telemarketing, there&rsquo;s a new outbound strategy in town&hellip;</p> <p>Not long ago, the word Amazon would first and foremost lead you to thinking of the longest river in the world. Now it is synonymous with an online retailer changing the way we shop and reshaping highstreets across the world. Change is inevitable. Change can be daunting. Change enabled us to crush our quota and generate 20% more sales qualified opportunities last quarter!</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s how...</p> <h2>In the beginning.</h2> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Punch!</a>&nbsp;started life out as a traditional telemarketing agency. We had a formula. 100 calls = 10 Decision Maker Conversations. 10 Decision Maker Conversation = 1 Sales Qualified Lead (SQL).</p> <p>This worked&hellip;for a while, but it stopped working and alarm bells started ringing.</p> <p>We put this down to a shift in buyer &amp; seller power. Hubspot produced a report of the most trusted professions in the EMEA, sales and marketing professionals ranked poorly. Buyers know what they&rsquo;re looking for, have multiple options to choose from and more stakeholders are involved in the buying process</p> <p>There is so much competition, so much content and so much noise bombarding your potential clients, target buyers are finding it hard to differentiate between one vendor to the next.&nbsp; A reported 40% of potential deals end up with the prospect sticking with the status quo and doing nothing.</p> <p>All of which mean spray and pray tactics - such as cold calling - make it near on impossible to break through the noise.</p> <h2>Time for change.</h2> <p>Solely relying on inbound marketing would be a dangerous game to play, after all, what if there are specific companies you want to do business with?&nbsp; Especially when you&rsquo;re targeting Enterprise and Mid-Market.&nbsp; And as highlighted, traditional telemarketing just wasn&rsquo;t going to cut it.</p> <p>The solution? Account-Based Marketing (ABM).</p> <p>While it may seem like a new and radical approach, Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is a lead generation strategy that has actually been leveraged by businesses for many years. It began when marketing professionals tried flipping the traditional marketing triangle on its head, targeting key companies as opposed to trying to target entire industries at once. But what is ABM?</p> <p>The key to ABM is to identify who your key accounts are; the accounts you want to reach out to as a priority ahead of all other prospects. Then design a campaign based around those companies, creating ultra-personalised content for those key accounts. At its very bottom line, it&rsquo;s about quality over quantity.</p> <p><img alt="" src="//" style="height:246px; width:630px"></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;But does it work?&rdquo; Many a salesperson would cry. Surely targeting fewer accounts runs a greater risk of coming up empty-handed than if you cast a wider net? You don&rsquo;t want to put all your eggs in one basket, right? Well the stats speak for themselves, with the number of companies that fully incorporate ABM into their marketing strategy increasing by 21% at the end of 2016.</p> <p>ABM is all about identifying the correct people at key accounts. Researching them thoroughly. Creating content relevant and interesting to them. Then executing your outreach using multiple channels, such as 1:1 personalised video, social selling, telephone outreach, personalised direct mail and human email.&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="" src="//" style="height:169px; width:630px"></p> <p>ABM should tie in seamlessly with your Inbound Marketing strategy. Incorporating the same philosophy of a buyer-centric based strategy will ensure that when you reach out to your prospects, they won&rsquo;t feel like you&rsquo;ve interrupted them; instead they will feel like you are helping them in a relevant and personalised way.</p> <p>Account-Based Marketing is the future of B2B outbound.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s relevant and personalised &ndash; which drives 18x more engagement.&nbsp;</p> <p>It&rsquo;s multi-channel, so not just relying on the telephone, but on email, social, video, direct mail, content, landing pages, SMS...basically every channel under the sun!</p> <p>And it focuses on building relationships &ndash; on average to secure an Enterprise client, it takes 30-40 touchpoints across a 12 month period.</p> <h2>The case for Account-Based Marketing (ABM).</h2> <p>ABM has actually been around for years, however, with innovations in marketing technology, the strategy has really taken shape in the last two years &ndash; allowing marketers to run personalised outbound campaigns at scale.</p> <p>Instead of targeting an entire industry at once, ABM targets key companies who have expressed <a href="">buying intent</a>.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>87% of marketers say that ABM provides higher ROI than any other type of marketing and companies that use ABM have 10% higher win rates.&nbsp;</p> <p>ABM builds stronger relationships too. 84% of marketers said ABM had a significant impact on retaining and expanding existing client relationships. Meanwhile, improving customer retention rates can increase profits by 25-95%!</p> <p>As for Punch!? Last quarter, by deploying ABM, we generated 20% more sales qualified opportunities.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>James Snider</p> <p>Director Sales &amp; Marketing</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Punch!</a></p> <p>W: <a href=""></a></p> <p>T: &nbsp;&nbsp;01483 778899&nbsp; |&nbsp; M: 07786 327297</p> <p>E: &nbsp;&nbsp;<a href=""></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Punch! provide Account-Based Marketing which involves finding your right fit accounts, identifying which of the accounts are expressing the most buying intent and then connecting with these accounts by creating and delivering highly impactful stories in a way that provokes engagement.</p> techUK UK-EU Data Flows report: an important contribution to debate Mon, 04 Jun 2018 13:38:59 +0100 CRM Sync Ahead of our launch in European Parliament of our report on UK-EU Data Flows, Syed Kamall MEP for London explains the report's importance and the issues it contains. <p><em>Syed Kamall MEP for London is hosting an event in Brussels this week to discuss techUK's &ldquo;Options for the future UK-EU data-sharing relationship" report. In this post he explains the importance of the report and the issues it contains.</em></p> <p>Regulating data-sharing hasn&rsquo;t always been viewed&nbsp;as&nbsp;one of the most glamorous or press-worthy topics; but there has been a real change over recent months in the amount of attention and public scrutiny that this issue has received.</p> <p>Firstly, the scandal surrounding Facebook and Cambridge Analytica brought the issues facing data-handling into the public consciousness. Given that Facebook has an <a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF">estimated 170 million users in Western Europe alone</span></a>, concerns over the use of personal data by tech companies suddenly became a topic for discussion over the dinner table. The &ldquo;Delete Facebook&rdquo; movement was a clear illustration of the business rationale for tech giants to be proactive rather than reactive to crises when it comes to data privacy and data rights.</p> <p>Secondly, we had the build-up to GDPR which (repeatedly) brought the issue to people&rsquo;s email inboxes. Some found the numerous GDPR-related emails annoying and clumsy, whilst others were happy that those persons handling their personal data had to be transparent about what they hold on record, how they came to possess it and how they intend to use it.</p> <p>Ultimately, a lot of the issues we face in the UK are intertwined with European Union regulatory frameworks. The UK&rsquo;s attractiveness as a location for tech companies to invest and set up shop will rely on how free-flowing data is, which will be dependent on our cross-border data sharing agreements with other jurisdictions, especially the EU.</p> <p>The techUK report on &ldquo;Options for the future UK-EU data-sharing relationship&rdquo; is an important contribution to this debate, and acts to underscore the significance for both the UK and the EU to reach a mutually-beneficial agreement.&nbsp;</p> <p>In the short term, reaching an agreement on the transitional arrangements is critical. The risk of a cliff edge would cause significant disruption both to EU and UK businesses, especially larger firms with a footprint across both jurisdictions.</p> <p>Beyond that, we need a more permanent legal framework which provides for the free flow of data based on a continuing adequacy decision such as the EU-US Privacy Shield Agreement. To achieve this will require observing the standards put in place by the EU GDPR. This will be helped by the fact that UK is already applying GDPR standards. It has been made clear by both the main political parties in the UK that Brexit should not lead to a race to the bottom with a legislative bonfire and it is apparent that - like their EU counterparts - UK consumers expect high standards of data protection.</p> <p>What is clear is that whilst there is political will on both sides and backing from the tech and business communities - as with everything - the devil is in the detail. There is a risk that data flows could get lost in the political posturing during the wider negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship, or fall victim to what is a very technical area which intertwines itself within nearly every department of policy-making and EU law.&nbsp;</p> <p>Both the EU and the UK have much to lose and much to gain depending on the outcome. But there is no doubt that we are starting off in a more positive situation than others before us. The UK already applies all of the necessary Data Protection standards as demanded by the EU and crucially has sat through years of negations between the EU and US for Safe Harbour and then the renegotiated and rebranded Privacy Shield.</p> <p>It took almost three years for the EU and the US to negotiate a data flows agreement. An agreement with Japan is expected to take just 18 months due to that country having similar data protection standards to the EU. Therefore, in theory an agreement could be reached much quicker with the UK, but only if the political will is there.&nbsp;</p> <p>So now is the time for both governments and businesses to draw from their previous experiences. We all know what the pitfalls are, we know what the sticking points were, and the causes of delays. That works to everyone&rsquo;s advantage. Reaching an agreement on data flows shouldn&rsquo;t just be about fudging a last-minute deal, but should instead be a real opportunity to build a better future framework for data sharing at a global level.&nbsp;</p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Full STEAM ahead! Mon, 04 Jun 2018 09:47:36 +0100 CRM Sync Encouraging the youth of today to become the tech leaders of tomorrow. By Chris Price, Director, Public Sector & SI, Computacenter. <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="//" style="height:204px; width:400px"></a></p> <p>In technology terms, UK businesses have never had it better. The UK tech sector now accounts for 10 percent of GDP and <a href="">Tech Nation&rsquo;s 2018 annual report</a> revealed that the UK firmly leads in Europe, attracting &pound;28bn in technology investment since 2011, compared with &pound;11bn in France and &pound;9.3bn in Germany.