techUK Insights RSS Feed - techUK RSS feed for insights content. en Copyright (C) 2015 Promoting the innovative and ethical use of data in the age of AI Wed, 12 Dec 2018 08:30:00 +0000 CRM Sync Digital Ethics Sponsor Intel provide an insight into Promoting the innovative and ethical use of data in the age of AI. By Riccardo Masucci, Global Director of Privacy Policy, Intel Corporation <p>Data represents the fabric of our modern society and its quantity has grown exponentially over the past years. In such a data-intensive society, we can observe <strong>two technology trends</strong>: 1) Data analytics increasingly happen across the infrastructure: at the edge, on the network, in the data centre; 2) Personal data is not just collected from individuals, but also gathered by sensors and inferred/derived through automated processing.</p> <p>Due in large part to those two trends, ubiquitous and increasingly autonomous technologies take advantage of large datasets to make <strong>autonomous determinations</strong> in near-real time. On one hand, innovation across digital society is astounding and autonomous technologies are deployed for new life-enhancing and sometimes life-saving applications such as disease detection, precision medicine, driving assistance, increased productivity, safety at work, and access to education. Benefits seem indisputable. On the other hand, there is a potential for harm &ndash; a number of unintended consequences including discrimination and restriction of choices.</p> <p>The existence of the potential for harming individuals will create unique situations that public and private organisations will need to address when shaping their strategies. Intel has acknowledged the importance of &ldquo;<strong>being ethica</strong><strong>l</strong>&rdquo;, namely understanding societal implications and potential harm for individuals when designing innovative technologies. We strongly believe we have done the right thing in our long-term CSR efforts on supply chain responsibility (conflict-free minerals), Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace, and environmental sustainability (reduction in water and waste). In particular, we participate in a number of discussions/activities within international multi-stakeholder fora and platforms such as ISO JTC1 SC42, IEEE, and the Partnership on AI. Moreover, we will keep investing in research: social sciences (trust, transparency), mechanisms for data obfuscation, face anonymization, bias detection, and alternative algorithms (probabilistic computing).</p> <p>Privacy can be the testbed for a broader ethics discussion: in fact, privacy and data protection represent foundational values of our society. In embracing these values, we can build the much-needed trust in technology and enable individuals&rsquo; freedom and control. In October 2018 we published a <strong><a href="">white paper</a></strong> outlining Intel&rsquo;s AI and privacy policy priorities.</p> <ol><li><strong>Adopt flexible and comprehensive privacy laws: </strong>Comprehensive, horizontal privacy frameworks are better suited for innovation, because they set the principles and can encompass all different sectors and adapt to future tech developments.</li> <li><strong>Embrace risk-based accountability approaches: </strong>Organizations should put in place technical (privacy-by-design) or organizational measures (product development processes and mechanisms for review such as ethical review boards) to minimize privacy risks in AI.</li> <li><strong>Encourage explainability: </strong>Industry and governments should work together on algorithm explainability and risk-based degrees of human oversight to minimize risk to citizens from automated decision-making.</li> <li><strong>Improve access to&nbsp; data: </strong>Governments should promote access to data,&nbsp;for example, opening up government data, supporting the creation of reliable datasets available to all, fostering incentives for data sharing, investing in the development of voluntary international standards (i.e., for algorithmic explainability) and promoting cultural diversity in datasets.</li> <li><strong>Invest in data security: </strong>Funding research is essential to protect privacy&nbsp;in areas like homomorphic encryption, which can enable more protected analysis of personal data.</li> <li><strong>It takes data to protect data: </strong>Algorithms can help detect unintended discrimination and bias, and identity thefts or cyber threats.</li> </ol><p>How can businesses pursue the <strong>innovative <u>and</u> ethical use of data</strong> in practice? At Intel, we believe technology advances are not enough if we do not account for societal consequences. The ability to access, move, and protect data are technology and policy imperatives for the development of artificial intelligence. Datasets have to be large, accurate and diverse for AI to be truly innovative. To this end, robust protection and safeguards have to be adopted for citizens to trust and use technology. Responsible companies should hold themselves accountable for minimizing risks for individuals. Organizational and technical accountability measures should include responsible design and ethical review processes to address societal concerns. Intel has already taken significant steps in this direction and encourage industry across the board to embrace similar practices.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="//" style="height:300px; width:300px"></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p>For more information about the Digital Ethics Summit follow the link:&nbsp;</p>Contact: <a href=""></a>Contact: <a href=""></a> Customer Satisfaction up 50%: Astounding Agile Marketing Success Wed, 05 Dec 2018 14:06:41 +0000 CRM Sync Laurence Wood, an Agile Leadership Coach at Mastek, on 15 November 2018 shared with techUK members The Art of Agile <p>I have long been confident that an Agile mind-set can help teams and leaders outside of the software arena, its traditional home. As an example, my HR colleagues in Leeds have embraced the idea of visualising their work <strong>to clarify goals and motivate their team</strong>. Having a highly collaborative, but short daily meeting (<a href="" target="_blank">standing up!</a>) certainly helped them to better respond to changing business needs - and tackle inevitable problems more quickly.</p> <p>So, when <a href="" target="_blank">Esperance Barreto</a>, a colleague from our <a href="" target="_blank">Mastek </a>UK, Marketing team suggested that we might share some Agile knowledge with the <a href="" target="_blank">techUK Marketing and Sales Group</a>, I was keen to find out more.</p> <p><strong>The Art of Agile</strong></p> <p>We conducted a bespoke event in the City of London for techUK, aimed at helping Marketing delegates experience first-hand the mind-set and habits that Agile leaders strive to develop in their software delivery teams. Then, to explore some real Marketing examples together, in order to help delegates understand how they might apply these to their own world, far away from software delivery. Traditionally part of the software development world, the mind-set and leadership aspects of Agile are applicable to anyone trying <strong>to deliver value to their customers</strong>.</p> <p><strong>A Case in Point</strong></p> <p>Our research into Agile Marketing uncovered two interesting experiments that we explored together. Having applied Agile principles to their Marketing function, <a href="" target="_blank">Santander </a>bank reported &lsquo;staggering results&rsquo; including:</p> <ul><li>&nbsp;Loyalty up 12% &nbsp;</li> <li>&nbsp;Their best&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Net Promoter Score</a> in 17 years</li> <li>&nbsp;Satisfaction up 10%</li> <li>&nbsp;Positive sentiment best ever at 90%</li> </ul><p>Having embraced Agile in part of their Marketing function, pharmaceutical chain <a href="" target="_blank">Chemmart </a>celebrated similar results including:</p> <ul><li>&nbsp;Customer Satisfaction Up 50%</li> <li>&nbsp;Two-month request turnaround, now just two hours</li> <li>&nbsp;Catalogue continued to win awards during experiment</li> <li>&nbsp;Consistent pace during the change</li> </ul><p>In this lively workshop peppered with thought-provoking team games, we explored some fundamental Agile and Lean principles, in order to appreciate these results in more detail.</p> <p><strong>Learning Lean Lessons</strong></p> <p>Delivering something of real value to our client, not just faster, but more often was a key theme. Experimenting with techniques to decide our priorities helped us explore how we might negotiate the scope of a campaign down to a more achievable and earlier celebration of success.</p> <p>Experiencing a simple but highly collaborative planning approach led us to discuss how we could build stronger team commitment to meet those campaign deadlines. So, how did Santander and Chemmart achieve such great results?</p> <p>Santander were frustrated by long cycle times within their Marketing function. Lengthy reviews and long booking times often delayed progress. They decided to <strong>break larger campaigns down into smaller, lower risk units</strong> and focus on what could successfully be delivered each fortnight. By closely monitoring the value delivered, they quickly decided to abandon less successful initiatives and focus efforts on those showing early promise. They improved all key indicators including customer satisfaction &ndash; as listed above.</p> <p>Chemmart were concerned about the potential negative effect from some of their hierarchies and organisational silos. They already used their customer loyalty programme as a key tool, but wanted to further improve customer focus. After the changes, they remarked on now loving their small campaigns as much as their bigger ones.</p> <p>Like Santander, they achieved success <strong>by breaking campaigns into two week &lsquo;sprints&rsquo; that focussed on delivering regular value</strong>.&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">A/B tests</a> helped them improve applicability and relevance. They used online survey tools to ensure timely customer feedback in order to maximise quality during the sprint, rather than later on, if at all. They managed to maintain the necessary pace and continued to win awards during the change whilst achieving the excellent benefits listed above.</p> <p>We concluded that there is a lot that we can gain by considering where we might adopt these agile approaches in our own discipline. Working with professionals outside my normal sphere was refreshing and rewarding and I would like to thank everyone for diving in and contributing from the get-go!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>Laurence Wood</em></strong></p> <p><strong>Agile Transformation Lead, Mastek UK</strong>.</p> <p>About Mastek:&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Mastek </a>is an enterprise digital transformation specialist enabling large-scale business change programmes in the UK, US and India. <a href="" target="_blank">IndigoBlue</a>, its Agile consulting business helps organisations derive maximum value from their digital investments.</p> <p>Mastek would be happy to collaborate with you on exploring how an Agile Leadership mind-set can benefit you. If an interactive and informative session like this would help your community to move their thinking forward then please contact me at <a href=""></a>.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Bio</strong></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Laurence Wood</a>&nbsp;is an Agile Leadership Coach at Mastek. He inspires teams and leaders to deliver more value, more often. An APMG-accredited educator/examiner for the AgilePMTM methodology and creator of the Real Roles educational team game series, his Lean and Agile experience spans 25 years at leading organisations</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Ethics in Artificial Intelligence Wed, 28 Nov 2018 12:11:01 +0000 CRM Sync Digital Ethics sponsor Gemserv provide an insight into Ethics in Artificial Intelligence. By Ivana Bartoletti, Head of Data Protection and Privacy, Gemserv. <p>AI holds fantastic opportunities for large and small-medium organisations alike, and businesses are right to embrace them. Be it to improve back office operations, maximise marketing efforts or deploy predictive technologies to allocate resources more efficiently, algorithms have a lot to offer and we are seeing many organisations deploying AI systems already.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Talking with industries as well as policy makers, I notice that we all seem to share the same belief, that is that innovation and ethics can go hand in hand. In fact, many believe that businesses that can utilise data, and do so ethically, have a clear competitive advantage<a href="#_ftn1" name="_ftnref1" title="">[1]</a>. This is for two main reasons:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <ul><li>First, because the trust consumers have in the handling of their personal data has been impacted by the recent scandals in the media, including Facebook, several data breaches and stories around microtargeting for online manipulation. Businesses need to embed transparency so that customers can trust them.</li> <li>Second, because organisations need to demonstrate due diligence in their deployment of AI systems. Algorithms require a large amount of data, and that data needs to be collected fairly, handled lawfully and safely. Furthermore, limited datasets and poorly thought algorithmic procedures can produce unfair, biased and discriminatory outputs, thus infringing upon human rights and equality law. Businesses will want to make the most of their data without putting their reputation at risk.</li> </ul><p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>But how do we turn ethics into practice? </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Amidst all the talk about ethics over the past few months, with the largest organisations producing manifestos (like Google) and systems to police their algorithms for their clients benefits (IBM) and with both the UK Government and the EU setting up bodies and committees working on ethics, businesses now need to turn ethics into practice &ndash; and that is not always easy especially after a lot of commitment has gone into the GDPR recently. But data is power, and with power comes responsibility, so some steps can be taken right now to embrace innovation and turn ethics into a competitive advantage.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <ol><li>What does ethics mean for your business? It is important to have a clear understanding of the principles underpinning your innovation strategies. The fact that something is technologically possible doesn&rsquo;t necessarily means it is the right thing to do. Business leaders need to have an ethical framework guiding their choices and must translate their choices into an organizational and technological structures.</li> <li>Who is in charge to make the decisions? Appointing a Chief Privacy Officer may work for the larger organisations. Else, it is important to ensure innovation projects are assessed through ethical lenses.</li> <li>Deploy algorithmic impact assessments (AIAs) to ensure you apply due diligence to your systems. AIAs should consider privacy and data protection; the data sets used to train the algorithms must be validated to avoid embedding bias and/or discrimination within machine based decision making; security and safety of the data must be optimized to avoid harming data subjects in the process; human intervention must be retained as a check; and finally, algorithms must be explainable and legible.</li> <li>Communicate with customers and citizens: when you deploy AI and especially if you use algorithms that have a significant effect on individuals, you need to communicate this to your stakeholders. For example, by enabling them to understand the training procedures and parameters used, changes can be accurately mapped to different outcomes; this also offers the possibility to challenge the decisions made and have it re-taken by humans under a clear case of discrimination and/or bias.</li> <li>Engage with others in your industries: ethics by design could be a daunting process but businesses are not alone in this. Sharing best practice and ideas is always important and organisations like TechUK and the CBI are good safe spaces to discuss ideas.</li> </ol><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>AI systems alone cannot be trusted as scientist Joanna Bryson<a href="#_ftn2" name="_ftnref2" title="">[2]</a> says: it is the humans designing and deploying them that bear the responsibility. Therefore, algorithms should be used based on several principles. Accountability, ensuring it is clear who does what, and when &ndash; and that is very important in relation to liability which is something organisations need to think carefully about. Legibility and transparency: using personal data needs to happen lawfully, and algorithms needs to be explainable. Responsibility: humans are responsible for their algorithms and define the degree of autonomy of a machine. The key thing is that, with machines making value-based decisions, the lesser the human intervention, the more businesses need to ensure that values are strongly and uniformly represented across all data subjects implicated.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>These are very complex processes but are essential in the world we live in; organisations must consider them through a principled lens.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Dealing with this now will prove crucial to build solid foundations to your innovation strategy and avoid problems later.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We support organisations with their ethics by design work and would be delighted to help you.</p> <div> <hr><div> <p><a href="#_ftnref1" name="_ftn1" title="">[1]</a> See Gartner&rsquo;s trends for 2018-19:</p> </div> <div> <p><a href="#_ftnref2" name="_ftn2" title="">[2]</a> Joanna Bryson,</p> </div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>About Gemserv:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align:center"><img alt="" src="//" style="height:163px; width:325px"></p> <p style="text-align:center">&nbsp;</p> <p>Gemserv are an expert provider of professional services enabling the data revolution. We work with organisations to achieve and maintain compliance across information and data security standards. We specialise in Data Protection, ISO 27001, NIS, ISO 22301 as well as other risk management services to truly assess your security landscape.</p> <p style="text-align:center"><img alt="" src="//" style="height:325px; width:325px"></p> <p style="text-align:center">&nbsp;</p> <p>For more information about the Digital Ethics Summit see:&nbsp;</p>Contact: <a href=""></a>Contact: <a href=""></a> Journey to the cloud Mon, 26 Nov 2018 11:07:09 +0000 CRM Sync Guest blog: Tom Adams, Director of Product at Cogeco Peer 1 explores supporting your company's journey to the cloud and highlights a great upcoming event. <p>Cloud has emerged as a strategic enabler for organisations of all sizes, and by now there are few IT decision-makers who aren&rsquo;t at least aware of the cloud, or the opportunities it presents. However, there is also a lot of confusion, as awareness doesn&rsquo;t always equate to understanding, with many concerns and questions still unanswered: should you choose full cloud hosting or a hybrid solution? How do you migrate your on-premise workloads to the cloud with confidence? Is your cloud secure?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Business case for the cloud</strong></p> <p>As the cloud has become demystified and better understood, the value proposition for IT and business leaders has moved away from price-point discussion, to business outcome discussions. The conversation is now about leveraging the power of the cloud to innovate and exceed the expectations of customers.</p> <p>The cloud allows businesses to provide innovation in an instant. It provides the capabilities necessary when required, as oppose to the traditional model which required waiting for the infrastructure to be purchased and built. The cloud can also be public, or private, with private better suited for predictable workloads with peaks and troughs.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The future is hybrid</strong></p> <p>The future is definitely hybrid and multi-cloud, hybrid solutions mean workloads automatically move to the most optimised and cost-effective environment, based upon performance needs, security, data residency, application workload characteristics, and end-user demand and traffic.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Ensuring business expectations are met</strong></p> <p>A big challenge faced by businesses today isn&rsquo;t actually the technology, it is the people and processes which must change and adapt. This can take a long time and limit the effectiveness of cloud adoption.</p> <p>The benefits to moving to the cloud are massive, enabling agility, flexibility, improved performance, lower costs and digital transformation, just to name a few. Despite this, a lot of businesses struggle with cloud adoption because they lack a clear strategy. To maximise the above-mentioned benefits, it is imperative to get a proper strategy in place from the start.</p> <p>Some businesses also fall into a &lsquo;cloud trap&rsquo;, which is a business model that aims to persuade people to buy into locked proprietary systems that will cost them more and more as time passes. At Cogeco Peer 1, we advocate a consumption-based model where you simply pay for what you use, so in effect it becomes like a fourth utility.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Making the journey&nbsp;&nbsp; </strong></p> <p>To support your journey to the cloud, <a href=";utm_campaign=FY19-UK-Journey%20to%20the%20cloud&amp;utm_source=hs_email&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;">together with Microsoft we will be hosting a breakfast briefing to give you a new perspective that will help your you on your journey to the cloud.</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="">@CogecoPeer1</a></p> <p><a href="">LinkedIn</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Sharing Must Be Caring: New Brand Responsibility Mon, 26 Nov 2018 08:41:58 +0000 CRM Sync Guest Blog: Gumtree look at why businesses can no longer get away with prioritising user convenience over the public’s interest in protecting their privacy and ensuring their safety. <p>Technology companies have been hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons in recent months. Questions over privacy, data use, fines and accountability have abounded, leaving consumers scratching their heads over how much they can really trust the brands they interact with every single day. Steve Jobs&rsquo; wisdom that &lsquo;a brand is simply trust&rsquo; has never been more relevant. &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>While it is the bigger companies that have come in for the lion&rsquo;s share of the flack, it has taught our whole industry an important lesson. Putting the trust and safety of customers first needs to a long-term business priority; playing catch-up is an uphill battle that may be insurmountable.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>At this point you may be wondering what gives someone from Gumtree the right to proclaim warnings on the merits of brand responsibility. Fair. The truth is that we&rsquo;ve seen this story play out before and can offer you some spoilers and insights on the outcome.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Founded in the UK and now also in other key markets globally, Gumtree is one of the &lsquo;original&rsquo; dot com&rsquo;s. With categories from motors to property to jobs, it offers an opportunity for likeminded buyers and sellers to exchange goods and services on their own terms. Having just celebrated our 18th birthday we&rsquo;ve witnessed both the unprecedented growth of the internet for both good and bad.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We don&rsquo;t deny &ndash; nor should any technology company &ndash; that there are instances of fraud and criminal activity that happen on our site. While most of our community has a safe and enjoyable experience, we&rsquo;ve seen the emergence of more and more malicious actors using the mirage of the internet and our site to further their own ends at the expense of others. We learnt that to protect our brand and safeguard our community, we could not turn a blind eye, and went on the offensive.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Gumtree has recently gained renewed relevancy as part of the booming sharing economy, where more online businesses have sprung up to enable peer-to-peer lending and collaboration. This trend has put the industry in the spotlight and allowed us to build stronger relationships with industry bodies such as Sharing Economy UK and techUK. This sort of proactive engagement has helped us re-build trust and credibility with our community. Talking to groups across pets, motors, trading standards and online safety has also built our understanding of the issues that occur around technology, policy and customer safety, helping us do a better job at implementing meaningful change.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We wanted to know everything about how scams work and consumer behaviour around fraud &ndash; so we did our research. We partnered with academics from University College London and Warwick University, as well as a former scammer to investigate the <a href="">psychology of scamming</a> in more detail. Taking the lead in addressing the issue in the online classifieds sector helped us kick start an open discussion about what can be done to solve problems and safeguard the enjoyment of marketplaces such as ours. So far solutions have come not just in the form of platform updates &ndash; such as adding ratings and profiles to our site &ndash; but increased customer service support, data sharing with the police and even <a href="">paywalls for sensitive areas like pets</a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Whether or not the &lsquo;techlash&rsquo; is a flash in the pan or here to stay, businesses can no longer get away with prioritising user convenience over the public&rsquo;s interest in protecting their privacy and ensuring their safety. For technology companies in particular, the concept of brand responsibility has fundamentally shifted. We all want to survive and thrive in the next 18 years, so we&rsquo;d all do well to keep this front of mind.</p> Less Skills Gap, More Hiring Hole? Thu, 22 Nov 2018 13:59:11 +0000 CRM Sync Gumtree looks at how filling its skills gap is making it innovate in order to make itself more attaractive in a highly competitive market for developer talent <p>The fact that there is a &lsquo;skills gap&rsquo; in the UK&rsquo;s technology and engineering sectors has been firmly established. The most recent stats are alarming, with the Open University revealing that the nation&rsquo;s skill shortage costs the private sector an <a href="">estimated &pound;6.3bn every year</a>. From government level down to the smallest start-ups, there is huge debate and discussion over how to close it. The scale of the challenge can make it feel insurmountable, but what if we took a step back from the policy and focused on simple solutions that we as businesses can use to plug the &lsquo;hiring hole&rsquo; here and now?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>At Gumtree, we employ a large team of developers and tech specialists to work on our platform and feel the impact of demand for skilled professionals monumentally exceeding supply. Even our leafy riverside location in Richmond &ndash; and the additional opportunities offered by being part of eBay Inc and the eBay Classifieds Group &ndash; is not always enough to tip the balance.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Time and time again you&rsquo;ll see a news reports blaming the low number of students taking up STEM subjects as the reason why the skills gap in industry is getting larger. But the exponential growth of the UK&rsquo;s digital economy was always going to produce a gap of sorts.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It is our job, as UK businesses looking for the best and brightest talent, to promote roles within the sector. Gumtree isn&rsquo;t alone in doing this; nevertheless, just buying a ping pong table, providing free coffee and sleep pods is no longer enough to lure top developers. Neither can we just turn on a tap and flood the market with STEM-educated students and qualified graduates with sought after degrees.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This is why we knew we had to take a different approach. Rather than getting bogged down by the supply side of the skills gap, we shifted our attention to more immediate, simple solutions.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>One of the largest obstacles we uncovered is how businesses like ourselves were continuing to use traditional recruitment methods, somewhat ironically, in a sector defined by innovation. From talking to our team, we realised that processes such as disciplined CV reviewing and basic interview rounds had been putting the best candidates off applying.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>From this insight, we trialled peer programming, where we invited candidates to our offices to do some real-life tasks with their potential new colleagues. This method has largely grown because coding is an experience-led skill, and is something that cannot be replicated by any interview or CV.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The results speak for themselves. In the last half of 2017, we managed to shorten our hiring process from an average of 60 days to just 11. Being able to turn around a hire in less than two weeks saves not only money, but time and energy. We aren&rsquo;t na&iuml;ve to the fact that developers are hot property and are likely to come and go &ndash; but if we can fill open rolls more effectively we can concentrate on growing our business.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Instead of complaining about the lack of graduates coming out of university, you should view the &ldquo;hiring hole&rdquo; as an opportunity to make your business a more attractive and appealing workplace. Think creatively about methods to make the best out of a challenging situation &ndash; and why not try something different. We did, and it&rsquo;s worked well for us.</p> <p>This article was written by a <a href="">Gumtree</a> spokesperson</p> techUK comment on Children's Commssioner Report Thu, 08 Nov 2018 15:33:51 +0000 CRM Sync Response to the Children’s Commissioner report into the collection and sharing of children’s data. <p>Responding to the Children's Commissioner report,&nbsp;'Who knows what about me?', Senior Policy Manager Ben Bradley said:&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"The Children&rsquo;s Commissioner&rsquo;s report is a welcome contribution to the debate around the collection and sharing of data.</p> <p>As the report acknowledges, there are many benefits to the collection of the data and the innovation that this drives, but we can only fully realise these benefits if users feel empowered and comfortable with the data that they share.</p> <p>We welcome the emphasis on the role that parents can play in thinking critically about the data they share. The report&rsquo;s top ten tips for parents and children is a helpful and practical guide for any family when thinking about their data footprint.</p> <p>The Commissioner rightly recognises the wide range of work being done to address the issues identified in the report, from the recent GDPR and its requirement for informed consent and special treatment of children&rsquo;s data, to the ICO&rsquo;s Age Appropriate Design Code and the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation. It is important that we do not pre-empt these wide-ranging actions that have recently or will soon take effect and give them time to take effect and bed in.</p> <p>We look forward to continuing to engage in this debate, and thinking about what more may be able to be done once recent reforms have settled in."</p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Rising to the digital transformation challenge Thu, 08 Nov 2018 08:32:26 +0000 CRM Sync Cleveland Henry, Director of Cloud, from UKCloud Health, sponsor of Health and Social Care Industry Dinner highlights the challenges of digital transformation in the healthcare sector and the role of cloud in enabling the Future Healthcare vision. <p>I&rsquo;ve been operating within the centre for over 5 years, instrumental in the delivery of transformation in healthcare using the power of data and technology.&nbsp; The vision set out by Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, was not only music to my ears but was a call to action to us in health technology delivery, public and private alike to &ldquo;get on with&rdquo;. If we don&rsquo;t, the vision is not achievable.&nbsp;</p> <p>As acknowledged in the vision, the gap is getting wider between where we are with technology in healthcare and where we want to be. It is increasing exponentially.&nbsp; As stated &ldquo;technology systems used today don&rsquo;t talk to one another, fail frequently, and don&rsquo;t follow modern cyber security practices&rdquo;.&nbsp; To lay the foundation for a modern, sustainable health and care service we must properly harness the power of technology to enable organisations to get the basics in place to deliver digital transformation, decouple data from systems of record, and make it easier for innovators to flourish &ndash; both from within industry and from the outside. In fact, just being able to utilise technology that has already been invented could significantly transform health and care in this country as it has other industries.</p> <p>Cloud&nbsp; is one of the current technologies that can help health providers to get the basics in place &ndash; to deliver a flexible, resilient and secure IT foundation with no commercial lock-in - which will enable them to start taking meaningful steps towards digital transformation.&nbsp; The cloud has become ubiquitous in most other industries with many positive effects, and has revolutionised the way we interact with businesses, services and each other in our personal lives. But it has not yet disrupted the bulk of health and care IT which is commonly locked into on-premises facilities or long term outsource agreements. Using cloud to modernise these traditional IT environments will deliver immediate benefits. Data centres can be rationalised, hardware refreshes can be avoided and ultimately funding can be released to support other crucial needs. Cloud adoption forces you to take stock of what you have in your IT estate, what individual systems and services are costing you to run, and because cloud is pay-on-demand you can then start to make &lsquo;tweaks&rsquo; to your IT estate to optimise what you have running. This can happen quickly if you have the right partner,&nbsp; who understand the challenges within healthcare providers, has the capability, understands the risks and can support a transition at a flexible pace . And in cloud, one size doesn&rsquo;t fit all. Which is why UKCloud Health has invested in multi-cloud - one platform that brings together Azure, OpenStack, Oracle and VMware environments - enabling healthcare providers to use the right cloud for each and every workload.</p> <p>Cloud is also about buying&nbsp; services that deliver outcomes. This is where the future of IT in the healthcare space lies &ndash; creating an IT operating model that allows healthcare providers to rapidly try, buy and use Software as a Service (SaaS) to deliver clinical and business outcomes. However, most common software systems used across the healthcare industry were designed and built well before cloud even existed. The status quo is to run these software systems&nbsp; on IT infrastructure provided and supported by local IT teams within the organisation. To achieve the Future Healthcare Vision, it is therefore crucial that suppliers also undergo a transformation from software vendor to a cloud enabled service provider. This will allow healthcare providers more choice and flexibility to choose the right software service to deliver the outcomes they need, without being constrained by how to build and operate IT infrastructure, and with greater compliance to modern cyber security standards.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s easy to see how these two paradigms&nbsp;&nbsp; are interconnected. As health providers adopt more SaaS, the IT infrastructure they operate themselves reduces and becomes more efficient, freeing up resources which can be refocused on proactive service management, and making a complete move to cloud more realistic in the long run. What is crystal clear, transformation needs to happen on both sides in parallel, and at a greater pace, in order to deliver on the principles of Matt Hancock&rsquo;s Future Healthcare Vision.</p> <p>And that&rsquo;s why I joined UKCloud. To be part of an organisation focused on delivering the key enabling technology building blocks, to make a difference, to transform the health tech community,&nbsp; that will help drive the future of healthcare.&nbsp; This is a great opportunity, a must do, and within our grasp &ndash; lets work together in making transformation happen.</p> <p>I&rsquo;ll end with a further thought for future insights, yesterday Matt Hancock talked about &ldquo;prevention being better than the cure&rdquo;, the potential with genomic medicine and data &ndash; The 100,000 Genomes project, which resides on UKCloud&rsquo;s multi-cloud platform has been a shining example of data sharing within health and life science communities working together to benefit NHS patients through personalised care.&nbsp; Prevention is definitely better than the cure &hellip;&hellip;.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>About UKCloud Health:&nbsp;</p> <p>UKCloud Health powers healthcare communities. Providing a secure, but easy to use cloud platform that supports digital transformation and enables the optimisation of patient-oriented healthcare, UKCloud Health supports health and care organisations, as well as research and life sciences and pharmaceuticals.</p> <ul><li>We&rsquo;re focused on cloud. Our easy to use platform offers an open, collaborative environment to help enhance the way you and your Healthcare colleagues work.</li> <li>We&rsquo;re open. You are never locked in. Giving you the choice and flexibility of a range of technology platforms as well as payment models in GBP to avoid currency fluctuations.</li> <li>Dedicated to the UK Healthcare sector. We support cloud and digital transformation of services across the healthcare sector, including health and care, research and life sciences and the pharmaceutical industry.</li> <li>We develop communities. UKCloud Health is bringing Healthcare communities together &ndash; enabling collaboration, innovation and digital transformation.</li> <li>Customer engagement. With UKCloud Health you&rsquo;re never alone. Enjoy peace of mind, knowing we understand the challenges you face. Your success is our success.</li> </ul><p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align:center"><img alt="" src="//" style="height:185px; width:500px"></p> <p style="text-align:center">&nbsp;</p> <p>UKCloud Health are the headline&nbsp;sponsor of the 2018 techUK Health and Social Care Industry Dinner, taking place at The Banking Hall, Cornhill&nbsp;on 14th&nbsp;November. For more information please see:&nbsp;<a href=""></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align:center"><img alt="" src="//" style="height:293px; width:500px"></p>Contact: <a href=""></a> techUK Respond to Calls for More PSB Prominence Protection Mon, 05 Nov 2018 07:00:00 +0000 CRM Sync techUK refute the recent call for UK Public Service Broadcasters to have greater prominence protection for their content in an increasingly fragmented and global content supply marketplace. <p>IPTV should not be hindered by new prominence rules</p> <p>An open letter today says Public Service Broadcasters need protected prominence in an IPTV world, when in fact consumers have a much wider choice of content.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Link to Open Letter</a></p> <p>The Public Service Broadcasters have an instrumental role in the forefront of the UK creative and digital sectors BBC iPlayer, for example, is a world class UK tech product and millions tune into watch fantastic, agenda setting content. UK broadcasting is in great health but is facing increasing pressure from online players as consumer habits evolve to a more on-demand content world from a greater variety of providers. In this environment it is important to make sure PSB content is accessible, with prominence protected in EPGs. Broadcasters need to recognise that the rules should not prevent new content players entering the market.</p> <p>techUK do not support the PSB written letter calling for protected prominence to extend from the linear EPG to the IPTV and online world. We believe that this would overly restrict the ability of smart-TV and streaming services to innovate in this changing market and would make it harder for people to find new AV content.</p> <p>A key part of the letter is that smart-TV manufacturers bury PSB content which is not the case. Press the &lsquo;smart&rsquo; button on almost any connected TV and you will have a wealth of content, with iPlayer, All 4 and ITV Hub very much on the first page. Manufacturers are in business of helping consumers find and watch what they want to watch, so hugely valued platforms used by millions will never realistically be off the first page of the smart element of a TV.&nbsp;</p> <p>Manufactures need the ability to customise and develop their own User Interfaces (UIs). TV sets are becoming more and more sophisticated so overly prescriptive rules will hinder the development of exciting new features like AI, metadata and voice control. These new features are increasingly part of the consumer proposition; companies must have the freedom to develop these features, which are often developed on a global and common standards platform basis.</p> <p>The Ofcom &lsquo;Media Nations&rsquo; report shows that linear broadcast television is still hugely popular. Young people are indeed consuming a smaller fraction of their content this way but get the content right and young people will watch TV &ndash; Love Island perhaps being the strongest example. If PSBs want to regain audience share the answer is to invest more in the types of media content people want &ndash; not supporting rules that prevent new content providers from entering the market. The PSBs have made great strides in this area (the BBC drama this year has been exceptional), so let&rsquo;s see how things play out in the viewing marketplace.</p> <p>Commercial incentives are already delivering and will continue to deliver PSB availability and prominence because these broadcasters are the most watched and dominant in the UK.</p> <p>techUK and our members see no evidence that the current prominence regulatory framework is not fit for purpose. The Digital Economy Act required Ofcom to review the issue of prominence and EPGs and should be allowed to report without being pre-empted. techUK call on Government and Ofcom not to restrict device innovation and viewer search and discovery choice through unnecessary and overly prescriptive legislation.</p>Contact: <a href=""></a>Contact: <a href=""></a> AR and VR – How is the sector evolving and what is its future? Fri, 02 Nov 2018 09:39:04 +0000 CRM Sync Guest blog: Managing Associate of Marks & Clerk, Simon Portman, reflects on the XR Industry Survey 2018 and what it could mean for investment and development in augmented and virtual reality <p>The XR Industry Survey 2018 reveals some interesting trends for the industry - some of them expected, others more surprising.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Patterns of investment and development in the different sectors which AR/VR are applicable to &ndash; or potentially applicable to &ndash; show the increasing use of this technology beyond the games and entertainment fields that saw its birth in the 90s. For example, 38% of respondents believe VR growth in the enterprise sector has been &lsquo;strong&rsquo; or &lsquo;very strong&rsquo;, with an equivalent figure of 43% for AR.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>At the same time, however, some industries&rsquo; slowness to recognise the potential of AR/VR suggests that many still assume it has no serious role outside the games console.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The first point to take home is that the consumer sector (entertainment) and the enterprise sector (product design, training, and so forth) have experienced similar amounts of growth but the majority consensus is that this growth has been weaker than hoped in the consumer category.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Enterprise seems to have experienced marginally more growth than consumer; this may be because entertainment applications still depend on head-sets which remain relatively expensive and unwieldy. Doubtless, this will change as the technology is refined.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Price also remains an issue, with 60% of respondents considering the price of head-mounted displays (HMDs) to be impeding increased adoption of VR/AR, compared to 34% who cited size and design of HMDs.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Alongside these challenges, the survey also suggests some companies have pulled out of VR game development for the moment and mobile AR apps have yet to really take off, largely due to the cost considerations mentioned above.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The flipside of this is that there seems to be the greatest scope for growth in the enterprise sector because corporations are more able to invest in the expensive hardware than individuals.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Education is prioritising AR/VR the most, and it&rsquo;s the most competitive enterprise sector, despite the fact that it traditionally has much less spending power than industry &ndash; of respondents who reported that they are already using XR technologies, 23% were in this sector. Healthcare is quite low down on the list despite the obvious AR/VR potential in diagnosis and therapy, with just 7% of those using this technology being in the healthcare sector.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>These mixed messages give rise to the question - what are the main barriers to the wholesale embrace of AR/VR predicted in the 90s?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Potential adopters are also deterred by the lack of proof of ROI, with half of respondents citing this as an issue.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The survey further reveals an industry expectation that AR will blossom in the mainstream before VR does, in part because of the availability of open content development platforms like ARCore and ARKit which have no VR counterparts.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Nevertheless, many industries see the benefit in the long term coming from combining both AR and VR and VR&rsquo;s superior ability to create a fully immersive environment, which currently gives it the edge in training and educational applications.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The results of the latest survey are illuminating but also contradictory in places.&nbsp;One thing is clear, however. Many potential customers &ndash; both industry and consumer &ndash; still remain to be convinced of the benefits of AR/VR or are just apathetic. Suppliers will therefore have to invest more in product development and marketing.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>On the plus side nevertheless, this should pay dividends down the line for early adopters, especially if intellectual property can be developed to create significant barriers to entry for late comers.