techUK Insights RSS Feed - techUK RSS feed for insights content. en Copyright (C) 2015 Guest blog: Essential Tips on using G-Cloud 10 to engage with CIOs Tue, 17 Apr 2018 09:17:00 +0100 CRM Sync Advice Cloud’s Strategic Adviser Jos Creese shares his top tips on engaging with CIOs. Don’t just get listed on G-Cloud 10, start engaging from the onset to win business. <p><img alt="" src="" style="float:left; height:300px; width:300px"><strong>Advice Cloud&rsquo;s Strategic Adviser Jos Creese shares his top tips on engaging with CIOs. Don&rsquo;t just get listed on G-Cloud 10, start engaging from the onset to win business.</strong></p> <p>G-Cloud was developed to make public service IT procurement easily accessible for cloud- type services with its series of searchable, pre-tendered framework agreements. From it, public-sector organisations can buy services without needing to run a separate tender exercise to legitimise spend.</p> <p>Despite this, suppliers can still find public service procurement frustrating, reducing business opportunities. A major aspect of this predicament is in expectations. For example, in 2011 the government aimed to shift 50% of new IT spend to cloud based services by 2015, yet that target has not yet been reached by 2018. In 2013 a &lsquo;cloud first&rsquo; policy was mandated by government, with expectations of widespread public services adoption outside and within Whitehall, but this has not yet taken root to any great degree.</p> <p>Yet these policies are undoubtedly the direction of travel for government, and suppliers can help whilst increasing the odds of winning business by engaging with CIOs earlier in the process. This means in addition to having a G-Cloud 10 listing, suppliers need to understand the wider context of public sector challenges, helping the CIO in improving public service outcomes, not just selling products to drive efficiencies. Public sector CIOs need practical solutions based on technology opportunity.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Here are <strong>Five Essential Tips</strong> on how to do so:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <ul><li>Any supplier of IT solutions to the public sector needs to be on G-Cloud 10. If you are not, an avenue of sales and marketing will be closed off. But having a listing is not in itself enough.</li> </ul><p>&nbsp;</p> <ul><li>IT legacy constraints are critical in the adoption of new technology solutions for the public sector, however strong the business case may appear. Understanding the appetite for risk and digital innovation, the legacy constrainst and the procurement and decision-making process can help to manage expectations of suppliers, especially regarding timescales.</li> </ul><p>&nbsp;</p> <ul><li>Understand the context for a sales pitch to the CIO and their team, relating technology opportunity to the challenges of the CIO, especially in implementation. This means risk, total costs of owernship, transition support for example.</li> </ul><p>&nbsp;</p> <ul><li>Sell solutions not products. A G-Cloud 10 listing, is not enough in itself to guarantee new business. It&rsquo;s a shop window for products and services and needs to be backed by marketing and sales to steer prospective public sector client towards the G-Cloud 10 entry and the solution to business problems.</li> </ul><p>&nbsp;</p> <ul><li>Suppliers need to build relationships with CIO teams in the public sector to establish reputation, trust, technical credibility, capability and ideally before any tendering or G-Cloud procurement begins.</li> </ul><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>G-Cloud is here to stay and offers a growing opportunity for public sector clients and suppliers alike in procurement of technology, especially cloud services. It is especially valuable to SMEs, given the costs and hurdles involved in full formal tendering without G-Cloud.</p> <p>At the same time, G-Cloud cannot guarantee sales or inbound leads. It is a shop window, and sales mechanism and a purchase route but that is all. A G-Cloud 10 listing is a good way of describing your wares and as a starting point for conversation. But what the public sector needs more than technology tools are IT-enabled solutions.</p> <p>This lies at the heart of &lsquo;digital&rsquo; &ndash; i.e. new ways of working and delivering public services, made possible by technology opportunity. Therefore, understanding the pressures facing the public sector, empathising with the challenges of the CIO and being realistic about the procurement process, will all help IT suppliers to increase public sector sales and engagement and the value of solutions delivered through G-Cloud.</p> <p><strong>This blog is part of an Advice Cloud white paper </strong><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>&ldquo;Use G-Cloud to engage with CIOs&rdquo;, by Jos Creese.</strong></a></p> <p><u>About Jos:</u></p> <p>Jos Creese is one of Advice Cloud&rsquo;s Strategic Advisers with over 30 years in IT leadership experience. Jos has held a range of CIO roles and non-executive director positions and has been described as the most innovative and influential UK CIO. He is Principal Analyst for Eduserv, an Associate Director and previous President of Socitm, and past President of BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT.</p> Tech opens new era of opportunity for India and the UK Fri, 13 Apr 2018 15:01:52 +0100 CRM Sync CHOGM 2018 is in London next week. Ahead of this, Simon Spier looks at techUK’s engagement with the Commonwealth’s most populous country, India <p>India is an emerging tech powerhouse. Already the world&rsquo;s <a href=""><u>second largest smartphone market</u></a>, it is also on course to become the <a href=""><u>second largest market for IT</u></a> generally by the end of 2018. The Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has embarked on initiatives such as Digital India (potentially worth &pound;45 billion over 10 years), Smart Cities (&pound;20-24 billion over 10 years) and Make in India, which are set to transform the tech economy in India. With the UK-Indian bilateral trade in goods and services worth &pound;18 billion in 2017, and seeing year on year growth of 15%, India is a priority area for our International Trade programme.</p> <p><img alt="" src="" style="border-style:solid; border-width:0px; float:left; height:316px; margin:10px; width:500px">Theresa May&rsquo;s first bilateral trip outside Europe and first trade mission as PM was to India. Ahead of this visit in November 2016, techUK and the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM), wrote a <a href=""><u>joint letter</u></a> to Prime Ministers May and Modi. It called on them to deepen the tech relationship between the two countries and help unlock a major new wave of digital growth.</p> <p>The letter contained four priorities: <strong>pioneering innovation partnerships</strong> through the opening of a tech hub in India; <strong>valuing international talent</strong> by enjoying a frictionless immigration policy; <strong>sharing best practice on boosting digital skills</strong>, an important challenge for both countries; and <strong>a trade agreement fit for the digital age</strong>. While a trade agreement is still some way off, it is promising that some steps have been taken in the other areas.</p> <p>Since then, techUK has been closely involved in moving these priorities forward. In September 2017, techUK organised the first UK-India Working Group to explore how trade between the two countries in the tech sector can be increased. The working group formed part of techUK&rsquo;s new International Trade programme and was supported by the Indian High Commission, London, the UK&rsquo;s Department of International Trade, NASSCOM, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), as well as leading UK and Indian tech companies. The outcomes of the working group have helped to inform the direction of the UK-India tech trade relationship and the actions of techUK&rsquo;s International Trade India programme.</p> <p>We followed this up in February 2018 by <a href=""><u>supporting the Northern Powerhouse&rsquo;s Department for International Trade Mission</u></a> to Hyderabad, Bangalore and Mumbai. I was delighted to join the mission which was attended by several techUK members. The visit provided an insight in to the excellent opportunity for partnership between UK and Indian tech companies. &nbsp;The mission took in the NASSCOM Future Leaders Summit coinciding with WCIT India 2018 -&nbsp;The Olympics of the Global ICT Industry, as well as providing site visits to large Indian multinationals such as Wipro and Tech Mahindra and providing the opportunity for a number of one-to-one meetings with Indian tech companies of all size.</p> <p>techUK is also proud to be the UK tech partner for the <a href=""><u>Access India Programme</u></a> (AIP). The Access India Programme, launched in September 2017 by the High Commission of India in London, is a flagship programme assisting market entry into India. The programme is the first of its kind for supporting UK businesses access the <em>Make in India </em>initiativ<em>e</em> of the Government of India. The programme solely focuses on providing support to small and medium size UK enterprises.</p> <p>techUK is continuing to engage with the Indian tech sector, with one of our recent events partnering alongside the Open University to explore &nbsp;&lsquo;<a href=""><u>what can the UK learn from India to bridge the IT skills gap?</u></a>&rsquo;. As Prime Minister Modi attends the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting next week, we look forward to exploring the next steps in the burgeoning tech partnership between our two countries.</p>Contact: <a href=""></a> New Open General Export Licence for Crypto Items Published Wed, 11 Apr 2018 15:05:21 +0100 CRM Sync The Department for International Trade has published a new open general export licence (OGEL): information security items. The purpose of this OGEL is to allow the export of ‘low risk’ information security items deploying encryption to a wide range o <p>The Department for International Trade has published a new Open General Export Licence (OGEL) for cryptographic or information security items. The purpose of this OGEL is to allow the export of &lsquo;low risk&rsquo; information security items considered &lsquo;dual-use&rsquo;&nbsp;(as defined as having both civil and military uses) containing encryption technologies to a range of destinations.</p> <p>techUK, along with&nbsp;the ADS EGADD committee, has been working with the DIT and NCSC for months and even though the final version is a significant step forward over previous versions, we believe the licence is not in the right shape to be practically used by companies seeking to export ceyptographic items.</p> <p>The reporting requirements mean the application process&nbsp;is not as easy to complete as single licences (OGELs are meant to be easier) and crucially the information requested is often not known or available to applicants (for example when the crypto software is part of a finished article). The licence also requests data that is either too commercially sensitive or vital for the goods&rsquo; security (crypto key lengths for example) to pass on to third parties. There is also an issue that many key markets are still out of scope, which limits where the OGEL can be used.</p> <p>Over the coming months&nbsp;it will be interesting to see how many applications are made using this OGEL and even though we have been sceptical the OGEL publication is a&nbsp;positive step and we will continue to work with Government on futute refinements to&nbsp;and overcome some of the issues business&nbsp;has&nbsp;with it.</p> <p>You can see the OGEL <a href="">in full here</a>&nbsp;and an explanatory page <a href="">here</a>.&nbsp;</p>Contact: <a href=""></a> The devil is in the detail: the future relationship with EU Wed, 11 Apr 2018 11:47:31 +0100 CRM Sync With transition agreed, the attention turns towards what the future relationship between the UK and EU will be. <p><span style="font-size:11pt">Now that a transition has been agreed in principle (see previous techUK insight </span><a href=""><span style="font-size:11pt"><u>Brexit is now Green, Yellow and White</u></span></a><span style="font-size:11pt">), and many of the &lsquo;divorce&rsquo; issues settled (the still pressing question of the Northern Irish border aside), attention is beginning to turn towards what the future relationship between the UK and the EU will be after 1 January 2021. </span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11pt">We know some of the things that it probably won&rsquo;t include &ndash; the UK Government has said that it will not involve a formal Customs Union with the EU, or freedom of movement. However, though oversight by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) had been ruled out, the Prime Minister </span><a href=""><span style="font-size:11pt"><u>recently admitted</u></span></a><span style="font-size:11pt"> that some could be acceptable to enable participation in important EU agencies. Red lines can turn pink when it is in the UK&rsquo;s interest it seems. </span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11pt">It is in this context that the Exiting the European Union Committee has released its report on <a href="">t</a></span><a href=""><span style="font-size:11pt"><u>he future UK-EU relationship</u></span></a><span style="font-size:11pt">. Much like the House of Commons itself, the Committee is deeply divided on Brexit and the report was not approved by Brexit-backing members. Nevertheless, it offers some interesting snapshots into what the future relationship may be. </span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11pt">The most noteworthy recommendation is that, should the negotiations for &lsquo;deep and special partnership not prove successful&rsquo;, then membership of the European Economic Area (EEA) should be considered as an alternative. While currently ruled out by the Government, there could be many advantages to joining the EEA, not least that it is an established framework that could be negotiated relatively quickly.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11pt">Three states are currently members of the EEA alongside the EU &ndash; Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein. The EEA agreement provides equal rights and obligations for the Single Market which includes the free movement of goods, services, capital and persons, as well as free flow of data. It also provides access to areas such as science and research programmes, environmental and consumer protection among others. However, EEA states are not part of the Customs Union, giving them their own independent trade policy, though this is constrained by having to comply with Single Market rules. They are also not a part of the monetary union, Common Agricultural and Fisheries Policies nor foreign, justice and security policies. </span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11pt">In the Government&rsquo;s Brexit impact modelling, the EEA option seems the most attractive option for the UK economy compared to a deep and comprehensive FTA or trading on WTO terms. But politically the EEA would be a much harder sell. The most controversial feature is that it would require free movement of people. It would also involve some contributions to the EU budget and would mean adopting EEA relevant EU law without UK Parliamentary approval.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11pt">It would, however, allow the UK an independent trade policy &ndash; if a constrained one. It would also mean that the UK is no longer subject to the jurisdiction of the ECJ &ndash; disputes in the EEA are instead settled by the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Court. Its decisions are not binding and UK courts could question its interpretations &ndash; giving the UK the control of its own laws that the Prime Minister has said is a key test of Brexit. </span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11pt">Ultimately, this option remains unlikely. Freedom of movement appears a bridge too far for the Government. Furthermore, with the Committee deeply divided on recommending EEA as a backup option it is likely the EEA would be incredibly unpopular in some sections of Parliament and does not meet the opposition&rsquo;s red lines either. </span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11pt">So if not EEA, then what? </span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11pt">If the Government wants a deal ready to go at the end of the transition period then, as the report emphasises, it needs to set out exactly what it wants to achieve, beyond the phrases like &lsquo;deep and comprehensive&rsquo; or &lsquo;deep and special partnership&rsquo;. The future relationship will be a complex one, encompassing a vast range of often interlinked areas. Michel Barnier, the EU Chief Negotiator, has </span><a href=""><span style="font-size:11pt"><u>characterised</u></span></a><span style="font-size:11pt"> the future relationship as being based on four pillars -&nbsp; a trade pillar; a crosscutting pillar governing areas of shared interest (science, research and aviation for example); a home and legal affairs pillar; and a pillar for defence and security. </span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11pt">The free flow of data is something that underpins all of these &ndash; and the report rightly points out that maintaining data flows &lsquo;will be one of the most important cross-cutting issues to be resolved in the negotiations on the future relationships&rsquo;. Not only is it essential for trade but also wider things like the smooth operation of security services or undertaking medical research (see more in techUK&rsquo;s report </span><a href=""><span style="font-size:11pt"><u>&lsquo;No Interruptions'</u></span></a><span style="font-size:11pt">). It is important an agreement is reached to secure mutual data adequacy as an urgent priority. &nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11pt">In all these things, the devil is in the detail. Data flows are not the only aspect that cuts across different areas, but it is not clear if the Government has identified them and has a strategy for securing its objectives. Here, the report encourages the Government &lsquo;to take a more proactive approach to the linkages between different areas of the future relationship, given that they will be negotiated to different timescales, so that the UK does not find that options are inadvertently closed off&rsquo;. </span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11pt">This is even more important given the tight timescales involved. As the report points out, &lsquo;the more bespoke and ambitious the relationship, the harder this will be to achieve in the time available&rsquo;. UK businesses are clear that they want to see this deep and comprehensive deal achieved. Though the transition deal is welcome, </span><a href=""><span style="font-size:11pt"><u>techUK has said</u></span></a><span style="font-size:11pt"> that it is crucial the hard end date on 31 December 2020 doesn&rsquo;t just kick the can of a Brexit cliff edge down the road . The transition should not end until all parties are ready to move to the new relationship. </span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11pt">With negotiations on the post-Brexit relationship about to begin in earnest, it is clarity and detail that industry most wants and needs. If UK businesses are to have time to adapt to what comes next, then the specifics of the deal need addressing as a matter of urgency. A clear strategy needs outlining of how Michel Barnier&rsquo;s &lsquo;four pillars&rsquo; are to be approached, when, and what the asks of the UK Government are on each, as well as the underpinning cross-cutting issues like data flows. Only then can businesses plan to make the best of the new future relationship rather than planning for the worst of a no deal. </span></p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Connecting, Collaborating, Co-operating: Tech for Public Safety Tue, 10 Apr 2018 15:35:50 +0100 CRM Sync techUK's Justice & Emergency Services Chair sets out his agenda for bringing the supplier community together with end users to improve public safety and the justice system. <h3>Allan Fairley,&nbsp;UK Public Safety Managing Director at Accenture and the newly elected Chair of techUK's Justice &amp; Emergency Services Committee, outlines his ambitions for the Committee over the coming years.</h3> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I am honoured and delighted to have been elected as Chair of&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">techUK&rsquo;s Justice and Emergency Services Committee</a>.</p> <p>As Chair, I am today launching a&nbsp;<strong>&lsquo;Listening&rsquo;</strong>&nbsp;exercise where we will be asking suppliers for their views of operating in the market and justice and emergency services stakeholders to share their challenges. Through this process the Committee will have a better understanding of the issues and&nbsp;we will engage with stakeholders to agree the best way to collaborate to resolve these challenges.</p> <p>We will be reaching out to key stakeholders and techUK members so watch this space! If you&rsquo;d like to share any views in the meantime, please feel free to contact&nbsp;<a href="">Henry Rex</a>&nbsp;or tweet&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">@techUK</a>.</p> <p><strong>Why is this important?</strong></p> <p>This is a crucial time for our industry, UK Police forces, along with many other public services, are continuously asked to do more with less. Forces are having to reduce their budgets, without impacting on the high level of service they provide to the public.</p> <p>Technology is the enabler that will allow us tackle modern crime using digital tools, deliver efficiencies and increase effectiveness. I believe the case is more understood than ever before. However, what is missing is a clear and ongoing engagement programme where suppliers and justice and emergency services stakeholders come together to solve common challenges.</p> <p>techUK as the voice of the UK tech industry has a crucial role here to bring all parties together, to listen and articulate a common vision that will deliver the goal we all want &ndash; to keep everyone safe. The newly elected Justice and Emergency Services (JES) Committee will set the strategic direction and engage with senior stakeholders to drive forward a programme of engagement.</p> <p>For more information on techUK&rsquo;s Justice and Emergency Services programme please&nbsp;<a href="">contact Henry Rex</a>.</p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Cold Calling Really is the King Of Dinosaurs Tue, 10 Apr 2018 07:00:00 +0100 CRM Sync The problem is, just like the dinosaurs evolved, so has the world of sales. Guest blog by Daniel Disney <h3>Cold Calling Really Is The King Of Dinosaurs<br>By Daniel Disney, The Daily Sales.</h3> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Cold Calling really is king....</p> <p>Back in the prehistoric era of the sales world, Cold Calling was the T-Rex dominating the land. It was consistent, it delivered results, it was KING!</p> <p><br><strong>The problem is, just like the dinosaurs evolved, so has the world of sales.</strong></p> <p>Cold Calling is no longer king....</p> <p>There are more advanced ways of prospecting, the landscape has TOTALLY changed, it's a totally different world.<br>In February 2018 I delivered a talk at the Tech UK Telemarketing event and met a great lead generation agency called Punch! They had started off as a telemarketing agency a couple of years ago, but after noticing results dropping, they realised they had to change.<br>Last quarter they delivered 20% MORE leads which is amazing! What's even more amazing is they delivered that result from making 20% LESS CALLS. Here we have a lead generation business, creating sales qualified leads for businesses all across the UK, set up as a phone-based sales business, now making MORE from using the phone LESS.</p> <p><strong>Am I saying Cold Calling is extinct......NO.</strong></p> <p>Have they stopped Cold Calling all together....NO.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It's just EVOLVED!</p> <p>It's now surrounded by other great prospecting tools. Now you might be thinking I'm going to say they increased sales by social, but it was actually combining ALL prospecting tools together that fuelled their success. The utilised social, voicemail, video, post and the phone to maximise success.<img src="" alt="evolution" width="515" height="290"></p> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><strong>The full article can be downloaded from the pdf link below</strong></div>Contact: <a href=""></a> Time for action: how do we remedy the Gender Pay Gap? Mon, 09 Apr 2018 08:58:46 +0100 Rebecca Francis(techUK) India Lucas, techUK Skills, Talent and Diversity Policy Manager, discusses the results of the Gender Pay Gap investigation and what the tech sector can do to improve. <p>By midnight on Wednesday 4 April, all companies employing over 250 staff in the UK were required to report on their <a href="">Gender Pay Gap</a>. The reporting received from over 10,000 UK employers paints a fairly holistic picture of the Gender Pay Gap in practice, with the average median pay gap across all companies reported at 9.7 per cent with 78 per cent of employers paying men more than women.</p> <p>When the Prime Minister announced the methodology in January of last year many were skeptical, but whatever the shortcomings, what we have seen is vast improvements in transparency which has&nbsp;enabled frank and open conversation underpinned by data. There are clearly some success stories within the tech sector. Take techUK member <a href="">FDM Group, who has achieved a zero per cent median gender pay gap</a>. Congratulations are certainly in order for FDM, but there is still much work to be done for others to achieve this.</p> <h3>The data has shone a light on the pay gap that persists in the UK’s tech sector, so what steps can tech employers take to remedy it?</h3> <p>What is clear is the need to change the culture of the work place to tackle historical inequalities. More must be done to ensure that workplaces become more inclusive, for example by promoting shared parental leave, better use of flexible working and support with other childcare requirements. Furthermore, employers must be better educated on the benefits of a diverse workforce. Not only do female employees bring a different skill set to the table than their male counterparts, they also improve business success - <a href="">one woman on a board reduces the chance of bankruptcy by 20 per cent and this increases with every additional female board member</a>. Taking steps to address the conscious and unconscious biases of today’s workplace will go some way in closing the gender pay gap in the tech sector and across industry more widely.</p> <p>Similarly, more concrete measures can be created to encourage women who have taken career breaks to re-enter the jobs market in mid to senior level positions similar to the positions they held before their leave of absence. <a href="">36 per cent of women returners </a>surveyed said they believe they would be demoted when they returned to work. In an attempt to change this perception encourage women to reenter the labour market, techUK has created its own <a href="returners/programmes">Returners Hub</a>. The Hub consists of various resources for women thinking about reentering work, and includes a compiled list of some of our members’ Returners Programmes - training courses of varying lengths with the aim of securing permanent employment on completion. Such courses provide a great stepping stone for women seeking to reenter the workforce in mid-senior positions, thus partly remedying the gender pay gap created when women reenter the workforce at a more junior level.</p> <p>Furthermore, industry sharing of best practices can play an important role in encouraging companies to take action to improve diversity across their organisation. The tech sector is currently leading through the <a href="">Tech Talent Charter</a>. The Charter requires signatories to take five pledges all of which seek to improve diversity within their organisation including a commitment to work collectively with other signatories to develop a best practice framework. Since its creation in November 2017, the Charter has had over 125 signatories including the UK Government, Cisco and Sage. Committing to transparency and data sharing measures beyond mandatory Gender Pay Gap reporting ensures improving diversity remains at the forefront of business conversations.</p> <p>Many companies in the tech sector are working to correct their gender pay gap by taking some of these steps. But this is not exclusively a tech sector problem, and employers across industries can implement these measures to remedy the realities of Wednesday’s results and ensure progress is made ahead of the 2018/19 annual report. We have seen from FDM Group that it is possible to close the Gender Pay Gap and whilst this will take time for many employers, what is important is that industry is taking the appropriate steps to see change.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Enabling Connectivity in Rural Areas Fri, 06 Apr 2018 14:36:06 +0100 Sophie Weston(techUK) A look at how digital connectivity is currently being developed and facilitated in rural areas across the UK and what other strategies are implemented across the world. <p>In many countries, there is a gap in internet adoption between rural and city areas and a lack of infrastructure is responsible in many cases for this division. In 2018, enabling digital connectivity in rural areas is still an underlying issue for the UK and developing nations, however there are upcoming developments in place to ensure there are a range of technologies that can deliver next generation connectivity.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>UK</strong></span></p> <p><img src="images/assets/global-connection-shutterstock-toria-800-800x653.jpg" alt="global-connection-shutterstock-toria-800-800x653" width="236" height="192" style="margin: 5px; float: right;" />Following an agreement between the Government and the Church of England, it has been announced that <a href="" target="_blank">Church spires across the UK</a> will be&nbsp;&nbsp;used to increase digital connectivity across rural areas. Over 65% of Anglian Churches and 66% of parishes in England are in rural areas but being at the center of their local communities, they will be able to strategically address connectivity and coverage issues. This new digital connectivity will assist to deliver Government’s commitment to infrastructure being at the <a href="" target="_blank">heart of the Digital Strategy</a> to support Britain’s world-leading digital economy.</p> <p>DCMS have also announced the <a href="" target="_blank">5G Rural Integrated Testbed</a>, for rural use cases in Monmouthshire, Cumbria, Northumberland, North Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Invernessshire and Perthshire. Led by SME’s, they will test 5G across a range of applications, including smart farming with drones, using IoT to improve healthcare in homes, increasing manufacturing efficiency and maximising the future benefits of autonomous vehicles.</p> <p>Through the <a href="" target="_blank">Digital Strategy</a>, these companies are part of a £1 billion commitment to keep Britain at the forefront of connectivity by increasing the deployment of next generation digital infrastructure and driving forward new 5G business opportunities.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Africa</strong></span></p> <p>While some African cities are starting to expand in the 3G and possibly the 4G network, mobile coverage becomes scattered and less reliable within rural areas.</p> <p>Due to societal issues including, poverty, distance and insufficient infrastructure (such as electricity, security and backhaul) across Kenya, over one million marginalised children do not receive an education due to limited or no connectivity. Led by Avanti Communications, <a href="" target="_blank">iMlango</a> is an innovative project that provides high speed connectivity to rural and remote via the <a href="" target="_blank">HYLAS 2 Ka-band satellite</a>, where the broadband connectivity powers the programme to ensure e-learning is successfully applied in 205 remote and rural schools across Kenya.</p> <p>Within Tanzania, schools are usually located in underserved areas outside the reach of network infrastructure, meaning teachers have limited access to online educational resources. The <a href="" target="_blank">iKnowledge</a> project, led by Avanti Communcations, installs <a href="" target="_blank">high speed broadband connectivity</a> to 250 schools across Tanzania, to ensure teachers are provided with digital skill training and educational resources that can be used in student classrooms with 100% coverage across Tanzania.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>The World</strong></span></p> <p>Although more than half of the population worldwide now lives in cities, there is still the remaining half living in rural areas. In addition, some developing regions today still have the majority of their population living in rural areas with a lack of digital connectivity. Innovative designs such as Google’s Project Loon and Facebook’s Free Basics are looking to solve this issue on a global scale.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Project Loon</a> is a network high altitude balloons floating in the stratosphere, designed to extend Internet connectivity to people in rural and remote areas worldwide. Each balloon can provide internet connectivity to a ground area of about forty square kilometers in diameter using LTE.</p> <p>Project Loon partners with telecommunications companies to share cellular spectrum into rural and remote areas so that people everywhere will be able to access the Internet directly from their phones and other LTE-enabled devices. The balloons relay wireless traffic from cell phones and other devices back to the global Internet using high-speed links operating in the ISM 5.8 GHz band. Each balloon has a coverage area of 5000 square kilometers. Currently the Loon project has been <a href="" target="_blank">tested in New Zealand</a> but will become very efficient when it comes to <a href="" target="_blank">providing services in calamity struck areas</a>.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Free Basics</a> by Facebook provides people access to valuable services on their mobile phones in locations where internet access may be less affordable. Over 85% of the world lives in areas with current mobile coverage, but data is expensive and problematic for people to justify when they haven’t experienced the benefits of the internet. By <a href="" target="_blank">partnering with Mobile Operators</a>, a selection of websites are accessible for free without any data charges and keep individuals up to date on news, employment, health, education and local information. Free Basics is currently available in 63 countries including Europe, Africa &amp; Middle East, Asia Pacific and Latin America and will continue to expand to more countries across the world.</p> <p>Poor or lack of connectivity within countries continues to be a huge concern in the modern world. Ultimately, we should invest and enable individuals all over the world to have access to connectivity and to open up opportunities for those who do not have the chance to. Within the UK, techUK welcomes the Government’s commitment to improve connectivity and to build a world-class digital infrastructure to develop a world-leading digital economy.</p> <hr /> <p>Contact: <a href=""></a></p> techUK Digital Marketplace Update Tue, 03 Apr 2018 13:42:10 +0100 Rob Driver(techUK) techUK Digital Marketplace update. What is next for G- Cloud and DOS3? <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="images/assets/Digital_Marketplace_picture.jpg" alt="Digital Marketplace picture" width="626" height="274" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p><strong><em>Rob Driver, techUK’s Head of Public Sector discussing the future of the Digital Marketplace with Niall Quinn, Tech Director at Crown Commercial Service and Nicky Stewart, Commercial Director at UKCloud</em></strong></p> <p>Last month techUK hosted a Digital Marketplace meet up with Niall Quinn, Director for Technology at the Crown Crown Commercial Service, and Nicky Stewart, Commercial Director at UKCloud. The meetup brought together people from across the tech community and public sector to swap stories, experiences and ideas. There was a lively discussion on a range of topics including how digital and cloud services should be enabling public sector digital transformation to deliver world class services to citizens. Following on from this meetup, techUK has organised a <a href="">G- Cloud 10 market briefing</a>&nbsp;on the 10 April.</p> <p><strong>What is next for the Digital Marketplace?</strong></p> <p>Niall Quinn gave an overview of the key developments for the Digital Marketplace over the next twelve months. A key area of focus was the announcement that a new version of the G-Cloud procurement framework will open for bids in April 2018, allowing new companies to join the framework, while also giving current suppliers the opportunity to update their service offer and pricing. The future of the Digital Outcomes and Specialists Framework was also discussed, following announcements that CCS plans to open <a href="">Digital Outcomes and Specialists 3</a> for bids in July, with an anticipated go-live date in September.</p> <p>An overview was also provided on how the Digital Marketplace has overhauled the public sector procurement landscape, harnessing the expertise of innovative companies and giving thousands of SMEs the opportunity to supply to government for the first time. He outlined how the current priority for CCS and the Government Digital Service is to make the platform and processes more commercial, more flexible and better tailored to the needs of users - both buyers and suppliers.</p> <p><strong>The supplier’s perspective</strong></p> <p>Nicky Stewart gave an overview of UKCloud’s experience with G- Cloud and the Digital Marketplace and explored how suppliers such as UKCloud can be fundamental to the government’s digital transformation program, and highlighted how the Digital Marketplace can support companies to grow quickly through offering improved access to the public sector market. It was highlighted that many GovTech SMEs have benefited from the Digital Marketplace and G-Cloud in particular - but only when there has been strategic and meaningful consultation and engagement with suppliers leading to an improved buyer and supplier journey.</p> <p>Rob Driver, Head of Public Sector at techUK commented:</p> <p><em>For the UK Government to deliver its ambitious vision of being world-leading in the next wave of digital government transformation it must embrace the full diversity and strengths of UK tech suppliers, and innovative procurement vehicles such as the Digital Marketplace will be fundamental to achieving this vision. The announcement of the G-Cloud 10 Framework should be welcomed as it allows new innovative providers to work with government, enables new services to be provided and is an opportunity to engage with the wider public sector to make use of the framework. I would encourage any current G- Cloud suppliers, or those interested in being on the framework to attend our <a href="">G- Cloud 10 Briefing </a>on the 10 April!”</em></p> <p><strong>Further Information</strong></p> <p><a href="">G- Cloud 10 Announced</a></p> <p><a href="">G- Cloud 10 Market Briefing</a></p> <p><a href="insights/reports/item/12186-procuring-the-smarter-state">Procuring the Smarter State report&nbsp;</a></p> Meet the Public Sector tech Innovator Tue, 03 Apr 2018 10:58:02 +0100 Rob Driver(techUK) techUK catches up with Andrew Beverley CEO & Founder of Ctrl O <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="images/assets/Andrew.jpg" alt="Andrew" width="590" height="477" /></p> <p><em><strong>As part of the <a href="">Public Sector Innovation Den programme</a>, we undertake regular profiles of innovative techUK members working in the GovTech space. This month we catch up with Andrew Beverley CEO &amp; Founder of Ctrl O</strong></em></p> <p><strong>Name of company, and position in the company</strong></p> <p>Ctrl O, CEO</p> <p><strong>What does your company do?</strong></p> <p>Linkspace is easily-customisable software that is deployable within hours, for securely managing, sharing and analysing data in support of business processes, at a cost of 10% when compared to bespoke software.</p> <p><strong>What does innovation in the public sector mean to you?</strong></p> <p>Innovation for me is about quickly solving user needs in a pragmatic and flexible manner. Innovation doesn't need to be the next big idea or trendy tech solution; instead, it should be about making things work for the user, not making the user work for the software. Ctrl O has spent a lot of time implementing internal systems for central government departments, and what we realise is that understanding a few small user frustrations can go a long way. For example, being able to share information with others who need access to it, who might not be in the same department. Or simply being able to store their own information in a frictionless manner, and then being able to access it and analyse it at a later date.</p> <p><strong>What are your thoughts on innovation in the public sector?</strong></p> <p>Ctrl O prides itself on being able to offer the highest levels of information assurance required, and is pleased that it has been able to meet all customer requirements in this regard. It will be interesting, however, to see where this aspect goes. There seems to be increasing risk appetite for government departments to reduce the requirements of assuring the security of information. In many cases this is a positive step, as a lot of low-value information has been unnecessarily stove-piped. But it's important that the right balance is struck, and that high-value data isn't put at risk and compromised in the future as a result.</p> <p><em>Are you interested in pitching to public sector tech leaders at our next Innovation Den? If so, get in touch!</em></p> Public Sector Tech Leaders Dialogue Tue, 03 Apr 2018 10:44:53 +0100 Rob Driver(techUK) Government leaders meet to identify solutions to critical public sector issues <p><img src="images/assets/Insight_image.jpg" alt="Insight image" width="553" height="309" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>Nadira Hussain, Head of ICT at the London Borough of Enfield and former SOCITM President gives an overview of how to improve the role of women in technology</strong></em></p> <p>The IT &amp; Digital Leaders Public Sector Dialogue took place over two days on the 26th and 27th of February and was an opportunity for IT leaders across the UK public sector (central &amp; local government, NHS, Higher Education and Blue Lights Services) to benchmark, share best practice and identify solutions to critical issues.</p> <p>The day was full of case studies, panel discussions, workshops and roundtables exploring a range of issues including the impact of digital transformation in public sector organisations and understanding the influence that AI will have on public services. This year techUK’s Head of Public Sector Rob Driver chaired the summit and presented on the findings of <a href="civil-servants-survey/main_findings">techUK’s Civil Servants Survey</a>. To frame the day’s proceedings, he outlined how a shortage of skills and capabilities is regarded as the largest barrier to tech adoption in government with 57 per cent of respondents seeing it as a problem, an increase on last year.</p> <p><strong>Skills, Diversity and Leadership</strong></p> <p>Jacky Wright, Chief Digital and Information Officer at HMRC presented on the work she has undertaken within government to champion women and BAME professionals in technology, and promoting the vital role of diversity within the tech industry more broadly. She highlighted how more should be done to attract young talent in to the civil service and to the digital, data and technology profession through making career paths more attractive to people from all backgrounds.</p> <p>Jacky’s presentation was followed by Nadira Hussain, Head of ICT at the London Borough of Enfield and former SOCITM President who gave an overview of how to improve the role of women in technology. She highlighted powerful statistics that demonstrate the distance left to achieve gender parity in GovTech. While women make up 57% of the overall workforce, in the technology sector that number drops to just 25%. And at CIO level, the figure falls further to just 20%. However, projects such as SOCITM Women in IT and the <a href="returners">techUK Returners Hub</a> have helped address the barriers that prevent women participating in IT careers and progressing their careers.</p> <p><strong>Rob Driver Head of Public Sector, techUK commented,</strong></p> <p><em>“The key issues raised at the dialogue resonate with the messages outlined in<a href="images/smarter_services_DIGITAL_FINAL.pdf"> Smarter Services: Delivering the Next Wave of Digital Transformation in the Public Sector</a>, which draws on the findings from techUK’s Civil Servants Survey and identifies the key challenges and opportunities for government as it seeks to build the ‘Smarter State’. The survey shows that there is a lot of good work being done on public service transformation and civil servants are beginning to adapt to more agile and innovative ways of working. However, progress has by no means been uniform.”</em></p> <p><em>“Offering placements in industry for civil servants in technical roles would allow government to broaden its knowledge and expertise by exposing its staff to cutting-edge innovation happening in the private sector. The digital training offered by the new Digital Academies will also help to address the digital skills gap, and it’s important that Government continues to iterate the courses on offer in response to new technologies and user demand.”</em></p> <p><strong>Further Information</strong></p> <p><a href="civil-servants-survey/main_findings">techUK Civil Servants Survey</a></p> <p><a href="">techUK Women in Technology</a></p> Time to move fast and fix things... Tue, 03 Apr 2018 08:45:48 +0100 Harri Turnbull(techUK) Julian David, CEO, techUK discusses the significance of the scrutiny that tech is seeing from the public at the moment and how this represents a watershed moment for the sector. <p>A sector that prides itself on disruption cannot and should not complain when it is held to account. As a result of important investigative journalism, we now know more about what happens when the murkier fringe of political consultancy meets big data analytics. And we are all more aware of what can happen to the information we share online.</p> <p>Is this a watershed moment for tech? My instinct is probably yes. A deeper level of scepticism now feels baked in to the way the media, policy makers and the public feel about the sector. However, if we get the response to this moment right there is an opportunity for tech firms to deepen their trustworthiness and for the UK as a whole to be seen as a leader in responsible innovation.</p> <p>That may sound like a stretch given this week’s revelations. But the fact is people and businesses across the tech community are not starting from scratch. Over the last few years there has been intense discussion and real progress on the culture, regulation and ethics of tech.</p> <p>When it comes to culture, many in tech recognise the need to speak and act with more humility. The public and policy makers want to hear less about how tech is disruptive and more about how it can play a constructive role in society. There needs to be less hype around innovations that nobody asked for and more focus on how tech can deliver things that people really want – like a more productive health service that can spend less on administration and more on providing care. Moreover, as we enter a new age of intelligent machines, there is deep interest across the sector in how we can put the principle of ‘human flourishing’ at the heart of responsible digital innovation.</p> <p>Tech firms do not operate in a regulatory Wild West and nor do they want to. New European data protection rules agreed two years ago in Brussels will enter into effect in May this year. This new legislation will introduce much stricter rules around the use of personal data bringing data protection law up to date with the way in which data is used in the modern digital economy. The definition of personal data will be significantly expanded and the re-use of data for new purposes will require fresh explicit consent. The bar for what constitutes ‘valid consent’ will be set much higher requiring it to be “specific, informed and unambiguous”. Companies will have to make it as easy to withdraw consent as it is to give it. Failure to comply will risk significant fines – up to 4% of global turnover. These will be enforced by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Their role will be critical to ensuring a level playing field and techUK has called for proper resourcing of the Office and for salaries that can compete with the private sector to ensure they have the very best talent.</p> <p>The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is undoubtedly tough but UK tech firms have not been advocating to dump these rules after Brexit. Quite the opposite, techUK has championed the need for the UK to maintain these high standards of data protection after it leaves the EU. And as technology continues to develop there will be new regulatory challenges ahead. But there is a growing consensus as we look to new technologies like AI that regulation isn’t enough. Companies are increasingly thinking about going beyond regulation and implementing new ethical frameworks and tools to guide their decision making. There is a deep discussion happening right now about the role of ethics in tech and this role is being led by individuals in the sector who want to drive change from the inside.</p> <p>Only last year techUK organised a Data Ethics Summit bringing together businesses, government and regulators such as the ICO to discuss how practical tools can be developed to support ethical decision making around digital innovation. It was techUK who clapped the loudest when the Government announced the establishment of the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation – a development we have long called for.</p> <p>It is the very existence of the grass roots debate on ethics that marks out why tech won’t be the ‘new tobacco’. Tech has the capacity and the creativity to learn, correct and move forward. So yes, this has been an interesting few weeks but tech has never stood still. Our job is to continue to build with confidence the culture, regulation and ethics we need to ensure technology remains a force for good.</p> <p><em>This piece was orginally published in the <a href="">The Times</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Will the data protection world be different under GDPR? Fri, 23 Mar 2018 17:45:52 +0000 Jeremy Lilley(techUK) Data protection has been in the headlines this week with allegations about the access to, and use of, personal data for political purposes. <p>The Facebook/Cambridge Analytica case this week has, once again, thrust data protection laws into the limelight with the key question being whether current regulations on the use of personal data are sufficient, with some calling for further regulation. This discussion comes at a time where exactly that is happening. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect on 25 May 2018, in little over two months’ time. Alongside the UK’s Data Protection Bill, currently in front of Parliament, the new rules significantly reform, update and increase the amount of regulation governing how all organisations use personal data.</p> <p>The exact nature of what has occurred in the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica case remains unclear at the moment, hence the need for the ICO to properly investigate. It is right and proper that the UK has a strong data protection regulator who takes privacy issues incredibly seriously.</p> <p>While that investigation takes place, rather than simply calling for new regulation we should consider how things may have been different had this occurred in the new post-GDPR world.</p> <p>GDPR significantly increases the rights of data subjects and puts far greater responsibilities on both data controllers and processors. The entire purpose of the GDPR was to put citizens at the heart of data protection and equip them with greater control over how their personal information is used. The new regulation also expands the definition of personal data, meaning more types of personal information, such as IP addresses, will constitute personal data and be covered by the new regulation.