</p> <p>Continuing adoption of cloud and virtualisation technologies and increasing interest in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities demonstrates that business leaders are aware of the increased productivity and profitability that&rsquo;s on offer. However, even for those embracing the digital revolution, there remains a significant obstacle to realising the full benefits of modern IT infrastructure technologies.</p> <p>Whilst the IT skills gap is now old news, it&rsquo;s also not going anywhere fast. The deficit of skilled tech experts across the globe continues to grow and with Brexit looming in the UK, the outlook is even more uncertain. Many organisations are looking at short term solutions, such as de-siloing their IT departments to make expertise more broadly available and even outsourcing infrastructure to managed service providers (MSPs), but this doesn&rsquo;t address the core issue. There&rsquo;s still a real need to develop long term solutions to ensure UK businesses and the wider economy remains productive and competitive in the global marketplace in 2019 and beyond.</p> <p><strong>Mind the gap</strong></p> <p>In 2016, the UK House of Commons Science and Technology Committee delivered a <a href="">damning report</a> on the state of the skills gap &ndash; calling the situation a crisis and revealing that even down to the level of ICT teachers, there is a critical shortage of qualified candidates. That same report revealed that in the previous year over 90 percent of tech-based businesses struggled to fill vacancies and that the growing digital skills gap was already affecting their commercial activities.</p> <p>To make matters worse, many of the UK&rsquo;s digital technology businesses have historically <a href="">relied upon talent from the wider European Union</a> and the looming Brexit situation is only projected to starve the economy further of qualified IT professionals and engineers. Present estimates from the UK Government indicate that the digital skills gap is currently costing the UK economy &pound;63 billion a year in lost GDP and as we transition towards an increasingly digital world, addressing the digital skills gap will be crucial to growth across every industry sector.</p> <p>Looking ahead then, there are only two clear paths to sustaining growth and success; providing greater opportunities and incentives to cultivate new STEAM graduates through the UK education system, and creating new jobs for these new workers to excel in.</p> <p><strong>Establishing a meritechracy</strong></p> <p>At Computacenter our experience of the increased demand for tech resources, paired with the huge IT skills gap, led us to start an initiative to build our own homegrown talent. We believe that it is our responsibility to help school and university students across multiple subject disciplines to realise their true abilities and to become everything they could be.</p> <p>In 2007 we established a programme of associate, apprenticeship, and graduate schemes to attract and encourage a diverse range of candidates to become the next generation of engineers and tech leaders, and it has been a resounding success. Since January 2015 alone, Computacenter has employed 142 apprentices, with over half of those in Technology based subjects following structured training and development plans with education and work elements. We also offer young people support through an Industrial Placement Programme, where university students spend 12 months working in a job that may relate to their studies and future career aspirations.</p> <p>Both of these pathways are essential and we feel this demonstrates the level of our commitment to addressing the skills shortage, specifically within IT whilst providing more opportunities for talented young people. With 14 percent of the UK workforce currently aged 28 or under, and having seen a 67 percent retention rate on our programmes to date, we are confident Computacenter is driving this subject right from the top!</p> <p><strong>A brighter future</strong></p> <p>As UK businesses continue to voice their concerns around the growing skills gap, the Government appears to be taking heed of the seriousness of the situation and implementing strategies to attempt to reverse the national skills deficit. However, it&rsquo;s not enough. We will need the entire industry to collaborate and create a long-term solution to address the skills crisis, with a strong focus on training and creating accessible entry level jobs.</p> <p>At Computacenter, we believe that it&rsquo;s necessary for businesses to take a more active role in building and nurturing the talent they need to succeed in the future. Given the increasing demand for &lsquo;job ready&rsquo; applicants, programmes such as apprenticeships and industry placements will prove invaluable in attracting and developing skilled workers who will enable both public and private sector organisations to leverage the latest technologies and achieve their full potential.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="//" style="height:190px; width:400px"></a></p> <p>Computacenter&nbsp;are sponsors of the 2018 techUK Annual Dinner, taking place at the Royal Lancaster on Wednesday 11 July. For more information and to book tickets please see:&nbsp;<a href="">;</a></p>Contact: <a href=""></a>Contact: <a href=""></a> Public sector apprenticeships: Avoiding a digital skills crash course Fri, 01 Jun 2018 14:03:33 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Eugene O’Driscoll, Agilisys, and Ben Rowland at Arch Apprentices, explain why the public sector should embrace apprenticeships to attract, harness and develop digital skills <p>In an atmosphere of austerity, public sector organisations should be leading by example on digital transformation. Today, there&rsquo;s a revolutionary opportunity to improve citizen services while simultaneously driving cost-savings. However, turning this potential into reality demands scarce digital expertise.</p> <p>Today, <a href="">two-fifths (40%)</a> of public sector organisations lack the skills to deliver on digital transformation. Meanwhile, almost <a href="">a quarter (24%)</a> see a shortage of in-house expertise as a major stumbling block to future-ready IT models, such as the cloud.</p> <p>As a result, public sector organisations can become locked into a vicious cycle: without the skills to drive transformation, they fall behind on IT innovation&mdash;making them less able to attract and retain digital talent in the future.</p> <p>The Government&rsquo;s new <a href="">Apprenticeship Levy</a>, announced just over a year ago, offers a crucial opportunity to break this cycle, enabling organisations to leap into the future by supercharging their investment in digital skills. Launched in April 2017, this major shake-up required UK businesses with annual wage bills of over &pound;3m to pay 0.5% of their payroll cost into a training fund. The Levy was even more significant for public sector organisations, with those employing more than 250 people required to have at least 2.3% of staff start an apprenticeship each year.</p> <p>One year on, the public sector is still getting to grips with the Levy&rsquo;s repercussions. While the initiative certainly has the potential to upskill the UK&rsquo;s workforce and fuel economic growth over the long-term, it also means staff spending more time away from work today&mdash;with knock-on implications for recruitment, salaries and more. The service has also been criticised for its complexity, with many commentators calling for more clarity and flexibility.</p> <p>However, with more than <a href="">20,000 businesses</a> paying into the Levy and some <a href="">&pound;1.39bn</a> already raised, there&rsquo;s no doubt public sector organisations should be capitalising on the fund to develop much-needed digital skills. To deliver tangible returns, the Levy&rsquo;s costs must be converted into professional-grade training.</p> <p>By driving investment into relevant and essential skills linked to serious career paths, the Levy can erode the perception of apprenticeships as &lsquo;lightweight&rsquo; qualifications&mdash;particularly in comparison to university education. With fully accredited programmes now available at up to the equivalent of a master&rsquo;s degree, apprenticeships could become the gold standard for qualifications&mdash;not just inside work, but across all higher education.</p> <p>The opportunity to start work straight out of school and receive on the job training without getting into debt is understandably appealing to the next generation. However, apprenticeships aren&rsquo;t only for new employees. Organisations can also draw upon the Levy to upskill or retrain existing staff, with a wealth of programmes available for every skill level and age group.</p> <p>With professional providers offering recognised accreditations across a myriad of different disciplines, public sector organisations can also harness apprenticeships to train staff to meet their specific requirements for digital transformation.</p> <p>Today, we&rsquo;re partnering with many local authorities to harness the Apprenticeship Levy and address the digital skills gap. For instance, we&rsquo;re hosting training workshops with <a href="">the City of London Corporation</a> to drive digital inclusion, as well as creating work experience placements for 14 to 18-year olds attending academies in the capital&rsquo;s inner-city boroughs. We&rsquo;re also helping the public sector build the digital workforce of tomorrow, today&mdash;providing high-quality apprenticeships spanning a huge variety of skillsets, including digital, IT and data.</p> <p>When it comes to harnessing the skills essential to digital transformation&nbsp;we believe apprenticeships are the right path for the public sector &mdash; not a crash course.</p> AI provides efficiency in corporate investigations Wed, 30 May 2018 11:18:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Zachary Adams from Squire Patton Boggs outlines how organisations can utilise AI in internal investigations. <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:left; height:267px; margin:5px; width:400px">The use of artificial intelligence has made major inroads in internal and government investigations in recent years. The breadth and scope of corporate data being generated has created numerous opportunities for investigators seeking information in relation to criminal, civil and regulatory cases. AI can drive efficiency in investigations and help to promote regulatory compliance.</p> <p>The most effective use of AI in investigations couple continuous active learning technology with concept clustering to discover the most relevant data in documents, emails, text and other sources. Continuous active learning allows AI to recognize keywords and patterns in data and then learn and adapt from that information. As AI continues to evolve and improve over the lifespan of the project, the benefits of an effectively implemented approach will also increase.</p> <p>In-house and external counsel and compliance teams are now relying on AI technology in response to government investigations, but also increasingly to identify risks before they escalate to that stage. For example,&nbsp;AI is been used by financial institutions to monitor transactions, allowing them to identify possibly instances of fraud, embezzlement, insider trading, or money laundering.</p> <p>Regulatory authorities across the world are also ramping up their use of AI technology for enforcement and supervisory monitoring. Just last year, the Financial Conduct Authority announced that they were seeking new data science tools to support its industry oversight, while the Serious Fraud Office has been utilising AI to target financial crime and corruption. In the US, the Securities and Exchange Commission has similarly embraced AI and behavioral analytics to augment its enforcement activity.