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Most end users who trial the technology quickly see the benefit and invest in it. There are a lot of potential customers out there to be won over.</p> Learning lessons – why co-production is the "secret sauce" Tue, 30 Oct 2018 15:16:33 +0000 CRM Sync Guest blog: David Hancock reflects on the Health Secretary’s vision for health and care <p>It could have escaped no-one, that since Matt Hancock&rsquo;s appointment as the new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, he has proven to be a strong advocate for the use of IT &ndash; he wants to use digital to support the transformation of Health and Social Care. We&rsquo;d heard parts of Hancock&rsquo;s thinking from moments such as his speech at NHS Expo. He issued a stark warning to health IT suppliers that they risk losing business with the NHS if they don&rsquo;t fully embrace data-sharing by adopting common standards.</p> <p>Now with the announcement on the 17th October of a <a href="">digital vision for Health and Care</a> we can see his comprehensive plan on paper, we see his thinking fleshed out in more detail. There is much to be celebrated in Hancock&rsquo;s &lsquo;Tech Vision&rsquo;, but as someone who has worked in this field for 15 years, I have been thinking &ndash; is this vision new and is it enough?</p> <p>Nearly 10 years ago the straight talking IT analyst <a href="">Boris Evelson</a> wrote a searing blog called <a href="">Healthcare Industry BI Groundhog Day</a> (which I encourage you to read) after visiting HIMSS 2009 in Chicago. In it he compares attending the show to being in the film Groundhog Day, living the same day, same date and never able to get to tomorrow. And here we are nearly 10 years later asking the same questions:</p> <ul><li>Where are the open technology standards?</li> <li>Where is the transparency?</li> <li>Where is the common sense that business requirements, not vendors, dictate the rules?</li> </ul><p>Of course this sound familiar! But then, as he points out, these things had never existed in Healthcare. Because these things had occurred in nearly every industry Evelson described how he subconsciously believed it must have happened in Healthcare too.&nbsp; He called out many of the things in his blog that are contained within last week&rsquo;s digital vision for Health and Care, and at the time he was genuinely optimistic that the market was changing.</p> <p>So why have things not moved on? Why was Evelson&rsquo;s prediction not come true? And why has the NHS and Social Care needed this cogent, well organised vision from Matt Hancock&rsquo;s team in 2018?&nbsp;</p> <p>We know that a great vision is a pre-requisite for transforming anything:</p> <ul><li>It needs to be clear, concise and understandable to a broad constituency</li> <li>It needs to inspire those who have to execute it</li> </ul><p>In my view, this vision has this in spades, but as Thomas Edison said,<em> <strong>&ldquo;Vision without execution is just hallucination&rdquo;</strong>.</em></p> <p>Visions for IT in the NHS, with various levels of ambition, have come and go. Now more than ever, it is in our interests to make digital transformation successful &ndash; it is vital for the service, for patients and equally importantly tax payers.&nbsp; We applaud the honesty where the vision document says, <strong><em>&ldquo;We don&rsquo;t have all the answers &ndash; this should be the beginning of an open conversation about how we can iterate to best achieve what is needed and work with the many brilliant, forward-thinking people in the system to get it right.&rdquo;</em>&nbsp; </strong>After all, we&rsquo;d agree that the problems with digital technology over the last 15 years are far more about execution than vision.&nbsp;</p> <p>Ideas from the 2015 Robert Wachter review &ldquo;<a href="">Making IT Work: Harnessing the Power of Health Information Technology to Improve Care in England</a>&rdquo; are reflected in the vision. But what I believe is far more useful, and relevant today, is that the Wachter review also said Health IT entails both technical and adaptive change &ndash; &nbsp;implementing health IT today is one of the most complex adaptive changes in the history of healthcare, perhaps of any industry. &nbsp;</p> <p>Adaptive change involves substantial and long-lasting engagement between the leaders implementing the changes and the individuals on the front lines who are tasked with making them work.</p> <p><strong>So, what does this really mean for us?</strong></p> <p>I am indebted to <a href="">Professor Joe McDonald</a>, Director of The Great North Record who provided this amazing <a href="">15 minute presentation on what makes eHealth projects succeed</a> (or fail), given at the International eHealth Conference in Bologne in July 2016. Success or failure is all about implementation. &nbsp;</p> <p>You may try &ldquo;Top-Down&rdquo;, &ldquo;Bottom-Up&rdquo;, etc. but fundamental to success in implementing adaptive change across multiple organisations is the need to deal with some key issues:</p> <ol><li><strong>Organise and agree</strong> &ndash; how do you convince parties you have no direct control over to join?</li> <li><strong>Diverse interests and priorities</strong> &ndash; there has to be negotiation to get everyone you need on board.</li> <li><strong>Project Management</strong> &ndash; How can you co-ordinate the activities, keep them on track and to keep everyone bought in, especially as short term demands typically always take precedence?</li> <li><strong>Costs and Benefits</strong> &ndash; There is an unequal distribution of these. Some parties may incur great cost in doing something that provides benefit to other parties and not themselves &nbsp;known as &ldquo;<a href="">Collective Action Dilemmas</a>&rdquo;. These are so prevalent in Health and Care, how do we overcome them? (This takes us straight back to <a href="">my last blog 2 weeks ago</a>)</li> </ol><p>So if you don&rsquo;t address the four issues above it won&rsquo;t just matter that standards have not been defined in enough detail to accommodate the wide variability of end points across Health and Care, with their large number of different systems that need to be joined-up. We also have to consider that different organisations or health economies have different priorities and they are at different levels of maturity and capability to implement solutions.</p> <p>In light of the above, there&rsquo;s no question as to why Top-Down approaches are not suited to solving these adaptive problems and why all previous attempts have failed.</p> <p>techUK is an active part of INTEROPen because we believe that co-production with NHS England/NHS Digital, Professional Records Standards Board, the Service, Suppliers and Standards groups is the only way to succeed in solving the adaptive change needed to crack the interoperability problem.</p> <p>In INTEROPen</p> <ul><li>We work together in an honest, open and collaborative way.&nbsp;</li> <li>We constantly test and challenge each other in managing conflict, finding solutions and as a group we always come out stronger as a result.</li> <li>We have a governance structure and board and co-ordinate activity and a collaboration infrastructure to manage our work day to day</li> <li>None of us just look at the problem from what it means for our individual organisation, or the group we represent.&nbsp;</li> <li>We are all part of the solution and we owe it to frontline staff, patients and tax payers to solve this</li> </ul><p>We believe it provides an excellent model for Matt Hancock to look at for implementing all of the adaptive change needed in the vision. techUK and the supplier community wants to work with you and to take up the gauntlet that has been thrown down. <strong>Industry working collaboratively with all parties to solve these <a href="">&ldquo;wicked problems&rdquo;.</a></strong></p> Let me tell you a story… Tue, 30 Oct 2018 13:51:41 +0000 CRM Sync How traditional and modern storytelling techniques can enhance your proposals <h4>Sarah Hinchliffe, of i4 Consultancy and Design, considers how traditional and modern storytelling techniques can enhance your proposals.</h4> <p>Although the term storytelling has become a business buzzword in the 21st century, the art of storytelling has been around since our ancestors lived in caves and drew on their walls.<br> Stories have the power to entertain, educate, preserve culture and instil moral values through accounts of imaginary or real people and events. Stories also have the power to sell. You only need to look at an experiment called the &ldquo;significant objects experiment&rdquo; (<a href="" target="_blank"></a>) where a hundred cheap objects with an average value of $1.25 were sold for a total of $8,000 simply by adding a story to each.</p> <p>While stories are common in the world of business to consumer marketing and sales &ndash; from the smouldering romance of the Gold Blend adverts of the 80s and 90s and the long-running Oxo family - stories in business to business sometimes need more thought. Let&rsquo;s explore how the components of a story can help shape our creativity when writing a business proposal. Along the way, we&rsquo;ll call on a few experts including the folk on the Pixar movie team - renowned for consistently making brilliant stories.</p> <h4>Got the plot?</h4> <p>A plot is a sequence of major events leading from somewhere to somewhere or something to something. A plot often relates to a problem that needs to be solved or a quest for a physical or emotional goal. The cause and effect of each major event drive the story forward.</p> <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:right; height:193px; width:350px">The German writer Gustav Freytag described five stages of a plot (Figure 1), to which most stories conform, in the form of a pyramid.</p> <p>Pixar has a tried and trusted formula (below) for outlining a plot &ndash; by filling in the blanks, you can tell just about any story:</p> <p>&ldquo;Once upon a time there was&hellip;..Every day&hellip;..One day&hellip;..Because of that&hellip;..Because of that&hellip;..Until finally&hellip;..&rdquo;</p> <p>Pixar urges us to focus on a core idea (a mother lode) to hang everything on. We can add sub-plots, but they should relate to the main plot &ndash; perhaps be a deeper dive to develop aspects of the storyline. Avoid parallel plots (like solving a crime alongside an affair between two of the characters), which only serve to dilute the main story.</p> <p>Turning to our proposal, our plot is getting our customer from a problem or ambition to an endgame or vision where they have achieved their desired outcome or result. The major events are the points in the journey we will take them on to get from start to finish &ndash; maybe checking their needs, then creating a solution, then implementing the solution and realising the benefits. We can use sub-plots to enhance different aspects &ndash; for example, our commercial and technical plots.</p> <h4>Character-forming</h4> <p>Characters in a story are real or imaginary. They play out the events and triumph or suffer in the causes or effects.</p> <p>To bring characters to life, their personalities need developing. Perhaps they are heroes or villains, larger than life or shrinking violets, dazzlingly handsome or sorrowfully ugly. As they unfold, we will learn to love them or loathe them &ndash; the best characters evoke strong emotions.</p> <p>Few of Pixar&rsquo;s characters are humans &ndash; they are toys, cars, insects, fish, to name a few. They are all vividly&nbsp;brought to life and, without noticing, you become absorbed in their worlds and their struggles and victories.</p> <p>When they are reading our proposals, our customers need to be entertained and influenced to love or hate the&nbsp;characters. We need to know our customers and what they care about, so we can write for them.</p> <p>We can make the features of our solution the heroes, and the features of our competitors&rsquo; solutions the villains.&nbsp;But to be heroes, our features need to be developed from flat, one-dimensional characters into endearing multidimensional&nbsp;characters by matching them to a customer requirement and bringing out their benefits and value.</p> <h4>Theme-time</h4> <p>The theme is the message or purpose of the story, a point or lesson which the audience can recognise &ndash; not&nbsp;necessarily straight away, but by the end.</p> <p>Although Pixar&rsquo;s movies have big, colourful stories, there is always a theme underneath. &ldquo;Finding Nemo&rdquo; isn&rsquo;t&nbsp;just about the adventures of a father clownfish dashing around the world&rsquo;s oceans to rescue his kidnapped son &ndash;&nbsp;it&rsquo;s about parenting. The &ldquo;Toy Story&rdquo; trilogy isn&rsquo;t a bunch of toys rollicking around &ndash; it&rsquo;s about loyalty, handling&nbsp;change and doing the right thing. Remember the old end to many a tale: &ldquo;&hellip;and the moral of the story is&hellip;&rdquo;</p> <p>Andrew Stanton, one of the Pixar team, talks about needing a strong theme. And that&rsquo;s what we need in our&nbsp;proposals. Our themes create the compelling reason why the customer should choose us and not our&nbsp;competitors.</p> <p>Business coach and storyteller John Bates has a great piece of advice: &ldquo;Give us what matters to us. Pick three&nbsp;points and don&rsquo;t cram unnecessary information in. Bring just the key things to the top.&rdquo;</p> <p>Hurrah to Andrew and John. Proposals that cram in every differentiator or Unique Selling Point in a pile it high&nbsp;fashion, won&rsquo;t cut it. You will confuse and alienate. Between one and three themes, carefully crafted to express&nbsp;benefit and value for the customer, then woven through the proposal will beat a shedload of bragging any day.</p> <h4>A healthy dose of empathy</h4> <p>For a story to stick, we need to identify with the plot, the characters and the theme. Soundbites from Stanton -&nbsp;&ldquo;make me care&rdquo;, &ldquo;tell it from the heart&rdquo;, &ldquo;create wonder&rdquo; &ndash; emphasise the point. Pixar suggests empathy is the&nbsp;&ldquo;third level of liking&rdquo;. The first two levels are superficial, based on physical attractiveness and positive personal&nbsp;traits. True empathy comes when you engage more deeply and get under the surface, possibly even sharing and&nbsp;supporting each other&rsquo;s challenges.</p> <p>Remember that buying is as much about emotion as it is about logical argument. As Bates comments: &ldquo;None of&nbsp;the facts and figures matter until you have some sort of emotional connection.&rdquo;</p> <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:left; height:310px; width:290px">So, we need to create empathy on the page through&nbsp;emotional connection. Connect on the first two levels by&nbsp;using your customer&rsquo;s name (or &ldquo;you&rdquo;) often and explaining&nbsp;&ldquo;what&rsquo;s in it for them&rdquo; by describing the outcomes they will&nbsp;achieve either personally or corporately.</p> <p>Mirror your customer by using their language and playing&nbsp;back any discussions or diagrams they have shared with&nbsp;you.</p> <p>Show you care by writing from the heart and making&nbsp;strong, positive commitments about getting things done.&nbsp;Reinforce this by showing vulnerability by being open about&nbsp;any risks and issues you or they face and how you will deal&nbsp;with them together.</p> <p>Get away from dull business-speak when you can by using&nbsp;vibrant, action-based language and images. And share&nbsp;stories of how you&rsquo;ve solved similar problems before.</p> <h4>Beginnings and endings (and the middle bit)</h4> <p>Both your &ldquo;once upon a time&rdquo; and your &ldquo;happily ever after&rdquo; need to be captivating. Stanton suggests making a&nbsp;promise at the beginning &ndash; one that you can come back to at the end. Freytag introduces us to the terms&nbsp;exposition (introduction) and denouement (resolution) &ndash; solid front and end anchor points either side of a rollercoaster&nbsp;of a story. Strong beginnings and endings make your story complete and fulfilling.</p> <p>In your proposals, remember to get to the point at the start. Don&rsquo;t waffle around with please and thank you and&nbsp;how delighted you are to be submitting a proposal. Instead, tell them how you will solve their problem and what&nbsp;the outcomes will look like. Do this in the executive summary and each section of the proposal. At the end of the&nbsp;executive summary and each section, summarise and bring the customer back to outcomes for them.</p> <p>The bits in the middle are where you paint the picture of the journey you will take together to get from problem&nbsp;to outcome, developing your characters and themes. Ensure you have a logical and balanced structure&nbsp;throughout your proposal.</p> <p>There will be times when your customer makes it hard to set out your story in a format and structure that suits&nbsp;you. But don&rsquo;t forget, you can start a story in the middle and then fill in earlier and later gaps. Whatever&nbsp;constraints your customer puts forward, these are simply like the obstacles in the movie that fox the&nbsp;protagonists and cause some action to get back on track.</p> <h4>A cautionary tale</h4> <p>On my journey through the lands of storytelling, I have found some techniques that don&rsquo;t quite suit the world of&nbsp;proposals. The two that get a thumbs-down are:</p> <ul><li>Stanton: &ldquo;Give them 2 + 2 instead of 4&rdquo; &ndash; meaning that you need to make your audience work hard.&nbsp;Sorry, no. Our job in a proposal is to make it as easy as possible for the reader to find what they need&nbsp;and want. They are time-poor and will much prefer the company that gives them great sign-posting.</li> <li>Bates: &ldquo;People don&rsquo;t connect with your success, they connect with your mess&rdquo; &ndash; akin to &ldquo;bad news&nbsp;sells&rdquo; (but good news doesn&rsquo;t). Although proposal best practice does counsel us to explain how we&nbsp;will address relevant weaknesses, and we know that the best relationships are built on sharing and&nbsp;resolving challenges, we don&rsquo;t want too much negativity in the document.</li> </ul><p>There are probably more, but we want to end on a positive note.</p> <h4>And finally&hellip;</h4> <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:left; height:242px; width:380px">My narrative ends fittingly with a denouement &ndash; interestingly a word that translates as untie, rather than tie up&nbsp;(all the loose ends). The diagram below definitely ties things up by bringing the various strands together.</p> <p>Am I telling you anything new or&nbsp;different? Possibly not &ndash; the&nbsp;proposal suggestions are best&nbsp;practice, and I&nbsp;lways counsel&nbsp;clients to work out their&nbsp;approach before they write. But&nbsp;the overriding conclusions from&nbsp;my storytelling journey on this&nbsp;occasion are: one, check you&rsquo;ve&nbsp;got the component parts of the&nbsp;story covered, and two, stay&nbsp;focused.</p> <h6>&nbsp;</h6> <h6>Acknowledgements: Chris Hewitt of the Berkeley Storytelling Academy, &ldquo;Pixar Storytelling&rdquo; by Dean Movshovitz, Andrew Stanton TED Talk &ndash; The Clues to a Great Story.</h6> <h6>Sarah Hinchliffe is a Director of i4 Consultancy and Design Ltd, helping companies improve their win rates through sales and bid excellence.</h6> <h6>See <a href="" target="_blank"></a> or email &nbsp;</h6> <h6>&copy; i4 Consultancy and Design Ltd 2018</h6> What is true public sector innovation? Mon, 29 Oct 2018 13:04:23 +0000 CRM Sync Guest blog from DXW <p>The public sector faces a multitude of pressures, not least the financial challenge of shrinking budgets and increased expectations of service users. The drive to do more for less has put the onus on public sector organisations to innovate. Meanwhile, the Brexit referendum calls for the creation of whole new legal and regulatory frameworks for the UK. If these aren&rsquo;t &lsquo;digital-first&rsquo;, organisations they are merely re-creating models and modes from bygone eras.</p> <p><strong>Strategy</strong></p> <p>For organisations to successfully transform, they need to look beyond the technology they buy and realise this is just one part of the problem. The focus needs to be on organisational design and changing behaviours so these organisations are able to make users&rsquo; needs the top priority. Rather than investing heavily in traditional approaches to managing projects, senior leaders need to show vision and help their teams align behind common goals.</p> <p>When transformation succeeds, it has the support of senior leadership combined with empowered teams delivering outcomes. A common vision needs to be shared throughout the organisation and senior leaders need to trust their teams to achieve it.</p> <p><em>&ldquo; It&rsquo;s no longer acceptable for senior managers to wear their ignorance of technology as a badge of honour&rdquo;. Dave Mann, Head of Strategy &nbsp;-&nbsp; dxw</em></p> <p><strong>So how can organisations innovate?</strong></p> <p>Digital innovation should be &nbsp;the combination of empathy, technology and creativity. At dxw, use technology, user insight and agile principles to help public sector teams deliver services that are radically and recognisably better.</p> <ul><li><strong>Making services for the end user</strong></li> </ul><p>To ensure that a service is meeting the needs of the user, a supplier should be working with clients to form a single, empowered team that owns the outcomes of the work. One of the ways you can do this is by working in the open, so you not only get the buy-in needed &nbsp;from the organisation but you create excitement and momentum in the work.</p> <p>User research should be the focus of each project to ensure the needs are taken into consideration and &nbsp;to also make&nbsp; sure the organisation is building the right thing. Throughout projects, have regular user research playback sessions to ensure the whole team is involved in understanding user needs, and see how users are engaging &nbsp;with a service.</p> <ul><li><strong>Collaboration</strong></li> </ul><p>Inflexible, bureaucratic organisations can often block ideas which are one of the foundations of true innovation.</p> <p>Organisations must learn the &nbsp;importance of everyone&rsquo;s voice being heard and reflect this way of working when working with clients.</p> <p>We have found that by creating a single team and working on site with them, allows us to fully understand the context the team is operating in.</p> <p>By building relationships like these, means you can help clients build their own capability to operate services in the future.</p> <ul><li><strong>Be Agile and experiment</strong></li> </ul><p>We think that the <strong><u><a href="">Agile Manifesto</a></u></strong> contains a lot of wisdom, but we don&rsquo;t follow the industry of methodologies, training and certifications that has grown up around it. We think agile is something you learn to be, not something that you learn to do.</p> <p>Our teams frequently experiment with different tools and techniques so we can continuously improve. This applies not only to development work, but to everything we do at dxw, from user research to business operations.</p> <p>We recognise the importance of planning, compliance and governance, so we work those activities into the process, every step of the way.</p> <ul><li><strong>Measure your achievements</strong></li> </ul><p>When organisations are testing out new methods and ideas, it&rsquo;s important that they be measured so everyone knows what&rsquo;s working - and equally importantly, what&rsquo;s not. &nbsp;At the end of every sprint, a delivery lead facilitates a retrospective where the team discuss how the sprint went. We talk about what went well, what didn't, and what we can do to to improve how we work for the next sprint. These sessions are attended by all the people involved in delivering the project along with the client team. We use retros to make sure we acknowledge and continue to do the things that are working well and also commit to change anything that can be improved.</p> <p>Our goal at dxw digital is to help public sector teams research, build, deliver and operate great digital services, based on user needs. We want the user experience to be straightforward, positive and seamless. We believe that by building those services using agile principles, we can help our clients embed those same principles in other parts of their organisations.</p> <p><strong>Dave Mann, MD dxw digital:</strong><br><em>&ldquo;What&rsquo;s radical is not using the latest digital technologies or fashions like building apps. Leaders who are willing to trust their teams can transform their organisations by focusing on goals, outcomes and changing behaviours rather than deliverables and targets. These leaders are the true radicals of innovation.&rdquo; </em></p> Network and Information Security (NIS) Directive Mon, 29 Oct 2018 08:58:26 +0000 CRM Sync JES Reception sponsor Palo Alto Networks provide an insight into NIS Directive: what is it, who does it apply to and what do they need to do? By Danielle Kriz, Senior Director of Global Policy, Palo Alto Networks. <p>The NIS Directive is the EU&rsquo;s first law specifically focused on cybersecurity and it applies in all 28 EU member states, through transposition into national laws.</p> <p>The NIS Directive aims to improve the cybersecurity capabilities of the EU&rsquo;s critical infrastructure by setting security and incident notification obligations across many types of organizations offering essential and digital services. The NIS Directive also requires member states to enact national cybersecurity strategies and engage in EU cross-border cooperation, among other measures.</p> <p>The requirements on industry outlined in the NIS Directive are applicable to two categories of entities: operators of essential services and digital service providers. Although the directive outlines generally what is in these categories, each member state is responsible for identifying the OES established in their territories that are in scope.</p> <p><br> &bull;&nbsp;<strong>Operator of Essential Services (OES):</strong> Sectors covered include energy (e.g., electricity, oil and gas companies), transportation (including air, rail, water and roads), healthcare (like hospitals and clinics), certain banking and finance (such as credit) institutions, suppliers and distributors of drinking water, and digital infrastructure (like internet exchange points).<br> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp;<strong>Digital Service Provider (DSP): </strong>There are three categories: online marketplaces, online search engines and cloud computing services. The Directive has some small company exceptions for DSPs.</p> <p>The directive sets security and incident notification obligations on these organizations. They must:<br> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Take appropriate and proportionate technical and organizational measures to manage risks to the security of their network and information systems, and these measures must &ldquo;have regard to the state of the art.&rdquo;<br> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Take appropriate measures to prevent incidents affecting the security of their network and information systems.<br> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Notify competent national authorities of security incidents of particular magnitudes.</p> <p>These requirements are related to the networks and information systems used to provide the covered essential or digital services. The requirements also apply whether the OES or DSP manages its own network and information systems or outsources them. &nbsp;</p> <p>For information on the UK&rsquo;s implementation of the NIS Directive, see this National Cyber Security Centre website: &nbsp;</p> <p><em>Do non-EU headquartered companies need to worry about NIS?</em></p> <p>Yes, if they offer any of the covered essential or digital services in one or more EU countries. &nbsp;Regardless of whether a company is headquartered in the EU or not, companies covered under NIS must follow the law in the EU country where they have their main establishment. &nbsp;In fact, even companies providing digital services in the EU with no physical presence in the EU at all may be affected by the NIS Directive.</p> <p>Therefore, we recommend that organizations operating in EU countries should do research and obtain legal advice on whether NIS applies to them and the exact details of what they must do. &nbsp;</p> <p><em>Assuming you are responsible for the security of an organization that needs to comply with the EU Network and Information Security Directive, what does this mean to you and the organization? As a CISO, what should you do and how do you approach this?&nbsp;</em></p> <p>Every operator of essential services or digital service provider in the EU needs to comply with this NIS Directive (with some small company DSP exceptions). They need to take measures that have regard to state-of-the-art technologies to manage the risks of their network and information systems, as well as take appropriate security measures to prevent and minimize the impact of security incidents. Besides this, they also have the obligation to report security incidents of a certain magnitude to their national authority.</p> <p>As a responsible person for information security, you need to know the risks of your network and information systems. So, focus on what matters and start with getting visibility into the security of your network and information systems.</p> <p>This means understanding:<br> &ndash; Which networks and information systems support the covered services and how they are currently secured.<br> &ndash; Whether the products and services you use to protect those networks/systems account for the state of the art.<br> &ndash; &nbsp;What measures you are taking to prevent and minimize the impact of incidents on those networks and systems.<br> &ndash; &nbsp;If you are able to track and identify the impact of incidents that may occur so that you are able to notify authorities as needed.</p> <p>It is imperative to get proper visibility into your networks, information systems and data. That&rsquo;s a prerequisite for effective security and compliance.</p> <p><em>The information provided in this blog, concerning technical, legal or professional subject matters, is for general awareness only, may be subject to change, and does not constitute legal or professional advice, nor warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or compliance with applicable laws. Always consult a qualified lawyer on any specific legal problem or matter.</em></p> <p><em>About Palo:</em><br><br> We are the global cybersecurity leader. Our mission is to protect our way of life in the digital age by preventing successful cyberattacks. We safely enable tens of thousands of organizations with our pioneering Security Operating Platform, which provides highly effective cybersecurity across clouds, networks, and mobile devices.</p> <p style="text-align:center"><em><img alt="" src="//" style="height:318px; width:350px"></em></p> <p>Palo Alto Networks are a sponsor of the 2018 techUK Justice and Emergency Services Reception, taking place at The Goldsmiths' Centre on 30th October. For more information and to book tickets please see:&nbsp;<a href=""></a></p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Joining the data dots across the blue line Mon, 29 Oct 2018 08:22:33 +0000 CRM Sync Justice and Emergency Services headline sponsor Chorus provides and insight into joining the data dots across the blue line. By Richard Helson, Customer Relationship Director. <p>At Chorus Intelligence, we&rsquo;ve historically worked with the majority of UK police forces&rsquo; specialist analysts, providing data analysis technology in the fight against terrorism, serious and organised crime, the exploitation of at risk and vulnerable people and sophisticated financial frauds. Specialist police analysts have been using it to provide investigators with information on the links between suspects, joining dots and patterns of behaviour. However, as the cuts bite further and forces are being asked to do more with less, it&rsquo;s not always possible to highly resource a case with specialist analysts and officers. Yet, the data analysis is still vital.&nbsp;</p> <p>What we&rsquo;ve now developed is software that can be used by any investigating officer to develop lines of enquiry and build their case. They don&rsquo;t need to be tech wizards, or expert data analysts, we&rsquo;ve brought them the ability to quickly and comprehensively visualise the data, to make it human and readable, not just for themselves, but for judge and jury when the case is brought to trial.&nbsp;</p> <p>The data analysis tool has been designed to enable law enforcement Investigators and all front-line police staff to review case information at a high level, answering key investigation questions and developing lines of enquiry. Anyone in a law enforcement role can use this to easily collate, standardise, cleanse and format all data pertaining to a criminal case, whether ANPR data, call data, online chat or device downloads, and quickly identify connections within cases, at the click of a button. Training is minimal due to the intuitive nature of the software. Adding spreadsheets of data to the tool brings speedy results, within 30 seconds of adding a missing person&rsquo;s phone records, you would be able to &lsquo;see&rsquo; their most recent movements, from who they called, to where they called from.&nbsp;</p> <p>Data visualisation brings the case alive, quickly and improves conviction rates</p> <p>Once they have access to the data they need, anyone in a law enforcement role can easily visualise, through on-screen maps and evidential reports, in order to aid conviction from cases that might have taken weeks to investigate or are never looked into.</p> <p>Chorus Investigator is already making great strides in allowing forces to tackle growing criminal issues, such as county lines and modern slavery. There is a pressing need in these cases for forces to track phone activity and prepare mobile phone attribution statements. Often, this is across a number of devices within the network. Manual analysis of this data is both time consuming and difficult to visualise quickly without the aid of a solution such as Investigator.&nbsp;</p> <p>The future of data analysis within Policing&nbsp;</p> <p>With the pressure that&rsquo;s being exerted on police forces around the country and the various budget cuts, technology will undoubtedly play a vital role in aiding police investigation. With the uptake and positive feedback from forces already using Chorus intelligence, it is the time to ask why every force does not have access to technology that really can make a demonstrable difference to crime detection and justice.&nbsp;<br> &nbsp;</p> <p>About Chorus:&nbsp;</p> <p>Chorus Intelligence is a UK headquartered provider of data-analytics solutions to law enforcement, central government, and defence agencies. Our product suite is an analytical solution for automatically cleansing, combining, and connecting complex datasets including call data records, handset downloads, financial transactions, and ANPR data, to help answer key investigation questions immediately. It is currently used by 90% of police forces and all of the counter terror units in the UK as well as the Home Office and the NCA. It has assisted in securing convictions in many high-profile cases by delivering capabilities such as data visualisation, case management, mapping, and the creation of courtroom ready reports.<br> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="//" style="height:235px; width:250px"></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p>Chorus are the headline sponsor of the 2018 techUK Justice and Emergency Services Reception, taking place at The Goldsmiths' Centre on 30th October. For more information and to book tickets please see: <a href=""></a></p>Contact: <a href=""></a> The NHS workforce will be profoundly different in 10 years Mon, 29 Oct 2018 07:57:49 +0000 CRM Sync Transformation is the only option. Guest blog by Raj Modi, Healthcare Innovation at Oracle <p>Matt Hancock, the new Secretary of State for Health, is absolutely right to prioritise the NHS Workforce as his number one objective.&nbsp; Yes, there are immediate challenges with recruitment, morale, training and pay that need addressing.&nbsp;But the workforce is also commencing radical transformation as it reshapes to deliver services which are more closely aligned to patient and citizen needs.</p> <p>Indeed, there will likely be more change to the way services are delivered in the next 10 years than the entirety of the last 70!&nbsp;</p> <p>The key challenges to the workforce are well understood:</p> <p>&bull; There is a mismatch between the location of the current workforce and where care is needed.</p> <p>&bull; Demand for health and social care services has radically changed &ndash; e.g. escalation of long term health conditions which are better served in a community setting.</p> <p>&bull; At the same time patients /citizens are expecting better quality of service.</p> <p>&bull; There is an escalating NHS paybill (increasing &pound;3.7bn since 2012 in real terms).&nbsp;NHS staff amount to 65% of overall spend.</p> <p>&bull; Challenges in staff retention and morale are significant (especially in nursing).</p> <p>&bull; There is a forecast shortfall if demand or increased productivity isn&rsquo;t transformed (estimated at 190,000 additional staff required by 2027)</p> <p>&bull; Future generations entering the workforce want modern career pathways including flexible working and portfolio working &ndash; not wholly offered currently.&nbsp;</p> <p>Yet a radical redesign of the NHS workforce has been widely discussed and attempted since the turn of the century.&nbsp;&nbsp;<em>So why is the next 10 years likely to be any different?</em></p> <p><strong>The key difference is the advances in technology and science.</strong>&nbsp;These are profoundly changing <em>how</em> care is delivered, <em>where</em> it is delivered and <em>who</em> delivers is.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Sure, this will require the world&rsquo;s 5th largest workforce to operate and behave in a different way &ndash; and I&rsquo;m absolutely not underestimating the size of that challenge.&nbsp;&nbsp;But other industries are already making a head start.&nbsp;For example, <a href="" target="_blank">Tesco is implementing </a>new technology that could see its employees working with levels of flexibility more associated companies such as Uber while <a href="" target="_blank">West Midlands Police is mobilising</a> its 11,000 employees by transforming the way it communicates with them.&nbsp;</p> <p><em>What does this new world look like for the NHS?</em>&nbsp; Nobody can say for sure.&nbsp;But, based on experiences internationally and in other industries, we do have a direction of travel:</p> <p>&bull; A joined up health and care workforce responsive to changing patient needs - regardless of location (home, care home, pharmacy, community or acute hospital)&nbsp;</p> <p>&bull; Clinicians empowered to diagnose disease earlier supported by patient-generated data from wearables, digital diagnostic tests, digital therapeutics alongside traditional health data.</p> <p>&bull; Future doctors more likely to prescribe a health and wellbeing app rather than a drug at first diagnosis &ndash; prioritising behavioural therapies to medication.&nbsp;</p> <p>&bull; Staff educated, trained and re-training at scale &amp; speed through the delivery of online courses including augmented reality / virtual reality and immersive environments.</p> <p>&bull; Genomics revolutionising patient management and facilitate patients becoming active contributors to their own health.</p> <p>&bull; Structured career pathways which attract and retain staff by allowing progression within and across professions.&nbsp;</p> <p>&bull; Resilient workforce planning in sync with finance and service planning - yielding better preparation for spikes in demand.</p> <p>These advances offer the opportunity to achieve a <em>paradigm shift</em> in productivity and health outcomes.&nbsp; As demand for health and care services continues to outstrip capacity in its current form&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;transformation is now the only option.&nbsp;</p> Solving the Disclosure Challenge Thu, 25 Oct 2018 10:08:00 +0100 CRM Sync Justice and Emergency Services Drinks Reception sponsor Hitachi Vantara provide an insight into solving the disclosure challenge. By Robert Leach, Head of Public Sector, Hitachi Vantara. <p>It&rsquo;s a tragedy from every direction: a defendant wrongly accused, a victim put through months of anxiety with no outcome, a system undermined, other &ndash; unconnected - victims discouraged. Public money wasted.&nbsp;</p> <p>The most common historical cause of disclosure failure has been the lack of appropriate training and awareness, resulting in officers failing to discharge their legal responsibilities. However, a new challenge threatens to eclipse other causes of disclosure difficulty: The Digital Age.&nbsp;</p> <p>The sheer volume of data that impacts everyone could not have been foreseen a generation ago. People retiring from policing today began their service when evidence from a computer was a rarity&hellip;.</p> <p>The volume of digital evidence encountered today is a challenge. No officer lacks the willingness to disclose, nor the desire or the training to do so. It&rsquo;s that officers have so much data that there&rsquo;s no realistic way of knowing about it all and appreciating its significance &ndash; making it challenging to discharge your legal responsibilities.&nbsp;</p> <p>Disclosure failure will never be solved completely. Many things will help, particularly availability of trained investigative staff with sensible, manageable workloads. Better training will encourage investigators to consider disclosure from the beginning of every investigation. Strong leadership matters, and a serious dialogue on procedure will be required to ensure that judicial expectation is managed, and pragmatic solutions found. Then there&rsquo;s technology.&nbsp;</p> <p>Hitachi Vantara has incorporated disclosure considerations into their Digital Evidence Management (HDEM) solution since the beginning. Presenting all digital evidence in a case in a &ldquo;digital shopping basket&rdquo; provides a powerful start in getting disclosure right. Every piece of digital evidence that HDEM receives is recorded with the future in mind, whether that&rsquo;s MoPI requirements or adherence to the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996. It&rsquo;s difficult to determine at the outset whether an exhibit is sensitive or not, or risks undermining the prosecution case - and whether it should be disclosed. If the system requires investigators to reach a decision on initial classification (keeping that under review at regular intervals), then risks of disclosure becoming a post-charge afterthought are greatly reduced.</p> <p>HDEM&rsquo;s source-agnostic ingestion capability accepts digital material from virtually any source and makes it visible in a single, simple screen - significantly reducing the chances of missing important data, where today evidence sits across numerous systems and storage media.</p> <p>Ease of use, via an intuitive, straightforward and clear user-interface, workflow and presentation of data, will be a boon to investigators. Add powerful, intelligent, federated search capability, and HDEM goes further than any other to reduce risk, making a complex responsibility as achievable as ever.&nbsp;</p> <p>The challenges of disclosure are ever-present. Nobody is suggesting that a clever computer system will banish these overnight. That will require a concerted, determined effort involving many players over a sustained period. Technology alone will never provide the answer. But in a digital world, there can be no answer without better technology: powerful, simple computing, harnessed to benefit investigators and help British policing retain the confidence on which it depends.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>About Hitachi:&nbsp;</p> <p>Hitachi Vantara provides solutions which address one of the biggest challenges to Policing and Criminal Justice. Hitachi Digital Evidence Management enables investigators to rapidly access, assimilate, collate, view, edit, redact and share digital evidence &ndash; enabling efficiency at the front end of the process and accuracy and accountability over disclosure.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align:center"><img alt="" src="//" style="height:91px; width:313px"></p> <p style="text-align:center">&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Hitachi are a sponsor for techUK's Annual Justice and Emergency Services Reception which will be taking place 30th October. For more information please see:&nbsp;<a href=""></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Can analytics help fight social isolation? Mon, 22 Oct 2018 16:03:37 +0100 CRM Sync Guest Blog: Talking data and analytics in healthcare: an interview with Adrian Woolmore, Capita Transformation. <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:left; height:300px; width:300px">As health market lead of Capita Transformation, Adrian and his team are working to reduce social isolation in the UK. Capita Transformation&nbsp;spoke to him about the potential to use predictive analytics to help tackle the issue.</p> <p><strong>Why has social isolation become an issue for local authorities?</strong></p> <p><em>Adrian Woolmore</em>:&nbsp;Social isolation refers to a lack of contact with family or friends, community involvement, or access to services. We&rsquo;ve found that loneliness and social isolation often go hand in hand and can have different causes and may require different solutions.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s quite a subjective concept and people can become socially isolated at any stage of life. While working with our clients, the team has discovered that it&rsquo;s inherently difficult to find and support the people affected and that it&rsquo;s a quite a big problem amongst the elderly.</p> <p><strong>How could we use data for prevention?</strong></p> <p><em>AW</em>:&nbsp;We&rsquo;ve created an index which calculates the likelihood of someone becoming isolated. It combines individual and household level statistics such as age, gender, household composition and household income with weightings derived from national research. People with a higher rating on the index are more likely to be socially isolated</p> <p>The locations of everyone who scores highly are recorded, so we can identify areas with higher densities of older adults more likely to be socially isolated. When the index finds social isolation &lsquo;hotspots&rsquo;, we can locate the existing services, local community assets and third sector organisations that are closest to the people at risk. From there, we can judge whether the available local services are able address the isolation issue.&nbsp;</p> <p>By pinpointing such small areas, local solutions implemented by local organisations can address local challenges. For example; in areas with an abundance of parks and gardens, they can encourage people to join walking or gardening groups. The social isolation tool shows where, for example, a community programme could be effective, or, because the index also identifies individuals at greater risk of becoming socially isolated, it&nbsp;could be used to flag up&nbsp;any new or current social care customers who are at high risk. We can then provide more support to help at risk people.</p> <p><strong>How can local authorities use this tool?</strong></p> <p><em>AW:</em>&nbsp;The social isolation index provides health or social care practitioners with insight that helps them provide support for people that are typically difficult to identify, who are at high risk of spiralling into poor health and require&nbsp;intensive intervention from health services. When we pinpoint people at greatest risk, local authorities can intervene early and reduce demand for more costly services.