</p> <p>Some key elements, seemingly relevant to this case, include new requirements around collecting valid consent. In a post-GDOR world consent will have to be ‘freely given, specific, informed and a statement or by a clear affirmative action’. That raises the bar on what can be deemed valid consent from a data subject, requiring them to be fully informed of what they are agreeing to, including if their data is going to be passed on to third parties. Additionally, requests for consent must be presented “in an intelligible and easily accessible form, using clear and plain language”. Companies will have to be far clearer to citizens about how their personal data is going to be used, allowing them to object to targeted advertising if they so choose. Finally, on consent, it must be as easy to withdraw as it is to give, allowing citizens to remove their consent easily if they no longer agree to the processing.</p> <p>The new regulation is also very clear on where data can be collected and for what purpose. When gathering data, data controllers must be clear to the data subject about the purpose for the processing and there can be no ‘repurposing’ of that data without seeking a fresh legal basis, or valid consent, the bar for which as already discussed has been raised. For example, collecting data for research purposes, and then using the same data for targeted advertising, or any other commercial use, without seeking fresh consent from the data subject would be a breach of the rules. Such activity would be liable for punishment.</p> <p>Finally, where there is an infringement of GDPR, the fines payable by companies will dramatically increase from the current £500,000 to roughly £18 million (20 million euros) or 4 per cent of global annual turnover. Depending on the company and the circumstances that figure could be massive. Companies should comply with the law simply because it is the right thing to do and the right way to build trust with consumers. However, as with all laws, there will be punishment for those companies that do not comply, and strong enforcement will be a powerful incentive to ensure companies take privacy seriously in a post-GDPR world.</p> <p>Once the GDPR takes effect on 25 May there will be much stronger data protection for citizens in the UK, so calls for further regulation may be premature. The laws are already changing amid the biggest shake up of data protection in over twenty years with a whole raft of new rights for citizens. A key aspect that this latest media storm has uncovered is the extent to which people are aware that data protection laws are changing. The effectiveness of GDPR will, in no small part, depend on the awareness of the new rights available to citizens. It is therefore timely that we have a wider public debate about data protection given the implications on people’s everyday lives, and to educate the public about changes ahead which will give them far greater control.</p> Growing the Local GovTech Market Fri, 23 Mar 2018 12:49:02 +0000 Georgina Maratheftis(techUK) In April techUK will be hosting a series of events to grow the local government digital eco-system <p>According to figures from the <a href="">Local Government Association (LGA), Information technology is one of the most significant spend categories in local government. Local government spends around £2 billion per annum on IT, with £1 billion of this spent on sourcing and supporting software applications.</a> Furthermore, we are seeing some great examples of collaboration and transformation at the local level. To name just a few, from convening networks such as <a href="">LocalGov Digital </a>to the launch of the <a href="">Worcestershire Office of Data Analytics</a> that will drive cultural and systematic change in the way that data is shared and harnessed between public sector partners, with the goal of improving outcomes for citizens.</p> <p>Despite the great work happening across local government it’s fragmented natured can lead to it being perceived as a complex market that is hard to navigate. As the <a href="">National technological and digital procurement category strategy</a> highlights the differences between councils, and the pace of change in local government can make it harder for IT suppliers to understand the sector and to know how best to engage and to respond to requests for IT services and products. Therefore, working closely with suppliers, during and before tendering exercise, is mutually beneficial and this is something techUK also called for in it’s recent <a href="insights/reports/item/12186-procuring-the-smarter-state">‘Procuring the Smarter State’</a> report on adopting a more proactive approach to engaging with prospective suppliers, publishing pipelines and emerging opportunities well in advance of procurement decisions.</p> <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’s ambition to grow the local government digital eco-system we are holding a number of networking and briefing sessions in April 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><a href="">Demystifying Local Government</a>&nbsp;on 05 April</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.</p> <p><a href="events/briefing/item/12222-partnering-networking-growing-local-govtech-market">Partnering &amp; Networking: Growing the Local GovTech Market </a>on 11 April<br />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’re after from the market and give them exposure to the latest innovative tech solutions. We also have Cllr Niraj Dattani from Harrow Council sharing his views and experience of local Government transformation.</p> <p>To find out more about techUK’s local government activity and how to get involved in the above events contact Georgina Maratheftis.</p> Guest Blog | Could we be buying energy from Netflix in the future? Thu, 22 Mar 2018 10:43:00 +0000 Manar Al-Muflahi(techUK) Could energy join broadband and TV as the next subscription add-on? <p><em>By Rebecca Yates, Smart Energy GB</em></p> <p>This idea might not be as bizarre as it sounds.</p> <p>The rollout of smart meters and upgrade to Britain’s energy system is opening up the energy market to new possibilities – including new ways we could all buy energy.</p> <p>And there is a lot of consumer appetite for this too. <a href=";docspage=1">Our new research</a> has found that half of people would be interested in buying their energy as part of a ‘lifestyle package’ where you get all your services, like home broadband, TV and mobile, in a bundle from one supplier.</p> <p>This sort of option is already commonplace with broadband and home phone services, and could soon include energy too.</p> <p>The most popular potential suppliers for this sort of service were broadband providers, supermarkets and TV subscription services – with a fifth of people even interested in buying it from a music streaming service like Spotify.</p> <p>The research has also found that younger people are more open to a range of suppliers. Over half said they would be interested in buying the package from a TV subscription service like Netflix and over a third said they would be interested in purchasing from a music streaming service.</p> <p>Those who already have smart meters were also more open to the idea – with 58% saying they would be interested in buying energy this way.</p> <p>People also told us that this would also be a more attractive proposition if they could receive discounts for buying multiple services from one provider, or would get access to discounts.</p> <p>The digitisation of energy and the development of the connected home mean there are many opportunities for new, innovative business models. A lifestyle service provider is just one of them.</p> <p>The future could also see us generating and trading energy locally with neighbours in a peer-to-peer model, or using third party services which automatically switch you onto the best energy deal.</p> <p>However this market develops, the importance of trusted suppliers has again been brought to life here. People show the greatest willingness to buy from those they know and trust, which is why services like Netflix and Spotify were seen as more appealing to a younger audience.</p> <p>Whichever way things develop, the landscape is like to look a lot different than it does today.</p> Meet the Public Sector tech Innovator Thu, 22 Mar 2018 08:25:19 +0000 CRM Sync techUK catches up with Andrew Beverley CEO & Founder of Ctrl O <p><img alt="" src="" style="height:550px; width:750px"></p> <p><em><span style="font-size:16px"><strong><span style="color:#696969">As part of the Public Sector Innovation Den programme, we undertake regular profiles of innovative techUK members working in the GovTech space. This month we catch up with Andrew Beverley CEO &amp; Founder of Ctrl O</span></strong></span></em></p> <p><span style="color:#696969"><strong><span style="font-size:14px">Name of company, and position in the company</span></strong></span><br><br> Ctrl O, CEO<br><br><span style="color:#696969"><strong>What does your company do?</strong></span><br><br> Linkspace is easily-customisable software that is deployable within hours, for securely managing, sharing and analysing data in support of business processes, at a cost of 10% when compared to bespoke software.<br><br><span style="color:#696969"><strong>What does innovation in the public sector mean to you?</strong></span><br><br> Innovation for me is about quickly solving user needs in a pragmatic and flexible manner. Innovation doesn't need to be the next big idea or trendy tech solution; instead, it should be about making things work for the user, not making the user work for the software. Ctrl O has spent a lot of time implementing internal systems for central government departments, and what we realise is that understanding a few small user frustrations can go a long way. For example, being able to share information with others who need access to it, who might not be in the same department. Or simply being able to store their own information in a frictionless manner, and then being able to access it and analyse it at a later date.</p> <p><br><span style="color:#696969"><strong>What are your thoughts on innovation in the public sector? </strong></span><br><br> Ctrl O prides itself on being able to offer the highest levels of information assurance required, and is pleased that it has been able to meet all customer requirements in this regard. It will be interesting, however, to see where this aspect goes. There seems to be increasing risk appetite for government departments to reduce the requirements of assuring the security of information. In many cases this is a positive step, as a lot of low-value information has been unnecessarily stove-piped. But it's important that the right balance is struck, and that high-value data isn't put at risk and compromised in the future as a result.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Are you interested in pitching to public sector tech leaders at our next Innovation Den? If so, get in touch!</em></p> Public Sector Tech Leaders Dialogue Fri, 16 Mar 2018 11:26:11 +0000 CRM Sync Government leaders meet to identify solutions to critical public sector issues <p style="text-align:center"><img alt="" src="" style="height:300px; width:450px"></p> <p style="text-align:center">&nbsp;</p> <p>The IT &amp; Digital Leaders Public Sector Dialogue took place over two days on the 26th and 27th of February and was an opportunity for IT leaders across the UK public sector (central &amp; local government, NHS, Higher Education and Blue Lights Services) to benchmark, share best practice and identify solutions to critical issues.</p> <p>The day was full of case studies, panel discussions, workshops and roundtables exploring a range of issues including the impact of digital transformation in public sector organisations and understanding the influence that AI will have on public services. This year techUK&rsquo;s Head of Public Sector Rob Driver chaired the summit and presented on the findings of <a href="">techUK&rsquo;s Civil Servants Survey</a>. To frame the day&rsquo;s proceedings, he outlined how a shortage of skills and capabilities is regarded as the largest barrier to tech adoption in government with 57 per cent of respondents seeing it as a problem, an increase on last year.</p> <p><strong>Skills, Diversity and Leadership &nbsp;</strong></p> <p>Jacky Wright, Chief Digital and Information Officer at HMRC presented on the work she has undertaken within government to champion women and BAME professionals in technology, and promoting the vital role of diversity within the tech industry more broadly. She highlighted how more should be done to attract young talent in to the civil service and to the digital, data and technology profession through making career paths more attractive to people from all backgrounds.</p> <p>Jacky&rsquo;s presentation was followed by Nadira Hussain, Head of ICT at the London Borough of Enfield and former SOCITM President who gave an overview of how to improve the role of women in technology. She highlighted powerful statistics that demonstrate the distance left to achieve gender parity in GovTech. While women make up 57% of the overall workforce, in the technology sector that number drops to just 25%. And at CIO level, the figure falls further to just 20%. However, projects such as SOCITM Women in IT and the <a href="">techUK Returners Hub</a> have helped address the barriers that prevent women participating in IT careers and progressing their careers.</p> <p><strong>Rob Driver Head of Public Sector, techUK commented,</strong></p> <p><em>&ldquo;The key issues raised at the dialogue resonate with the messages outlined in <a href="">Smarter Services: Delivering the Next Wave of Digital Transformation in the Public Sector</a>, which draws on the findings from techUK&rsquo;s Civil Servants Survey and identifies the key challenges and opportunities for government as it seeks to build the &lsquo;Smarter State&rsquo;. The survey shows that there is a lot of good work being done on public service transformation and civil servants are beginning to adapt to more agile and innovative ways of working. However, progress has by no means been uniform.&rdquo;</em></p> <p><em>&ldquo;Offering placements in industry for civil servants in technical roles would allow government to broaden its knowledge and expertise by exposing its staff to cutting-edge innovation happening in the private sector. The digital training offered by the new Digital Academies will also help to address the digital skills gap, and it&rsquo;s important that Government continues to iterate the courses on offer in response to new technologies and user demand.&rdquo;</em></p> <p><strong>Further Information </strong></p> <p><a href="">techUK Civil Servants Survey</a></p> <p><a href="">techUK Women in Technology</a></p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Learn Your Lessons Thu, 15 Mar 2018 13:24:59 +0000 CRM Sync Sarah Hinchliffe explains the value of making proposal win and loss reviews a standard practice. <h2><strong>Learn Your Lessons</strong></h2> <hr><p><strong>Sarah Hinchliffe explains the value of making proposal</strong><a href="#_edn1" name="_ednref1" title=""><strong><u>[i]</u></strong></a><strong> win and loss reviews a standard practice.</strong></p> <p>Let&rsquo;s face it, if you win a contract, you just want to pop the champagne cork and walk into the sunset with your new client. And if you lose, you probably just want to forget about it. Nobody enjoys a ghastly post-mortem. What&rsquo;s done is done. But hold on, taking time to understand why your proposal was successful or not can make a remarkable difference to your future performance. In fact, I recently met a former student of mine and he was thrilled that introducing a &lsquo;lessons learned&rsquo; process had transformed his team&rsquo;s results. So, let&rsquo;s delve a little deeper.</p> <h3>A positive mindset</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s not about blame or ego-stroking. It&rsquo;s about being positive and constructive for the benefit of all. And it&rsquo;s important to acknowledge that not all winning proposals are all good and not all losing proposals are all bad. You may have done some excellent things even though you lost, and you may have done some poor things even though you won. The purpose of reviewing each win or loss is to identify the good and the bad in every case.</p> <p>But there&rsquo;s no point identifying the good and the bad if you simply record it for posterity and momentary congratulation or criticism. Lessons are only learned if behaviour changes. There must be a watertight way of embedding good practice and eradicating bad practice. This will usually be through a continuous improvement programme championed by senior management; and by championed, I mean a genuine commitment to allow time to design and effect change, and to support its implementation.</p> <p>If you feel comfortable that you have the right mindset and environment, and that you understand why learning lessons is worthwhile, let&rsquo;s explore timing.</p> <h3>All in good time</h3> <p>The most valuable improvements come from combined feedback from inside and outside your organisation &ndash; seeks views from the proposal team and from the client<a href="#_edn2" name="_ednref2" title=""><u>[ii]</u></a>.&nbsp; However, it&rsquo;s not practical to hold just one review because:</p> <p style="margin-left:51px">&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; There may be a delay (and possibly a long one) between submitting your proposal and learning the outcome.</p> <p style="margin-left:51px">&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The internal review will touch on aspects of your organisation you may not wish to share with your client &ndash; avoid airing your dirty laundry in public. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>So, as soon as possible after submitting your proposal, get together as a team while events are fresh in your minds. Then, when you know the outcome, arrange a de-brief with the client. Then, bring the client&rsquo;s comments back to the ranch to compare with the team&rsquo;s views. Both internal and external feedback then form the basis of the continuous improvement actions as shown in Figure 1. &nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="" src="" style="height:163px; width:800px"></p> <table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" style="width:100%"><tbody><tr><td> <p><strong><em>Figure 1: Consolidate, compare and act upon internal and external feedback. </em></strong></p> <div> <p><strong><em>An integrated view of the good and the bad brings the greatest benefit</em></strong></p> </div> </td> </tr></tbody></table><p>Sarah Hinchliffe is a Director of i4 Sales Performance*, a business focusing on helping Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) achieve bid excellence. i4 is a Shipley Business Partner.&nbsp; See <a href=""><u>www.i</u><u>4</u><u></u></a> or email</p> <p><em>*i4 Sales Performance is the brand name of the services supplied by i4 Consultancy and Design Ltd&nbsp; </em></p> <div>&nbsp; <hr><div> <p><a href="#_ednref1" name="_edn1" title=""><u>[i]</u></a> The term proposal means any formal written offer to a prospect or client. Alternatives names include bid, tender response and quote/quotation.</p> </div> <div> <p><a href="#_ednref2" name="_edn2" title=""><u>[ii]</u></a> The term client is used to denote a prospective client, whether you are selling to a new organisation or an existing client. &nbsp;</p> </div> </div> Guest Blog | Could we be buying energy from Netflix in the future? Wed, 14 Mar 2018 14:24:45 +0000 CRM Sync Could energy join broadband and TV as the next subscription add-on?? 58% of smart meter owners say yes. <p>This idea might not be as bizarre as it sounds.</p> <p>The rollout of smart meters and upgrade to Britain&rsquo;s energy system is opening up the energy market to new possibilities &ndash; including new ways we could all buy energy.</p> <p>And there is a lot of consumer appetite for this too. <a href=";docspage=1" target="_blank">Our new research</a> has found that half of people would be interested in buying their energy as part of a &lsquo;lifestyle package&rsquo; where you get all your services, like home broadband, TV and mobile, in a bundle from one supplier.</p> <p>This sort of option is already commonplace with broadband and home phone services, and could soon include energy too.</p> <p>The most popular potential suppliers for this sort of service were broadband providers, supermarkets and TV subscription services &ndash; with a fifth of people even interested in buying it from a music streaming service like Spotify.</p> <p>The research has also found that younger people are more open to a range of suppliers. Over half said they would be interested in buying the package from a TV subscription service like Netflix and over a third said they would be interested in purchasing from a music streaming service.</p> <p>Those who already have smart meters were also more open to the idea &ndash; with 58% saying they would be interested in buying energy this way.</p> <p>People also told us that this would also be a more attractive proposition if they could receive discounts for buying multiple services from one provider, or would get access to discounts.</p> <p>The digitisation of energy and the development of the connected home mean there are many opportunities for new, innovative business models. A lifestyle service provider is just one of them.</p> <p>The future could also see us generating and trading energy locally with neighbours in a peer-to-peer model, or using third party services which automatically switch you onto the best energy deal.</p> <p>However this market develops, the importance of trusted suppliers has again been brought to life here. People show the greatest willingness to buy from those they know and trust, which is why services like Netflix and Spotify were seen as more appealing to a younger audience.</p> <p>Whichever way things develop, the landscape is like to look a lot different than it does today.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By Rebecca Yates, Smart Energy GB</p> A Brexit Breakfast: The View from the Experts Tue, 13 Mar 2018 17:10:56 +0000 Rohit Sharma (techUK) With the Brexit clock ticking, it can be hard for businesses to distinguish between rhetoric and substance in the negotiations and understand what really matters. <p><img src="images/Brexit_Brekkie.jpg" alt="Brexit Brekkie" width="400" height="382" style="margin: 6px; float: left;" /></p> <p>With the Brexit clock ticking, it can be hard for businesses to distinguish between rhetoric and substance in the negotiations and understand what really matters for them.</p> <p>That is why techUK brought together some of the leading Brexit experts last week for a Breakfast Briefing to give business leaders a high-level perspective on its implications for the tech sector. Charles Grant, Director of the Centre for European Reform and leading authority on the UK’s relationship with the EU, gave a key-note address. He was joined by Nina Schick, Director of Data and Polling at Rasmussen Global, and Tim Durrant, Senior Researcher at the Institute for Government, for a panel discussion that was chaired by techUK’s Giles Derrington, Head of Policy – Brexit, International and Economics.</p> <p>The event provided a fascinating insight into the state of play from those in regular contact with key players in the UK and Europe. Following the Prime Minister’s Mansion House speech (read our comment on the speech <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>) we have greater clarity on the Government’s objectives for the UK’s future relationship from the EU. However, the speakers were all agreed that British ambitions are being met with significant legal and institutional scepticism in Brussels, Paris and Berlin.</p> <p>Given the day-to-day coverage of Brexit in the UK, it is easy to think that the world revolves around Brexit, but Charles Grant pointed out that Brexit simply is not top of the agenda for many European Governments. It is not receiving anywhere near the same level of attention, and if the UK wants an ambitious deal it will have to do the ‘deep thinking’ on how that could work itself. What’s more, the panel made the crucial point that fears that a good deal for the UK could spur others to reconsider their membership remain surprisingly high, particularly in Germany.</p> <p>As Charles made clear, the task of securing a deal which meets UK ambitions is tougher due to Theresa May’s own red lines on the Customs Union, which she is determined not to soften because of the vision of the UK as a leading trading nation – though the UK has its own cards to play in security cooperation.</p> <p>With concerns over gridlock, spurred by the Irish border question, our panellists were asked by attendees what the UK needs to do to progress negotiations with the EU. They were agreed that there will need to be further softening of red lines, the UK needs to be realistic about the process and what will be acceptable and, underpinning it all, improve its diplomatic efforts.</p> <p>Tim Durrant pointed out that the UK is at risk of becoming a ‘rule-taker’ even before leaving the EU. With British efforts focused almost exclusively on the Brexit process, the EU and other member states continue to make progress on areas, such as the Digital Single Market, which will continue to impact on the UK long after it has formally left. The UK is seen as having one foot already out the door, its ability to influence in Brussels is diminishing as it heads for the exit. This highlights the importance of the Government continuing to engage in these developments while it is still a member. Tim suggested that the UK would need to significantly increase its presence in Brussels post-Brexit in the same way as Norway who have a large diplomatic mission to keep track with the work of EU institutions in Brussels.</p> <p>It is expected that the end of March should see an agreement on a <a href="" target="_blank">transition period</a>&nbsp;but Nina Schick emphasised that it is far from certain that will be the case. The last crunch point, in December when ‘sufficient progress’ was agreed, took significant diplomatic efforts to get over the line. Whether that feat can be repeated this month remains to be seen. Even then, as Tim Durrant made clear, whatever final deal is negotiated the Government will face the hurdle of getting approved by the devolved administrations, as well as the UK Parliament.</p> <p>If an agreement on transition can be reached it would at last provide some certainty that techUK’s members have been asking for. However, what was clear from our Brexit Breakfast is that there are plenty of twists and turns yet to come before any deal on Brexit is reached and businesses can truly determine the long-term impact of the deal.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Guest blog: NHS Trusts must do more to improve outpatient experience Tue, 13 Mar 2018 07:00:00 +0000 CRM Sync Guest blog from Vanessa Walmsley, MD, Qmatic UK which outlines the findings from their new report: Optimising the Outpatient Experience <p>In a Freedom of Information request to 80 NHS trusts, we were surprised to learn that a significant majority of NHS trusts are failing to implement a comprehensive outpatient journey management strategy, and monitor outpatient waiting times.</p> <p>The survey looked at the strategies and technologies that the NHS trusts have implemented to reduce waiting times, welcome and guide patients through healthcare facilities, and how they are measuring the success of these deployments.</p> <h3>The Key Findings</h3> <ul><li>Just 25% of respondents have a strategy in place to reduce outpatient waiting times</li> <li>32% of respondents provided data on their waiting times, with the majority reporting that they aimed to see outpatients within 30 minutes</li> <li>The vast majority of NHS trusts are not monitoring their performance against those targets, with just 12% reporting their success in meeting targets</li> <li>There is currently low adoption of patient journey management technology, with just 21% of trusts using self-service kiosks, and 14% using queue management displays.</li> </ul><h3>Reducing stress in the outpatient experience</h3> <p>We all know that attending an appointment at the hospital can be a stressful experience. The last thing that patients want is a confusing experience to the right place, followed by a long wait to be seen by the appropriate clinician. We have seen from our research that not only do most NHS trusts not have an effective strategy in place to ensure that people attending outpatient appointments have as short a wait as possible, many do not even monitor how long people are waiting for outpatient appointments.</p> <h3>Setting targets and monitoring success</h3> <p>While we found that 32% of trusts reported having waiting time targets, which is the first step towards developing a strategy to reduce outpatient waiting times, just 12% of trusts were able to report their success in meeting these targets. The NHS is under significant budgetary pressure but it has a responsibility to its patients to provide the best possible healthcare including the overall patient experience, and this starts with developing a strategy to manage the patient journey.</p> <h3>Creating an effective patient journey</h3> <p>An effective patient journey management strategy starts before the patient has even reached the hospital. NHS trusts should look to integrate technology into their appointment scheduling, allowing patients to book appointments online, delivering reminders to patients via SMS and enabling them to cancel appointments online, to reduce the incidence and impact of missed appointments. On arrival, patients should have the option to check in to the hospital in the way they find easiest, whether that is using a smart-phone check in system, a self-serve kiosk or a manned reception desk to notify staff of their arrival. They should also have the option to leave feedback on their experience after their visit, via their mobile device, which can then be analysed by the hospital.</p> <p>Healthcare authorities must also consider that patients may have to visit multiple reception areas during a single appointment and make this experience of transitioning from one to another as seamless as possible. A seamless patient journey can make a huge contribution to the comfort which patients experience when they arrive at a hospital, potentially improving outcomes and reducing stress.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Click here to view the full report</a></p> Guest Blog: Forget Culture, We Need an Infrastructure for Lifelong Learning Thu, 08 Mar 2018 15:00:00 +0000 Rebecca Francis(techUK) Anand Chopra-McGowan from General Assembly London outlines the importance of lifelong learning. <p><img src="images/assets/Anand_Chopra-McGowan_Headshot2.jpg" alt="Anand Chopra-McGowan Headshot2" width="292" height="292" style="margin: 5px; float: left;" />In recent years, three significant forces have come together to create a dramatically different landscape for skills and the global workforce.</p> <p>First, technology-driven automation is profoundly changing the way in which organisations allocate their human talent, and even how much of that human talent they need in the first place. Second, the impact of technology is driving higher demand for digital skills, not just from the early adopters like banks and media companies, but from industrials, professional services, retail, FMCGs, and more. And third, the supply of this skilled labour is not increasing at nearly the pace at which it needs to.</p> <p><strong>Lifelong learning to the rescue?</strong></p> <p>Against this backdrop, organisations have <a href="">made much</a> about the need to foster a culture of lifelong learning – the idea that in response to these forces, employees must regularly train themselves in the new skills, tools, and technologies that employers require.</p> <p>This is easier said than done.</p> <p>Employees today are busier than ever before. Adding an expectation for lifelong learning can seem like a daunting challenge to take on in the context of fast moving deadlines and quarterly performance reviews. What’s more, building culture is hard. Culture, especially in larger organisations, is built over years and decades, supported by the vision and behavior of executives and senior managers and the people they hire.</p> <p><strong>Four pillars supporting an infrastructure for lifelong learning</strong></p> <p>Instead, let’s focus on building an infrastructure for lifelong learning. As compared to the ethereal concept of culture, infrastructure is scalable, measureable, and real.</p> <p>I believe there are four crucial pillars supporting this infrastructure:</p> <ol> <li><strong>Government</strong><br />Government’s role here is twofold: funding to ensure anyone who needs training can get it, and quality control to ensure that money is spent effectively. In the UK, the <a href="">Apprenticeship Levy</a> provides for mandated spending on hiring and training apprentices and in some cases reskilling existing employees. What’s more, organisations receiving funding from the Levy must adhere to standards governing the skills that apprentices need to learn. Further, the <a href="">recently announced</a> National Retraining Scheme has bold ambitions for supporting reskilling projects across the country.<br /><br /></li> <li><strong>Employers</strong><br />Organisations must create transparent and accessible pathways for employees to access opportunities to build new skills. When faced with the challenges and pace of day-to-day responsibility, training and education is often easy to deprioritise. Instead, managers must actively require their team members to attend training, safe in the knowledge that their investment will pay off. Leaders can set the example. For example, recently as part of an ambitious transition to becoming a “digital bank”, Lloyds Banking Group CEO António Horta Osório <a href="">announced </a>an investment of £3 billion with a significant focus on developing skills.<br /><br /></li> <li><strong>Schools, Colleges, and Education Startups</strong><br />As the skills required for success evolve, so too must the offerings of learning providers. It is not enough to offer multi-year degree programs built off five-year curriculum review cycles. Companies like mine need to continually invest in fresh, current curricula and innovative learning formats. For example, we recently announced the creation of <a href="">industry standards boards</a> governing the job profiles of modern roles like data scientist, business analyst, and digital marketer. We also <a href="">partnered with WhiteHat</a>, an innovative new UK company that’s reinventing what it means to be an apprentice. And finally, we’re proud to partner with <a href="">Oxford University’s Saïd Business School</a> to complement their curriculum.<br /><br /></li> <li><strong>Employees</strong><br />Finally, employees must bear some responsibility, and expected to invest meaningful amounts of time to learn new skills. In our experience, the single most important determinant of someone’s ability to succeed in a demanding learning experience (our courses are 420 hours of classroom time – not including projects and homework crammed into 12 weeks) is their level of motivation. Other factors – age, income, work experience – have nowhere near the influence on whether someone can learn new skills.</li> </ol> <p>There’s much more to this infrastructure. Credentials, performance evaluations, skills assessments, and more are all part of the ecosystem that will support lifelong learning. To begin, however, if government, industry, services, and individuals can come together to play their roles, we’ll have a great foundation from which to start.</p> <p><em>The author is a member of the techUK Skills &amp; Diversity Committee, and is an executive at General Assembly, a global education company that works with individuals and large companies to build the skills they need to succeed in the digital age.</em></p> <p><em>To see more posts like this, <a href="">please visit the campaign week landing page</a>.</em></p> One for the Boys... Thu, 08 Mar 2018 12:00:00 +0000 Rebecca Francis(techUK) Jacqueline de Rojas, techUK President, outlines what men can do to be good allies to women in tech and celebrates the men who are helping to improve diversity and inclusion. <p style="text-align: left;">It seems fitting to me on International Women’s Day that we talk about the men...</p> <p>Our industry is plagued by some pretty shameful statistics. Almost half of all employees are women, but that figure drops to around 17 per cent in technology roles, according to Recruitment International. Only 14 per cent hold executive positions within the industry.</p> <p>Yet the business case for more women in tech is becoming clear. Just one women on the board of a business can reduce the risk of bankruptcy by 20 per cent. A team with varied experiences and background will produce richer, more considered ideas. Gender diverse companies are 45 per cent more likely to improve market share, achieve 53 per cent higher returns on equity, and are 70 per cent more likely to report successfully capturing new markets. The writing is on the wall for uniformed businesses.</p> <p>For many years we have crystallised the problem of inequality and we have gathered in huge numbers in rooms full of women. There is no shortage of talk about the under-representation of women in the workforce and we sometimes even manage to stretch the conversation to talk about diversity and inclusion in all forms. Without a doubt there are so many marginalised groups and so many missed opportunities.</p> <p>I have watched as the storms have gathered to vilify the men and create the women as the only gender capable of good leadership. This will be partly because there are some men who do not yet understand the power of equality or the importance that diverse teams can deliver. But I choose not to focus on the misogynists today or those who angrily view movements to make the workforce more diverse as a conspiracy against men. I choose instead to focus on the good guys. The incredible role models who wake up every morning and engage in the business of levelling the playing field and improving working environments for the better. <a href="">Russ Shaw</a>, <a href="">Jeff Tijssen</a> (Tech London Advocates), <a href="tunji-akintokun-founder-one-largest-stem-initiatives-uk-future-ambition">Tunji Akintokun MBE</a> (NSC Global) are just some exemplars whose work should be commended today and I encourage you to look at their stories in the hyperlinks.</p> <p><img src="images/assets/old_mate.png" alt="old mate" width="301" height="201" style="text-align: center; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /><img src="images/assets/Tunji_002.jpg" alt="Tunji 002" width="306" height="171" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p>There are leaders like Andrew Wylie, CEO of Costain, who’s simple decision to insist on a 50/50 gender balance for the graduate and youth intake to boost the incoming talent pipleine is just one example of his commitment to diversity and inclusion. These choices will transform and accelerate Costain's future by welcoming diverse thinking.</p> <p>Without a doubt, these male role models, who have mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, nieces and goddaughters make an enormous difference, not by their grandstanding and big promises but by their actions. Instead of DOING diversity, they ARE diverse and therein lies the magical difference. It is in their DNA.</p> <p>I believe there are simple ways that men in the tech industry can attract more women in to technology roles - Not only by building better internal policies, senior male leaders have the ability to strongly influence and make major changes to the working environment and culture by their behaviour.</p> <p>It's things like calling out sexist jokes and backing up those who do. It's about making members of staff aware when they are talking over people in meetings and highlighting areas where unconscious bias may have had an impact on promotions and staff hires.</p> <p>Simple actions can truly remove these toxic aspects of the working environment for women in the tech sector and make it a more attractive place for them. Given the talent shortage, we should be doing our utmost to be attracting the massively untapped resource of talented and driven women looking to change the world through tech.</p> <p>I am sure that the male exemplars mentioned here are not the only ones who are making a change and a difference. I encourage you to call out those who you see as a male ambassador today because it’s important that we recognise these positive role models and the impact that they can have on our sector and the way younger males approach issues of diversity and inclusion.</p> <p>After all, you are a role model whether you choose to be or not. #DeedsNotWords #MaleRoleModelsMatter</p> <p><em>To see more posts like this, <a href="">please visit the campaign week landing page</a>.</em></p> Turning Data to Information Advantage – techUK Thoughts Wed, 07 Mar 2018 13:19:08 +0000 Seema Patel(techUK) Turning Data to Information Advantage – techUK Thoughts <p>Digital and data scientific companies with leading edge offerings in information security, data mining and integration will have been encouraged by General Sir Gordon Messenger’s recent interview with The Times. The Vice Chief of the Defence Staff made clear his desire to see the MOD augment its capability “to turn data to information advantage” and ”to respond faster through cleverer decision making...enabled by the flow of information.” This public intervention came only weeks after the head of the Army, General Sir Nick Carter outlined in a lecture the changing nature of threats faced by the UK which included reference to Russia’s development of capabilities.</p> <p>The backdrop to both generals going public is the recently announced Modernising Defence Programme. They carefully avoided suggesting which existing operational capabilities and equipment programmes might be at risk from any reset of defence priorities. Gavin Williamson will inevitably have a negotiation tussle with the Treasury which will determine whether MOD’s spending will carry on largely as is or if it will increase and result in MOD taking up a greater share of government’s spending thereby reversing a near twenty-year trend. Whatever the outcome, both generals made strong cases that the UK needs to augment its “information warfare” capabilities if the UK is to counter those being developed by potential adversaries be these state or non-state actors.</p> <p>General Sir Nick Carter talked about NATO and our own three services having capability that enabled “shared situational awareness and to be able to control fires digitally in support of each other.” He also said “a new form of Land Environment tactical communications is vital. And our relationship with the UK IT sector to deliver this is also vital.”</p> <p>General Sir Gordon described information advantage as “ways to fuse video footage from drones; social media feeds; databases; audio tracks; and all the other forms of secret and open source information together to get a better understanding of what is happening and inform decision-making faster.”</p> <p>Digital skills in the military are becoming ever more important as warfare continues to extend from its traditional three operational domains of land, sea and air to the two others of space and cyber. Capabilities are needed to build further cyber resilience not just in the UK’s civil and state infrastructure but also in the essential data communications that military commanders need to rely on when and wherever operations may need to be conducted by one or all three armed services.</p> <p>However, the MDP is not all about capabilities needed to meet foreseeable threats as the Secretary of State made clear when announcing the review. The capability strand is only one and the three others will consider how the “MOD is organised and is operating, identify further efficiencies and ways to be more productive, including through an aggressive programme of business modernisation, and improve our performance on the commercial and industrial issues". Industry should welcome this focus. It is well known that the senior levels of MOD share many of the frustrations felt by companies who contract into MOD or aspire to do so. Decisions can too often be delayed or acted upon without sufficient commitment to meet set timelines resulting in the type of cost overruns that the NAO recently highlighted in its review of the equipment programme.</p> <p>For the Ministry to secure significant modernisation improvements will require radical thinking and a bold review outcome. From industry’s standpoint, this will need to include a review and overhaul of many policies and procedures that while rationally intended can be unduly restrictive or unnecessarily applied. These typically span policies relating to security, competition and contracting. The Ministry also needs to reassess the extent to which it is prepared to accommodate digital technologies and approaches that have become so prevalent not just in the private sector but also in public sector workplaces. The Cloud, Big Data, IoT, mobile device apps and blockchain are individually and collectively revolutionising working practices and driving cost efficiencies that the MOD and Treasury crave. The MDP should give industry a sense of what type of “digital supply chain diet” the MOD will be following from the summer onwards.</p> Plenty of Proof That Gender Parity Gives Businesses a Competitive Advantage Wed, 07 Mar 2018 13:00:00 +0000 Rebecca Francis(techUK) Susan Bowen from techUK and Cogeco Peer 1 discusses why gender parity is good for business. <p><img src="images/assets/Susan_Bowen.jpg" alt="Susan Bowen" width="324" height="390" style="margin: 5px; float: left;" />There is plenty of proof which confirms that gender parity gives business a competitive advantage.</p> <p>Studies reveal that gender diverse companies are 45% more likely to improve market share, achieve 53% higher returns on equity, and are 70% more likely to report successfully capturing new markets. Research also discovered that shifting from an all-male or all-female office to one split evenly across gender lines could increase revenue by roughly 41 per cent.</p> <p>Let’s face the facts; intelligence, knowledge, creativity and innovation are not gender specific attributes – they are characteristics that apply equally to men and women.</p> <p>By striking the right gender balance we attract the best talent, improve productivity, enable greater innovation and grow the business and our reputation.</p> <p>According to The Higher Education Policy Institute women in the UK are now 35% more likely than men to go to university and the gap is widening every year. In 2000, 133,000 women graduated from university compared to 110,000 men. Since then, the gap has accelerated; figures from 2015 show there were almost 300,000 more women in higher education than men.</p> <p>To put it simply, an organisation which is as attractive to women as it is to men will have access to the entire talent pool and given that the demand for digital skills across all areas of the economy is rapidly surging ahead of our ability to deliver, workforce diversity has never been more important. The UK has an enormous potential source of digital talent but to make the best use of it we need to draw deep from the entire pool, not just a part of it.</p> <p>Well-managed diversity brings together varied perspectives, produces a more holistic analysis of the issues a company faces and spurs greater effort, leading to improved decision-making. Gender parity generates diverse thinking, which translates into greater innovation, irrespective of which industry you are in.</p> <p>At Cogeco Peer 1, and at a personal level, we have a deep commitment to the Tech Talent Charter, endorsed by the Government’s Digital Strategy. This is a set of guidelines developed to addresses the biases and issues faced by women in tech, which outlines key measures to encourage organisations to think differently in support of a more diverse tech workforce and puts forward best practice guidelines.</p> <p>The issues it deals with are pressingly important: we have a national digital skills crisis; there are something like 600,000 vacancies in the tech sector forecast to rise to 1 million by 2020.</p> <p>We need to address this collectively and gender diversity is not only the right thing to do... it also makes absolute sound business sense.</p> <p>Learning how to strike the right diversity balance in the workplace can ensure you are attracting the right talent, boost profits and productivity, improve employee retention, benefit long-term relationships and maximise success in work and life as a whole. It’s a win-win.</p> <p><em>To see more posts like this, <a href="">please visit the campaign week landing page</a>.</em></p> Guest Blog: So You Want to Employ More Women? Wed, 07 Mar 2018 12:00:00 +0000 Rebecca Francis(techUK) Emma Fryer, Associate Director at techUK, lays down some advice for getting women involved in data centers. <p><img src="images/assets/e.fryer-1_.jpg" alt="e.fryer-1 " width="353" height="356" style="margin: 5px; float: left;" /></p> <p>Let’s be honest, if I had been asked in my late teens what I would be doing as a career, the phrase “data center” would not have featured on any conceivable list, yet this sector has been a very happy place for me for the last six years.Like many others, I arrived by accident rather than design. It’s true that there are not many women working in the sector and the evidence that I have seen from professional bodies like the IET and sector surveys by analysts like 451 Group suggest that there are severe problems not just in recruiting women but in retaining them in technical roles. At the end of this note I’ve included links to some particularly good initiatives to encourage women into the sector and into technology and engineering roles but in the meantime here’s some thoughts on what we could do to help ourselves.</p> <ol> <li>Firstly, Motherhood and Apple Pie: make sure you do the things that will attract everyone, because they will attract women.</li> <li>Secondly, make sure you position the sector appropriately as a career destination of choice. Data Centers ARE amazing, wonderful things.</li> <li>Thirdly, identify where special attention is needed – even it if is just inside your own head - and get going.</li> </ol> <h3>Motherhood and Apple Pie: Do the things that will attract everyone because they will appeal to women</h3> <p><strong>Provide flexible working</strong>, both in terms of time and location (remote working) where you can. Be honest when you can’t: don’t pay lip service to flexible hours or remote working if you aren’t prepared to provide, enable and support them.</p> <p><strong>Leadership</strong>: Ensure your business leaders demonstrate the personal and professional values that you want your staff to adopt. Identify role models and value them. Make sure your managers are doing the three things managers should do: Inspiring, protecting and supporting.</p> <p><strong>Mentoring</strong>: Ensure staff have access to external mentoring and that there is a genuine 360 feedback process that is not just lip service and where issues raised are not routinely buried.</p> <p><strong>Be a meritocracy</strong>: Be absolutely transparent on career progression and promotion. There are too many pathetic little cronyocracies in business. Let’s make sure there aren’t any in our sector. Examine your career management structures for implicit bias – bias is like nits, often there but hard to spot - so bring in an external perspective.</p> <p><strong>Be realistic</strong>: Don’t promise what you can’t provide (or have no intention of delivering).</p> <p><strong>Managing (up):</strong> Be absolutely sure that you can distinguish those who manage well from those who manage upwards well.</p> <p><strong>Competence and confidence</strong>: Ensure that you differentiate competence from confidence. Call out people who understate their own achievements and those who overstate them. Anecdotally, this is one of the biggest complaints I hear from women, that their hesitancy to overstate their abilities places them at a disadvantage.</p> <p><strong>Don’t be a troglodyte</strong>: A good front of house helps, comfortable offices in an accessible location. We don’t expect technical facilities to be trendy but that is no reason to provide inferior coffee. Any fool can be uncomfortable.</p> <p><strong>The Best is the enemy of the good</strong>: Broaden your horizons when defining the “ideal” employee - don’t set people up to fail because they aren’t Superwoman, and don’t turn a job description into a wish list.