</p> <p>In addition to using such technology themselves, enforcement authorities are beginning to encourage, and in some instances expect, companies to utilize these tools as part of an effective internal investigation. This includes ensuring that companies conducting internal investigations are being as thorough and diligent as possible in their use of such technology. The regulator will need to understand why AI makes sense for that specific matter, the technology being employed, the various sources of data that were incorporated, and the oversight, supervision and quality control processes in place.</p> <p>There are a number of concerns to consider before implementing an AI strategy. For example, companies and their counsel should be mindful of the fact that the government often has access to multiple sources of documents and data during the course of an investigation and that this information can be used to independently verify the quality and output of the AI methodology. These other sources could include counterparties to a transaction, financial institutions and individual witnesses. Additionally, local banking secrecy or data privacy laws often place substantial restrictions on cross-border data transfers. As AI relies on underlying data that may be subject to these restrictions, the technical data team must intimately understand the data being incorporated into the algorithm.<br><br> It is therefore essential that the technical data, legal and compliance teams work together when integrating AI into an internal investigation. Each company will have its own method of storing data, differentiating legacy data and linking data that originates from different systems. Every investigation will have its own set of facts and pertinent legal issues. The increased use of AI technology may be seen as daunting, but the explosion of corporate data only amplifies the need for more efficient corporate investigation tools.</p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Diversify and conquer: Takeaways from the Diversity in Tech conference Tue, 29 May 2018 14:37:00 +0100 CRM Sync Read what Programme Assistant Rebecca Francis took away from the 2018 Diversity in Tech conference and how it can apply to your business. <p>On Thursday 24 May, I attended the Diversity in Tech conference bringing together individuals and organisations from all parts of the tech sector for a day of talks and workshops. With over 500 attendees and 30 speakers from companies including JP Morgan, ASOS, Credit Suisse, Accenture and Uber, there were plenty of takeaways for anyone wanting to make their business not only a better place to work, but also a more successful one.</p> <p>Here are a few of the themes that emerged throughout the day: &nbsp;</p> <h3>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;1)&nbsp; Don&rsquo;t be afraid to have an open conversation</h3> <p>A common thread in many of the talks was the need for an open conversation, as event chair David McQueen said, &ldquo;when we&rsquo;re talking about diversity, no one needs to feel guilty.&rdquo; Rather than shying away from talking about diversity to avoid possible conflict, workplaces should actively engage to develop the tools necessary to work through any possible conflict and allow for an open, frank but always respectful conversation about diversity and how to improve it. Don&rsquo;t be afraid of being &lsquo;wrong&rsquo; &ndash; be open to learning more and growing in the future.</p> <h3>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;2)&nbsp; There are many types of diversity</h3> <p>A refreshing aspect of the conference was the way in which a wide range of diversity was profiled. When we talk about diversity in the tech sector, we often focus on encouraging women in STEM, or on the gender pay gap. While these are obviously issues the tech sector needs to address, there are many types of diversity that businesses should keep in mind. What are you doing to encourage BAME employees? Is your workplace environment inclusive to LGBTQ people? Have you demonstrated that positive mental health is a priority for you? Diversity is about continuously listening to your employees and&nbsp;considering where your business may be failing certain groups.</p> <h3>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;3)&nbsp; Focus on diversity and inclusion</h3> <p>Diversity policies are nothing without creating a company culture built on inclusion. Companies must create an inclusive environment before &lsquo;ticking the diversity box.&rsquo; As Farrah Qureshi from Global Diversity Practice put it, &ldquo;diversity is about making the numbers count, inclusion is about making everybody count.&rdquo; Encouraging diversity in your workplace is only the first step. Once the diversity policy is in place, company culture may also need to change. Encourage employees to speak their minds and express their differences in the workplace. Ensure that everyone&rsquo;s individual talents are acknowledged and maximised, rather than trying to force them into a preconceived notion of how a job should be done.</p> <h3>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;4)&nbsp; Make sure your policies have substance</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s important to make sure your business&rsquo; diversity measures are not simply paying lip service to the problem. Sure, your workplace might acknowledge International Women&rsquo;s Day, but is it making concrete, proactive steps to close their gender pay gap or encourage new women hires? Diversity measures are about tackling an issue, not just improving your brand's image.</p> <h3>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;5)&nbsp; More diverse businesses are more successful ones&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</h3> <p>Finally, if you&rsquo;re still looking for an incentive to prioritise diversity, keep in mind that it not only makes moral and ethical sense, but business sense too. Not only will an increasingly diverse workforce who feel accepted in their workplace bring new perspectives and innovative ideas, but boards with higher levels of diversity have been shown to outperform more homogenous ones and companies with higher diversity have been shown to have higher productivity and profitability. In 2018, there really is no excuse for companies to not be prioritising diversity and inclusion &ndash; so why not start now?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>Contact: <a href=""></a>Contact: <a href=""></a> Powering potential – the productivity paradox Tue, 29 May 2018 10:18:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Susan Bowen from Cogeco Peer 1 discusses the results of Cogeco Peer 1's study into what businesses look for in a primary IT vendor. <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:left; height:277px; margin:5px; width:400px">Technology has been a vast disruptor for businesses over the past 20 years, redefining how they function and making the impossible, possible. In fact, technology has become fundamental to effective business operations and a key component in every aspect of the organisation irrespective of industry.</p> <p>But has that technology made us more efficient?&nbsp; The fact that the UK was twice as productive as a country in 1949 than it was in 2016* might suggest otherwise. &nbsp;What isn&rsquo;t in doubt, however, is that processes that would previously have taken days or weeks&nbsp;can now be done in a matter of seconds.&nbsp; While this should increase the overall efficiency of the business, in reality it often creates issues, bringing with it unforeseen hazards and problems. &nbsp;</p> <p>The key to unravelling this paradox is to understand exactly how technology assists organisations, as well as the role partners play in helping businesses reach their full potential. To shed light on this matter, Cogeco Peer 1 have commissioned a study canvassing the opinions of 150 IT decision-makers across retail, financial services, media, business services and higher education.</p> <p>The study highlighted the importance of good customer service, revealing that 85% of IT decision-makers believe that their organisation&rsquo;s primary IT vendor could improve its service, with around a quarter (25%) stating that service was the most important factor to them. With that being said, only 14% of respondents stated that they were actually satisfied with the current service that they receive.</p> <p>Even more surprisingly, the research reveals that when it comes to pricing, businesses are not necessarily looking for those providers willing to engage in a race to the bottom. Although price does remain a concern, especially with budgets tightening in light of uncertainty around Brexit, IT professionals are increasingly recognising the need for strong scalability capability, to cope with the peaks and troughs that they experience.</p> <p>It seems when it comes to what IT decision-makers look for in an IT vendor, good customer service is the overarching priority, but this is often overlooked in favour of competitive pricing and new products in the IT markets. &nbsp;Vendors need to reconnect with their customers and realise that elements such as dedicated technical account managers, fast responses to enquiries and 24/7 support are what really matter and add value to their business.</p> <p>* Office of National Statistics GDP measurements</p> <p>For more information regarding the study, visit:&nbsp;<a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF"></span></a></p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Strong data protection laws will help build trust Fri, 25 May 2018 16:00:00 +0100 CRM Sync techUK’s Policy Manager for Data Protection, Jeremy Lilley, looks at the importance of GDPR for building trust in the digital economy. <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:left; height:225px; margin:5px; width:400px">Today is the day! The EU&rsquo;s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the UK&rsquo;s Data Protection Act 2018 take effect today. It is a moment a lot of people have been anticipating for many years since discussions on updating data protection rules began six years ago.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>It is a significant and historic moment in the development of data protection rules. The GDPR represents the most fundamental reform of data protection law in over twenty years.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>GDPR no doubt isn&rsquo;t perfect and represents additional burdens on companies that hold and process personal data. However, on the day GDPR takes effect, I want to focus on one of the key opportunities that GDPR brings. Building trust and confidence in the digital economy.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>The UK&rsquo;s data economy is expected to be worth &pound;241 billion by 20201&nbsp;creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs. The potential use and value of data is vast. From improved customer insights, delivering more tailored goods and services, to improving business efficiency and understanding diagnosis and treatments in healthcare. However, that will only be realised if people have trust and confidence in the way their personal information is being used. These are all elements that will be improved under the GDPR.&nbsp;</p> <p>An important part of building trust and confidence is ensuring that people feel they have control over their personal data. GDPR provides citizens with some of the necessary tools to understand and control how their information is being used by different organisations. We have already seen some of the benefits for citizens who have been receiving no doubt numerous emails asking for consent to continue receiving marketing emails. I suspect there will be plenty of people happy to see the back of some of these marketing emails.