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For more articles like this one, take a look at <a href=";utm_medium=TechUK&amp;utm_campaign=data-and-analytics&amp;utm_content=data-analytics-hub-techuk">Capita&rsquo;s Data and Analytics Hub.</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="">@CapitaTS</a></p> <p><a href="">LinkedIn</a></p>Contact: <a href=""></a>Contact: <a href=""></a> Driving a step change in UK productivity Mon, 22 Oct 2018 11:56:40 +0100 CRM Sync Supercharging's event partner Cisco provides an insight into driving a step change in UK productivity. By Nick Chrissos, Director of Innovation, Cisco, Europe. <p>Patriotism, pride &ndash; or just a place to call home. We all have a sense of what it means to live and work in the UK. Right now, that picture is changing. The level at which is unprecedented. Both the business environment and technologically.</p> <p>But change needn&rsquo;t be a bad thing. The UK lags behind its peers when it comes to productivity. &nbsp;Some of the best talent, ideas and invention originates from our shores. Some of the strongest sense of pride comes from our cities. But if we are to have a productive economy that we can be proud of in years to come, we need a step change.</p> <p>Take Manchester, the host of Tech UK&rsquo;s annual event this year as an example. The birthplace of the NHS, libraries, graphene and the industrial revolution. Technology is underpinning a new culture of firsts in the city. From space exploration to microscopes that can see further inwardly than ever before. The city aspires to improve lives and the prospects for business created in, or moving to it, by improving public services with technology and increasing collaboration across industry, government and academia.</p> <p>CityVerve, the UK&rsquo;s smart city demonstrator led by Cisco and located in the heart of Manchester embodied that ambition. Digital technology and the data to fuel it were instrumental in creating a platform to enable everyone to innovate, for the city. Smart technologies were not deployed in silos like you might see in other cities. Smart bins and street lights do wonders when you have a specific problem to solve, but with an ethos of collaboration reflecting the city&rsquo;s culture, CityVerve took it one step further by platforming data from hundreds of sources across the city. Using technology to evoke change in a meaningful way, as a whole, not in parts.&nbsp;</p> <p>Take that to industry; if you introduce a new piece of technology by itself, you might improve a process. But when you rethink all of your processes with the potential that digital technology can bring, the productivity of your entire business has a chance at marked improvement.&nbsp;</p> <p>A decade ago, you&rsquo;d be forgiven for thinking that new advances in tech were for the technology industry. You might&rsquo;ve seen digital as the realm of millennials. But now, the greatest gains to be had are in the industries who have always done what they do, the way they do it. The ones who have hard working people, who cannot feasibly work any harder (but could work differently) and are struggling to compete with competitors who were born on the internet.&nbsp;</p> <p>Digital is more than launching an app for your business, or putting robots on a production line. There is large scale and simple benefit to be had in equal measure, in all sectors. From the introduction of low-cost sensors that provide greater insight, to automation that means you can focus on more important tasks.&nbsp;</p> <p>How we use technology is what will create a step change in our productivity. The types of jobs we do will differ (as they have through every industrial revolution), the productivity of UK business will change, but if we get this right, it is absolutely a change for the better.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align:center"><img alt="" src="//" style="height:243px; width:350px"></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Cisco were a sponsor of our recent flagship conference Supercharging the Digital Economy which took place on Thursday 18 October.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-left:40px; text-align:center"><img alt="" src="//" style="height:234px; width:476px"></p> <p style="margin-left:40px; text-align:center">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-left:40px; text-align:center">&nbsp;</p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Bringing the Policing Vision 2025 to life Mon, 22 Oct 2018 10:36:46 +0100 CRM Sync JES Reception sponsor BT provides an insight into bringing the policing vision 2025 to life by using digital technology to transform the future of UK policing. By David Darch, Head of Police Services, BT. <p>There&rsquo;s no doubt that technology is enabling transformative change in UK policing. The communities the police serve in the UK are becoming increasing complex. More services and transactions are taking place online. Cybercrime is becoming more sophisticated. And emerging criminal and terrorist networks need tracking down and halting. Demands on digital evidence &ndash; from CCTV footage to phone records &ndash; is mounting, too. And the public expects easy digital contact with the police. A more sophisticated response is required to the challenges being faced now and in the future.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Policing Vision 2025 sets out a new vision for UK policing, which is more than making savings or incremental reforms: the ambition is to use digital technology to better service the public, making transformative change across the entire service. And that&rsquo;s where we come in. BT and Cisco have a long history of working in partnership and supporting UK policing, with account teams and specialists dedicated purely to the police sector. Together, we&rsquo;re working with forces to plan effective, accessible services that deliver value for money. Our connected policing model helps you focus on what you do best. It&rsquo;s based on what officers past and present tell us what modern forces need.</p> <p>By equipping police with innovative and secure technologies, we&rsquo;re finding new ways to enable better collaboration, even in the most high pressure situations. We can help improve the digital evidential and case file journey through the police and justice system. Our connected policing model is about enabling forces to do what they do best and using technology to help them do it better and more efficiently. Working together we can better meet the changing expectations of the public for easy and consistent digital contact with the police.</p> <p>Our flexible infrastructure solutions can help you take advantage of the cloud, and share common systems, assets and skills, cutting costs without cutting quality. BT Private Compute, our cloud data centre service, can take things a step further. All with 24/7 support from our ICT Managed Service Desks.</p> <p>With our mobile solutions, you can give your officers the intelligence they need and the right communication tools, wherever they are. While our security systems locate officers in dangerous situations, or those on the beat alone. Our 4G network and free Wi-fi hotspots mean officers won&rsquo;t have to head back to the office to complete paperwork. Or rely on back office staff for vital information. Conferencing and video streaming mean you can brief them anywhere. And if they&rsquo;re in areas with poor connectivity, our technology can automatically switch to the channel with best coverage. So they can stay on the streets.</p> <p>Security is in our DNA. We own and manage one of the most secure networks in the world. Last year, IDC recognised BT as the overall leader in Managed Security Services in Western Europe. We have over 2,500 security professionals and we&rsquo;re the first communications provider to sign a data exchange agreement with INTERPOL as it continues to step up its efforts. We&rsquo;re able to detect threats before they become a problem through our firewall, cloud, DDoS and web solutions. Our 24/7 proactive service monitoring keeps a close eye on our cloud-based data centre solutions. While integration with our WAN and LAN solutions means you&rsquo;ll get an unmatched, one-stop-shop experience.</p> <p>We&rsquo;re also at the forefront of UK innovations. BT have the best fixed and mobile network, connecting you wherever you are in the UK. We&rsquo;ve invested &pound;2.8bn in R&amp;D over the past five years. Using advanced technologies &ndash; like AI and Machine Learning &ndash; we&rsquo;re leading the way in cyber defence and protecting sensitive information and critical infrastructures.&nbsp;</p> <p>We&rsquo;ve got the insights to anticipate your challenges and help you plan a smarter digital future. And we&rsquo;ve got the network and know-how to make it all happen. We call this intelligent connectivity. And, as a managed services provider, we&rsquo;ll be there for the entire journey.</p> <p>About BT</p> <p>The future of policing is digital. It&rsquo;s about using technology to help police work better together &ndash;speeding things up and simplifying them while staying secure and efficient. We understand your challenges and have a long history of working with Cisco to improve UK policing.<br> Read more at <a href=""></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align:center"><img alt="" src="//" style="height:142px; width:466px"></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>BT are sponsor of the 2018 techUK Justice and Emergency Services Reception, taking place at The Goldsmiths' Centre on 30th October. For more information and to book tickets please see:&nbsp;<a href=""></a></p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Sony Joins the Global Initiative RE100 Fri, 19 Oct 2018 14:30:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog from one of our members Sony, as part of #techUKgreenweek and #GreenGB week. <div> <p>'Sony Joins the Global Initiative RE100 in Pursuit of Operating with 100% Renewable Electricity'&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>On September 10, Sony Corporation (hereafter &ldquo;Sony&rdquo;) announced that it has joined RE100, an initiative operated by the international non-government organization (NGO) The Climate Group&nbsp;in partnership with CDP. In so doing, Sony will aim to use 100% renewable electricity for all of its business sites by 2040. RE100 consists of companies committed to using 100% renewable electricity, and comprises over 140 member companies worldwide (as of September 10, 2018).&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <div> <p>In order to accelerate the use of renewable energy, Sony will promote the following initiatives moving forward:&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <ul><li> <p>In addition to its European sites, which have already achieved 100% renewable electricity, expand the use of renewable energy in North America and China.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </li> <li> <p>Promote the installation of solar panels at manufacturing sites in Thailand, Japan, and elsewhere.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </li> <li> <p>Within Japan, which contains many of Sony&rsquo;s semiconductor manufacturing sites and has the largest energy consumption within the Sony Group, establish an intracompany electricity transfer plan generated at Sony sites. Consider supplying Sony sites through electrical grids owned by power companies with energy created by in-house generation facilities that use renewable energy such as solar panels.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </li> </ul></div> <div> <ul><li> <p>Within Japan, work together with other RE100 member companies to strengthen outreach to renewable energy market to ensure sufficient and stable supply of economic renewable energy.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </li> </ul><div> <p>Sony has adopted a "Road to Zero" long-term environmental plan that plots a course to a zero environmental footprint for the company's operations and across the lifecycle of its products by 2050. Moving toward this vision for the future, Sony set about pursuing its new "Green Management 2020" environmental mid-term targets from fiscal 2016, which it aims to achieve by the end of fiscal 2020, and cites the use of renewable energy as one of its pillars.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Sony has adopted the target of using renewable energy equivalent to reducing CO2 emissions by 300,000 tons by fiscal 2020 and is accelerating the implementation of renewable energy in a variety of ways, including use of Renewable Energy Certificates and installation of solar panels. The cumulative total of CO2 emissions reduced by using renewable energy since fiscal 2016 is approx.154,000&nbsp;tons.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Through these and other measures, Sony will continue striving to bring forth environmentally conscious products and services, minimize the environmental footprint of its value chain, and&nbsp;work to create a better and more sustainable society, toward the achievement of its "Road to Zero" plan.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Quoting Kenichiro Yoshida, President and CEO, Sony Corporation:</p> <p>&ldquo;<em>For many years, Sony has been an industry leader in actively addressing climate change and other environmental issues. As part of our &ldquo;Road to Zero&rdquo; initiative to eliminate our environmental footprint, we are pleased to join RE100 and contribute to the realization of a society that operates on fully renewable energy. </em></p> <p><em>In anticipation of the coming autonomous driving era, Sony aims to contribute to the safety of mobility and to the reduction of environmental impact through its automotive CMOS image sensor business. We have positioned these initiatives as one of our pillars of our societal contribution from a long-term perspective. At the same time, we are also proactively taking measures to assess and minimize the impact of our overall business activities such as semiconductor manufacturing on the environment. By joining RE100, we hope to contribute to the expanded usage of renewable energy not only within Sony but by the industry at large.&rdquo;</em></p> <p>J<em>oin the discussion on #techUKgreenweek and&nbsp;</em>#GreenGB<em>. To see more blogs like this, please visit the website&nbsp;<a href="">here</a>.</em></p> </div> </div> Working Towards a Zero-Carbon Tech Sector Fri, 19 Oct 2018 13:30:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog from Kristine Kearney, Marketing Manager from SIMS Recycling Solutions as part of #techUKgreenweek and #GreenGB week. <div> <p>41.8 million tonnes of electronic waste was generated in 2014, with a value of circa $52 billion according to the&nbsp;<a class="Hyperlink SCXW187944460" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">United Nations</a>.&nbsp;These types of material goods generate large amounts of physical waste, and&nbsp;their&nbsp;production&nbsp;can account for more than&nbsp;<a class="Hyperlink SCXW187944460" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">80&nbsp;percent&nbsp;of their through-life carbon</a>&nbsp;footprint.&nbsp;The recycling and reuse of these materials can&nbsp;significantly&nbsp;impact&nbsp;our&nbsp;progression&nbsp;towards a carbon-neutral world.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <div> <p>Incorporating&nbsp;circular&nbsp;processes&nbsp;into the entire&nbsp;technology&nbsp;product lifecycle will undoubtedly feature predominantly in our journey toward a zero-carbon sector.&nbsp;Many Tech UK members are working conscientiously to:&nbsp;</p> </div> <ul><li> <p>Reduce waste,&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </li> </ul></div> <div> <ul><li> <p>Reclaim raw materials,&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </li> <li> <p>Increase reuse levels,&nbsp;and&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </li> <li> <p>Incorporate the entire&nbsp;product&nbsp;lifecycle into design conception.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </li> </ul><div> <p>Many are&nbsp;incorporating&nbsp;circular and zero-carbon&nbsp;initiatives&nbsp;into their&nbsp;operations,&nbsp;but only few are leading the way towards a truly net-zero carbon footprint.&nbsp;The best&nbsp;steps to ensuring&nbsp;your&nbsp;company&nbsp;is moving&nbsp;towards&nbsp;a&nbsp;zero-carbon&nbsp;tech sector, are&nbsp;outlined below.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> <div> <p><strong>Define&nbsp;your&nbsp;goals: Write them down and share with your organisation.&nbsp;</strong></p> </div> <div> <p>As many have heard, in 1979 a&nbsp;Harvard MBA course&nbsp;asked&nbsp;new graduates&nbsp;to&nbsp;set&nbsp;clear, written goals for&nbsp;their&nbsp;future and&nbsp;to&nbsp;make plans to accomplish them.&nbsp;Only three percent&nbsp;completed this. When interviewed 10 years later,&nbsp;the&nbsp;three percent&nbsp;who set goals&nbsp;were earning&nbsp;about&nbsp;ten times as much as the other 97&nbsp;percent&nbsp;put together.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p><strong>Measure&nbsp;your&nbsp;progress:&nbsp;&nbsp;Track&nbsp;against your goals accurately and regularly.&nbsp;</strong></p> </div> <div> <p>Measurements&nbsp;help&nbsp;shape&nbsp;behaviour. They&nbsp;help maintain focus and&nbsp;allow for informed decision making.&nbsp;They&nbsp;also&nbsp;provide&nbsp;an opportunity to boast about achievements &ndash; increasing your profile,&nbsp;brand reputation and value.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Choose metrics which encourage&nbsp;the behaviour you&nbsp;desire.&nbsp;Recent reports ranked European countries for their &lsquo;circularity&rsquo; and environmental performance,&nbsp;and showed stark differences dependent on the measurements chosen.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p><a class="Hyperlink SCXW187944460" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">Politico</a>&rsquo;s&nbsp;<a class="Hyperlink SCXW187944460" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">Circular Economy rankings</a>&nbsp;favoured Germany, the United Kingdom, France and&nbsp;Czechia&nbsp;by measuring against the goals of reducing waste, boosting recycling and encouraging reuse.&nbsp;The Nordic countries, generally acknowledged as environmental leaders, lagged behind. In contrast, the&nbsp;<a class="Hyperlink SCXW187944460" href=";order=field_epi_rank_new&amp;sort=asc" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">2018 Environmental Performance Index</a>,&nbsp;which ranks a broader&nbsp;range of environmental policies, sees Northern European countries leading the march.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>If your goal&nbsp;is to achieve a zero-carbon product lifecycle, ensure your measurements&nbsp;encourage appropriate actions.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Get&nbsp;started:&nbsp;Possible goals for the technology sector.&nbsp;</strong></p> </div> <div>Weight&nbsp;-&nbsp;Create&nbsp;a goal for increasing&nbsp;the&nbsp;reuse of your technology assets, parts and components in addition to waste directed for recycling.&nbsp;You can consider measuring this by the amount (weight) of waste material diverted from the landfill.&nbsp;&nbsp;</div> <div> <p>Carbon&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;Set a goal to understand what is actually remanufactured into new products&nbsp;by measuring carbon.&nbsp;Carbon has been identified as a better alternative measurement than weight in the report&nbsp;<a class="Hyperlink SCXW187944460" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">&lsquo;Smarter Measures for the Circular Economy&rsquo;</a>. Others are also&nbsp;straying&nbsp;away from weight for this&nbsp;measurement, as the UK&rsquo;s Environmental Services Association (ESA) is lobbying&nbsp;to not base&nbsp;new recycling targets on the current metric of weight.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>When measuring carbon,&nbsp;measure&nbsp;more than&nbsp;just&nbsp;your&nbsp;own carbon&nbsp;footprint. Look at the complete&nbsp;supply chain&nbsp;and track the carbon profile for the entire lifecycle of your assets.&nbsp;Search&nbsp;for suppliers with their own zero-carbon goals&nbsp;and clear strategies to reduce their environmental impact.&nbsp;Set targets for use of remanufactured materials,&nbsp;and&nbsp;find&nbsp;efficiencies in your supply chain.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Asset Lifespan&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;Implement goals&nbsp;throughout the design lifecycle of your equipment that could play a part in achieving a zero-carbon future. Align&nbsp;goals towards improving&nbsp;design for:&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <ul><li> <p>Recycling&nbsp;</p> </li> <li> <p>Parts replacement or reuse,&nbsp;and&nbsp;</p> </li> <li> <p>Use of remanufactured materials over raw materials.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </li> </ul><div> <p><strong>Collaborate to achieve: Develop cooperation among all actors.&nbsp;</strong></p> </div> <div>We can&nbsp;only achieve a zero-carbon future for the&nbsp;tech-industry if we work together. Engage all actors in your supply chain to collaboratively work on your goals&nbsp;to&nbsp;go beyond zero&nbsp;carbon and build&nbsp;<a class="Hyperlink SCXW187944460" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">restorative business models</a>.&nbsp;&nbsp;</div> </div> <div> <p>Learn&nbsp;more about&nbsp;how you can&nbsp;re-imagine your business model to strengthen current approaches and plan for continual evolution towards a circular model.&nbsp;<a class="Hyperlink SCXW187944460" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank"></a>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>&nbsp;J<em>oin the discussion on #techUKgreenweek and&nbsp;</em>#GreenGB<em>. To see more blogs like this, please visit the website&nbsp;<a href="">here</a>.</em></p> </div> Creating an internet powered by 100 percent renewable energy Fri, 19 Oct 2018 12:00:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog by BSR’s associate director of ICT Michael Rohwer and Berkley Rothmeier, manager for consumer sectors and climate, as part of #techUKgreenweek. <div> <p>In 2015, data center operations&nbsp;were estimated to account for 1% of global energy consumption&nbsp;&mdash;and this proportion&nbsp;is&nbsp;expected to grow by 3% as data centre workloads&nbsp;triple. In 2012, BSR brought tech leaders together to form the Future of Internet Power, a collaborative initiative working toward a shared vision: an internet powered by 100 percent renewable energy.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p><strong>The Challenge&nbsp;</strong></p> </div> <div> <p>While the thriving technology sector provides significant business and social benefits&mdash;many of which help to reduce negative environmental impacts&mdash;data centers are energy intensive. In 2010, data centers represented 2 percent of all U.S. electricity use, and that percentage is unlikely to decrease, given our increasing reliance on mobile and internet communications.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Today, internet companies and data center operators are addressing their impacts by considering the source of the electricity that powers their data centers, which is often a mix of renewables, natural gas, and coal. Moving beyond incremental improvements in the energy mix requires access to and use of sustainable, low-carbon electricity at scale. To make this a reality, companies will need to both collaborate across the industry and partner with local utilities and policymakers to develop the infrastructure and promote the regulations that will enable renewable energy procurement for internet power.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p><strong>Our Strategy&nbsp;</strong></p> </div> <div> <p>In 2012, BSR launched the&nbsp;<a class="Hyperlink SCXW206645598" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">Future of Internet Power</a>&nbsp;(FoIP), a collaborative initiative composed of some of the world&rsquo;s most influential companies working to power the internet with 100 percent renewable energy. Today,&nbsp;FoIP&nbsp;members include Adobe, Akamai, Autodesk, Bank of America, eBay, Facebook, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Salesforce, Symantec,&nbsp;TimeWarner, VMware, and Workday.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>For internet companies, powering data centers with renewable energy can require clearing a number of hurdles: navigating regional environmental policies and incentives, in some cases paying cost premiums for renewable versus coal power, and addressing challenging infrastructure requirements for offsite power generation. These and other factors make sourcing low-carbon power difficult for individual companies to manage alone. Through&nbsp;FoIP, companies collaborate with peers, suppliers, and power developers to build smarter approaches and identify opportunities for shared or joint investment.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p><strong>Our Outcomes and Impact&nbsp;</strong></p> </div> <div> <p>FoIP&nbsp;has played a foundational role in helping the technology sector set aggressive and achievable commitments to renewable energy. As of April 2018, nine&nbsp;FoIP&nbsp;members had committed to 100 percent renewable energy: Adobe, Autodesk, Bank of America, eBay, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Facebook, Salesforce, VMware, and Workday.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>FoIP&nbsp;also launched the&nbsp;<a class="Hyperlink SCXW206645598" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">Corporate Colocation and Cloud Buyers&rsquo; Principles</a>, which outline six criteria that companies would like their data center service providers to meet. This includes providing data on customer energy consumption, disclosing facility energy sources, and supporting renewable energy advocacy. As of early 2018, 17 customers of industrial data center service providers (also known as &ldquo;colos&rdquo;) and cloud services became signatories, demonstrating their support for the six Principles, and four cloud and&nbsp;colo&nbsp;providers became Principles supporters, committing to work with their customers to put the Principles into practice.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>In 2018,&nbsp;FoIP&rsquo;s&nbsp;focus will be on finalizing and rolling out new tools for companies choosing renewables when making data-center siting decisions, encouraging&nbsp;colos&nbsp;to procure renewables, streamlining and standardizing the documentation required to make data-center-related renewable energy claims, and continuing to collaboratively tackle greenhouse gas accounting challenges in Scope 3 emissions.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p><strong>Lessons Learned&nbsp;</strong></p> </div> <div> <p>In addition to sharing best practices and collaborating on solutions through&nbsp;FoIP, BSR&rsquo;s one-on-one work with companies creates a model that we can customize for other businesses to develop and manage renewable energy infrastructure projects.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>We have learned that big challenges like these require collaborative solutions. Building on the&nbsp;FoIP&nbsp;approach, we have been able to expand the group&rsquo;s mission by working through other partnerships, including the&nbsp;<a class="Hyperlink SCXW206645598" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance</a>, a collaboration with the&nbsp;<a class="Hyperlink SCXW206645598" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">World Resources Institute and World Wildlife Fund Buyers' Principles</a>&nbsp;initiative, and the&nbsp;<a class="Hyperlink SCXW206645598" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">Rocky Mountain Institute's Business Renewables Center</a>. By working together, we can scale our impact even more, while making it easier and more efficient for businesses to help shift the energy mix powering the internet toward renewables.</p> <p>J<em>oin the discussion on #techUKgreenweek and&nbsp;</em>#GreenGB<em>. To see more blogs like this, please visit the website&nbsp;<a href="">here</a>.</em></p> </div> Turning up the heat on a zero-carbon ICT sector Fri, 19 Oct 2018 11:20:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog from Sylvie Feindt from Europa Insights as part of #techUKgreenweek and #GreenGB week. <div> <p>The&nbsp;summer 2018&nbsp;heatwave, with wildfires&nbsp;ranging&nbsp;from Greece&nbsp;in southern Europe&nbsp;to the&nbsp;Nordic countries, made climate change feel very real. Against this background, the&nbsp;<a class="Hyperlink SCXW171324528" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">Global Climate Action Summit</a>&nbsp;in San Francisco&nbsp;brought together&nbsp;thousands of activists&nbsp;alongside&nbsp;representatives of cities, regions,&nbsp;federal states&nbsp;and businesses. Many have&nbsp;already&nbsp;engaged in voluntary initiatives to&nbsp;contribute&nbsp;to lower CO2&nbsp;emission.&nbsp;With the&nbsp;upcoming United Nations&nbsp;COP24&nbsp;climate summit in Katowice&nbsp;setting rules for implementing the Paris&nbsp;Agreement, there is certainly momentum for net-zero -&nbsp;even if&nbsp;<a class="Hyperlink SCXW171324528" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">not one&nbsp;EU country</a>&nbsp;is performing sufficiently to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Achieving the&nbsp;<a class="Hyperlink SCXW171324528" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">net zero objective by 2050&nbsp;obviously requires a&nbsp;contribution from all sectors</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;takes&nbsp;in multiple issues, from the&nbsp;behavioral change of&nbsp;individuals and&nbsp;shifting to renewable energy production&nbsp;to&nbsp;deep retrofits of buildings, phasing out fossil fuels, enhancing the circular economy with longer-lived assets, dietary changes,&nbsp;carbon capture and storage, and so on.&nbsp;It&rsquo;s a long list.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>While&nbsp;it can be extremely&nbsp;difficult to get people to change their behavior, industry -&nbsp;which accounts for 40% of&nbsp;carbon&nbsp;emissions&nbsp;-&nbsp;can&nbsp;make&nbsp;a&nbsp;significant contribution.&nbsp;In particular, tech&nbsp;businesses&nbsp;are&nbsp;well placed to&nbsp;trigger measurable&nbsp;change in&nbsp;their&nbsp;value chains and with consumers.&nbsp;And&nbsp;many companies are&nbsp;already&nbsp;making change happen, most visibly in&nbsp;energy efficiency:&nbsp;despite exponential increases in&nbsp;data&nbsp;volumes,&nbsp;the&nbsp;energy consumption of data&nbsp;centres, communication networks and devices is decreasing.&nbsp;The sourcing of renewables&nbsp;is another focus:&nbsp;150-plus&nbsp;leading corporate players worldwide having committed to&nbsp;a&nbsp;100% renewable target (<a class="Hyperlink SCXW171324528" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">RE100</a>).&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>At the same time,&nbsp;decarbonisation&nbsp;efforts need&nbsp;to trickle down and be embraced by medium&nbsp;and smaller&nbsp;sized&nbsp;companies,&nbsp;the vast majority of&nbsp;European&nbsp;businesses,&nbsp;and&nbsp;who&nbsp;can&nbsp;drive demand for renewables. Some&nbsp;big&nbsp;players have started&nbsp;moving in this direction,&nbsp;supporting the&nbsp;decarbonisation&nbsp;of their direct suppliers. The&nbsp;<a class="Hyperlink SCXW171324528" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">RE-source platform</a>, a European alliance representing clean energy buyers and suppliers for corporate renewable energy sourcing, has been&nbsp;created&nbsp;to connect&nbsp;buyers and sellers.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>And of course, by embracing &lsquo;circular economy&rsquo; practices&nbsp;like&nbsp;repair and refurbishment, companies&nbsp;really&nbsp;contribute to decarbonising their operations on the way to&nbsp;a&nbsp;<a class="Hyperlink SCXW171324528" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">zero emission economy</a>.&nbsp;This entails new business models so&nbsp;less&nbsp;materials are used for products and fewer products are sold, they are&nbsp;&lsquo;dematerialised&rsquo;, have longer lifetimes&nbsp;(even several lives), are leased, bought back, shared or become a service. At its eventual end-of-life,&nbsp;a&nbsp;product is&nbsp;recycled&nbsp;and the secondary raw materials used&nbsp;for&nbsp;new products. This is already happening;&nbsp;many IT products contain&nbsp;already-recycled plastics, and remanufacturing or repair&nbsp;is&nbsp;a longstanding practice for professional equipment,&nbsp;in some cases achieving&nbsp;a reuse rate of 85%&nbsp;or more&nbsp;for data storage and servers.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>The key is that&nbsp;a&nbsp;product remains an asset to be recovered at the end of its first life.&nbsp;Of course, the&nbsp;situation&nbsp;becomes more complicated when consumers&nbsp;are involved.&nbsp;Nonetheless, practices to retract consumer devices&nbsp;exist, with cable TV and telecom operators requiring&nbsp;customers to return their Complex Set Top Boxes and Internet routers at the end of&nbsp;a&nbsp;contract,&nbsp;or&nbsp;offering&nbsp;mobile phone&nbsp;trade-ins&nbsp;at&nbsp;physical shops or online platforms. Right now,&nbsp;only a single-digit percentage figure&nbsp;are&nbsp;returned this way.&nbsp;But it&rsquo;s a start: &lsquo;mighty oaks from little acorns grow&rsquo;.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Climate change is no longer a question of&nbsp;if&nbsp;but&nbsp;when&nbsp;the impacts&nbsp;are&nbsp;felt by consumers and businesses.&nbsp;And those impacts are happening.&nbsp;We need&nbsp;concerted&nbsp;action, with informed&nbsp;co-operation&nbsp;between&nbsp;individuals, companies, government and policymakers.&nbsp;And there is hope:&nbsp;these issues are being discussed, and&nbsp;many encouraging initiatives&nbsp;are&nbsp;under way. As&nbsp;these&nbsp;examples in the ICT sector demonstrate, there are great opportunities for change.&nbsp;We&nbsp;need to work even harder to accelerate the turnaround, creating&nbsp;new business models&nbsp;and processes for a&nbsp;sustainable economy&nbsp;working towards&nbsp;a&nbsp;net zero target.</p> <p>J<em>oin the discussion on #techUKgreenweek and&nbsp;</em>#GreenGB<em>. To see more blogs like this, please visit the website&nbsp;<a href="">here</a>.</em></p> </div> We are proud to be celebrating Green GB Week Fri, 19 Oct 2018 10:20:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog from BT’s Gabrielle Giner, Head of Sustainable Business Policy, as part of #techUKgreenweek and #GreenGB week. <div> <p>A week to celebrate ten years of the Climate Change Act and clean economic growth - what a fantastic idea!&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>The Climate Change Act has been immensely successful, leading to&nbsp;five carbon budgets that have paved the way for UK emissions to continue to fall.&nbsp; In 2017, the UK&rsquo;s greenhouse gas emissions were 43% below 1990 levels, while the economy grew by two-thirds over the same period.&nbsp; It&rsquo;s a remarkable achievement.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>The Act has also helped cement the UK&rsquo;s position as an international leader on climate action, something that the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has continued to safeguard, through its work on the Industrial Strategy, the Clean Growth Strategy and the Power Past Coal declaration.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Last week&rsquo;s long awaited IPPC report on the need to limit global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius couldn&rsquo;t have been clearer.&nbsp; Urgent and unprecedented changes are needed to reach this target.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p><strong>BT&rsquo;s 1.5 degree Celsius science-based target&nbsp;</strong></p> </div> <div> <p>At BT, we have long recognised the need to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.&nbsp; That&rsquo;s why we set a Science Based Target in line with a 1.5 degree trajectory in September 2017. &#8239;Our target is to&#8239;reduce the carbon emissions intensity of our operations by 87% by 2030 against a 2016/17 baseline. &#8239;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>BT has around 18,000 suppliers and our supply chain spend is over &pound;14&nbsp;bn&nbsp;a year.&nbsp; While our own operations are responsible for 7% of our carbon impact, customers using our products and services constitutes 26% and the carbon associated with our supply chain 68%.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>That&rsquo;s why we have set a target to&nbsp;reduce the carbon emissions associated with our supply chain by 29% by 2030 on 2016/17 levels.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Working towards this target has led us to spending a lot of time focusing on working with our suppliers to try and inspire them to take climate action.&nbsp; Following a successful pilot, we are introducing a sustainability contract clause into our major contracts.&nbsp; The clause requires a supplier to reduce carbon emissions and energy consumption over the term of the contract and has already shown great benefits for both us and our suppliers.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p><strong>The unique role of ICT&nbsp;</strong></p> </div> <div> <p>ICT is a vital and unique tool that&nbsp;has the power to&nbsp;catalyse&nbsp;climate action throughout all sectors of the economy, driving carbon reduction while generating substantial economic and socio-economic benefits.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>That&rsquo;s why we signed up to the&nbsp;<a class="Hyperlink SCXW224294171" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">Step&nbsp;Up&nbsp;Declaration</a>&nbsp;which was launched at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco this September.&nbsp; We joined twenty other companies in a new collaboration to accelerate climate action using the power of technology.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Recognising&nbsp;the opportunity to take action and help mitigate the worst potential impacts of global warming, the signatories behind the Step&nbsp;Up&nbsp;Declaration are joining forces in response to a&nbsp;<a class="Hyperlink SCXW224294171" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">challenge issued in May, 2018</a>&nbsp;by Christiana&nbsp;Figueres, Convener of&nbsp;<a class="Hyperlink SCXW224294171" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">Mission 2020</a>.&nbsp;&nbsp;Figueres&rsquo; challenge urged the technology sector to dramatically &ldquo;step up&rdquo; climate action, to&nbsp;demonstrate their own progress ahead of 2020, and show how they can intentionally help the rest of the global economy&nbsp;decarbonise.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p><strong>BT is helping our customers reduce their carbon emissions&nbsp;</strong></p> </div> <div> <p>In 2013, to demonstrate how BT is accelerating climate action, we announced our Net Good target to help customers reduce their carbon emissions by at least three times the end-to-end carbon impact of our business by 2020.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>When we launched the target, we were only just net positive, but in the five years since we have doubled that ratio. We are now at a ratio of 2.2 to 1.&nbsp; The revenue from these products and services is &pound;5.3bn or 22% of BT&rsquo;s total revenues.&nbsp; And, in 2017/18, our products, for example video conferencing and vehicle telematics, helped customers avoid at least 11.3 million tonnes of CO2e,&nbsp;equivalent to the emissions of nearly 3 million households.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p><strong>We welcome the IPCC report and Green GB Week&nbsp;</strong></p> </div> <div> <p>We welcome the publication of the IPPC report which is very important in highlighting that the world needs to start setting 1.5 degree targets.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>We know that the only way we can achieve a 1.5&deg;C world is through collaboration and collective effort. There are really positive signs that suggest that the momentum behind a shift to a low carbon society is becoming unstoppable, but we can&rsquo;t rest on our laurels.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Green GB Week has marked&nbsp;the 10-year anniversary of the successful Climate Change Act and&nbsp;been a celebration of UK leadership on climate action.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>It has&nbsp;highlighted the opportunities clean growth offers the UK and raised understanding of how business and the public can contribute to tackling climate change.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>We hope that the IPCC report and Green GB Week will inspire others to embrace the low carbon economy and see the opportunities that clean growth offers.</p> <p>J<em>oin the discussion on #techUKgreenweek and&nbsp;</em>#GreenGB<em>. To see more blogs like this, please visit the website&nbsp;<a href="">here</a>.</em></p> </div> Dirty data and doom-mongering: the ICT sector’s real impact on climate Fri, 19 Oct 2018 09:55:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest Blog from Andie Stephens, Associate Director of the Carbon Trust, as part of #techUKgreenweek and #GreenGB week <div> <p>'Dirty data&nbsp;and&nbsp;doom-mongering: the&nbsp;ICT&nbsp;sector&rsquo;s&nbsp;real&nbsp;impact&nbsp;on climate change'</p> </div> <div> <p>Big numbers grab headlines. This is to blame for the fact that there is a lot of misinformation and wildly inaccurate projections around the environmental impact of the&nbsp;ICT&nbsp;sector.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>There are&nbsp;a number of&nbsp;myths and legends out there. A 2009 study in Japan projected&nbsp;that&nbsp;by 2030 the country&rsquo;s internet routers would consume the equivalent of all electricity used in Japan by 2005. More recently we&rsquo;ve seen suggestions that Bitcoin could account for a similar level of electricity consumption to the entirety of Argentina.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>As someone that works closely with the sector, I despair at some of the numbers thrown around.&nbsp;These&nbsp;often grossly overestimate the real impact of ICT energy use&nbsp;by some 10 to 50 times.&nbsp;And although it is true that global use of data is increasing a significant rate, this does not result in an equivalent increase in electricity and carbon emissions.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>There are several reasons this happens. It is true that in previous years data centre electricity use was increasing dramatically&nbsp;&ndash; an average of nearly 9% a year in the US between 2000 and 2010 &ndash;&nbsp;so assumptions were made that this would continue.&nbsp;And lots of studies have used out-of-date or inaccurate data or assumptions to generate&nbsp;projections, or&nbsp;developed unlikely scenario models that were then reported as actual predictions.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>There have also been some well-respected academics that have got their methodologies wrong. This tends to be either because they understand telecommunications very well, but not energy and carbon, or vice versa.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>It&rsquo;s true that there&rsquo;s no easy way to accurately measure the true impact of ICT, but&nbsp;&ndash; in my view &ndash;one of the most&nbsp;<a class="Hyperlink SCXW96925204" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">reliable recent studies</a>&nbsp;comes from Jens&nbsp;Malmodin&nbsp;of Ericsson Research&nbsp;and Dag&nbsp;Lund&eacute;n&nbsp;of Sweden&rsquo;s Telia. They both have a lot of experience in the sector and take a very detailed approach. More importantly they have access to actual electricity consumption data across multiple countries.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Their&nbsp;estimate&nbsp;for 2015&nbsp;(most recent year for which data was collated)&nbsp;is that the ICT sector accounted for around 3.6% of all global electricity use and 1.4% of the greenhouse gas emissions. Or to split it out: data centres are around 1% of global electricity, ICT networks a further 1%, and end user devices (including home networks) account for the remainder.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>There is also a separate category in their&nbsp;assessment &ndash; entertainment and media &ndash; which is not typically accounted for in the impact of ICT but in&nbsp;reality&nbsp;is very closely intertwined. This looks at the energy consumption of devices such as TVs and set-top boxes, which together make up a further 2.4% of global electricity use and 0.8% of greenhouse gas emissions.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>The reality of supply and demand is that if ICT sector electricity use were wildly increasing, the cost of using the internet would&nbsp;probably&nbsp;be going up&nbsp;as well.&nbsp;Electricity use is a big cost for data centres, so there is a strong incentive to reduce it.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>As a result, the efficiency of transmitting, processing and storing data has increased at such a rate that it is roughly keeping up with the increased demand for data. And this means that the electricity consumption of data centres and ICT networks has&nbsp;actually levelled&nbsp;off in recent years.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Today we are seeing huge amounts of innovation in efficient cooling for data centres, from advanced temperature and airflow modelling being used in design, through to novel cooling methods such as&nbsp;<a class="Hyperlink SCXW96925204" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">liquid cooling</a>&nbsp;or&nbsp;<a class="Hyperlink SCXW96925204" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">adiabatic cooling</a>.&nbsp;There&rsquo;s&nbsp;also some exciting projects such as Microsoft trialling mini&nbsp;<a class="Hyperlink SCXW96925204" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">data centres on the seabed</a>, or the&nbsp;<a class="Hyperlink SCXW96925204" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">Green Mountain</a>&nbsp;data centre in Norway that was built in former NATO nuclear bunker and cooled by cold water from a fjord.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>There is also a&nbsp;trend&nbsp;towards&nbsp;larger&nbsp;hyperscale&nbsp;data centres, which are much more efficient than multiple smaller ones.&nbsp;And increasingly these are being powered with clean energy. Many of the world&rsquo;s largest tech companies and network operators &ndash; including Google, Apple, Microsoft, BT, Telef&oacute;nica and AT&amp;T &ndash; are now committed to moving towards 100% renewable electricity.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>This isn&rsquo;t to say that there aren&rsquo;t still some highly inefficient data centres out there, and in some parts of the world where they are powered with&nbsp;coal&nbsp;they can be a significant source of emissions. But&nbsp;fortunately&nbsp;energy&nbsp;regulation&nbsp;and market forces are gradually&nbsp;catching up with the laggards,&nbsp;and we are seeing a greater adoption of best practice thanks to initiatives such as the&nbsp;EU&rsquo;s&nbsp;Code of Conduct for Data Centres.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>What is important to remember is that although some of the headlines are&nbsp;enormous exaggerations, the total impact from&nbsp;ICT&nbsp;is substantial and the sector&nbsp;will need&nbsp;to take serious, co-ordinated action if we are to meet international ambitions on climate change. This means a relentless focus on energy efficiency, making the most of managing capacity and demand, and a total shift to&nbsp;the use of&nbsp;clean energy.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>The good news is that the solutions to achieve this are all in reach with technologies that already exist. This means that with the right level of commitment the ICT sector could be amongst the first industries to reach zero emissions, becoming an integral part of the foundations of a low carbon economy and allowing businesses to succeed in a sustainable future.