</p> <h3>Position the sector as a career destination of choice</h3> <p><strong>Remember that data centers are amazing wonderful things</strong>: And tell everybody. Explain how data centers underpin and enable everything that is familiar and important and exciting in our modern economy - from the weather forecast to eBay to Formula 1.</p> <p><strong>Career choices</strong>: Be clear about the career choices available within the data center, the variety of technologies and roles and pathways for progression.</p> <p><strong>Mobility</strong>: Be clear about the scope for career mobility and geographical mobility. Nobody has to stay in the sector but it equips employees for all sorts of external roles.</p> <p><strong>Opportunities</strong>: Be clear about the continuous spectrum of new opportunities presented by a sector that is developing and changing so rapidly, and the exposure to new technologies and business models. Use these changes to review job roles and competency frameworks.</p> <p><strong>Being the Best</strong>: Be clear that this is a globally important, market leading sector that it is a privilege to be part of.</p> <p><strong>Getting paid and going on getting paid</strong>. Don’t forget the boring but important things like job security and salary.</p> <h3>Address areas that need special attention</h3> <p><strong>Actively support returners</strong>: In some fast moving technology sectors employers are reluctant to take on people without continuous experience. This is based on a misconception that will affect women more than men. Don’t be an unwitting misogynist. Have a look at techUK’s Returners Hub which is a fantastic resource to help people get back into the tech sector.</p> <p><strong>Accommodate change</strong>: Many women with children, and those caring for elders, will need different working conditions when they return, such as shorter or more flexible hours. Don’t be like many employers who allow this to limit opportunities. Don’t make a few low grade concessions and sit on your laurels: this problem gets worse with seniority so stay on top of it.</p> <p><strong>Understand the meaning of “career break”</strong>: For primary carers, still predominantly women, this is a misnomer, disguising episodes of prolonged medieval torture followed by several years of hard labor, all unpaid. Don’t use terms like “time off” or “lady of leisure.” Keep in touch with those on carers’ or parental leave.</p> <p><strong>Examine your conscience</strong>: Is your recruitment of women an attempt to meet quotas, to appear more gender diverse, to avoid being criticized? Do you really want more women in your workforce? If you don’t, then stop pretending. Go and look at the comic book store in The Simpsons and in The Big Bang Theory and think again.</p> <p><strong>Be a Hunter-Gatherer</strong>: Many women are reluctant to put themselves forward. Go out proactively and identify potential female candidates when recruiting for a position. Call them. Call them again. Don’t just wait for them to come to you.</p> <p><strong>Value, don’t patronize</strong>: Make it clear that in a sector with few women, female employees will be highly valued. I like being valued; the data center sector has noticed this and that’s why I’m still here.</p> <p><strong>Beware of banter</strong>: Banter is a two way thing. One-way banter is harassment. Harassment is unlawful. Banter is best between equals, but never make assumptions. Banter is rarely fun when you are isolated, at a disadvantage or the only one receiving it. Me, I love banter, but not everyone is like me.</p> <p><strong>Pay people fairly</strong>, and ensure your female staff have the same level of logistical and administrative support as male colleagues. “She doesn’t need a PA because she can type” is not something we ever want to hear, unless the solution is to pay both salaries to the same individual.</p> <p><strong>Forget the can't</strong>, look at the evidence. Are women holding positions of equality? Count them. What sex and age were the people made redundant over the last five years? Count them too. What do women employees actually say? Have you asked them? When you last did a staff satisfaction survey did it go to everyone? Was it anonymous? Were people convinced it was anonymous? Really?</p> <p><strong>Use quotas with caution</strong>: A quota is a double edged sword. On the plus side a female quota ensures that senior management, especially when reluctant or lazy, are forced to seek out and recognize women who are contributing. It also gets the issue on the table. On the negative side it can be viewed as tokenism and can create resentment among male colleagues who can say that these positions are only due to gender (the obvious answer to that is that men have been promoted on the basis of gender for several millennia so perhaps it’s someone else’s turn).</p> <p>However there is a risk that quotas can set women up to fail. At public events women want to be asked to speak because of what they have achieved and because they know what they are talking about, not because of the arrangement of their chromosomes. Nobody wants to be a Patsy. So gender balance quotas have to be carefully managed.</p> <p><strong>Talk to women</strong>. I know, a radical idea. Implicit bias means that even with the best intentions people are simply unable to grasp some of the nuances of life and work that other people experience. Some of the most enduring barriers to entry, advancement and equity in the workplace are almost invisible unless you experience them first hand. Ask women what they see creating unintentional barriers or inequity and do something about it.</p> <p><em><a href="">This article was originally posted in Datacenter Dynamics.</a></em></p> <p><em>To see more posts like this, <a href="">please visit the campaign week landing page</a>.</em></p> Guest Blog: Gender Parity - What is it Really All About? Wed, 07 Mar 2018 09:00:00 +0000 Rebecca Francis(techUK) Narmada Guruswamy from Ernst and Young examines the concept of gender parity and why it is so important moving forward. <p><img src="images/assets/Guruswamy_Narmada_2011032.jpg" alt="Guruswamy Narmada 2011032" width="311" height="443" style="margin: 5px 5px 5px 0px; float: left;" />Men are not really from Mars and women are not from Venus. Neurologically, they are remarkably similar, yet life outcomes vary for men and women with comparable abilities. With no biological basis, society rewards certain traits more than others, an issue that needs to be studied, understood and tackled.</p> <h3>What is parity?</h3> <p>The World Economic Forum (WEF) uses four key indicators to assess if women are at par with men in any given society:</p> <ul> <li>Economic participation and opportunity, including leadership and access to assets</li> <li>Educational attainment, which reduces mortality, increases earnings and fosters investment in children</li> <li>Health and survival, with a multiplier effect on the family</li> <li>Political empowerment, elevating issues with broad societal impact</li> </ul> <p>Of these, economic parity is critically important as it underpins many aspects of life.</p> <h3>Why is economic parity important?</h3> <p>In the words of Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General, “Gender equality is more than a goal in itself. It is a precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance.”</p> <p>Women make up half of the world population so it is only logical that we would expect key indicators to be equal for both sexes. Gender parity also yields significant economic dividends: studies show that closing 25% of the gender gap in economic participation by 2025 could add US$5.3 trillion to the world economy. Besides, empowering women allows society to make full use of one of the most under-utilized business resources</p> <h3>Why are we talking about it now?</h3> <p>Even today, despite all the progress with political rights, economic imperatives and generational changes in attitude, women earn less than men in almost all countries, in all sectors.</p> <p>The overall global gender gap is closing across the world, but it will still take a century to attain full parity. Political parity is also one century away. The economic gender gap, sadly, has widened since last year and is not expected to close for another 217 years - key indicators have regressed to where they were in 2008.</p> <h3>Why the disparity?</h3> <p>One key metric that is consistently revealed across surveys is leadership. Only 22% senior managers are women, impacting the ability of that demographic to set the agenda, define priorities and deliver progress.</p> <p>Another major differentiator is in the field of study and the occupational gender gap. Women are over-represented in caregiving, unpaid work, education, health and welfare, typically tied to low wages. They are vastly under-represented in the STEM areas, Engineering, Technology and Manufacturing / Construction, which tend to command high salaries.</p> <p>Workplace culture is a limiting factor too. Only 20% of women aged 30+ hold ICT-related degrees and stay in STEM. Socio-cultural factors, limited access to technology and unconscious bias discourage women from thriving in these highly rewarding sectors.</p> <h3>What are the solutions?</h3> <p><strong>Leadership</strong>: Boosting female leadership makes economic sense, results in more inclusive outputs and has a cascading effect. Companies with top quartile representation of women in executive committees can show up to 47% more return on equity than those with no women at the top. Increased gender diversity in leadership results in better population representation, increased focus on corporate sustainability and more women being hired.</p> <p><strong>Education</strong>: Encouraging more gender balance in fields of study would even out sectors, create more inclusive cultures across the board and allow women to benefit from high-paying career choices. Task forces in Chile, Argentina and Panama have had success in building public-private forums to bring more women into the economy, catalyse new collaboration and promote action at a national level.</p> <p><strong>Individual accountability</strong>: Achieving gender parity is not the responsibility of politicians, or business leaders, or educationists alone. It requires societal buy-in to make it happen. Former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon phrased it thus: “Achieving gender equality requires the engagement of women and men, girls and boys. It is everyone's responsibility."</p> <p>Tapping fully into the economic potential of women makes sense in every way. Together, we can reduce the horizon for economic parity and empower generations of women to reach their full potential. Let’s start today – we have no time to lose.</p> <p><em>To see more posts like this, <a href="">please visit the campaign week landing page</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Guest Blog: "There's No Time like the Present to Make a Difference" Tue, 06 Mar 2018 17:00:00 +0000 Rebecca Francis(techUK) Wendy Wareham from Fujitsu uses International Women's Day Campaign Week to reflect on what we are doing and what we can do. <p><img src="images/assets/iwd_570px.jpg" alt="iwd 570px" width="570" height="343" style="margin: 5px auto; display: block;" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>From my perspective this is a great day for reflection; especially when we celebrate International Women’s Day and we think about pushing for<br />inclusion and gender parity. There’s no doubt we have made progress, yet there is so much more to do. With recent news on the gender pay gap and Hollywood scandals I’m proud to represent our company #Fujitsu and #techUK on their diversity councils. Each council member is passionate and committed to doing the right thing and making a difference. We are all motivated and united to #PressForProgress.</p> <p>Whilst many facts and figures state that it will take over 100 years to close the gender gap there is no time like the present to make a difference. Let’s collaborate and be willing to understand how we can make a difference to each other, our organisations and the general education of what’s<br />acceptable in our society. One tangible pragmatic action from each person who has the ability to lead, influence, educate and drive change would create a remarkable force.</p> <p>Of course there are many more complex issues to unravel such&nbsp;as behaviours, inclusion and removing stereotypes but to name a few. One question I frequently ask is “Are we really doing all we can to understand current issues from each other’s perspectives?” I think collaboration for a more sustainable impact is now key as we #PressForProgress. Greater collaboration and willingness to take greater action would be an amazing step forward. I am optimistic that days like today help motivate and remind us all, no matter what our seniority, of the responsibility we each have.</p> <p>So I’m proud to be part of organisations and teams that care about what we do, how we make our environment a more inclusive one and how we<br />celebrate who we are. I know that change doesn’t happen overnight but I’m motivated to unite the people I interact with, the teams I lead to act in a more inclusive way and encourage people to be the best they can be. #PressForProgress.</p> <p>To see more posts like this, <a href="">please visit the campaign week landing page</a>.</p> Guest Blog: Press for Progress – Let’s Check Our Unconscious Bias First Tue, 06 Mar 2018 15:30:00 +0000 Rebecca Francis(techUK) By Sarah Atkinson, Board Member, techUK | Vice Chair Diversity & Skills Council, techUK | Vice President, Communications, CA Technologies <p><img width="570" height="343" style="margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto; display: block;" alt="iwd 570px" src="images/assets/iwd_570px.jpg" /></p> <p>The UK’s ability to innovate and advance is threatened by the chronic STEM skills gap. Bold moves are needed to shift young people’s negative perceptions of STEM subjects and prepare them with 21st century skills and competencies to thrive in a digital world.</p> <p>Multi-stakeholder partnerships are key in helping to tackle the ongoing problem, particularly with the gender gap; no one organisation can do this alone.</p> <p>From the classroom to the boardroom, there is an urgency to develop these partnerships to help empower girls from the start of their career through strong role models and positive reinforcement.</p> <p>In almost every society, gender stereotyping is evident from an early age and is shaped by ideas passed on from parents, family member and by society. Having strong role models is important to help break down gender stereotypes that can have such a profound effect on girls and their future career choices.</p> <p>Teachers are, of course, influential role models from an early age can but also have unconscious bias – as we all do.</p> <p>A crucial step towards making a positive impact as role models, is to understand our own bias’s – and CA Technologies has taken this forward by rolling out unconscious bias training sessions to all staff but also to teachers via its STEM Ambassador Academy which launched this week.</p> <p>Educating teachers and giving them the platform to understand their own unconscious biases allows them to identify and<br />manage stereotyping in the classroom.</p> <p>It is also important to give young girls the opportunity to see what exciting STEM careers look like. Following the success of People Like Me, WISE is collaborating with techUK on an ambitious plan to reach 200,000 girls, showing them that STEM subjects will open doors to a variety of jobs to suit their personality type.</p> <p>The digital platform will help girls to navigate the resources and explore exciting STEM opportunities. Training for teachers, parents and STEM Ambassadors to deliver the People Like Me resource will launch in April via an online platform. Find out more by contacting <a href=""></a>.</p> <p>Change won’t wait for us; no single organisation can solve the problem. Business leaders, educators and government need to work together to address the skills gap. Addressing gender stereotyping is complex and multifaceted, and for substantial change to happen we must work collaboratively.</p> <p>International Women’s Day provides the opportunity to reflect on how far we have come, but also how much more there is to do. There is still a long way to go, the question is, what are you going to do?</p> <p><em>To see more posts like this, <a href="">please visit the campaign week landing page</a>.</em></p> Guest Blog: How do we #PressforProgress? Tue, 06 Mar 2018 12:30:00 +0000 Rebecca Francis(techUK) Nicky Stewart from UKCloud discusses how girls can be encouraged to enter into STEM subjects from an early age - and it's not through 'fingerwagging'. <h3>The facts speak for themselves - and they are pretty appalling.</h3> <p><img src="images/assets/iwd_570px.jpg" alt="iwd 570px" /></p> <p>If you are on the techUK website and reading this, you probably don’t need to be reminded that digital skills are in short supply and that the UK is competing on a global basis for its digital skills. You’ll also be aware that a thriving digital economy in the UK will be critical in meeting the challenges of the coming years, and that women are in short supply in our digital world.</p> <p>The facts are sobering: only 17% of IT specialists are women according to BCS, which also observed that the proportion of females studying/progressing along the path to IT employment drops at each of the key stages in their educational development.</p> <p>Here at UKCloud we celebrate diversity, and we are proud of our female workforce (see <a href=""></a>) but we, and the rest of the UK, have a mountain to climb if we are to really tap into the talent and ability of the female workforce.</p> <p>Not only are too few women entering the profession, but of those that do, <a href="">many drop out of their technology careers in their 30s</a>.</p> <p>Its not that we are short of role models – there are many – from Jacqueline de Rojas CBE (the President of techUK and the chair of the Digital Leaders board) and Baroness Martha Lane Fox (co-founder of and currently a philanthropist and public servant) to Rachel Neaman (CEO of our sister organisation the Corsham Institute). And its not that the UK doesn’t care about this, or that it is sitting on its hands (including the <a href="">Science and Technology Committee inquiry into women in STEM careers</a>). Although the gender pay gap is closing incrementally, pay parity between men and women in the UK is not forecast to be achieved until 2069. Significantly, the gap in starting salary between men and women who have studied STEM subjects and go on to take jobs in those spheres is <a href="">smaller than in any other subjects studied</a>. On top of which careers in technology attract higher salaries, with high-potential grads from top universities no longer making a bee-line for lucrative careers in finance and increasingly<a href=""> pursuing jobs in tech </a>– and there no reason that more of them should not be women.</p> <p>While almost everyone is in support of action on women in STEM, there is limited agreement on the cause or the best action to take. Some of the coverage of the gender gap in tech can seem like fingerwagging. It suggests that girls ‘should’ aspire to a career in STEM, and it is a deficiency in the education system if they do not do so. Education has a huge part to play, and much to do, but while there all of the arguments made ring true, the knub of the problem lies in attitudes that are formed very early in our lives.</p> <p>If we wait until girls are choosing which course to take at university or which subjects to take at secondary school, to seek to influence them and persuade them to consider STEM, then we are too late. Gender stereotypes are formed much earlier than this. At this stage in their lives the greatest influence on them comes directly from their parents and their peers, and it is therefore the attitudes of parents, and their<a href=""> lack of awareness</a> of the wide range of opportunities afforded by a technology career, or the connection between STEM in education and employment that we need to influence too.</p> <p>While female role models, improved education, cooperative employers and attractive employement in STEM are all incredibly important, we also need to address the cultural root causes if we are to make a real difference in the long term.</p> <p><em>To see more posts like this, <a href="">please visit the campaign week landing page</a>.</em></p> Guest Blog: Open #iotmark Tue, 06 Mar 2018 10:54:21 +0000 Matthew Evans(techUK) Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino outlines the potential for IoT Mark and the work under way <p><em>Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino, <a href="">Design Swarm</a></em></p> <p>This time last year, Usman Haque and I were reminded that it had been almost five years since our ‘<a href="">Open Internet of Things Definition</a>’ event at Google Campus. Five years is both a long time and not a long time, but we thought it would be fun to revisit. There is however little point in asking people to revisit work already done without moving forward in some way, otherwise you risk being like the high school reunion noone wants to attend.</p> <p>So what had changed since 2012, well as my friend Steve Silver informed me, FUD. Fear, uncertainty and doubt currently cripples the internet of things.</p> <p>In London, fear that a crowdfunding campaign will never deliver, uncertainty anyone in the investment community will ever care, and doubt of the quality and security of what is being deployed in our homes, at work and in our cities.</p> <p>That’s enough to kill an industry dead in its tracks.</p> <p>The internet of things was coined by Kevin Ashton in 2001, so 16 years is a little young to kill an industry.</p> <p>So Usman and I started talking about what the Open Internet of Things Definition’s role was. It brought together people across industries, and it was aspirational but it didn’t have any teeth.</p> <p>How could we build something that could encourage industry to overcome the FUD and help consumers trust this fledgling industry? We had a couple of meeting with my lawyer <a href="">Rosie Burbidge</a> at Fox Williams who offered us a number of different models we could look at and we chose the certification mark.</p> <p><em>What is a certification mark?</em></p> <p>Certification marks or labels are used to prove to your customers that you have developed something in a particular way. <a href="">Fairtrade</a> is a mark that shows consumers that the working conditions behind food are fair. <a href="">Woolmark</a> is a certification mark to show consumers that the garment is made out of real wool.<br />These are marks that inform consumers and help a business differentiate themselves.</p> <p>Why not for the internet of things? People should know that something is being developed in an ethical, secure way and industry could probably do with having a check-list of what constitutes an ethical and secure way to do business. This is after all an industry driven by cash-strapped SMEs, so helping them make better decisions is bound to be good for everyone.</p> <p>So we got to work. We gathered 60 people from across UK &amp; Europe on June 16th at the London Zoo (thanks to <a href="">Alasdair Davies</a>). And we started <a href="">working groups</a> around Security, Privacy, Interoperability, Provenance and others. We then carried on on Slack and in monthly calls to get to a shortlist of <a href="">30 principles</a> which we published last October.<br />These are some of the highlights for me:</p> <ul> <li>Encouraging open sourceness but not imposing it. This will polarise many in the open source hardware community but the strength of the mark will be in being able to be adopted in a commercial environment where people do have to make money, either through their IP over the hardware or the software. We have to be able to inspire people to do things in a better way, but not force them to.</li> <li>Encouraging the same ‘switch guarantee’ as we have in banking and in the energy sector. A consumer should be able to change the digital provider for their product if that company starts to behave in a way that is detrimental to them. This I really believe, will encourage organisations to constantly be more competitive.</li> <li>Encouraging industry to be transparent about the expected lifecycle of a product. We live in times of in-built obsolescence, but that’s not a good thing. We continue to treat natural resources as an income and not capital (in the worlds of E.F. Shumacher) which will eventually bite us in the ass. E-waste is being more regulated and I suspect eventually companies will be charged for the products that end up being thrown away within 2 years of manufacturing. The very least we can ask people to do is to be clear about how long they expect the product to last and more crucially, how long they are willing to support the product for!</li> </ul> <p>The rest of the principles really concentrate on transparency and security, basically extending the reach of GDPR into the world of hardware.</p> <p>Broadly the mark is there to support SMEs in this space and product owners to think of the impact of what they are building and to plan for the future, something that is hard to do when you’re at the ‘coalface’ of development.</p> <p>I think this is an important opportunity and the next months will be spent showing these principles to as many people as possible, both across industry but also in the consumer rights world in the UK, the US and Europe to get their feedback.</p> <p>As an entrepreneur in this space, I and others deserve to make the internet of things a field of practice that has a little less FUD in it.</p> <p><em>This blog is part of a series of guest blogs on consumer facing IoT. <a href="">Read techUK's response to Government's Secure by Design announcement here.</a></em></p> <p><em>For more information on techUK's work on securing the IoT please contact:</em></p> <p>Contact: <a href=""></a></p> <p>Contact: <a href=""></a></p> techUK responds to Government's Secure by Design report Tue, 06 Mar 2018 10:38:05 +0000 Matthew Evans(techUK) techUK welcomes Government proposals to drive up cyber security in consumer IoT devices <p>The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has today published <a href="">a report that sets out measures&nbsp;to help ensure the consumer Internet of Things (IoT) is secure by design</a>.</p> <p>techUK welcomes the report as an important development in the maturity of the IoT sector. We have long cited <a href="">trust issues</a>, of which security is one of the primary drivers, as a stumbling block in the adoption of IoT. The approach taken by Government strikes the right balance between driving the adoption of better security, whilst continuing to accommodate innovation and development in the IoT.&nbsp;</p> <p>The report, which techUK has been engaged in since the project's inception, rightfully recognises the transformational impact that IoT will and is having on consumers' lives. But it also recognises that cyber security has too often been an afterthought in the development and sale of consumer IoT devices. DCMS identifies two risks that develop as a result of poor practices:</p> <ul> <li>Consumer security, privacy and safety is being undermined by the vulnerability of individual devices&nbsp;&nbsp;</li> <li>The wider economy faces an increasing threat of large scale cyber attacks launched from large volumes of insecure IoT devices</li> </ul> <p>DCMS engaged a range of stakeholders including the National Cyber Security Centre, industry, academia, retailers and consumer groups as it sought to address these risks. At the heart of the report is a Code of Practice aimed at device manufacturers, service providers, developers and retailers. These focus on best practice such as no devices or services to be provided with a default password, implementing a vulnerability disclosure policy and providing ongoing software support.&nbsp;</p> <p>DCMS will be consulting on the Code of Practice, with a final version to be published in the summer, with further work also underway on a potential labelling scheme for consumers.</p> <p>Julian David, CEO of techUK said <em>"The opportunities created by the Internet of Things are now becoming clear. It offers consumers and citizens greater empowerment and control over their lifestyles, from managing energy consumption at home to having peace of mind that a frail relative is going about their normal routine.</em></p> <p><em>However, these opportunities also bring risk and it is important that the IoT market now matures in a sensible and productive way, with security embedded at the design stage. This project is the start of that maturity. Industry has been keen to engage in the review and demonstrate what is best practice. It is important that companies throughout the supply chain now adopt and build on this Code of Practice to build the trust required to drive widespread take-up of the IoT."</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>techUK is publishing a series of guest blogs as part of today's response:</em></p> <p>Stephen Pattison, ARM, on <a href="">the issue of trust and IoT adoption</a></p> <p>Gordon Morrison, Vice-Chair of techUK's Cyber Group, on <a href="">what happens next</a></p> <p>Sean Gulliford, Gemserv, on <a href="">the impact of GDPR on IoT Cyber-security</a></p> <p>Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino, Design Swarm, the prospects for an <a href="">#IoTMark</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>techUK has been engaging with the project for nearly a year as part of the project's External Advisory Group. If you are interested in participating in our work on consumer facing IoT please contact:</p> <p>Contact: <a href=""></a></p> <p>Contact: <a href=""></a></p> Guest Blog: Security by Design: Improving the cyber security of consumer IoT Tue, 06 Mar 2018 10:28:42 +0000 Matthew Evans(techUK) Gordon Morrison, Vice Chair of the techUK Cyber Group responds to DCMS' interim report on improving IoT security <p><em>This guest blog was authored by Gordon Morrison who is Director for EMEA Government Affairs, <a href="">Splunk</a>. However, this blog and the views expressed are in his position as Vice Chair of the <a href="">techUK Cyber Group</a>.</em></p> <p>The Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) today released an interim report on how we can take action to protect consumers of Internet of Things devices from cyber threat. techUK thinks this is a good thing. UK Government is one of the first to look at this problem and is right to take this seriously and should be commended for showing leadership here.</p> <p>Simply put, by designing security into consumer devices from inception, the consumer can be better protected, and the huge social economic potential of consumer IoT technology can be realised. As stated in the report, there will be 20Bn internet connected devices worldwide by 2020 and the number of internet connected devices per household will increase from approximately 10 now to 15 in 2020.</p> <p>However, equally significant is that the economic opportunity from IoT is huge. But, the threat and risk to consumers using these devices is only likely to increase given the increased attack surface. Criminals also realise that vulnerabilities in these devices could be exploited in large scale attacks, across multiple geographies, to cause significant disruption.</p> <p>techUK itself was involved in generating the code of practice. It has a number of sensible guiding principles or objectives these being: reducing the burden on consumers, providing greater transparency on the security mechanisms that have been put in place, being better able to measure the effectiveness of these mechanisms, improving dialogue between all parties and increasing the resilience of critical functions and services.</p> <p>The code of practice itself is designed for multiple stakeholders; these being device manufacturers, IoT service providers, mobile application providers and retailers. It provides 13 areas listed in priority order for stakeholders to focus on, ranging from removing default passwords, keeping software updated, minimising attack surfaces, protecting personal data, making it easy for consumers to delete personal data and monitoring system telemetry data.</p> <p>The challenge for industry is in making this a reality and turning these recommendations into a strong reason for consumer choice. If you can produce a ‘secure by design device’, then consumers may select your product because of this. However, the economic challenges are significant and as we have seen in a globalised world the market does not always chose a more secure device over a cheap one.</p> <p>In the report the Government accepts that for this to be truly effective then this cannot be taken in isolation and that this is a global challenge. From an industry point of view this is critical - we ask HMG, the EU and other international bodies to ensure we all work to a common practical framework that does not introduce unnecessary cost or stifle innovation. However, techUK members are committed to the aims of this report and agree that the secure by design principles have the potential of helping consumers fully embrace and benefit from the exciting promise of these devices.</p> <p>techUK is committed to help UK Government gain wider adoption of the principles and code of practice. As recognised in the report closer dialogue between stakeholders is required and it’s important the tech industry remain engaged and have some influence on its development and adoption.</p> <p><em>This blog is part of a series of guest blogs on consumer facing IoT. <a href="">Read techUK's response to Government's Secure by Default announcement here</a>.</em></p> <p><em>For more information on techUK's work on securing the IoT please contact:</em></p> <p>Contact: <a href=""></a></p> <p>Contact: <a href=""></a></p> Guest Blog: “I keep six honest serving men…” Tue, 06 Mar 2018 10:20:03 +0000 Matthew Evans(techUK) Gemserv's Sean Gulliford looks at the impact of GDPR on our approach to IoT cyber security <p><em>Sean Gulliford, Principal Consultant - Connected Devices, <a href="">Gemserv</a>.</em></p> <p>Imagine the GDPR in the context of the poem by Rudyard Kipling, “I keep six honest serving men (they taught me all I knew); Theirs names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.”</p> <p>It defines the What (the rights to privacy of an individual), Why (to ensure the right to privacy is enforced), When (we all know when), Where (anywhere in the EU) and Who (all businesses, both in and outside the EU, offering services to EU citizens). Security provides the “How”</p> <p>Now imagine an IoT device that collects personal information, let’s say location data. GDPR tells us that we are obligated to protect that data from the point of collection until its deletion.</p> <p>So how do we protect the location data collected? First, we ensure that no one (other than those authorised) can read it, so we encrypt the data. To encrypt data, we need a secret (or key) and that secret must be known to the data receiver, so they can decrypt the data. We now have the data encrypted, no one without the secret can read it. Job Done! Except for the fact we now have another piece of data, the secret. If someone gains access to the secret, they can read our data. So, we store the secret in a safe. Job Done? Not quite. The secret in the safe is not the only copy, there is a copy held on the device, so now we need to think about how we ensure the copy of the secret, held on the IoT device is secure; and come to think of it, how do we securely get the copy of the secret from the safe to store it in the device in the first place? This is an example of the mindset that needs to be place when considering IoT security, and the emergence of the GDPR will aid the transition to this mindset. There is no privacy without security.</p> <p>Fortunately, there are a number of standard processes, policy’s and technologies readily available to address the challenges considered above. The GDPR requires that businesses adopt a risk-based approach to assess their organisation and establish business and technical measures to safeguard the integrity and confidentiality of the data.</p> <p>As the GDPR comes into effect it is important that IoT businesses address their security challenges to effectively enable privacy.</p> <p><em>This blog is part of a series of guest blogs on consumer facing IoT. <a href="">Read techUK's response to Government's Secure by Design announcement here</a>.&nbsp;</em></p> <p><em>For more information on techUK's work on securing the IoT please contact:</em></p> <p>Contact: <a href=""></a></p> <p>Contact: <a href=""></a></p> Guest Blog: Technology Trailblazers - Women Driving Change Tue, 06 Mar 2018 09:30:00 +0000 Rebecca Francis(techUK) Helen de La Rochefoucauld from Accenture highlights some of the women in the tech field we can look towards for inspiration. <p><img width="570" height="343" style="margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto; display: block;" alt="iwd 570px" src="images/assets/iwd_570px.jpg" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This International Women’s Day we’re reflecting on women whose pioneering and trailblazing work is driving change and reshaping gender narratives in a way that is futureproof and progressive. As a central theme to their work – they are harnessing technology, or indeed re-evaluating technologies as they interact with vital questions around ethics, race, sexuality and mobility to ensure that every voice is heard and counted. They share an optimism for the future, a belief in the power of technology and a passion for inclusivity and equality. Here is a taster of their work:</p> <p><strong>Immersive Technologies and Health - Deepa Mann-Kler</strong></p> <p>Deepa’s story showcases the power of curiosity, imagination and collaboration in challenging traditional pain conditions. Her passions for<br />visual art, and later discovery of virtual reality helped her to imagine technological possibilities and become a tech entrepreneur. Discover her story here and her entrepreneur survival tips here.</p> <p><strong>Integrating art and data - Julie Freeman</strong></p> <p>Julie’s work involves the marriage of art and data, with her artistic mission to embrace technology in order to shed light and showcase new<br />perspectives on society and the natural world. An artist by training, her collaborative approach incorporates technology, biology and mathematical science to bring data visualisation to life through the natural world. Discover her story <a href="">here</a>.</p> <p><strong>Holding Artificial</strong> <strong>Intelligence to account - Kay Firth-Butterfield</strong></p> <p>Kay is a passionate advocate of getting more women into the field of Artificial Intelligence to ensure that the technology of the future is free from biases including gender and race. Her passion for battling injustice and interest in the intersection of science, global politics and law have made<br />her a tireless proponent of ethics within AI. Her leadership in this field is all the more vital given the lack of representation of women within machine learning. She shares her tips for getting into AI <a href="">here</a>.</p> <p><strong>Championing workplace gender equality – Mara Breen</strong></p> <p>Mara’s story is linked to her own personal experience of progression and development within the workplace. Using her experiences and<br />trajectory to inspire and help guide others, she has established groups and coaching to sponsor the development of women and men, blazing a trail within her organisation to empower others. Discover her advice to women considering a career in technology <a href="">here</a>.</p> <hr /> <p>These women are shining examples of what it means to create practical solutions, to initiate important conversations and showcase new<br />perspectives. By pushing the limits and asking tough questions, their work and their missions are an inspiration and offer an optimistic window into the future.</p> <p>Technology can be a powerful agent of change and vehicle for progress, and as our trailblazers highlight – it’s about making sure that<br />technology is representative of our world, free from bias, inclusive and diverse – so that we all reap the rewards, together.</p> <p><em>To see more posts like this, <a href="">please visit the campaign week landing page</a>.</em></p> Guest Blog: Trust will breathe life into the digital revolution Mon, 05 Mar 2018 17:14:58 +0000 Matthew Evans(techUK) Stephen Pattison, VP-Public Affairs at ARM writes about how to build trust in IoT <p><em>Stephen Pattison, VP Public Affairs Arm &amp;&nbsp;Chair of techUK’s IoT Council</em></p> <p>The coming digital world will be all about connectivity and data. Its goal will be the collection of lots of data from trillions of devices, right across an increasingly intricate web of connections.</p> <p>And, once the data has been used to provide new insights, that same complex network of communications will be used again to disseminate the insights, and to help improve the ways things are done.</p> <p>Without data and connectivity, IoT is still born.</p> <p>But this image of a vast web of connections pulsating with data, contains risks as well as rewards.</p> <p>And just as we are on the threshold of the new digital world, the current digital world is facing a growing crisis of trust and responsibility.</p> <p>At the root of this is the fear that the digital world, instead of empowering us, will do the opposite: it will make us feel less secure, more vulnerable.</p> <p>The threats are real: some derive from the structure of the web itself, which makes it possible for far away hackers to poke around the network looking for opportunities to steal our data and our identities; or for bad actors to paralyse key infrastructure by taking over our IoT devices and using them to bombard other sites.</p> <p>The way to protect against these threats is to drive up the general level of digital security, to make life harder for the bad guys.</p> <p>The market left to its own devices may do some of this for us. Products are becoming more secure and security is increasingly becoming a major driver of innovation in the tech sector.</p> <p>But the market might not deliver all of what we need, unless customers become more demanding.</p> <p>And there is the problem. Customers don’t know what to demand. There are no universally recognised kite marks in this area. The capability of bad guys improves all the time. Security, generally, costs a bit extra.</p> <p>And in some cases customers might not have a strong interest in paying for the best level of security. They might, for example, happily pay to protect their own data, but be less forthcoming about paying to stop their devices being used in a denial of service attack against others, a bank, or an energy company.</p> <p>So Governments, industry and civil society need to come together to tackle the key problem: how to drive up the general demand for good IoT security?</p> <p>Industry has already done the groundwork in this area. There is broad agreement around <a href="insights/news/item/10031-iot-trust-principles">core principles</a>, and key technologies.</p> <p>But to ensure that this gets into the demand side, there is an important role for industry and Governments to work together to create greater public awareness of what needs to be done, of what to look for in an IoT device. We need to embed in the public consciousness the fundamental principles like no default passwords, proper authentication, and the need for clarity about provision of over the air upgrades. You wouldn’t buy a car without checking the brakes, looking at the mileage, and peering under the hood. We need to get somewhere similar with IoT security.</p> <p>techUK's IoT Council welcomes the steps Government is working on in this area and stands willing to help drive this campaign alongside them.</p> <p><em>This blog is part of a series of guest blogs on consumer facing IoT. <a href="">Read techUK's response to Government's Secure by Design announcement here</a>.</em></p> <p><em>For more information on techUK's work on securing the IoT please contact:</em></p> <p>Contact: <a href=""></a></p> <p>Contact: <a href=""></a></p> #PressforProgress: Carving a Path One Step at a Time Mon, 05 Mar 2018 15:00:00 +0000 Rebecca Francis(techUK) Guest blog: Amanda Cooper from Thales UK for techUK's International Women's Day campaign week, imparting career advice for women looking to get into STEM careers. <p>Some years ago when I failed one of my three critical university-entry A-levels I really didn’t think I’d end up writing a blog about how to have a successful career.</p> <p><img src="images/assets/Amanda_Cooper_v4_2_002.jpg" alt="Amanda Cooper v4 2 002" width="281" height="283" style="float: left;" />I’d originally planned to take a Maths and Computing degree at university. I had no idea what my final career would be, but I loved STEM subjects and was good at them, so I just knew I wanted to work with computers somehow. When I opened my A-Level results to find I’d failed A-Level Further Maths it was a complete shock and it felt like the end of the world. I threw myself into a pit of despair, gave up on uni and headed to the local Careers Office to find out what local courses or jobs I might be suitable for. I was convinced that my career was ruined before it even started!</p> <p>Luckily for me the local college was running a Software Engineering Higher National Diploma apprenticeship in partnership with a large technology company. Like most people I assumed engineering involved some sort of overalls but was assured that it really was about software development and would lead to a rewarding career developing exciting bits of high tech kit! But what about the apprenticeship bit? My image of apprenticeships involved more vocational jobs...”are you sure I won’t be wearing overalls..?”</p> <p>Almost three decades later I am a huge advocate for both women engineers and apprenticeships – I learnt my profession on the job, earning money and being supported both academically and professionally. I had no student debt to pay off (in fact I’d bought a car with my earnings), I passed my HND with a Distinction and was offered a very good job with my sponsor company. I didn’t have to go through the daunting step of finding a job without having any work experience.</p> <p>My next hurdle was how to advance my career. What job did I want to hold in 20 years..? 10 years..? 5 years..? I had no idea. I enjoyed being a Software Engineer and worked on some incredibly exciting projects but didn’t know how to progress. In the end I found that my career developed one role at a time. One day my Software Project Manager called me into her office and said she thought I should try leading a team of engineers. What a terrifying thought! But she told me she knew I’d be good at it, and if it didn’t work out I could return to my old job. Little did she realise the confidence-monster she’d create..!</p> <p>Once I understood that I could succeed at a job with more responsibility each career step was just that – a step. I went into each position knowing probably less than 50% of the stuff needed for that role, but I’ve always been a quick learner and I enjoyed the challenge. I realised that no-one expected me to know everything on day 1 – that was a revelation! It’s easy to be intimidated by a job, but when you look around at the people already doing similar roles you realise they’re just as human as you are. They also had to learn the job and develop themselves.</p> <p>After that I put myself forward for roles, and even suggested that new ones could be created where I saw I could make a difference. These days I’m Head of Supply Chain Interfaces for Thales UK and the girl that failed to get into university never would have dreamed that she would go on to hold a UK-level position for such a large international company. So never be intimidated by what the future holds – just take it one step at a time</p> <p><em>To see more posts like this, <a href="">please visit the campaign week landing page</a>.</em></p> #PressforProgress: Be Bold and Ban ‘Impossible’ From Your Vocabulary Mon, 05 Mar 2018 09:30:00 +0000 Rebecca Francis(techUK) Guest blog: Sheila Flavell, FDM Group Chief Operating Officer, shares some careers advice for women aspiring to a career in technology for International Women's Day <p><img src="images/assets/Sheila_Flavell_photo.jpg" alt="Sheila Flavell photo" width="304" height="444" style="margin: 5px; float: left;" /></p> <p>Today, we’re continuing to press for progress in tech by trying to increase the numbers of women entering technology careers. It’s a profession that is open to all ages and with many different routes to success, including apprenticeships, degrees, careers programmes, and opportunities for those who want to return to the workplace after a career break.</p> <p>One thing that I am keen to highlight is that you don’t necessarily need a background or degree in science, engineering, maths or computer science to break into technology. If you talk to many of the successful women who are role models today, you will find that many “fell” into a career in IT. So, don’t think that because you don’t have a degree in computer science that you can’t succeed – you can, and here is some advice to help you get started.</p> <p>Firstly, follow your interests and do some research to find a network to support you as you develop a deeper understanding of what might be possible. It’s also worth attending networking events where you can meet inspiring people and find a role model who inspires you and from whom you can learn. Look for someone who is in the field you’re interested in, is positive, calm, confident in themselves, hardworking, who demonstrates leadership and strives for bigger and better things. You can learn a lot from them.</p> <p>Learning is something that you should do throughout your career – never cease to be curious. IT is great for this because it is constantly changing and evolving. You will never stop learning and this in turn will give you confidence. The more knowledgeable you are, the more confident you become.</p> <p>Find mentors who can guide you. They may be people in your network or fellow employees at work. Identify what you want to achieve and remember that you can have more than one mentor depending what you want to learn from each of them. Alongside mentors, find someone in the company who will sponsor you; this will help you build your profile as you progress and take on new challenges.</p> <p>Taking on new challenges is an opportunity to learn and develop, so stretch yourself by stepping out of your comfort zone. Be bold and ban the word ‘impossible’ from your vocabulary – when an opportunity presents itself, be the first to put your hand up and volunteer. You will gain a great deal of new experience by doing this, all of which will be invaluable to your development and career. Don’t worry about mistakes, we all make them. There are several important things to do when you make a mistake. Own up to it and concentrate on finding a solution. After you’ve solved the problem, you should take time to reflect and learn from the mistake and then move on. Without mistakes, you can’t have success. Finally, embrace everything you do and do it with exuberance and willingness.</p> <p>So, on International Women’s Day, join us and press for change and help make technology more diverse. Together, let’s aim for the sky.</p> <p><em>FDM is a proud sponsor of <a href="annual-dinner">techUK’s Annual Dinner 2018</a>.</em></p> <p><em>To see more posts like this, <a href="">please visit the campaign week landing page</a>.</em></p> Enterprise Ethereum Alliance London Meetup at techUK Fri, 02 Mar 2018 09:00:00 +0000 Lucas Banach (techUK) Joseph Lubin, Co-Founder of Ethereum, speaks at techUK about inclusive Blockchain Networks and Ethereum Enterprise use-cases. <p>On Thursday last week, techUK along with <a href="" target="_blank"></a> hosted the <a href="" target="_blank">Enterprise Ethereum Alliance London</a> Meetup for a presentation and Q&amp;A with Joseph Lubin, co-founder of the <a href="" target="_blank">Ethereum</a> Blockchain project and, more recently, founder and CEO of <a href="" target="_blank">ConsenSys</a>. Ethereum is the second-largest Blockchain platform after Bitcoin. Ethereum’s distributed computing platform has opened Blockchain-based Distributed Ledger Technology to a multitude of use-cases beyond pure digital currency such as smart contracts and decentralised applications that are built on top of it. ConsenSys began as a blockchain production studio building decentralized applications and has also built core infrastructure elements for Ethereum. The <a href="" target="_blank">Enterprise Ethereum Alliance</a> itself is an ecosystem initiative that connects Fortune 500 enterprises, startups, academics, and technology vendors with Ethereum subject matter experts.