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Data subjects (i.e. citizens) will now have greater rights over access, correction, deletion and portability. This should help people better understand how their information is being used and control who has their information in a more efficient way. This change is unlikely to be seen over night. GDPR will take time to &lsquo;bed-in&rsquo; while people get to grips with the new rules. But today is the starting point on that journey to citizens having greater control.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>With people understanding how their data is being used and seeing the benefits and value for themselves by interacting with their information more,&nbsp;greater&nbsp;trust&nbsp;will hopefully be developed. This, in turn, should allow the UK to reap the benefits of the data revolution, while bring everyone on the journey.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>We should also be clear and realistic about the changes GDPR will bring. Misinformation about the new rules could be just as damaging for trust as not having the new rights at all. None of the GDPR rights are absolute rights. There will be some circumstances where a request for deletion will be refused, if there are legitimate reasons for doing so. Government, for example, are not about to delete all the information they have on people because it is needed to deliver services. Similarly, contracts people have&nbsp;entered into&nbsp;will still require a certain amount of personal data to be retained. There are six legal bases for processing personal data. The users&rsquo; consent is just one of them. It is important that people understand some of the limitations on the new rights, so they are not lulled into a false sense of illusion.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>However, that said, GDPR does provide greater opportunities for people to control how their information is used. As I have argued here, that in turn should lead to a greater amount of trust and confidence in the way data is increasingly used, for positive reasons, in the digital economy. Establishing a culture of data trust and confidence in the UK will allow us to fully realise the benefits from the better use of data.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF"><em>For more from techUK Data Protection Week, visit our landing page.</em></span></a><span style="color:#0000FF">&nbsp;</span></p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Top 6 misconceptions about GDPR Fri, 25 May 2018 15:35:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Read Cisco’s summary of some GDPR FAQs, with some practical answers for anyone who is currently on the path to GDPR compliance. <h3><img alt="" src="//" style="float:left; height:95px; margin:1px; width:83px">1 - I only have to worry about GDPR if I get breached, right?</h3> <p>Not true. Privacy and GDPR related questions are now common in a B2B environment, and poor responses will be a commercial inhibitor. Furthermore, citizens have new rights that they will try to exercise; poor preparedness to deliver against those rights will incur considerable overheads. Finally, let&rsquo;s not forget that European authorities also have the right to audit organisations at their discretion, not only before or after an attack.</p> <h3><img alt="" src="//" style="float:right; height:139px; margin:1px; width:100px">2 - Where does GDPR give me the list of security things that I need to do?</h3> <p>It doesn&rsquo;t. If you&rsquo;re hoping for a list of dos and do nots, unfortunately you&rsquo;re out of luck. GDPR defines outcomes, not the means of delivering them. It also demands proper consideration and shouldn&rsquo;t be approached with a tick-box mentality. Additionally, Security is a strong component within GDPR, but it definitely isn&rsquo;t the only one. Equally important is to ensure that the information that you&rsquo;re trying to protect has been acquired legitimately and is being used appropriately.</p> <h3><img alt="" src="//" style="float:left; height:100px; margin:1px; width:165px">3 - What products do I buy to be GDPR compliant?</h3> <p>Wrong question! Worse than that; a dangerous question. GDPR imposes a positive approach to privacy on the organisation and security needs to be considered wherever personal information is present. Buying an &ldquo;edge&rdquo; product isn&rsquo;t going to make you compliant, but building out the right balance of process, education and technology will.</p> <h3><img alt="" src="//" style="float:right; height:97px; margin:1px; width:100px">4 - It is a European thing, so Brexit gets us out of it, surely?</h3> <p>This is a slightly evolving landscape right now, but the minimum that should be anticipated in British law is parity to GDPR. Some quarters in British politics are pursuing even stricter standards. GDPR encourages a more mature approach to data privacy and one that is woven in to the fabric of an organisation. This is a very good thing!</p> <h3><img alt="" src="//" style="float:left; height:103px; margin:1px; width:100px">5 - Tell me about those fines again?</h3> <p>Potentially big; 4% of global turnover in the worst instance, per significant infringement. There will be some proportionality shown; the size of the infringement, effectiveness of reporting, the scale of the effort made to be compliant, the type of information lost, the type of organisation being fined. However, all indications are that each respective organisation being fined are likely to find the experience painful, by their own relative terms.</p> <h3><img alt="" src="//" style="float:right; height:102px; margin:1px; width:140px">6 - Didn&rsquo;t the EU already have laws on this front? Surely I&rsquo;m compliant already?</h3> <p>Across EU member states the laws were inconsistent, openly flouted, somewhat weak and with insignificant consequences for failure. GDPR raises the bar, standardises across member states and has a much more robust fining system to better encourage compliance. It&rsquo;s a much more robust landscape than before, and organisations simply must make it a very serious priority.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For more GDPR support, <a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF">visit Cisco&rsquo;s website,</span></a> or <a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF">look at GDPR in more detail with Cisco&rsquo;s handy video</span></a>.</p> <p><a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF"><em>For more from techUK Data Protection Week, visit our landing page.&nbsp;</em></span></a></p>Contact: <a href=""></a> We’re all data subjects – so what can we expect under GDPR? Fri, 25 May 2018 12:30:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Corsham Institute’s Maeve Walsh looks at the incentives for getting GDPR right – for all of us. <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:left; height:267px; margin:5px; width:400px">GDPR is a complex framework of requirements. But, having been available two years ahead of its introduction, many businesses are only now coming to terms with it. What&rsquo;s taken them so long? At its heart is the principle of &ldquo;data privacy by design and default&rdquo;, which requires that considerations for the safe and secure processing of personal data are understood before those activities can take place. It introduces a greater set of rights for data subjects, allowing each citizen more visibility and control over why, how and where their personal data is processed. With potential fines as high as &pound;17m/&euro;20m if companies don&rsquo;t comply or there is a breach, there is a huge incentive to take GDPR seriously.</p> <p>Let&rsquo;s take a look at one specific sector. Over the last 20 years, online retail has boomed. Supply businesses are now regularly processing the personal data of millions of customers. That personal data is probably being processed by many different parts of their business: the back-office IT function, the staff who prepare and dispatch the order, those who take payment information, delivery staff and, in some situations, returns handling teams. It&rsquo;s essential that data processing activities are properly mapped out and adjusted to ensure &ldquo;data minimisation&rdquo; &ndash; but do all staff need to see every component of the customer&rsquo;s transaction data? How can this be reduced to lower the risks? Is automated processing of personal data any more secure than manual intervention by staff?</p> <p>Under GDPR, customers will rightly expect to have a clear and unambiguous understanding of why they are submitting their personal data, who will have access to it (both people and IT systems), and how it will be kept securely. This requires a review of Privacy Notices, and the clauses within the standard terms and conditions that communicate information about the need to process personal data. GDPR specifies six possible reasons why personal data may need to be processed, and at least one of these needs to be valid for the processing to be lawful. In our earlier example, the supply of goods or services to a customer is likely to be based upon &ldquo;a contract with the data subject&rdquo; or alternatively &ldquo;the explicit consent of the data subject&rdquo;.</p> <p>For other data-processing activities, such as direct marketing to an existing customer base, the basis of &ldquo;legitimate interests of the business&rdquo; will probably be most appropriate, but care needs to be exercised to ensure that the interests of the business do not exceed the rights of the data subjects. Continuing the retail theme, with a growing number of businesses providing customer loyalty schemes that collect data whenever a customer makes a purchase, there is a clear need to understand:</p> <ol><li>Whether customers understand how their personal data will be used within such schemes, for example to understand their retail habits and interests</li> <li>How to deliver customers&rsquo; rights, if they request that they do not want to receive direct marketing communications, or if they object to any automated decision-making activities</li> <li>How any third parties engaged to deliver &ldquo;big data&rdquo; analysis services are selected, and that they can also safeguard the personal data shared with them</li> <li>How the details of any selected third parties are shared with customers (e.g. within Privacy Notices).</li> </ol><p>So, it&rsquo;s an understatement to say that GDPR is requiring significant focus and effort from all businesses. But it is entirely appropriate for the level of routine, daily personal data processing in today&rsquo;s world. Each one of us is a data subject, and we should all have a reasonable expectation that our personal data is being kept securely, processed only for purposes we understand, and promptly deleted when no longer needed.</p> <p>That&rsquo;s not too much to ask, is it?</p> <p><em>A <a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF">longer version of this article</span></a> appeared on the Corsham Institute and RAND Europe Observatory for a Connected Society, the first mobile and web platform bringing together all the latest research, insight and comment on digital policy and tech developments.</em></p> <p><a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF"><em>For more from techUK Data Protection Week, visit our landing page.</em></span></a><span style="color:#0000FF">&nbsp;</span></p>Contact: <a href=""></a> The GDPR and beyond: privacy, transparency and the law Fri, 25 May 2018 11:31:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest video: Watch UK Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham give a talk on data ethics and GDPR. <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Elizabeth Denham spoke at the Alan Turing Institute on 23 March as part of its event&nbsp;<em>The GDPR and Beyond: Privacy, Transparency and the Law</em>. Ms Denham&rsquo;s speech looked at how developments in Artificial Intelligence must take privacy into account.