</p> <p>J<em>oin the discussion on #techUKgreenweek and&nbsp;</em>#GreenGB<em>. To see more blogs like this, please visit the website&nbsp;<a href="">here</a>.</em></p> </div> Data centres and heat reuse: Light at the end of the tunnel? Fri, 19 Oct 2018 09:30:00 +0100 CRM Sync Blog from techUK’s Emma Fryer, Associate Director Data Centres, as part of #techUKgreenweek and #GreenGB week. <div> <p>Data centres may not look very interesting from the outside but they provide the core digital infrastructure that underpins our modern economy.&nbsp;Data centres&nbsp;process, store, transmit and&nbsp;manage digital data in secure, controlled environments.&nbsp; They&nbsp;consolidate&nbsp;the computing functions associated with corporate and government IT,&nbsp;retail,&nbsp;social and business media, industrial&nbsp;and academic research.&nbsp;&nbsp;The Cloud is not in the sky: it is in a data centre.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>The by-product of computer processing is heat and where large numbers of servers are located together the heat output is considerable.&nbsp;In theory then, data centres should be good candidates for heat&nbsp;reuse.&nbsp; However, there are&nbsp;few examples of successful heat reuse in the sector&nbsp;and none that we are aware of in the UK.&nbsp;&nbsp; The reasons include the low grade of the heat, the lack of infrastructure and absence of customers.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Government is keen to help businesses tackle these and other barriers to heat reuse and issued a&nbsp;<a class="Hyperlink SCXW180857837" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">call for evidence</a>&nbsp;at the end of 2017 on support proposals.&nbsp; We&nbsp;<a class="Hyperlink SCXW180857837" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">responded in brief</a>&nbsp;explaining the sector&rsquo;s position and confirming our willingness to engage in any relevant policy dialogue.&nbsp; Government responded by including data centres in the sectors eligible for support&nbsp;&ndash; which was great news.&nbsp; In a subsequent announcement on 15th&nbsp;October, Government committed &pound;320m to&nbsp;the development of&nbsp;heat network&nbsp;infrastructure:&nbsp;infrastructure&nbsp;that is&nbsp;a prerequisite for the&nbsp;rollout of successful heat reuse projects in the UK.&nbsp; So they clearly mean business.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Infrastructure aside, our biggest problem is the grade of&nbsp;our waste heat: hot air is much less useful than steam.&nbsp;&nbsp; The grade of heat is also&nbsp;to some extent a function of how operators implement cooling&nbsp;which&nbsp;is delivered in various ways &ndash; chilled water, chilled air or fresh air ventilation for example. Other more novel cooling approaches are being rolled out or are in development&nbsp;such as&nbsp;immersive cooling or the use of underground aquifers for heat transfer.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Cooling typically accounts for nearly&nbsp;a third&nbsp;of energy costs, so is the focus of much R&amp;D and commercial attention.&nbsp;&nbsp;At the same time, the industry is attacking the problem from the other end:&nbsp; computer servers are being developed to operate at higher temperature and at wider humidity ranges, thus reducing (but not eliminating) the need for cooling.&nbsp;&nbsp; While all cooling processes provide a route for heat rejection, historically the focus has been on dissipating the heat, not concentrating it.&nbsp;&nbsp;However,&nbsp;some&nbsp;modern cooling technologies&nbsp;do concentrate heat and therefore&nbsp;present us with much more scope.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>First, though we should take a look at places where heat reuse is more common, for instance in Scandinavia and the Netherlands,&nbsp;and examine some data centre case studies to establish how it works, the issues that they have encountered and how they have&nbsp;been&nbsp;dealt with.&nbsp; There is also a world of difference between retrofitting an existing site and accommodating heat reuse potential in designs for a new facility, so we have to be realistic:&nbsp; the UK may have the largest commercial data centre estate in Europe but only a fraction of it may be suitable to retrofit and we may find we have to concentrate our efforts on new developments.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Nevertheless, there is clearly appetite in the sector to make better use of our waste heat:&nbsp; the industry has developed a performance metric based on the proportion of waste heat that is reused: ERF or Energy Reuse Factor1.&nbsp; This metric is likely to be included in the&nbsp;Green Public Procurement criteria currently being developed by the European Commission &ndash; so heat reuse could be a differentiator in tendering for public sector data centre contracts in future.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>The good news is that, through techUK,&nbsp;data centre operators will soon&nbsp;be engaging with BEIS and&nbsp;their&nbsp;technical&nbsp;consultants to explore this landscape further.&nbsp; We will be holding workshops to explore sector specific barriers that are preventing waste heat from our facilities being reused, whether these are technical,&nbsp;contractual, regulatory or cultural.&nbsp; With the right infrastructure in place, the right incentives and the right technology, we hope that data centres will make a viable contribution to energy efficiency through heat reuse.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>J<em>oin the discussion on #techUKgreenweek and&nbsp;</em>#GreenGB<em>. To see more blogs like this, please visit the website&nbsp;<a href="">here</a>.</em></p> </div>Contact: <a href=""></a> INBOUND 2018 Thu, 18 Oct 2018 16:25:17 +0100 CRM Sync Annual Hubspot INBOUND Conference Reviewed by Rufus Meakin <p>I had the pleasure of attending the &ldquo;INBOUND 2018&rdquo; conference in Boston, MA. This is a brief review of the event, and I&rsquo;ll also provide recommendations so you can decide whether it is worth techUK members making the journey to Boston for this 4-day conference, held every September.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h4><strong>About Hubspot and INBOUND</strong></h4> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The INBOUND conference is aimed at marketing, sales and business professionals of all levels who are interested in growing their businesses and becoming more effective at their jobs.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>The main sponsor of INBOUND is HubSpot Inc. which is a provider of tools for social media marketing; content management; web analytics; landing pages and search engine optimisation.&nbsp; Since its inception in 2006, Hubspot has grown to over 300,000 users worldwide.&nbsp; Hubspot is clear though that INBOUND is not a HubSpot user conference and you do not need to use HubSpot to benefit from the event.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="" src="//" style="height:503px; width:780px"></p> <p>INBOUND 2018, Boston USA</p> <h4>&nbsp;</h4> <h4><strong>Inbound Marketing</strong></h4> <p>The focus of the INBOUND conference is &ldquo;Inbound Marketing&rdquo; which is a method of aligning marketing content to offer value to buyers without overtly selling a product or service.&nbsp; Inbound marketing has gained popularity in recent years as companies seek to educate, inform, entertain and provide value to their prospects and customers through the creation of high-quality content.</p> <p>Inbound marketing is focused on attracting customers through relevant and helpful content and adding value at every stage in the customer's buying journey. With Inbound marketing, potential customers find you through channels such as blogs, search engines, and social media.</p> <p>By creating content designed to address the problems and needs of your ideal customers, you attract qualified prospects and build trust and credibility for your business.&nbsp; Inbound marketing can be a key component of a successful marketing campaign that drives leads and sales.</p> <h4><strong>INBOUND 2018 Conference</strong></h4> <p>The conference is very large by UK standards, with over 24,000 attendees from 110 countries; 300 keynotes and breakout seminars and 150 individual speakers.&nbsp;</p> <p>The conference itself has several components:</p> <ul><li><strong>Keynote speakers:</strong> the keynote speeches are heavily plugged and well-attended with the 2018 speakers including Chimamanda Ngozi-Adichie, Beth Comstock, Deepak Chopra, Scott Harrison, Shonda Rhimes, Mo Gawdat and Reid Hoffman.&nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Breakout seminars:</strong> hundreds of breakout seminars covering topics such as Content marketing; Content creation; Social media; SEO; Email marketing; Blogging; LinkedIn; Video; Brand-building; Data; INBOUND Sales; Marketing strategy; Story-telling; Networking; Landing pages; Return on Investment (ROI); Closing; Websites; Copywriting; Lead generation; Influencers; Writing books; Marketing automation; Google Analytics; Behavioural science; Sales Development; Artificial Intelligence and Keywords.</li> <li><strong>Social events:</strong> INBOUND includes several social events such as a Welcome party; "Club INBOUND&rdquo; (a large networking area, open every evening); Happy Hour; a variety of evening parties around Boston and an &ldquo;INBOUND Rocks&rdquo; afterparty.</li> <li><strong>Networking:</strong> The various events and the INBOUND Rocks party provide ample opportunities to meet with other attendees from all corners of the world.</li> <li><strong>Exhibition:</strong> There is a large exhibition floor with various technology companies and demonstrations, including Hubspot partners.</li> </ul><p>With household name keynote speakers being in relatively short supply in 2018 (the 2017 conference had featured the likes of <strong>Michelle Obama; Adam Grant; Bren&eacute; Brown; John Cena </strong>and <strong>Seth Godin</strong>) the centrepiece of this year&rsquo;s event was the keynote from Hubspot founders <strong>Brian Halligan</strong> and <strong>Dharmesh Shah</strong>.</p> <p>Halligan described how we are in middle of a &ldquo;big shift era&rdquo; where the traditional sales funnel is rapidly becoming a broken model.&nbsp; With more and more new business coming from referrals rather than sales and marketing activities he suggested that &ldquo;ye olde sales funnel&rdquo; is replaced by a &ldquo;flywheel&rdquo; model which encourage companies to build everything around maximising "delight&rdquo;.&nbsp; This will involve removing as much friction as possible for the customer, giving excellent customer experience, for example by making processes self-service and avoiding hand-offs to other staff.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="" src="//" style="height:586px; width:780px"><br> Brian Halligan introduces the &ldquo;Flywheel&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In essence, we are seeing a move away from the winners being those companies with the best product to being those who can offer customers the best service with the least amount of friction.</p> <p>Halligan&rsquo;s co-founder Dharmesh Shah highlighted that the culture is critical to the destiny of a company and that organisations grow better with a culture that puts customers first.&nbsp; In essence, exceptional customer experience is the key to growth.</p> <p>More details on how to use the flywheel as a growth tool can be found at <a href=""></a></p> <h4><strong>Is it worth the trip?</strong></h4> <p>So is it worth a trip to Boston for the INBOUND 2019 conference?</p> <p>I would say it is definitely worth putting in your calendar.&nbsp; The event is a great opportunity to be immersed in all aspects of the latest thinking in sales and marketing along with the benefits of networking with 24,000 other industry professionals from around the world. With the event being in the US, it provides a more forward-thinking experience than would be on offer in the UK.</p> <p>The majority of the keynotes and seminars offer thought-provoking insights into sales and marketing strategies.&nbsp; The breakout seminars are the real benefit of INBOUND and attending as many of these as possible is the best way to generate exciting new ideas to take back with you.&nbsp; Virtually every seminar provides unique tips and hacks that can be implement into your own sales or marketing process or recommend to colleagues as ideas you might want to consider.</p> <p>Several of the session focused more on the human aspect of sales such as handling criticism and developing a creative culture, which is particularly useful for sales people.</p> <p>I would also recommend investing in a VIP ticket which provides access to the VIP Lounge &amp; Concierge and offers additional opportunities for networking with business owners and sales and marketing professionals, including the two HubSpot founders, Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah.</p> <p>The 2019 conference take place in Boston on 3-6 September. Pricing levels range from $299 for the Basic pass to $1,399 for the VIP pass. The popular All-Access pass comes in at $799 and this gives you complete access to all the sessions, entertainment, networking and also includes lunches.&nbsp; The Basic pass is the one to avoid as this doesn't give access to the Breakout seminars.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Rufus Meakin</p> <p>techUK Marketing &amp; Sales Group Committee</p> INBOUND 2018 Thu, 18 Oct 2018 16:25:17 +0100 CRM Sync Annual Hubspot INBOUND Conference Reviewed by Rufus Meakin <p>I had the pleasure of attending the &ldquo;INBOUND 2018&rdquo; conference in Boston, MA. This is a brief review of the event, and I&rsquo;ll also provide recommendations so you can decide whether it is worth techUK members making the journey to Boston for this 4-day conference, held every September.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h4><strong>About Hubspot and INBOUND</strong></h4> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The INBOUND conference is aimed at marketing, sales and business professionals of all levels who are interested in growing their businesses and becoming more effective at their jobs.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>The main sponsor of INBOUND is HubSpot Inc. which is a provider of tools for social media marketing; content management; web analytics; landing pages and search engine optimisation.&nbsp; Since its inception in 2006, Hubspot has grown to over 300,000 users worldwide.&nbsp; Hubspot is clear though that INBOUND is not a HubSpot user conference and you do not need to use HubSpot to benefit from the event.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="" src="//" style="height:503px; width:780px"></p> <p>INBOUND 2018, Boston USA</p> <h4>&nbsp;</h4> <h4><strong>Inbound Marketing</strong></h4> <p>The focus of the INBOUND conference is &ldquo;Inbound Marketing&rdquo; which is a method of aligning marketing content to offer value to buyers without overtly selling a product or service.&nbsp; Inbound marketing has gained popularity in recent years as companies seek to educate, inform, entertain and provide value to their prospects and customers through the creation of high-quality content.</p> <p>Inbound marketing is focused on attracting customers through relevant and helpful content and adding value at every stage in the customer's buying journey. With Inbound marketing, potential customers find you through channels such as blogs, search engines, and social media.</p> <p>By creating content designed to address the problems and needs of your ideal customers, you attract qualified prospects and build trust and credibility for your business.&nbsp; Inbound marketing can be a key component of a successful marketing campaign that drives leads and sales.</p> <h4><strong>INBOUND 2018 Conference</strong></h4> <p>The conference is very large by UK standards, with over 24,000 attendees from 110 countries; 300 keynotes and breakout seminars and 150 individual speakers.&nbsp;</p> <p>The conference itself has several components:</p> <ul><li><strong>Keynote speakers:</strong> the keynote speeches are heavily plugged and well-attended with the 2018 speakers including Chimamanda Ngozi-Adichie, Beth Comstock, Deepak Chopra, Scott Harrison, Shonda Rhimes, Mo Gawdat and Reid Hoffman.&nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Breakout seminars:</strong> hundreds of breakout seminars covering topics such as Content marketing; Content creation; Social media; SEO; Email marketing; Blogging; LinkedIn; Video; Brand-building; Data; INBOUND Sales; Marketing strategy; Story-telling; Networking; Landing pages; Return on Investment (ROI); Closing; Websites; Copywriting; Lead generation; Influencers; Writing books; Marketing automation; Google Analytics; Behavioural science; Sales Development; Artificial Intelligence and Keywords.</li> <li><strong>Social events:</strong> INBOUND includes several social events such as a Welcome party; "Club INBOUND&rdquo; (a large networking area, open every evening); Happy Hour; a variety of evening parties around Boston and an &ldquo;INBOUND Rocks&rdquo; afterparty.</li> <li><strong>Networking:</strong> The various events and the INBOUND Rocks party provide ample opportunities to meet with other attendees from all corners of the world.</li> <li><strong>Exhibition:</strong> There is a large exhibition floor with various technology companies and demonstrations, including Hubspot partners.</li> </ul><p>With household name keynote speakers being in relatively short supply in 2018 (the 2017 conference had featured the likes of <strong>Michelle Obama; Adam Grant; Bren&eacute; Brown; John Cena </strong>and <strong>Seth Godin</strong>) the centrepiece of this year&rsquo;s event was the keynote from Hubspot founders <strong>Brian Halligan</strong> and <strong>Dharmesh Shah</strong>.</p> <p>Halligan described how we are in middle of a &ldquo;big shift era&rdquo; where the traditional sales funnel is rapidly becoming a broken model.&nbsp; With more and more new business coming from referrals rather than sales and marketing activities he suggested that &ldquo;ye olde sales funnel&rdquo; is replaced by a &ldquo;flywheel&rdquo; model which encourage companies to build everything around maximising "delight&rdquo;.&nbsp; This will involve removing as much friction as possible for the customer, giving excellent customer experience, for example by making processes self-service and avoiding hand-offs to other staff.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="" src="//" style="height:586px; width:780px"><br> Brian Halligan introduces the &ldquo;Flywheel&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In essence, we are seeing a move away from the winners being those companies with the best product to being those who can offer customers the best service with the least amount of friction.</p> <p>Halligan&rsquo;s co-founder Dharmesh Shah highlighted that the culture is critical to the destiny of a company and that organisations grow better with a culture that puts customers first.&nbsp; In essence, exceptional customer experience is the key to growth.</p> <p>More details on how to use the flywheel as a growth tool can be found at <a href=""></a></p> <h4><strong>Is it worth the trip?</strong></h4> <p>So is it worth a trip to Boston for the INBOUND 2019 conference?</p> <p>I would say it is definitely worth putting in your calendar.&nbsp; The event is a great opportunity to be immersed in all aspects of the latest thinking in sales and marketing along with the benefits of networking with 24,000 other industry professionals from around the world. With the event being in the US, it provides a more forward-thinking experience than would be on offer in the UK.</p> <p>The majority of the keynotes and seminars offer thought-provoking insights into sales and marketing strategies.&nbsp; The breakout seminars are the real benefit of INBOUND and attending as many of these as possible is the best way to generate exciting new ideas to take back with you.&nbsp; Virtually every seminar provides unique tips and hacks that can be implement into your own sales or marketing process or recommend to colleagues as ideas you might want to consider.</p> <p>Several of the session focused more on the human aspect of sales such as handling criticism and developing a creative culture, which is particularly useful for sales people.</p> <p>I would also recommend investing in a VIP ticket which provides access to the VIP Lounge &amp; Concierge and offers additional opportunities for networking with business owners and sales and marketing professionals, including the two HubSpot founders, Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah.</p> <p>The 2019 conference take place in Boston on 3-6 September. Pricing levels range from $299 for the Basic pass to $1,399 for the VIP pass. The popular All-Access pass comes in at $799 and this gives you complete access to all the sessions, entertainment, networking and also includes lunches.&nbsp; The Basic pass is the one to avoid as this doesn't give access to the Breakout seminars.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Rufus Meakin</p> <p>techUK Marketing &amp; Sales Group Committee</p> It is time to tackle the ocean plastic problem Thu, 18 Oct 2018 13:30:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog by Dayne Turbitt, Senior Vice President, UK and Ireland Enterprise Sales, Dell EMC, as part of #techUKgreenweek and #GreenGB  <div> <p>I get asked frequently, why do you care so much about the oceans?&nbsp; What does your job in technology have to do with ocean health. Turns out a lot.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>A healthy world ocean is critical to our survival &ndash; this magnificent body of water flows over nearly three-quarters of the planet, holds 97% of our water and produces more than half of the oxygen in the atmosphere. It impacts all of us, the health of our families, our communities and our businesses. However, despite <a class="Hyperlink SCXW108086277" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">commitments from governments</a>, vocal campaigns&nbsp;<a class="Hyperlink SCXW108086277" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">with celebrity endorsement</a> and a lot of people talking about the issue, our oceans are still in danger.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p><strong>Where do we start to tackle the plastic problem?&nbsp;</strong></p> </div> <div> <p>Any attempt to reduce plastic waste, be it on an individual or organisational level, is a step in the right direction. A key theme that came to light at a <a class="Hyperlink SCXW108086277" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">recent roundtable</a> held by Dell and Lonely Whale, was that whilst there has been a lot of research into the ocean plastic problem, not enough is actually being done right now to tackle the problem.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>On an individual level, the advice for preventing plastic pollution is straightforward &ndash; do your part and be smart in everyday actions and we can all make a difference. The roundtable discussion, which included representatives from CIEL, Common Seas, World Resources Institute and&nbsp;Interface showed that whilst individual impacts matter, alone they aren&rsquo;t enough.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Instead, we need governments, businesses and NGO&rsquo;s to be held accountable and make commitments to remove the plastic that is already in the ocean, prevent more from entering and make sustainable decisions that limits plastic production.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p><strong>Pledges that keep plastics in the economy&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</strong></p> </div> <div> <p>There may be no way to reverse the ocean plastics damage to date, however, there is an opportunity to transform the way we think about this issue. In fact, companies have begun to reimagine plastic waste as a resourceful material rather than waste, taking note of the positive economic and sustainable impact of utilising plastic waste rather than virgin materials in their production lines.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Companies such as <a class="Hyperlink SCXW108086277" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">Adidas</a>, Trek and&nbsp;<a class="Hyperlink SCXW108086277" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">Herman</a> Miller amongst others, have incorporated ocean plastics into their products, whether it is packaging, furniture or footwear.Businesses have to start taking action, and looking into how they can reuse plastic waste and the alternative materials which they can utilise instead. This is why Dell, in April 2017, after eighteen&#8239;months&#8239;of feasibility testing, launched our&#8239;<a class="Hyperlink SCXW108086277" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">industry&rsquo;s first&#8239;ocean&#8239;plastic&#8239;packaging</a>&#8239;on the XPS 13 2-in-1, our premier consumer laptop. The pilot program processes plastics collected from beaches, waterways and&#8239;other&#8239;coastal areas and molds them into recyclable packaging trays&#8239;(25%&#8239;from ocean-bound&#8239;plastics, 75% from other recycled plastics).&#8239;&#8239;In addition this year <a class="Hyperlink SCXW108086277" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">Dell went strawless</a> at our facilities globally in honour of World Ocean Day.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Consumers are increasingly looking to help tackle the plastics problem by making green purchasing decisions. Lastly, businesses leading the sustainable, ocean-bound plastic movement will be ready to comply with future plastic waste regulations.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p><strong>Collaboration is key&nbsp;&nbsp;</strong></p> </div> <div> <p>No one can fight the oceans plastics problem alone &ndash; something which&nbsp;David Lear, VP of Corporate Sustainability, Dell Inc made very clear when he spoke at the recent roundtable. Whilst having individual sustainability goals drives innovation, it is so important to collaborate with customers, governments and even competitors. After all, in the long-term, alleviating the ocean plastic problem is going to make a difference for all of us and we can&rsquo;t do it alone.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>For this reason, companies who have pioneered new ways of using ocean plastics are already sharing knowledge and blueprints for projects that have worked well for them, so that others can build upon and learn from these ideas.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>An example of this is an open-source initiative called <a class="Hyperlink SCXW108086277" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">NextWave</a>, which convened leading technology and consumer-focused companies to develop the first-ever commercial-scale ocean-bound plastics and nylon supply chain, while also ensuring economic and social benefits for multiple stakeholders. The founding list of companies include Dell, General Motors, Trek Bicycle, Herman Miller, Interface, Van de Sant, Humanscale and Bureo, with others able to easily apply to join the cause. The companies are working with scientists and advocates working with marine litter and ocean health to advise on a sustainable model that supports the needs of coastal communities and environments.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p><strong>The time to take a stand is now&nbsp;&nbsp;</strong></p> </div> <div> <p>The road to sustainable production and business practices can seem long, but the early believers and adopters will win the hearts and minds in the future.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Eventually, no doubt, governments across the world will invest in the necessary infrastructures and enforce the changes we all need them to make.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Take the opportunity to support the <a class="Hyperlink SCXW108086277" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">UN&rsquo;s environmental campaign</a> and help them achieve their Sustainable Development Goal or reach out to <a class="Hyperlink SCXW108086277" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">NextWave</a> to find out more on how you can switch to more sustainable practice and help us turn the tide on the ocean plastic problem.&nbsp;</p> <div> <div> <div> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKgreenweek and&nbsp;</em>#GreenGB<em>. To see more blogs like this, please visit the website&nbsp;<a href="">here</a>.</em></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Applying Technology to the Preservation of Biodiversity Thu, 18 Oct 2018 12:30:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog from Nick Wise, CEO of OceanMind, as part of #techUKgreenweek and #GreenGBWeek <div> <p>Marine protected areas (MPAs) currently cover around 5% of the world&rsquo;s ocean and are designed to protect and preserve resources within their boundaries.&nbsp; The international community has agreed that establishing MPAs is essential for the preservation of biodiversity in the oceans, and targets have been established to protect 10% of the ocean by 2020, and 30% by 2030.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Each individual MPA has its own regulations determined by its sovereignty and is an area designated and managed to protect marine ecosystems, processes, habitats, and species. If well managed, this contributes to the restoration and replenishment of resources for social, economic and cultural development, as well as providing resilience against climate change.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>The Blue Belt programme is a UK Government commitment to provide long term protection of over four million square kilometres of marine environment across the UK Overseas Territories, including the British Indian Ocean Territory, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory, Pitcairn, St Helena, Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>The cost-effective monitoring and surveillance of these marine protected areas is critical to achieving the internationally agreed 10% by 2020 and 30% by 2030 goals, and to realising environmental and social benefits.&nbsp; It is to this end that OceanMind, a UK non-profit, supports the Marine Management Organisation with cost-effective satellite-derived monitoring and surveillance across the Blue Belt.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>OceanMind&rsquo;s fisheries experts are already working with governments, international bodies and NGOs, to help protect existing and proposed marine reserves in every ocean around the world. Using global vessel tracking data from a wide variety of sources, correlating such tracking information with observations taken from satellites using radar and electro-optical imagery, cross referencing with international vessel registries, fishing license information and proprietary fishing databases, fishing regulations and regional laws, and performing in-depth computer analysis of all information using machine learning, OceanMind can create an accurate model of vessel behaviour in and around MPAs that may be putting marine reserves at risk.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Over all of these marine protected areas, OceanMind&rsquo;s specialist team of analysts carefully scrutinise the behaviour of vessels in and around the exclusive economic zone and designated marine reserve. Regular fisheries compliance analysis of vessel movement is undertaken and correlated with radar imagery to look for &lsquo;dark&rsquo; or non-transmitting vessels that may be operating suspiciously in the area, which can inform patrol planning.&nbsp; In the case of large remote marine protected areas where there are no patrol vehicles available, intelligence can be provided to port officials to inform inspection of vessels upon arrival.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>A key consideration of the international community in establishing targets was whether MPAs could be properly enforced and managed.&nbsp; Until recently the lack of cost-effective enforcement has been cited as an impediment to establishing new large marine protected areas.&nbsp; The work of the UK Government in planning, designating and managing the Blue Belt marine protected area network has clearly demonstrated that such concerns are no longer a significant impediment, and that large and remote marine protected areas can be properly managed and enforced cost-effectively.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>The Aichi Biodiversity Targets that set the goal of 10% of ocean protected by 2020 were agreed in 2010.&nbsp; Although in 2018 we are only just over half way to this target, the journey has seen many challenges overcome.&nbsp; The planning, designation and management processes for marine protected areas are more streamlined and effective than ever, and programmes such as the UK&rsquo;s Blue Belt initiative are great examples of this.&nbsp; With focus and commitment there is still hope that the targets for biodiversity preservation can be met.&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKgreenweek and&nbsp;</em>#GreenGB<em>. To see more blogs like this, please visit the website&nbsp;<a href="">here</a>.</em></p> </div> An Ocean of Opportunity - Tech, Drones, Machine Learning and You! Thu, 18 Oct 2018 10:30:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog by Peter Kohler, The Plastic Tide, as part of #techUKgreenweek and #GreenGBWeek  <div> <p>It is hard to picture the vastness of our oceans, and it is even harder to imagine that we could inflict serious damage on it.&nbsp; But what was once thought to be a limitless resource for humanity is showing serious signs strain. Overfishing, loss of coral reefs, acidification, an increasing tide of plastic pollution all being increased by 7 billion people and growing!This has serious consequences for humanity,&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>We are only just beginning to understand the vital role that oceans play in regulating climate. A third of coastal habitats that play a key role in absorbing carbon has been lost (Nellemann et al, 2009, <a class="Hyperlink SCXW159643516" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">World Bank Infographic</a>, 2013). The 8 million tonnes of plastic entering our ocean each year is causing entanglement and death to marine life, and being absorbed as microplastics into foodchains and ultimately ending up on our dinner plates.Oceans play a critical role in balancing the global economy too. The UNDP estimates global coastal industries contribute USD$3 Trillion a year of 5% global GDP.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>But this ocean of untapped treasures is inextricably linked to its sustainable use. In the OECD&rsquo;s report on The Trillion Dollar Ocean, it said: &ldquo;Unsustainable use of the ocean and its resources threatens the very basis on which much of the world&rsquo;s welfare and prosperity depend.&rdquo;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Simply put, if we don&rsquo;t change humanity&rsquo;s parasitic relationship with the ocean to a symbiotic one, its treasures will sink into oblivion, forever out our reach.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>These challenges seem almost as impossibly vast as the Oceans that face them. But, not so! UNCLOS, often called the &lsquo;constitution&rsquo; for the sea and UN Sustainable Development Goals have kick-started growing momentum for positive change. In fact, the UK Government strategies behind this week&rsquo;s &lsquo;Green GB Week&rsquo; are much underpinned by the UN SDGs.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Goal #14 addresses the challenges facing &lsquo;life underwater&rsquo;, it recognises along with the World Bank, OECD, World Economic Forum, the key role that technology plays in catalysing a positive change in our relationship with the ocean. A potential that techUK&rsquo;s first Green Week seeks to highlight today.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Perhaps where technology shows the greatest promise, alongside fundamental behaviour change, is the plastic pollution scourge. Technological solutions like Ooho&rsquo;s&nbsp;<a class="Hyperlink SCXW159643516" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">edible water bottles</a> and Boyan Slat&rsquo;s <a class="Hyperlink SCXW159643516" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">Ocean Cleanup group</a>, show great potential.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>But fundamentally there is a lack of a consistent scientific global data that can show the effect of our technological, and indeed political, solutions. Nor do we know the true environmental, economic and social cost of plastic pollution in&nbsp;our oceans . Our best estimate is USD13$ billion a year to marine ecosystems, but that does not measure the loss of productivity, damage to tourism etc.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p><a href="">The Plastic Tide</a> is a nonprofit that aims provide this knowledge by using drones, machine learning, and citizen science, to build a disruptive, cost-efficient, scalable solution to monitor plastic pollution.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Machine learning algorithms trained by you, in your armchair at home, are used to hunt for plastics captured by drones to create a global map of plastics on our coastlines.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p><a href="">The Plastic Tide</a> is extending this vision to the seafloor and sea surface to realise its goal of a global map of the movements of plastics around the planet. This global scientific dataset will help coordinate ocean cleans, inform campaigns, government policies and provide the evidence to enforce laws and regulations.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>I do not want my children to tell their grandchildren legends about the ocean's bounty, I want them to experience its benefit firsthand!&nbsp;</p> <p><em><a href="">Start training our algorithm</a>&nbsp;</em></p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKgreenweek and&nbsp;</em>#GreenGB<em>. To see more blogs like this, please visit the website&nbsp;<a href="">here</a>.</em></p> </div> Artificial Intelligence - A Game Changer for Ocean Conservation? Thu, 18 Oct 2018 09:30:00 +0100 CRM Sync Blog from Katherine Mayes, Programme Manager- Cloud, Data, Analytics and AI at techUK, as part of #techUKGreenWeek and #GreenWeek <div> <p>According to a&nbsp;<a href="">report</a> published earlier this month, we have 12 years to prevent the planet&rsquo;s temperature from rising more than 1.5&deg;C. If we fail to make radical changes now&nbsp;by 2030 we&rsquo;re reported to face an irreversible climate catastrophe, which will inevitably harm natural, managed and human systems, including the ocean.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>The chemistry of the oceans is changing more rapidly than at any time in perhaps the last 300 million years, as the <a href="">water absorbs greenhouse gases caused by human activity</a>. The resulting ocean acidification and warming are leading to unprecedented damage.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>It is apparent that rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes across all aspects of society are necessary. One of the key solutions to solving one of the largest problems in human history will inevitably be technology.Fortunately, there are many organisations driving this initiative forward.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p><a class="Hyperlink SCXW185636648" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">Critical Software</a>&nbsp;have developed Oversee Environmental Monitoring and Protection, an information system that provides support for decision-makers tasked with preventing, detecting and responding to pollution incidents at sea. Oversee is capable of monitoring the geographic parameters of off-shore infrastructures by integrating sensing platforms such as in-situ buoys, autonomous vehicles and remote-sensing satellite technologies to present a real-time, integrated picture of maritime environmental measures.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>In partnership with Microsoft, The Nature Conservancy <a href="">has </a><a href="">combined traditional, academic research with cloud and AI technologies to map, in high resolution, ocean wealth</a>. By evaluating the economic value of ocean ecosystem services- such as carbon storage and fishing activity- it will make better conservation and planning decisions possible.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Earlier this year IBM announced a <a href="">new AI-power microscope capable of detecting plankton&rsquo;s behaviour, to predict the health of the environment</a>. In a few years, IBM anticipates that these small autonomous AI microscopes will be networked in the cloud and deployed around the world, continually collecting information that will provide tremendous insight into the health and operation of the ocean&rsquo;s complex ecosystem.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>There&rsquo;s no question that improving the health of our ocean and making significant steps to reduce global warming will be vital for human survival. There is no silver bullet to solving these complex issues but there&rsquo;s a chance, that the adoption&nbsp;and application of technologies such as AI, could be the big break we all need.&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKgreenweek and&nbsp;</em>#GreenGB<em>. To see more blogs like this, please visit the website&nbsp;<a href="">here</a>.</em></p> </div>Contact: <a href=""></a> Research expedition begins to investigate deep-sea mineral deposits Thu, 18 Oct 2018 07:00:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog by the National Oceanogaphy Centre as part of #techUKgreenweek <div> <div> <p>This week the Royal Research Ship (RRS)&nbsp;<em>Discovery&nbsp;</em>will be sailing to the Rio Grande Rise in the South Atlantic, 1400 km east of Brazil, to investigate cobalt-rich mineral deposits of interest to potential deep-sea mining.</p> <p>This expedition will use robotic vehicles, moored scientific instruments, and novel sampling methods to study the environment that deep-sea mineral deposits form in. Of special interest are crusts of iron and manganese that are rich in cobalt and other metals, and how their geological evolution, over tens of millions of years, affected the formation of these mineral deposits. The team includes biologists that are studying the vulnerability of deep-sea fauna to disturbances that would arise if the sites were mined.</p> <p>The Autosub6000 robot sub will be launched from RRS&nbsp;<em>Discovery</em>&nbsp;to map the Rio Grande Rise in extraordinary detail. Using high-frequency sound waves, the seafloor can be mapped with a resolution high enough to see rocks and boulders a few tens of centimetres across.&nbsp; The sub will also create black and white images of the seafloor showing where the mineral deposits are located.&nbsp; Once the team have mapped the area, high definition video cameras on the robotic underwater vehicle&nbsp;<em>HyBIS</em>&nbsp;will be used to enable scientists on board to explore and photograph features on the seafloor, including a huge rift over 1000m deep, mysterious sinkholes and the ancient remains of beaches long since drowned.</p> <p>Formed 72 million years ago and submerged 22 million years ago beneath 3000 metres of ocean, the relatively shallow Rio Grande Rise is a lost land of dinosaurs, ravines and plateaus the size of Wales. It is of interest for seafloor mineral deposits rich in iron, manganese and other metals important to modern society. Two of these in particular are critical to any future effort to reduce our dependence on hydrocarbons: cobalt and tellurium. Cobalt is essential in rechargeable batteries that are needed if we are to move to electric vehicles. Tellurium is essential for high-efficiency solar-electric power generation. Although our work is focused on the potential of deep-sea mineral deposits and possible mining, the results could help reduce our dependence on environmentally damaging carbon-based energy.</p> <p>This expedition is part of the&nbsp;<a href="">Marine E-tech project</a>, which is an international collaboration between the NOC, British Geological Survey (BGS), University of Edinburgh and University of Sao Paulo, and is jointly funded by the governments of the UK and the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKgreenweek and&nbsp;</em>#GreenGB<em>. To see more blogs like this, please visit the website&nbsp;<a href="">here</a>.</em></p> </div> </div> The role of satellite in the digital divide and sustainable fisheries Thu, 18 Oct 2018 07:00:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog by James Cemmell, Vice President of Government Engagement at Inmarsat, as part of #techUKGreenWeek and #GreenWeek <div> <p>In this blog by James Cemmell, Vice President of Government Engagement at Inmarsat, we look at how government and business are using satellites and connectivity to deliver sustainable fisheries in Indonesia.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Just a few weeks ago, the World Bank announced the launch of PROBLUE, a multi donor trust fund mobilised around SDG 14, which addresses challenges related to the sustainable use of marine resources.&#8239; SDG 14 is ambitious.&#8239; Though it consists of a manageable number of targets, it seeks to address some of the most important and intractable challenges facing our future ability to continue to enjoy ocean resources as we do today.&#8239; To be successful, SDG 14 needs to variously curb illicit behaviour in the fisheries and emissions world; create a plethora of protected waters to allow recovery; strengthen control systems; as well as transition away from a set of harmful fisheries management practices - all whilst delivering viable coastal communities. &#8239;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>This requires new systems of: organisation, tracking, political will and a complex, high wire act to deliver a rapid transition whilst ensuring that the fishers &ndash; including subsistence - and their families who need to eat and work today can continue to do so.&#8239; A force multiplier is required and that is why the technology community has a central role to play.&#8239; The challenges related to the introduction and effective use of technology are well understood and the issues around the digital divide loom large.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>It is from the most vulnerable that we see the digital divide problem in its starkest light.&#8239; The fishers community is an unconnected community.&#8239; Whilst we tend to think of the digital divide as an issue for people who live in remote places, this doesn&rsquo;t tell the whole story and fails to release, to use the World Bank&rsquo;s term, the &lsquo;Digital Dividend&rsquo;.&#8239; There are no base stations on the seas.&#8239; Once away from shore, mobile satellite communications are the only reliable way to stay connected to digital means. &#8239;&#8239;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Work that we&rsquo;ve lead at Inmarsat with the UK Space Agency, expert partners and the Government of Indonesia has illustrated plainly the crisis of those fishers without communications.&#8239;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>An unconnected fisher cannot call for help when, for example (as we have seen on our project), their boat is smashed by an oil tanker 120 miles from shore; they can&rsquo;t communicate with their families when at sea for extended periods &ndash; and they suffer terribly for that (we have identified numerous tragic vignettes from the field).&#8239; Not to say anything about the inability of the Government to manage its fish stocks when the seas are dark.&#8239; Or the ability of already marginal fishers to manage their businesses in the digital age.