<img src="images/assets/Julian.jpg" alt="Julian" width="161" height="215" style="float: right;" /></p> <p>The evening was opened by techUK Chief Executive Julian David who greeted the packed auditorium at techUK. In his subsequent presentation, Lubin emphasised how Blockchain technology allows us to move from the current, sub-optimal infrastructural fundamental layer of today’s internet that is corruptible and suffers from ‘walled gardens’ across different infrastructures to a more trustable foundation based on Blockchain. The immediate benefit of incorporating Blockchain technology into the core infrastructure stacks will be a more trustworthy, open and fluid system with significantly higher levels of transparency and auditability for all involved parties. In practice, this means that in a world where all elements are recorded on Blockchains and are therefore natively digital, processes such as clearing and settlement and many other forms of value-transfer, currently slow and costly, can happen almost in an instant. The amount of friction that validation through third-party actors brings can be massively reduced which allows for exponential economic value creation.&nbsp;</p> <p>Joseph Lubin went on to highlight how we will be operating these new networks through identity. For that purpose, ConsenSys has developed a self-sovereign, blockchain-based identity system that allows users to selectively disclose their identity for single sign-ons, KYC and otherapplications as needed.</p> <p><img src="images/assets/Joseph2.jpg" alt="Joseph2" width="175" height="234" style="float: left;" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;">The presentation was followed by a comprehensive Q&amp;A in which questions about enterprise use-cases and the concern that enterprises will create closed rather than open Blockchain ecosystems were raised. To that, Lubin presented the image of a company as a micro cosmos of an economy. Via the blockchain, enterprises can give employees access to certain features of this economy, but they can also extend access to customers, suppliers, vendors and other stakeholders. Blockchain allows enterprises to create secure, collaborative systems in which their IT interacts with and authorises every interaction internally and externally which means that even though enterprises are able to create closed systems, the benefits of incorporating their multitude of external stakeholders into it far outweigh the benefits of a fully-private, closed wall IT system as it already exists today. In line with that, Lubin expects that interoperability systems that can connect different Blockchains to each other will be a major factor in the Blockchain space for 2018.</p> <p>The Event was rounded up by short discussions of the various Enterprise Ethereum Alliance working group reports and was closed with a <img src="images/assets/Lex.jpg" alt="Lex" width="211" height="159" style="float: right;" />presentation by Lex Sokolin on the macro outlook for Initial Coin Offering (ICO) fundraisers. Lex, a futurist, entrepreneur and partner at Fintech Research Firm <a href="" target="_blank">Autonomous Research</a>, discussed how the ICO fundraising boom has continued to gather speed since the beginning of 2018. He went on to present numbers on funds and institutional investors entering the cryptocurrency market and left the audience with much to think about with regard to how much more room the space may have for growth.</p> <p>The event was kindly sponsored by <a href="" target="_blank">Clearmatics</a>, who provide next-generation clearing and settlement blockchain technology for financial OTC markets. It was organised by Enterprise Ethereum Alliance London Meetup organisers Conor Svensson of <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, who provide the foundations for companies to work with blockchain technology and Oleg Giberstein of <a href="" target="_blank">Coinrule</a>,&nbsp;which is a cryptocurrency trading facilitation tool.</p> How Can Blockchain Help Solve the NHS Crisis? Fri, 02 Mar 2018 09:00:00 +0000 Kate Francis(techUK) Guest blog by Helen Disney, Founder & CEO, Unblocked Events, as part of our #ReadyforWinter Campaign Week <p>Every winter the NHS is in crisis – in fact, you could argue that the NHS is constantly in crisis; the situation simply becomes more acute in winter due to higher demands on the system. In a nutshell, this problem happens because the ongoing and rising demand for healthcare is greater than our system’s ability to provide it.</p> <p>Growing demands on the NHS come from a myriad of sources: Europe currently is undergoing a demographic shift towards fewer babies being born and we also have a greater proportion of elderly people with more complex health needs; advances in healthcare also mean we expect access to the latest (often very expensive) medicines and treatments and yet, at the same time, public budgets in Europe are being squeezed by austerity measures. Meanwhile, medical professionals are dissatisfied with their working conditions, patients feel powerless to get their needs met and unable to effect change and the overall effect is a lot of suffering – despite the very best intentions of our free-at-the-point of entry system.</p> <p>So what can technologies like blockchain do to help? The NHS’s problems include not just the structural changes already described but also old-fashioned and inefficient processes which stem in part from the lack of long-term financial investment in the system and the slow-moving process of top-down political decision-making. Typical problems faced by doctors and patients alike include excess paperwork and bureaucracy; frequently lost test results; lack of interoperability between different parts of the system; the burden of compliance with regulation; and perhaps most importantly, not much empowerment or agency for patients when things don’t work.</p> <p>The properties of blockchain technology make it well suited to fixing some of these challenges. Put simply, a blockchain is just a way of securely keeping track - in chronological order - of all the transactions happening on a decentralised network. This network may be distributed in multiple places – for example, in different parts of the health system like GP surgeries, hospitals or clinics – yet all the people involved in the network can see the same information at the same time. Participants all have access to an identical, shared history of events that cannot subsequently be changed.</p> <p>Imagine what impact this could have on healthcare. Blockchain is already beginning to bring in significant changes to healthcare systems around the world. In the US, it is being used to speed up compliance with healthcare regulations like HIPAA. Further afield, companies like Iryo are using it to provide healthcare IDs to refugees and migrants who would otherwise not have any way to keep track of their own history of health treatment.</p> <p>Blockchain can do this because it creates a kind of 'trust layer' where government service providers and citizens can interact more directly and keep track of the status of key activities. One example could be tracking medical test results so they can be shared in real time or sharing medical data between professionals for research purposes. Blockchain could also help with workforce issues like not having to keep re-doing compliance documentation for staff. A huge amount of time and resources are wasted by HR departments on compiling documentation for short-term staff who then move on after a few months in the job. These cost savings alone could be huge.</p> <p>Other blockchain-based services may help keep patients out of hospital in the first place by allowing them to upload their personal health data from wearable devices so that, for example, a diabetic patient could keep in touch with their doctor to monitor blood sugar levels and modify lifestyles accordingly.</p> <p>The era of blockchain in healthcare is just beginning and it is certainly not a universal panacea for all the NHS’s ills but the technology already offers the potential for huge changes in the way we organise and look at healthcare.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #ReadyforWinter</em></p> <p><em>To see more blogs like this, please visit the <a href="" target="_blank">Campaign Week landing page</a></em></p> How can technology ease problems of workforce planning in healthcare? Fri, 02 Mar 2018 09:00:00 +0000 Kate Francis(techUK) Guest blog by Vanessa Walmsley, Managing Director, Qmatic UK, as part of our #ReadyforWinter Campaign Week <p><strong>The workforce challenge: How can technology ease problems of workforce planning in healthcare?</strong></p> <p>The NHS is facing multiple challenges when it comes to adopting a systematic and measured approach to effective workforce planning – not least well publicised warnings on <a href="" target="_blank">skilled staff shortages</a>, the pressure to use dwindling budgets effectively and<a href="" target="_blank"> increased waiting times</a> for routine operations. Healthcare is being expected to do more with less, while maintaining access for all to care services, all while retaining an engaged workforce, whose skills are being used in the most cost effective and time efficient manner.</p> <p>It is increasingly accepted that in order to maintain service levels, the adoption of technology is crucial. Digital transformation of public services and channel shift towards less costly, more convenient options like online and mobile are key trends. This includes improving workforce planning with the use of technology and ensuring that the patient is at the heart of improvements.</p> <p>Healthcare organisations are immensely complex, offering a huge number of services, so they need to ensure that patients move through their facilities seamlessly and efficiently. Across the patient journey, every detail matters.</p> <p><strong>Appointment booking and management</strong></p> <p>Effective use of technology at this stage immediately offers operational benefits, and can determine the quality of the overall experience. Digitally speaking, online and mobile appointment booking bridges the virtual and physical world by empowering patients to manage their own journey. Mobile in particular has upped every expectation related to personalisation, control, speed, and efficiency, both in the private and public sectors.</p> <p>Digital appointment management will reduce pressure on reception staff and patients now expect to book their appointment online and remain informed via emails or texts leading up to the visit. This is also crucial for improving rates of appointment attendance – and reducing any additional strain on staff and the physical healthcare environment in general.</p> <p><strong>Checking in and keeping informed</strong></p> <p>Technology can also help enhance the patient journey at the arrival and check-in stage. While the majority of NHS trusts operate a manned desk with a receptionist, this works less well when demand is high. In addition, patients may have to visit multiple reception desks in different departments, further increasing friction within the journey and putting additional strain on staff.</p> <p>Connected self-service kiosks can help staff better understand where their patients are, as well as collect relevant data to help allocate relevant resources at the right time – and inform future decisions with business intelligence. According to a recent FOI request by Qmatic, there is currently low adoption of patient journey management technology, with just 21% of trusts using self-service kiosks, and 14% using queue management displays. This technology can play a crucial role in making sure that patients are guided to their appointment effectively, and that clinicians and managers at the trust know the status and location of their patients.</p> <p><strong>The use of data and BI</strong></p> <p>Data is a crucial component of effective workforce planning in healthcare. By integrating business intelligence capabilities, departments can glean data, analytics and actionable insights.</p> <p>Data can give staff the opportunity to fill gaps in the patient journey, identify quality of care issues, highlight training needs, and identify factors important to the overall wellbeing of patients. Departments can also shape more personalised patient-staff interactions, as well as aid in operational strategy like staffing and meeting demand, and management of resources such as room availability.</p> <p><strong>Happy staff = happy patients</strong></p> <p>Ultimately, better workforce planning means happier, more engaged staff, which in turn means a smooth and efficient patient experience. Overall this has a positive impact on the whole level of care throughout the patient journey. By removing those common areas of friction – from appointment booking through to an informed and engaging wait time – staff are able to better manage the flow of patients and combat some of the workforce challenges facing healthcare today.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #ReadyforWinter</em></p> <p><em>To see more blogs like this, please visit the <a href="" target="_blank">Campaign Week landing page</a></em></p> How can technology ease problems of recruitment and workforce planning? Fri, 02 Mar 2018 09:00:00 +0000 Kate Francis(techUK) Guest blog by Ricardo Gil Santos, Manager, Healthcare Business Consultant, Glintt, as part of our #ReadyforWinter Campaign Week <p><strong>The workforce challenge: How can technology ease problems of recruitment and workforce planning?</strong></p> <p>In the middle of the winter crisis of 2016, the Portuguese government introduces some changes to the labour legislation. One of these changes was a cut in nurses’ contracted hours, reducing them from 40 to 35 hours per week. This had a huge impact on hospitals’ productivity, particularly surgical departments, considering the limitations of NHS hospitals to recruit in a timely manner.</p> <p>One of the many institutions affected by this change embraced the challenge as an opportunity to reassess its operational model and brought in Glintt for support. The goal was to identify a solution that would i) minimize the impact on the total number of surgeries performed throughout the year, ii) at a minimum extra cost, iii) while keeping the patients’ waiting times within the defined intervals for each pathology and priority level.</p> <p>The first step was to identify bottlenecks and to define a comprehensive and assertive problem framing. An analytics-based diagnose collected and run historical data from ten different Information Systems concerning: HR planning and scheduling of all different staff, surgery demand per specialty, surgical production and teams, and income per surgery. All this data was analysed in light of information gathered from interviews with clinical directors, for context.</p> <p>Technology enabled advanced analytics techniques to unveil patterns in demand per specialty, to estimate the duration of each individual surgery in the waiting list, to identify the required surgeons’ skills, and to predict the extra costs with staff <a href="" target="_blank">(see details here)</a>.</p> <p>This phase revealed that, given the master surgery scheduling in place, the bottleneck would actually depend on the specialty. For some specialties it was the nurses’ hours, while for others it was operation room capacity. In fact, the total number of nursing hours was balanced with the total number of hours needed. It was the skills matrix of the nurse team that required adjustment.</p> <p>Crossing cluster techniques applied to the historical data of the nurse teams in each surgery with the information collected during interviews with the nursing director, enabled the identification of which teams should be modified to balance the required nursing hours per specialty.</p> <p>In order to propose new scenarios for the master surgery scheduling with the 35 hours per week limitation, it was necessary to run simulations with different constraints and objective functions. For example, it was very important to simulate the staff’s extra hours payment the new plan would generate and the production needed. Besides the financial perspective on this topic, the hospital was also very conscious that whether it was dealt with fairness of not, it would have a huge impact on staff retention and motivation.</p> <p>In the end, technology enabled the hospital to find the best available solution to the complex multi-skill, multi-period problem that is human resources planning and scheduling. The problem which started intuitively as a recruitment need was clarified and a new master surgery scheduling was implemented. Technology was key to achieve a balanced solution that</p> <p>included operational, financial, compliance and human resources perspectives and ensured the best available trade-off between:</p> <p>i) minimising the required extra hours to meet contracted production,</p> <p>ii) meeting waiting times and priorities for each pathology,</p> <p>iii) balancing the waiting lists among specialties,</p> <p>iv) adjusting extra hours and income per team.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #ReadyforWinter</em></p> <p><em>To see more blogs like this, please visit the <a href="" target="_blank">Campaign Week landing page</a></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Winter Crisis – Let the System Flow Thu, 01 Mar 2018 09:00:00 +0000 Kate Francis(techUK) Guest blog by Julia Ross, Chief Strategist Care and Health, PredictX, and member of techUK’s Health and Social Care Council, as part of our #ReadyforWinter Campaign Week <p>This year’s winter crisis in the NHS generated the eternal stories and anecdotes. But worse, this year clinicians complained of patients dying in the hospital corridors and unusually high bed occupancy. This may have been a reporting issue. While occupancy rates have never been higher, the overnight bed numbers have fallen some 10% since 2010. The data is complex and demands much closer scrutiny across the whole system, including nursing and residential home beds.</p> <p>Any declining performance in the NHS and social care is likely to be partly at least a consequence of rising demand for care from a growing and ageing population. Despite that there are signs of progress. The September 2017 target was missed by both the NHS and social care, but the rapid recent growth in delayed transfers was reversed – thanks to more money or to better integrated working ? The extra funding appears to have had an impact on reducing the Delayed Transfer of Care (Older people stuck in hospital beds for social care reasons). The small drop in the social care numbers from 52,783 in November to 49, 227 in December 2017, was particularly laudable as hospital admissions were 3% higher in December 2017 than in the previous period last year.</p> <p>There is, however, very little evidence on the impact of cause and effect. There is also still no explanation of why some areas do better than others for no discernible reason. One reason could be the differentiation between health and social care spend. Although there is plenty of data, there is very little which gives an analytical insight into the whole picture and even less on how patients flow through the whole health and social care system. A recent CQC report on Local Area Reviews in December 2017 examined local areas and said “Focusing on (DTOC) in isolation will not resolve the problems local systems are facing.” This seems sensible.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">The Kings Fund</a> proposes three clear priorities about what needs to be done to ensure that this winter’s crisis does not recur next year. They are not new. The first is to commit to a long term plan on funding and staffing. Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has already suggested a ten year forward view instead of the current five years. We can expect action on that shortly. The fact that he has renamed The Department of Health to The Department of Health and Social Care is seen as hopeful to some, perhaps a sign that a more integrated approach may be on the way. The second priority is to redouble efforts to improve productivity and efficiency. The Carter Review concentrated on the acute sector and Getting it Right First Time (GIRFT) has made considerable progress on reducing variation, but without better data its hard to see what more can be achieved. The third priority gives cause for fresh optimism - to expand the work to reform the NHS by giving greater emphasis on prevention, population health and to the integration of care.</p> <p>All three priorities need better integrated and analytical data to understand the past, future and present. You can’t understand without counting and scouring the data. The irony is that the data is all there. The NHS and indeed social care is rich in data. It’s a relatively simple – and utterly necessary - to pull all that data together and use predictive analytics to look ahead.</p> <p>Understanding the complex inter-relationships of changes in the weather, sick people, provision of health and social care services locally, the number of beds and occupancy rates all together in one view is essential. New software makes it possible to look at whole health populations and include many of the risk factors. Air pollution for example is a crucial area to focus on both for older people and for the very vulnerable young. Combining data on air pollution together with long term conditions, data on care pathways and emergency admissions to hospital would be bread and butter to industry and retail. Why does it seem so difficult to apply the same principles to health and care?</p> <p>The new NHS England ACS and STP Innovation Partner Framework due to be launched early this year could make a significant difference. As a One Stop Shop approach across health and social care for ACS and STPs, it needs to go hand in hand with innovations in digital, predictive analytics and other technologies to achieve real sustainable change. TechUk has been working with NHS England and others to bring about a new understanding of how to make better use of the complex digital, data and technology essentials in the new Framework.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #ReadyforWinter</em></p> <p><em>To see more blogs like this, please visit the <a href="" target="_blank">Campaign Week landing page</a></em></p> Breaking Down Silos and the Bed-blocking Challenge Thu, 01 Mar 2018 09:00:00 +0000 Kate Francis(techUK) Guest blog by Marta Franco, Population Health Consultant, Cerner UK, as part of our #ReadyforWinter Campaign Week <p>Providing safe, quality care and a positive patient experience are ongoing challenges, compounded by demand, staff availability and constricted budgets.</p> <p>To prevent hospitals from delivering fragmented care, clinical services need to be patient-centric and connected to operate seamlessly throughout the patient’s journey. When these complex processes are managed in operational silos, without visibility across the whole enterprise, hospitals are more likely to lack care coordination – leading to ongoing bed-blocking and poor flow.</p> <p>Here at Cerner, we know that technology can help break down some of these silos that exist in hospitals and address workforce, bed management (patient flow), patient tracking and care coordination. Our vision, shared by many organisations in the NHS and around the world, means working in a more integrated model to allow hospitals to deliver the right care for their patients, by the right caregiver, at the right time and in the right place.</p> <p><strong>Centrally managing throughput and length of stay</strong></p> <p>Keeping visibility of current demand and bed availability, as well as tracking patients using technology and operational dashboards, are essential tenets of efficiency. They enable hospitals to predict demand peaks and capacity issues and make necessary adjustments.</p> <p>Having complete real-time visibility of capacity and bed status at enterprise level results in an optimal patient experience and safer clinical decisions. Connecting clinical, patient and staff skill information, coupled with the right technology, allows hospitals to compare expected versus actual clinical progress for each patient, from admission to discharge, predict each patient’s length of stay, and identify potential blockages to patient flow.</p> <p><strong>Clinically driven decision making = better staffing decisions</strong></p> <p>Turning clinically driven data into an informed workforce management decision has huge potential to improve safety and efficiency. Rather than assuming all patients require equal care, organisations must leverage nursing and clinical documentation from an integrated electronic health record (EHR) or clinical systems to paint a picture of each individual’s care needs. Only then can patients truly receive the appropriate care based on their current acuity level and dependency. The most effective staffing and operational decisions will be those based on the real-time evidence from the EHR, supported by intelligent predictive algorithms to highlight patient need, and upcoming pressures.</p> <p><strong>Real-time location services</strong></p> <p>Visibility of real-time location information enables staff to react quickly to deliver safer and streamlined care. Tracking a disorientated patient with dementia, for example, who has left their room will trigger alerts that can help staff act quickly to prevent adverse events. Similarly, quickly locating portable equipment when needed in emergencies – and eliminating ‘safari’ rounds – means more time to care, and helps address challenges with patient flow and workflow inefficiencies.</p> <p><strong>The complete picture</strong></p> <p>One method to address the challenge within the acute setting is through a centralised operation hub approach – designed to optimise patient flow and staffing, and to help organisations make better decisions for their patients and drive process efficiency. The visibility that this hub can offer helps the hospital to make faster decisions about where to move their patients to the next level of care, increasing efficiency and patient flow. Most importantly, as it is intrinsically linked to clinical data, the EHR and other systems, it supports safety as well as operational efficiency.</p> <p><img src="images/assets/Cerner_Logistics_Centre.png" alt="Cerner Logistics Centre" /></p> <p>While this hub can assist within the four walls of the acute, only when the information across the entire health and care system is integrated can the bed-blocking challenge be really met.</p> <p>Integrated technology and connected information is already enabling health and care systems to manage patients’ wellness and operations across the whole health continuum and activate patients as members of their care team. Health information exchange is helping inform decisions at the point of care across the system, while an intelligent population health management platform can connect data from hospitals, GP practices, community, mental health services, social care and many others into one integrated, longitudinal care record for each member of the population, helping reduce inbound pressure, avoidable readmissions and bottlenecks - ultimately to stop ‘people’ becoming ‘patients’ in the first place.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #ReadyforWinter</em></p> <p><em>To see more blogs like this, please visit the <a href="" target="_blank">Campaign Week landing page</a></em></p> Evolution of Care Co-ordination Opens Up New Possibilities in Pop Health Mgmt Thu, 01 Mar 2018 09:00:00 +0000 Kate Francis(techUK) Guest blog by David Lee, Medical Director, Healthcare, UK and Ireland, DXC, as part of our #ReadyforWinter Campaign Week <p><strong>The evolution of care co-ordination opens up new possibilities in population health management</strong></p> <p>Back in the “good old, bad old days,” household shopping consisted of a series of visits to high street shops.</p> <p>We bought vegetables from the greengrocer, went to the butcher for meat, the grocery store for eggs, sugar and jam. The newsagent sold papers and magazines, the florist sold flowers. Then came supermarkets, with all products under one roof, paid for at a single checkout. The supermarkets started to collect data about our buying habits and used this to create more customer-intimate approaches to shopping, alongside much better business planning.</p> <p>In the latest retail iteration, we have seen the rise of the platform with a wide range of products purchased online and delivered within a short timescale. Platform players have a relationship with the customer and have such a solid core business that they can innovate with new services. They can use platforms to drive advanced analytic approaches.</p> <p>So why take a trip down memory lane? Simply put, the high street shopping model of days gone by represents a metaphor for the way in which health and social services work with respect to records and health data. We use a range of health and social care providers, each of whom documents our attendance, but there is a risk that essential information from one setting may not be available in another. The greengrocer, not realising we just bought eggs, throws the potatoes into our bag on top of them!</p> <p>Even where there have been linkages between systems to create an integrated record view, the visible record lacks any overall system-wide care plan. We are moving slowly towards a supermarket position, but the world is expecting the health and social care version of Amazon.</p> <p>Working with Trafford Clinical Commissioning Group, DXC Technology has established the Trafford Coordination Centre (TCC). This centre uses data feeds from GP, hospital and social care records to create an integrated health and social care record for patients -- along with an integrated dataset that can be analysed. Whilst there is a range of potential service offerings that can use this integrated data, DXC has focussed on delivering a care coordination service provided by a team of nurses and administrators based in a clinical call centre.</p> <p>The TCC makes use of a customer relationship management system (CRM), Microsoft Dynamics. This offers multichannel communication with customers and a platform that supports consistent, well-informed interactions and analytics. In Trafford, this has been specially configured to prompt, document and inform interactions with people whose care we are coordinating. These are, in the main, people identified as having a high risk of admission to hospital. This approach is already demonstrating potential admission-preventing interventions.</p> <p>The use of the CRM in Trafford was a “first of type” approach to underpin better coordination of care. DXC is so convinced of its potential benefits based upon our experience in Trafford that we acquired Tribridge, a US company with a formidable Microsoft Dynamics practice and a CRM product called Health360. The evolution of Health360, including lessons learned from Trafford, will enable the creation of truly integrated and actionable health and social care plans at a system level.</p> <p>This approach means that health and social care professionals can continue to use their preferred “systems of record” designed and refined for use within their workplaces and including mobile solutions for work in the community. They will, however, be able to ensure that relevant granular information is available within a system-wide care plan.</p> <p>Implementation of the Trafford model has had its challenges, mainly concerning stakeholder engagement and information governance rather than technical aspects. Working closely with the CCG, DXC has overcome these challenges and has the necessary expertise to support customers with respect to working with stakeholders, developing the required information governance and supporting the development of technology links.</p> <p>We are now seeing the availability of analysable, integrated data opening up new possibilities in population health management. An example of this would be an approach to diabetes that spans a continuum from prevention at a population level to management of multi-morbidity in which diabetes is a component. It has the potential to facilitate planning of education and leisure, improve primary care management, support people with high risk of developing the condition and offering intensive support to those who already have diabetes to minimise complications.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #ReadyforWinter</em></p> <p><em>To see more blogs like this, please visit the <a href="" target="_blank">Campaign Week landing page</a></em></p> Picture Perfect Thu, 01 Mar 2018 09:00:00 +0000 Kate Francis(techUK) Guest blog by David Howard, Conserus Sales Manager (NIMIS), Change Healthcare, as part of our #ReadyforWinter Campaign Week <p><strong>Sustainable NHS transformation will depend on unlocking quality and efficiency gains through the cross-site reporting of diagnostic imaging.</strong></p> <p>It is widely accepted that collaboration is fundamental to the sustainability and transformation of NHS services. This is particularly the case in radiology, where a paucity of radiologists and divergent geographical challenges mean cross-site collaboration and reporting will be essential for the future of diagnostic imaging services at some facilities.</p> <p>As NHS organisations struggle to recruit staff generally, radiologists and subspecialists are often not available or are remote from where images are acquired, leading trusts increasingly to use other healthcare professions to augment radiologist resources or outsource to the private sector, the latter at significant additional cost. This approach is not sustainable. One significant method to facilitate transformation is to enable cross-site reporting.</p> <p>The cross-site reporting of diagnostic images, whereby organisations can share resources and maximise capacity, is contingent upon having the appropriate technology infrastructure to support collaboration. Certainly, as care pathways move patients through a variety of provider settings, maintaining the old approach of storing diagnostic images in local silos will not drive the much-needed service improvements. However, despite common consensus on the need for change, progress has been slow, stifled by a common misconception that organisations need to rip out existing PACS and RIS. The reality is very different: NHS trusts have tangible, realistic and affordable options that can move them towards more collaborative models of working.</p> <p><strong>Pathways to progress</strong></p> <p>There are various routes that trusts can consider to facilitate cross-enterprise collaboration, with choice ultimately dependent on an organisation’s digital maturity. One option is for everyone to be on the same system. A good example of this is NIMIS in Ireland, where the country’s much-acclaimed Radiology QI programme is underpinned by an enterprise imaging solution that gives clinicians access to all the diagnostic studies carried out in the country, independent of their location. Cross-site (and home) reporting, and indeed collaborative resourcing, is an inherent capability in the solution.</p> <p>A second option, suitable for disparate PACS and RIS environments across a region, is to join those systems together with a technology such as XDS and use a ‘vendor neutral’ archive to house the data. This approach, which has proved particularly successful in Canada and to some extent in Europe, provides full access to images wherever you are and can therefore sustain cross-site reporting.</p> <p>Finally, a third option – best-suited to more mature digital environments – is to apply some automated logic to the first two approaches, adding an intelligent workflow layer that uses information gleaned from imaging data to drive work to the most appropriate radiologists. This approach – a truly holistic enterprise imaging solution – enables cross-site reporting, task prioritisation/assignment/escalation and resource optimisation.</p> <p><strong>The way forward</strong></p> <p>The best enterprise imaging solutions do not require trusts to replace their existing systems, but allow institutions to maximise the technology investments they have already made. The most effective are ‘standards-based’ and able to connect any PACS/RIS implemented across the NHS. This provides a basis for cross-site collaboration and reporting that can be enhanced with tools that support the intelligent management of workflow in radiology, including flexible workflow rules engines that integrate with heterogeneous system environments to consolidate interpretation and quality tasks. Moreover, they replace silos of information with enterprise visibility that enables organisations to collaborate, optimise resources and maximise IT investment</p> <p>In addition to productivity and efficiency gains, the enterprise approach is also a recognised means of driving quality. Holistic enterprise imaging systems not only promote peer review, their resource optimisation and prioritisation tools free up specialty radiologists to focus on their specialisms – improving quality and, in some cases, re-motivating disenchanted healthcare professionals.</p> <p>There is little doubt that cross-site reporting can play a significant role in driving service optimisation and transforming patient care. Collaboration will be key, but to achieve it an enterprise imaging strategy is essential. The most progressive organisations will be those that recognise the need and the opportunity – and engage a trusted transformation partner to deliver an imaging strategy that enables a shared vision.</p> <p>Can you picture perfect? We can. You could too.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #ReadyforWinter</em></p> <p><em>To see more blogs like this, please visit the <a href="" target="_blank">Campaign Week landing page</a></em></p> No Silver Bullet to the Winter Crisis, But Partnership Working and Tech Can Help Wed, 28 Feb 2018 09:00:00 +0000 Kate Francis(techUK) Guest blog by Aby Atiola, Digital Innovation Lead, OLM Group, as part of our #ReadyforWinter Campaign Week <p>There are many theories relating to why the 17/18 winter crisis has taken place, while the Aussie flu has exacerbated the situation it is not the underlying cause. Directors of Adult Social Care, alongside Health professionals were concerned about the strain on the NHS before winter started due to lack of funding and resources. Let’s be honest - the NHS and care sector are chronically underfunded, and this has been a major challenge and concern over the last few years. While a large part of the NHS and wider Care Sector do impressively well with the resources they have, other parts follow idiosyncratic processes that would not and do not exist in other industries. Under this financial stress, it is time for action, time to focus on practical transformation in areas that can be addressed rather than waiting for a single silver bullet (that does not exist).</p> <p><strong>Delayed Transfer of Care: Analysing the problem</strong></p> <p>Delayed transfers of care (DToC) is an issue that has been in the public spotlight as of late. It wastes valuable NHS resources and when you look into the factors that cause DToC you can understand why as it is a complex area. Proactive Local Authorities and Health teams can look to combat the issue through identifying its causes and addressing them. Between Nov 2016 and Nov 2017, 26% of DToC was caused by awaiting nursing home and residential care home placement or availability. This highlights one of the main causes and an area worthy of transformation. Hertfordshire County Council, Herts Care Provider Association and their Health Partners looked into how Hospital Discharge teams booked spaces and decided that this was an area that needed transformation.</p> <p>Choosing OLM as a software development partner, they set out on the journey to develop a digital solution to act as a for nursing and residential homes.</p> <p><strong>Modernising service delivery</strong></p> <p>The previous process was very manual and time-consuming. It involved calling around to all the care homes in the local area as they had no real-time information in which to find vacancies and book online. Teams were employed to call round to the homes and place individuals into the appropriate environment or ensure that care at home was arranged. This process could take hours and the knock-on effect for people, especially the elderly and most vulnerable was that they could be left in the hospital, when they were fit to leave.</p> <p>For each day that an elderly patient is kept in hospital, they lose 5% of their body strength. Leaving them in the hospital can lead to further complications and potential health issues. This is not person-centred care and can lead to additional infections or problems that can result in additional bed days being required. With the estimated cost of a bed in a hospital being £400 per day, any new steps that local authorities can take to ensure that people are in and out as soon as they are fit and healthy, is essential.</p> <p><strong>The problem will only get worse without action!</strong></p> <p>At the end of last year a BBC article suggested that by the end of 2018 up to 3,000 elderly people will be unable to get a bed in a care home. Why? Research conducted by the BBC’s You and Yours showed that in the past three years, one in every 20 UK care homes has closed. This is primarily due to unoccupied beds, which given the current problems associated with delayed transfers of care, points to problems relating to the process rather than there not being enough people requiring care.</p> <p>The process of looking for a vacancy is not only costing the NHS millions each year, it is also costing local authorities. By implementing solutions such as OLM’s BedFinder, councils have been able to make proven annual savings of up to £250,000 by making the best use out of the care home beds in their area.</p> <p><strong>Useful Links</strong></p> <p>Hertfordshire County Council Care Home Vacancy Public Search - <a href="" target="_blank"></a></p> <p>Powered by OLM’s BedFinder digital solution</p> <p><a href=""></a></p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #ReadyforWinter</em></p> <p><em>To see more blogs like this, please visit the <a href="" target="_blank">Campaign Week landing page</a></em></p> How Can Technology Assist with Patient Flow Management? Wed, 28 Feb 2018 09:00:00 +0000 Kate Francis(techUK) Guest blog by Célia Ribeiro, Health Innovation Manager, Glintt, as part of our #ReadyforWinter Campaign Week <p><strong>The bed-blocking challenge: How can technology assist with patient flow management?</strong></p> <p>The issue of delayed transfers of care, often described as "bed-blocking", is a major concern for NHS countrywide: the growing, ageing population stressing</p> <p>hospital resources and budget, increases the search for strategies that can improve both operational efficiency and patient experience.</p> <p>Delayed discharges have a huge negative impact on the quality of care and wellbeing of patients that have to endure greater length of stays, with increased risk of infectious contamination, loss of autonomy and high probability to end up as outliers, getting less specialised care.</p> <p>The negative impact escalates for patients in trolley waits in A&amp;E or for those that see their surgeries being canceled due to unavailability of beds: an estimated 50.000 surgeries were canceled in NHS hospitals this January (2018) due to flu spikes and bed shortages – unprecedented measures for the NHS. The effects in ward managers is by no means less harmful, resulting in huge costs for NHS: beginning of 2016 bed-blocking had an estimated yearly cost for NHS England of £900m; last year a rise of more than 40 per cent in bed-blocking was reported.</p> <p>The capacity of ward and OR managers to anticipate and plan discharges ahead, holds the key that can help reduce bed-blocking by optimising the use of resources such as beds and nursing hours, clinical information for each patient, and by supporting communication and operations intra hospital departments and inter care units.</p> <p>Hospitals cannot solve this issues by themselves as it is necessary to work in a network of continuous care with active policies to support patients in local communities through public and private health units.</p> <p>Here is where technology can play a key role, working as an interoperable platform connecting hospital units and social support agencies: on the one hand predicting discharges and possible earlier discharges and signaling situations that need attention.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #ReadyforWinter</em></p> <p><em>To see more blogs like this, please visit the <a href="" target="_blank">Campaign Week landing page</a></em></p> Valuing the Bed-blocking Challenge Wed, 28 Feb 2018 09:00:00 +0000 Kate Francis(techUK) Guest blog by Dr Leonard Anderson, CEO of Kemuri, as part of our #ReadyforWinter Campaign Week <p><img src="images/assets/DTOC_in_numbers.png" alt="DTOC in numbers" /></p> <p>The impact of bed-blocking is undeniable, whatever it is called, such excess bed days or delayed transfer of care (DToC) days. The chart shows the averages for in-patient days of frail and elderly patients.</p> <p>1. People who are relatively healthy can be returned to independent living, after an average stay of 12.3 days, with more than half for medical treatment</p> <p>2. People who are in poor health, or dehydrated owing to delayed admission, need a period of stabilisation before medical treatment, which may be longer than normal. Health outcomes are poorer and they may not be able to return to independent living. Finding care provision is a lengthy process and the average stay increases to 31.7 days, two and a half times longer.</p> <p>3. There’s a difference in cost for the extra 19.4 days is about £5000, but, most of all, valuable beds are lost that could be use for medical treatment.</p> <p>4. There’s value in improving the health and wellbeing of people living independently. Part of the solution is to use IoT technology that alerts risks to normal activities of daily living, such as moving around, eating, drinking, keeping warm and taking medication.</p> <p>5. techUK has a role in raising awareness of Technology Enabled Care (TEC) with social services, NHS, housing providers and the voluntary sector.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #ReadyforWinter</em></p> <p><em>To see more blogs like this, please visit the <a href="" target="_blank">Campaign Week landing page</a></em></p> Guest Blog: Fulfilling the Promise of the Digital Age Tue, 27 Feb 2018 17:02:34 +0000 Harri Turnbull(techUK) Seth Finegan from Informed Solutions reflects on the challenges and opportunities facing the tech industry in India. <h3>As the only British winner at the Global ICT Excellence Awards at last week’s World IT Congress, Seth Finegan from Informed Solutions reflects on the challenges and opportunities facing the tech industry.</h3> <p>It’s been over a decade since I was last in India and the pace of change has been phenomenal. Many cities are unrecognisable and have been on an incredible economic journey driven by technology.</p> <p><img src="images/assets/20180219_204309.jpg" alt="20180219 204309" width="1688" height="1827" /></p> <p>India is not alone in this respect, as disruptive change is sweeping across the world. In his opening address to the 22nd World IT Congress at Hyderabad, Prime Minister Narendra Modi acknowledged this, linking technological progress to the Indian philosophy of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbaka’, the Sanskrit phrase for ‘the world is one family’. It was hard to escape the sense of inter-connectedness and global opportunity that technology has become synonymous for.</p> <p>“Technology, if used well for public good,” added Modi, “can deliver lasting prosperity to mankind and a sustainable future for our planet.”</p> <p>Setting the tone for the next three days, the spirit of Modi’s vision was evident in many of the debates and subsequent discussion, which frequently looked at what we need to do to make sure technology is a force for good.</p> <p>As the sole British winner, we were very humbled and proud to pick up an award in WITSA’s Emerging Digital Solutions category, being rewarded for our digital transformation work with government. This includes delivering a digital democracy solution for England’s electoral boundary review and digital claims portals which make it easier and less stressful for innocent victims of violent crime and terrorism to receive compensation.</p> <p>Staying true to Modi’s vision of delivering for the public good, we want to ensure that technology is firmly established as a force for good by serving people not displacing them.</p> <p>This means ensuring that disruptive technologies like AI, automation, IoT and Robotics have a positive impact on society.</p> <p>More than ever, technology is on the brink of transforming society, particularly in areas such as health, wellbeing and the environment. But we will only realise the full benefits for people and communities if we’re mindful and diligent in its application.</p> <p>The fact this is a global challenge was made abundantly clear in Hyderabad this week. But it’s been extremely encouraging to see the UK, helped enormously by techUK, shape and lead this debate.</p> <p>Our Government is pushing forward on techUK’s recommendation to set up a Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation and this stands to give us a significant advantage in developing and guiding ethical innovation. With the Prime Minister committing to making the UK world leaders in AI, our global reputation for technology will undoubtedly help British companies take advantage of increased global trading opportunities.</p> <p>The Department of International Trade is also committed to this and they should be congratulated for organising a Northern Powerhouse India trade mission last week to coincide with the World IT Congress.</p> <p>India is poised to become the second largest market for IT by the end of the year and with IT spending about to jump dramatically due to a number of government initiatives, British technology could have a key role to play in meeting India’s ambitions as the world’s fastest growing G-7 economy.</p> <p>Back at the World IT Congress in Hyderabad, the debate continued on how technology can help solve 21st century problems. Sophia, the world’s first humanoid robot, who has been granted citizenship in Saudi Arabia, took to the stage and to polite applause told delegates that humans shouldn’t fear robots.</p> <p>Unfortunately there are many that still need to be convinced. And while we should not be afraid of the technological revolution, there are still more questions to be answered and more work to be done to ensure the enormous potential of disruptive change leaves no one behind.</p> Cold Comfort Tue, 27 Feb 2018 09:00:00 +0000 Kate Francis(techUK) Guest blog by Lawrence Christensen, Marketing and Consumer Director at Tunstall Healthcare, as part of our #ReadyforWinter Campaign Week <p><strong>Lawrence Christensen, Marketing and Consumer Director at Tunstall Healthcare examines the ways technology can help the NHS manage increased demand in the colder months.</strong></p> <p>The news continues to report on a NHS in crisis this winter, with ‘patients dying prematurely in corridors’ and hospital trusts declaring high states of alert. But why does the colder weather increase demand for health services and how can technology help?</p> <p><strong>Respiratory and cardiovascular problems</strong></p> <p>Conditions such as COPD or heart failure are often worse in cold weather; a third of all excess winter deaths were caused by respiratory disease in 2016/17 (Office for National Statistics, Excess winter mortality in England and Wales: 2016 to 2017). Remote monitoring of patients using Connected Health (also known as telehealth) systems can enable clinicians to identify indicators of exacerbations at an early stage, avoiding deterioration and the need for more complex intervention such as hospital admission. Patients with long term conditions record their vital signs at home on a regular basis, and any results outside of parameters set for them will raise an alert and a clinician will be notified. They can then give advice over the phone, or visit as required. Clinicians can also log in at any time to view patients’ results online, enabling them to identify trends and inform their decision making using objective data. Using remote monitoring in this has also been shown to reduce time spent travelling for both clinicians and patients, which is of even more benefit in adverse weather conditions.