</p> <p><a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF"><em>For a transcript of the speech and more, view this video on ICO's website.</em></span></a></p> <p><a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF"><em>For more from techUK Data Protection Week, visit our landing page.</em></span></a><span style="color:#0000FF">&nbsp;</span></p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Getting to grips with GDPR: The right to be informed Fri, 25 May 2018 09:23:19 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Emma Butler from Yoti outlines one of the most important rights that GDPR offers - the right to be informed. <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:right; height:361px; margin:5px; width:350px"><a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF"><em>This blog was originally posted on Yoti's website.</em></span></a></p> <p>GDPR puts a strong emphasis on transparency and as a result, unlike current law, these obligations are now listed as an individual right.</p> <p>As well as setting out what information organisations have to provide to individuals, GDPR sets out requirements for how to communicate that information. Specifically, organisations must provide information:</p> <ul><li>in a way that is clear, transparent, easy to understand and easily accessible;</li> <li>using clear and plain language;</li> <li>in writing, or by other means, including, where appropriate, electronically.</li> </ul><p>GDPR is also clear that the need to communicate in &lsquo;clear and plain language&rsquo; is particularly important for any information aimed specifically at children. Some organisations are therefore looking at whether they need to rewrite their privacy information so it can be understood by children, or even to provide a separate version.</p> <h3>So what do organisations now need to tell you?</h3> <p>GDPR distinguishes between where you get personal information directly from a person and where you get it from elsewhere in terms of what you need to tell people. However, in reality, it&rsquo;s broadly all the same information apart from one or two things. However organisations decide to tell you, they should make you aware of the following.</p> <ul><li>Who they are and how to contact them, including how to contact their data protection officer, if they have one.</li> <li>What personal information they collect from or about you, and what they do with it.</li> <li>Who or what types or organisations they share your personal information with, if any.</li> <li>How long they keep your personal information for, or the criteria they use to decide on that.</li> <li>If they intend to transfer your personal information to a country outside the EU, and how they make that transfer compliant.</li> <li>Whether they carry out any automated decision-making using your personal information, meaningful information about the logic involved, and the significance and consequences to you of this automated decision.</li> <li>The rights you have, including the right to complain to the data protection regulator.</li> <li>What lawful basis they are using. Where this is your consent, that you have the right to withdraw it at any time. Where it is in their legitimate business interests to use your personal information, what those interests are.</li> <li>When they get personal information directly from you: whether it&rsquo;s mandatory or voluntary to provide it (to get the product/service), and the possible consequences if you don&rsquo;t.</li> <li>When they get personal information about you from somewhere else: where they got it from and whether it came from publicly accessible sources.</li> </ul><h3>When do organisations need to give you this information?</h3> <p>If they are getting the personal information from you directly: at the same time.</p> <p>Rather than giving you a lot of information to read, organisations should get creative and tell you what you need to know, when you need to know it, and give you the ability to find out more details if you want to. Consumers will have more meaningful interactions with organisations and better relationships if they have the most relevant information at the right time.</p> <p>If the organisation gets the personal information from elsewhere: within a reasonable period of time afterwards, but within one month at the latest.</p> <p>If they intend to use the personal information they collected to communicate with you: in that first communication at the latest.</p> <p>If they intend to disclose the personal information to another person or organisation: at the time of that first disclosure, at the latest.</p> <h3>Do organisations always need to provide this information?</h3> <p>There are some scenarios where organisations don&rsquo;t have to provide you with the information. Regardless of where they get the personal information from, they don&rsquo;t need to provide you with any information that you already have.</p> <p>Where an organisation gets your information from somewhere else, there are some specific circumstances where they don&rsquo;t need to provide you all the information. These are things like where it is impossible or extremely difficult, such as where they have no contact details for you. In these cases the organisation instead has to take other appropriate steps. This could be by making the information publicly available, such as in a privacy notice.</p> <p>The UK&rsquo;s draft Data Protection Bill to implement GDPR is currently being finalised but the current version maintains the exemptions in current law that mean that an organisation may not have to provide you with some information in certain circumstances.</p> <h3>So what does all this mean?</h3> <p>As organisations work to comply with GDPR you may find they send you or alert you to updated privacy notices setting out how they collect and use your personal information. Many people don&rsquo;t bother to read privacy notices, and you may think that a lot of the information provided is not interesting or relevant to you. However, organisations should be making the information clearer and it should be easier to find details that do interest you. Understanding how organisations use your personal information helps you decide whether to trust them with it.</p> <h3>What is Yoti doing?</h3> <p>Transparency is one of our core business principles, so we try very hard to make our privacy information as plain English as possible, so everyone can understand it. We are though also looking at testing it with under 18s and discussing whether we can simplify it further or if we need a children&rsquo;s version.</p> <p>We try to give you as much information as we can in the app at the point where we ask for your information, with links to find out more. We plan to keep improving this over time and learn from feedback from user testing. We also try to structure our website privacy policy in a way that makes most sense to the user, with clear headings. As we develop more products and services we will need to make sure that you can easily find the right information for the product or service you are using, rather than having to wade through pages of text to find what you&rsquo;re looking for. We&rsquo;re currently looking at how we can improve our privacy notice so you will see some changes over the coming months.</p> <p>You can contact our Data Protection Officer on&nbsp;<a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF"></span></a>.</p> <p><a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF"><em>For more from techUK Data Protection Week, visit our landing page.</em></span></a><span style="color:#0000FF">&nbsp;</span></p>Contact: <a href=""></a> The Spectrum behind the success of the Royal Wedding Thu, 24 May 2018 16:57:34 +0100 CRM Sync A speculative look at the use of spectrum during the Royal Wedding which made the day a success <p><strong>Imagine if the mics had squealed with feedback, or the live footage of The Kiss had cut out.</strong> Spectrum -&nbsp;essential for the use of&nbsp;wireless communications&nbsp;- is so intrinsically interwoven into everyday life and events that likely the only reason people would be talking about it is if something had gone disastrously wrong.</p> <p>A lot of planning and coordination went into the Royal Wedding and the events around it,&nbsp;and wireless communications would likely have played a key role in the day. &nbsp;For the wedding itself, security on the day, media and broadcasting, and the spectators in Windsor and those discussing it online &ndash; the Royal Wedding was the <a href="">largest number of spectrum users gathered in one open area&nbsp;in the UK since the London 2012 Olympic Games</a>.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s worth taking a few minutes to look behind the scenes and explore the wireless communications that would have made&nbsp;it possible more than <a href="">53 million</a>&nbsp;people to tune in to hear &ldquo;I will&rdquo; - and enable&nbsp;the Royal Wedding to be a success:</p> <p><strong>Wedding</strong><br> Some of the uses of wireless connectivity in the wedding were more evident than others &ndash; sharp-eyed viewers would have spotted lapel-mics attached to Bishop Michael Curry&rsquo;s robes during his fiery wedding address, and on the robes of the Archbishop of Canterbury as he proclaimed the couple husband and wife.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="//" style="float:right; height:347px; width:400px"></a>Wireless microphones and walkie-talkies would have also been used behind the scenes of the event, from management staff, First Aid, Catering, Crowd marshals, Traffic marshals, Car parking and the crowd interviews (vox pop) by media. For these uses&nbsp;the organisers would have had to apply for a&nbsp;'Programme making and special events' (<a href="">PMSE</a>) licence.</p> <p>Even though Ofcom carefully manages the PMSE licenses, licence exempt and shared frequencies may sometimes have interference. Interference can be caused from other users on the same frequency as well as other sources such as lights, computers, atmospheric conditions and illegal users. Normal procedures are for users who are suffering interference to contact Ofcom as soon as possible to offer technical support to help resolve the issue. However, for this event members of Ofcom&rsquo;s spectrum assurance team were there on hand to deal with interference issues.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Security</strong><br> With such a public event that had many high-profile people in attendance, security on the day would have been paramount. The police and any emergency services on hand would have been equipped with Airwave system technology. Airwave is mainly limited to voice radio, however this system will soon be phased over to the new <a href="">emergency services network</a> (ESN) to all police, fire, ambulance and other public safety users across the UK. The ESN is to have secure and resilient voice communication and broadband data services and the Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme (ESMCP) will deliver the new network and devices.</p> <p><strong>Media</strong><br> The wedding was viewed live by people at home, in community centers and at &ldquo;watch parties&rdquo; through broadcast, satellite, cable or IP TV in the UK and internationally. &nbsp;Almost 24 million people in the UK watched the wedding, with about 29 million people watching the wedding in the <a href="">USA across 15 different broadcast and cable networks</a>, and the numbers for online streaming haven&rsquo;t yet been released.&nbsp;Interestingly, Sky was the first broadcaster to televise the wedding in 4K and had to <a href="">lay out 27km of cables to broadcast the wedding in UHD</a>.