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Sustainability is often described as being about managing resources in an equitable manner between the generations &ndash; leaving a legacy of natural capital that can be enjoyed by those who come after.&#8239; But without full digital enfranchisement, our abilities to do that are curtailed.&#8239; If 5G is really to mean something, we need to expand our definition of the digital divide.&#8239; Plug the gaps and ensure that no-one, nowhere, never is left behind&hellip;</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKgreenweek and&nbsp;</em>#GreenGB<em>. To see more blogs like this, please visit the website&nbsp;<a href="">here</a>.</em></p> </div> Health Secretary launches ‘Vision for Digital, Data and Technology’ Wed, 17 Oct 2018 15:41:05 +0100 CRM Sync DHSC plan outlines steps to make NHS ‘most technologically advanced health service in the world’. <p>The Department for Health and Social Care have published a <a href="" target="_blank">vision for digital, data and technology in health and care,</a> outlining a &lsquo;radical new approach&rsquo; to technology in the health and care system.</p> <p>The document includes priorities for Infrastructure, Digital services, Innovation, Skills and culture and proposes an internet-first; public cloud-first approach. &nbsp;</p> <p>techUK&rsquo;s Head of Health and Social Care, Ben Moody, commented:</p> <p><em>&ldquo;It is great to hear Matt Hancock reiterate his plans for a technologically advanced NHS and it is vital that local bodies are empowered to drive innovation throughout the system.</em></p> <p><em>Technology has the potential to improve outcomes, make the NHS more financially sustainable, and offer the public a much better service than many currently get. We will be responding to the Vision document and publishing a list of key priorities for the Health Secretary in advance of his speech at our Health and Social Care annual dinner on 14 November.&rdquo;</em></p> <p>The West Suffolk MP has made the use of technology in the NHS one of his main priorities since taking up the post in summer. techUK members who would like to contribute to our response should get in touch.</p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Moving from transport to mobility: joining the dots Wed, 17 Oct 2018 14:00:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog from Atkins’ technical director of intelligent mobility Dr Wolfgang Schuster as part of #techUKGreenWeek and #GreenGB <p>The way in which we move people, freight and goods in our towns and cities, is rapidly changing, &ndash; with expectations for a safe, healthy, inclusive mobility that protects the living environment becoming the &lsquo;new norm&rsquo; &ndash; but meeting these expectations requires us to &lsquo;rethink&rsquo; and &lsquo;reimagine&rsquo; new possibilities for transport and mobility.</p> <p>Changing demographics, such as a growing global population and urbanisation, climate change and sustainability challenges, in addition to a background of rapid technological developments, are driving increasing demands on transport in many towns and cities &ndash; both on their physical and digital infrastructure.</p> <p>The need for towns and cities to provide safe, secure, cleaner, efficient and less congested physical transport that meets the changing needs of digitally-savvy users; who rightly demand &ldquo;joined up&rdquo;, affordable and reliable services, has never been more important.</p> <p>The emergence of new technologies associated with areas such as Connected and&nbsp;Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) and Mobility as a Service (MaaS) will directly impact on our travel consumption, including our travel frequency and the transport modes we use.</p> <p>Other trends, such as the rapidly increasing number of Electric Vehicles (EVs) on the world's roads and rapid advances in EV and alternative fuel technology, will result in a significant shift in the balance and type of vehicles on our roads. And of course, in the same way our mobile phones have, these technologies will continue to evolve and improve over time. With wide-ranging alternative energy types such as hydrogen and bio-fuels coming to the market, alongside new refuelling solutions and stations, rapid change is afoot.</p> <p>Preparing our infrastructure for a world of low emission transport, housing and energy will need careful consideration, planning and foresight.</p> <p>In order to join the dots, it&rsquo;s important to start by taking an &lsquo;umbrella view&rsquo; and to think about the whole system and how it is working and evolving.&rdquo; Wolfgang explains. &ldquo;Do we truly understand who uses our transport system, and how their transport, workplace and home needs are changing and, most importantly, what the effects are on our towns, cities and infrastructure?</p> <p>For example, what are the implications for current and future office demand and design?</p> <p>The evolving way we work, including flexible and decentralised ways of working, will have a direct influence not only on the workplace itself, but also on how we consume transport.&rdquo;</p> <p>By considering and understanding these changes on workplaces and transport, our employers, planners and designers from both sectors can work together to ensure offices and their supporting transport links continue to meet society&rsquo;s needs.&nbsp;</p> <p>This &lsquo;joined up&rsquo; thinking and collaboration to deliver is vital, ensuring towns and cities remain attractive and sustainable places to live and work. Such seamless co-evolution between sectors will bring wider socio-economic impacts including city-wide and environmental benefits for the long term and help to attract inward investment.</p> <p>Our future approach to mobility needs to be much more integrated with other sectors, such as the healthcare sector, and across a wide range of partners, such as charities, government and academia, to name but a few. In doing so, we can ensure that transport, and its impacts between sectors, is considered from the very start - ensuring it is designed to generate the desired socio-economic outcomes.</p> <p>Together, we can continue to shape the future of transport and respond to the increasing demand for sustainable and affordable transport and mobility, turning ideas into reality for the benefit of users in every town and city, while joining the dots.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Dr Wolfgang Schuster is technical director for intelligent mobility (iM) for SNC-Lavalin&rsquo;s Atkins business. iM combines Atkins&rsquo; engineering expertise, deep industry knowledge and digital capability to optimise our transport ecosystem and drive essential progress and change in transport and mobility. For more information go to <a href=""></a></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKgreenweek and #GreenGBWeek. To see more blogs like this, please visit the website <a href="">here</a>.</em></p> Connected homes will unlock smart energy markets Wed, 17 Oct 2018 13:30:00 +0100 CRM Sync techUK’s Programme Manager Teodora Kaneva blogs on what demand side response is and why smart appliances are a crucial piece of the puzzle. <p>The Energy Sector&rsquo;s objectives are challenging and crucial in ensuring lower consumer bills and decarbonisation. Flexibility and smart energy can significantly help to transition into a low carbon energy system while also bringing benefits to the wider economy. Demand Side Response (DSR) is a key engagement piece which is only one way to put the consumer at the heart of the system by providing them the tools to engage with the market and use new services such as flexible tariffs. Currently not a lot of us know what our energy tariffs are exactly or/and how should we prioritise our lives to reduce our energy consumption and actively engage with the market. Smart appliances are key enablers of DSR for consumers.</p> <p>Smart appliances can provide services in day-ahead and real-time for system operators and commercial parties by shifting operation (i.e. shifting energy consumption for better alignment between production and consumption). This will allow limiting the use of polluting and expensive peak generation to cover excess demand and it will also result in a decrease of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) curtailment in case of insufficient demand. In addition, a shift in energy consumption can also support solving congestion issues in the distribution grid. This leads to both monetary savings because of lower consumption of fuel, as well as reduced CO2 emissions.</p> <p>According to the International Energy Agency, one billion households and 11 billion smart appliances could participate in interconnected electricity systems by 2040&nbsp;thanks to smart meters&nbsp;and connected devices. The network still needs to undergo a process of transformation in order to accommodate and create these services. Most importantly to integrate and interact with the consumer so to be able to take part in <strong>demand-side response</strong> (DSR) schemes through the provision of time-of-use tariffs.</p> <p>The energy system though is designed for the traditional business models of yesteryear, and because its function was to do so to keep the lights on and provide safety of supply, it worked, until now. Commonly operating as a heavy institution of a very small group of actors with well-defined roles, in an age of decarbonisation, renewable energy evolution, and flexibility, new entities and disruptors are marking their territories however they are finding barriers to testing new products.</p> <p>Significant barriers for consumer adoption of smart appliances remain however. It prevents wider adoption especially in the connected/future home. By far the greatest of these is the value that consumers attribute to the connected home products and services. Clearly, industry needs to do a far better job of conveying the benefits of the connected home. In addition to finding ways to demonstrate value we must also take steps to address other concerns which tend to revolve around privacy and security. The Government is committed to ensure the right regulation is in place to encourage an adequate adoption and intends to base any regulatory requirements on the principles of interoperability, data privacy, grid-stability and cyber-security, and consumer protection.</p> <p>Our job is to collaborate and navigate together with Government and industry to ensure that the connected home market in the UK is both an attractive one in which to test, develop and launch products as well as ensuring that it delivers value and benefits to consumers, as well as the energy network as a whole.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKgreenweek and #GreenGB. To see more blogs like this, please visit the website <a href="">here</a>.</em></p> The Northern Powerhouse: Building disruptors for our region Wed, 17 Oct 2018 12:14:14 +0100 CRM Sync Supercharging's sponsor Accenture provides an insight into the Northern Powerhouse: building disruptors for the Northern region. By Chris Gray, Health & Public Service Analytics Lead for Europe, Accenture. <p>With so much talk about digital disruption of industries and business models, the question for me as we meet in Manchester to discuss Supercharging the Digital Economy is: how can we in the region become the disruptors and not the disrupted?</p> <p>Research&nbsp; shows that if we can get digital skills, digital technologies and digital business models right then we can increase productivity and generate additional economic output. That&rsquo;s essential if we are to deliver on the Northern Powerhouse vision and bring jobs, investment and value creation to our region.&nbsp;</p> <p>One development that has perhaps the greatest human impact is the change to the skills we&rsquo;ll need in the future. Many people fret over automation replacing jobs. But I believe the future will see more of us collaborating and working alongside automation.&nbsp; Yes, some jobs will cease to exist. But new jobs will arise that will see people working more productively in partnership with digital technologies to augment our human skills.&nbsp;</p> <p>I think we can be optimistic about the future. But we have to prepare the workforce for that future, today. And that means more than focusing on how we prepare school-leavers. We need to reskill all of the existing workforce, from those just joining it to its older members.</p> <p>Our research suggests&nbsp; that if we can&rsquo;t build skills at the same pace at which technology is developing, the UK could lose up to &pound;141.5 billion in cumulative GDP growth over the next ten years. We need to prepare ourselves now. Yet when Accenture asked senior executives about their plans for reskilling and training, only 3 percent of them said they intended to significantly increase investment in the next 3 years .&nbsp;</p> <p>As businesses we need to ensure we&rsquo;re preparing our own staff and then working in partnership with others to support the wider population to learn and grow their digital skills. This is not just about creating more niche and specialised digital roles. Instead, we need to think more broadly about the impact on all jobs as technology augments the skills people have and the tasks that they do.</p> <p>Digital technologies such as AI are already here. They&rsquo;re playing a growing role in our lives and many companies are seeing a positive impact from their trials of these tools.&nbsp; However, we&rsquo;re still just scratching the surface. Many deployments are restricted to small, discrete areas and are yet to reach critical mass across operations.&nbsp;</p> <p>One of the keys to reaping the benefits of digital technologies is being able to exploit data.&nbsp; As a region, we need to ensure that we&rsquo;ve got the skills and capabilities in managing the data, extracting value from it and being able to access and share it as quickly as possible. The grand challenges we face, whether that&rsquo;s ageing, transport, productivity or driving green growth each present opportunities to use AI to achieve real value.&nbsp; AI can eliminate friction in processes, speed up decision-making, improve service to customers and transform business processes. And we can accelerate the achievement of all these by working on ways to make our regional data more accessible.&nbsp;</p> <p>Finally, to exploit the digital future and become disruptors ourselves, we need businesses and entrepreneurs to challenge the status quo on business models. Much of this comes down to mindset. And that&rsquo;s something we definitely have in the North, drawing on our long history of pioneering innovations and doing things our own way.&nbsp; By capturing this spirit and collaborating effectively we have the potential to be the disruptors and not the disrupted.&nbsp; As we come together in Manchester, I&rsquo;m looking forward to discussing how we might work together to drive forward on these three themes: skills, technologies and business models. I&rsquo;m certain that the ideas we develop will help us to supercharge growth for our region and the people who live here.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="//" style="height:66px; width:250px"></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Accenture are the Breakfast sponsor of the 2018 techUK Supercharging the digital economy, taking place at the Bright Building on Thursday 18 October. For more information and to book tickets please see:</p> <p><a href=""></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="//" style="height:195px; width:500px"></p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Smart communities: addressing energy’s changing landscape Wed, 17 Oct 2018 10:30:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog by Helen Grundy, Hitachi’s Sustainability and Environment Specialist, as part of #techUKGreenWeek and #GreenGB <div> <p>The energy sector is transforming. Smarter and more society-oriented innovation is at the forefront of efforts to overcome the challenges set by electrification, energy efficiency and decarbonisation. New technologies are seeing electricity become an increasingly dispersed and flexible form of energy, whilst the integration of increasingly complex and diverse generating assets and advanced digital solutions is driving a&nbsp;much more efficient use of resources.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>But&nbsp;what does this transformation mean for us&nbsp;and what does a smart community really look like?&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Consider the Isles of Scilly, this unique archipelago is located 30 miles off the tip of Land&rsquo;s End in the south west of the UK. With five inhabited islands&nbsp;supporting a permanent population of just over 2,200, the Islands also attract over 100,000 visitors each year. It&rsquo;s no surprise considering&nbsp;they are one of the most protected landscapes and environments in England.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>However, against this backdrop, the Islands are carbon-intensive. With the highest home energy use in the UK (6,610 KWh per house (2014)) and imported fossil fuels being 40-50% more expensive than on the mainland, the Isles of Scilly rank 8th highest in England for fuel poverty. And, despite having 280 more hours of sunshine on average than London,local renewable energy has historically generated less than 2% of the annual demand for energy.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>In response to these challenges,an <a class="Hyperlink SCXW258074858" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">island-wide partnership</a> was established&nbsp;in 2015 to implement a set of interconnected projects, with the aim to&nbsp;cut electricity bills by 40%, meet 40% of energy demand through renewables and see 40% of vehicles be low carbon or electric by 2025.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>The partnership brought together the Council of the Isles of Scilly, the Duchy of Cornwall, Tresco and the Islands' Partnership &ndash; all collaborating to help residents and businesses move to a lower-carbon economy. The partnership demonstrates that social innovation can be driven from even the smallest communities and go beyond tackling conventional rural infrastructure, such as faster broadband connections, to build tools which help tackle the unique challenges they face.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Drawing on our experience from a demonstration project on Maui in the Hawaiian Islands that incorporated renewable energy and all-electric vehicle solutions into Maui's electrical grid, Hitachi has led the <a class="Hyperlink SCXW258074858" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">Smart Energy Islands project</a>, installing our IoT platform to balance electricity demand and supply, and working with two of the UK&rsquo;s leading smart home technology companies, PassivSystems and Moixa.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>This summer, around 450kW of solar panels were installed on the roofs of council homes, the fire station, a recycling facility and desalination plant, and in a solar garden by the airport, (which is subject to planning consent). One hundred homes (10% of all homes on the islands) are getting home energy management systems, and 10 homes are piloting a variety of smart energy technologies, including smart batteries and air source heat pumps.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>The project has also seen the establishment of a not-for-profit community interest company: the <a class="Hyperlink SCXW258074858" href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">Isles of Scilly Community Venture</a> will sell power generated by the solar panels and recycle the income to reduce electricity bills for all islanders through a special Isles of Scilly energy tariff.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Delivering a truly community-based approach, the Smart Energy Islands&nbsp;project uses technology to meet the needs of Scilly&rsquo;s island communities and develop solutions that can be applied everywhere. Size and location are no barrier to innovation &ndash; what is important is the foresight to see the positive impacts that will follow; for the environment, for the community and the desire to make a difference.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKgreenweek and&nbsp;</em>#GreenGB<em>. To see more blogs like this, please visit the website&nbsp;<a href="">here</a>.</em></p> </div> Will our smart cities be green cities? Wed, 17 Oct 2018 07:00:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog by Professor Peter Madden, OBE, as part of #techUKGreenWeek and #GreenWeek <div> <p>Cities in the UK are great places to live. But they also face challenges: congested roads, polluted air, hotter summers, and ageing infrastructure. And with local authority budgets being chopped, resources to sort out these problems are scarce.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>As well as suffering negative environmental impacts, cities are a major contributor to those very problems. Globally, cities occupy 0.5% of the world&rsquo;s land area, consume 75% of natural resources, and account for 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>City administrations, businesses, and third-sector organisations have been exploring how they can harness smart cities&nbsp;approaches&nbsp;to solve complex urban challenges.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Digital technology is becoming pervasive, embedded in buildings, in vehicles, in infrastructure. Nearly everyone carries a smart phone around. This allows us to understand the city better and interact with it differently, with potential&nbsp;sustainability benefits.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>There are obvious gains in efficiency. Tracking how people move, how energy is consumed, and how resources flow, can allow&nbsp;better management of infrastructure and reduce wastage. City lighting, for example, can shine when, where, and how people actually want it.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>And pervasive connectivity also brings dynamic, positive feedback loops. Navigation Apps like CityMapper not only help&nbsp;people to move around cities in low-carbon ways, they also provide a rich source of data that can be used to optimise the system or provide new services, like smart-buses.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>The growth of the Internet of Things will mean that these measuring and management systems will increasingly operate in real-time, allowing smart grids to balance energy supply and demand or nudging drivers and cyclists away from areas of high congestion or bad air quality.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Virtualisation of products and services can bring dematerialisation and less demand for production, storage and travel. Just as Spotify replaces the trip to buy a physical disk, MOOcs allow the teaching to come to the student, while remote diagnostics can save multiple trips the clinic.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Smart city tools, can also change behaviours and attitudes.&nbsp; Digital platforms are enabling the sharing economy - car clubs, co-working, peer-to-peer exchange. Energy Apps are allowing people to interact with their central heating. Making walking or cycling options easier are can embed sustainable behaviours.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>Such changes will not, however, happen, automatically. There can be rebound effects: if energy is cheaper, people value it less; if congestion decreases, people drive more. There can be displacement effects, spreading demand more efficiently across time and space may increase the total load. And Connectivity in itself may mean we just move more and consume more. For example on &lsquo;Singles Day&rsquo; in China last year Alibaba recorded $25.3 billion of sales within 24 hours, 80% on mobile phones.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p>To make the sustainability gains a reality will require:&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <ul><li> <p>policy underpinning, and dynamic nudge activities;&nbsp;</p> </li> <li> <p>new financing mechanisms to capture the value&nbsp;of externalities and urban public goods;&nbsp;</p> </li> <li> <p>technology development to focus on pressing planetary issues rather than more and quicker ways to get a pizza 24/7;&nbsp;</p> </li> <li> <p>public authorities and citizens to have the skills to engage with and shape smart technologies.&nbsp;</p> </li> </ul></div> <div> <p>The need for these solutions is pressing. The global market is immense. And there is a triple prize: growing our businesses, protecting our environment, and making our cities&nbsp;better for everyone.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKgreenweek and&nbsp;</em>#GreenGB<em>. To see more blogs like this, please visit the website&nbsp;<a href="">here</a>.</em></p> </div> Seeing the wood for the trees: using tech to combat deforestation Tue, 16 Oct 2018 14:30:00 +0100 CRM Sync A blog from techUK’s Susanne Baker, head of programme for environment and compliance, as part of #techUKgreenweek and #GreenGB <p>Deforestation continues to significantly outstrip our efforts to converse: illegal logging, land clearance and habitat destruction contribute to a net loss of around 6 billion trees a year. Governments, institutions and businesses are increasingly turning to digital technologies to help track timber supply chains, monitor illegal activity and fires, and support habitat restoration.</p> <p>The use of remote-sensing technology has become the backbone of worldwide efforts to quickly, reliably and routinely assess trends in deforestation. Since the 1970s, NASA&rsquo;s Landsat series of satellites has provided high-resolution imagery of changes to tropical forests over time. Today, a convergence of satellite technologies and analytical capabilities make it possible to monitor deforestation in near real time of days, weeks and months, rather than years. This enables alerts to be issued giving regulators a far better opportunity to catch illegal loggers.</p> <p>Companies are also turning to satellites to monitor their forest-based commodity supply chains and to allow them to have more confidence in their commitments to avoid deforestation. For example Nestle this year announced that it was <a href="">implementing Starling, a satellite-based service developed by Airbus and The Forest Trust</a>, to monitor all of its global palm oil supply chains. The company has pledged to ensure that none of its products will be associated with deforestation by 2020.</p> <p>Others are using digital technologies to thwart illegal logging by opening up transparency of the timber supply chain. For example, UK and USA-based start-up <a href="">Earth Observation Inc</a> uses a combination of smartphone and satellite technology in its digital traceability system d to give more transparency in the first mile of the supply chain of timber and forest products. Here the auditors are the smallholders and farmers themselves: it is they that track the location of logs transported from the forest to the mill, raising alerts when there is suspicious activity.</p> <p>UK-start up <a href="">BioCarbon Engineering</a> meanwhile is focused on forest restoration. During the historic Paris climate summit, governments committed to restore 350 million hectares of degraded land &ndash; equivalent to an area the size of India accommodating 300 billion trees - by 2030. Meeting this through existing methods alone will be challenging.</p> <p>Biocarbon Engineering has piloted a new approach which it thinks could be a game-changer. Using a combination of drones and machine learning to replace labour-intensive and expensive tree planting with a fully automated process which could leader to a cheaper and faster means to reforest. It uses satellite and drone-collected data to determine the best locations to plant and planting drones fire seedpods into the ground with pressurised air at a rate of 120 seedpods per minute. Once scaled up, the company is aiming to plant 500 billion seeds by 2060.<br><br> These are just a handful of examples of the exciting innovation underway which has the potential to transform the way in which we monitor, audit and respond to the causes of deforestation.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKgreenweek and </em>#GreenGB<em>. To see more blogs like this, please visit the website <a href="">here</a>.</em></p> Combatting Carbon Emissions in Retail Supply Chain Tue, 16 Oct 2018 13:00:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog by Alan Gunner, Business Development Director at Adjuno, as part of #techUKgreenweek and #GreenGB <p>As markets evolve and tariffs continue to rise, retail supply chains are becoming increasingly globalised in order to keep up with growing consumer demand. There is now even greater pressure to move away from a China-centric supply chain model - add in the opportunities opened up by Brexit and the possibility to explore new markets has become two-fold. But this is not a simple shift; the decision to move sourcing locations shouldn&rsquo;t be taken lightly. Assessing the performance of new freight operators and managing the complexity of multiple additional border crossings could have significant implications on the supply chain, increasing both costs and valuable operational time. And in a world where sustainability is the word on everybody&rsquo;s lips, it is important to also consider the environmental impact an international footprint could make.</p> <p>Whether it&rsquo;s awareness driven by David Attenborough&rsquo;s Blue Planet or the mindful buying of millennials, the impact of our consumer society appears to be increasingly influencing purchasing behaviour. Therefore it is critical that brands position themselves as leaders in this arena, implementing sustainable and ethical practices across the supply chain. To do so, organisations need to focus on achieving full visibility and building stronger relationships with their suppliers. Through providing one central location of supplier information, businesses can ensure cross-functional teams are using the most up-to-date information to guarantee that they are only placing business with approved suppliers. Additionally having a live database gives organisations the ability to strategically plan and manage all their interactions with their suppliers to help build stronger processes. This web-based strategy enables companies, together with their suppliers, to combat sourcing challenges and ensure they are trading ethically throughout the supply chain.</p> <p>Using cloud-based supply chain management solutions to measure every stage of the supply chain process will also help organisations to effectively and accurately audit their business practices to deliver vital improvements. Our configurable solution can be designed around an individual's organisation to oversee compliance for any process, helping to minimise risk and helping to ensure efficient, sustainable practices are delivered. We recommend teaming this up with our business intelligence tool to track and report internal and external practices, so that companies can further enhance their credentials. This visibility gives businesses the opportunity to spot trends, identify areas that need changing and pinpoint opportunities to achieve those ethical goals.</p> <p>This level of visibility can also enable organisations&nbsp; to control their&nbsp; carbon footprint. Adopting a tracking device will give businesses the opportunity to automatically capture the level of carbon emissions that are produced as a result of the end-to-end supply chain operations, from sourcing and procurement through to final delivery. Efficiently implementing this solution can enable businesses to effectively see a reduction in not only carbon emissions, but also in their costs, as they will have the information needed to track progress and lower the spend associated with transportation and energy use.</p> <p>The fact is that as Brexit negotiations continue and trade wars threaten, organisations will be moving into new markets. But it is those brands who adopt the right technology and supply chain processes who will be able to put themselves ahead of the competition and make a positive impact. Sustainable shopping is going to grow and by actively addressing these concerns with an ethical approach, companies will not only reduce the negative implications new trading locations will have on the environment, but will be able to improve the perception of their brand to attract future customers and retain loyal ones.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKgreenweek and </em>#GreenGB<em>. To see more blogs like this, please visit the website <a href="">here</a>.</em></p> Does technology have a place in nature? Tue, 16 Oct 2018 12:00:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog by Danielle Connor, co-founder of Pocket Pals, as part of #techUKgreenweek and #GreenGB <p><em>Pocket Pals is a number of digital projects that have been developed by young entrepreneurs funded through <a href="">The Environment Now</a> programme backed by <a href="">O2</a> and the National Lottery&rsquo;s Big Lottery Fund through the <a href="">Our Bright Future</a> programme. It is managed by the <a href="">National Youth Agency</a>.</em></p> <p>I&rsquo;ve just finished studying Zoology where I was surrounded by hundreds of bioscience students that were studying degrees in Ecology, Conservation and Marine Science. My flatmates would frequently go to the pub and then go moth trapping along the coast, and I often went on short walks with my binoculars. But now that I&rsquo;ve graduated, I&rsquo;ve realised how disconnected other young people are with the natural world.</p> <p>A couple of years ago, Pok&eacute;mon GO exploded and had 500 million users worldwide. The app utilises GPS on mobile devices and people across the globe were going outside and hunting Pok&eacute;mon, but they were finding fantasy creatures. This is when my friend Matt Brown and I started toying around the idea of making an app based on the animals of Britain. It would be educational, but have the same mechanics of Pok&eacute;mon Go &ndash; you would need to walk to find the animals.</p> <p>Matt studied animation at Falmouth University, so he began practising making 3D animated animals. We pitched the idea to &lsquo;<a href="">The Environment Now</a>&rsquo; team (a collaboration between O2, Our Bright Future and the National Youth Agency). To our surprise, we received one of their 50, grants of &pound;10,000 that are helping other entrepreneurs aged 17-24 from across the UK, to tackle environmental issues using digital technology. The funding really helped us get others on board and we soon had a team of 12 animation students and two app developers.</p> <p>To begin with, several organisations were sceptical of <a href="">Pocket Pals</a>. They disliked that we were bridging nature and technology, and many organisations believed a mobile app would discourage children to engage with real wildlife. But how else are children going to get excited about wildlife? Role models help a lot, but many natural history personalities are much older than young children, and as a result, may not seem relevant to an eight-year-old. We&rsquo;ve made Pocket Pals to be as appealing as possible for children. Our character dabs and flosses and you can also customise it to have pink and blue hair.&nbsp; The entire game is charismatically animated.</p> <p>The UK is now one of the &ldquo;most nature-depleted countries in the world&rdquo; with more than one in seven species facing extinction and more than half in decline, according to the State of Nature 2016 report. Britain is unfortunately in an ecological crisis, and if children continue to be disconnected from the natural world, what will the state of nature look like in 20 years&rsquo; time? Can technology help to bridge this gap?</p> <p>Pocket Pals aims to engage young people with the natural world so they learn to appreciate wildlife and the environment that surrounds us. Maybe if we all learn to love nature, we&rsquo;ll appreciate the importance of green growth as highlighted in the Green Great Britain Week.&nbsp;</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s a wonderful quote by our Youth Ambassador, 15-year-old Bella Lack: &ldquo;We only protect what we love and we only love what we know.&rdquo;</p> <p>Pocket Pals is available for download on <a href=";hl=en_US">Android</a> and <a href="">Apple</a>. For further updates visit <a href="">our website</a> and follow us on <a href="">Twitter</a>, <a href="">Facebook</a> and <a href="">YouTube</a> to hear more from our Youth Ambassadors.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKgreenweek and </em>#GreenGB<em>. To see more blogs like this, please visit the website <a href="">here</a>.</em></p> Beyond Conflict: tackling green abuses in the mineral supply chain Tue, 16 Oct 2018 11:00:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog by Julian Lageard, Director, Corporate Government Affairs at Intel, as part of #techUKgreenweek and #GreenGB <p>I was at a meeting in the Swedish parliament at which Joakim Wohlfeil from Swedish-based international development group Diakonia described how he had met a mine worker called Jean-Pierre in the Haut Ulele province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) (pictured) who was handling mercury in his hands with no protection.</p> <p><img alt="" src="//" style="height:635px; width:380px"></p> <p>Credit: Joakim Wohlfeil/Diakonia</p> <p>Joakim asked him if he knew how dangerous it was to which the miner responded &ldquo;Yes, I know how dangerous this is and that I am probably going to die from it, but this is the only means for me to earn income for my family&rdquo;. Mercury pollution at mines in conflict-affected and high risk areas (CAHRAs) is an example of environmental abuse in minerals supply chains.</p> <p>It is an area where the UK is leading global efforts and where collaborative partnerships and the use of technology can play a key role in effectuating change.</p> <p><strong>The UK as a leading global actor </strong>- the UK has had a long history of engagement to address conflict, environmental and social abuses in minerals supply chains, from the Kimberley process to stop so-called <em>&ldquo;blood diamonds&rdquo;</em> from countries like Sierra Leone to the sustainable sourcing timber products and most recently on responsible sourcing of tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold (3TG) from CAHRAs. The UK was one of the driving forces behind a new EU law that will set a <em>de facto</em> global standard under the framework of the OECD due diligence guidance on responsible minerals supply chains.</p> <p><strong>Tech sector leadership</strong> - While the EU law is new, global efforts in fact got underway more than a decade ago after it was shown that money being paid to source tantalum from the Democratic Republic of Congo for use in headsets and elsewhere across the tech sector was not supporting local mining communities but funding armed conflict, hence the expression <em>&ldquo;conflict minerals&rdquo;. </em></p> <p>The tech sector spearheaded what became multi-sector initiatives to clean up the supply chain such as the <a href="">Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI)</a>. We talk now about &ldquo;responsible minerals&rdquo; as opposed to conflict minerals because we don&rsquo;t want to address just conflict (which remains serious) but also environmental abuses as well as social abuses like child and forced labour.</p> <p><strong>Collaborative partnerships key to driving change </strong>&ndash; despite the leadership from the tech sector no one interest can solve these &nbsp;issues alone. A new not-for-profit public private partnership called the <a href="">European Partnership for Responsible Minerals (EPRM)</a> brings together government, industry and civil society to increase the demand for and supply of responsibly-sourced minerals from CAHRAs. &nbsp;It was designed to help make the new EU legislation effective on the ground by improving the social and economy conditions for mine workers and local communities in CAHRAs and to increase the number of mines adopting responsible business practices. The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) was one of the founding strategic partners and remains a key sponsor of the EPRM, which is also supported by the Department of International Development (DFID). Tech companies that are members include Intel, Philips, HP, NXP, Apple and Samsung but increasingly companies from other sectors are joining too. Other significant actors involved include the European Commission, which is funding the partnership, and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and OECD.</p> <p><strong>Deploying tech to address supply chain challenges</strong> - several projects focusing on environmental abuses have already been funded. RMI is managing a project of the Tin Working Group (TWG) in Indonesia. The project deals with sustainable land reclamation for former artisanal and small-scale mine sites and research on the environmental and social impact of offshore tin mining. The Responsible Kenyan Gold project is led by Fairtrade and works directly with small-scale mines Kakamega and Migori counties to have safer conditions for miners and has a target of reducing the use of mercury by more than 70%. What is clear is that there is a significant role in using technology in solving these problems. Use of technology such as establishing &nbsp;knowledge platforms to help SMEs establish and maintaining minerals supply chain due diligence systems alongside webinars to educate suppliers and the use of artificial intelligence and blockchain to improve efficiency, enhance transparency and environmental governance can help to make supply chains more sustainable. But a lot of work to develop and trial solutions remain.</p> <p>Governments, upstream and downstream sectors (in particular non-tech 3TG sectors like automotive, aerospace, medical, construction), civil society and other stakeholders are encouraged to join the European Partnership for Responsible Minerals to help us find those solutions. I am convinced that the EU legislation and EPRM will act as a global reference point for developing a common global approach to compliance, communication on due diligence practices and best practice.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKgreenweek and </em>#GreenGB<em>. To see more blogs like this, please visit the website <a href="">here</a>.</em></p> We need to talk about blockchain – together Tue, 16 Oct 2018 09:00:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog from BSR’s managing director, Tara Norton, and associate director of information and communication technology, Michael Rohwer as part of #techUKgreenweek <p>We need to talk about blockchain. Blockchain offers immense opportunities to achieve business and sustainability goals, but it is going to take serious collaboration to unleash its full potential.</p> <p>Companies are experimenting with applications of blockchain to reach competitive objectives, and why wouldn&rsquo;t they? But blockchain is not software as a service: The promise of the distributed ledger system is to radically change a system; it provides a unique opportunity to create accountability, transparency, and privacy all at the same time. This is appealing at a moment when trust in institutions is declining. Blockchain offers the very real possibility to truly transform supply chains&mdash;to create the transparent, traceable, equitable supply chains that many of us envision. And to do that, we need collaboration, not competition.</p> <p><strong>When to Consider Blockchain</strong></p> <p>Companies and global organizations are starting to apply blockchain to solve problems. Some companies are creating smart contracts that only execute when sustainability or other conditions are met. Others are using it to overcome &ldquo;first mile&rdquo; traceability challenges, where tracking a commodity in the first instance is difficult in the absence of formal markets or identities. There are burgeoning applications that create identities and payments for farmers or miners where formal markets are scarce&mdash;and applications that identify exactly how your tuna got into that can. There are even opportunities for companies to trace the origins of their electricity back to its source.&nbsp;</p> <p>We&rsquo;ve identified four situations where a collaborative blockchain effort may be a particularly effective solution:</p> <ul><li>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; When there is fraud or lack of trust in a system;</li> <li>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; When there are multiple parts to a transaction;</li> <li>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; When there is alleged inequity at key points in a system; and</li> <li>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; When there is a need to align disparate incentives in a system.</li> </ul><p>These are situations wherein a central authority is an impediment; where blockchain&rsquo;s decentralized, distributed approach can create trust, transparency, and security. Some or all of these situations likely arise at some point in your supply chain. However, it misses the point of decentralization for individual companies to apply this technology independently in their own supply chains, particularly when companies&rsquo; supply chains overlap. Collective action will be more effective.</p> <p>Consider this: If a blockchain solution for traceability in sustainably grown cotton is not trusted by the spinners and thus not used, the value of that cotton gets lost before it is even spun into thread. If apparel companies haven&rsquo;t agreed on the kind of data they&rsquo;d like to see or the underlying blockchain fabric to use before deploying a solution, they risk a duplication of systems, which would run fully counter to the blockchain promise.</p> <p><strong>The Weakest Links in the Blockchain</strong></p> <p>Another compelling reason for collaboration is that the world of blockchain is still the wild west. It&rsquo;s easy to forget that there are&nbsp;currently a limited number of live projects, most still in pilot phase, many of which will never emerge beyond that phase.</p> <p>There are risks of blockchain we don&rsquo;t fully understand or even know about yet. There are also risks that we are aware of: First, blockchain is inherently virtual, which can heighten the likelihood of dealing with unsavory actors.</p> <p>Second, the <a href="">energy demand for certain blockchain systems can be astronomical</a>. While new designs are coming into practice to mitigate that energy use, it remains a consideration.</p> <p>Third, blockchain is not immune to the &ldquo;garbage in&mdash;garbage out&rdquo; challenge; much needs to be done to ensure the information entered into a blockchain is an accurate digital recording of what is happening in the real world.</p> <p>Finally, information security is critical. A well-designed system should be secure and very difficult to access, but experts agree that it could be possible to hack a blockchain.</p> <p><strong>How to Realize Blockchain&rsquo;s Potential</strong></p> <p>Critics may say that blockchain is <a href="">overhyped</a>, but it should not be underestimated. According to <a href="">Joseph Lubin</a>, one of the founders of Ethereum and now Consensys, &ldquo;It took about 10 years from when the world wide web [started] &hellip; to when my mother started hearing about email.&rdquo;</p> <p>This is a critical moment for the sustainability profession&mdash;a moment to come together around big ideas, like accountability, transparency, and privacy, and be the change we want to see.</p> <p>To use blockchain to radically change supply chains, we will need the right players around the table&mdash;from farmers to workers and factory owners; from financiers to global buyers and government officials. We are just at the beginning of this journey, and at BSR, we are optimistic about the prospects of collaborating to leverage this technology in service of a better world.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKgreenweek and&nbsp;</em>#GreenGB<em>. To see more blogs like this, please visit the website&nbsp;<a href="">here</a>.