</p> <p><strong>Slips and falls</strong></p> <p>Falls are the largest cause of emergency hospital admissions for older people, with nearly 65,000 people aged 60+ in England, Wales, and NI experiencing a hip fracture in 2015. One third of these people died within 12 months (Later Life in the UK, Age UK, August 2017). The winter months can see an increase falls, particularly among older people, not just due to icy footpaths but hazards in the home such as ill-fitting slippers and tangled blankets. Using telecare systems which include pendants and fall detectors enable help to arrive quickly, minimising the consequences of falls. A ‘long lie’ after a fall can have complications including hypothermia and pneumonia, particularly in the winter months. Telecare can also help people to leave hospital as soon as they are clinically ready after a fall, by managing risks in the home 24 hours a day.</p> <p><strong>Cold homes</strong></p> <p>Around a million people in England aged 60 or over live in fuel poverty, and there is a strong relationship between poor insulation and heating of houses, low indoor temperature and excess winter deaths of older people (Later Life in the UK, Age UK, August 2017). Our Lifeline Vi home units feature an integral ambient temperature alarm which can raise an alert at the monitoring centre if the temperature in the home falls below a safe level. Tunstall’s monitoring centres offer proactive services, including calling vulnerable people to assess their wellbeing during periods of extreme weather, offering advice on keeping warm and well at home and signposting them to other services or benefits that may be able to help them, such as the winter fuel allowance.</p> <p>These are just a few examples of the ways technology can help relieve the pressures on health and social care during winter months, but the bigger opportunity is to use technology as a platform for more integrated and preventative services. So whilst of course the solutions described above can save lives, a more strategic approach has the potential to save many more and help the NHS get in better shape all year round.</p> <p>The recent cabinet reshuffle saw Jeremy Hunt’s job and department titles expanded to include social care as well as health, which seems to be a clear indication of the Government’s increased focus on more joined-up service delivery.</p> <p>I look forward to hearing more about this during 2018, and in the meantime we will continue to work across the health, housing and social care landscape to ensure digital technology is used to best effect to help deliver new, holistic models of care.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #ReadyforWinter</em></p> <p><em>To see more blogs like this, please visit the <a href="" target="_blank">Campaign Week landing page</a></em></p> Easing Relentless Demand by Empowering Patients With Their Data Tue, 27 Feb 2018 09:00:00 +0000 Kate Francis(techUK) Guest blog by @ Julian Ranger,, as part of our #ReadyforWinter Campaign Week <p>Winter weather and increases in germs have once again exacerbated the relentless pressure on our health services, stretching the NHS in many places to breaking point.</p> <p>Many NHS bosses and senior doctors have declared the crisis in 2017-8 the worst so far, with Dr Taj Hassan, the president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, telling the Guardian: “We are seeing conditions that people have not experienced in their working lives.”</p> <p>While these seasonal pressures cannot be engineered away, the healthcare sector is ripe for digital transformation to ease the burden and empower patients at the same time.</p> <p>The good news is that there is a step we can take today to help move towards greater uptake of digital health: patient centricity, putting patients in charge of their own health data.</p> <p>Patients are already, by definition, at the centre of their own healthcare, with relationships with all their health and social care providers, so making them the central point at which all of their important medical data is collected and held is the next logical step.</p> <p>Not only does this empower patients to take an active interest in their own health and self care, as the huge Open Notes study in the US found, but it also offers enormous savings potential on both time and costs, while increasing efficiency and improving outcomes.</p> <p>With patient centricity, the entire eco system can work directly with patients offering new and novel approaches. A simple relatively quick win would be medical professionals at every appointment or interaction gaining greater access to information direct from the patient.</p> <p>Another relatively simple example is health guidance and advice. Traditional health advice is impersonal and untargeted and it can be challenging to direct the user to the most appropriate service. Evidence has shown that targeted, bite-size advice is easier to comprehend and so more likely to be consumed. The ability to personalise relevant content is also important, and can be done across common interest groups, such as patients suffering from the same conditions.</p> <p>Crucially, the technology exists for all of the above and a number of simple steps could be taken today to enhance how we engage patients.</p> <p>Having empowered individuals with their data, there are a whole range of apps and services which can be layered on top to provide condition-specific care and advice. What’s more, with the individual owning and controlling their data, the requirements for local system and process changes are minimised as new services can be pushed directly to the patient.</p> <p>With diabetic retinopathy, for example, an app has been developed in Iceland which is enabling patients to take charge of their own health using a combination of their own health records and self reported data to better inform when they need to engage with healthcare services.</p> <p>This has huge potential to reduce the costs, and health service burden, of routine screening and diagnostics, as well as improving patient confidence that their condition is under control, an approach which could easily be applied to other areas of healthcare.</p> <p>Moving beyond this, in healthcare, as in every other sector, artificial intelligence (AI) is already showing promise, although there are many legitimate privacy concerns when it comes to personal data. In response to this, AI vendors are working to miniaturise the technology so it can be closer to users on their own devices. Coupled with’s private sharing capability, which allows an algorithm to run over relevant data locally without sharing “off device” and only return the result, not share the actual data, there is huge promise here too for the individual to drive maximum value from their data with complete privacy.</p> <p>As AI matures, we can expect it to have a great impact on public health and healthcare services. With a wealth of personal data at our fingertips, from health records to environmental data, as well as information from wearables and sensors, the question is not if digital health services will play an increasing role in prevention, early detection and diagnoses, but when.</p> <p>While much of this can seem like a distant future, the reality is that significant progress in patient centricity is already being made around the world. In Iceland, for example, citizens are able to access a downloadable copy of their health data for the first time, in a whole-country project powered by</p> <p>Similar work is also taking place in the US, with system suppliers publicly publishing citizen-facing APIs for data download. is supporting both Cerner and Epic, for example, to enable individuals to get their data and share it.</p> <p> expects to bring the same capabilities to the UK in the first half of 2018, and there will be exciting opportunities to get involved with this pioneering technology.</p> <p>The case for patient centricity is clear and compelling. The individual becomes the single source of accurate, up-to-date and comprehensive information about their health, while the healthcare industry benefits from enormous efficiency savings while delivering more personalised services.</p> <p>With the impending GDPR legislation giving greater rights to the individual when it comes to electronic access and data portability of their personal data, there is a unique opportunity for the healthcare sector to seize. Routinely giving data back to individuals also helps build stronger relationships and trust as well enabling innovation.</p> <p>By enabling routine access to data for individuals in an electronic format, using readily accessible technology such as APIs, we have the greatest chance of future-proofing health services for generations to come.</p> <p>Fundamentally, the digital world we live in makes true patient centricity not just a possibility but a golden opportunity. We look forward to changing the paradigm – working directly with patients and using technology to put them at the heart of everything we do.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #ReadyforWinter</em></p> <p><em>To see more blogs like this, please visit the <a href="" target="_blank">Campaign Week landing page</a></em></p> Wearables and Apps: How Can They Help? Tue, 27 Feb 2018 09:00:00 +0000 Kate Francis(techUK) Guest blog by Paul Hide, Director, Market Engagement and Membership, techUK, as part of our #ReadyforWinter Campaign Week <p><strong>Paul Hide from the Digital Device and Consumer Tech Programme at techUK discusses the UK tech firms developing innovative apps and wearables that can help solve the capacity and preventative issues in the winter crisis</strong></p> <p>A big theme throughout this week is the importance of prevention. The winter crisis is, somewhat crudely, in imbalance of supply and demand and if you can reduce demand this will go a long way to solving the crisis. This is where wearables and apps we all have access to can help. Roughly 8 million people have some form of wearable technology in the UK and with around 45 million smartphones in use, there is an incredible opportunity. The UK has a great suite of companies developing these apps and technologies, many of which were at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January that can deliver real health outcomes.</p> <p>CES is the world’s biggest tech trade show and it takes over Las Vegas for a week every year. The trend in recent years has been how non-tech sectors are increasingly positioning themselves as ‘tech’ and healthcare is one such sector. techUK, with support from the Department of International Trade, took a delegation out to CES and helped them gain millions in business and some major growth opportunities.</p> <p>All the major tech firms have developed or are developing healthcare offerings, but below we outline some exciting British companies making great wearable and smartphone-based products that can keep people out of hospital and alleviate pressure during times of increased pressure on the NHS.</p> <p><strong>Doppel</strong></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Doppel </a>make a wrist-worn device which uses psychological and neuroscientific methods to reduce stress. The device makes a silent vibration which feels like a calm heartbeat and seeks to create a natural, psychological effect to make people calmer and less stressed. Acute stress is a growing mental health issue and keeping people calm can help reduce anxiety or stress related GP visits or admissions.</p> <p><strong>DnaNudge</strong></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">DnaNudge </a>is a device, wristband and app that can take DNA samples, understand your DNA and how you metabolise certain foods. The app is linked to a database of manufactured foods and genetic info and informs you of your bodies’ ability to digest and metabolise food. This may not solve the winter crisis but shows how affordable biotechnology and devices work can be utilised to solve long term challenges preventing crises down the line.</p> <p><strong>Echo</strong></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Echo </a>is an NHS approved app that allows repeat prescriptions to be delivered to your door, meaning there is no requirement to visit the GP, which as above, frees up capacity during busy winter periods. All users need to do is show where they are registered, what they need (either through scanning existing barcodes or searching) and it will be posted out. The app also has built in reminders aiding medication compliance.</p> <p><strong>Vida</strong></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Vida </a>is an online app and service that links carers with specialized care professionals. So much of the winter crisis could be solved with improved social care outcomes and keeping people in their homes and what the app does is link specialised carers with patient’s needs (for example disabilities care patients have different requirements from dementia care. Currently the app only works in the south of England, but they plan on extending this.</p> <p><strong>PushDoctor</strong></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">PushDoctor </a>is an app that connects patients to fully qualified UK registered GPs and allows them to receive consultations, prescriptions and referrals. Patients can be seen in minutes and means many routine appointments can be done in no time at all and relieve pressure at traditional GP centres. It isn’t free (there is a choice of a one-off fee or subscription) so may seem to contradict the universal access principles of the NHS, but for some it’s a good option and could free up GP capacity in clinics for those who need it.</p> <p>These are only some of the British made apps and devices that can help the NHS at crunch points and we’re seeing huge uptake in health monitoring from the existing major tech firms. The challenge is how to drive adoption of these technologies and make health-tech more accessible and the norm.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #ReadyforWinter</em></p> <p><em>To see more blogs like this, please visit the <a href="" target="_blank">Campaign Week landing page</a></em></p> How Technology Can Reduce Pressure on Frontline Staff Mon, 26 Feb 2018 16:29:18 +0000 Ben Moody(techUK) Guest blog by Dr Charles Young, Chief Medical Officer, Capita Healthcare Decisions as part of our #ReadyforWinter Campaign Week <p>At times of winter crisis, there is plenty of soul-searching and theorising about how best to overcome the challenge. Now that health services are experiencing year-round pressure, the discussion and debate is never ending.</p> <p>When I first qualified as a doctor, I was working in a very different health service. If you have ever watched a 1950s film that depicts a hospital ward round you will know what I mean. Usually a consultant was followed from bed to bed by junior doctors and nurses who hung on his every word and tried to answer his questions.</p> <p>Rarely was the patient addressed directly and, more telling, was the absence of any administrative support staff. Administrators were confined to the ‘back office’ and never seen on the ward.</p> <p>Today’s health eco-system is noticeably changed and there is an acceptance that ‘administrative healthcare’ has a significant role to play.</p> <p>There is hardly ever talk of the back office and there is a recognition that administrative processes are an integral part of addressing the relentless and increasing demand for healthcare.</p> <p>The CQC now has a focus on administrative process in its investigations. This is hardly a surprise given the importance of administrative processes involved in delivering care and also the importance of meeting regulatory standards and fulfilling compliance obligations. In the <a href="">CQC’s own review</a> into its effectiveness published last year, it recognised that some NHS organisations felt that it focused too much on process. Yet, this focus on administrative process is unlikely to change and many argue that it will continue to gather pace.</p> <p>Technology-based systems have traditionally been used to simplify and automate many labour intensive administrative tasks. For example, technology can vastly simplify the task of managing patient administration processes. It is not uncommon for there to be multiple patient administration processes in a single provider; in one acute hospital and community health service provider we have worked with there were over 60 separate process tasks.</p> <p>By helping NHS trusts prioritise these processes and identify the responsible individuals for each sub-group, we have been able to help streamline Trusts' administrative healthcare processes, driving efficiency and improving patient care.</p> <p>Join the discussion on #ReadyforWinter</p> <p>To see more blogs like this, please visit the <a href="">Campaign Week landing page</a></p> <p><em>Dr Young trained in medicine in London and continues to practice as an emergency physician for one day each week at St Thomas’ hospital, London. For the last 16 years, he has spent the majority of his time in a range of editorial, evidence-based medicine, clinical decision support and healthcare IT strategic leadership roles.</em></p> How Blockchain is Unlocking an Energy Revolution Mon, 26 Feb 2018 15:07:25 +0000 Ruth Milligan(techUK) Helen Disney, CEO of Unblocked, examines how distributed ledger technologies could pave the way for sustainable energy. <p><strong>In this blog, techUK member, Helen Disney, CEO of Unblocked, looks at some of the blockchain innovations which are transforming the way the energy sector operates.</strong></p> <p>Energy markets are currently undergoing a series of profound shifts. The EU’s goal of cutting emissions by up to 95% by 2050 and decarbonizing the economy is just one huge challenge, which will require investment and innovative approaches from both companies and policymakers. Policymakers will need to help create the right conditions to foster both innovation in new technologies, including smart grids, and the more active role in the economy likely to be played by 'prosumers'&nbsp; - people who produce as well as consuming goods and services.&nbsp;</p> <p>Thanks to their ability to securely keep track of (and execute) transactions as well as to monitor complex supply chains in real-time, blockchain and distributed ledger technologies are well-placed to help make that transition a reality. In fact, blockchain is already changing the energy market in profound ways, whether by facilitating peer-to-peer energy trading or by ‘tokenising’ of the hardware: a new wave of blockchain energy start ups is attempting to lead the way to a more sustainable, lower carbon economy.</p> <p><strong>Blockchain Energy Start-ups are Changing the Landscape</strong></p> <p>There is enormous variety in the sorts of innovative use cases and applications already in the market or coming to the market. They include companies like Electron (supporting the transition to smart grids), Solar Coin (a digital currency that rewards solar electricity generators), Swytch (which tracks and rewards the production of renewable energy in real-time), Bit Lumens (which brings solar power and water to rural communities using blockchain and the Internet of Things) and Flying Carpet (a decentralised, charging and docking station for air space which uses blockchain and renewable energy).</p> <p>Even the traditional oil and gas sector, which, until recently, had been slow to catch up with the potential strategic impact of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies, is now getting in on the act. BP and Shell have recently announced plans to use blockchain technology to transform how energy is bought and sold. BP began experimenting with an oil trading pilot project last year and also joined an industry consortium to explore the technology further and Royal Dutch Shell has invested directly in a stake in one of the leading blockchain start ups, Applied Blockchain.</p> <p><strong>Convergence</strong></p> <p>The combination of new technologies working together is perhaps even more powerful. Digital transformation in the sector will be powered not just by blockchain but also by advances in artificial intelligence and the rise of autonomous vehicles, drones and the Internet of Things. Jamie Burke of Outlier Ventures, which invests in many of these new technologies, has spoken of this phenomenon of ‘convergence’ and the profound impact it will have on the business models of the future. As he puts it, “<em>We believe blockchain technologies, including distributed ledgers and smart contracts, are the mega-trend that allow all other macro-trends to scale securely, converge and combine. They represent the next phase of the Web, Web 3.0 or ‘The Trust Web / Internet of Ownership’, and will transform how technologies interact with one another and the world around them</em>”.</p> <p>Blockchain is becoming a phenomenon that companies in the energy sector can't afford to ignore. While implementation challenges remain - including resistance from vested interests; the lack of qualified developers; and the potential impact of regulations like GDPR and a closer focus on the financial regulation of cryptocurrencies – in all likelihood blockchain will remain a major component, if not the fundamental building block, of our energy future.</p> <p><strong>Helen Disney</strong> is CEO and Founder of Unblocked and a member of techUK’s DLT working group.</p> <h3>Join a panel of industry experts to hear more on this topic at the latest Unblocked event: '<a href="">Energy Unblocked – Blockchain Applications in the Energy Sector</a>'&nbsp; at techUK on 27 March.</h3> #ReadyforWinter Campaign Week Mon, 26 Feb 2018 09:00:00 +0000 Kate Francis(techUK) techUK showcases how technology can help alleviate some of the winter pressures in the NHS and social care in this Campaign Week (26 Feb – 2 March) <p><img src="images/assets/WinterReadyNHS.jpg" alt="WinterReadyNHS" width="570" height="179" /></p> <p>As the mornings get lighter and the sun starts to shine – at least a little – policymakers in the NHS will begin to reflect on what has undoubtedly been one of the toughest winters yet for the service.</p> <p>In January the (then) Health Minister Philip Dunne told the House of Commons that the Winter of&nbsp;2017/18 was “the one we’re best prepared for”. He explained that whilst winter preparedness planning usually begins in July and August, it now begins before the previous winter has even finished. As I write, plans are already afoot for addressing the inevitable Winter Crisis of 2018/19.</p> <p>Technology has a huge role to play in mitigating the issues of the Winter Crisis that were very eloquently explained by our members in <a href="" target="_blank">our report last year</a>.</p> <p>Technology can enable people and healthcare professionals to reduce unnecessary demand, keep people flowing through the system and ensure that decisions are being made using the best data and&nbsp;analytical tools.</p> <p>As the green shoots of spring begin to appear techUK has curated a series of blogs about how technology can help, with specific examples from up and down the country.</p> <p>We’ll be adding them below as they are published throughout the week. Join the conversation <a href="">@techUK</a> #ReadyforWinter .</p> <h3>&nbsp;</h3> <h3>Monday 26 February -&nbsp;Keeping people out of hospital and remote service delivery</h3> <p>- Guest blog: <a href="">To Interoperability and Beyond ...</a>&nbsp;by Kate Wensley, Improvement Lead, Cerner</p> <p>- Guest blog: <a href="">How can technology enable and equip health and social care professionals to deliver services remotely?</a> by Mohammed Hussain FRPharms FFCI MAPharmT, Senior Clinical Lead, NHS Digital</p> <p>- Guest blog: <a href="">How Technology Can Help Avoid A Winter Crisis in Health and Social Care</a>&nbsp;by Rajal Patni, CFO and Co-founder, WeMa Life</p> <p>- Guest blog: <a href="">How technology can reduce pressure on frontline staff</a>&nbsp;by Dr Charles Young, Chief Medical Officer, Capita Healthcare Decisions&nbsp;</p> <h3>Tuesday 27 February -&nbsp;Responding to 'Relentless demand': data, self care and prevention&nbsp;</h3> <p>- Guest blog: <a href="">Cold Comfort</a> by Lawrence Christensen, Marketing and Consumer Director at Tunstall Healthcare</p> <p>- Guest blog: <a href="">Easing Relentless Demand by Empowering Patients With Their Data</a> by&nbsp;Julian Ranger, Founder,</p> <p>- Guest Blog: <a href="">Wearables and Apps: How Can They Help</a>? by&nbsp;Paul Hide, Director, Market Engagement and Membership</p> <h3>Wednesday 28 February – ‘Bedblocking’ and Patient Flow</h3> <p>&nbsp;- Guest blog: <a href="">No Silver Bullet to the Winter Crisis: But Partnership Working and Tech Can Help</a> by Aby Atiola, Digital Innovation Lead, OLM Group</p> <p>- Guest blog: <a href="">The Bed-Blocking Challenge: How Can Technology Assist with Patient Flow Management</a> by Célia Ribeiro, Healthcare Innovation Manager, Glintt (IBM)</p> <p>- Guest Blog: <a href="">Valuing the Bed-Blocking Challenge</a>&nbsp;by&nbsp;Leonard Anderson, CEO, Kemuri</p> <p><span style="color: #414042; font-size: 20px; -webkit-text-stroke: 0.6px;">&nbsp;Thursday 01 March – Breaking Down Silos</span></p> <p>- Guest blog: <a href="">Let the System Flow</a> by Julia Ross, Chief Strategist for Care and Health, Predict X</p> <p>- Guest blog: <a href="">Breaking down silos and the bed-blocking challenge</a> by Marta Franco, Population Health Consultant, Cerner</p> <p>- Guest blog: <a href="">The Evolution of Care Co-ordination Opens Up New Possibilities in Population Health Management</a> by David Lee , Medical Director UKI, DXC Technologies</p> <p>- Guest blog: <a href="">Picture Perfect</a> by David Howard, Conserus Sales Manager (NIMIS), Change Healthcare</p> <h3>Friday 2 March – The Workforce Challenge</h3> <p>- Guest blog: <a href="" target="_blank">How can blockchain help solve the NHS crisis?</a>&nbsp;by Helen Disney, Founder and CEO, Unblocked Events</p> <p>- Guest blog: <a href="">How can technology ease problems of workforce planning in healthcare? </a>by Vanessa Walmsley, MD, Qmatic UK</p> <p>- Guest blog: <a href="">How can technology ease problems of recruitment and workforce planning?</a> Ricardo Gil Santos, Manager, Healthcare Business Consultant, Glintt (IBM)</p> To Interoperability and Beyond… Mon, 26 Feb 2018 09:00:00 +0000 Kate Francis(techUK) Guest blog by Kate Wensley, Improvement Lead, Cerner and Health and Social Care Council Member, as part of our #ReadyforWinter Campaign Week <p><img src="images/assets/Kate_Wensley_resized.png" alt="Kate Wensley resized" style="margin-right: 5px; margin-bottom: 5px; float: left;" />It is widely agreed that managing care for many patients outside of the acute setting can improve patient outcomes, their experience, reduce costs and ensure appropriate staffing. However, the question remains as to how to actually make the shift towards these models of care.</p> <p>Care across the health and care system must be digitised with connected, integrated and safe technologies. Only then can disparate data sources be connected to offer opportunities for identifying the most appropriate level of care and setting for patients, keeping them out of acute care if unnecessary and facilitating informed decision making. Connected care enables us to identify that frail elderly person who is known to be at risk of falls and ensures proactive community attention to support them in the home.</p> <p>In the past, the term interoperability has often been used to describe connecting departmental data systems across the hospital to facilitate the patient journey within the four walls of that acute organisation. Having departments and services ‘talk’ to each other streamlines the process and the experience for patients, as well as reducing duplication, errors and waste. This kind of data connectivity really is just the beginning in terms of potential for building a comprehensive picture of an individual’s health and care. Interoperability in current terms refers to big data collaboration across the wider health and care system – from primary care, acute, mental health and community, to social services and long-term care – to support a holistic patient journey across venues of health and care, regardless of data provenance. Pulling together multiple data sources into a single longitudinal record enables a care provider to proactively intervene ensuring that a diabetic has had their podiatry assessment or that a young asthmatic has their inhaler with them on high pollen days.</p> <p>Integrated care is a key element of modern healthcare. Patient-centric systems improve the health of populations and communities, and reduce the cost of care delivery and increase productivity. Furthermore, interoperability not only improves patients’ safety but also standards of care.</p> <p>Transformation has become a commonly used term in healthcare that is applied to a vast range of areas. We believe that true transformation relates to a whole-system change across the entire health and care economy that delivers value-based care, reduces morbidity and keeps people out of unnecessary hospitalisation. Technology is only a small part of the solution - transformation at such scale depends on strong partnerships, common goals, supportive policy, and appropriate data governance and protection models. To deliver real integrated health and care, it should be a fundamental patient right that their data can flow to the appropriate place where it is needed for health or care regardless of provider, vendor or venue.</p> <p><strong>By defining conditions that would determine when hospitalisation is deemed appropriate and necessary, we can similarly deduce when it is not.</strong></p> <p><img src="images/assets/Kate_Wensley_Piece_resized.jpg" alt="Kate Wensley Piece resized" style="margin-top: 5px; margin-right: 5px; margin-bottom: 5px; float: left;" />There will always be clinical reasons for sicker patients requiring acute-level care and associated services and facilities. However, technology can identify patterns and commonalities from big data collaboration, not only supporting informed decision making, but also identifying the most appropriate level of care for a patient based on a combination of factors. Not only does this afford the opportunity to minimise memory-based care decisions, but also ensures consistency enabling the care provider to make proactive decisions.</p> <p>Beyond technology just being interoperable, the ability to use it to prevent and reduce morbidity is now real, rather than it just reducing mortality in the acute. Applying advanced intelligence across large volumes of connected data allows us to interpret and analyse multiple data sources, and provide clinical recommendations at both population and person levels through providing actionable insights directly into health and care professionals’ workflow and information systems. We can now predict citizens’ risk and take necessary actions to help keep them out of hospital.</p> <p><strong>Improving health and care demands a community-wide effort in which everyone is informed, connected and accountable.</strong></p> <p>Technology is also enabling citizens to take direct participation in their own care, opening new channels of communication with care providers. Through the use of portals, self-monitoring devices, telehealth and other patient engagement tools, access to care can be improved as well as promoting opportunities to maintain good health and wellbeing in the home. Individuals should be empowered as part of their own care team to provide self-reported data to be analysed in conjunction with multiple other data sources to facilitate informed decision making.</p> <p>As well as supporting techUK’s interoperability charter, Cerner are proud to be at the forefront of data sharing and connectivity worldwide. We co-founded the CommonWell Health Alliance and the INTEROpen group, as well as championing FHIR® adoption in the UK. We firmly believe in advancing policy that supports shared information and technology to break down silos and put the patient at the centre.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #ReadyforWinter&nbsp;</em></p> <p><em>To see more blogs like this, please visit the <a href="" target="_blank">Campaign Week landing page</a></em></p> <p><img src="images/assets/Kate_Wensley_Piece_2_resized.jpg" alt="Kate Wensley Piece 2 resized" style="margin-top: 5px; margin-right: 5px; margin-bottom: 5px;" /></p> How Can Tech Enable Health & Social Care Professionals Deliver Services Remotely Mon, 26 Feb 2018 09:00:00 +0000 Kate Francis(techUK) Guest blog by Mohammed Hussain, FRPharms FFCI MAPharmT, Senior Clinical Lead, NHS Digital, as part of our #ReadyforWinter Campaign Week <h3>Relentless demand: How can technology enable and equip health and social care professionals to deliver services remotely?</h3> <p>Digital technology has changed many other sectors such as travel, banking and retail, but healthcare has remained more resistant to disruption. The NHS faces increasing demand for urgent and emergency care, however much of this demand could be better managed. The NHS makes 110 million urgent, same day patient contacts available every year, of these 85 million are GP appointments and the rest are a combination of A&amp;E, NHS111 and other patient contacts. The NHS estimates that up to 3 million A&amp;E attendances each year would be more appropriately handled elsewhere<sup>[i]</sup>.</p> <p>There is an increasing desire to pivot away from same-place/same-time contacts towards more digital encounters that would allow greater flexibility and efficiency. Robert Wachter, has stated, “computers make some things better, some things worse, and they change everything”<sup>[ii]</sup>. This pivot towards greater digital contacts needs to be cognisant of both the opportunity and the risks.</p> <p>Digital technology offers the opportunity to transform patient contacts by supplementing face-to-face consultations with more flexible offers that may better meet patient needs whilst increasing efficiency for the NHS. Most healthcare consultations are still offered at the same-time/same-place as the clinician, a move to same-time/different-place and different-time/different-place access to services is needed to transform healthcare. However, unlike other industries the risk in healthcare services is greater and must be appropriately managed.</p> <p>Another useful way to characterise the different modalities of telehealth is to use the synchronous (real time) and asynchronous (store and share) communication model<sup>[iii]</sup>. Synchronous communications are interruptive with asynchronous communication allowing store and share. Asynchronous communications offer significant benefits for patients and health professionals alike. This would help to free up more clinical time for health professionals ensuring they are more available for direct care whilst simultaneously offering more flexible, convenient and efficient care for patients.</p> <p>In healthcare, more is not better, better is better, and with greater clinically lead digital innovation, we can provide better care.</p> <p><img src="images/assets/Synchronous_and_asynchronous_communication.png" alt="Synchronous and asynchronous communication" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Synchronous and asynchronous communication</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>[i] <a href="" target="_blank"></a></p> <p>[ii] Wachter R, The digital doctor: hope, hype, and harm at the dawn of medicine’s computer age, McGraw-Hill education, 1st edition, 2015</p> <p>[iii] Deshpande A, Khoja S, McKibbon A, Jadad AR. Real-time (synchronous) telehealth in primary care: systematic review of systematic reviews. Technology report no. 100. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health; 2008</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #ReadyforWinter</em></p> <p><em>To see more blogs like this, please visit the <a href="" target="_blank">Campaign Week landing page</a></em></p> How Technology Can Help Avoid a Winter Crisis in Health and Social Care Mon, 26 Feb 2018 09:00:00 +0000 Kate Francis(techUK) Guest Blog by Rajal Patni, CFO and Co-founder, WeMa Life, as part of our #ReadyforWinter Campaign Week <p><img src="images/assets/Rajal_Patni_resized.jpg" alt="Rajal Patni resized" style="margin-right: 5px; margin-bottom: 5px; float: left;" />The NHS has long been the jewel in the crown of Britain’s public sector – a leading healthcare service, free at the point of entry, which is envied by countries around the world. However, even a cursory glance at the news in recent weeks will have revealed that all is not well with the National Health Service.</p> <p>Becoming something of a perennial event, this January the Winter Crisis reared its ugly head once again; as we proceed through February it is showing little sign of relenting. The colder months typically result in increased demand within hospitals and, particularly, A&amp;E departments. Unfortunately, under the weight of such demand, the NHS is struggling to find the resources to cope.</p> <p>Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt conceded this month that the country was in the midst of the “worst ever” Winter Crisis, although official figures made that point quite clear by themselves. Data released on 8 February showed that A&amp;E waiting time performance was at its worst level on record, with thousands of patients left for 12 hours or more on trolleys waiting for a bed.</p> <p>It begs the question of what, beyond an unlikely U-turn in the Government’s public health funding policy, can be done to alleviate the strain on the NHS and ensure people across the UK have access to high-quality health and social care? High on the list of answers has to be the need to embrace new technologies.</p> <p>HealthTech solutions are emerging at pace to help transform the health, care and wellbeing sectors. New apps, wearable tech, online platforms and medical tools are being created by innovative – and often early stage – businesses. In turn, both consumers and professionals now have an ever-increasing range of digital solutions available to them for improving their health.</p> <p>One of the most significant areas that HealthTech is able to play an important role in easing the strain on the NHS is through preventative care. Prevention is better than cure, or so the saying goes; and by using affordable (or sometimes even free) tech to help individuals identify and improve upon problem areas when it comes to their physical health is the first step to keeping such people out of A&amp;E wards. As such, advancing the means for people to spot and manage conditions within the home must be a key priority for both the UK’s public and private sectors.</p> <p>Similarly, post clinical care options must also be improved. People discharged from hospital after short or long-term treatment have to be empowered to control and monitor their own health to ensure the same issues do not reappear. Thankfully, new online platforms exist that make it far easier for patients – or the loved ones caring for them – to source and schedule health and wellbeing services that will aid their recovery and prevent the need for further acute care.</p> <p>There is, of course, no silver bullet to resolve the significant challenges facing the NHS. But it is undeniable that innovations within the HealthTech space have a big part to play. Raising awareness of these new technologies is the first step towards creating a health and wellbeing system built on personalised, convenient and out-of-hospital care. In turn, we can steadily relieve the weight of demand on the NHS, not just when winter arrives but 365 days of the year.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #ReadyforWinter</em></p> <p><em>To see more blogs like this, please visit the <a href="" target="_blank">Campaign Week landing page</a></em></p> Why Tech Companies Don’t Want the UK to Diverge on Data Protection Mon, 19 Feb 2018 00:01:00 +0000 Jeremy Lilley(techUK) Tech companies are clear that they do not want divergence on data protection <p>There have recently been a number of suggestions floated that the UK might want to consider diverging from the EU on data protection post-Brexit.</p> <p>UK tech companies are clear that this is not a view held by the sector, which sees the UK’s implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as a key pillar to the future success of the digital economy. This is for three key reasons.</p> <p>First, the GDPR, which the UK helped to shape as it was negotiated in the EU institutions, whilst not perfect, will help to strengthen a culture of data trust and confidence in the UK. The GDPR, represents the most significant reform of data protection law in Europe in over twenty years. It significantly increases the rights and controls citizens have over the way their personal data is used. Putting citizens at the heart of data protection, as the GDPR does, is the right approach to ensure people have confidence in and take advantage of the opportunities offered by new technology.</p> <p>Secondly, UK firms, large and small across the entire economy are in the process of implementing these new rules. This is a significant business change project. Businesses have been waiting and expecting GDPR for some time and preparations to become compliant have, and continue to, involve significant effort and resources. There is no appetite among UK businesses to go through that process again. Companies need clarity about the legal framework within which they will be operating. Disrupting GDPR implementation would not be welcomed by businesses. There is no desire for another wholesale revision of data protection rules any time soon.</p> <p>Thirdly, alignment with EU data protection is fundamental to agreeing a mutual adequacy agreement with the EU post-Brexit. This is a top priority for the tech sector and should be a top priority for Government. Data flows between the UK and the EU are critical to underpinning trade in a global digital economy, with the UK accounting for 11.5 per cent of global data flows, the vast majority of which are with the EU. The Government, through the Department of Digital, Culture, Media &amp; Sport, have done good work in preparing the ground for these all-important adequacy discussions.</p> <p>It has been suggested that GDPR implementation would prevent the UK from pursuing more ambitious trade deals with other countries post-Brexit. The reality however is that GDPR is an asset, not a liability, for future trade agreements. Implementing GDPR and agreeing adequacy agreements with the EU does not preclude countries from seeking other trade agreements. There would be no tangible benefit to any US trade deal, for example, by diverging on data protection given the EU and US have a model for sharing data based on the EU’s data protection requirements. Similarly, Canada and New Zealand both enjoy EU adequacy while being members of TPP and Japan, another member of TPP, is currently seeking an adequacy agreement.</p> <p>The tech sector is clear that diverging from EU data protection post-brexit is neither desirable nor helpful. The GDPR represents a high standard of protection for citizens’ information, which will help build trust in the digital economy. Companies are in the middle of preparations for GDPR and further disruption will not help. GDPR can also act as a facilitator of trade by securing adequacy with the EU and negotiating separate trade agreements, underpinned by strong data protection principles, with other countries.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Takeaways from Quantum Technology for Transport Event Mon, 12 Feb 2018 09:03:24 +0000 Jessica Russell(techUK) Key takeaways from Innovate UK's "Quantum Technology for Transport" event (but not a lesson in Quantum!) <blockquote>Sharing my key lessons from a day spent talking quantum technologies, transport challenges, and Formula One.</blockquote> <p>Last week I was lucky enough to be techUK’s delegate to Innovate UK’s <a href="">Quantum Technologies for Transport</a> event at the Williams Conference Centre.</p> <p>The event provided an opportunity to identify a series of key challenges in the transport sector, and develop an understanding of how solutions may lie in quantum technology development. Oh...and there was a tour of the Williams Grand Prix Collection.</p> <p><img src="images/assets/Insight_pic_1.jpg" alt="Insight pic 1" width="692" height="716" /></p> <p><br />Before I continue, I must admit that my understanding of quantum prior to this event was, well, to be generous...lacking. While I still have only a basic understanding of specific quantum concepts, what I do now have is a stronger understanding of the relationship between transport industry actors and the quantum research community, and where the challenges and opportunities lie.<br />So, while I cannot give you with an “everything you need to know about quantum” download, I can give you my three takeaways from my day at Williams (that aren’t Formula One related!)</p> <p>1.&nbsp; <span style="text-decoration: underline;">Actors within the transport industry have clearly identified challenges and are very willing to discuss them.</span>The first session of the day had speakers from the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, SAIC Motor Technical Centre UK, and Network Rail. Attendees were briefed on key theoretical and practical challenges they currently face. For example, Network Rail referred to its <a href="">challenge statements</a> that guide R&amp;D programmes that are helping it achieve its “future vision as set out in the Rail Technical Strategy”. For CCAVs, QT’s role is currently focused on addressing a series of “real world environment” challenges, such as addressing weather visibility, improving positioning and navigation capabilities, and improving object detection and classification (particularly relating to dynamic objects in a road environment).</p> <p><img src="images/assets/Insight_pic_2.jpg" alt="Insight pic 2" width="1261" height="946" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>2. <span style="text-decoration: underline;">Quantum doesn’t hold the answer to everything, but researchers do believe it can be best applied to developing sensors, secure communications and computing and analytics.</span>&nbsp;The University of Birmingham sent some serious brain power to the conference, one of whom included Dr. Nicole Metje, a civil engineer turned quantum sensor developer. As an example of real-world applications, we were given an overview of the role for QT gravity sensors in civil engineering – such as for railway assets. While I did not comprehend the full extent of the technological specificities, it was promising to see the R&amp;D projects providing useful outputs that directly address some key transport challenges in the UK. Applications for QT in the various sectors of the transport industry are also further along the R&amp;D process than I had perhaps expected.</p> <p>3. <span style="text-decoration: underline;">Government departments and relevant agencies are providing opportunities to ensure engagement with start-ups and SMEs.</span>&nbsp;This was a direct question to the first panel (whose members were CCAV, SAIC and Network Rail) – “how easy is it for start-ups who are developing solutions to these challenges to engage with these organisations?” The various speakers referred to a series of competitions, research grants and knowledge hubs and organisations that are working to bring the wider ecosystem together.</p> <p>In all, it was a big day of learning, and a fantastic opportunity to hear directly from organisations that have identified QT as an opportunity to address practical challenges that the future of transport is presenting today’s industry actors.</p> <p><img src="images/assets/Insight_pic_3.JPG" alt="Insight pic 3" width="698" height="931" /></p> Takeaways from Quantum Technology for Transport Event Mon, 12 Feb 2018 07:00:00 +0000 CRM Sync Sharing my key lessons from a day spent talking quantum technologies, transport challenges, and Formula One. <p>Last week I was lucky enough to be techUK&rsquo;s delegate to Innovate UK&rsquo;s&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Quantum Technologies for Transport</a>&nbsp;event at the Williams Conference Centre.</p> <p>The event provided an opportunity to identify a series of key challenges in the transport sector, and develop an understanding of how solutions may lie in quantum technology development. Oh...and there was a tour of the Williams Grand Prix Collection.</p> <p><img alt="" src="" style="height:382px; width:300px"></p> <p>Before I continue, I must admit that my understanding of quantum prior to this event was, well, to be generous...lacking. While I still have only a basic understanding of specific quantum concepts, what I do now have is a stronger understanding of the relationship between transport industry actors and the quantum research community, and where the challenges and opportunities lie.<br> So, while I cannot give you with an &ldquo;everything you need to know about quantum&rdquo; download, I can give you my three takeaways from my day at Williams (that aren&rsquo;t Formula One related!)</p> <p>1.&nbsp;&nbsp;Actors within the transport industry have clearly identified challenges and are very willing to discuss them.The first session of the day had speakers from the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, SAIC Motor Technical Centre UK, and Network Rail. Attendees were briefed on key theoretical and practical challenges they currently face. For example, Network Rail referred to its&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">challenge statements</a>&nbsp;that guide R&amp;D programmes that are helping it achieve its &ldquo;future vision as set out in the Rail Technical Strategy&rdquo;. For CCAVs, QT&rsquo;s role is currently focused on addressing a series of &ldquo;real world environment&rdquo; challenges, such as addressing weather visibility, improving positioning and navigation capabilities, and improving object detection and classification (particularly relating to dynamic objects in a road environment).</p> <p><img alt="" src="" style="height:300px; width:400px"></p> <p>2.&nbsp;Quantum doesn&rsquo;t hold the answer to everything, but researchers do believe it can be best applied to developing sensors, secure communications and computing and analytics.&nbsp;The University of Birmingham sent some serious brain power to the conference, one of whom included Dr. Nicole Metje, a civil engineer turned quantum sensor developer. As an example of real-world applications, we were given an overview of the role for QT gravity sensors in civil engineering &ndash; such as for railway assets. While I did not comprehend the full extent of the technological specificities, it was promising to see the R&amp;D projects providing useful outputs that directly address some key transport challenges in the UK. Applications for QT in the various sectors of the transport industry are also further along the R&amp;D process than I had perhaps expected.</p> <p>3.&nbsp;Government departments and relevant agencies are providing opportunities to ensure engagement with start-ups and SMEs.&nbsp;This was a direct question to the first panel (whose members were CCAV, SAIC and Network Rail) &ndash; &ldquo;how easy is it for start-ups who are developing solutions to these challenges to engage with these organisations?&rdquo; The various speakers referred to a series of competitions, research grants and knowledge hubs and organisations that are working to bring the wider ecosystem together.</p> <p>In all, it was a big day of learning, and a fantastic opportunity to hear directly from organisations that have identified QT as an opportunity to address practical challenges that the future of transport is presenting today&rsquo;s industry actors.</p> <p><img alt="" src="" style="height:400px; width:300px"></p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Smoothwall announces new S.A.F.E. initiative to keep children safe online Tue, 06 Feb 2018 09:00:00 +0000 Khawaib Ahmed (techUK) On Safer Internet Day, Smoothwall launches new Online Safety Zone in time for Safer Internet Day, providing resources and equipping teachers to keep kids safe online <blockquote><a href="">Smoothwall</a>, the leading web filter provider that specialises in protecting children online, has recently announced the launch of its new initiative, Smoothwall's Association for Education (S.A.F.E.), in its commitment to safeguard and promote online safety for children.</blockquote> <p>As part of S.A.F.E., Smoothwall will be providing the following resources to help schools and teachers promote responsible use of the internet in the classroom:</p> <ul> <li>Online Safety Workshops: Delivered by Smoothwall’s Online Safety Experts, Smoothwall will host online safety workshops for pupils, teachers and families to provide tailored guidance and information on how to stay safe online.</li> <li>Online Safety Zone: Smoothwall’s Online Safety Zone provides a one stop shop for learning about online safety, with regular updates to news and resources. Teachers, parents and other caregivers can also sign up to Smoothwall’s free Online Safety Newsletter for tips and advice on how to stay safe online.