</p> <p>Whilst drones are increasingly used for filming, there was a <a href="">ban on the use of drones</a> at the wedding. A flight restriction was placed around Windsor which was aimed to stop people flying aircrafts below 2,500 ft (not interfering with the Heathrow flight path)&nbsp;therefore all the&nbsp;footage on the day would have been done by shoulder-mounted, fixed or camera cranes.</p> <p><strong>Spectators&nbsp;&nbsp;</strong><br><a href=""><img alt="" src="//" style="float:right; height:268px; margin:5px; width:400px"></a>People watched the wedding as lucky guests in St George's Chapel, in the grounds of Windsor Castle, lined along the town and Long Walk, or through the TV or livestreaming. Apart from the guests in the chapel, almost all of those who were there on the day were taking photos or videos with their phones and sharing them online. Over 3.4 million social media users tweeted about the royal wedding during the ceremony, Bishop Curry's&nbsp;address&nbsp;<a href="">generated 40,000 tweets per minute</a>, and the proclamation that the couple were husband and produced 27,000 tweets per minute.</p> <p>To ensure that the mobile networks in Windsor were able to deal with the high-demand, the operators could have used a &lsquo;pump-up&rsquo; <a href="">portable base station</a> or <a href="">&ldquo;air mast&rdquo; technology with balloons and drones</a> - though these are mainly used in areas where there is little existing infrastructure either in emergency situations such as floods or earthquakes, or&nbsp;due to rural or remote locations such as Glastonbury. However, it&rsquo;s likely that the network operator&rsquo;s solution involved a mixture of utilising the existing infrastructure in Windsor (light up base stations) and drawing on their experience developed for the London 2012 Olympics to increase network capacity for the day.</p> <hr><p>More information is available about techUK&rsquo;s <a href="">Communications Infrastructure Programme </a>and <a href="">UK Spectrum Policy Forum</a>.</p> <p>Some events that may be of interest:</p> <ul><li><a href="">Drone Futures: How the UK Can Lead from the Front</a></li> <li><a href="">SES 2018 Ultra HD Conference</a></li> <li><a href="">UK Spectrum Policy Forum - Spectrum Resilience</a></li> </ul>Contact: <a href=""></a> Countdown to GDPR Thu, 24 May 2018 15:00:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Ian from NCSC runs us through their Cyber Security Outcomes and how they facilitate your GDPR compliance <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:left; height:267px; margin:5px; width:400px"><a href=""><span style="color:#0000ff"><em>This blog was originally posted on the NCSC website.</em></span></a></p> <p>Anybody who is involved in cyber security or data protection will be acutely aware that the General Data Protection Regulation - better known simply as GDPR - comes into force on Friday, 25&nbsp;May. We have worked very closely with the<a href=""><span style="color:#0000ff">&nbsp;Information Commissioners Office&nbsp;(ICO) </span></a>to develop a set of a set of&nbsp;<a href=""><span style="color:#0000ff">GDPR Security Outcomes</span></a>, which we published last week.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>GDPR and cyber</strong></p> <p>If you have tried to read and understand the relevant articles described in&nbsp;<a href=""><span style="color:#0000ff">the Regulation</span></a>,&nbsp;well done. I personally have found it really hard work to break it apart, summarise what security measures it&nbsp;really&nbsp;seeks, and then overlay good cyber security practice to meet those requirements. Thankfully, the ICO really do understand the detail, and so we have worked together to describe what the regulation requires and provide an overview on what sorts of cyber security measures we expect those organisations processing personal data to have in place. We have published this work as a set of&nbsp;<a href=""><span style="color:#0000ff">Security Outcomes required for GDPR</span></a>, together with some relevant overarching&nbsp;<a href=""><span style="color:#0000ff">GDPR information</span></a>. Whilst we have a shared interest with the ICO on cyber security, of course they are the lead for the GDPR and you should consult their&nbsp;<a href=""><span style="color:#0000ff">website</span></a>&nbsp;for any general GDPR questions or needs that you might have.</p> <p><strong>What GDPR says about cyber</strong></p> <p>Now I'm going to quote parts of the Regulation here&nbsp; - so bear with me - but I will give some context as well.</p> <p>There is an overarching requirement that basically says that you need to protect personal information. It states that personal information must be:</p> <p><em>"processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage, using appropriate technical or organisational measures"</em></p> <p>The key thing to note here is that personal information being correct and available is in scope - not just protecting its confidentiality.</p> <p>One thing that I personally like in the GDPR (OK so it's a little bit nerdy to have a favourite part of data protection legislation)&nbsp;is that it specifically requires&nbsp;organisations&nbsp;to think about security as you design services as well as at the point when processing happens. It means that services must be designed with security in mind&nbsp;<strong>from the outset</strong>,&nbsp;and that you have to keep them secure<strong> through the whole lifecycle</strong>. You can't just develop services and allow security debt (when security corners are cut to meet to meet business delivery) to accumulate.</p> <p>The Regulation refers in a number of places to:</p> <p><em>"appropriate technical and organisational measures"</em></p> <p>It emphasises that you need to take a risk managed approach to security that is influenced by the risk to the individuals whose data you are processing, the state of the art (of technology) and cost. 'Appropriate' really does depend; we understand that<a href=""><span style="color:#0000ff">&nbsp;saying 'it depends' can be really frustrating</span></a>&nbsp;and people need a bit more certainty than that. Whilst the GDPR takes this 'it depends' approach, we have worked with the ICO to develop Security Outcomes that we would jointly expect any organisation to meet.</p> <p><strong>What are Security Outcomes?</strong></p> <p>As the name suggest these are outcomes that any organisation should seek to achieve with regards to cyber security. They do not themselves carry mandatory status, although they are our joint approximation of what&nbsp;<strong>appropriate</strong>&nbsp;means under the Regulation.&nbsp;You'll find that the outcomes do not say precisely what to do with regards to cyber security. That's deliberate as it's&nbsp;not&nbsp;for us (neither the NCSC nor the ICO) to tell you what technologies to use, nor to limit your choices in how you chose to protect them. Equally we need the outcomes to work for organisations of many sizes and complexity.&nbsp;Overall this was probably the hardest challenge and we'd like to hear your feedback if there are areas that don't quite work (and the reasons of course).</p> <p>As we wrote the outcomes, we attempted to define the&nbsp;minimal set of measures&nbsp;that represent decent practice with regards to security. We do not believe we have described anything that is unreasonable, or should be surprising to you. Again let us know if you feel this isn't the case. Defining what we believe to be good practice means that existing guidance remains appropriate and can help you design measures that meet the outcomes. There is a lot of existing material&nbsp; - including our own&nbsp;<a href=""><span style="color:#0000ff">Small Business Guide</span></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href=""><span style="color:#0000ff">ICO's guidance on GDPR</span></a>&nbsp;- which you may find helpful.</p> <p>We know that good security isn't just about putting technical mitigations in place. The outcomes are aligned to 4 top level aims which cover how you manage security, protecting personal data from cyber attack, detecting incidents and minimising the impact if an incident does happen.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Existing schemes and certifications</strong></p> <p>I'm asked a lot whether having&nbsp;Cyber Essentials&nbsp;means you are compliant with the GDPR cyber security requirements. Certainly having <a href=""><span style="color:#0000ff">Cyber Essentials</span></a> certification is a&nbsp;good thing and it will show that you take protecting yourself from cyber attack seriously. I wholeheartedly recommend it but there are other areas, outside the scope of Cyber Essentials, where you need to protect personal information too. A good example might be protecting data at rest on a laptop. The same logic applies to other certifications you might have; they are part of the picture, but you must still ensure that you are comprehensively protecting personal data.</p> <p><strong>If something goes wrong</strong></p> <p>Occasionally even the most diligent organisation might experience a security incident. The whole approach of the GDPR is based on&nbsp;managing&nbsp;risk, not avoiding all risk. The fact that some of our Security Outcomes describe detecting events and minimising the impact should underline this. If you are (or think you are) subject to an incident that involves personal data then you are likely to be obliged to report this to the ICO. They have published&nbsp;<a href=""><span style="color:#0000ff">guidance</span></a>&nbsp;on&nbsp;their website to help you understand&nbsp;what you should report, and by when.</p> <p><a href=""><span style="color:#0000ff"><em>For more from techUK Data Protection Week, visit our landing page.</em></span></a><span style="color:#0000ff">&nbsp;</span></p>Contact: <a href=""></a> GDPR and AI – help or hinderance? Thu, 24 May 2018 13:30:00 +0100 CRM Sync techUK Head of Cloud, Data Analytics and AI Sue Daley discusses how compatible GDPR is with AI technologies. <p>At techUK, we are discussing the steps that need to be taken to ensure the UK can realise the full economic and social power of AI. With AI estimated to be worth an additional &pound;232 billion to the UK economy, it is important that the right environment is created that supports the development, adoption and use of increasingly automated, intelligent, data driven AI systems and technologies. A key question I am often asked is whether the introduction of the GDPR will in fact help or hinder the growth of the UK&rsquo;s AI industry and adoption of AI technologies.</p> <p>As GDPR has not even come into effect yet it is still not clear what impact it will have on the future development of AI technologies. However, what is clear now is that GDPR provides the legal and regulatory framework and foundations on which innovative, intelligent, increasingly autonomous AI technologies will be developed, deployed and applied. In fact, the review of the current European data protection legislation was conducted to ensure that Europe&rsquo;s data protection legal framework remains up to date with the development of advanced, digital data driven technologies such as machine learning. The inclusion of Article 22 provides individuals with a right not to be subjected to automated decision making in particular circumstances. In this example, the GDPR has been developed with machine learning and AI technologies in mind. It is also an example of how the GDPR will support the development of AI by providing data subjects with the ability to make decisions about how their data is being used as AI technologies evolve. This is key to building greater trust and confidence in the use of AI across both the public and private sectors.