</em></p> Building partnerships to end Illegal Wildlife Trade Tue, 16 Oct 2018 07:00:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog from Mark Field MP, Minister for Asia and the Pacific, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, as part of #techUKgreenweek and #GreenGB <p>We all know the appalling statistics about the illegal wildlife trade:&nbsp; a rhino killed by poachers every seven hours; African elephant populations declining by 8% a year; over a thousand park rangers killed in the line of duty over the last decade.&nbsp; Beyond the media spotlight, there are many other gravely endangered species, such as the pangolin, the saiga, and the African grey parrot. Illegal timber logging and fishing are also threatening significant numbers of globally important trees and fish.</p> <p>Recognising the severity of the issue, in 2014, the UK hosted the first ever global IWT conference in London, bringing together world leaders to agree to do more to stop the trade.&nbsp; This year the UK hosted it again, and the conference took place last week on 11-12 October.</p> <p>When we first started discussing our plans for the IWT Conference, I was personally keen that we included a programme of work on how technology can help solve some of the challenges of IWT.&nbsp; I am excited by the potential of new technologies, which I know have the capacity to deliver sustainable solutions for IWT and at a scale that will have real impact on the ground.</p> <p>The Foreign and Commonwealth Office led the tech programme, starting off with a roundtable of some of the most important technology companies including Google, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft (represented by their partner Dimension Data), the Digital Catapult, the Satellite Applications Catapult and, of course, techUK.&nbsp; We heard from United for Wildlife, represented by the Royal Foundation and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) about some of the challenges they faced in tackling IWT.&nbsp; Everyone present recognised the severity of the challenge and agreed to work together support us.</p> <p>We identified two areas where, by working together, it should be possible to deliver new solutions.&nbsp;</p> <p>The first was in data standards and data sharing.&nbsp; This might sound a bit uninspiring but consider this: imagine you could point your smartphone at any plant, animal or fish and get an instant message telling you what species it was and whether or not it was endangered.&nbsp; We cannot do this yet, but if we develop the right databases on the right platforms, and share our data, this sort of machine learning image recognition technology will be possible.&nbsp; It will be a game-changer in species identification.</p> <p>The second was to apply new approaches to protecting animals in the wild.&nbsp; It&rsquo;s now possible to see animals from space, or to use remote sensors to check they are healthy, behaving normally and that their environment is safe.&nbsp; This sort of technology should mean that animals could be left alone to behave naturally &ndash; no fences, no tags under their skin, no humans &ndash; with alerts to rangers if it looks like they might need to intervene to protect the animals.</p> <p>It is early days for both projects, but they are helping demonstrate that conservationists can apply the very latest technology to IWT challenges.</p> <p>My officials worked hard to broker the new relationships that brought together tech companies that have cutting-edge solutions with conservation scientists who need help.&nbsp; The tech companies were not aware they had solutions that could be of use in the fight against IWT; the conservationists did not know the full range of new technologies that could be applied to their particular problems.</p> <p>In addition to these two projects, I am delighted to report that the Foreign Office has provided pump-priming funding to ZSL to continue this work, and that the two Catapults, Amazon Web Services and Google have offered significant support too, and other companies are exploring if they can help.&nbsp; Last week we announced the culmination of these new relationships with the new &ldquo;Wildlabs Tech Hub&rdquo;.&nbsp; This should ensure that the work we started this year continues to deliver benefits for years to come.</p> <p>I am grateful to all the partners who have put their time and resources into developing this programme: United for Wildlife (in particular ZSL and the Royal Foundation), Google, Amazon Web Services, Digital Catapult and Satellite Applications Catapult.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKgreenweek and </em>#GreenGB<em>. To see more blogs like this, please visit the website <a href="">here</a>.</em></p> EVs: a curse or a cure – how to unlock the energy markets for EVs Mon, 15 Oct 2018 10:46:26 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Alina Bakhareva and Nicholas Rubin, ELEXON, set out the case for collaboration on whole-system solutions that will ensure EVs are a cure, not a curse. <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="//" style="height:234px; width:476px"></p> <p>Electric Vehicles (EVs) will drive the demand for electricity up. While the estimates on the additional demand are wide ranging, one fact is clear &ndash; they are putting increasing pressure on existing infrastructure and arrangements.</p> <p>While increasing demand for electricity, EVs can also become a new source of energy storage and flexibility services. So, whether EVs are a curse or a cure for the energy system depends on how quickly and efficiently they can be integrated into the energy infrastructure and market arrangements.</p> <p>Adapting the energy system for additional demand from EVs requires a collaborative approach with many industry stakeholders. The Government, Ofgem, network operators, the energy industry, EV manufacturers and innovators are already putting significant amount of work into this area and must continue to work closely together to ensure effective whole-system solutions are implemented.&nbsp;</p> <p>As the body responsible for administering the Balancing and Settlement Code (BSC) &ndash; one of the key industry &lsquo;rulebooks&rsquo; underpinning the electricity wholesale and retail markets &ndash; <a href="">ELEXON</a> is contributing to solving the future challenges presented by EVs.</p> <p>Looking at the transition to EVs from the electricity markets&rsquo; perspective, we believe the following whole-system initiatives will play a critical role:</p> <p><strong>1. Smart meters and half-hourly settlement &ndash; two pre-requisites for integrating EVs into a smart and flexible energy system </strong></p> <p style="margin-left:21.75pt">One of the fundamental principles of electricity market design in the UK is <a href="">half-hourly settlement</a>. It specifies that suppliers buy energy to meet their customers&rsquo; demand on a 30-min (half-hour) basis. Electricity settlement is the &lsquo;behind the scene&rsquo; industry process of reconciling the difference between the energy purchased by energy suppliers from generators and the energy actually consumed by customers. There is always a discrepancy between energy purchased and energy consumed as forecasting electricity is imperfect and electricity can&rsquo;t be cost-effectively stored on a large scale just yet. Half-hourly settlement is already rolled out to industrial and commercial customers; however, residential customers are still settled based on profiled meter advances or estimates.</p> <p style="margin-left:21.75pt">Smart meters will enable more granular half-hourly measurement of consumption and generation of electricity at the household level. When the <a href="">settlement process is updated</a> to integrate hour-hourly residential meter data, suppliers and new service providers can develop and take to the residential market a number of new offerings. These include: smart or time-of-use tariffs, bundled services (e.g. provision of electricity by the manufacturer to specifically power a new EV), and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) offerings as a few examples. All of these opportunities rely on accurately measuring and attributing metered volumes and energy imbalances between different service providers, which smart meters and half-hourly settlement will enable.</p> <p><strong>2. &lsquo;Multiple providers&rsquo; and EVs - enabling positive changes to benefit consumers faster</strong></p> <p style="margin-left:21.75pt">Consumers should have more choice in how and from who they buy (and sell) their energy. Ofgem is starting to re-assess another fundamental principle of the electricity market design &ndash; the &lsquo;Supplier Hub&rsquo;. Under the supplier hub principle, a licenced supplier is the primary interface between the electricity industry and customers. This means that customers, for example, can&rsquo;t buy energy from their neighbours (peer-to-peer trading) or from a car manufacturer (a bundled deal, eg. EV + electricity) in addition to their primary supplier. <a href="">Ofgem&rsquo;s review</a>, launched in November 2017, is in its scoping phase and may take several years to complete.&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-left:21.75pt">While Ofgem is assessing the fundamental market design principle, ELEXON published a proposal that could quickly unlock new business models enabling innovation and customer choice. Our White Paper, <a href="">&lsquo;Enabling customers to buy power from multiple providers</a>&rsquo;, suggests a practical solution to introduce tactical changes to the central market rules and arrangements. These changes can enable the industry to realise the benefits of a multiple provider world much sooner.</p> <p>Following Government&rsquo;s Road to Zero Strategy, the take-up of EVs is well-underway and they are already a more common sight on our roads. ELEXON is collaborating with Government and industry on the design and implementation of whole-system solutions that will ensure EVs are a cure, not a curse.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By&nbsp;Alina Bakhareva,&nbsp;Strategy and Market &nbsp;Analyst, and Nicholas Rubin,&nbsp;Market Architect, ELEXON</p> <p><em><a href="" onclick=", '', 'resizable=no,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=no,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=no,dependent=no'); return false;" title="">Read more from our&nbsp;#Supercharging18&nbsp;campaign week, click here</a>.</em></p> How tech can help keep more resources in the ground Mon, 15 Oct 2018 07:30:00 +0100 CRM Sync Blog from techUK’s Craig Melson, programme manager, environment and digital devices, as part of #techUKgreenweek and #GreenGB <p>Earth Overshoot Day is the day of the year the planet consumes more than it can naturally replace. In 2018 it landed on 1 August, a day earlier than 2017 and months over what we should be. In 2018 we will use 1.7 Earths worth of resources and if everybody consumed what the USA consumed we&rsquo;d need 5 Earths per year (Europe doesn&rsquo;t fare much better).</p> <p>These are just a couple of the truly startling statistics that show why we need to change the way we use resources and the arguments for moving towards a &lsquo;circular economy&rsquo;, a business model where resources are reused and recycled rather than disposed of. This way of doing things is becoming increasingly compelling; not just as an environmental necessity, or because policy makers and customers demand it (which they increasingly do), but because it offers, if you can crack the business model, the ability to create new markets, extract more value and keep costs down.</p> <p><strong>Tech devices&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>Whatever you&rsquo;re reading this on will have a lot of stuff in it. Materials like glass, plastics, silicon, copper, plastic, zinc, gold (yes, gold) and more get extracted and bought to factories to be processed, engineered and manufactured into products we all use and as more people want tech products, more resources are inevitably required. Asia has seen a 10,200% increase in regular Internet users since 2000 (Europe meanwhile is at 570%) which shows the scale of demand.&nbsp;</p> <p>So how have tech manufacturers responded? Apple has publicly announced its ambition to become mining free, meaning it wants to move into a position where it no longer uses any new or &lsquo;virgin&rsquo; materials in its products. Supported by a new disassembly robot that can take 200 phones iPhone apart per hour, they are developing the capability to reuse recovered parts for new models and recover valuable materials. Canon have an ambition to be famous for its response to the Circular Economy. Samsung, meanwhile, have launched a doorstep repair service, using trained engineers to carry out repairs in your home, helping to remove some of the barriers people face it they want to repair their products.&nbsp;</p> <p>More is being done too to encourage design for circular economy. Industry is developing a suite of standards on material efficiency which will ultimately be used to encourage products to be designed so that can be designed for a circular economy. These promise to deliver changes at a scale that an individual manufacturer alone cannot.</p> <p><strong>Technology can unlock circularity for others</strong></p> <p>Getting more out of the products we own is not just something device manufacturers are thinking about. Peer-to-peer sharing platforms, 4IR technologies, blockchain and data analytics can all help others to unlock this new business model.&nbsp;</p> <p>New tools that help manufacturers understand the state of their machines is one example. SAP developed a predictive maintenance solution that uses information like temperature, vibration and rotations to assess if industrial products will break. This gives the operators a heads up to carry out maintenance before a machine is irreversibly broken and means the company does not lose productivity by facing avoidable downtime.&nbsp;</p> <p>Internet of Things technology can be used to verify where things are in supply chains, making storage of parts more efficient and reducing unnecessary journeys. Analytics and big data can enable a more informed commodities markets, making it less volatile to bulk buy secondary materials and nascent tech like blockchain can make sure provenance of secondary resources are known through the supply chain.&nbsp;</p> <p>It remains early days: but collaboration with the tech sector on the circular economy is increasingly looking like an imperative for companies wanting to embrace this new paradigm.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKgreenweek and </em>#GreenGB<em>. To see more blogs like this, please visit the <a href="">website here</a>.</em></p> <p><!--EndFragment--></p> <p><!--EndFragment--></p> techUK Green Week Mon, 15 Oct 2018 07:00:00 +0100 CRM Sync This week techUK will be shining a light on the work technology companies are doing to support clean, low carbon growth. <p>The challenge is clear: to meet the Paris climate change target requires the decarbonisation of the global economy within the next 50 to 80 years. Global emissions have to peak within a decade and rapidly decline thereafter. &nbsp;</p> <p>In parallel, we face some stark global challenges: threats to global freshwater availability; plastic pollution of our marine environment; habitat destruction and degradation; poor urban air quality; and the enormous challenges of adapting to that climate change that can no longer be reversed by action.</p> <p>This is not just a matter for our energy sector: it will require a reimaging of the built environment, transport, how we use land and how we conduct business and consume goods: heralding massive demand for new products and services.</p> <p>The global move to cleaner economic growth through low carbon technologies and more efficient use of resource is one of the greatest industrial opportunities of our time. By 2030 global exports for <a href="">low-carbon goods and services could be worth &pound;1-1.8 trillion a year</a>, seven to 12 times more than today.</p> <p>Every day this week we&rsquo;ll be featuring blogs and case studies showing how some of our sector is deploying their technology to minimise environmental degradation and support the transition to a low-carbon economy. We&rsquo;ll also explore how emerging technologies could in future help us to meet these global challenges. And the challenges that remain for our own industry.</p> <p>This week&rsquo;s campaign week coincides with the UK&rsquo;s inaugural Green GB Week, week of action and activity designed to highlight the opportunities clean growth offers the UK and to help raise understanding of how business and the public can contribute to tackling climate change. Join the conversation online #techUKgreenweek and #GreenGBWeek.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Monday 15 October -&nbsp;Land and Resources</strong></p> <p><a href="">How tech can help keep more resources in the ground - <em>blog from Craig Melson, Programme Manager, Environment and Digital Devices Programmes</em></a></p> <p><a href="">Tearing down the barriers to sustainable shopping - <em>blog from young start-up entrepreneur Robbie James from One Cherry</em></a><em>&nbsp;</em></p> <p><a href="">How AI is solving food supply challenges and regenerating our planet -&nbsp;<em>blog by Iggy Bassi, Founder and CEO of Cervest</em></a></p> <p><a href="">How online marketplaces can lower CO2 emissions in farming -<em> blog by Doug Bairner, CEO of Hectare Agritech</em></a></p> <p><a href="">Resource savings with end to end tech service models -&nbsp;&nbsp;<em>blog from Arrow Electronics&rsquo; Sustainability and Marketing Senior Manager, Claudia Capitini&nbsp;</em></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Tuesday 16 October - Our International Footprint</strong></p> <p><a href="">Building new partnerships: how the tech sector can support the fight against Illegal Wildlife Trade -&nbsp;<em>blog from Mark Field MP, Minister for Asia and the Pacific, Foreign and Commonwealth Office</em></a><!--EndFragment--></p> <p><a href="">We need to talk about blockchain &ndash; together <em>-&nbsp;blog from BSR&rsquo;s managing director, Tara Norton, and associate director of information and communication technology, Michael Rohwer</em></a></p> <p><a href="">Beyond Conflict: tackling green abuses in the mineral supply chain<em> - guest blog by Julian Lageard, Director, Corporate Government Affairs at Intel</em></a></p> <p><a href="">Does technology have a place in nature? <em>- guest blog by Danielle Connor, co-founder of Pocket Pals</em></a></p> <p><a href="">Combatting Carbon Emissions in Retail Supply Chain&nbsp;<em>- guest blog by Alan Gunner, Business Development Director at Adjuno</em></a></p> <p><a href="">Seeing the wood for the trees: using tech to combat deforestation <em>-&nbsp;blog from techUK&rsquo;s Susanne Baker, head of programme for environment and compliance</em></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Wednesday 17 October - Towns and Cities</strong></p> <p><a href="">Will our smart cities be green cities?&nbsp;<em>- guest blog by Professor Peter Madden, OBE</em></a></p> <p><a href="">Smart communities: addressing energy&rsquo;s changing landscape <em>- guest blog by Helen Grundy, Hitachi&rsquo;s Sustainability and Environment Specialist</em></a></p> <p><a href="">Connected homes will unlock smart energy markets&nbsp;-&nbsp;<em>techUK&rsquo;s Programme Manager Teodora Kaneva blogs on what demand side response is and why smart appliances are a crucial piece of the puzzle</em></a></p> <p><a href="">Moving from transport to mobility: joining the dots&nbsp;- <em>guest blog from Atkins&rsquo; technical director of intelligent mobility Dr Wolfgang Schuster</em></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Thursday 18 October - Oceans&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><a href="">The role of satellite in the digital divide and sustainable fisheries&nbsp;- <em>guest blog by James Cemmell, Vice President of Government Engagement at Inmarsat</em></a></p> <p><a href="">Artificial Intelligence - A Game Changer for Ocean Conservation?&nbsp;<em>- blog from Katherine Mayes, Programme Manager- Cloud, Data, Analytics and AI at techUK</em></a></p> <p><a href="">An Ocean of Opportunity - Tech, Drones, Machine Learning and You!&nbsp;-<em> guest blog by Peter Kohler, The Plastic Tide</em></a></p> <p><a href="">Applying Technology to the Preservation of Biodiversity&nbsp;- <em>guest blog from Nick Wise, CEO of OceanMind</em></a></p> <p><a href="">It is time to tackle the ocean plastic problem - <em>guest blog by Dayne Turbitt, Senior Vice President, UK and Ireland Enterprise Sales, Dell EMC</em></a></p> <p><a href="">Research expedition begins to investigate deep-sea mineral deposits<em> - guest blog by the National Oceanography Centre</em></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Friday 19 October -&nbsp;A Zero Carbon Tech Sector</strong></p> <p><a href="">Data centres and heat reuse: Light at the end of the tunnel?<em> - blog from techUK&rsquo;s Emma Fryer, Associate Director Data Centres</em></a></p> <p><a href="">Dirty data and doom-mongering: the ICT sector&rsquo;s real impact on climate&nbsp;-<em> guest blog from Andie Stephens, Associate Director of the Carbon Trust</em></a></p> <p><a href="">We are proud to be celebrating Green GB Week&nbsp;- <em>guest blog from BT&rsquo;s Gabrielle Giner, Head of Sustainable Business Policy</em></a></p> <p><a href="">Turning up the heat on a zero-carbon ICT sector&nbsp;- <em>guest blog from Sylvie Feindt from Europa Insights</em></a></p> <p><a href="">Creating an internet powered by 100 percent renewable energy&nbsp;- </a><a href=""><em>guest blog by BSR&rsquo;s associate director of ICT Michael Rohwer and Berkley Rothmeier, manager for consumer sectors and climate</em></a></p> <p><a href="">Working Towards a Zero-Carbon Tech Sector&nbsp;- <em>guest blog from Kristine Kearney, Marketing Manager from SIMS Recycling Solutions&nbsp;</em></a></p> <p><a href="">Sony Joins the Global Initiative RE100 in Pursuit of Operating with 100% Renewable Electricity - <em>guest blog from one of our members Sony, as part of #techUKgreenweek and #GreenGB week</em></a>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><!--EndFragment--></p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Tearing down the barriers to sustainable shopping Mon, 15 Oct 2018 07:00:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest Blog from young start-up entrepreneur Robbie James from One Cherry as part of #techUKgreenweek and #GreenGB <p><em>One Cherry is a number of digital projects that have been developed by young entrepreneurs funded through <a href="">The Environment Now</a> programme backed by <a href="">O2</a> and the National Lottery&rsquo;s Big Lottery Fund through the <a href="">Our Bright Future</a> programme. It is managed by the <a href="">National Youth Agency</a>. </em><br> &nbsp;</p> <p>There are many ways to view how technology, business and sustainability can fit together and complement each other. We now live in a time when consumers are increasingly looking for environmentally friendly alternatives to reduce their climate impact. But people are fickle, and while they may prioritise a greener option, the smallest hurdle could keep them stuck in their ways. Let&rsquo;s say Joe Bloggs is happy to buy packaging-free tomatoes, but if it&rsquo;s not available at the shop down the road, will he be bothered to go somewhere else?</p> <p>There is an opportunity in almost any problem or challenge that we face today. So we can start questioning whether technology and an entrepreneurial approach might help us make sustainable options more convenient and accessible to everyone. This is just an example and Green Great Britain Week should hopefully inspire some entrepreneurs to think about where these opportunities may be hidden, and how they might create products and services that cater to customers&rsquo; fast-changing priorities.</p> <p>The global fashion industry creates more emissions than the aviation and shipping industries combined, making it an example of an industry towards which attitudes are rapidly changing. The trend of fast fashion, in which companies make low quality, cheap clothing as quickly as possible to be worn only a few times, is something people are becoming more aware of and are keen to avoid.</p> <p>Many of us love charity shopping, for the great causes it supports and the ability to find a hidden gem, but charity shops are also environmental heroes, enabling people to buy clothes second-hand instead of new. Unfortunately, as the rest of the high street retail industry has moved online, charity shops and other second-hand shops have failed to follow on due to the lack of suitable tools allowing them to do so. This means that while Joe Bloggs might be happy to buy his shoes or a jacket second-hand, the thought of spending hours traipsing around local shops searching for size 6.5 brogues, or trying to arrange a meeting with someone on Gumtree to try on a second hand jacket on, may result in him buying brand new one online instead.</p> <p>The team at <a href="">One Cherry</a> spent over a year researching, designing and building what we believe is the best solution to this problem.</p> <p>The challenge turned out to be much more complex than it first seemed, requiring a platform that works for both customers and second-hand shops with constantly changing stock of unique items, limited space and often staff members who are not confident with technology. But the reward is huge - we created something that both shops and their customers absolutely love using. Many of the shops we work with have tried using eBay or other existing platforms, and it is an unbelievable feeling to hear from the managers: &lsquo;One Cherry is much easier to use than I expected&rsquo; and then see the volunteers in their 60s using it. The customers are happy too, since now they can find second-hand items they want, that are in their size and available to buy online. We are already looking at how we can use the same approach for furniture, household items, books and other things that are sold in the shops.</p> <p>When the team first started we were all students at the University of Edinburgh, motivated by tackling the unutilised potential of local charity shops. Balancing our work for One Cherry with university - and dissertations for some of us - was certainly challenging. But the hard-work and perseverance always pays off: university is now behind us, we have launched with two shops in Edinburgh and have many more in the pipeline. We&rsquo;re hoping to have a large range of shops on board with us around Edinburgh very soon, before moving to other cities across the UK.</p> <p>Being motivated by an environmental cause can be challenging, but our experience of running a green start-up has been very positive as it opens up a whole world of support. This can come from industry professionals, who offer guidance to help us achieve our goal, or from the numerous funds dedicated to supporting sustainable start-ups, such as <a href="">The Environment Now</a>&nbsp;(a collaboration between O2, Our Bright Future and the National Youth Agency), who were the first ones to believe in our vision and have helped us get to where we are today. Similarly, being a young team opens up additional funding and training opportunities while also creating some difficulties such as having to take additional care to earn the trust of the people we work with. It&rsquo;s been an exciting journey so far, and the opportunity to make an impact around the UK and beyond is keeping us excited for what&rsquo;s to come.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKgreenweek and </em>#GreenGB<em>. To see more blogs like this, please visit the <a href="">website here</a>.</em></p> How AI is solving food supply challenges and regenerating our planet Mon, 15 Oct 2018 07:00:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog by Iggy Bassi, Founder and CEO of Cervest, as part of #techUKgreenweek and #GreenGB <p>It's been a tumultuous year for Planet Earth with heatwaves, droughts, floods, and forest fires dominating headlines. Extreme weather-related events have increasingly become the norm and a <a href="">landmark UN report</a> out last week paints a stark picture of the risks associated with rising temperatures across the globe.</p> <p>It's clear we live in volatile times,&nbsp;and as food crops are particularly sensitive to variations in growing conditions, our increasingly erratic weather is hitting soft commodities and their supply chains hard.&nbsp;&nbsp;A poor potato crop this year in Europe, for example, led to strained retail relationships and caused havoc for factory planners and buyers. While there were ominous signs during the season, it was difficult to forecast precisely what the yields would be until the harvest season began. As a result, planning was both painful and stressful for all concerned.</p> <p>Meanwhile, in the longer term, the rising <a href="">frequency of extreme weather events</a> means farmers will need to adapt their operations to ensure their land remains productive (for example through irrigation or drought resistant seeds) &ndash; important decisions that will demand considerable thought and investment.</p> <p>However, there is good news. Advances in machine learning are enabling us to help those producing food and managing our food supply make better climate-smart decisions for the future, and regenerate Earth&rsquo;s natural capital in the process.</p> <p>Cervest&rsquo;s next-generation software has been&nbsp;developed by some of the world&rsquo;s leading scientists and AI experts. Our pioneering platform combines statistical science, computational sustainability, and agronomy with data&nbsp;from multiple sources &ndash;&nbsp;climatic, scientific, satellite, biophysical &ndash;&nbsp;and decodes it into genuinely useful and actionable intelligence. &nbsp;</p> <p>We can deliver field-level personalised yield predictions anywhere in the world, earlier in the season than ever before without expensive on-farm equipment. And by tracking and predicting crop productivity, growers and buyers are able to plan earlier, saving scarce natural and financial resources.</p> <p>Beyond watching the current season unfold in real time, our platform's machine learning capabilities have also supercharged our ability to predict what will happen next, by continuously learning from billions of data points, across multiple crops and time periods.</p> <p>Using these to simulate agricultural scenarios into the future for the first time, our approach also enables us to recommend more climate-smart farming practices. From new planting techniques to alternative seed types or crops, scenario modelling can help growers understand how to adapt for future productivity, and create a more resilient food supply ecosystem for everyone.</p> <p>Leading companies, such as <a href="">Mars</a> are already embracing more sustainable ways of buying, committing $1bn to further support its growers and the land from which they source &ndash; technology has the power to enhance this even further.</p> <p>Beyond industry, policy makers and NGOs can use AI to arm themselves with early predictions to help the world's <a href="">570 million farms</a> around the world adapt to climate change.</p> <p>Artificial intelligence is enabling us to learn from nature, in order to protect it. And by doing so, we believe humans and machines together are now able to solve some of the world&rsquo;s most complex food, agriculture and supply chain challenges &ndash; securing food supplies and sustaining the planet for future generations where volatility is the new normal.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKgreenweek and </em>#GreenGB<em>. To see more blogs like this, please visit the <a href="">website here</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> How online marketplaces can lower CO2 emissions in farming Mon, 15 Oct 2018 07:00:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest Blog by Doug Bairner, CEO of Hectare Agritech, as part of #techUKgreenweek and #GreenGB <p>Brexit has made it difficult for all of us to get our ducks in a row, no matter the sector you work in. When it comes to farming though, we also have the new Agriculture Bill to contend with. Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary, Michael Gove, has said that the government&rsquo;s new bill will replace the EU Common Agricultural Policy &ndash; one that UK farmers have followed since 1973.</p> <p>The new bill will see farmers rewarded for reducing their environmental impact rather than for food production. Michael Gove has said this will help the agricultural community to become more resilient, productive and internationally competitive. It will also add an extra incentive to the way farmers operate and innovate, too.</p> <p>Innovation is nothing new to many farmers &ndash; particularly on the production side, as they quickly adopt technologies in the field. Think GPS-guided crop spraying, highly automated dairy units, and farm software monitoring inputs and yields. In many ways, farmers are at the forefront of innovation. But when it comes to the business end of farming, traditional methods of trading and transacting are still prevalent. This could leave some farmers out in the cold, as with the rapid advance of technology, traditional business transactions are becoming something of the past. &nbsp;</p> <p>How can an incentive to innovate, and the need to progress in business be better for the environment? The answer lies with online marketplaces. By trading online &ndash; whether livestock, grain, or even simply making payments via an app rather than by cheque &ndash; travelling time, and therefore carbon emissions, are decimated.</p> <p>That sounds great in theory, but how does it actually work? Traditionally, going to an auction mart would typically see buyers and sellers making an average of a 200+ mile roundtrip each: from the farm to the market and back again, with no guarantee of a sale and a trip to the bank required at the end of it to bank a cheque. Taking livestock to market also potentially exposes them to other animals with infectious disease. According to the latest DEFRA figures Bovine Tuberculosis affects 6% of English cattle herds, with almost 2,400 new cases reported in the last twelve months. With a digital marketplace where farmers buy and sell their livestock online, it cuts down the need to <em>actually </em>go to the market, or to the bank. By bringing this process online, the number of journeys required and the distance of those journeys are reduced. Add onto that the fact that the biohazard of mixing herds or flocks is reduced. And also that instead of spending a whole day at market, both farmers have more time on their hands. Win, win, win.</p> <p>The most obvious environmental benefit is lowered CO2 emissions. Some calculations found that since the launch of our online livestock marketplace, SellMyLivestock, in 2014, it has helped save an estimated 524 metric tonnes of CO2 emissions.</p> <p>Online trading also means an improvement in transparency within the food supply chain, through better collection and sharing of data. This is because - excluding proper pedigree auction sales - normal auction sales give you little information about the animal on sale. With an online marketplace, sellers are encouraged to include health information with an exhaustive list of the specific treatments and vaccinations the animal has received. Online marketplaces are also typically linked to other data sources, which contain information about the animals, their health, breed and which farms they have been reared on, effectively giving the buyer as much information as they would need to make an informed purchase. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Overall, online marketplaces provide a benefit for all, livestock and farmers alike. And from an environmental point of view, lowered CO2 emissions is a win for everyone, whether in the agricultural sector or not.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKgreenweek and </em>#GreenGB<em>. To see more blogs like this, please visit the <a href="">website here</a>.</em></p> Resource savings with end to end tech service models Mon, 15 Oct 2018 07:00:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog from Arrow Electronics’ Sustainability and Marketing Senior Manager, Claudia Capitini as part of #techUKgreenweek and #GreenGB <p>When implemented effectively, sustainability and carbon management programs help businesses streamline multiple operations.&nbsp; For many, technology is a new layer in this carbon story. &nbsp;It is heralded as a tool that can help solve environmental challenges, inspire innovation and grow opportunity &ndash; but technology, with all its hardware, data, networks, sensors and storage components, adds a new layer of complexity for companies attempting to minimise their environmental impacts.</p> <p>The advent of innovative technologies like internet of things (IoT) sensors inspires a proliferation of even smaller and more complex hardware, storage, and cloud-based systems all touted as game-changing breakthroughs. Yet the world still creates some <a href="">40million tonnes of e-waste a year</a>.</p> <p>If we shift from the hardware and componentry carbon story, we see technology for what it is: a system that includes a bounty of services, maintenance steps, timeline management, disposition challenges and more.&nbsp; This is true for in-house IT as well as market-facing solutions.</p> <p>It is time to prioritise how we use and extend the useful life of the technology envelope around our own enterprises.&nbsp; This is an often-overlooked step toward lowering our own carbon impacts &ndash; and one that inspires go-to market tech solutions with the same lifecycle considerations.</p> <p>When you view the lifecycle of electronics from a business perspective, the classic buy-use-dispose model is an expensive one-way trajectory. Add in the logistics, hardware and services needed to manage software cycles, spares, new hardware, decommissioning, sanitization, and disposition, and you have a non-negotiable function, riddled with disaggregated carbon impacts in the guise of maintenance and upkeep. Electronics age as businesses evolve, and risk becoming cost centers and ultimately, piles of e-waste.</p> <p>The technology footprint of a business touches a multitude of operational functions, from financing and procurement to engineering and compliance. Many of these functions make crucial decisions about the assets and data they use. This in turn affects the IT service approach, and environmental footprint, typically in a decentralized manner.</p> <p>Rethinking technology as an envelope around a business is the first step.&nbsp; Managing the use phase as an operational function with both a financial and an environmental lens builds the elusive sustainability-IT connection.</p> <p>Design engineering, IoT, cloud and edge computing, obsolescence management, and many other electronics initiatives present us with myriad discrete solutions to our growing piles of hardware. If we knit these together into a service model that folds in financing, logistics, refreshes, hardware/software management, reuse, and disposition over time, we can reframe an IT ecosystem. This is efficiency, plain and simple.</p> <p>When an end-to-end IT solutions works, the classic sustainability targets of responsible sourcing, manufacturing, energy efficiency, and safe disposition integrate into a business model that is far more compelling and efficient. &nbsp;</p> <p>This is a recipe for success when it comes to carbon reduction and simultaneous business growth.</p> <p>The use phase of technology is more than an on-off switch; it is a deep dive into IT infrastructure, operational services and a bevvy of technical activities that keep business moving forward &ndash; and it is a key part of any carbon reduction strategy. &nbsp;Integrating your company&rsquo;s unique offering seamlessly into an end-to-end technology service model is the new way to rethink sustainability and efficiency.</p> <p><em>Join the discussion on #techUKgreenweek and </em>#GreenGB<em>. To see more blogs like this, please visit the <a href="">website here</a>.</em></p> Simplifying complex public sector environments Fri, 12 Oct 2018 15:54:26 +0100 CRM Sync Guest Blog: Roberto Mircoli, Virtustream, explores how government and public sector organisations can effectively navigate the complexities of digital transformation. <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:left; height:300px; width:300px">Government and public sector organisations continue to seek ways to improve services and mitigate the risk of migrating mission-critical applications to the cloud.&nbsp; Already, many organisations, focused on improving the citizen experience, have set their sights on the cloud. Flexible, agile and affordable, managed cloud can accelerate the agency mission.&nbsp; Still, CIOs are cautious about which applications to prioritise and what steps they must take to ensure the reality fulfils the promise.</p> <p>In the US, since the White House released the Cloud First Policy in 2011, organisations are prioritising the evaluation of cloud computing before making any new investments in IT infrastructure or software. Likewise here in the UK, the government set out its plan to adopt a 'Cloud First' policy for public sector IT back in 2013. &nbsp;As a result, worldwide organisations have cautiously deployed sub-sets of applications in the cloud, like email, and an increasing number of organisations have undertaken projects to develop cloud-native applications. Successful deployments and more cloud choices are increasing public sector confidence in cloud.</p> <p><strong>The Benefits of Cloud Are Real</strong></p> <p>Originating with the government, mission-critical is a term now used by all organisations to describe the crucial dependency of an organisation on an application and its relationship with the business of governing. Delivering mission-critical applications more efficiently saves taxpayers&rsquo; money, strengthens security and enables government and public sector organisations to do more with constrained budgets. Migrating legacy workloads and applications to the cloud frees up the budget to tackle transformative new projects and programmes.</p> <p>The financial incentives for migrating traditional applications to the cloud are real. Analysts estimate that in 2018, 70% of the $95.7 billion U.S. federal IT budget will be spent on operating and maintaining existing IT investments and that percentage figure will be similar here in the UK.</p> <p><strong>Migration Speedbump: Reliance on Core Enterprise Applications</strong></p> <p>While modern web-scale applications were designed to run in the cloud, most organisations still rely on a broad mix of existing mission-critical applications, many of which were not intended to operate in a cloud computing environment and some that were not designed to scale up or down on demand. Further complicating migration planning, applications may require stringent security or compliance controls to ensure that regulatory guidelines are met.</p> <p>While organisations are increasingly eager to move to the cloud, many soon realise that it takes considerable time and resources to plan, re-architect and manage the new solution. The majority of today&rsquo;s mission-critical workloads do not fall into the category that makes it easy for public sector organisations to migrate and gain authority to operate (ATO) quickly and cost-effectively. Most public cloud offerings do not allow these organisations to realise true IT transformation since the self-service nature of public cloud still requires organisations to perform most of the management activities themselves in order to support the workload and the end-user base.</p> <p><strong>Cloud &ndash; The Public Face of Transformation</strong></p> <p>Public sector organisations need a better path to the cloud with secure and cost-effective managed cloud solutions that allow them to run the complex, mission-critical applications of today. Government and public sector organisations require a cloud that was built to handle mission-critical applications for the most complex, highly secure IT landscapes in the world.</p> <p><strong>Accelerate Time to Value</strong></p> <p>While public sector IT budgets remain stagnant or even decrease, expectations for new technology are continually rising. Public sector and government organisations need to increase the performance and reliability while simultaneously managing and containing costs from their most expensive and time-consuming mission-critical applications. Organisations must be able to step into the cloud today by deploying existing applications with minimal changes and gain ATO sooner, versus taking a giant leap to re-architecting every application from scratch to be cloud-native.</p> <p><strong>Security and Compliance</strong></p> <p>Different applications have different use case characteristics and they have specific requirements which address these to enable them to migrate their mission-critical applications. This includes understanding stringent security and compliance requirements. They also require an approach to cloud which ensures continuity of operation and shortens time to value without compromising essential aspects like security and compliance.</p> <p><strong>Manage Costs</strong></p> <p>Organisations need to maximise operational efficiency while increasing cost transparency and gaining the ability to allocate cost to specific programmes, allowing them to achieve improved financial flexibility to choose the right services and resources for the right workload. A true consumption-based pricing model allows government IT departments to only pay for what they use&mdash;improving economics beyond basic virtualisation, and freeing up budgetary funding to be allocated to other areas.</p> <p><strong>Offload Management Burden</strong></p> <p>Cloud platform infrastructure is only part of the mission-critical workload story. Organisations can experience true IT transformation through comprehensive IT management solutions that raise the bar on current operations and ensure that the most value and performance is gained from information infrastructures. Industry-leading methods and innovative tools now exist, providing real-time metrics to detect, diagnose, repair, and report on issues in the most complex business IT environments.</p> <p><strong>Focus on the Mission</strong></p> <p>Government agencies can now effectively navigate the complexities of digital transformation and modernisation. Here at Virtustream our Federal Cloud capabilities allow public sector and government organisations to deliver mission-critical applications more efficiently, strengthen security while simultaneously enabling them to tackle transformative new projects and programmes.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="">@Virtustream</a>,&nbsp;<a href="">@RMircoli</a></p> <p><a href="">LinkedIn</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>To read more from techUK's Cloud Week,&nbsp;<a href="">visit our landing page</a></em></p>Contact: <a href=""></a>Contact: <a href=""></a> CivTech, EdTech, GovTech? Let’s stick to CitizenTech! Fri, 12 Oct 2018 13:24:08 +0100 CRM Sync Chris Gledhill, Managing Director, PDMS <p>What is GovTech? This was the question debated by a senior group of IT executives at a recent meeting of techUK&rsquo;s Central Government Council.&nbsp; Having spent over 25 years in this exciting industry myself I never cease to be amazed by our capacity for linguistic innovation &ndash; what are we actually talking about when we say &lsquo;GovTech&rsquo;.</p> <p>GovTech and the inextricably linked concept of disruption which is now widely considered to be a good thing has risen up the political agenda in the past 12 months. This was demonstrated by Oliver Dowden CBE MP launching a round of GovTech Challenges at techUK&rsquo;s flagship conference <a href="">Building the Smarter State.</a></p> <p>Governments have always been the dominant consumers of Information Technology.&nbsp; So how does GovTech, an exciting new thing, differ from technology used by Government in the past? The answer of course is if it is disruptive, in a good way. The convention seems to be that we can use an abbreviation like Gov or Fin or Reg and concatenate it with Tech, with or without a dot, to denote a brave new opportunity for start ups and SMEs to disrupt an established and stagnant sector.