</li> <li>Classroom Resources: From Spring 2018, teachers will be able to take advantage of Smoothwall’s downloadable range of resources and activity packs designed to help them deliver engaging lessons to pupils of all ages, on how to promote responsible use of the internet.</li> <li>Webinars: Hosted by Smoothwall’s product and industry specialists, Smoothwall webinars are available to anyone seeking further insight around product and legislative updates and provide a great platform where they can #AskSmoothwall any questions they may have.</li> </ul> <p>As part of the S.A.F.E. launch, Smoothwall will be visiting Oxford based Rye St Antony school on Safer Internet Day, where they will be delivering online safety workshops throughout the day to pupils. Sessions will touch upon topics such as safe image sharing, digital footprint, cyberbullying, social media use, gaming and more. Following this, Smoothwall will then run an online safety masterclass the following day for teachers and school leaders in the area. This is as part of Smoothwall’s S.A.F.E. roadshow, which will be touring the U.K. throughout 2018.</p> <p><img src="images/SAFE_logo.png" alt="SAFE logo" width="114" height="126" style="margin: 2px; float: right;" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Claire Stead, Online Safety Ambassador at Smoothwall, comments: “Online safety for children is becoming an increasingly severe problem year on year, and as it grows, teachers will have to deal with it more and more in the classroom. We recently found that instances of online bullying in the classroom for example have increased by a<a href=""></a><a href="">third</a>, but the teachers that are entrusted to protect and educate them on the dangers of the internet don’t feel fully supported to do this (62%).</p> <p>“There have been a number of great government initiatives and legislation over the past year to tackle this, such as the Government’s ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ regulations and Prince William’s ‘anti-cyberbullying’ plan, but as a technology industry, we need to come together to ensure that we are playing our part in keeping the online world safe for children. That’s why at Smoothwall we want to make it as easy as possible for teachers to gain the knowledge and support that they need to be able to confidently do their jobs, which is why programmes such as S.A.F.E. are important.”</p> <p>You can find more information about S.A.F.E. here: <a href=""></a><a href=""></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Q&A with Tania Boler - Winner of 2017 everywoman in tech award Mon, 05 Feb 2018 16:45:16 +0000 Khawaib Ahmed (techUK) In the run up to the 2018 everywoman in tech awards, we feature a previous winner on her journey to the award and progress since. <p><strong>What do you love most about your job?</strong></p> <p>I get to work with a team of inspiring people who are passionate about changing the way women think and feel about technology.</p> <p><strong>Did you benefit from having a role model / someone to look up to when starting your career in the tech industry?</strong></p> <p>I had been working in health education and promotion for 15 years - both in the U.N. and at Marie Stopes International. I never planned or dreamt of running a technology company. I just saw a big health problem (pelvic floor health) which was clearly preventable with better exercise, and thought that surely technology could make this easier? I was lucky to meet Alexander Asseily, the co-founder of Jawbone, early on and he was one of the first people to invest in Elvie. His knowledge of the industry and experience in creating connected devices has been invaluable.</p> <p><img src="images/tania_boler.JPG" alt="tania boler" style="vertical-align: middle; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="500" /></p> <p><strong>Best advice you ever received?</strong></p> <p>In terms of career advice - there is definitely never just one perfect career. I've had two so far and plan on having at least another!</p> <p><strong>Are you actively involved in any initiatives promoting gender diversity in the tech industry?</strong></p> <p>We are proud to be an early partner of AllBright. Debbie Wosskow and Annie Jones are doing incredible things to support female founders in the UK. Their venture fund invested in our last round and we partner on a range of educational and community projects.</p> <p><strong>How can we make young girls more enthusiastic about STEM subjects?</strong></p> <p>It’s important to offer opportunities to everyone to get into the STEM subjects. It shocking how few women are in senior positions in STEM. However, we need to change attitudes from school age. I was one of the best at my school in maths and at twelve, I wanted to study maths at university. However, by 16, I decided not to as it wasn’t “cool”.&nbsp; The same happened for most of the girls in my class. We waste far too much energy worrying about what people think about us. Most of the time, people don't even care!</p> <p><img src="images/Tania_2.JPG" width="300" alt="Tania 2" style="margin: 4px; float: right;" /></p> <p>Technology has the potential to improve lives on a global scale. Yet when it comes to women, this potential has been hugely overlooked. I’d like to see smarter technology to solve real world needs for &nbsp;women. As women start taking the reins and leading STEM research and companies we will start to see more movement in this area.</p> <p><strong>What do you believe to be the three most exciting things about the tech industry?</strong></p> <p>This is an exciting time for women’s health tech because of the convergence of three trends – we are all talking more openly about our bodies; the internet and innovations in sensor technology means real-time body monitoring is now possible; and finally, our perceptions of health and wellness have dramatically changed from one of doctor-patient to individuals taking control for themselves.</p> <p>The new generation of connected health devices, such as <a href="">Elvie Trainer</a>, are much more focussed on identifying what outcome consumers want and providing that in the simplest, most useful way possible. I think we need to be bold in women’s tech and hold ourselves to the highest standards. Are we solving a real problem?&nbsp;</p> <p>Are we providing a significantly improved solution? Many women, fed up with the lack of innovation, have started companies themselves and come up with their own solutions. This type of innovation is always best as it comes from a place of real user need and understanding. I knew that to make a meaningful difference&nbsp;to women’s lives Elvie Trainer had to be the funnest and easiest way to strengthen and tone your pelvic floor, with fast results.</p> <p><strong>What are the biggest misconceptions about working in the industry? How can we dispel them?</strong></p> <p>I think that lots of women assume it’s harder for them to be an tech entrepreneur than if they were a man. We are building the first ever global women's tech brand so being a woman is definitely an advantage as we aren't only changing technology, but also conversations and how technology helps us understand our female bodies better.</p> <p><strong>Why should readers enter the FDM everywoman in Tech Awards?</strong></p> <p>It’s a great opportunity to meet other female founders, who will be a vital support network when as you build your business, while also raising the profile of women in tech.</p> <p>Tania will be speaking at the <a href="">2018 everywoman in Tech Forum</a> at London Hilton, Park Lane on 8 February 2018 on "WOMEN IN TECH CHANGING THE IOT WORLD" -&nbsp;In this session key players in IoT will look at how this fast-paced sector will affect women in business.&nbsp;What impact will the IoT have on workplace equality and what resulting opportunities will arise for women in tech?&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> Transform the Way People Live With Dementia Mon, 05 Feb 2018 09:00:00 +0000 Kate Francis(techUK) Guest blog: Benjamin Mann, Senior Strategy Advisor at Essex County Council outlines their Challenge Dementia Prize and upcoming Twilight Networking Event <p>I’ve just finished up a meeting here at Essex County Council with the rest of the team responsible for delivering the <a href="" target="_blank">Challenge Dementia Prize</a>. We have been planning for a <a href="" target="_blank">Twilight Networking Event</a> being hosted by techUK in London on the <strong>21st February</strong>.</p> <p>Challenge Dementia is a national search for products, technologies and services that could transform the way people live with Dementia across the UK. The second in an ambitious series of Challenge Prizes, Challenge Dementia is a perfect example of Local Authority thinking differently and moving away from traditional procurement where we dictate what solutions should look like. Instead the Challenge Prize process enables the challenges we face to be shared with an almost limitless audience of innovators, in the hope that we can inspire creative and sustainable solutions.</p> <p><img src="images/assets/Make_a_lasting_impact.png" alt="Make a lasting impact" /></p> <p>Challenge Dementia is about engaging the ‘unusual suspects’. Looking beyond the health and social care sector for entrants from individuals, groups, organisations and businesses from architecture and construction, tech and engineering, art and design, wherever there is an opportunity to look at the issue through a different lens and the possibility to disrupt the status quo.</p> <p>We are working in partnership with a range of sector leading experts including Alzheimer’s Society, PA Consulting, techUK and University of Essex, all of whom will provide finalists with up to six months of tailored advice and support as they develop, test and iterate their ideas from an initial concept through to a fully-fledged business case submitted with the chance of securing a £100,000 prize.</p> <h3>Twilight Networking Event - 21 February</h3> <p>Challenge Dementia launched to entries on the 19th January 2018 and the event on the 21st February in London is the first opportunity for interested parties to find out more about the unique ecosystem of support on offer to finalists which includes a £5,000 micro-grant to support testing and development costs. The evening is also an opportunity for entrants to find out more about the expectations of the judges who will make all of the decisions with help from a panel of Essex residents living with Dementia. Although it will be an informal evening with beer and pizza we are hoping that the calibre of the experts available on the night will ignite the creativity and passion, turning interest into entries.</p> <p>We are very excited and genuinely hopefully that innovation on the part of ECC will bring innovation to the way people live with Dementia.</p> <p>Notes:</p> <ul> <li>For more information on the Challenge Dementia prize sign up to the <a href="" target="_blank">Challenge Prize Newsletter</a></li> <li>For terms and conditions visit the <a href="" target="_blank">Challenge Prize Website</a></li> <li>Eventbrite for <a href="" target="_blank">Twilight Networking Event Booking</a></li> <li>Challenge Dementia closes to entries at 12noon on 13th April 2018</li> <li>For any questions on the prize email Ben or Nicole at <a href="" target="_blank"></a></li> </ul> The “Full Fibre” Diet: Just What the Doctor Ordered? Fri, 02 Feb 2018 10:42:36 +0000 Skye MacLeod (techUK) Whether provided over a fixed line or a mobile network, broadband is becoming the 4th utility. techUK welcomes Openreach's Fibre First announcement <p>Whether provided over a fixed line or a mobile network (and most consumers have both), broadband is becoming the 4th utility. The UK compares well with other developed countries for broadband provision. Broadband is fast enough for most consumers and is more attractively priced than in many other countries.</p> <p>But the UK’s fixed broadband is overwhelmingly based on the copper lines which have been in the ground for over a century. New technologies, such as (capable of offering more than the 300Mbps “ultrafast” downlink speed, but only for premises less than 500m from the cabinet), enable the kind of services we used to think would require “full fibre”.</p> <h3>So why do Ministers and regulators worry about the limited number of homes and businesses which currently have access to fibre all the way to the premise?</h3> <p>Because they can see that the demand for faster connections, and rapidly increasing capacity usage, will increasingly bump up against what copper will deliver. Additionally, full fibre is far more reliable than copper, and has more resistance to heavy rain or flooding (as York discovered during the winter of 2015-16). Wide availability of fibre is also essential to support the 5G networks arriving in three to five years’ time.</p> <p>If we rip out the copper, and replace it with fibre, the UK can be future-proofed for tomorrow’s online services. If enough consumers upgrade to full fibre broadband, then there will be a large enough target market to incentivise the development of those new services.</p> <h3>So why do so few consumers currently have the option of full fibre?</h3> <p>Quite simply, many consumers (not least while household budgets are feeling squeezed) feel little compulsion to upgrade to a more expensive service until their current broadband fails to keep up with their expectations. It’s not as if fibre is going to become scarce so should be brought in advance of need.</p> <p>Additionally, while fibre isn’t expensive, rolling it out is (at least, in the UK). Unlike some other countries with greater availability of full fibre, the UK isn’t particularly densely populated, and consumers have far less tolerance for living in Multi-Dwelling Units (MDUs, essentially blocks of flats), where hundreds of consumers could be given access to full fibre in one shot.</p> <p>Lack of coordination between the public bodies which control when and how roads can be dug up, or where masts can be put, also adds time and cost to the civil works which constitute 75-80 per cent of the cost of deploying communications infrastructure. In London, there are 33 planning authorities, plus Transport for London operating the Strategic Road Network, all working independently.</p> <h3>So how to break the impasse and incentivise Openreach to invest in replacing copper with fibre before the new services are launched which will generate demand for that fibre? How to reduce the size of that risk by reducing the time and cost of getting it out there?</h3> <p>Openreach’s announcement to hire 3000 engineers and invest in rolling out full fibre to three million premises by the end of 2020, is an important part of the UK’s transition from copper-based broadband to tomorrow’s full fibre broadband. This initiative builds upon the consultation Openreach undertook with its customers last year, and understandably only works if Openreach’s customers, Government and Ofcom are supportive.</p> <p>When combined with the full fibre being deployed by Virgin Media, CityFibre as a result of their agreement with Vodafone, and a growing number of other providers such as Hyperoptic, Gigaclear, B4RN and KCOM, Openreach’s proposal will usher in a step change in provision, helping to <a href="" target="_blank">lift the UK from good connectivity to great connectivity</a>&nbsp;– something techUK has strongly recommended. Great connectivity, which alongside far more fibre provision, must include improved mobile coverage on major transport corridors, will be essential if the UK is to remain a great place to do business. techUK will also continue to work with DCMS on their local connectivity initiative, addressing obstacles to deployment.</p> <p>Commenting on Openreach’s announcement, techUK CEO Julian David said:</p> <p><em>“Fast, reliable, affordable connectivity is essential, for businesses of all sizes and consumers alike. In an increasingly competitive world, where the UK needs to be a leader in in applying technologies like IoT, AI, Open Banking and others, we need to raise our game on digital communications infrastructure, to attract inward investment and to retain investment already here.</em></p> <p><em>“techUK welcomes today’s announcement from Openreach and we hope that it is supported by the broadband suppliers who are Openreach’s customers as well as Ofcom. We will continue to work with DCMS, Ofcom, local authorities and industry to reduce the time and cost of digging up the streets and obtaining planning permission, which inflate the cost of the civil works which currently makes up three quarters of the cost of deploying fibre.”</em></p> <hr /> <p>Find out more about techUK's <a href="" target="_blank">Communications Infrastructure Programme</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Police Officers Could Lose 28 Days a Year Due to Siloed Data Wed, 31 Jan 2018 11:00:31 +0000 Henry Rex(techUK) A Guest Blog from techUK member MarkLogic on the potential efficiency gains within policing that better data management could realise. <h3>New research from MarkLogic and Dods Research reveals that ineffective data management may be costing police valuable time.</h3> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Each UK police officer could potentially be losing up to 28 working days a year due to siloed data, according to new research released today by Dods Group PLC in partnership with <a href="" target="_blank">MarkLogic Corporation</a>.</p> <p>The study was conducted to explore how police forces today are using data and what the barriers are to doing so more effectively. Front-line and senior employees from 34 regional police forces across the UK were surveyed.</p> <p>Respondents were near-unanimous (91%) in stating that they would save time on a daily basis if they could access all operational data through one single search rather than multiple searches as is currently the case. Over half (57%) of those surveyed said they would save up to 60 minutes every working day, while more than a third (34%) stated they would save an hour or more.</p> <p>Based on the survey, if an hour was saved every working day, each police officer would save 28 working days a year. This would equate to 4.2 million working days each year if it were true of the entire UK police force, which employs 150,000 officers.</p> <p>The research also highlighted further evidence of the vital importance of more streamlined access to data among police forces, with 95% of respondents stating they need to access two or more databases or systems when working on a single case. A quarter of those surveyed said they rely on access to six or more databases or systems.</p> <p>Imran Razzaq, Public Sector Lead for UK, Ireland and European Union at MarkLogic, said: “Reliance on data and information has never been more important to modern policing than it is today. The communities’ police forces serve have become more complex and diverse, demanding a holistic response in the face of threats ranging from safeguarding to cybercrime and terrorism”.</p> <p>“However, this research highlights that the UK’s police forces are facing the same challenges and frustrations experienced by numerous businesses today, namely that data stored in silos takes significant time to access and analyse. By adopting solutions to integrate data and provide 360-degree visibility, the impact for police forces is potentially enormous in terms of improved accuracy in clear-up rates, increased operational performance, and faster, more accurate and earlier intervention.”</p> <p>For further information on the research please contact MarkLogic via <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.</p> <p><strong><em>You can download the whitepaper below.</em></strong></p> Brexit and Data Centres: Where are We Now? Tue, 30 Jan 2018 10:47:57 +0000 Lucas Banach (techUK) Emma Fryer considers recent political developments on Brexit ahead of Datacloud UK on Wednesday. <p>Emma Fryer considers recent political developments on Brexit ahead of <a href="" target="_blank">Datacloud UK</a> on Wednesday where she will join a panel session exploring the implications for the UK data centre sector.</p> Shaking up the foodtech sector Mon, 29 Jan 2018 16:59:51 +0000 Khawaib Ahmed (techUK) Female tech founder Qing shares her plans for a new startup, looking to revolutionize eating out and reduce waste. <blockquote>Food is an essential part of everyone’s lives, not least because an average person will eat somewhere between 70,000 and 100,000 meals throughout their lives.</blockquote> <p>It brings us the energy we need to fuel our bodies and minds, but also acts as a social catalyst by bringing us together with our friends and families. Memories of food are powerful, as beyond the taste of the food itself they remind us of our loved ones and the great times we had together.</p> <p>In a market worth close to $200bn/year globally, there are many opportunities for technology to change the way we produce and consume food. In 2018, amongst other things, we are likely to see blockchain support safer food supply chains; Olio (<a href=""></a>) accelerating the food sharing revolution, AI, IoT and drones being applied to improve food delivery speed and convenience; and many startups will continue to work on bringing lab-grown food to our tables.</p> <p>Another long overdue but welcome trend in the sector is the application of technology to reduce food waste. Globally, about one third of the food produced for human consumption still gets lost or wasted every year. That is equivalent to a staggering 1.3bn tonnes of annual food waste and an economic loss of $990bn. To put this into perspective, if food wastage was a country it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world after the US and China; it would occupy a land area the size of Mexico; and consume 3x the volume of water of Lake Geneva.</p> <p>In the UK alone, the food and drink sector produces 10 million tonnes of food waste a year - and despite the average Brit only eating out an average of 1.5 times per week, nearly 10% of the country’s food waste comes from the hospitality and food sector. This disproportionate rate of waste for the industry is no more sustainable for the environment than it is for the businesses themselves. Circa 60% of new restaurants fail within the first year and research from accountancy firm Moore Stephens has shown that 20% of the UK’s restaurants are at risk of closure thanks to Brexit. Jamie Oliver has closed 6 restaurants in 2017 and just this month, Galvin Bistrot de Luxe shut after they lost a fifth of its staff in the wake of Brexit. These are uncertain and difficult times that we are living in, forcing business owners to make all the right decisions.</p> <p><strong>Why are we not smarter with giving feedback?</strong></p> <p>One area in particular, where technology has not delivered much value to the restaurant industry to date is a very important one - customer feedback. Whilst there are food intelligence tools and platforms such as Zomato and TripAdvisor, they are not optimised for diners to provide dish-by-dish feedback. Without detailed dish feedback, chefs and restaurants cannot make informed decisions when it comes to designing and updating their menus. It is vital to help restaurants cook better food, better understand consumer preferences, optimise their supply chains and in turn reduce waste - and importantly leads to better customer satisfaction and more successful business. Some of this information already exists online, but isn’t available to businesses in an actionable way.</p> <p>From the customer point of view, apart from the odd menu being available on an ipad or through an app, the restaurant experience has remained relatively traditional and technology has not really come into the light. Seeing as food is such an integral part of our lives, let’s give back to the brave boys and girls that cook for us by building tech which helps them and reduces waste! &nbsp;</p> <hr /> <p>Qing is the founder of London-based startup <a href="">Radishnow </a>- a mobile app for people who love eating out and who want a smarter way to give feedback on their dishes that will make a difference for other diners and chefs.<a href=""> You can get in touch with her here.</a></p> Happy Data Privacy Day! Sun, 28 Jan 2018 09:00:00 +0000 Jeremy Lilley(techUK) On Data Privacy Day 2018, techUK's Jeremy Lilley outlines the current data protection landscape, and the changes ahead <p>2018 is set to be a landmark year for data protection in the UK, across Europe and indeed the world, as the highly anticipated EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), takes effect on 25 May.</p> <p>GDPR, five years in the making, will take effect in the UK and across Europe in 147 days’ time. It represents the most significant reform in data protection laws in Europe in twenty years with significant new rights for data subjects and new responsibilities for organisations the collect, use and process personal information. At the core of the GDPR reforms is putting the citizen front and centre and giving individuals far greater control over how their information is used.</p> <p>The tech sector welcomes the opportunity to increase the control individuals have over their personal information. This will be key to creating a culture of data trust and confidence in the UK. Only by creating confidence and trust will UK citizens be able to benefit from the advantages offered by the data revolution. The value of data is expected to be worth £241 billion by 2020, creating thousands of new jobs. However, without public trust and confidence this will not be realised.</p> <p>New data protection reforms represent an opportunity for every single organisation, across the economy, to take data protection seriously, while also building public trust. As we increasingly live in a modern digital economy and society, where most businesses rely on data and most citizens utilise data-driven services on a daily basis, data protection must be at the core of the way businesses operate.</p> <p>Additionally, gone are the days where data protection was the responsibility of one department within an organisation. Responsibility for data protection must now be thread throughout an organisation, with employees at every level playing their part. GDPR, with the additional rights and expanded nature, represents a chance for organisations to ensure that all levels take data protection seriously.</p> <p>It is in organisations’ interest to ensure they are putting data protection at their heart of their processes. Brands that are considered responsible and trustworthy with personal data will increasingly be the ones that customers return to. Significant breaches of data protection will simply serve to damage an organisation’s brand, as has been seen in recent months.</p> <p>2018 is a year of significant change for data protection. GDPR will set a new standard for data protection across the world. Its influence will not be limited to the EU. This is particularly significant in the context of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Organisations should be under no illusions that Brexit will be an end to the GDPR in the UK. GDPR is here and it is here today. The implications of Brexit are significant and complicated. techUK has been clear on a number of occasions that the UK is right to implement and commit to maintaining GDPR as one of the key elements to agreeing mutual adequacy decisions with the EU to ensure that data can continue to flow post-Brexit.</p> <p>As conversations turn later this year onto the UK’s future relationship with the EU, discussions on data protection will be central. techUK looks forward to ensuring that the UK remains a world-leader in developing high standards of data protection. Whilst today on Data Privacy Day, minds are particularly focused on these issues, they are relevant all year round. The next 147 days will be focused on preparations for GDPR taking effect and organisations will have to dedicate significant time and resource to getting ready for the new law. 25 May 2018 might mark the moment that GDPR comes into effect, but data protection never remains static. This will be an ongoing topic of discussion up to, on, and far beyond 25 May 2018.</p> Guest Blog: IoT, Smart Meters and GDPR Mon, 22 Jan 2018 10:16:36 +0000 Talal Rajab (techUK) This guest blog explores the data privacy and security challenges that face the smart meter roll-out <p>The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing at a rapid pace and we are seeing its reach becoming increasingly diverse, crossing multiple functions and sectors. Be it for personal wellness, smart energy, smart cities or smart mobility, IoT applications continue to emerge and change the way we live and interact with our surroundings. A natural consequence of this is an increase in the amount of data being collected. Personal, location and health data are all used to personalise a customers’ experience and, in some cases, to ensure that IoT devices function correctly.</p> <p>The IoT in a nutshell, is an eco-system of connected devices which collects data about an end user and makes it available to a service provider. To enable this exchange of data, the end user needs to be identified and linked whilst interacting with various interfaces and devices. The IoT potentially increases the threat surface of a network and therefore can pose serious risks to an individual’s privacy. If the data is exposed over the course of these exchanges it can allow unauthorised parties to create a profile of an individual(s) which can be used for marketing or criminal activities. Steps are being taken to ensure there are best practices in place to tighten security and the EU’s Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is likely to help govern the risks around the IoT, a much welcomed piece of legislation.</p> <p>Smart meters provide a great case study to highlight some of these potential risks. By 2020 they are to be installed in the homes of energy consumers nationwide and their key feature is that they provide data via remote communications. Unlike the days of ‘Dumb Meters’, where readings were carried out by a physical inspection of the meter, ideally on a quarterly basis, readings can now be carried out remotely, in near real time. Whilst making the domestic energy market more user friendly and reducing the reliance on estimated billing, the regular transmission of user data can reveal very sensitive information about people’s habits and usages.</p> <p>The risks created by this infrastructure go way beyond criminals simply obtaining usage data to see whether families are at home or away. Information regarding usage can determine when people are asleep, when they’re awake, whether they use TV, how often they do their laundry and even down to whether anyone suffers from insomnia or whether people sleep in the same room when connected with other devices. There is more – analysis of our patterns of usage can be very useful for other purposes such as marketing and advertising. For example, usage information could be used to understand when, and how, we are using products, allowing for more targeted marketing campaigns.</p> <p>It is clear that legislation is needed and the GDPR is very welcome. In brief, the GDPR creates principles around data processing (articles 5 and 24) and sets out new data protection standards which will be very relevant to the IoT. These include data protection impact assessments, algorithmic transparency, automated decision making, privacy by design and by default, informed consent, notification duties, and profiling. Whilst exact details are still to be decided it will help to govern risks and create a privacy framework around the use of IoT (including smart meters).</p> <p>If we refer back to the idea of smart meters, the principles mentioned above would mean strengthening the privacy requirements around the smart metering network. One of the larger benefits which it would enable however, is that (as the GDPR is rights based) it will equip users with the necessary tools to manage their data and put them in control.</p> <p>Users will have clear information related to the sharing of their data on request. Users would also be able to exercise their rights of access, rectification and erasure. These rights foster the implementation of the GDPR’s guiding principle of transparency. Smart meters providers will have to adopt a user-centric access approach, and the GDPR requirement of privacy by design will make sure that this approach is embedded at the onset, and no longer an after-thought.</p> <p>Ultimately, processing data in a way that complies with a data subject’s rights and expectations will enhance user trust, and the GDPR is a welcome piece of legislation which will enhance data subject rights. Companies, including those in the energy sector, which will adapt to the new requirements and implement the right solutions, will ultimately edge their competitors and build stronger and longer lasting relationship with their customer base.</p> <p><em>Ivana Bartoletti,&nbsp;Principal Privacy and Data Protection Consultant at Gemserv</em></p> Will Open Banking Invite the Fraudsters in? Thu, 18 Jan 2018 17:03:44 +0000 Ruth Milligan(techUK) Open Banking is a great step forward, not a security gamble. <p>Ask&nbsp; the question above of anyone who understands and appreciates Open Banking and their answer would be ‘no’. Yet in recent days, some press articles have raised fears that the most sensitive of data people have – their financial information – will be put at unnecessary risk through Open Banking. techUK wants to set the record straight – such messages produce unnecessary concern, are misleading and could undermine this exciting project.</p> <p>The ethos behind Open Banking and the PSD2 (the underlying legislation) is to increase the ways customers can make the most of their finances – give them more information and more possibilities to enable them to use their money better. In short, provide benefits. But using or not using these services is up to the customer. Open Banking and PSD2 will widen customer choice and that choice is based on detailed consent. No new provider will be able to get access to customer data without their say-so.</p> <p>As explained in a <a href="insights/news/item/12101-open-banking-opening-doors-for-your-finances">recent post</a>, ‘Open Banking’ in the UK puts into place the infrastructure and the rules needed to enable new types of financial service to work. Many of these types of service have been around for years – account aggregation, comparison services – but Open Banking creates a more secure and wider way for them to operate. It does this by:</p> <ul> <li>requiring them to be registered with the FCA;</li> <li>enabling them to operate on secure APIs;</li> <li>allowing them to tailor their service to the individual by basing it on a customer’s real-time current account data.</li> </ul> <p>Open Banking and PSD2 together are innovations that will bring benefits to all users of financial services while putting security at its heart. techUK strongly believes this.</p> <p><strong>And Open Banking is only the first step</strong></p> <p>As we set out in our recent paper<em> <a href="insights/reports/item/11745-techuk-publishes-white-paper-on-open-banking">From Open Banking to Open Financial Services – the Long View</a></em>, PSD2 can be the catalyst for a digitalised financial services eco-system that can fully exploit the potential of tech to improve people’s lives.</p> <p>Change can of course be unsettling, even frightening. But the only way to make things better is to change existing systems. Open Banking will not happen overnight: it is still work in progress and has a long way to go to reach its best.</p> <p>But PSD2 opens doors to changes which can vastly improve our ability to make the most of our finances. Read our <a href="insights/reports/item/11745-techuk-publishes-white-paper-on-open-banking">White Paper</a> for more information on the steps needed to get there.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Meet the Public Sector tech Innovator Mon, 15 Jan 2018 11:26:14 +0000 Simona Paliulyte(techUK) techUK catches up with Carlos Oliveira CEO & Founder of Shaping Cloud <p><img src="images/assets/Carlos_Picture_1.jpg" alt="Carlos Picture 1" width="2857" height="2317" /></p> <p><em><strong>As part of the Public Sector Innovation Den programme, we undertake regular profiles of innovative techUK members working in the GovTech space. This month we catch up with Carlos Oliveira CEO &amp; Founder of Shaping Cloud</strong></em></p> <p><strong>Tell us about Shaping Cloud and the work you do in the public sector</strong></p> <p>Shaping Cloud are one of the UK's leading public sector cloud experts. We specialise in working with public sector organisations to unlock the potential for cloud solutions and platforms to accelerate their path to digital transformation and find new ways of working. Based on our years of experience in the sector we have spent the past 18 months developing our own hybrid integration platform – SPINR.</p> <p>We now live in a digital platform economy, citizen expectations have shifted from passive, when they would expect to interact with the public sector via letter or in person, to empowered, where they expect to be able to choose how they transact.</p> <p>The vast majority of the public sector is still reliant on line of business systems that weren’t built with web and mobile in mind. This creates process inefficiency when trying to build new digital services as the data remains locked within the individual systems of record. It also means that the same data about the same citizen will exist across many of these applications.</p> <p>SPINR connects these applications and their underlying data together, enabling public sector organisations to create their own modern API platform upon which new digital services and streamlined processes can be built.</p> <p><strong>What does innovation in the public sector mean to you?</strong></p> <p>Innovation in the public sector should all be directly attributable to improving citizen outcomes whilst reducing the cost and time required to deliver those outcomes. New technology solutions such as IoT, chatbots, machine learning and AI have a great deal of potential to transform the sector but two things really need to happen before that potential can be unlocked.</p> <p>Firstly, software vendors need to be able to tie those technologies directly to outcomes and efficiencies so that the business case for transformation is clear. Secondly, the sector needs to start offering a standardised and common way for software vendors to deploy their innovative solutions in a plug and play manner.</p> <p>If, for example every council in the UK adopted a common API standard for each of their key services, this would mean that a software vendor could build their solution once and then sell that across the entire market without the need to manage a complex and time consuming process of system integration. By lowering the barriers to entry and opening up the market, the sector will then see the kind of explosion in innovation and start-ups that we have seen over the past 5-8 years in the commercial sector.</p> <p><strong>What was your key pitch to the public sector GovTech leaders at the Innovation Den?</strong></p> <p>The public sector has to stop solving the same problems in isolation and an API-first approach is the best way to begin creating the common interfaces and service descriptions that will allow innovation to take hold and flourish.</p> <p>SPINR is currently running an early adopter programme and we are actively looking for partners for whom we will deploy the platform as part of a free of charge pilot. If any organisations are interested in being part of the programme please get in touch.</p> <p><em>Are you interested in pitching to public sector tech leaders at our next Innovation Den? If so, get in touch!</em></p> Guest Blog: CES 2018: DAY 3 (10th Jan). Future Worlds Thu, 11 Jan 2018 16:35:52 +0000 Harri Turnbull(techUK) Bringing you a round-up of the day three at CES is Dr. Reuben Wilcock who leads the Univeristy of Southampton's Future Worlds Program. <p>Never in the four years I’ve been to CES have I seen rain fall from the sky as it did this morning. Gazing out of my hotel window and casting my eye up to the strip I could see cars making their way through the deep water and the normally deserted storm drains turning into raging torrents. Without a doubt, today was a taxi day. I headed to the other Future Worlds apartment where Sophie and Jon were putting the finishing touches onto the day’s blog and shortly afterwards we found ourselves climbing into an Uber to head to the show.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="images/assets/Harri_T/Click.jpg" alt="Click" width="1200" height="900" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Everything felt different today as we passed into the familiar halls of the Sands Expo convention centre – the carpet was down, refreshment points were up and the hundreds of stands were all finally complete. There was a sense of anticipation in the air as we reached our stand and began to set out the cards and start the demos. Marcos and Filippo had had a terrible time flying back from San Francisco the night before, and were lucky to be there this morning at all, recounting tales of cancelled and delayed flights and unhelpful ground staff. Travis had made his way to the stand through the rain but seemed remarkably dry whereas Daniel turned up with shoes so wet he had to remove them so he could wring out his socks!</p> <p>The opening of the gates on the first day of CES at 10am is always a big event as hordes of delegates gather to see new technologies and the latest products. Sophie had scheduled a Facebook interview with me to coincide perfectly with this moment so we found ourselves at 9.59am hitting the start button and pointing the camera towards the expectant crowds. There was a shout of “OK get your passes ready” and the security suddenly began to let the thousands of impatient attendees pass through onto the show floor. So for a moment there we were, <a href="">broadcasting live on our Facebook page</a> walking just ahead of the masses like the pied pipers of technology.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Before long the stand was humming with activity, <a href="">Daniel’s showreel</a> was capturing the imagination of potential collaborators, Travis was getting people hooked on his <a href="">Handy Kanji app</a> and the <a href="">Soton Audio Labs soundbar</a> experience was being met with looks of amazement and disbelief.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It wasn’t long before Daniel started collecting some valuable leads. The Aura Vision Labs technology uses deep learning AI to track people on any camera feed and estimate demographics, like gender and age. This information is extremely valuable for retailers where understanding customers and how they move through your space is essential. The showreel and demo playing on one of the two huge Future Worlds screens was certainly having its desired effect – prospects from airports to casino owners and vast retail chains all wanted to find out how they could try the technology. His pitch was compelling and the call to action was simple – if they could send captured video data then Aura Vision Labs could train their algorithms on that data as part of a pilot study.</p> <p>It wasn’t long before Jon signalled that the official CES film crew were coming our way and I got ready to deliver a 15 second piece to camera. These moments are always a little pressured as your brain notches up a gear, the adrenalin flows and you desperately try and think of the most appropriate message. I’ve found that remarkably the human body has a way of dealing with these situations and before long I was delivering a convincing piece about Future Worlds and Aura Vision Labs to the beaming smiles of the interviewer, Bernice. We’ll keep an eye out to see whether it gets used in their official feed.</p> <p>The media events continued and soon we spotted another press team from Minnesota filming the Aura Vision Labs demo from the aisle, so Jon ran over and invited them to interview Daniel. Daniel delivered a great piece about how his technology could help retail and other applications and the second interview of the day was in the bag.</p> <p>Travis and his Handy Kanji app were also getting significant attention, with one of his big catches being a contact from the Japanese government. Everyone who tries his app gets addicted within seconds – it really is the best way to learn the Kanji Forms. The market for this app is huge even if you only consider the millions of Japanese schoolchildren who have to learn these characters every year. Travis has recently started employing another of the entrepreneurs we have helped in the past – Varun Gupta, and they make a powerful team together.</p> <p>Filippo and Marcos were busy amazing anyone who was lucky enough to experience their soundbar demo. I never fail to enjoy watching the expression on people’s faces the first time they hear the sound move right around their head, despite the soundbar being placed in front of them. Both Filippo and Marcos have a certain effortless charm which can make the rest of us highly envious. One brilliant example was when I overheard a delegate ask whether the head tracking would still work if he was sat on the sofa with his arm around his wife. Marcos leant in and replied, “listen my friend... this is an *intelligent* soundbar... trust me, if it sees you snuggling up to your wife then it will automatically start to play Marvin Gaye.”</p> <p>Future Worlds was also getting its fair share of useful leads. I had a long chat to Paul Hide from techUK who I had met last year. We discussed the UK pavilion and how techUK evaluated their events. It’s always nice to talk to someone who cares so passionately about what they do. Paul has really helped us this year – not only by putting us in the TechUK brochure, but also by posting our articles and blogs on their site.</p> <p>Charlie Cannell from Inflexion Private Equity also dropped by the stand and we talked about investment and the potential for him joining the <a href="">Future Worlds mentor network</a>. An exciting new connection was Chon Tang from SkyDeck who are our counterparts at the University of California, Berkeley. Chon was telling me about their setup and recent fund, and how they were keen to offer places to founders from Future Worlds. This fits perfectly with the founder exchange plans I’m keen to start which would help our entrepreneurs get global reach by sending them to Silicon Valley and Shenzhen.</p> <p>You may be wondering how our video sales email techniques worked out from yesterday. Well one of those was to Nick and Omar at BBC Click and just a few minutes after sending they responded positively. The BBC team are always extremely busy and it’s a challenge to get coverage from them so we were delighted when Spencer Kelly and Simon Hancock dropped by the stand to see what we were up to. They didn’t have time to film right then but we managed to get a photo for Twitter, and Spencer was blown away by the soundbar demo.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> On The Right Track: Improving Connectivity On Britain’s Trains Thu, 11 Jan 2018 14:43:50 +0000 Sophie Weston(techUK) The report, supported by techUK and rail industry stakeholders, comments on how to improve internet connectivity for passengers on Britain’s railways. <p>It could be argued that Britain’s rail industry is a victim of its own success. Although the last few quarters have shown a slight decline, over the previous 10 years passenger journeys increased by about 42 per cent and passenger kilometres by about 35 per cent. Evidence of increased demand can be seen most readily in more crowded passenger services, but also in investment in longer trains and platforms, and in the need for better signaling to enable trains to safely operate more closely to each other.</p> <p>As consumers are moving to a mobile-first world, where smartphones and tablets supplant PCs for personal and small business internet use, they increasingly expect to be connected wherever they are. And if they’re spending more time on trains, they don’t see why that environment should be any different.</p> <p>Unfortunately, though, it is.</p> <p style="text-align: right;"><img src="images/assets/Train_Series.jpg" alt="Train Series" width="306" height="203" style="margin: 5px; float: right;" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Anyone who spends time on trains is familiar with pockets of no mobile connectivity, not just in tunnels&nbsp;but also in sparsely populated areas,&nbsp;cuttings – and even as trains approach Clapham Junction, Britain’s busiest station. London Underground’s deep stations are also notoriously devoid of mobile connectivity, a problem which subway systems in some other countries seem to have cracked.</p> <p>In a post-Brexit environment, where the UK will be investing more resource into attracting inward investment and retaining what is already here, wherever digital infrastructure is suboptimal by comparison to countries competing for that same investment, it will have to be addressed.</p> <p>Both the National Infrastructure Commission and the European Commission have recently highlighted the need for improved connectivity along major rail and road corridors. The Transport Select Committee has also investigated this.</p> <p>While an increasing number of rail services already offer Wi-Fi, and this is a requirement for new franchises, the passenger experience is variable (with some rolling stock being delivered even now without Wi-Fi).</p> <p>How best to improve connectivity has been looked at several times over the years, including at least 10 attempts to offer mobile connectivity in deep Tube stations, but nothing much resulted from this.</p> <p>Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised at the lack of progress, given that telcos have very different operating environments (not least, the pace of change) from companies operating in the rail sector; also Network Rail has legitimate concerns about any safety implications of additional third parties accessing trackside equipment; and ongoing misalignment of incentives between the two sectors. The fragmented nature of the rail sector, where train operating companies have fairly short franchises and own neither the rolling stock nor the track, is also an obstacle to investment.</p> <p>As with modern office buildings, the materials which train carriages are made from, combined with the shorter wavelength spectrum which is most often used to provide internet connectivity, makes it harder for mobile operators to reach rail passengers using their existing base stations, which aren’t located trackside. Plus the current on-board Wi-Fi relies on mobile networks to connect to the internet. Tunnels, cuttings, foliage and (to date) the difficulty of fitting suitable antennas to rolling stock, have so far ruled out satellite playing a part, although this has worked in other countries.</p> <p>Clearly it is time for action.</p> <p>As the cost to UK plc of doing nothing could only increase, techUK stepped in to facilitate discussions between the two sectors. We established a working group comprising rail sector - Network Rail, Rail Delivery Group (RDG), Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), and Train Operating Companies - plus telcos and independent telecoms infrastructure operators.</p> <p>The desirability of developing a “roadmap” of steps to improve digital connectivity for rail customers was identified fairly early on. The RDG and the RSSB provided some funding to engage a consultant (LS telcom) to work with the working group to develop the roadmap. techUK and RSSB hosted a series of workshops to share intel and highlight issues needing addressing.</p> <p>This initial report, to be <a href="events/meeting/item/12053-trackside-connectivity-on-britain-s-railways-challenges-and-next-steps" target="_blank">launched at techUK on 6 February</a>, necessarily focused on short to medium term actions (which could be actioned in the next 3-5 years), and on improving passenger connectivity rather than connectivity and signalling for the rail industry itself.</p> <p>The report clearly showed that this isn’t a technology issue, technical solutions are largely available now.</p> <p>Trials have shown that satisfactory connectivity can be provided to passengers, including in cuttings and tunnels, if the telecoms equipment can be located trackside, where Network Rail currently has some 2,500 base stations providing the GSM-R secure communications service used by rail personnel.</p> <p>The report has a clear preference for the adoption of a “neutral host” model, where the infrastructure is perhaps operated by a company independent from both Network Rail and the mobile operators, and which is incentivised (subject to any health and safety concerns) to maximise the number of commercial operators sharing the trackside infrastructure. There is a range of companies (e.g. Arqiva) which have extensive experience operating neutral host models, which would ensure healthy competition for the resulting contract(s).