</p> <p>Another way the GDPR will support the development of AI is through the introduction of a right to data portability. Data is vital to the ability of AI systems to function, learn and develop. The capability for individuals to gain access to and share data with organisations that can then apply AI to unlock hidden insights and value from the data&nbsp;will enable AI systems to learn and evolve more quickly due to a greater availability of datasets.</p> <p>Overall, GDPR will provide companies looking to develop and deploy AI systems with a clear legal framework to address data protection issues and concerns that may be raised by AI. However, as AI continues to develop many of the questions and concerns that could be raised will go beyond data protection and privacy. It is not yet clear whether the GDPR will be able to address the ethical questions and concerns being raised by the increased use of AI.</p> <p>The development and deployment of machine learning and Artificial Intelligence technologies is leading to a much broader ethical discussion about how data-driven decisions are being made by autonomous, intelligent machines and whether these decisions are fair, ethical and unbiased. Clearly, the starting point for these discussions must always be GDPR. However, moving forward we may need to consider whether there could be gaps in the legal framework that need to be addressed. A key question to be discussed is whether the GDPR provides a framework business need to embed ethical decision-making into normal business practices or whether something more is needed to help companies ask, discuss and consider the right ethical questions as well as think and act ethically every day. This is a key issue that techUK will be exploring at a panel of industry leaders at the upcoming <a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF">Cogx18 &ldquo;Festival of all things AI&rdquo; conference</span></a> on the 11th June.</p> <p>With the technology sector at the heart of driving the UK towards an increasingly AI-driven economy and society, it is industry that is being looked to for clarity and answers on ethical questions. techUK is working hard to bring together technology industry leaders and those involved in the data ethics debate to discuss the key questions being raised today and consider how the tech sector should be looking to respond. In December&nbsp;we will hold techUK&rsquo;s second annual Digital Ethics Summit which will consider the progress that has been made over the last twelve months on this important issue and consider the progress made to build the capacity and capabilities needed to recognise, identify and address ethical issues and concerns. It will also consider whether the practical action that has been taken is enough, including the implementation of the GDPR, and discuss what more may be needed to ensure the ethical questions raised by the development and use of AI technologies can be addressed moving forward.</p> <p><a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF"><em>For more from techUK Data Protection Week, visit our landing page.</em></span></a><span style="color:#0000FF">&nbsp;</span></p>Contact: <a href=""></a>Contact: <a href=""></a> Accountability under the GDPR Thu, 24 May 2018 12:00:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Guy Cohen from Privitar talks about the ways that new technologies are changing the ways safeguards are implemented under GDPR. <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:left; height:350px; margin:5px; width:350px">For many,&nbsp;of all the changes the GDPR brings in,&nbsp;the new consent requirements are&nbsp;the most stressful. Not only&nbsp;is&nbsp;consent&nbsp;harder to obtain, but&nbsp;using it can strengthen data subjects&rsquo; rights, and is no longer an option for some purposes. For instance, the data subject&rsquo;s right to erasure is stronger if processing&nbsp;on the basis of consent.&nbsp;And employers may find they can&rsquo;t use consent to process&nbsp;their&nbsp;employee&rsquo;s&nbsp;data due to the inherent power imbalance.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>As a result, many organisations are exploring whether any of the other five legal bases for processing can be used instead,&nbsp;in particular the&nbsp;legitimate interest basis.&nbsp;Part of the appeal is that, as&nbsp;the ICO state in their&nbsp;<a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF">recent guidance</span></a>,&nbsp;&ldquo;Legitimate interests is the most flexible lawful basis&rdquo;.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>To&nbsp;use this basis, controllers must carry out a balancing test where they&nbsp;weigh their interests&nbsp;against any potential harms to the individual, and put in place safeguards to protect the individual:&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Where the processing&hellip;&nbsp;is not based on the data subject&rsquo;s consent...&nbsp;the controller shall...&nbsp;take into account...&nbsp;the existence of appropriate safeguards...&rdquo;&#8239;Article 6, GDPR&nbsp;</p> <p>Importantly, if an initial analysis&nbsp;finds that the potential harms outweigh the&nbsp;controller&rsquo;s interests, the controller can add additional safeguards, reducing the risk,&nbsp;to&nbsp;potentially sway the balance in their favour.&nbsp;As the&nbsp;<a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF">EU&nbsp;Article 29 Working Party guidance&nbsp;from 2014</span></a>&nbsp;states:&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;&hellip;it is important to highlight the special role that safeguards may play in reducing the undue impact on the data subjects, and thereby changing the balance of rights and interests to the extent that the data controller&rsquo;s legitimate interests will not be overridden.&rdquo;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>The ability to evaluate privacy risk and implement&nbsp;effective&nbsp;safeguards is therefore key to processing on the basis of a legitimate interest.&nbsp;But it is not just&nbsp;relevant for legal basis. Safeguards are also required for compliance with data protection by design, automated decision making,&nbsp;to&nbsp;mitigate&nbsp;high risk processing uncovered by a DPIA, and many other areas. Fundamentally,&nbsp;the GDPR&nbsp;makes data controllers responsible for any harms&nbsp;resulting&nbsp;from their processing&nbsp;and drives them to&nbsp;implement&nbsp;appropriate and&nbsp;proportionate&nbsp;safeguards.&nbsp;This means organisations need to&nbsp;think about safeguards when designing data protection into their systems,&nbsp;analyse specific risks&nbsp;(through DPIAs), and then add further&nbsp;safeguards&nbsp;as&nbsp;necessary.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>The GDPR doesn&rsquo;t define safeguards, so anything which&nbsp;reduces&nbsp;the risk of harm&nbsp;could be considered a safeguard.&nbsp;Generally, safeguards&nbsp;deliver&nbsp;on&nbsp;<a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF">ENISA&rsquo;s&nbsp;eight privacy by design strategies</span></a>, which are;&nbsp;Minimise, Separate, Aggregate, Hide, Inform, Control, Demonstrate and Enforce.&nbsp;These strategies can be fulfilled though technological safeguards, legal safeguards, procedural safeguards, or other approaches.&nbsp;For instance,&nbsp;a&nbsp;data&nbsp;controller&nbsp;might be&nbsp;concerned about sharing data with&nbsp;a partner&nbsp;and&nbsp;want&nbsp;to minimise&nbsp;what the&nbsp;partner&nbsp;can use the data for.&nbsp;They could&nbsp;restrict use by contract, providing a legal safeguard.&nbsp;Alternatively, or additionally,&nbsp;they could&nbsp;share&nbsp;a copy of the data with direct identifiers removed, and&nbsp;other&nbsp;values blurred,&nbsp;so&nbsp;the partner sees no more detail than necessary.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>As the need for effective safeguards increases, technological safeguards&nbsp;will become more important. Partially this is because they offer scalability and consistency, but also because&nbsp;of&nbsp;significant&nbsp;recent&nbsp;advances in&nbsp;privacy engineering.&nbsp;There is now&nbsp;a wider&nbsp;range of&nbsp;more powerful&nbsp;technological safeguards&nbsp;that are feasible to deploy in real scenarios.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>To take two examples, differential privacy&nbsp;(delivering&nbsp;&lsquo;Aggregate&rsquo;) and&nbsp;homomorphic encryption&nbsp;(delivering&nbsp;&lsquo;Hide&rsquo;)&nbsp;have both moved from research to commercial applications in&nbsp;recent&nbsp;years.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Differential privacy&nbsp;is a formal way of thinking about privacy which&nbsp;<a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF">&ldquo;essentially protects an individual&rsquo;s information as if her information were not used in the analysis&rdquo;</span></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;provides&nbsp;provable privacy&nbsp;guarantees.&nbsp;Differential privacy&nbsp;will be&nbsp;<a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF">used by the US Census</span></a>&nbsp;for the publication of their results in 2020, and&nbsp;<a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF">can be used</span></a>&nbsp;to allow privacy preserving insights to sensitive data sets.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Homomorphic encryption allows data to be usefully processed whilst encrypted.&nbsp;Fully homomorphic encryption is still very computationally expensive,&nbsp;but&nbsp;partially homomorphic encryption, where only some kinds of processing are supported,&nbsp;is viable and in use. For instance, partially homomorphic encryption&nbsp;<a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF">can be used</span></a>&nbsp;to link datasets on encrypted identifiers.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>To find out more about these technologies, and others, please contact us at&nbsp;<a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF"></span></a>.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF"><em>For more from techUK Data Protection Week, visit our landing page.</em></span></a><span style="color:#0000FF">&nbsp;</span></p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Drones for Good Thu, 24 May 2018 11:59:09 +0100 CRM Sync Ahead of our Drone Futures conference on 13 June looking at the drone applications of the future, Craig Melson looks at how UAV tech is being used to solve major societal challenges. <p>Last week an FBI bigwig <a href="">told a story</a> that a fleet of drones disrupted an FBI surveillance operation and in the UK there have been instances of drones bringing contraband into prisons (<a href="">though innovative new tech is disrupting this</a>). Last week&rsquo;s Midsomer Murders featured a murder-by-drone (though the drone also delivered beer) and stories featuring near misses between drones and airliners are becoming more frequent.</p> <p>This backdrop may make this technology sound bad, and of course there are concerns, but drones and UAVs will be revolutionary with some incredible applications. Drone tech is an economic opportunity worth billions and exploring the future user cases, plus getting the policy framework right so the UK can capitalise on the new tech is the subject of a <strong><a href="">free conference we&rsquo;re holding on 13 June in London</a></strong>.</p> <p>The UK has some amazing drone start ups and UAVs are being used in <a href=";oq=oil+snd+gas+uk+drone&amp;aqs=chrome..69i57j0.3247j0j9&amp;sourceid=chrome&amp;ie=UTF-8">oil &amp; gas</a>, <a href="">rail maintenance</a>, <a href="">deliviering broadband</a>&nbsp;and <a href="">utilities</a> are being used to deliver public, social and environmental benefits.</p> <p>Lincolnshire Police <a href="">use drones across the county</a> to search for missing people, tackle rural crime, aid local agencies and control traffic and large events as they are a more practical and cheaper alternative to a helicopter and some forces have saved millions from drone adoption.