</p> <p>Digital transformation is the goal, and the incredible achievements of transformational technology companies and their associated platform based business models in the private sector are the role model here.&nbsp; The problem is that the public sector has no idea how to procure innovation and one could argue that there is a fear from both industry and the public sector to risk challenging the status quo.</p> <p>Personally, I have a foot in both camps, firstly as the CEO of PDMS an SME which happens to be very good at supplying technology to government to meet specific and complex requirements.&nbsp; Wearing this hat I am very wary of the idea that there is some magic wand being developed in a garage somewhere which will make managing the health, defence, education and law of the land as easy as letting out a desirable property in the Lake District on AirBnB! On the other hand, there is no denying the huge scope for innovation and transformation in the way public services are administered and made available to us all in the many roles we have in work, in families and in the wider community.&nbsp;</p> <p>I am a believer in the power of technology to transform productivity in any administrative activity. There is scope for the UK to be a leading player in an emerging business sector based on the empowerment of the individual to manage their own information and collaborate with government and the wider community in a more timely, cost effective and satisfying way using digital technology.&nbsp; For the sake of argument why don&rsquo;t we call it CitizenTech?</p> Digital technology can unleash Britain’s entrepreneurial potential Wed, 10 Oct 2018 12:22:19 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Adrian Gregory, CEO of Atos UK & Ireland, looks at the need to make it easier to set up and grow a business in the UK to boost economic growth, by reducing complexity using digital tech. <p style="text-align:justify">Every year thousands of people up and down the country decide to take the leap and become entrepreneurs. Whether it&rsquo;s the digital start-up in Brixton, the fledgling exporter in Dundee or the advanced manufacturer in Nottingham, the UK is one of the best places in the world to start and grow a business.</p> <p style="text-align:center"><img alt="" src="//" style="height:900px; width:600px"></p> <p style="text-align:justify">The numbers bear this out. In 2016, nearly 660,000 companies were established according to the Centre for Entrepreneurs &ndash; a 50,000 increase from the previous year. Since the financial crisis, the government has incentivised people to set up businesses while rapid changes in digital technology have helped make it easier than ever to develop a new business. Super-fast broadband connectivity, the widespread adoption of smartphones and new platforms such as eBay, YouTube and Amazon have changed the way that entrepreneurs and businesses market, invest, hire and sell.</p> <p style="text-align:justify">While we should proudly talk up the UK&rsquo;s entrepreneurial appetite, it is also clear that the country isn&rsquo;t currently meeting its full potential. New figures in a report we have commissioned, <a href="">The Great British Enterprise Opportunity</a>, highlight that there are over 70,000 people across the UK who could be encouraged to start up a business of their own. These are men and women across the country who have the skills to start their own business but choose not to.</p> <p style="text-align:justify">Starting a new business can be daunting and satisfying, stressful and energising. It is therefore unsurprising that so many people who might consider setting up a business, decide not to. There are multiple factors which prevent people from taking that final leap. Polling carried out for this project found that the most cited reasons were financial risk and the lack of information about where to start.</p> <p style="text-align:justify">So, what can be done to improve access to and provision of information, advice and guidance for budding entrepreneurs? Businesses still overwhelmingly access advice face to face and often use consultants or accountants as their primary source of advice. This raises the possibility of providing information in new and innovative ways using digital technology.</p> <p style="text-align:justify">While some would-be entrepreneurs need greater clarity and access to information before taking the new-business plunge, there are other businesses currently operating that could grow with new digital technology. Our research found that over 1.6million small businesses could expand if they became more digitally savvy. Micro businesses especially often lack the digital skills, knowledge and know-how to take their business to the next level.</p> <p style="text-align:justify">The barriers to growth &ndash; both for individuals looking to start their own business, and SMEs and micro businesses looking to expand &ndash; are real and are holding the UK back. We need action if we are going to solve this problem.</p> <p style="text-align:justify">One solution could be the creation of an online digital platform which provides people with all the relevant information and advice needed to set up and grow a business in one place. An Enterprise Account which can be accessed on your smartphone and which contains everything from how to register a business, bookkeeping services, tax liabilities to how to access specific funds as well as mentor and training schemes could make a huge difference.</p> <p style="text-align:justify">Making it easier to set up and grow a business could boost economic growth across the country, increase competition and innovation and create thousands of new jobs. Reducing complexity by using digital technology in an effective way could unleash the nation&rsquo;s entrepreneurial potential.</p> <p><em>This article is based on a piece originally published in <a href="">The Telegraph</a>.</em></p> Brexit preparations for product manufacturers – what's the no-deal? Wed, 10 Oct 2018 11:12:47 +0100 CRM Sync In a guest blog for techUK, Valerie Kenyon from Hogan Lovells, discusses the UK government's Brexit technical notices and their implications for product manufacturers <p>The UK government has recently published a series of technical notices aimed at guiding businesses and citizens as to what they would need to do if the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement in place &ndash; the 'no deal' scenario. The technical notices <u><a href="">are available here</a></u>.</p> <p>The government emphasises that the notices only form a part of its ongoing programme to plan for all eventualities: it has stressed that significant progress has been made on negotiations between the EU and UK and that it remains confident of achieving a positive deal.</p> <p>The technical notices set out some details of what producers will have to do to place goods on the UK market from 29 March 2019 <strong>if no deal is reached</strong>. If the UK and the EU fail to reach an agreement, it's clear that producers selling goods both in the EU and the UK would have to comply with both EU law and UK legislation - in whatever form that takes post-Brexit.</p> <p><u>Overview</u></p> <p>A key issue for producers is the announcement that a new UK conformity mark is being developed to replace the CE mark on products sold in the UK in the event of a no-deal scenario. To counter concerns that this would be costly and burdensome to companies, the government has confirmed that, for a limited time (not specified in the technical notice), manufacturers could continue to use the CE marking following assessment by an EU recognised body rather than the UK marking to denote conformity. In the short term, therefore, manufacturers would not be required to retest products for conformity with new UK legislation.</p> <p>Additionally, new UK "approved bodies" would assess products currently subject to common EU rules (for example, electrical and electronic products and toys) against UK rather than EU essential requirements. Initially, UK requirements will mirror the current EU position so products tested under either regime would be held to the same standard. But when, or if, UK regulation starts to diverge from the EU system, there could be more impetus to insist on products complying with the UK conformity testing. The government has stated that it will allow sufficient time for businesses to prepare for such change.</p> <p>For companies selling these goods in the EU, the technical notice states that, in a no-deal scenario, the EU would no longer recognise the results of conformity assessment from UK notified bodies. Manufacturers that currently use UK notified bodies to undertake their conformity assessment for goods to be placed on the EU market would need to arrange for their files to be transferred to an EU recognised body before the UK withdraws from the EU to continue to be valid. Otherwise, in order to continue selling goods in the EU they would have to have the goods retested and re-marked by an EU recognised body. On a similar note, type-approvals for vehicles and vehicle components issued in the UK would not be recognised by the EU and EC type-approvals issued outside of the UK would not necessarily be automatically accepted on the UK market.</p> <p>Other products (such as textiles), subject to national regulations rather than common EU harmonised standards, can currently be sold across the EU under the mutual recognition principle. This stops EU member states prohibiting the sale of products which have already been lawfully sold in another EU country. In a no deal scenario, post-Brexit this would no longer apply to the UK. Therefore, UK businesses exporting such goods to the EU market would have to meet the national requirements of the first EU country to which they export. Non-UK businesses who wish to sell products on the UK market would have to ensure they meet UK national requirements - even if the products were previously marketed legally in another EU country or in the UK.</p> <p><u>Comment</u></p> <p>While the UK government remains optimistic that a no deal Brexit will be avoided, it is clear from the technical notices that a no deal scenario could have a significant impact on companies who sell goods in the UK and Europe. The introduction of a new UK conformity mark would have considerable implications for product labelling. Regarding the ongoing recognition of the CE mark, the government has committed to ensuring that businesses are provided with adequate notice of any change to the arrangements but ongoing uncertainty would remain. This is a key issue for businesses &ndash; with less than six months to go until the UK leaves the EU, we still don't know what the landscape will look like post-Brexit. The EU have, to date, publically taken a fairly hard line on what its approach will be post-Brexit and the UK technical notices reflect that in setting out how the government might respond. However, it is unclear to what extent the EU would maintain its approach faced with a no deal scenario or whether they will allow more flexibility to ensure continued smooth trade is maintained.</p> <p>The outcome of the negotiations between the UK and the EU is still unknown but companies should be considering what reasonable steps they can take to ensure they're prepared for all eventualities.</p> <p><em><strong>Hogan Lovells Global Products Law Practice<br> @HLProductLaw</strong></em></p>Contact: <a href=""></a> DfT - Future of Mobility Mon, 08 Oct 2018 12:35:19 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Ella Taylor, DfT, talks about the growing need of Mobility as a Service and the collaboration of industry and the public to deliver it. <p>This is an amazing time to work in transport. Extraordinary innovation in engineering, technology and business models could fundamentally change how people and goods get around. To respond to these changes, and put the UK at the forefront of the industries driving the innovation, the Government, as part of the Industrial Strategy, launched the Future of Mobility Grand Challenge.</p> <p>I&rsquo;d like to pick out a few trends that are already having a big impact:</p> <ol><li>The shift from conventional to cleaner vehicles has started and is set to accelerate rapidly. Innovation programmes such as the&nbsp;<u><a href="" target="_blank">Faraday Battery Challenge</a></u>&nbsp;will help deliver this, bringing huge benefits for air quality, energy security and tackling climate change.</li> <li>Digital infrastructure is increasingly important for enabling better journeys and network management. People are using smartphones to plan, book and pay for their journeys, and in future vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications could increase the effective capacity of the road network without the significant reshaping of existing physical infrastructure.</li> <li>In line with other sectors of the economy we&rsquo;re witnessing the start of a shift from ownership to access. Car manufacturers are investing heavily in mobility services or partnering with ride-hailing firms in anticipation of a growth in shared economy models and advances in automation.</li> </ol><p>And it&rsquo;s happening to the backdrop of a changing society. By 2046&nbsp;almost 1 in 4 people in the UK will be 65 years and over; increasing numbers of older drivers and more people with dementia using public transport will pose new challenges for the network.&nbsp;</p> <p>Getting the right response to these changes is fundamental to society as transport affects everyone throughout their lives and is the&nbsp;<u><a href="" target="_blank">number one area of household spending in the UK and many other countries.</a></u> With the potential for safer, cleaner and more efficient transport networks, delivered through innovation, it is crucial that we work with companies to encourage innovation, create new industries and deliver a 21st transport system that works for everyone.</p> <p>This is no mean feat, and the approach we are taking will evolve and grow over time. Some of the early priorities for the Grand Challenge include:</p> <ul><li>Delivering our first Future of Mobility Grand Challenge mission which is t<strong>o </strong><strong>put the UK at the forefront of the design and manufacturing of zero emission vehicles and for all new cars and vans to be effectively zero emission by 2040. </strong>In July we set out our plans to deliver this mission through the Road to Zero Strategy.</li> <li>Publishing the <strong>Future of Urban Mobility</strong> <strong>Strategy</strong> setting out our plans for responding to emerging technologies and trends in an urban environment.</li> <li>Conducting a thorough regulatory review to enable new modes and business models. Having the right regulations in place can help industries and communities thrive, through the regulatory review we will consider how we can establish a flexible and responsive framework for emerging technologies and trends. &nbsp;</li> </ul><p>Fundamentally, this isn&rsquo;t a challenge which can be tackled alone. It requires a close working relationship with industry and engagement with the public. To help us deliver the Future of Mobility we have appointed Ian Robertson, former board member at BMW, as our Business Champion. Ian is supported by an Advisory Council with Tracy Westall, Isabel Dedring and Stan Boland. Their role is to help shape, advise and work with Government to create the right environment to deliver a thriving transport sector.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By&nbsp;Ella Taylor, Head of Future of Mobility at CCAV (Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" title=""><em>Read more from our&nbsp;#Supercharging18&nbsp;campaign week, click here.</em></a></p> Digital: Supercharging your region Fri, 05 Oct 2018 12:16:00 +0100 CRM Sync With techUK’s flagship event Supercharging the Digital Economy around the corner, Matthew Evans explores the need to enhance digital capability across the UK and the opportunities for different regions to secure a niche within <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="//" style="height:234px; width:476px"></p> <p>It is widely accepted that there is no hiding from the current digital revolution &ndash; what is unclear is where we are in that revolution and what our economy and society will look like when we emerge. The technological change that we are seeing in terms of computing power, battery and sensor technology and machine learning/AI is disrupting business models, how we regard work and even our idea of individual sectors and markets at a rapid pace.</p> <p>Companies are having to grapple with this change, trying to ascertain what characteristics and skills they need to thrive and take advantage of the scale and pace of change.</p> <p>Regions too are having to grapple with this question.</p> <p>Whilst digitisation is rendering geography less important in trade and commerce, it is not a contradiction to say that locality is becoming increasingly important. Digital skills are an increasingly scarce resource as the demand for them outstrips supply. This is coupled with an increasingly mobile workforce, meaning that regions need to work harder to attract and retain those with the skills able to thrive in the digital revolution. The same is even true of businesses who, in an increasingly service based world, are tied to less physical infrastructure than ever before. &nbsp;</p> <p>Smart place-based initiatives bind together clusters of excellence in a locality, as well as bring public services closer to its users. This will help ensure that the people in the local area are happier, healthier and more engaged &ndash; and ultimately, less likely to desire to leave the area.</p> <p>The exact make-up of these cluster will differ depending on the existing strengths of the area. However, it is hard to see digital not playing an integral role in some form. Our sector is not just one of the main driving forces of the current industrial revolution. This has also helped us be incredibly resilient to the change; the number of jobs in the digital tech sector grew by 13 per cent between 2014 and 2017. <a href="" target="_blank">These jobs were also more productive than those in non-digital jobs, by an average of &pound;10,000 per annum</a>.</p> <p>So what does this mean at the local level? <a href="" target="_blank">In the Northern Powerhouse region alone, it has grown by nearly 25,000 jobs over the past decade and is currently forecast to add nearly another 9,000 in the next five years</a>.</p> <p>Regions, and those with metro mayors, are in a strong place to deliver on this need to create the right environment and ecosystem to enable and supercharge these clusters. This year, techUK&rsquo;s flagship event at the Manchester Science Park<em> <a href="">Supercharging the Digital Economy</a></em> brings leading experts together from this ecosystem and the private and public sector where they will focus on the digital revolution, what it means for sectors and what it means for the North. Come and join us to explore the answers to these questions.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By Matthew Evans, Executive Director, SmarterUK and IoT, techUK</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" title=""><em>Read more from our&nbsp;#Supercharging18&nbsp;campaign week, click here.</em></a></p> <div>&nbsp;</div>Contact: <a href=""></a> Full e-steam ahead: powering the future of mobility in the UK Fri, 05 Oct 2018 10:00:00 +0100 CRM Sync Jessica Russell, techUK, shares exciting news of techUK's work on developing a vision for the future of mobility services in the UK that can be drawn upon by government and private sector to be launched at the Supercharging event in Manchester. <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="height: 234px; width: 476px;" src="//" alt=""></p> <p>We often talk about the&nbsp;&ldquo;future of mobility&rdquo;&nbsp;without acknowledging how open-ended this phrase is&nbsp;and without a crystal ball, it is difficult to picture what it will look like in&nbsp;15&nbsp;never mind&nbsp;50 years&rsquo; time.&nbsp;It is also dangerous to discuss the future of mobility as an end-point. We are likely to see&nbsp;continuous development&nbsp;in the mobility sector&nbsp;as the tech sector&nbsp;drives and supports innovation for mobility services.&nbsp;What we can be sure of about the future of mobility is&nbsp;that it will be a&nbsp;truly&nbsp;multi-modal, digitally-enabled, customer-focused ecosystem, incorporating fixed and flexible infrastructure, private and publicly operated services and a multitude of vehicles, some of which&nbsp;are beyond what we could imagine&nbsp;today.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>There has been a flurry of activity&nbsp;from&nbsp;key policy decision-makers and influencers&nbsp;over the past&nbsp;3 years&nbsp;in terms of moving forward with the&nbsp;future of mobility services agenda.&nbsp;We&rsquo;ve&nbsp;seen:&nbsp;</p> <p>&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; the establishment of the Centre for Connected&nbsp;and Autonomous&nbsp;Vehicles in 2015&nbsp;</p> <p>&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Industrial Strategy</a>&nbsp;from the&nbsp;Department for Business,&nbsp;Energy and Industrial Strategy&nbsp;(BEIS)&nbsp;in&nbsp;2017&nbsp;and recognition of future of mobility as a grand challenge&nbsp;</p> <p>&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Transforming Infrastructure Performance</a>&nbsp;report&nbsp;from&nbsp;the&nbsp;Infrastructure and Projects Authority&nbsp;(IPA)&nbsp;which&nbsp;indicates an&nbsp;increase&nbsp;in&nbsp;transport infrastructure investment&nbsp;</p> <p>&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; the National Infrastructure Commission&rsquo;s&nbsp;report&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Data for the Public Good</a>&nbsp;</p> <p>&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Highways England&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">&pound;6 billion Smart Motorway Alliance</a>&nbsp;which announces&nbsp;a new approach to contractual agreements&nbsp;that focuses on delivery and&nbsp;performance.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; the Automotive Sector Deal&nbsp;</p> <p>To build on this,&nbsp;we are&nbsp;seeing&nbsp;a wide variety of non-traditional&nbsp;sector actors&nbsp;develop technological solutions&nbsp;that will underpin and facilitate&nbsp;crucial&nbsp;aspects of&nbsp;mobility services in the future.&nbsp;These solutions are increasingly mature and in&nbsp;use in real-life deployments around the globe.&nbsp;The tech sector stands ready to support&nbsp;mobility service providers&nbsp;and procurers to deliver high-quality, seamless and connected services&nbsp;to the citizens of the UK.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Whilst&nbsp;the main barriers&nbsp;to&nbsp;future mobility services are not technical&nbsp;nor a result of&nbsp;a lack of ambition,&nbsp;there are still&nbsp;impediments&nbsp;to&nbsp;implementation.&nbsp;Overcoming&nbsp;this&nbsp;starts with&nbsp;developing&nbsp;a&nbsp;high-level&nbsp;strategic approach to&nbsp;the development&nbsp;and&nbsp;delivery of&nbsp;future mobility services.&nbsp;The UK needs a vision,&nbsp;albeit flexible,&nbsp;that identifies key characteristics&nbsp;of what the future of mobility services will entail.&nbsp;Having a vision&nbsp;will provide policy-makers, decision-makers, service providers and innovators&nbsp;with clarity&nbsp;and a&nbsp;sense of prioritisation.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>techUK are developing&nbsp;a vision&nbsp;for the future of mobility services&nbsp;in the UK that can be drawn upon by government and private sector&nbsp;alike.&nbsp;Accompanying this,&nbsp;we also identify&nbsp;key technologies that will&nbsp;enable&nbsp;progress&nbsp;towards a&nbsp;digitally-enabled, customer-focused&nbsp;mobility ecosystem across the country,&nbsp;as well as barriers that&nbsp;risk&nbsp;stagnation.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>As a voice for the tech sector&nbsp;we are excited to be able&nbsp;share our vision, which we will be launching&nbsp;at&nbsp;the upcoming Supercharging the Digital Economy&nbsp;event on 18 October&nbsp;in Manchester.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By Jessica Russell, Programme Manager, SmarterUK, Smart Cities &amp; Communities and Smart Transport, techUK</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a title="" href="" target="_blank"><em>Read more from our&nbsp;#Supercharging18&nbsp;campaign week, click here.</em></a></p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Will 5G Supercharge the Digital Economy? Thu, 04 Oct 2018 14:00:00 +0100 CRM Sync Sophie Weston, techUK, expands on what to expect from 5G and how it will effect people's day to day activities. <p style="text-align:center"><img alt="" src="//" style="height:234px; width:476px"></p> <p>We all know that 5G is coming. This network that provides faster download and upload speeds, wider coverage and more stable connections will change the use of smartphones today. However, it&rsquo;s not just faster speeds and bigger downloads, this next stage of technological development will certainly impact and transform the way we live in the future too.</p> <p>So, what exactly will 5G bring to the digital party?</p> <p>The deployment of this new network will transform an individual&rsquo;s day to day activity from start to finish such as getting to and from work, purchasing items online, booking hospital appointments and more.</p> <p><strong>Transport</strong></p> <p>Getting to and from work can be difficult, especially during peak times or traffic accidents that can add extra time onto your journey. Using vehicle-to-vehicle/vehicle-to-infrastructure communications on a 5G network will allow drivers to receive updates on real-time road collisions or forthcoming weather conditions to pre-plan alternative routes or prepare for road conditions ahead to reduce time on the roads. 5G will also enable automotive cars to become a reality, the high frequency and fast speeds will give the cars ability to communicate with each other and help the software to drive itself automatically.&nbsp;</p> <p>Connectivity on trains is also an issue for most of us, we&rsquo;ve all experienced our phones cutting out mid-call or buffering problems whilst watching a video. As part of the <a href="">5G strategy</a>, the Government has committed to improving coverage on trains. Each train could receive speeds of around 1 Gigabit Per Second (Gbps) which could allow several hundred passengers to stream uninterrupted video content at the same time and make and receive calls without disruptions.</p> <p><strong>Retail</strong></p> <p>Many individuals continue to buy items through high street store purchase, but also increasingly bought through mobile applications and online services more. By combining 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT), this could reshape and tailor to individuals needs when entering a store or browsing online.</p> <p>With the help of using IoT-embedded sensors over a 5G network, stores and online services can have a real-time view of stock updates, which can lead to faster responses and restocking times, ensuring customer satisfaction and increased store revenue.</p> <p>With 5G, retail companies can help influence new, innovative technologies with more speed and reliability, gather more data, and ultimately help build a long-lasting relationship with customers.</p> <p>There's still a lot of work to be done before the official roll out of 5G, but it is ultimately a game changer and will benefit many of us in ways we do not fully realise. For us to benefit from this, we must highlight the importance of digital technology and the opportunities that can arise from them to ensure the UK becomes a digital enabled economy.</p> <p><em>By Sophie Weston, Programme Manager, Communications Infrastructure, techUK</em></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" title=""><em>Read more from our&nbsp;#Supercharging18&nbsp;campaign week, click here.</em></a></p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Virtual Retaily – How VR & AR will change shopping Thu, 04 Oct 2018 11:44:00 +0100 CRM Sync Craig Melson, techUK, shares insights on how businesses are using VR and AR upgrading customer experiences to a whole new level <p style="text-align:center"><img alt="" src="//" style="height:234px; width:476px"></p> <p><em>As UK retail adapts to digital disruption this blog looks at how immersive technology can revolutionise the retail experience</em></p> <p><em>&ldquo;So where are you thinking?&rdquo;</em> is a common question a travel agent will ask as customers lean over the computer or pore through brochures for inspiration, having not much to go on besides photos, an arbitrary star system, perhaps an online review and the price.</p> <p>This isn&rsquo;t an ideal customer experience, so travel agents must look at new ways to present themselves on the troubled British high street and one great example of using innovation to get people through the doors belongs to the 175-year-old travel agent Thomas Cook.</p> <p>They launched a service called &lsquo;Try Before You Fly&rsquo;, which uses a virtual reality (VR) headset to let customers immerse themselves in hotels, resorts and beaches, giving a feel that Tripadvisor or glossy photos could never replicate. Trials of this technology have been successful with high conversion rates and a novelty factor that gets people in to store, which is so important given the challenges facing UK retail.</p> <p>VR also creates new reasons to visit high streets and shopping centres. Marketing types bang on about how consumers want &lsquo;experiences&rsquo; and we&rsquo;re seeing this as retail chains and shopping centres launch dedicated VR centres to draw the crowds in. A hugely successful Star Wars VR game bought thousands of extra people into the London Westfield centres and there were massive queues for the ImmotionVR experience in Manchester&rsquo;s Arndale Centre. Bournemouth, Bristol, Newcastle and Leeds may read like a list of second-rate football teams, but their main shopping districts now all have VR experiences and the Intu group want a VR experience in all 20 of their large shopping centres. This will only increase as the cost and hardware barriers come down, especially as the new generation of standalone devices don&rsquo;t require expensive PCs.</p> <p>As well as VR, augmented reality (AR), which overlays digital objects over the real world (think Pokemon Go or Snapchat Lenses) will make a massive difference too, especially as it is more accessible due to the fact AR only needs a smartphone to work.</p> <p>A good case study is the &lsquo;Ikea Place&rsquo; app which uses AR to overlay funny Swedish named furniture in customer homes. It renders images with 98% size and proportion accuracy and can even adjust the furniture to match lighting conditions in the room. Ikea haven&rsquo;t launched this in the UK yet, but they have credited the app for a rise in US sales.</p> <p>Dulux have bought their famous colour chart into the digital age by using an AR app to show you what a wall will look like in different colours and Zara use AR to show what clothes are like and let you buy them in one click. These are only a few examples and with Apple and Google recently launching their official AR development kits there will be a huge proliferation of AR apps in retail.</p> <p>Just as e-commerce and the internet revolutionised how we shop, immersive tech will too. Analysts IDC estimate that retail will spend $950m on immersive technology globally in 2018 (more than any other sector) and account for 66% of total user cases in the market. With the UK the leading G20 digital economy and with a world leading creative and studio sector, we are very well placed to take a good share of this prize as more retailers go virtual.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>By Craig Melson, Programme Manager,&nbsp;Digital Devices, Consumer Electronics, Export Controls and Environment and Compliance, techUK</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" title=""><em>Read more from our&nbsp;#Supercharging18&nbsp;campaign week, click here.</em></a></p>Contact: <a href=""></a> “Once Upon a Time in Health and Social Care” Thu, 04 Oct 2018 11:17:49 +0100 CRM Sync David Hancock reflects on delivering interoperability and if we will ever be successful <p><span style="font-size:16px"><strong>Following on from representing techUK on an Interoperability Panel at UK Health Show, techUK Health and Social Care Council Member, David Hancock, reflects on the panel session and where we are delivering interoperability and if we will ever be successful, with some help from <a href="">Sergio Leone</a></strong></span></p> <p>What is happening today, is similar to characters at the end of an epic film drama with this one going for 15 years &ndash; at least! Either through their experience, the characters seek and obtain redemption, or they face their denouement (often violently).</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;The Good, The Bad and The Ugly&rdquo;</strong></p> <p>I have been reflecting on a panel session I participated in at the UK Health Show last week on Interoperability and am left conflicted. How could a session on Interoperability be so popular and be standing room only, yet so many of the questions from the audience show their very basic needs are still not being met? We had some notable positive voices that were &ldquo;The Good&rdquo;, but many of the interactions reflected &ldquo;The Bad and The Ugly&rdquo; of interoperability. Front line staff and commissioners are still starved of information &ndash; the inability to effectively exchange information threatens patient safety, damages productivity and, &nbsp;politely put, is a source of constant frustration. This emotion was written on their faces, with some venting at software suppliers. Attendees were after any good news, even a silver bullet to solve their issues. I, and my fellow panellists had to disappoint these people, because the truth is that there is no silver bullet</p> <p>Despite that, I am more optimistic than I have ever been and there is an alignment happening between the centre (NHS England, NHS Digital), the Health and Social Care Service and Suppliers. We are on the cusp of doing something great, even if that means we are talking years, because increasing interoperability maturity and capability is a continual process - a journey, not a destination.</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;A Fistful of Dollars&rdquo;</strong></p> <p>My optimism is buoyed by recognition from the government&rsquo;s pick for NHS England chair, Lord David Prior who is chair of UCLH Foundation Trust admitted admitting that integration was absolutely needed and that providers needed to stop acting as &ldquo;islands in the sea&rdquo;, instead working to help their populations, neighbours, and wider patches.&nbsp;</p> <p>But how do we do it? Integrated Care Organisations (ICOs), Local Health and Care Record Exemplars (LHCREs) and forward-thinking Health Economies, now driving the interoperability agenda, realise they have to move away from the &ldquo;Break-Fix&rdquo; model of Healthcare.</p> <p>But only two weeks ago, NHS Improvement disclosed that the underlying Provider deficit is &pound;4.3bn (once the non-recurrent &ldquo;provider sustainability fund&rdquo; is discounted), even though back in February, NHS Improvement and NHS England stated that the providers should balance their budget this year. With those kind of deficits, where is the &ldquo;Fistful of Dollars&rdquo; going to come from?&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>This fistful of dollars is not some massive technology investment being made by the government though. It&rsquo;s different payment models that reflect more emphasis on &ldquo;risk-reward&rdquo; and focus on prevention &ndash; keeping patients out of hospital, ensuring treatment is done &ldquo;right first time&rdquo;, reducing duplicate or unnecessary healthcare. By doing this organisations can start to be sustainable and eliminate the deficit.</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;For a Few Dollars More&rdquo;</strong></p> <p>Eliminating the deficit is one thing, but no one is going to deny that they need &ldquo;A Few Dollars More&rdquo;! As the new Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock is already making an impact in this area. He is very IT literate, &ldquo;gets it&rdquo; and expects the NHS and Social Care to do the same. Whatever your political allegiances, in three months he has injected new energy into the integration agenda &ndash; not just with the promise of &ldquo;A Few Dollars More&rdquo; for technology, but with a new urgency for national approaches to interoperability and information flows.</p> <p>Lord Prior went on to say that even integration was absolutely needed, if his trust was to help other organisations in his health economy, he would not be thanked by his board as all the incentives are to optimise an individual organisation&rsquo;s performance.</p> <p>Hancock, issued a warning to suppliers that they must support required change. He wants to see next generation technology available to staff that integrates information across care boundaries, underpinned by &ldquo;strict, mandated, open standards for interoperability of systems&rdquo;. The night shift he did with an ambulance crew in London was clearly very instructive and made a lasting impression.&nbsp; <a href="">My Twitter feed</a> shows how engaged the IT Leaders of the NHS are directly interacting with him and talking to him &ndash; as a software vendor I applaud that.</p> <p>I also applaud the fact that the Secretary of State is speaking &ldquo;truth to the health and care software industry&rdquo;. Put simply, if they do not unlock their data and make it available using open standards, they will not be suppliers to the NHS and Social Care industry. Will suppliers face a violent denouement or will they seek redemption?</p> <p><strong>Redemption with INTEROPen</strong></p> <p>Even in Spaghetti Westerns, characters know they have to work together to get what they need. In &ldquo;The Good, The Bad and The Ugly&rdquo; Eli Wallach&rsquo;s character knows the name of the cemetery where the gold is hidden, but Clint Eastwood&rsquo;s knows the name of the grave where it is buried, forcing them to work together to find the treasure.</p> <p>We, the Suppliers, the Service and NHS Digital/NHS England need to learn from the past &ndash; realise that by not working together, we have been singularly unsuccessful in achieving the prize; widespread, standard interoperability. It&rsquo;s not just definition of standards but a focus on adoption.&nbsp; As my fellow panellist at the UK Health Show, Indi Singh from NHS England said, &ldquo;interoperability has to be clinically use case driven and this is at the heart of the LHCRE programme&rdquo;. One LHCRE may be focussing on Frail-Elderly, another on End of Life and another Child Health. These make sure that the open interoperability standards have demand from the Service; the necessary &ldquo;Pull&rdquo;.&nbsp;</p> <p>We need to ensure that there is also a &ldquo;Push&rdquo; &ndash; that the standards are defined and adopted by suppliers and the Service. This is what <a href="">INTEROPen</a> does. INTEROPen is an open collaboration of NHS England, NHS Digital, standards organisations, software vendors, representative from the service (IT and Clinical) to co-develop and test interoperability standards. It is unique and will be copied around the world, because the last 15 years have shown to the NHS that it is the only way to develop and adopt these standards</p> <p>The final thread of the plot is who pays for the development and implementation of these? Here the mechanisms has already been defined, though this knowledge may have been lost in the mists of recent time. GDEs and LHCREs are being paid to work with their suppliers to develop these key interoperability standards and for them to be part of their standard blueprints. Other organisations that then want to use these blueprints only have to pay for their implementation, so the service doesn&rsquo;t have to pay twice for the same integration. This maintains &nbsp;total consistency with the<a href=""> techUK Interoperability Charter</a> giving us the joining up of a process that should deliver necessary adoption of interoperability standards.</p> <p>Next week, I&rsquo;ll start to cover how do we do this and what should we watch out for.</p> Retail’s digital revolution Thu, 04 Oct 2018 09:46:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Rachel Lund, BRC, speaks about the challenges retailers face with the rise in online sales and fall of in-store sales driving the need for changes to business models <p style="text-align:center"><img alt="" src="//" style="height:234px; width:476px"></p> <p>Retail is undergoing a once-in-a-generation transformation. The rise of online shopping is fundamentally changing the way retailers operate and bringing with it a wave of investment in technology to support digitization, drive productivity and enhance the consumer experience. To thrive and survive in this new world retailers have little choice but to embrace rapid technological change.</p> <p>The share of sales made digitally in the UK is growing rapidly. BRC figures show that Online Non-Food sales have grown at an average annual rate of 8.1% over the last two years (Sep 2016-Aug 2018), at the same time as in-store sales have fallen at an annual rate of 2.2%. While the internet currently accounts for only 18% of all sales, that share is up from 3% in 2006 and will continue growing. However, the impact of the internet on retailing extends far wider than just the point of sale. With consumers able to compare products across businesses, find out what other consumers are buying and read unedited reviews of retailers or their products, digital communication platforms have become a powerful source of influence over shopping behavior.</p> <p>Digital transformation is not simply about creating an e-commerce site. With the explosion of information and choice at the fingertips of consumers, retailers are under intense pressure to deliver an exceptional customer experience across the customer journey, from product research to in-store interaction to delivery on demand and after purchase assistance. To meet consumers&rsquo; expectations retailers are deploying digital technologies: from mobile specific websites; to highly personalized, AI driven, marketing; to fully digitized stock inventories, which ensure shoppers can order the same goods whether they&rsquo;re in store or online; to augmented reality that enables consumers to visualize products before they buy.</p> <p>For many established retailers fulfilling customer expectations in a digital era also means radically rethinking their business model. An online business requires a supply chain that can deliver any of their products to consumers anywhere in the country at increasingly shorter timescales. That means a step change in both warehousing space and logistics capability. At the same time, with sales shifting online, the role of the physical outlet is changing. The value of a store can no longer be measured simply in terms of how much revenue it generates, but in its contribution to a customer journey, which may both start and finish online. Alongside that, staff requirements are also changing; new roles are being created, while operating digital technology is becoming part and parcel of every retail job. As a result, both hiring and training needs are changing.</p> <p>At the same time as digital is transforming shopping, profitability in the industry has fallen. That has led retailers to look to technology to drive productivity. A combination of fierce competition pushing down prices and rising costs of doing business has led retailers to look to digital technologies to automate and streamline business processes. This includes making use of cloud enabled software to manage employee working patterns and other internal processes, developing AI powered chatbots to deal with customer queries and investing in robots to work in warehouses; to name but a few.</p> <p>With the excitement and opportunity of digital technology, comes the difficulty and turmoil of change. The internet has opened the door to many new retail businesses who can sell across the world without having to invest in a lot of physical infrastructure. Whereas existing retailers face the challenge of transforming the way they operate, in a world where a tough market is leaving little cash to invest. With so many technologies apparently available and relatively little information about return on investment it can be difficult for retailers to see the wood for the trees; particularly where management have little experience or background in digital. And while there are a number of retailers blazing a trail on the path to digitization, many are yet to define, let alone start implementing a digital transformation strategy. For those retailers there is a long road ahead.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>By Rachel Lund, Head of Retail Insights and Analytics, BRC</em></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" title=""><em>Read more from our&nbsp;#Supercharging18&nbsp;campaign week, click here.</em></a></p> Data for good Wed, 03 Oct 2018 11:13:53 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Zandra Moore, CEO, Panintelligence, fights for data to be change maker, not just a king maker. <p>In the past three months alone, we&rsquo;ve seen countless mainstream news stories on data and, let&rsquo;s be honest, very few of them positive. But let&rsquo;s think about this for a moment, the data economy: Facebook (for example) doesn&rsquo;t physically make anything, there are no logistics involved, it&rsquo;s free for &lsquo;consumers&rsquo;, it&rsquo;s available worldwide and the information it holds is arguably the most valuable commodity to any business &ndash; it&rsquo;s all data. It recently lost 20% of its value but that barely made a dent in Mark Zuckerberg&rsquo;s Forbes billionaire listing (he went from fourth to sixth in one day), and why not?&nbsp;<strong>Because data is king.</strong></p> <p>Organisations across all sectors are now dealing with huge volumes of data, and we&rsquo;re increasingly seeing people realise just how valuable it is, whether it&rsquo;s in a database, or sensor data, as manufacturing businesses move further towards automation.</p> <p>Businesses looking to gain meaningful insight into their operations by understanding their data often find it to be more difficult than it should be. And it&rsquo;s too expensive to bring multiple sets of data together while needing a data scientist to interrogate it. Really, the people <em>within </em>organisations are best placed to cross-examine their <em>own</em> data. As the domain experts, their knowledge and understanding is unmatched - so it comes down to accelerating the accessibility of that data. We need to ensure that it can be accessed in real time by the people who can affect real change; The important insights gained from data means business decisions are based on data analysis.</p> <p>Panintelligence started life as a finance technology company that built end-to-end lending systems for big financial intermediaries like banks. In finance, people have been using data analytics to inform and automate decisions for a long time. We realised that we could take this technology outside the finance industry and allow a wider audience to benefit from those tools.</p> <p>Our product has the intelligence to provide data insights, automated decisioning, and predictive modelling, and we&rsquo;re bringing an affordable model to SMEs in sectors such as Education and Healthcare. It doesn&rsquo;t move any data either, so it was GDPR compliant before GDPR existed.