(And building lego models)
A healthy Digital economy is vital for the future of the UK, and to supercharge (or would kickstart be a better term) the digital economy we need to create a healthy digital space to do business and we require services that will have a sustainable positive impact that meets a need.
The importance of digital cannot be underestimated. A recent thinktank report calling for an overhaul of Britain’s economy states that:
“Without the investment needed to cope with developments such as automation and the adoption of digital services, the commission warns, the UK is likely to face another decade of stagnant wages, rising household debts and deteriorating infrastructure”.
So, the first ingredient is investment. Without the necessary investment we will be unable to create positively impacting digital solutions.
(You must have Lego, or know someone who has Lego, or else you can’t build anything)
The second ingredient (I should stress these are in no particular order) is innovation, we need new services, business models and ways of working to ensure that digital services thrive. We need to ensure that digital businesses are agile and adaptive and make data-based decisions (we have all this data we should use it) rather than relying on what has been done in the past. Businesses need to appreciate that the digital world is a complex space and collaboration will be a “must have”.
(Build your own Lego model, get others to help and don’t follow the instructions)
Third is trust. With the ever-increasing media coverage of cyber-attacks we need to ensure that the privacy and security of digital services are clearly defined. An understanding of the risks and what it takes to make services secure (and hence private) is vital. Alongside this goes transparency, we want to know what data is being collected about us and how it’s being used. Design has come a long way and digital services have become very simple to use, however we’ve lost the transparency, and this has contributed to the lack of trust.
(You need a steady foundation for your Lego model, a solid table top or the floor, trying to build something on the washing machine during spin cycle is hard work.)
Fourth I’m going to go for digital skills. Without the required diverse skills, across a range of disciplines, we will be unable to maintain a steady impetus. We need to adopt continuous learning practices to ensure businesses have the people in place who understand the digital world and what it takes to be successful there.
(You need to know how to build with Lego, hopefully smashing blocks together won’t create that replica Death Star.)
Finally (though arguably should have been number one on the list), businesses must understand what the user needs and build services to meet those needs. Consumer engagement and centricity is a must in the creation of sustainable digital services.
(You need to know what to build, no point building a car when you need a castle.)
So, there you have it, a huge question over-simplified into five key areas and loosely coupled to a Lego analogy. You may agree, you may not, at the end of the day its simply an opinion and everybody has one.
By Sean Gulliford, Principal Consultant - Connected Devices, Gemserv