</p> <p>The <a href="">Plastic Tide </a>use drone and AI technology to fly along beaches and &lsquo;tag&rsquo; plastic litter. The machine learning algorithm correctly identified 90% of plastic litter, massively aiding volunteers&nbsp;cleaning the beaches.</p> <p>Globally academics are <a href="">developing precision agriculture drones</a>. Using data like soil condition, pressure and historical yields, UAVs can fly/roll over farms to deploy fertiliser and water in the most optimal way.</p> <p>Drones are used extensively to combat illegal wildlife crime too &ndash; across Africa drones are combating poaching&nbsp;and drones are being <a href="">used to disperse seeds</a> in areas at risk of deforestation.</p> <p>In the future drones could help tackle urban air quality and traffic. For example<a href="">, drone deliveries could reduce commercial traffic and reduce emissions</a>. Imagine van and lorry deliveries ending at a port outside a city and goods being loaded onto autonomous barges with smaller aerial drones picking up packages and delivering them via safe air corridors to the final address. This is just one of the many potential revolutionary new user cases in development&nbsp;<a href="">alongside drone taxis</a> and <a href="">floating WiFi/5G stations</a>.</p> <p>To get to this point and position the UK as a leader we need a policy environment that spurs investment and enables higher drone adoption. There are some obvious challenges to overcome, not least questions around legal/insurer liability, spectrum allocation, digital connectivity and how to safely accommodate drones in increasingly crowded airspace. The <a href="">Drone (Regulation) Bill</a> before Parliament is the best opportunity to do this and we look forward to exploring this at the conference in June.</p> <p>Tickets are <strong><a href="">free for the event and you can register here</a></strong> or email <a href=""></a>.</p>Contact: <a href=""></a>Contact: <a href=""></a> New technologies – an opportunity for digitally responsible businesses Thu, 24 May 2018 10:30:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Patrick Rowe from Accenture discusses how businesses can do more than comply to GDPR - they can use it as a point from which to innovate. <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:right; height:400px; margin:5px; width:320px">Digital technologies are dramatically transforming the way we live and work and the environment&nbsp;in which businesses operate. Exponential technologies such as Artificial Intelligence&nbsp;(AI),&nbsp;Internet of Things (IoT), and Blockchain, present significant economic and societal&nbsp;opportunities;&nbsp;equally they pose new challenges. For businesses, the key challenge is how&nbsp;to&nbsp;take advantage of these&nbsp;digitally enabled opportunities,&nbsp;while meeting new, complex and higher expectations, based on trust in how they operate in a digital world. These range from increased societal expectations and public scrutiny of&nbsp;how they run their businesses and&nbsp;the increasing imperative to develop and use technology&nbsp;responsibly and&nbsp;ethically in a world of fast digital&nbsp;innovation.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>With GDPR coming into force on 25th&nbsp;May, we are&nbsp;entering a new era of data privacy with arguably&nbsp;the highest standards and&nbsp;the widest global reach.&nbsp;Since adoption there has been&nbsp;much discussion about the&nbsp;negative&nbsp;impact&nbsp;the new rules&nbsp;will&nbsp;have&nbsp;on the digital economy and the uptake of data hungry technology, in Europe,&nbsp;and beyond.&nbsp;Many commentators now see&nbsp;GDPR&nbsp;as an opportunity to&nbsp;help meet consumer expectations and&nbsp;support the greater uptake of&nbsp;technology.&nbsp;It also enables companies to show that they are using and storing data responsibly.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Accenture believes&nbsp;that this&nbsp;will&nbsp;be the case and sees&nbsp;opportunities for&nbsp;digitally&nbsp;responsible companies&nbsp;to build a competitive advantage beyond compliance.&nbsp;This includes:&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <ul><li>Opportunities for leading companies to differentiate their data protection&nbsp;programmes&nbsp;and turn them into a competitive advantage.&nbsp;Accenture&nbsp;has&nbsp;a Client Data Protection&nbsp;Programme&nbsp;that is&nbsp;tailored to each client and&nbsp;is&nbsp;ISO certified. We&nbsp;have also&nbsp;refreshed our&nbsp;Code of&nbsp;Business&nbsp;Ethics to reflect the increased responsibility we,&nbsp;and our employees,&nbsp;have when managing data, especially in the use of new technologies. We consider ourselves as guardians of the data of our business partners, their employees and customers.&nbsp;&nbsp;</li> <li>Furthermore,&nbsp;when it comes to technology, we have made a&nbsp;public&nbsp;commitment&nbsp;to use&nbsp;data in a responsible&nbsp;way&nbsp;that goes beyond compliance,&nbsp;to power&nbsp;solutions such&nbsp;as&nbsp;advanced analytics and&nbsp;AI&nbsp;for Accenture, our clients and business partners.&#8239;When we deploy&nbsp;AI&nbsp;in our&nbsp;organisation&nbsp;we&nbsp;take&nbsp;responsibility for the governance, design, evolution, development, monitoring and performance of those systems. Our approach&nbsp;is human&nbsp;centric,&nbsp;and we ensure that we have a governance&nbsp;framework&nbsp;to&nbsp;allow for the decisions and actions taken by those systems to be&nbsp;secure, auditable and&nbsp;transparent&nbsp;-&nbsp;and result in outcomes,&nbsp;which are consistent with our core values, Code of Business Ethics and policies.&nbsp;</li> </ul><p>GDPR&nbsp;represents&nbsp;only&nbsp;a framework&nbsp;for the protection of personal data in&nbsp;the&nbsp;UK and the rest of Europe. Beyond 25th&nbsp;May, and as technology evolves,&nbsp;it will be important that business and regulators work together to&nbsp;further&nbsp;develop guidelines, codes of conduct, certification and other mechanisms to help&nbsp;business practically implement and demonstrate compliance with data privacy requirements.&nbsp;Of equal importance is that&nbsp;these mechanisms&nbsp;support consumer understanding and confidence in how their data is being used&nbsp;in the context of new technologies.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>One example is the provisions&nbsp;and guidance&nbsp;on automated decision-making&nbsp;under GDPR. It is important for businesses to have clear guidance on the parameters in which they are required to operate. Equally,&nbsp;it is important that they can provide clear explanations for the actions that AI systems take&nbsp;in a format&nbsp;that people understand.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>As we enter this new&nbsp;era of data privacy, key to&nbsp;realising&nbsp;the economic and societal potential of new technologies will be&nbsp;enabling&nbsp;digitally&nbsp;responsible businesses and&nbsp;empower informed consumers.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF"><em>For more from techUK Data Protection Week, visit our landing page.</em></span></a>&nbsp;</p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Data protection in translation services Thu, 24 May 2018 09:00:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Joanne Taylor from Capita asks how the role of Language Service Providers (LSPs) will change with GDPR. <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:right; height:267px; margin:5px; width:400px">English is everywhere now, so is translation still necessary or important?</p> <p>Well, not everyone speaks English, and surely everyone would rather be communicated with in their own native language.&nbsp;People always respond better to the language they grew up speaking, and to effectively sell to people, it&rsquo;s not enough to speak a language that they understand (especially if their understanding is limited); you must speak to them in the language their heart speaks.</p> <p>English may be the lingua-franca now, but that may not always be the case. Other languages are becoming more widely spoken as developing countries start to emerge, and as more people have access to the internet. Whilst most of the world&rsquo;s web content used to be in English, that&rsquo;s no longer the case. Languages such as Mandarin, Russian, Arabic and Spanish are climbing the ranks, and will soon collectively take over English as the world&rsquo;s most popular online languages.</p> <p>So if you&rsquo;re trying to spread your message online, you&rsquo;re going to need to consider translation services. But even your Language Service Provider (LSP) has GDPR rules to take into consideration&hellip;</p> <h4>5 things to ask your LSP</h4> <p>Think about the amount of data you share with your Language Service Provider. It&rsquo;s vital to ensure they are complying with all aspects of GDPR.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;1. Are you operating in a GDPR member state?</p> <p>Ensure your LSP operates in a member state that has signed up to the GDPR and complies with all the relevant regulations. This doesn&rsquo;t just apply to the LSP itself, but to all sub-contractors too, such as linguists, and also to the jurisdictions in which the company&rsquo;s servers are based.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;2. Do you work within a secure translation management system?</p> <p>It will no longer be possible &ndash; nor is it good practice &ndash; to allow your LSP to send your files for translation via an unsecured email address. A reputable LSP &ndash; and one which complies with the GDPR &ndash; will work within a secure translation management system where translators use a secure server-based environment to complete their work, and are unable to download any files to their personal devices.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;3. Do you work with NDAs?</p> <p>Non-Disclosure Agreements are common practice for a lot of organisations, but they&rsquo;re becoming more important than ever now. A Language Service Provider who refuses to sign an NDA, or does not already have their own in place, will not be complying with the GDPR. It is also important to ensure the linguists in question are also prepared to sign these agreements.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;4. What security standards do you have in place?</p> <p>Standards and accreditations are a sure-fire way of knowing that your LSP is reputable and compliant. You should be looking out for security accreditations such as ISO 27001 (information security). Your LSP should also be regularly training their staff in Data Protection, and should have up-to-date material with regards to this new standard.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;5. Are your tools and technology secure?</p> <p>Neither your organisation nor your LSP should be using free/open-source machine translation engines such as Google Translate, as you are giving the system a worldwide license to use, host, store and publish the content (definitely not GDPR compliant). Your LSP should be using a secure machine translation environment, which is only available to you and the LSP.</p> <p>Don&rsquo;t be afraid to ask your LSP about their data security infrastructure, workflows and policies. It&rsquo;s all well-and-good your own organisation being GDPR compliant, but if your suppliers are failing to conform, you will ultimately be the one who is responsible for a potential data breach.</p> <p><a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF"><em>For more from techUK Data Protection Week, visit our landing page.</em></span></a><span style="color:#0000FF">&nbsp;</span></p>Contact: <a href=""></a>