</p> <p>This won’t be fixed overnight.</p> <p>Significant funding would be needed to upgrade existing infrastructure, not just masts (possibly in addition to those currently supporting GSM-R), but also fibre to those masts, and access to power. The neutral host approach is seen to be an approach whose time has come in facilitating the sharing of costs and benefits between the players while retaining competition for consumers.</p> <p>But there is now a momentum, with the Government launching a consultation only a few weeks ago and in the Budget announcing a Trans-Pennine connectivity trial, building on a number of trials around the country, including project SWIFT with Cisco and ScotRail. Crucially, both the rail and telecoms sectors are supportive.</p> <p>techUK is delighted to have helped bring this about, and we will continue to work with all stakeholders to take this forward, including looking at what could be achieved over a longer timeframe than the current report considers.</p> <p>If we get this right, over the coming years investment in digital connectivity will not only provide the connectivity passengers increasingly expect, but also reduce the cost of operating train services (not least through predictive maintenance), and improve the speed of recovery and keep passengers informed when things go wrong.</p> <hr /> <p>Contact: <a href=""></a></p> So You Want to Employ More Women? Thu, 11 Jan 2018 14:26:22 +0000 Lucas Banach (techUK) Emma Fryer cogitates on the gender gap and suggests a few things we can do to improve diversity in the data centre sector. <p>The data centre sector struggles to attract and retain female staff, especially in technical roles. In truth, UK data centre operators find it hard to recruit enough technical staff of either gender. Missing out on half the workforce reduces the number of potential employees by 50%, which is not a good place to start. So what are data centres doing wrong? What can we do about it? Emma Fryer has worked within the sector since 2011, albeit not in a technical role, and makes some informal observations.</p> Accelerating Transformation in the Public Sector Thu, 11 Jan 2018 14:08:22 +0000 Simona Paliulyte(techUK) techUK joins up innovative GovTech SMEs with the public sector <p><img src="images/assets/Innovation_den_pic.jpg" alt="Innovation den pic" /></p> <p>To deliver the Government’s transformation agenda, the public sector must ensure it has access to the best innovative and disruptive technologies available in an ever-changing tech market. However, <a href="">techUK's research</a> has shown that civil servants need more engagement with suppliers as part of pre-procurement market engagement, but often do not have access to do so. This situation is confirmed by the <a href="">views of GovTech SMEs</a> showing that 90% do not think that civil servant buyers have a good understanding of how GovTech SMEs can meet their needs.</p> <p><strong>techUK Innovation Den</strong></p> <p>In response to this, techUK runs regular Innovation Dens offering GovTech SMEs the opportunity to pitch their ideas to panellists from public sector organisations currently delivering transformation programmes. In November 2017 we ran an Innovation Den focussing on innovative products or services that can support the delivery of excellent customer services. The panel for this Innovation Den included:</p> <p>● <strong>Danny Wootton:</strong> Head of Innovation Strategy, ISS Design Authority, Ministry of Defence</p> <p>● <strong>Nadira Hussain:</strong> Former President SOCITM and Head of ICT, London Borough of Enfield</p> <p>●<strong> Emma Jones:</strong> Founder Enterprise Nation and SME Crown Rep</p> <p>● <strong>Rob Driver:</strong> Head of Public Sector, techUK</p> <p>As a result of the Innovation Den techUK collated panellists’ feedback on the services pitched and provided feedback to pitchers on how to improve and refine their pitch to the public sector. The Innovation Den Programme has led to many follow-up appointments between GovTech companies and the public sector. Watch this space as techUK will be running profiles on all of the companies that pitched at the November Innovation Den!</p> <p>If you are a company that would like to participate in our next Innovation Den on 13 June 2018 get in contact now to register your interest - there is a high level of demand and places fill up quickly!</p> <p><strong>Further Information</strong></p> <p><a href="civil-servants-survey/main_findings">techUK’s Civil Servants Survey</a></p> <p><a href="insights/opinions/item/12009-making-the-case-for-govtech-smes">Making the Case for Govtech SMEs</a></p> The Open Age of Banking: Technology Driving Customer Trust and Loyalty Thu, 11 Jan 2018 11:04:48 +0000 Ruth Milligan(techUK) Guest blog from techUK member Richard Lowe, Director of BFSI UK, SQS <p>In the age of choice, where consumers can switch services at the click of a button, the only provider that has remained constant for many is their banking provider. UK consumers generally give a high amount of trust to their banking provider, with 85% of customers saying that they trust their bank with personal information and to manage accounts efficiently.</p> <p>While many banks interpret this as consumer loyalty, the reality is that many people stay with their chosen provider out of fear of the presumed upheaval switching providers entails, and concern that their data and money will be put at risk.</p> <p><a href="">Our research shows</a> that 48% of banking customers would worry that direct debits and standing orders would not be transferred accurately during the switching process. However, this is all subject to change with Open Banking coming into effect in January 2018.</p> <p>Open Banking will make it easier for customers to understand what’s available to them and more able to compare and switch providers, which means more will have to be done to retain customer trust and loyalty in the long run.</p> <p>And, in this open age of banking, trust can easily be broken if something goes wrong. For example, 62%&nbsp; of customers admitted that they would quickly lose trust in their banks, if the bank suffered a data breach. Similarly, 55% mentioned the same if they were to become a victim of fraud.</p> <p>But it’s not just these high-profile instances that can impact a bank’s reputation. Failure of the technology to 'just work' is also a trust turn off, with 37% of respondents stating they would lose faith in their provider if the website or mobile app isn’t functioning properly.</p> <p>The onus, therefore, is on banks to ensure that their technology is robust and reliable across all channels to prevent such situations from occurring, in order to build trust and a loyal customer base.</p> <p><strong>Acquire loyalty with a seamless digital experience</strong></p> <p>Technology is playing an increasingly greater role in our lives and, as such, our research has shown that customer preferences are changing. Customers are embracing digital banking and are choosing to interact with their banks more and more through mobile and online channels. In fact, 90% of UK consumers report that they are signed up to use online banking and 95% feel that it is making their day to day, current account banking quicker.</p> <p>When asked, 91% of respondents actually expressed a preference of checking their balance digitally and 74% cited this means as their preferred way to change personal details. Now, more than ever, it is vital for banks to ensure their customer experience is digitally focused. Banks need to be delivering a seamless customer experience across all touchpoints – both digital and physical. With more than&nbsp; <a href="">482 bank branches closing down</a> across the country this year alone, and RBS recently announcing a further 259 in the near future, delivering in-branch, personal experiences will become a thing of the past.</p> <p>It will not be enough to rely on the loyalty of the customer of yesteryear, a more technologically advanced and less loyal younger consumer is now coming into play. Our research shows that the rising tech-friendly millennials are less loyal than their older counterparts; 38% say that they would be likely to switch their bank with Open Banking compared to 13% of over 65 year olds, and banks need to be mindful of this in order to retain them as customers.</p> <p>Whether customers need to transfer money, check their account balance or even apply for a mortgage, banks need to be able to provide these services confidently online, just like they would in branch to meet the expectations of today’s customer.</p> <p><strong>Think differently with digital</strong></p> <p>As well as using technology to provide a better user experience, banks can also use it to differentiate themselves from their competitors. With the emergence of fintech and challenger banks, the retail banking sector has become much more competitive, meaning traditional banks have to be able to offer something different to be able to compete with the upsurge of this potentially more agile and customer responsive set-up.</p> <p>With customers having so much more choice, banks will need to think creatively to stand out from the crowd and technology will be a key differentiator in the sector. In many ways technology can deliver the in-branch human experience via different formats: chatbots can give loan advice or mortgages can be discussed via video calls. Integrated channels will mean that customers can start filling in applications via their smartphone on their daily commute and then picking them up from the same position on their desktops when they get home.</p> <p>Moving forward, banks will need to use technology in innovative ways to meet the needs of both existing and potential customers to retain and gain market share.</p> <p><strong>Quality assurance equals reassured customers</strong></p> <p>With Open Banking coming into play this week, it will be easier than ever for customers to vote with their feet if they lose trust in their bank and are frustrated with the technology it offers.</p> <p>However, with this rise in importance of banking technology and more of it being implemented, there is also more potential for things to go wrong. To avoid this, banks need to ensure quality assurance is consistently at the heart of all their banking systems.</p> <p>To retain and attract customers in an ever more competitive market banks will need to ensure the stability and reliability of the systems their customers rely on, from the smallest to the biggest transactions. After all, when personal information and finances are at risk, customers will be able to move to a more trustworthy provider a lot quicker with the new Open Banking regulations.</p> <p><strong>Download the full report <a href=";utm_source=TechUKBlog&amp;utm_campaign=RetailBankingReport&amp;utm_term=RetailBankingReport&amp;utm_content=RetailBankingReport">here</a>.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Guest Blog: CES 2018: DAY 2 (9th Jan). Future Worlds Wed, 10 Jan 2018 14:54:45 +0000 Harri Turnbull(techUK) Bringing you a round-up of the day two at CES is Dr. Reuben Wilcock who leads the Univeristy of Southampton's Future Worlds Program. <p>Someone once described being an entrepreneur as jumping on a horse with an unwieldy sword and galloping at high speed into the sunset alone, driven by an unrealistic belief of success. This has certainly been my experience during the five startups I’ve founded or been involved with and each time one reaches its conclusion, successful or otherwise, I always say ‘never again’. But like any powerful addiction it’s not long before that gnawing feeling comes back, another problem that needs to be solved is found, and on the horse we jump again.</p> <h3>Taking Future Worlds to CES is a profoundly important milestone for the University of Southampton entrepreneurs that join us on the stand. The steep learning curve of pitching to a vast spectrum of potential customers combined with the pressure to make the most of the opportunity whilst standing side by side with kindred spirits from around the globe makes this a special place indeed.</h3> <p>During the show, the Future Worlds team both here and back in the UK act as a well-oiled machine supporting the startups we promote in any way we can. Each morning, writing the daily blog at 5am makes me the first moving part in this machine which then sees <a href="">Jon</a> proofread and edit the text, <a href="">Sophie</a> select photos to accompany the narrative whilst<a href="">Alex</a> and <a href="">Natasha</a> process the video footage back home in the incubator.</p> <p><img src="images/assets/Harri_T/Image_7.jpg" alt="Image 7" width="600" height="480" /></p> <p>This year is Sophie’s first time experiencing CES and worries of incomplete video uploads during the night had seen her catch very little precious sleep. A strong coffee and she was back on her feet checking out the video Alex had sent through and helping Tyler iron another piece of the stand’s fabric. As they were doing this Jon’s head popped round the corner with our first good media news of the day, which was that <a href="">techUK had published our guest blog on their website</a>.</p> <p>It is extremely difficult to get media coverage during CES – after all we are up against products like LG’s latest 65” TV that <a href="">rolls up like wrapping paper</a>, so Jon had done very well with this one. He also confirmed that popular UK southern counties radio stations <a href="">Sam FM</a> and <a href="">The Breeze</a> were set to do a radio interview with me at 10am, which was another great catch. So Jon and I headed off early to the show to get prepped and ready for the interview whilst Sophie and Tyler finished off their morning tasks.</p> <p>Now, as many of you know, I’m a little out of practice at the moment so Jon fired potential interview questions at me as we paced around Eureka Park, narrowly avoiding the fork-lift drivers racing past with their freight deliveries. I already knew the best place to take a quiet call from last year, when <a href="">I had many a phone conversation with Minister for Digital and Culture’s press team</a>. This perfect location is an unglamorous corridor leading up to the first floor toilets. The phone rang and I dived into the space and got chatting to the interviewer about everything from Future Worlds to our founders and CES as a whole. Jon had remarkably guessed nearly all of the questions correctly and so being well prepared I felt that it had gone well. But why not judge for yourself – it will air on Wednesday and we’ll let you know more on that soon.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="images/assets/Harri_T/Image_8.jpg" alt="Image 8" width="600" height="451" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A little later, Sophie, Jon and I parked ourselves at one of the Venetian cafes to discuss media strategy at the show. We drank our coffee, ate biscotti and tried to ignore the deafening indoor theatre performance which began 10 minutes later. We reviewed our current list of media targets, brainstormed new ones, prioritised the list and divided it between the three of us before heading back to the stand with a renewed purpose. After sending the first few emails the familiar face of Dr Mike Short CBE appeared and we got chatting about the presence of UK startups at the show. Mike has been at Telefonica for 30 years, reaching Vice President level, and only left to become Chief Scientific Advisor at the Department of International Trade. I explained how the University was being so supportive of Future Worlds and we discussed the merits of having a UK pavilion at CES.</p> <p>When it comes to national presence, France is undoubtedly the leader this year with a colossal section of Eureka Park dedicated to its startups. Holland also has an impressive area promoting its entrepreneurs and it was fun to catch up with those I had got to know during my last startup, Joulo. Arjen Noorbergen, who was CTO of the company that acquired Joulo, dropped by and told me how his latest venture Triggi was going. A couple of hours later my old friend Andriy Shmyhelskyy appeared. Andriy founded CareToSave, now called Hyko and we had met at the British Gas Startup competition when I was pitching Joulo in 2013. Andriy’s proposition is wonderfully endearing and well worth a look – an internet-connected polar bear that helps teach kids to turn off the lights.</p> <p>We then buckled down to the job in hand – finding a creative way to tempt prospects and media to come to the stand and discover our startups. For Daniel we had realised that casinos were a perfect opportunity for <a href="">Aura Vision Labs</a> and so he spent a few hours searching for details of the surveillance directors of the largest casinos on the strip. Meanwhile Travis was amassing a list of the biggest bloggers on the internet who might be interested in covering his EdTech App, <a href="">Handy Kanji</a>.</p> <p>The plan I suggested was bold, simple and hopefully irresistible to the prospects: film a short pitch video just for them, personalised by a hand written message on an A4 sheet of paper held up at the start. Imagine you receive an email with an embedded video whose thumbnail shows someone holding up a card with your name on it. Who wouldn’t be tempted to play that clip? This technique goes right back to the 1930s and Dale Carnegie, the famous author of ‘How to win friends and influence people’, who said that a person’s name is the sweetest thing they will ever hear. So we spent a couple of hours creating and sending these highly personalised and targeted clips.</p> <p>During the later stage of the afternoon Tyler, who had been busily working on some code, announced that he had developed a Raspberry Pi-powered device that would automatically upload all the files from an SD card onto our media server back in the incubator. This meant that the team could just swap cards after filming and pop the one they had just used into its SD slot, allowing Alex back home to grab the footage coming through. This was quickly employed to upload a tour of the stand that was planned to be the blog video for today.</p> <p>Thanks for the messages many of you have sent about the first blog, and special thanks to Jon’s relatives who kindly pointed out that in all the footage so far he appears to be standing around doing nothing! I’ll make sure he pulls his weight today.</p> <p>One last request, if you do enjoy these blogs, is to help us by sharing them on your social feeds. As ever, Future Worlds is powered by its network, their connections and goodwill and helping promote what we are doing is a great way to play a part in the journey of some of our exciting startups.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>If you want to find out more about Future World's, head over to their website at <a href=""></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> techUK CES 2018: DAY 1 (8th Jan). Press Launches Tue, 09 Jan 2018 09:11:47 +0000 Harri Turnbull(techUK) Paul Hide, COO at techUK, brings us his round-up from the first day on the ground at CES 2018. <h3 style="text-align: left;">Vegas, here we go! The World’s greatest tech fair is on for the 51st time and, rather than growing old gracefully, it is bigger, brasher and more energetic than ever. 3900 exhibitors are showcasing 20,000 new products and will be seen by 170,000 visitors from 150 countries</h3> <p>Day one is press launch day, where we get to hear from the major tech players about their key new offerings a day before the show floor opens for viewing. The major press launches are dominated by the big consumer brands and the car manufacturers.</p> <p>The message from all the key consumer electronics giants is that everything will be connected, voice control enabling connectivity ease of use is key and artificial intelligence and machine learning will be adopted across all consumer tech devices.</p> <p>I’ve summarised some of the key messages from the key players in this blog. techUK will report in greater detail on the key tech and CE sectors and products launched at CES once we get to visit the booths from tomorrow onwards.</p> <p>LG announced the launch of their new AI platform, ThinQ, which is being applied across all of LG’s consumer home, mobile and in-car offerings. Positioned as ‘AI in everyday products’ and designed to be led by voice control, learning your behavioural and lifestyle preferences LG are positioning this technology as an open solutions platform to enable LG products and technology to connect with other manufacturers’ offerings. LG are promoting their alliance with Google Assistant as the interface for connected home devices, accessed through ‘Chloe’, a table top, voice activated, ‘AI Assistant’, in the mini robot mould.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="images/assets/Harri_T/Image_1.jpg" alt="Image 1" width="464" height="261" /></p> <p>Panasonic, who no longer see the traditional consumer electronics AV products as a key sector for them in the USA, talked about their broader aims across the total connected infrastructure, from homes, to vehicles, to road networks. They announced a third-generation communications network for airlines that will provide 20 times the current data speeds for passengers. Panasonic have a strong partnership with Amazon Alexa to jointly develop the next generation of in-vehicle communications and user interfaces. Two thirds of Panasonic’s revenues now come from connected world devices so, as the company enters its 101st year of existence, this sector will be its primary focus. Panasonic referenced its commitment to sustainable energy technologies as the No.1 producer of electric vehicle battery technology, supplying the likes of Tesla and Toyota.</p> <p>Samsung had the biggest, brashest, slickest press launch of the day along with the biggest line of delegates queuing to hear what is new in 2018. It talked about the 3 core Samsung strategies of Investment, Connectivity and Intelligence. It made a bold claim that, by 2020, that every Samsung device sold will have AI capability and cloud connectivity as it too focused on connectivity and open standards, driven by its propriety SmartThings Cloud service and Family Hub home and in-car connected platform. As well as compatibility with Android and IOS operating systems and partnerships with Google and Amazon, Samsung will continue to develop its own Bixby voice control interface. Samsung launched its new Micro LED TV technology, the winner of this year’s CES ‘Best Innovation’ accolade. This technology utilised self-light emitting LEDs which delivers picture quality claimed to out perform the current OLED industry leading picture quality standard. Micro LED technology also allows the building of module displays, enabling up to 146” screen sizes.&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="images/assets/Harri_T/Image_2.jpg" alt="Image 2" width="640" height="480" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sony’s launch re-iterated its heritage across Video, Audio and Imaging categories and a focus on the detail of the 2018 product range. Its strength and focus on gaming, with over 73 million PlayStation units sold, will be retained. Sony was one of the first to showcase robots and those that remember the original Aibo robot dog will be pleased to hear that it makes a comeback in 2018. Sony also made several references to connected and AI technologies along with its links to autonomous vehicles.</p> <p><img src="images/assets/Harri_T/Image_3.jpg" alt="Image 3" width="1378" height="1033" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Possibly the biggest challenger to the ‘Big 4’ home AV manufacturers (LG, Panasonic, Samsung and Sony) are Hisense. The Chinese CE manufacturer is rapidly growing its global market share, investing in brand exposure through sponsorship of this year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia. The press launch focussed on Home AV technologies, in particular its range of super-sized Laser Projection TVs. These short throw DLP projection TVs deliver some of the biggest screen sizes available for the home. Up until now it has led the ‘size matters’ war with their 100” Laser TV. At CES they announced a new 150” TV which definitely puts it in front in terms of the biggest available (for now at least).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="images/assets/Harri_T/Image_4.jpg" alt="Image 4" width="464" height="464" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The motor vehicle sector again has a strong presence at CES.</p> <p>Toyota is forecasting a fully electric vehicle (EV) line up by 2025. It unveiled its e-Palette autonomous EV, delivering highly customisable options including ridesharing and social collaboration. E-Pallette is an industry alliance with a broad range or partners, including Amazon, Mazda, Uber, DiDi (Chinese ride-sharing company) and Pizza Hut. The common goal is the development of ‘Mobility as a Service’ solutions, an example being the transportation of goods and services within standardised containers onboard autonomous electric delivery pods.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="images/assets/Harri_T/Image_5.jpg" alt="Image 5" width="464" height="348" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Intel announced a partnership with Ferrari, bringing AI to the Ferrari challenge series as well as a partnership with Mobileye for autonomous vehicle development. In fact Intel is going far beyond earth based vehicle technologies as its partnership with NASA to evaluate how AI can support space exploration demonstrates.</p> <p>Qualcomm announced a partnership with Jaguar Land Rover, Honda and BYD to bring SnapDragon infotainment to vehicles.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="images/assets/Harri_T/Image_6.jpg" alt="Image 6" width="1378" height="1033" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p>Volkswagen and NVIDIA are to collaborate on AI integration and Nissan launched its Intelligent Mobility programme and is showcasing the new Leaf electric car.</p> <p>That’s 12 hours of launches compressed into a few paragraphs. Stay tuned for more show news over the coming days.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> IoD Calls for Open Partnership with Public Sector Fri, 05 Jan 2018 12:00:03 +0000 Simona Paliulyte(techUK) Digital skills and data sharing key to delivering ‘smarter services’ <p><img src="images/assets/Fotolia_89617027_XS.jpg" alt="Fotolia 89617027 XS" width="698" height="466" /></p> <p>This week the Institute of Directors (IoD) released a <a href="">report</a> calling on the public sector to have an ‘open partnership’ with business to enable ministers to ‘deliver the high quality digital services that citizens expect’. The 30,000 member organisation (supported by techUK member Atos) warned in the report that Whitehall does not currently make adequate use of private sector expertise, and that better use of data is needed to make services more productive.</p> <p>The IoD report reflects techUK’s <a href="images/smarter_services_DIGITAL_FINAL.pdf">Smarter Services: Delivering the Next Wave of Digital Transformation in the Public Sector</a> recommendations calling for digital skills and data sharing to be key components to public service transformation. These recommendations draw on the findings from techUK’s Civil Servants Survey 2017 of over 940 civil servants from all grades and across the country. The survey shows that there is a lot of good work being done on public service transformation and most civil servants (79 per cent) agree that there is an appetite amongst citizens for conducting more interactions with Government online. However, a shortage of skills and capabilities is regarded as the largest barrier to tech adoption in Government; 57 per cent of respondents saw it as a problem, an increase on last year.</p> <p><strong>Public Sector Innovation</strong></p> <p>During last year’s <a href="insights/opinions/item/11742-making-the-case-for-govtech-smes">SME Campaign Week</a> on government transformation techUK sought to raise awareness of the fundamental role innovative GovTech SMEs have in the transformation of public services. As demonstrated by <a href="">techUK’s 2017 SME Survey</a>, the Government is on the right track to make it easier for innovative GovTech SMEs to supply to government with a majority of respondents viewing frameworks such as G-cloud as being useful for SMEs to access the public sector market. However, 95 per cent stated that government should be doing more to improve the experiences of SMEs as part of the supply chain.</p> <p>Rob Driver, Head of Public Sector at techUK commented:</p> <p><em>“It is clear from the views of business leaders, civil servants and GovTech SMEs that there is an urgent need to improve engagement between the tech industry and government to expose civil servants to the innovative technology that’s available in the fast moving UK market. There are pockets of strong engagement with the tech industry across the public sector, but there is still much room for improvement.”</em></p> <p><em>“The public sector has come a long way in a short amount of time and deserves its place amongst the World’s most innovative. However, to successfully deliver end-to-end transformation Government needs to both embrace new technologies and new ways of delivering services that ‘Digital’ makes possible. To ensure the Government has access to the best innovative technologies, techUK will be building on the strong relationships we already have with central and local government to deliver a range of market engagement events in 2018.”</em></p> <p><strong>Further Information</strong></p> <p><a href="">The Future of Public Sector ICT Procurement</a><br /><a href="">Making the Case for GovTech SMEs</a><br /><a href="civil-servants-survey/main_findings">Smarter Services: Delivering the Next Wave of Digital Transformation in the Public Sector</a></p> Isn’t it Time IoT Devices Were ‘Secure by Default’? Fri, 05 Jan 2018 09:35:39 +0000 Aimee Betts-Charalambous(techUK) Security continues to be a key consumer concern. But what does this mean for devices and the companies innovating in this space? Gemserv’s Sean Gulliford takes a look. <blockquote>The Internet of Things (IoT) has incredible potential to impact and improve the way we live, with innovative solutions being proposed across multiple market verticals. However, for the IoT to reach its full potential, security must be taken more seriously.</blockquote> <p>You wouldn’t consider connecting a PC to the internet without first ensuring that the latest updates were patched, and some form of anti-virus software installed. So why do consumers and businesses connect IoT devices to the internet without the same consideration?</p> <p>The first thing to realise is that there is very little difference between a PC and an IoT device at a network level; both can communicate using standard protocols and therefore, once connected, are able to communicate with any other device on the internet, both essentially speak the same language, and are defined by software to specify their function.</p> <p>However, unlike PCs, that have the resources to run additional anti-malware applications, IoT devices can be resource constrained and therefore it is important that security is built in from the start. Any IoT device should therefore be “Secure by Default” , meaning that it meets a certain level of security without required intervention from the user. As a minimum this should include:</p> <ul> <li>Protected access to the device via a unique password, not a default password shared across multiple devices</li> <li>The capability to support secure remote updates.</li> <li>The ability to encrypt and protect sensitive data.</li> </ul> <p>Consumers should ensure that a device meets these basic security criteria before connecting. Businesses that host IoT devices must understand that these devices form part of the organisations IT network, and therefore should be included in any security audit (e.g. ISO27001).</p> <p>Whilst the pace of IoT innovation puts pressure on the ability to regulate these devices it should be noted that the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and Network Information Systems (NIS) directive both come into force in May this year. Both regulatory measures have the potential to impact IoT devices and systems, for example:</p> <ul> <li>Article 32 of the GDPR defines the requirements regarding “security and processing” of personal data, specifically listing the key security triad of confidentiality, integrity and availability. Therefore, an IoT device that collects and stores personal data is likely to be required to meet these regulatory requirements.</li> <li>The NIS directive is concerned with the protection of essential services such as transport, water, energy, health and digital infrastructure, against cyber-attacks. IoT devices employed as part of any essential service will likely fall under this directive.</li> </ul> <p>It should also be noted that the Department for Digital, Culture, Media &amp; Sport (DCMS) is developing a “Secure by Default” code of practice that will provide essential guidance to both businesses and consumers.</p> <p>In summary,</p> <ul> <li>The IoT has enormous potential but more must be done to understand and communicate the potential risks that insecure devices pose.</li> <li>Consumers should be aware of the minimum-security requirements for an IoT Device before connecting.</li> <li>Businesses and Service Providers should ensure that IoT devices are “Secure by Default” and meet best practice requirements.</li> <li>Businesses must include IoT devices in any network security audit and understand the impact of the GDPR and the NIS directive, coming into force May this year.</li> </ul> <p><sup>_______</sup></p> <p><sup>[i] <a href="" target="_blank"></a></sup><br /><sup>[ii] <a href="" target="_blank"></a></sup><br /><sup>[iii] <a href="" target="_blank"></a></sup></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Post written by Sean Gulliford, Principal Consultant - Connected Devices, <a href="" target="_blank">Gemserv</a>.</strong></p> <p><strong>020 7090 1075</strong></p> <p><strong><br /></strong></p> <p><a href="insights/reports/item/11743-the-connected-home-a-view-of-the-uk-market-and-future-trends" target="_blank"><img src="images/Connected_Home_2017_Cover.png" alt="Connected Home 2017 Cover" width="170" height="239" style="float: left;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This post is part of a recently launched initiative looking at trends&nbsp;in the Connected Home market. <a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> to find out more.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For further information on techUK's Connected Home work contact <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.</p> Guest Blog: doppel Wants the US to De-Stress at CES This Year Wed, 03 Jan 2018 14:01:54 +0000 Harri Turnbull(techUK) doppel CEO Dr. Fotini Markopoulou, will be showcasing its revolutionary wearable tech at CES 2018 in Las Vegas. <h3>techUK CES 2018: London-based wearable start-up, <a href="">doppel</a>, explains why it values being part of Great Britain and Northern Ireland pavilion at CES</h3> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="">doppel</a> is a British wearable tech company producing devices designed to reduce stress for those who sport them. The company was founded by Dr Fotini Markopoulou, Jack Hooper, Andreas Bilicki and Nell Bennett in 2014 after they met on the Innovation Design Engineering joint MSc/MA course at Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art. It has received considerable interest from future customers with a highly successful Kickstarter program and global press coverage.</p> <p>Dr. Fotini Markopoulou, CEO of <a href="">doppel</a>, explains why CES is an important event to maintain business momentum:</p> <p>“Stress is now an epidemic, with one in five of us suffering. Many of us find our lives and jobs are high pressure, and mental performance is essential. Yoga or meditation can be relaxing but many of us don’t have the time. <a href="">doppel</a> is a unique solution that’s easy to use, natural and effective. This is the message that we want to get across to the US market at CES this year. We believe it could be our biggest market for partners, buyers and customers and being part of the Pavillion will allow us to reach key stakeholders and create the momentum for our business to grow throughout 2018.”</p> <p>Find doppel at Stand 51916, Eureka Park</p> <p>For more information, please visit <a href=""></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Guest Blog: What Happens in Vegas With Ruark? Wed, 03 Jan 2018 13:41:22 +0000 Harri Turnbull(techUK) Ruark Audio’s founder, Alan O’Rourke, discusses the its plans for CES 2018 in Las Vegas <h3>techUK CES 2018: <a href="">Ruark Audio</a>’s founder, Alan O’Rourke, will be showcasing a full range of products at the international show</h3> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="">Ruark Audio</a> is one of several innovative UK companies who have been selected by the UK’s DiT in partnership with techUK to showcase the best of British at CES 2018. This will not only give this SME a global stage to showcase its design prowess and high-quality production methods but also create more opportunities to engage with global tech media and retailers.</p> <p>Alan discusses where he sees opportunity:</p> <p>“It’s an exciting time for all at <a href="">Ruark</a>. With just over a decade of consistent growth, CES marks an ideal opportunity to shape the long-term expansion of our British family-run business. Our aim is to use the show to further develop existing markets but also focus on breaking into new territories such as the US, Canada and South America. We have seen success across retail and hospitality partners in many regions and our products are already known internationally. Our vision is to now replicate this across the US and other new markets.”</p> <p>Find Ruark at Suite 29-129, The Venetian Resort Hotel</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe src="" frameborder="0" width="640" height="360" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" gesture="media" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For more information, please contact <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Making the Case for Govtech SMEs Tue, 02 Jan 2018 14:44:46 +0000 Simona Paliulyte(techUK) SME survey findings will help improve access to the public sector market <p><img src="images/assets/Fotolia_124568856_Subscription_Monthly_XL.jpg" alt="Fotolia 124568856 Subscription Monthly XL" /></p> <p>To better understand the views of SMEs operating in the public sector tech market, techUK undertakes an annual survey to capture their experiences. The key findings of the 2017 survey of nearly 140 GovTech SMEs include:</p> <p>• 90% did not think that civil servant buyers have a good understanding of how SMEs can meet their needs (a 4% improvement on the previous year)</p> <p>• 95% supported the government’s 33% target of awarding central government procurement spend to SMEs and a majority of respondents viewed the G- cloud framework as being useful for SMEs to access the public sector market</p> <p>• 95% stated that government should be doing more to improve the SME experience as part of the supply chain route to selling into the public sector</p> <p>The findings highlight the urgent need to improve engagement between the industry and government earlier in the commissioning process to expose civil servants to the innovative technology that’s available in a fast moving market. Throughout 2018 techUK will be working with the Cabinet Office and government departments on a range of activities to improve access the public sector tech market, including a series of market engagement events to help SMEs gain business with government.</p> <p>techUK will be launching a report on ‘Procuring the Smarter State: key steps to promote innovation and growth in the public sector’ on 30 January 2017. This report will provide further analysis on the SME survey and outline key recommendations to promote innovation in the public sector, and help dynamic British based SMEs to scale and grow.</p> <p><strong>Further Information</strong></p> <p><a href="">The Future of Public Sector ICT Procurement</a></p> <p><a href="">Making the Case for GovTech SMEs</a></p> Highways England – Forward Thinking, Vision Driven, Connected Roads for England Wed, 27 Dec 2017 09:00:00 +0000 Aimee Betts-Charalambous(techUK) Highways England recent activity is promising for the increasingly important SRN. <p>December 2017 has been a busy month for Highways England, publishing two future-focused reports – <a href="" target="_blank">Strategic Road Network Initial Report</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Connecting the Country</a>.</p> <p>Highways England is on a mission to revolutionise our strategic roads to create a modern Strategic Road Network (SRN) that supports a modern Britain. The SRN Initial Report outlines Highways England’s vision and objectives for 2020-2025 as well as reviewing the progress in the first few years of the first road period (2015-2020). The organisation’s customer focused and action-oriented approach has meant that England’s SRN is now one of the safest in the world. Highways England are looking to build upon this in the second road period, with a variety of aspirations. At techUK, we are particularly excited about the aspirations to “build the smart motorway spine of the network” and “prepare for the future”, as these objectives tie in closely with the <a href="" target="_blank">SmarterUK initiative’s Transport group</a>.</p> <p>Connecting the&nbsp;Country pulls together trends&nbsp;in demand,&nbsp;infrastructure and vehicles, sets out potential future scenarios, and provides longer-term thematic plans inspired by the company’s guiding principles – Safety, Customer and Delivery.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="images/hui.png" alt="hui" width="648" height="331" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Together the reports balance future-facing visions and objectives with an understanding of current infrastructure needs and priorities. At a r<a href="events/workshop/item/11668-putting-the-user-back-into-transport-innovation" target="_blank">ecent workshop</a> looking at how technology and data can unlock new potential across our transport system, techUK members explored new solutions to support Highways England’s maintenance strategy. Discussing novel ways to maximise efficiency and productivity across the network, members were given an opportunity to explore the principles set out in these reports in more detail. If you would like to find out more about outputs from the workshop contact <a href="" target="_blank">Jessica Russell</a>.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Highways England is responsible for the roads in the SRN that carry over 4 million vehicles every day. These millions of vehicles make up one third of all traffic and over two thirds of all freight. Highways England appears to be working hard to place itself at the forefront of future-proofing England’s SRN.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">techUK is highly supportive of these efforts and looks<span style="text-align: right;">&nbsp;forward to working more closely with Highways England going into 2018.</span></p> Defence Industrial Policy Refresh Thu, 21 Dec 2017 09:00:00 +0000 Andy Johnston (techUK) techUK's initial views on the Refreshed Defence Industrial Policy released at the end of 2017. <p>techUK welcomes the Government’s Defence Industrial Policy Refresh (DIPR) released in mid-December 2017.</p> <p>The DIPR is the UK Government’s primary policy document concerning how MOD contracts for services and equipment, and how it plans to work with industry to deliver national capabilities. The DIPR sets out to clarify a number of procurement and commercial elements of Defence policy that greatly affect UK industry. Affecting everything from research &amp; development activities, and requirements setting, through to support to exports and intellectual property rights, the DIPR is a broad document that will demand much work to implement in 2018.</p> <p>MOD’s commitment to ‘Competition and Strategic Choice as the best means of delivering value for money, increasing innovation, and opportunities for SMEs’ is welcomed by techUK, indeed our members welcome competition and the chance to justify the efficacy of their products and services. techUK encourages MOD to pair this approach with a commitment to sustaining a level and fair environment in which to compete. As explored below there are elements of UK defence procurement that persist from previous years that reinforce outdated ways of working and make it hard for new entrants to compete with incumbent suppliers.</p> <p><strong>Commercial Transformation</strong></p> <p>The importance of commercial transformation with UK Defence cannot be understated, especially when placed in the context of engagement with the digital industries. The digital transformation led by ISS has progressed over recent years and has been coupled with a new approach commercial activities in Corsham too. As the Cabinet Office directives encourage shorter and more agile agreements for ICT services ISS has attempted to break down monolithic contracts intro smaller groupings of services. This approach should favour SMEs, offering them routes into MOD that were previously held by the traditional suppliers. Although there is evidence of this, it is widely known that progress here has been slow. techUK members are keen to support this transformation and to embrace modern ways of contracting for digital products and services. In 2018 we look forward to working with Andrew Forzani, MOD’s new Chief Commercial Officer, and the yet to be appointed Commercial Director at ISS.</p> <p><strong>The Digital Industries</strong></p> <p>techUK is somewhat disappointed to see that much of the references to digital platforms and information systems within the document is restricted only to industrial engagement purposes. Throughout the document ‘industry’ is described as broad groupings of capabilities, offerings, service providers, and innovators. As the Defence industry becomes ever more diverse this is very much welcomed and commended. However, there is no reference to the intricacies of the digital industries and the potential of such companies to revolutionise the public sector. As this is a broad policy document covering a multitude of areas this omission is understandable, however techUK will continue to work with MOD officials in order to ensure this message is communicated.</p> <p>techUK greatly welcomes the direct use of the Land Open System Architecture (LOSA) example within the document. LOSA is a good example of how the UK can lead on the development of open systems and create innovative commercial mechanisms. LOSA allows UK SMEs to be directly involved with an important and influential project, whilst maintaining full control and rights over their intellectual property, traditionally a tough challenge when dealing with open systems. techUK encourages MOD to maintain this approach to opportunities that allow UK SMEs to engage in collaborative discovery work. For work such as this it is critical that MOD identifies and defines the user-side demand, ensuring that the results of LOSA have a customer and an end-user, eliminating the Valley of Death.</p> <p><strong>Collection of Industry Data</strong></p> <p>As part of the Government’s prosperity agenda MOD will increase the frequency and rigour with which they collect information about UK Defence jobs, supply chain depth, and contribution to economic prosperity. The collection and utilisation of this kind of information should greatly support the extant efforts being made to show the economic value of Defence to the UK economy. However, it is important that the processes being established in order to collect this information are not overly arduous on industry. UK companies already provide much information to different government departments, and efforts should be made to discover and use the information already within MOD’s reach, then make sensible efforts to collect what else is needed.</p> <p>techUK would also suggest that the information that is being collected should also be at a level of granularity that makes it multi-purpose and useful for other purposes. To give an example; the collection of information on high-skilled technical roles within Defence would be used to demonstrate how Defence provides and maintains a number of high-value roles within the UK shores. Alongside this efforts should also be made to collect information on skills gaps in these areas. What jobs cannot be filled, what skills gaps are growing, and what can Govt. do to assist industry with this situation? The collection of data for the purpose of making positive statements about Defence and the industry that supports it is a worthwhile endeavour, and efforts should be made to ensure that this activity helps address as many of Defence’s challenges as possible. This activity is a good opportunity to increase efficiency and effectiveness in industrial engagement.</p> <p>The progress of the joint industry-MOD discussions on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) are of vital importance to techUK members. At the time of writing the DEFCON currently being worked through by industry and MOD applies to more traditional equipment and services. However, following the completion of this work the next task in the process will be a DEFCON covering digital products and services, and contracts dealing with data-driven assets. The outcome of the primary DEFCON will heavily influence the approach made to the digitally-focussed DEFCON. techUK looks forward to engaging further on this work and will continue to urge MOD to take a sensible and future-leaning approach to IPR, recognising the huge investments that the private sector makes in order to develop innovative IP. techUK members develop products and services for a wide range of public sector customers; adequate protection of IPR is a major factor when looking for business; MOD has a real opportunity to appeal to innovative companies with a modern approach to IPR.</p> <p><strong>SME Policy</strong></p> <p>An important part of MOD transformation, both commercial and wider, in recent years has been the SME policy and Defence’s cultural approach to working with the UK’s smaller sized contractors. This has been a major point of interest for techUK since it was launched in 2015, and continues to be of importance for our members looking for business with the MOD. Overall techUK members have been disappointed with the pace at which the various activities within the SME Policy have been progressed since its launch. Elements such as the Supply Chain Advocate Network have struggled to gain traction within the Department and around the Commands, offering only limited opportunities for business.</p> <p>The DIPR shift towards early engagement and a simpler requirements setting process both favour SMEs, indeed many of the practical changes noted in the document would increase MOD’s ability to contract directly with SMEs. It is important for MOD to work with industry when forming these new engagement mechanisms, in fact it may be more important that MOD work with non-Defence contractors in order to understand how to appeal to potential new entrants.</p> <p>Transparency and visibility of opportunities is tackled directly in the DIPR paper; with the Twitter account @defenceproc and the new Supplier Portal ( being the two new primary engagement routes. techUK welcomes the technologically enabled nature of these additions and will work to share awareness within our community. However, DIPR does not address an important part of SME and new entrant engagement that overshadows these kinds of changes. The access that is afforded to incumbents across Defence is a huge bonus when searching for new business opportunities. Across the public sector the temptation for customers to ‘stick to those they know’ is undoubtedly strong, and unfortunately Defence is no different. Incumbent suppliers have the advantage of having physical presence on the floorplates of MOD sites, as well as relationships with civil servants. In some situations and contracts this is preferable for all, including national security considerations. However, this culture does stifle the SME agenda and makes it hard for SMEs to feel they can compete on a level playing field. techUK implores MOD to ensure the Supplier Portal is treated as the definitive place to post contracts, and that (as much as is possible) contracts are released to industry concurrently across all sites and platforms. UK SMEs welcome competition and the chance to prove their products and services are the best available, Government has an obligation to ensure the playing field is as level as possible.</p> <p>techUK members also look forward to assisting MOD with the development of the ‘supply chain plans’ for contracts worth more than £100 million. With increasingly effective cyber-attacks and economic uncertainty given the Brexit negotiations the resilience and health of the UK Defence supply chain is more important than ever before. Efforts to better understand and monitor the supply chain should be matched with initiatives from MOD, wider Government, and the prime contractors to support SMEs if they do encounter trouble.</p> <p>As noted in the DIPR techUK would greatly welcome a closer relationship with MOD in order to improve the guidance on engaging with potential suppliers and making more use of digital platforms. Digital ways of working are of particular importance and can be very powerful when working with SMEs outside of the traditional Defence localities around the UK (London and the South-West).</p> <p><strong>Final Thoughts</strong></p> <p>The DIPR is largely a collection of policies and activities that MOD and wider Government have publically stated previously. This consistency and stability is welcomed by industry; indeed policies that encourage competition and drive opportunities for new entrants are ideally suited for the fast-paced nature of the digital industries. However, it is the deployment of these policies that will be of pivotal importance. DIPR has allocated a number of tasks to MOD and to industry to fulfil in the coming months; there are a number of initiatives that require industrial input and support, and there are extant processes that require resolution. 2017 was a year that challenged the way that MOD distributed responsibilities, funds, and resources – arguably this affected the ability for officials to enact policies such as those noted in this DIPR. techUK looks forward to working with MOD on all the issues noted above, the digital industries are growing in their experience of affecting public sector markets and vastly improving the efficiency and effectiveness of traditional suppliers and customers.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>So, what will techUK be doing to support the implementation of the DIPR? The bullet points below are techUK’s primary DIPR issues:</p> <p><strong>· Digital Transformation</strong><br />- techUK will continue to encourage MOD to develop more digital ways of working, and in particular, digital industry engagement mechanisms. We will continue to push for an approach to industrial engagement that engages directly with the digital industries and makes allowances for the intricacies of how our industry operates.<br />- techUK will continue to encourage the Front Line Commands to consider digital capabilities when setting all future equipment and service requirements.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>· SME Policy</strong><br />- We will engage directly with MOD and Minister Defence Procurement through the Defence Supplier’s Forum SME Forum to monitor the progress of the changes. techUK will offer support to the Supply Chain Advocates in order to help grow their profile as well as their knowledge of the digital industries.<br />- techUK will also survey members who use the Supplier Portal and feedback their thoughts to MOD on its ease of use and efficacy in helping them discover new opportunities.</p> <p><strong>· Commercial Transformation</strong><br />- techUK will support MOD with the development of standard contracting templates and the move to shorter and more agile contracts.<br />- Working directly with ISS techUK will offer industry support to shape information systems and services contracts in such a way that delivery and value for money are prioritised and innovation is encouraged.</p> <p><strong>· Defending the UK defence enterprise</strong><br />- techUK will continue to support and promote the CES+ and DCPP initiatives by extolling the importance of appropriate cyber security measures to all our members and partners.<br />- We will offer direct support to MOD in their activities to discover more information about the UK defence supply chain, including offering industry views on what data can be most readily collected and what will require more time or resources to collect and analyse.</p> <p><strong>· Support to Exports</strong><br />techUK will continue to work with MOD and DIT in order to provide UK companies, particularly SMEs, with opportunities in international markets. This will require techUK to engage with stakeholders and industry about a shift to support smaller opportunities within target markets. Recognising that not all SMEs can be supported directly by Govt. but that they may well be a minimum expectation from industry as to the support and expertise that they can access from the civil service.</p> <p><strong>· Intellectual Property Rights</strong><br />techUK will continue to work with MOD and ADS to complete the current work on IPR, prioritising the interests of industry who develop and utilise IP as a core part of their business. We then look forward to deeply engaging on the forthcoming DEFCON expected to address digital services and products later in the year.</p> National Infrastructure Commission Looks at Data for the Public Good Wed, 20 Dec 2017 16:35:59 +0000 Aimee Betts-Charalambous(techUK) New report recognises the important role of data in infrastructure, although lacks clarity on implementation. <p>Following its recent Technology Study, on 14th December 2017, the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) published a new report - <a href="" target="_blank">‘New Technology Study: Data for the public good</a>’. The study “examines the opportunities that new innovations present – and makes recommendations to increase open data sharing to make the most of them”.</p> <p>The report recognises the important role that data, technology and innovation can play in supporting and improving government service delivery and cost efficiency.</p> <p><img src="images/NIC.png" alt="NIC" width="540" height="485" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p>Careful attention is given to the thematic challenges associated with data, particularly around inaction, connectivity requirements, security and privacy. techUK supports an approach to digitalisation that adequately incorporates solutions and means of addressing these concerns.</p> <p>The NIC asserts that the UK needs a “Digital Framework for Infrastructure Data” that will be a “national resource”, “as open as possible” and balanced with the ability to address “security risks and concerns”. This will be a momentous challenge, and if the NIC gets this right, it will be a fantastic opportunity for the country providing a strong foundation for innovation and development in the future of infrastructure. techUK supports an approach that takes these into consideration. However, there are key aspects missing from the framework that will be integral to its success, relevance and longevity. During the Call for Evidence (CfE) techUK submitted that the sharing of best practice across the infrastructure sector will play a crucial role in increasing the pace of innovation in the sector. techUK urges the NIC to reconsider this as a priority and build it into all aspects of its strategy and implementation in this area. The NIC then identifies technologies that generate and use data such as sensors, machine learning, digital twins and IoT as the most useful technologies in regards to maximising existing infrastructure.</p> <p>There is clear excitement around the intention to develop a “national digital twin: a digital model of our national infrastructure” which will support real-time monitoring as well as simulation and testing. While this has proven to be practical in some specific use cases – such as on <a href="" target="_blank">ships</a> and in <a href="" target="_blank">Singapore</a> – it is yet to be done on a scale similar to what the NIC has envisioned. The lacking precedence does have the potential to diminish interest or validity in terms of developing a business case that can prove value-for-money.</p> <p>The choice to focus so heavily upon the digital twin, as opposed to other options, and how the NIC proposes to approach the development of such a large-scale project is not explored in depth. As a result, it is unclear at this stage whether a digital twin will indeed be the best option to address the challenges currently being faced by UK infrastructure and the infrastructure industry as a whole. The original CfE sought to address a variety of priorities across energy, water, transport, digital, waste and flood defence, questioning what the immediate technology priorities were and what innovation initiatives were already underway. Importantly the NIC sought comments on how activities could be brought together more holistically to deliver on Government strategic ambitions.</p> <p>Questions remain over whether the NIC expect the framework and the digital twin to automatically encompass these existing initiatives? If not, how will the NIC work to bring these together and align them, particularly with its ambition for a digital twin?</p> <p>techUK does support the forward-facing vision that the NIC has presented in its ‘New Technology Study: Data for the public good’. However, to ensure greater engagement and buy-in from the general public, and industry the NIC needs to be more explicit in why it has made these specific choices, and how they will answer to the varying priorities, needs and concerns from the various stakeholders. Embracing a smarter approach to how we build, operate and maintain our infrastructure is critical to tackling the UK’s productivity challenge.<a href="" target="_blank"> techUK is committed to supporting key organisations</a> that are driving change in our infrastructure sector, and we look forward to working with the NIC in making its recommendations a reality.</p> Guest Blog: Reflecting on a year of working together in partnership Mon, 11 Dec 2017 15:56:11 +0000 Kate Francis(techUK) James Hawkins, Director of Programmes at NHS Digital, reflects on a year of working together in partnership with techUK and industry <p><img src="images/assets/rsz_james_hawkins.jpg" alt="rsz james hawkins" style="margin-right: 7px; margin-bottom: 7px; float: left;" />I wanted to take this opportunity to share an update with you all on the work Tracey Watson and her Innovation &amp; Partnerships team have been undertaking for NHS Digital with our strategic partner techUK.</p> <p>​I recently attended a review of the achievements that our strategic partnership has accomplished during its first year, with Julian David, Chief Executive at techUK. It was an opportunity for us to reflect on the success of the partnership, how it has transformed the way NHS Digital and industry are working together and how it is helping both industry and NHS Digital to be able to better plan for the opportunities and manage the risk that come with running a such a large digital health programme of work.</p> <p>It was great to hear from NHS Digital’s Nosober Latif and techUK’s Ben Moody that, during the past 12 months, positive steps have been taken by both parties to establish our collaborative approach. As a result, our organisation is recognising the value of input from industry by enabling industry knowledge and expertise to shape and inform our work. It was also refreshing to hear that it’s not just us that are benefiting from the partnership, but industry too. They are finding it easier to work with us and feel that we are being much clearer and consistent with our engagement across our delivery agenda. I am hopeful that it demonstrates that NHS Digital are ‘open for business’ and we are listening to both our suppliers and our customers to help us evolve.</p> <p>I spoke to Shane Tickell, CEO of IMS MAXIMS, about the changes the partnership is delivering, and it was refreshing to hear his positive thoughts. He thinks that in his experience over the last 20 years, the engagement with industry is at an all-time high. It is highly welcomed, productive and important to have this dialogue and he hopes very much that it continues. He believes the benefits are real for companies big and small; to remain relevant and to develop a partnership approach to provide the best possible systems to deliver for the needs of all of our customers, now and the future.</p> <p>It has been a busy 12 months working across our entire portfolio of programmes. We have completed 27 joint events with techUK with over 1600 delegates attending. We have run 7 market consultations that have informed commercial plans and activities.</p> <p>We have established 3 joint initiatives in the areas of Cyber Security, Pharmacy and Medicines and the Supplier Information Exchange – a digital self-service for suppliers to interact with NHS Digital.</p> <p>Looking forward towards the next 12 months, we aim to launch the new beta of the Supplier Information Exchange for Industry in Spring, work with SMEs and start-ups to think about how we can address barriers into the health market and create a system where innovation, adoption and diffusion is supported whilst horizon scanning technology advances.</p> <p>I’m excited about how this new way of working can help NHS Digital work with Industry and our wider health and social care partners, to deliver the digital transformation needed across health and social care and help industry gain a much clearer insight into what the NHS needs both now and in the future.</p> The Future of Public Sector ICT Procurement Mon, 11 Dec 2017 14:18:06 +0000 Simona Paliulyte(techUK) techUK’s Head of Public Sector, Rob Driver provides an overview of the annual ‘meet the directors’ briefing with the Crown Commercial Service <p><img src="images/assets/Capture_Simona.PNG" alt="Capture Simona" /></p> <p>Last week techUK hosted a ‘meet the directors’ briefing with the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) tech pillar. A packed room of public sector ICT suppliers had the opportunity to hear about the work of the strategic category teams within the CCS Tech Pillar: Digital Future, Technology Products &amp; Services, Network Services and Software. There was also a robust question and answer session with Niall Quinn, Director Technology Strategic Category and his Senior Leadership Team.</p> <p>The briefing began with an overview of the work CCS has been undertaking over the past 12 months helping ICT suppliers access government technology contracts. Suppliers were updated on the ongoing partnership work between techUK and CCS supporting suppliers (particularly SMEs) to gain a deeper understanding of how to win business and provide technology services to government.</p> <p>Suppliers were also updated on the role and strategy of the tech category, and how it provides commercial expertise to enable delivery of the Government IT Transformation Strategy and the Digital by Default agenda. It was encouraging to hear about the strategic focus on supporting the cultural and commercial transformation of government - including products and services from Legacy IT (on premise) being Digitalised (in the cloud). Suppliers were also very receptive to the ambition and plans of CCS to meet the government’s manifesto target of 33% of central government spend going to SMEs.</p> <p><strong>The view from suppliers</strong></p> <p>During the question and answer session a broad range of issues were highlighted including:</p> <p>• Suppliers were encouraged by the engagement that has taken place throughout 2017, particularly the framework briefings held in partnership with techUK. However, this engagement must continue in a planned and strategic way throughout 2018, with clear timescales published on planned engagement</p> <p>• Many SMEs highlighted the positive attributes of certain frameworks such as G- Cloud. There needs to be greater use of these frameworks across central government and the wider public sector to enable SMEs to gain a greater foothold in the public sector market</p> <p>• Although the feedback was broadly positive about the engagement on the specific frameworks, a number of suppliers highlighted the lack of communication and engagement around the extension of G- Cloud for up to 12 months, and the negative impact this will have on new suppliers wanting to provide to the public sector.</p> <p>In summary, it was a great event and a good end to the year for the engagement techUK has had with CCS and I look forward to building on this engagement throughout 2018. There is still much work to do – and if CCS is serious about reaching the objectives of 33 percent of central government spend going to SMEs, and expanding use of frameworks across the wider public sector, we need improved communication and engagement between the tech industry and government. On G- Cloud specifically, it is imperative that an update is provided to the tech market on this ASAP via techUK. I look forward to ongoing partnership work with CCS, departments and the wider public sector to deliver these objectives.</p> <p><strong><em>Please do get in contact if you want any more information on anything covered above, or if you would like to join techUK’s Public Sector Procurement Working Group.</em></strong></p> <p><strong>Further Information</strong></p> <p><a href="images/CCS_Meet_the_Tech_Directors_Briefing_Nov_30_2017.pdf" class="wf_file"><span class="wf_file_text">CCS Tech Directors Briefing Presentation</span></a></p> Spotlight on Vulnerable People in our Society Mon, 11 Dec 2017 11:28:07 +0000 Georgina Maratheftis(techUK) Guest blog by Jim White, Industry Director - Public Sector, EMEA North, SAP as part of our #CounciloftheFuture campaign <p>The subject of vulnerable people is a burning issue at the top of the agenda across those Public-Sector bodies that exist to safeguard individuals and families in our society; but is it a battle that they can win with people alone? What role might technology play to enable better outcomes?</p> <p>With continuing austerity and the need to do even more with less, these organisations exist in a world that is becoming more and more complex, especially when it comes to safety, crime and technology.</p> <p>But what does the term ‘Vulnerable Person’ cover?</p> <p>According to the College of Policing in the UK:</p> <p><em>‘Vulnerable and at-risk individuals, who have become (or are at risk of becoming) victims of:</em></p> <p><em>Child abuse; child sexual exploitation; domestic abuse; female genital mutilation; forced marriage; honour-based violence; modern slavery; prostitution; serious sexual offences; stalking and harassment.’</em></p> <p>There is much written about the cause and effect across society. But most of us would agree that the proponents can originate form all aspects of society. From the underprivileged, to the over privileged, from all Ethnic and Cultural backgrounds, from dysfunctional (or maybe functional looking!) families to seriously organised cross-border crime gangs.</p> <p>How can these government agencies manage to keep up with this tsunami of a challenge? Undoubtedly more expert resources would help, but will resources alone suffice?</p> <p>The one obvious and well recorded opinion from the professional and academic communities is that <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>proactivity outweighs reactivity in every instance.</strong></span> What is the cost of saving a child from abuse or from violence, protection of any person in society from being abused or people being shipped into slavery or prostitution? It is well proven that earlier intervention leads to better outcomes for individuals, our communities and saves money.</p> <p>To become truly proactive, authorities need information to make decisions at the right time and with the most authentic and credible data sources, ideally in real time. Technology is a key enabler in this situation – most of the perceived ‘data sharing and information governance’ issues are related to organisational culture and behaviors. Numerous case studies have shown that is possible to share data, collaborate from a multi -agency perspective and deliver better, more targeted services to our constituents.</p> <p>These data sources may be owned at different sources and by different organisations, but the question is: If this data can be shared, then as a Police Officer or a health worker or a social care professional surely this makes common sense? Each of these stakeholders is trying to profile their (often silo’ed) information so that they can make the right decision at the right time.</p> <p>Technologies such as automated data matching, predicative analytics, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence are now regarded as mature. If deployed, these approaches present a great way for public sector bodies to identify people at risk and free up our professional resources to do the things they signed up to do – help people, prevent crime, safeguard and improve the wellbeing of our communities.</p> <p>The question now must surely be “why not”?</p> NHS England Issue Invitation to Expert Suppliers Fri, 08 Dec 2017 12:03:34 +0000 Simona Paliulyte(techUK) A guest blog by Bob Ricketts, Director of Support Services Strategy and Market Development , NHS England <p>NHS England invites you to register to take part in the forthcoming ACS &amp; STP Development Partner Framework to give commissioners and providers access to Population Health Management support.</p> <p>To fully achieve the transformation identified in the Five Year Forward View, Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs) and Accountable Care Systems (ACSs) will need to supplement their core capabilities with more advanced innovations and solutions.</p> <p>This includes tools to identify patients who are at high risk of an adverse event and are likely to be amendable to a particular intervention (i.e. ‘impactable’ patients); electronic patient records that give clinicians across all care settings a full picture of their patient’s health and well-being; support to monitor wider system programmes; and enhanced tools to integrate clinical workflow with patient activation data to ensure patients are being treated in the right place at the right time.</p> <p>Most of all, it will require a fundamental cultural shift in how clinicians, managers and patients use (and are supported to embed) these new digital technologies, data tools and innovations to deliver meaningful change on the ground for patients.</p> <p>The ACS and STP Development Partner Framework will provide an easy and supported route to accessing these capabilities from expert and experienced suppliers. It will be structured around three areas (though this is subject to ongoing consultation):</p> <ul> <li><strong>Infrastructure:</strong> encompassing EPR and place-based digitalisation; Local Integrated Care Records and Health Information Exchange; primary care IT support and transformation; and data management and information governance;</li> <li><strong>Insight:</strong> population health analytics and digital tools for system modelling, planning, risk stratification and impactability, care coordination and care management.</li> <li><strong>Impact and Intervention</strong>: transformation and change; primary care transformation; self-care, patient empowerment and activation; and system optimisation.</li> </ul> <p>To register and find out more, visit <a href=""></a>.</p> <p>The framework is planned for launch on 15 December 2017 to allow suppliers to apply for accreditation and will be open for use by ACSs and STPs from early next financial year 2018/19.</p> 'Sufficient Progress' is Crucial Step Towards Securing a Good Deal For Tech Fri, 08 Dec 2017 11:56:15 +0000 Harri Turnbull(techUK) Today's announcement is a crucial step towards securing a positive deal. The next priority is to deliver a transition agreement to reduce uncertainty. <h3>Commenting on the announcement by Jean-Claude Junker that the EU Commission will recommend to the Council that ‘sufficient progress’ has been made in the first phase of negotiations between the UK and the EU, techUK Deputy CEO, Antony Walker, said:</h3> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“We strongly welcome the significant progress that’s been made today which is a key step to opening up the vital negotiations in stage two. For a globally competitive industry such as tech, agreement of a comprehensive trade deal between the UK and EU is fundamental. Today’s decision on sufficient progress having been made is a crucial step towards securing that deal.</p> <p>“We strongly hope that the Council will back the Commission’s judgement on progress having been made and that talks can turn to trade discussions immediately. This is not the end of the challenges a UK/EU agreement will face, and it will be vital for both parties to understand the complexities and compromises needed to deliver a deal that works for all tech businesses, including services.</p> <p>“The first priority for the second phase must be delivering agreement on a transition deal. Tech businesses considering future investment decisions must be assured that the U.K./ EU relationship will continue to offer the same access to markets as currently enjoyed until a final deal is done. Anything less risks further uncertainty and risk to a sector on which both the UK and EU economies rely.”</p> <p>Contact: <a href=""></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Building Confidence in the Connected Home Fri, 08 Dec 2017 11:24:07 +0000 Aimee Betts-Charalambous(techUK) Smart Energy GB discuss how smart meters are helping to bridge the gap <blockquote>There has never been a more exciting time for the connected home. With ever advancing technologies and solutions coming to market, and increasing consumer demand for these, the outlook is bright.</blockquote> <p>As techUK’s most recent State of the Connected Home 2017 shows, appeal and knowledge has grown significantly in the past year alone.</p> <p>Great progress has been made, but the report also unearths challenges which industry needs to address. In particular, how to give everyone the confidence and opportunity to engage with these new technologies.</p> <p>Smart meters are proving to be one of the ways this is being addressed. They are providing a stepping-stone for people to engage with more connected products and services.</p> <p>Earlier this year we published Smarter Living; what consumers want from smart energy products and services, where we spoke to over 3,000 people about their attitudes to technology and new services.</p> <p>Most of the people we spoke to told us they were excited about technology and felt confident using it. Although some, particularly those who were older and no&nbsp;longer in work, tended to say they were less excited about technology and wanted more reassurance.</p> <p>Yet, this small group also told us they were open to taking up new products and services, particularly if they already had a smart meter installed.</p> <p>We found that people who already had smart meters found every new product or service we asked them about more appealing.</p> <p>For example, half of people said they found the idea of alerts if the energy patterns of an elderly relative changed appealing, and this rose to 64% of smart meter users. Similarly, just under 60 per cent of people said they would like appliances which could automatically turn on when energy is cheapest, rising to 70% of smart meter users.</p> <p>The adoption curve of smart meters has tended not to follow the usual trend of technology adoption – where young tech savvy people taking up new tech first.</p> <p>The smart meter users we spoke to in this research skewed towards older people, with over half of people being over the age of 55 – an audience who tended to say they were less confident with technology.</p> <p>This new technology is being&nbsp;offered to every home in Britain at no extra cost, providing a new platform for innovation in the energy market and in connected home technologies.</p> <p>The rollout of smart meters creates a vital technology platform. And is also an important tool getting people ready to take up products and services in the future, including those who don’t yet share our enthusiasm for technology today.</p> <p><strong>Post written by Rob Smith, Head of Policy and Public Affairs, Smart Energy GB</strong></p> <p><img src="images/Report_Cover_Image.PNG" alt="Report Cover Image" width="142" height="200" style="float: left;" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This post&nbsp;is part of a recently launched initiative looking at trends in the Connected Home market. <a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> to find out more.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For further information on techUK's Connected Home work contact <a href="" target="_blank"></a></p> Customer-centric value propositions Mon, 04 Dec 2017 16:04:00 +0000 CRM Sync Guest white paper from Cindy Barnes, Director of Innovation at Futurecurve, leader of the Marketing and Sales Group Value Proposition Design Sprint <p>The business world has changed forever. The difference between companies that are thriving and those struggling to survive is how well they harness and align their value to customers. There is a widening gap between what companies offer and sell and what customers actually value and are willing to pay for.</p> <p>You can start to close this gap by truly understanding what your customers value, looking at your products or services and how you interact with customers &ndash; this determines your single &lsquo;customer truth&rsquo;. This saves time, effort, resources and money and stops marketing, sales, product and communications people each creating multiple &lsquo;customer truths&rsquo; for multiple purposes.</p> <p>In this white paper we show you how to:</p> <ul><li>Understand the 4 key reasons why your customers don&rsquo;t value what you offer them</li> <li>Start finding your real differentiators</li> <li>Begin determining your value</li> <li>Know what effect weak value has on your market positioning, sales and profitability</li> <li>Start creating your value proposition using our proven model the Value Proposition Builder</li> </ul><p><a href="" target="_blank"><u>You can download the full white paper here</u></a>.</p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Laying the Building Blocks for Your Council’s Digital Future Fri, 01 Dec 2017 10:15:00 +0000 Georgina Maratheftis(techUK) Guest blog by Sam Manson, Sector Director – Public, Orange Bus as part of our #CounciloftheFuture campaign <p><strong>With Councils staring into a hugely uncertain future, the first steps to meaningful digital transformation vary greatly from one authority to the next. With this in mind, we make our case for developing digital resources with targeted research and a design-led approach.</strong></p> <p>Councils are trying to achieve everything at once. With one eye on Smart City prestige, it’s easy to forget that their main objective is still to calibrate traditional services for a digital world.</p> <p>Future visions of “Smart” status are often miles away from immediate transformational needs, but these two objectives share the same foundations - catering for user needs and progressing naturally from there.</p> <p>To illustrate our point, some UK councils take an aggressive (and expensive) approach to the adoption of new technology, taking the view that to get things moving, an organisation needs to make experimental leaps rather than considered steps.</p> <p>Whilst innovation with AI, sensors, chatbots and automation is commendable, the end goal is still catering directly for users ‘on the ground’.</p> <p>Valuable technology is being developed daily, but if councils feel pressured into taking on the latest innovations, they may end up leaving these users behind, and the next big tech investment may not necessarily mean big benefits. So what are the first steps in digital evolution?</p> <p><strong>Taking the First Steps</strong></p> <p>From our perspective, councils need to first understand their user base, understanding where citizens fit into their service architecture, and what digital and non-digital touchpoints they are using.</p> <p>Council digital strategy needs to focus on evolutionary, incremental gains and effective investment. Careful research and gap analysis may indicate where digital interventions might be used to bring users into the digital loop, what resources need to be streamlined, which ones need to be scaled-up and developed outwards.</p> <p>The core digital interface for most councils is their website. It might sound simple, but this is increasingly the first stop for information, payments and requests. A vital step for councils is to develop ‘customer accounts’ portals for their citizens: Your account with all of your details, and requests, all in one place.</p> <p>This works two ways. The citizen has a single, tailored view of the council, and the council a single view of each citizen.</p> <p>These self-serve accounts are digital at its best - user-focused, simple, and efficient. This can be taken a step further, delivering, presenting and bundling services in a way that makes sense to the user and simplifies their journey by targeting the ‘life events’ which first drew them to the council site.</p> <p>Our own Local Government Digital Platform is tailored around this targeted user experience and the need for a “My Account” umbrella. It places citizens very much in control of their own digital lives, reducing the need for human intervention, increasing positive transparency and bringing user self-management in-line with other account-based services.</p> <p>Some councils need to reach this stage quickly in the ‘Smart City’ evolution. Others are already there, and ready to build from a good core user interface.</p> <p><strong>Growing the Relationship into the Future</strong></p> <p>Through our work with user experience and citizen need, Orange Bus is preparing the way for councils who want to build from the ground up - from efficient core services, onwards to bigger technology-led change.</p> <p>A relationship based on a sound understanding of citizen needs grows slowly but surely. As it does, future tech investment like AI and chatbots will naturally form resilient links to better customer engagement.</p> <p>This brings us to an interesting crossroads. Councils can realistically sit at the digital heart of the ‘place’ they serve. They can become a locally and globally connected digital body, investing in creating services valuable to their citizens. Or, they could become gratefully disintermediated, cutting costs by acting as a broker for local services where government investment falls down.</p> <p>To grow in both directions will mean a ground-up and top-down restructuring of local councils, developing the strategy and corporate accountability of big cultures like Amazon and Google, while retaining democratic accountability to their citizens.</p> <p>Digital redevelopment is simply one strategic challenge for council services, but designing around user needs brings a completely validated clarity of vision which will ready councils for a challenging new era.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #CounciloftheFuture To see more blogs like this, please visit the website <a href="insights/opinions/item/11782-council-of-the-future-campaign-week">here.</a></em></p> Shared Services Between Councils Will be the Norm Fri, 01 Dec 2017 10:00:00 +0000 Georgina Maratheftis(techUK) Guest blog by Brian Smith, Sales Manager, Kahootz as part of our #CounciloftheFuture campaign <p><a href="">Latest figures</a> show that sharing services is now all but universal in local authorities, with 98% of councils committing to some degree of sharing delivering savings of more than half a billion pounds.</p> <p>However, collaboration, sharing knowledge and resources, wasn’t always the way people worked.</p> <p>In 1914 John G. Bartholomew published “An Atlas of Economic Geography” which included an <a href="">isochronic map</a>. These maps show distances as time values and from the map it can be seen that, in 1914, it took between 10 and 20 days to get to India. An ambitious manager in India carrying out his job just before the outbreak of war in 1914, is, clearly, on his own.</p> <p>Asking London for information would take a minimum of 20 days to get an answer and that would depend on favourable winds and tides, an accommodating train schedule, and a prompt answer coming back from head office. The amount of written information managers in his position relied on was, by necessity, scant. Reporting cycles were annual at best and policy tended to be fixed with little or no centralised innovation. If our manager wanted to achieve anything, he had to think it up and get it done, himself. (I say “him” because in those times it almost certainly was a him.)</p> <p>Contrast our Edwardian manager with the way councils work today and the differences are stark. The figures show that almost without exception, councils of all sizes now work collaboratively. They rely absolutely on information; generating and consuming it on a vast scale and from many, varied sources. One decision could easily involve half a dozen or more people working in a variety of partner councils and other external agencies, and result in an exchange of emails and other documents and messages running into the 100s. And this new model of working – in what is often called the <a href="">Information Age </a>– means councils need to be able to communicate and share information easily, with people who work for them and many others who need to work with them.</p> <p>These needs are driving the enthusiasm for shared online collaboration environments which support both the new, semi-informal, social way of working in councils’ increasingly flattened hierarchies (no Edwardian despots here) and the acquisition, preservation and management of the priceless corporate asset information represents.</p> <p>Collaboration between councils requires secure storage, tight and resilient access control and easy interconnectivity. But most of all, to be successful, to achieve the necessary engagement and adoption, its usability needs to be intuitive. In the same way our manager in his lonely distant outpost couldn’t call on head office for help, councils needing to foster collaboration will find it impractical to commit to a system that requires specialists to set it up, experts providing lots of support, trainers going out from HQ, and so on.</p> <p>A collaboration environment needs to work the way people work, it needs to fit in with existing systems, it needs to be universal in so far as the equipment and software needed to access it are standard and in everyday usage, and how and when to use it need to be obvious. It also needs to be resilient and affordable with a clear return on investment. As much of it as possible should run on information utilities – so the cloud is a given – and on existing multi-purpose computer equipment. It must also be available on any device; smartphones and tablets as well as Macs and PCs.</p> <p>None of today’s social platforms would have achieved any traction if it were expensive, difficult to understand or required special equipment to use it. While their informality, lack of security and absence of useful business information processing functionality rules them out in the world of work, the way they established themselves through simple usability is an essential quality collaboration software providers must emulate.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #CounciloftheFuture To see more blogs like this, please visit the website <a href="insights/opinions/item/11782-council-of-the-future-campaign-week">here.</a></em></p> Weighing up the Digital Future of Social Care Fri, 01 Dec 2017 10:00:00 +0000 Georgina Maratheftis(techUK) Guest blog by Kieran Lee, Social Care Transformation Lead, Capita as part of our #CounciloftheFuture campaign <p>How we deliver social care to an aging population, with ever constrained budgets, is one of the biggest decisions we face as a society over the coming years. I’ll leave it to politicians and economists to discuss how it should be funded, but whatever we choose, technology will play a major role in the way it is delivered.</p> <p>In social care we find ourselves at a crossroads where we are precariously dabbling with two futures. The first, where the use of data, predictive analytics and potentially artificial intelligence can transform the decisions we make to improve the outcomes and independence of individuals. The second where people are replaced by machines delivering ‘care’ to our parents and grandparents.</p> <p>With the drive to automate low skill jobs the care sector is an obvious choice for transformation. How we decide to go about it will say a lot about us as a society. While assistive technology to monitor and help people is welcome development which will allow people to live independently and safely in their own homes, there is a risk we embrace all technology in the name of productivity leaving robot nurses to keep our elderly company. The key is deciding which technologies enhance the way we deliver, and which risk us losing the human touch.</p> <p>On the other hand, digital transformation is essential and an amazing opportunity to help us live longer, more independent and fulfilling lives.</p> <p><strong>Using data to better inform decisions</strong></p> <p>The benefits of using data effectively are obvious and clear to almost everyone. Better data means better information, and all this leads to improved decision making for social workers and the practice. Understanding the indicators for social care need now will lead to predicting future needs and the potential to intervene and prevent need escalation before it occurs. Getting this right means people living more independent and fulfilling lives with benefit of delaying or preventing the social care costs.</p> <p><strong>Artificial Intelligence</strong></p> <p>The next step in this is using AI to make informed decisions about the ideal care for a person. Already, care management systems can recommend the level of care required based on the information entered by practitioners. With the right data, AI will be able to consider multiple factors at once, consider past outcomes and recommend the ideal care package for even the most complex cases.</p> <p><strong>Assistive technology</strong></p> <p>Up until recently most assistive technology in social care has consisted of an alarm pendant that people can use to call for help if they have a fall or other emergencies. Now we’ve got the ability to kit our houses with sensors to detect falls or changes in patterns, we can make sure the correct medicines are dispensed at the right time, or monitor daily health condition such as heart rate, blood pressure and blood sugar levels. For patients with dementia, wearable technology can help monitor people who may get disorientated, giving families the peace of mind that your loved one is safe at home.</p> <p>As technology quickly becomes key to the way we deliver social care, it is important that we take a step back and think about what kind of future we want for our elderly. While productivity and better decision making are things we can all get behind, we need to be careful that we don’t lose the humanity within the system.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #CounciloftheFuture To see more blogs like this, please visit the website <a href="insights/opinions/item/11782-council-of-the-future-campaign-week">here.</a></em></p> What Do We Mean by Digital Leadership in Local Government? Thu, 30 Nov 2017 10:00:00 +0000 Georgina Maratheftis(techUK) Guest blog by Helen Reeves, Senior Policy Officer, the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers (Solace) as part of our #CounciloftheFuture campaign <h3 style="text-align: center;"><em>“What is digital leadership is surely as easy to answer as the two questions, what it leadership? And what is digital? As we know these can mean different things to different people and audiences, however, in the context of ‘Council of the Future’ then surely digital leadership is the leadership that is needed throughout the organisation of the future, where digital solutions are effectively harnessed to make the lives of our residents, businesses and visitors better.</em></h3> <h3 style="text-align: center;"><em>Making our places better to live, better to do business and better to visit. It’s great leadership using digital technology (existing and emerging) to deliver that blend of services (online and offline) that deliver the best outcomes at the best cost using accurate data to make real-time decisions, digital platforms to allow users to access the services they need at the time they need them, and digital technology and applications to make our workforce effective. Taking the best of the commercial digital applications and using them in council service delivery. Finally its making sure we still have the right resources for the most vulnerable in society – ensuring their needs are appropriately met.”</em></h3> <h3 style="text-align: center;"><strong>-Matt Prosser, Solace Spokesperson for Digital Leadership and Chief Executive of the Dorset Councils Partnership</strong></h3> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The world that everyday citizens inhabit is changing rapidly. Nowadays, a majority of people rely on the internet to engage in everyday interactions and transactions; and more and more of this is done by smartphone.</p> <p>The landscape for local government is changing too. With the uncertain, but nonetheless diminishing, nature of local government funding, local leaders have to find new and innovative ways to ensure the sustainability of local services for the future, as meanwhile day to day pressure on services continues to increase.</p> <p>There has been a growing recognition across the sector that it will not be possible to simply continue to ‘salami slice’ existing services. Instead, there needs to be a wholesale rethink about what services can be delivered into the future, who for, and how. This transformation will not be possible without digital innovation, and local leaders of place have a vital role in ensuring this is not only recognised but also championed.</p> <p>At Solace we know it is senior local leaders who will need to be invested in the transformation of our sector. We want to engage, inform and inspire them about the potential of digital technology. Digital innovation is a key pillar of the transformation the sector is currently undergoing. The ability to build shared services and deliver whole place-based policy depends on it. Above all, moving with the digital world ensures the best possible experience and outcomes for local citizens.</p> <p>For us, digital leadership means challenging local leaders to:</p> <ul> <li>Champion digital innovation in their own authority by acting as role model in the use of technology, making resources available, and finding space for innovation;</li> <li>Champion digital innovation across the sector, by sharing and promoting their own organisation’s best practice, as well as being open to learning from others and seeing potentials for collaboration;</li> <li>Share and collaborate not just across local government, but with central government, the NHS and other bodies too.</li> </ul> <p>Councils across the UK are at different stages on their digital journey, but there is much to be learned through sharing best practice, capabilities and ideas not only from others in the public sector, but in collaboration with the tech sector too through organisations like TechUK.</p> <p><strong>This article builds from our joint policy position on ‘Local digital leadership’ released last year, <a href="">read this in full here.</a></strong></p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #CounciloftheFuture To see more blogs like this, please visit the website <a href="insights/opinions/item/11782-council-of-the-future-campaign-week">here.</a></em></p> The Adoption of Technology in the Public Sector Thu, 30 Nov 2017 10:00:00 +0000 Georgina Maratheftis(techUK) Guest blog by Sangeeta Mukherjee, Content Specialist, Azeus Convene UK as part of our #CounciloftheFuture campaign <p>When it comes to technology adoption and innovation, it might be intuitive to think that the private sector is a clear leader compared to public organisations and governments. In reality, most private organisations lack long-time vision and adequate risk appetite, claims economist Mariana Mazzucato in her book ‘The Entrepreneurial State’. According to Mariana, despite popular belief, the most innovative countries have their governments leading from the front as opposed to the private sector. She also observes that the private sector starts investing in innovation and advanced technology only after an “entrepreneurial state” has made the initial high-risk investments and paved the way for success.</p> <p><strong>Technology adoption – slower in government sector?</strong></p> <p>In 2013, Forbes reported that governments all over the world are under significant economic pressure. Thus, they are compelled to undertake austerity measures, improve efficiency of processes and policies, and embrace new technologies. However, while the private sector often makes aggressive investments in technology and innovation, the public sector is catching up fast.</p> <p>The reason for the delayed investment in innovative technology by governments is because they are the stewards of taxpayers’ money. Governments need to perform comprehensive risk assessments, maintain high levels of transparency and accountability to the public. They also need to be compliant with legislative mandates before adopting any technology or investing in innovation. Public sector organisations face similar complexities and roadblocks in context of technology investment and adoption.</p> <p>Some key observations from the various studies are:</p> <p>Traditionally, the public sector lags behind private businesses when adopting the latest technologies and investing in innovation.Government employees are fundamentally dissatisfied with their digital workplace technology.A survey of 400 senior officials published by Deloitte in 2015, observes that the public sector lacks the skills and funding to successfully deliver digital public services.In the UK, 89% of leaders across the government, NHS, police and higher education divisions acknowledged that their organisations pursued digital solutions to reduce costs.For 32% companies the budget for digital increased while 28% companies believed they had sufficient resources to implement digitalisation and digital solution.Only a quarter of the participating organisations had sufficient skills within the organisation and only a third believed that their companies are prepared to respond to digital trends[4].</p> <p><strong>Is there more resistance at a Local Government level?</strong></p> <p>Contrary to the belief that people working in Local Government are 'digital dinosaurs', Theo Blackwell, author of the Start of the Possible report, found that local councillors hold positive views about technology, automation and data, and how public services can benefit from them.</p> <p>As mentioned before, digital leadership in government organisations has to be carefully considered due to the source of funds and the confidential nature of data. This kind of long-term thinking actually sets up Local Government for better planning when it comes to a digital foundation.</p> <p>As Theo Blackwell says:</p> <p>“Successful digital transformation requires redesign on every level — workforce, customer service, process, governance  and technology — to make public services faster at doing things, more adaptable, able to share more information and do so securely. For this to happen we need to support digital leadership right across our cities and counties in order to make public services more effective and make a difference to the people and communities they represent. This research shows that the vast majority of councillors are not 'digital dinosaurs', but hold positive views about the application of technology to public services and how councils should work together and share data."</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong></p> <p>In summary, we can say that technology adoption and investments in innovation might be slow-paced in the government sector but it is happening steadily. In spite of the numerous challenges and complexities that the government sectors around the world face, it is undeniable that technology adoption has indeed gained great momentum across the public sector. From choosing paperless applications, delivering public services digitally to successfully migrating entire offline systems online – governments all over the world are trying to do more every day. By embracing new technologies and investing in innovation, governments are aiming to become more responsive to citizen needs and implementing more sustainable and efficient modes of governance.</p> <p>For more information on Azeus Convene <a href="">click here.&nbsp;</a></p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #CounciloftheFuture To see more blogs like this, please visit the website <a href="insights/opinions/item/11782-council-of-the-future-campaign-week">here.</a></em></p>