</p> <p>In the business world, access to this data can have a massive impact on financial growth; in the public sector, it can help identify people at risk - it has even helped save lives. For example, the software can help radiology departments identify safe levels of exposure to radiation and adapt their practices accordingly. Panintelligence has transformed the way people use data to improve organisational performance and is working to transform what data analytics companies should be &ndash; a force for good - by breaking down the barriers and mystery around data tech and unleashing the true value of data.</p> <p>The healthcare sector uses data to predict which patients are likely to miss medical appointments, the educational sector can identify students likely to miss a class and are more likely to drop out, and the finance sector can see which transactions are most likely to be fraudulent. Identifying change in this way is important as it helps decision makers manage risk and understand their customers better to drive engagement. Only by putting data into decision makers&rsquo; hands instead of techies&rsquo;, can it be really understood and acted upon appropriately.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s all about the double bottom line; <strong>data analytics for social change</strong> along with fair commercial competition and for organisational benefit, improving outcomes for learners, patients and those without big budgets. Helping SMEs and the public sector compete with the big boys.</p> <p>We&rsquo;re fighting for data to be <strong>change maker</strong>, not just a king maker, and as a value- led business with a social conscience, we choose to put the power in the hands of the many.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>By Zandra Moore, CEO of Leeds-based Scale-up, Panintelligence</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" title=""><em>Read more from our&nbsp;#Supercharging18&nbsp;campaign week, click here.</em></a></p> The Impact of AI in the Workforce Wed, 03 Oct 2018 10:39:38 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Andy Peart, Artificial Solutions, speaks about the superstition and reality of the impact of AI in the workforce <p style="text-align:center"><img alt="" src="//" style="height:185px; width:600px"></p> <p>Ask ten people&nbsp;<strong>what effect AI will have on the job market</strong>&nbsp;and you&rsquo;ll probably receive ten different answers. It&rsquo;s an emotive question that has devote followers at either end of the spectrum.</p> <p>Some paint a picture of a dystopian future where robots have taken over the world turning humans into a sluggish, overweight race. But history shows that this vision is far more suited to science fiction, than it is reality. While AI in business is certainly fuelling massive changes, it&rsquo;s a pessimistic view to say that it will replace humans.</p> <p>In the widely noted 2014 study,&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank"><em>The Future of Employment: How Susceptible are Jobs to Computerization?</em></a>authors Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne state: "<em>According to our estimate, 47 percent of total US employment is in the high-risk category, meaning that associated occupations are potentially automatable over some unspecified number of years, perhaps a decade or two."</em></p> <p>It&rsquo;s a sobering figure, but as the report itself notes, this is only one aspect of the impact of&nbsp;<strong>artificial intelligence</strong>&nbsp;on employment.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:16px"><strong>Will artificial intelligence lead to massive unemployment?</strong></span></p> <p>Warnings of technology being a harbinger of death for the job market is nothing new. MIT Economist David Autor in&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank"><em>Why Are There Still So Many Jobs? The History and Future of Workplace Automation</em></a>&nbsp;notes that the Luddite movement of the early 19th century was one of the earliest examples, in which a group of English textile artisans protested against the automation of textile production by seeking to destroy some of the machines.</p> <p>But in fact, that wasn&rsquo;t the case, and basic economics intervened. Automation made it cheaper to produce fabric, which in turn led to more customers, which drove demand for more product. The job might have changed, but during the industrial revolution there was no shortage of work for semi-skilled labor.</p> <p>James Bessen, an economist at Boston University School of Law looks at more modern examples in his blog post&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Automation Paradox</a>. Software, for instance, made it cheaper and faster to trawl through legal documents; so law firms searched more documents and judges allowed more and more-expansive discovery requests. Likewise, ATMs made it cheaper to operate bank branches, so banks dramatically increased their number of offices.</p> <p>These examples add weight to the point of view that, in all likelihood, rather than AI taking jobs,&nbsp;<strong>humans and AI will work in unison</strong>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><span style="font-size:16px">How AI is transforming the workplace?</span></strong></p> <p>While many people warn that this time is different, that jobs are being sacrificed to AI in a much shorter timescale than with previous industry changing events, so far the figures don&rsquo;t add-up. Rather than wiping out jobs,&nbsp;<strong>AI in the workplace is actually increasing the skill sets of workers</strong>, and therefore remuneration, across a wide range of industries from healthcare to clerical.</p> <p>Artificial Intelligence is also improving workforce conditions. According to a report in the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Economist</a>, AI will help remove unconscious and conscious biases in the hiring and renumeration of staff. It also points out that AI will benefit employees in other ways such as ensuring the appropriate safety gear is being worn using intelligent scanning technology.</p> <p>In addition,&nbsp;<strong>chatbots</strong>&nbsp;are being&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">used by HR to support training</a>&nbsp;activities too. This follows on from the success many chatbots have had as in-house advisors to call center agents in situations where a high turnover of staff can often impact on the consistency of answers and the knowledge to answer queries quickly.</p> <p>The growth in AI is also opening up new opportunities in other areas of emerging technology closely linked with it such as Augmented Reality. Who could have predicted that Pokemon Go would lead the way to job creation? Already consumers are benefiting from the interest the game created. While currently that might only be seeing what a sofa online would look like their living room; it&rsquo;s an industry expected to be worth $66.68 billion by 2022 as its use increases.</p> <p>In 2016 Gartner suggested that IT leaders look for&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">unanticipated consequences of the rise of IoT</a>, saying that the secondary effects will be more disruptive than the initial digital change. A recent&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">global survey</a>&nbsp;conducted by Accenture cites that 61% of business leaders expect the share of roles requiring collaboration with Al to increase in the next three years.&nbsp; 54% placed human-machine collaboration as important to achieving their strategic priorities.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><span style="font-size:16px">The future of chatbots and emotional intelligence</span></strong></p> <p>One area of business in which AI is gaining increased traction is in customer service, where enterprises have started to deploy artificially&nbsp;<strong>intelligent virtual customer assistants</strong>&nbsp;(often referred to as chatbots).&nbsp; Whilst this trend is still in the early stages, with only 4% of enterprises having deployed&nbsp;<strong>conversational interfaces</strong>according to a recent Gartner survey, 38% are planning to or actively experimenting in this market which is set for significant growth.</p> <p>But how emotionally savvy are these chatbots? It might, if your chatbot uses&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>conversational AI</strong></a>, be able to recognize sentiment.&nbsp; For example, it would be able to detect that a customer is angry and sarcastic because they are annoyed you didn&rsquo;t deliver and be able to respond with the appropriate terms of empathy. Or it may be able to distinguish that &ldquo;I want to go somewhere nice&rdquo; is positive, vs &ldquo;I want to go to Nice&rdquo; is neutral, hence respond in a meaningful way.&nbsp; But it doesn&rsquo;t replace the need for human connection, just as talking on social media doesn&rsquo;t fulfil the same need as sitting down with a friend for a cup of coffee and a chat.</p> <p>What AI does do however, is free up contact centre staff to deal with the emotionally charged issues. The one-off circumstances that your chatbot has yet to expect and so hasn&rsquo;t learnt or been trained to give an appropriate response. Those situations where a real person can use their life experiences and combine them with your policies and procedures to arrive at a satisfactory outcome.</p> <p>So, that bottom line is&nbsp;<strong>AI has its place; as do humans</strong>.</p> <p>For example, machines are good at making sense of enormous amounts of data, of learning correct responses and statistically guessing the appropriate response.&nbsp; They are amazingly fast at processing; at making logical choices based on statistical rules. But when your customer&rsquo;s expectations and satisfaction rests on a little empathy, wouldn&rsquo;t it be great to be able to detect a shift in sentiment and hand off to a live agent &ndash; with all the appropriate background of the specific problem so it doesn&rsquo;t need repeating.</p> <p>And that is the crux of the debate &ndash; machines are all about data and humans are all about emotions. The decision to purchase with a particular company is more often rooted in emotional need than rational choice.</p> <p>Undoubtedly, AI will replace humans in some roles such as process orientated tasks where RPA technology excels. However, computers are tools, not rivals. In every situation where technology threatens jobs, new positions arise, often because of changes brought about by technology. There will always be jobs that only humans can do, including designing, updating and enhancing the artificial intelligence technology itself.</p> <p><span style="font-size:16px"><strong>Expanding the role of artificial intelligence in business</strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:16px"><strong>&nbsp;</strong></span></p> <p>While there is no doubt that achievements made in the field of deep learning or neural networks are impressive, it is not the fastest, nor the most cost-effective way forward for the average enterprise to develop&nbsp;<strong>conversational AI applications</strong>. Just like a child learning a language, an artificial system for natural language understanding needs human supervision. Even a statistical algorithm that learns from data can only do so from structured training data&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">carefully curated by humans</a>.</p> <p>So why is there so much hype around algorithms? Perhaps because statistical algorithms are supremely useful for some purposes, such as aiding and guiding analysis of big collections of language data. And for some applications, neural network algorithms deliver very impressive results. Such algorithms have vastly improved speech recognition systems, the technology for mapping sound waves to text characters, which is the first step in processing speech.</p> <p>But what seems like effortless communication to humans, poses multiple obstacles to a&nbsp;<strong>statistical algorithm</strong>. Unless training data are supplied in copious quantities, the signal&mdash;the meaning at the heart of the conversation&mdash;is lost in the statistical noise.</p> <p>Put simply, when the algorithm is faced with too many ambiguities, too many options, and too little data, it gets confused.</p> <p>The truth of it all is no matter how hard some may try to convince us otherwise, AI will not replace human emotional intelligence.&nbsp; Or, at least, not anytime soon. As an article in&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Inc</a>&nbsp;put it recently,&nbsp;<em>there isn&rsquo;t a mainstream consumer machine that&rsquo;s close to achieving full sentience.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:16px"><strong>The negative economic impact of Artificial Intelligence</strong></span></p> <p>Are there threats from AI that will affect all of us? Undoubtedly.&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">The Inquirer</a>&nbsp;recently reported Jim Al-Khalili as saying&nbsp;<em>that without concerted action by the government, industry and academia, AI could end up &ldquo;uncontrolled and unregulated&rdquo;, with development monopolised by just a few powerful companies.</em></p> <p>If&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">enterprises sleepwalk into handing over their data to FAMGA</a>&nbsp;on a silver platter, this could well be the case. The Cambridge Analytica debacle has already highlighted the value of personal data, even innocuous statements, and the need to protect it. It is one of the reasons we stress the importance of data ownership in&nbsp;<strong>Conversational AI</strong>.</p> <p>Without&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">data ownership</a>, not only do enterprise lose valuable data insight, but it is also makes it harder to protect and secure the information. It&rsquo;s clear that as data becomes the driving force behind businesses that data protection regulation around the world is going to increase. GDPR and China&rsquo;s Cybersecurity law is only the beginning. Data privacy will become a major issue for everyone as the use of AI increases. Starting to address this now will place enterprises in a better position in the future.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><span style="font-size:16px">The future of artificial intelligence and jobs</span></strong></p> <p><strong>Computerized automation</strong>&nbsp;does potentially put low skilled workers, whose jobs could be easily automated, at risk. Conversely, this may be a short-term effect while the labor market re-adjusts. As Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne say:&nbsp;<em>findings thus imply that as technology races ahead, low-skill workers will reallocate to tasks that are non-susceptible to computerization &ndash; i.e., tasks requiring creative and social intelligence.</em>&nbsp;For workers to win the race, however, they will have to acquire creative and social skills.</p> <p>One of the auxiliary effects of the industrial revolution was how it changed education.</p> <p>By the 1830s the British government started to fund education through charitable organizations. The newly introduced Factory Act meant that children working in factories attended school for at least 2 hours every day. By early 1900s civic or &ldquo;red brick&rdquo; universities were introduced to deliver vocational training covering areas from medicine and science to mechanics and engineering. Indeed, such was the change brought on by the industrial revolution that other countries following suit found that their success rate in capitalizing on the opportunity correlated directly to the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">standard of education</a>&nbsp;within the region.</p> <p>In a recent&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">EY survey</a>, 80% of respondents said that the greatest inhibitors to the uptake of AI in their enterprise was a lack of talent with the requisite skill sets. Perhaps the answer to the impact of AI on the workplace of the future is not to give dire warnings, but to look how re-educating and re-skilling workers will develop technology to take us beyond AI to the next big revolution.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>By Andy Peart, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer, Artificial Solutions</em></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em>This blog was originally published on&nbsp;</em><em></em></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" title=""><em>Read more from our&nbsp;#Supercharging18&nbsp;campaign week, click here.</em></a></p> In an AI world will the customer still always be right? Wed, 03 Oct 2018 09:43:57 +0100 CRM Sync Katherine Mayes, techUK talks about how AI can unlock the power of big data to benefit the consumer. <p style="text-align: center;">In the early 1900s Harry Selfridge popularised the saying &rsquo;the customer is always right&rsquo;. As the retail sector embraces Artificial Intelligence (AI), will this notion still apply or will AI know best?</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="//" style="height:234px; width:476px"></p> <p>Research suggests 85 per cent of customer interactions will be managed by AI by 2020. Retailers will use AI to provide more personalised marketing about products and goods that will be delivered at speed using autonomous vehicles or drones. AI chatbots help retailers provide responsive 24-hour customer service that fits into the consumer&rsquo;s schedule.</p> <p>Using data to understand consumer likes and dislikes is not new. Boots introduced its Advantage card 20 years ago and in 1995 the Tesco Clubcard revolutionised how retailers gather data on consumer behaviour. Using AI will now be able unlock the power of big data and allow retailers to make insightful predictions about consumers&rsquo; needs quicker than any human marketer could. AI allows retailers to identify and react to market trends &nbsp;in real time. &nbsp;Intelligent, autonomous AI-driven decision-making systems will make decisions about the goods that should be marketed, and even delivered automatically to an individual. All before a consumer has stepped into a shop, gone online or thought that they even need the product. &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Consumers seem happy to embrace this; 60 per cent of UK millennials are open to retailers using AI to offer new products. This data-driven AI-powered vision of shopping may seem exciting to some, and perhaps uncomfortable for others. The data-driven revolution in retail has already raised data privacy and security concerns.</p> <p>The good news is that the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has strengthened the data protection legal framework to consider advanced technologies such as machine learning. However, we are also entering an era where AI will raise issues beyond personal data protection. For example, how to ensure AI-made decisions are auditable, challengeable and ultimately understandable by both retailers and consumers?</p> <p>Now is the time to put the mechanisms in place to identify, anticipate and navigate the social and ethical questions that AI raises.&nbsp; If we are to realise the full benefits of AI, it is vital that we build a culture of trust and confidence. To do so we must anticipate the implications, mitigate potential risks and above all ensure AI-driven machines are developed, deployed and acting in the best interests of humans.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>By Katherine Mayes, Programme Manager, Cloud, Data, Analytics and AI, techUK</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" title=""><em>Read more from our&nbsp;#Supercharging18&nbsp;campaign week, click here.</em></a></p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Five Ingredients for Supercharging the Digital Economy Wed, 03 Oct 2018 09:04:35 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Sean Gulliford, Gemserv, presents five key ingredients to supercharge the digital economy <h4 style="text-align:center"><img alt="" src="//" style="height:234px; width:476px"></h4> <p><em>(And building lego models)</em></p> <p>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.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The importance of digital cannot be underestimated. A recent thinktank report calling for an overhaul of Britain&rsquo;s economy states that:</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">&ldquo;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&rdquo;</a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>So, the first ingredient is <strong>investment</strong>. Without the necessary investment we will be unable to create positively impacting digital solutions.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>(You must have Lego, or know someone who has Lego, or else you can&rsquo;t build anything)</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The second ingredient (I should stress these are in no particular order) is <strong>innovation</strong>, 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 &ldquo;must have&rdquo;.</p> <h5>&nbsp;</h5> <p><em>(Build your own Lego model, get others to help and don&rsquo;t follow the instructions)</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Third is <strong>trust</strong>. 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&rsquo;s being used. Design has come a long way and digital services have become very simple to use, however we&rsquo;ve lost the transparency, and this has contributed to the lack of trust.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>(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.)</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Fourth I&rsquo;m going to go for <strong>digital skills</strong>. 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.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>(You need to know how to build with Lego, hopefully smashing blocks together won&rsquo;t create that replica Death Star.)</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>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. <strong>Consumer engagement</strong> and centricity is a must in the creation of sustainable digital services.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>(You need to know what to build, no point building a car when you need a castle.)</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>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.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>By Sean Gulliford,&nbsp;Principal Consultant - Connected Devices, Gemserv</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" title=""><em>Read more from our&nbsp;#Supercharging18&nbsp;campaign week, click here.</em></a></p> <div>&nbsp;</div> Health Secretary announces £240m for social care Tue, 02 Oct 2018 15:48:36 +0100 CRM Sync Additional funding announced to help alleviate winter pressures <p>Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock has announced &pound;240m additional social care funding to help alleviate pressures in the system over winter. The announcement was made at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham.</p> <p>Reacting to the announcement, Kate Francis, Programme Manager for Health and Social Care at techUK said:</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;This is a positive step to help alleviate the pressures in the health and social care system over the winter period, often caused by patients waiting to be transferred. It will provide welcome relief to the NHS staff and carers who work hard each winter to help patients on their journeys through the health and social care system, and bring confidence to families that their loved ones are being cared for in the most appropriate setting. techUK looks forward to working in partnership with the Health Secretary to help&nbsp;realise the vision for a digitally-enabled system resulting in&nbsp;improved health outcomes for patients and citizens.&rdquo;</strong></p> <p>With technology as one of the Secretary of State&rsquo;s key priorities, he will no doubt be looking to technology companies to enable patients to smoothly flow from hospital to care settings. There are many examples of work being done by tech companies in partnership with the NHS to help integrate health and social care, manage beds in hospitals and care homes, track patients and coordinate their care, and ensure that people can be cared for and monitored in their own homes. techUK has&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">published a paper outlining some of the challenges of the winter crisis</a> that can be solved by technology, and curated a&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">series of blogs from tech companies</a> with the solutions.</p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Changing workforces and the role of digital labour Tue, 02 Oct 2018 14:45:00 +0100 CRM Sync Intelligent Automation could add an additional £620+ billion to the UK’s economy by 2035. <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:left; height:117px; width:300px">Workforce productivity in the UK has been waning. The latest report from the Office for National Statistics found that between 1994 and 2007, workforce productivity nationally increased by a third, yet since then it has dramatically declined.&nbsp;</p> <p>Of course, humans are not processing machines: we need to take breaks and we require sustenance. There will always be some inherent time lost. There are two other key challenges when it comes to maximising productivity. Firstly, office workers are often hampered by disparate IT systems, and as a result spend time being the &lsquo;glue&rsquo; between systems and activities. Secondly, there are latent inefficiencies in the way workforces are organised into functions. The nature of work is not so siloed and there are peaks and troughs of work to optimise for.&nbsp;</p> <p>Historically, to address these productivity challenges, organisations have replaced or enhanced their IT infrastructure, resourced staff more cheaply to lower their cost base, or even introduced a level of automation. These strategies can help; however, they are frequently implemented in a way that reflects those same organisational issues and silos.&nbsp;</p> <p>Intelligent Automation, including Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and advanced functionality such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing, could add an additional &pound;620+ billion to the UK&rsquo;s economy by 2035. The UK&rsquo;s dominant consumer facing, and services led, sectors can adopt Intelligent Automation to fuel the productivity of knowledge workers to improve organisational productivity and customer facing services.</p> <p>By creating a digital first approach, organisations can use Intelligent Automation to break down data silos and provide a consistent customer experience across all communication points. This, in turn, can create efficiencies in workforce productivity to provide a better overall consumer experience. Intelligent Automation can also be used to streamline processes such as onboarding and offboarding staff, supply chain maintenance, right to work checks and online booking/purchase and returns/cancellations &ndash; even loyalty points administration. This can deliver organisations direct business benefits on the current high cost of administration and logistics involved in these high-volume, and time-consuming tasks.</p> <p>Driven by rapid technological advances, the world of work is changing forever. Organisations should be prepared for the updates to policies and varying skill-sets needed as well as act now to embrace the change. Given the huge potential of Intelligent Automation technology to fulfil high-volume tasks, it must be harnessed now, in a way that enables your people to be more fulfilled and better performing in the workplace.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>By&nbsp;Martin Boakes, Sales Director, Thoughtonomy</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em>Read more from our&nbsp;#Supercharging18&nbsp;campaign week, click here.</em></a></p> Bridging the UK skills gap: A race with no end Tue, 02 Oct 2018 13:00:00 +0100 CRM Sync Bridging the UK skills gap is essential to drive the UK economy forward. <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:left; height:117px; width:300px">35% of the skills demanded for jobs across industries will change by 2020, according to the <a href="">World Economic Forum</a>.</p> <p>At the same time, with the Fourth Industrial Revolution well underway &ndash; driven by rapid advancements in artificial intelligence and emerging technologies &ndash; the skills gap is at risk of widening even further.</p> <p>This poses the UK with a challenge it must rise to. As jobs evolve, it&rsquo;s vital that the British workforce has the necessary skills in place to take advantage of this technology &ndash; both at work and in other aspects of their lives. This requires a collective responsibility.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h4><strong>The race is on</strong></h4> <p>Given the pace of technological advances, we are in a race with no end, and one we cannot afford to lose. While the Government certainly has a role to play in helping upskill the workforce, businesses have potentially one of the biggest roles of all - equipping its workforces with the right skills and opportunities to hone them.&nbsp;</p> <p>Organisations are feeling the strain of keeping up with the demands of the digital world. To combat this, business leaders must work collectively to train people for jobs in the digital economy by investing in training and development. To make sure these are effective, employees must feel encouraged to get involved.&nbsp;</p> <p>For example, at Salesforce we offer free skills training through&nbsp;<a href=";t=AFwhZf14ZYbhqge-sFQlrTaM0KYxf6h4X49X8UGikiZFpZCbPbUzvBuqyPjanTxf4YYGKyvk7T14XM3uDJ_cYVAdq3YVFpXBX80DkaBQK1H2iUqVzSqDFH9verKMO9H9yCmKya6rj66A">Trailhead</a>, an online learning tool that trains participants on Salesforce and other tech and business expertise. Since it was launched in 2014, users have earned more than 10 million badges and unlocked avenues for career growth in the process. Programmes like Trailhead are giving people the opportunity to arm themselves with highly sought-after skills. Those that are essential in driving the UK economy forwards.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h4><strong>Sustaining the education and training pipeline </strong></h4> <p>The UK has some of the best universities in the world for research and the most innovative creative industries, but that doesn&rsquo;t mean the average Briton has solid digital skills. It&rsquo;s critical that the focus on skills gains momentum. Alongside government and businesses, the education sector has a role to play.<br> 65% of today&rsquo;s children will have jobs that haven&rsquo;t been invented yet, according to the <a href=";utm_medium=social&amp;;utm_campaign=buffer">World Economic Forum</a>. As such there needs to be a focus on improving the IT curriculum taught in schools, working closely with the Government to make the relevant progress.</p> <p>At Salesforce, we encourage our senior teams to 'adopt' a local school to help with this. For example our UK team supports School 21, based in Stratford, with their STEM education programmes for the next generation of talent. In addition to upskilling the current workforce, these programmes are key to demonstrating the variety of opportunities in STEM to the next generation of talent and prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h4><strong>Welcome digital skills with open arms </strong></h4> <p>Businesses, education institutions and the Government all have a collective responsibility to support lifelong skill development.</p> <p>Programmes and training that encourage open learning throughout your career and education are critical for supporting the continual education necessary to ensure everyone can feel prepared for the jobs of tomorrow.</p> <p>The bottom line is that for us close the digital skills gap in the UK, we need to take the skills gap seriously. It&rsquo;s up to all of us to encourage new and existing workers to develop their skills, and ensure access to education and learning opportunities to create a culture of learning. Only by doing this, will we begin to bridge the gap.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>By Andrew Lawson, Executive Vice President and General Manager, UK at Salesforce</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><a href="" target="_blank">Read more from our&nbsp;#Supercharging18&nbsp;campaign week, click here</a>.</em></p> Digital devolution: Supercharging the digital economy Tue, 02 Oct 2018 12:00:00 +0100 CRM Sync Metro Mayors hold the potential to spur digital devolution driving continuous regional economic growth. <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:left; height:117px; width:300px">This year <a href="">techUK&rsquo;s Supercharging the Digital Economy</a> goes regional, for the first time we are hosting in Manchester. An exciting development and one of significance. Greater Manchester is one of six areas with a metro Mayor that holds the potential to spur digital devolution.</p> <p>What do we mean by digital devolution? It is a different approach along with the new powers of the Mayor, to enable a strong digital infrastructure and culture across a place that will ultimately deliver improved service outcomes for all and drive continuous regional economic growth.</p> <p>A strong digital economy goes hand in hand with regional growth and a thriving economy. No City region must be left behind when it comes to growth, skills, jobs and public services. So, how can digital devolution enable this?</p> <p>Devolution is a fantastic opportunity to do things differently when it comes to public services reform and supercharging the local economy. Devolution will formalise partnerships and through digital enable traditional barriers to public service reform to be broken down and integrate services. The new Mayor will have a key role to place in championing the vision of the City region and will act as a catalyst to make this a reality. techUK produced a&nbsp;<a href="">Digital Devolution Guide</a>&nbsp;for the Mayors to illustrate practically how digital can form the bedrock of their plans to drive regional growth and create smart communities that improve the lives of all citizens.</p> <p>Devolution presents the opportunity to accelerate the transformation happening locally and embedding digitally across the City region. The Mayor can drive through meaningful transformation across the City regions complex public service delivery architecture. However, for this to happen we need the leadership, capability and resources in place that can work across the city that can champion innovation and ensure joined-up digital strategies, avoiding needless duplication.</p> <p>We are already seeing signs of digital devolution across the regions. Andy Burnham, Greater Manchester Mayor last year launched the <a href="">Greater Manchester Digital &amp; Tech Summit</a>, where he outlined plans to harness power of tech to spark a new digital revolution. West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has put digital at the forefront of his agenda and stating that digital is the &ldquo;golden thread across all the industries which will provide jobs in the twenty-first century.&rdquo; To deliver his vision of bringing the West Midlands digital revolution to fruition, the Mayor is also seeking to appoint a Chief Digital Officer (CDO) for the city region.</p> <p>The role and influence of the new metro mayors cannot be overestimated.</p> <p>Take the Budget 2017: the metro mayors were the clear winners when you see where the investment &ndash; particularly for the new Transforming Cities Fund &ndash; has been allocated.</p> <p>The success of the second West Midlands devolution deal illustrated the potential and influence a new metro mayor can leverage. The West Midlands devolution deal also paves the way for future deals to commit digital capability at the heart. This is an important step, otherwise if the digital ambition is not recognised in any future devolution deals it is a missed opportunity. The digital sector is one of the strongest growing industries in the regions. The&nbsp;<a href="">GVA</a>&nbsp;contribution from region&rsquo;s digital sectors have grown significantly - North East (14.9%), South East (10.8%) and North West (8.9%) all performed strongly in this industry.</p> <p>With the appointment of the metro Mayors, plus the growing trend of regional Chief Digital Officers (London and Salford for example) it&rsquo;s an exciting time for the regionally digital economy. Watch this space.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>By Georgina M</em><em>aratheftis, Programme Manager, Local Government, techUK</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><a href="" onclick=", '', 'resizable=no,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=no,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=no,dependent=no'); return false;" title="">Read more from our&nbsp;#Supercharging18&nbsp;campaign week, click here</a>.</em></p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Shaping the future with Scotland’s millennials Tue, 02 Oct 2018 10:49:56 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Atos shares first hand experience of opportunities Scotland has to offer to millennials. <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:left; height:117px; width:300px"><strong>While technology and digital transformation are ever changing, the expectations of a digital native illustrate what this transition can offer us. This opinion piece demonstrates a Scottish millennial&rsquo;s experience of living in the digital era.&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>What are the typical attributes that spring to mind when you think of a millennial? I&rsquo;d say that, among other things, millennials are entrepreneurial idealists &ndash; and, of course, the first generation ever to have grown up totally immersed in a digital world. For these reasons, I&rsquo;m proud to be a millennial.&nbsp;</p> <p>First, let&rsquo;s be clear about definitions. Broadly speaking, a millennial is anyone born between the early 1980s and the turn of the 21st century. According to Scotland&rsquo;s National Records, 1.4 million Scots residents were born between 1980 and 2000, with slightly more women than men.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h4><strong>Education and innovation </strong></h4> <p>Millennials in Scotland reflect Scotland&rsquo;s already-established reputation for innovation and excellence in education through our prestigious universities and thriving technology sector. All this means that right now there is an abundance of opportunities, accelerated and increased by advances in technology and the growth of social media. While I explored various options at university, I realised that my real passion lay with technology and business start-ups, so I decided to co-found a technology company called Monomise.&nbsp;</p> <p>Monomise is a reward-based smoking cessation programme comprising a carbon monoxide reader and a motivational app. The reader calculates daily the levels of harmful carbon monoxide present in the smoker&rsquo;s body so that real progress can be tracked; the supporting app tracks progress using visual aids, similar to fitness trackers. Alongside studying, I was pitching Monomise to several investors, start-up accelerators and product developers. Eventually, in 2015, I was named one of the UK&rsquo;s top young entrepreneurs and sponsored to go to San Francisco to pitch the business to players such as Apple, Facebook and Monkey Inferno. That trip, and Monomise itself, were life-changing and taught me that there are endless opportunities for millennials to pursue what they are passionate about. It also confirmed that my passion lies in working in fast-paced, exciting, constantly-evolving environments where I am in charge of my own success.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h4><strong>Career opportunities </strong></h4> <p>After university and Monomise, I needed to start focusing on my career. I knew I wasn&rsquo;t going to be suited to a typical office job with repetitive days merging into one. But at the same time, I did want stability and security. In 2016, I began my career with Atos at the Customer Experience (CX) Lab in Glasgow, working in the Customer-Centric Design team. To start with, I was sceptical about working for a corporate company; but Atos is very forwardthinking, with great support for people who want to explore new challenges. Working within CX is similar to working in a start-up in many ways. Firstly, the Labs are full of the latest technology, so I can challenge myself technically. Secondly, my team has never inhibited any creativity, so I can be innovative even when that questions established norms. Thirdly, no two days are the same. We work on discovery, designs, prototyping, pitching the ideas and launching them into businesses.&nbsp;</p> <p>While this is just the beginning of my journey, it encapsulates how being an entrepreneurial millennial in this digital age can lead to amazing opportunities &ndash; and Scotland is constantly providing more. I&rsquo;ve experienced these opportunities first hand, through the support I received from startup accelerators and networks throughout Scotland and by working in a creative, technologically-advanced environment. And with much more talent being bred now in Scotland, this is an exciting time to work here and to watch how the next generation &ndash; Gen Z &ndash; will take things forward.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>By Ola Clark, Customer-Centric Design Analyst, CX Lab, Atos UK&amp;I &nbsp;</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>This article is part of the Atos <a href="" target="_blank">Digital Vision for Scotland</a> opinion paper. We explore the key opportunities and challenges for Scottish Government, organisations and citizens in the digital age, as new technologies bring huge potential to enhance people&rsquo;s lives and transform organisations.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><a href="" target="_blank">Read more from our&nbsp;#Supercharging18&nbsp;campaign week, click here</a>.</em></p> A closer look at the digitisation of UK transport Mon, 01 Oct 2018 14:45:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: While technology carries huge potential to support positive transformation, legacy assets continue to hold back the pace of change. <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:left; height:200px; width:200px">The UK transport sector is in a difficult place in 2018.</p> <p>The challenge of expanding and transforming ageing infrastructure in order to meet the demands of a growing and increasingly mobile population, while driving lasting improvements to the quality of service are front-page news.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the uncertainty around Brexit is putting additional pressure on already wafer-thin margins. And while technology carries huge potential to support positive transformation, legacy assets continue to hold back the pace of change. According to <a href="">PAC&rsquo;s recent trend study</a>, 66% of the transport companies in the UK see aging IT estates and new technology adoption as a major challenge, while 46% see fleet operation costs as a significant barrier.</p> <p>Transport operators need to invest in technology to accelerate innovation and boost their operational efficiency while enhancing customer experience. &nbsp;</p> <p>In terms of initiatives designed to drive bottom-line efficiency the majority are focused on improving the reliability and performance of fleets or infrastructure assets. With the rise of digital solutions based on the Internet of Things (IoT), companies can now get real-time insight into their operations, stream the operational data and use it to predict failures, optimise routes and avoid delays. According to PAC the total investment in smart transport IoT solutions in 2018 will exceed &pound;1.1 billion.</p> <p>In the road transport sector, demand for telematics-based solutions is surging and many companies operating huge fleets, such as the major retailers like Tesco or Morrisons have already boosted them with IoT-based solutions. The airline sector is somewhat similar and airlines now use advanced analytics to process millions of data points generated from sensors on the planes in order to improve their maintenance. A good example is EasyJet which runs predictive analytics over the data from its entire fleet of more than 300 planes. The rail industry is building momentum with its &ldquo;<a href="">Digital Railway</a>&rdquo; programme, which is using technology to drive better passenger information, quicker incident recovery, and in-cab signalling.</p> <p>Another very important topic for the UK transport players is improvement of the customer experience. So far transport operators have been investing in front-end capabilities to enable mobile payments and ticket purchasing, that makes buying a ticket from a smartphone an easy task. However, existing paper-based tickets - especially in the rail sector - are a barrier to seamless travel experiences. This is why investment around digital technologies that can enable Amazon-Go-like experience in everyday transport are growing fast.</p> <p>An additional focus for many UK companies is innovating the business model. This is fostering greater collaboration between operators and start-ups. Offering &ldquo;Mobility as a Service&rdquo; or multi-modal transport via a single ticket could shift the traditional transport paradigm and generate new revenue streams. Go-Ahead Group has launched a couple of new business offerings along these lines. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Another hugely important focus area is autonomous driving. Although it is difficult to imagine widespread use in central London, autonomous vehicles could revolutionise the last mile fulfilment processes. New entrants such as Oxbotica and are making a significant push in this area, as well as more established players such as Jaguar Land Rover and Aptiv (former Delphi Automotive).</p> <p>UK transport companies are leveraging digital technology more than ever in order to differentiate, improve their bottom line and develop new services and business models. Such a surge in digitisation should play out well not only for the UK transport sector but also for all the other industries that transport underpins as well.</p> <p><em><a href="" onclick=", '', 'resizable=no,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=no,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=no,dependent=no'); return false;" title="">Read more from our&nbsp;#Supercharging18&nbsp;campaign week, click here</a>.</em></p> AI: A force for good? Mon, 01 Oct 2018 13:23:00 +0100 CRM Sync AI, a power for good and a significant tool to help drive social and personal well-being. <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:left; height:147px; width:300px">Recent headlines in the UK have focused on the economic importance, and value, of AI. <a href="" onclick=", '', 'resizable=no,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=no,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=no,dependent=no'); return false;">It is estimated that AI could add &pound;630 billion to the UK economy by 2035</a>.&nbsp;In April, the UK Government published the AI Sector Deal worth &pound;1 billion which provides the blueprint for how to make UK businesses and citizens AI ready. With research by the Mayor of London showing London ahead of New York, Paris and Berlin as a location for AI companies to do business, the UK&rsquo;s historic global leadership in this branch of computer science seems to be continuing.&nbsp;</p> <p>If you only read these headlines you would be forgiven for thinking that AI offers the UK real potential to be an economic global power in the AI arms race. And you would be right. techUK sees huge economic potential and value of AI through its ability to increase productivity across all industries and sectors. But that&rsquo;s not the end of the story. We also believe that AI can be a power for good and a significant tool to help drive social and personal well-being.</p> <p>We don&rsquo;t have to wait for this to happen. The deployment and use of AI technologies, specifically machine learning, is already demonstrating the positive social benefits it can offer. Google&rsquo;s Deepmind has recently developed an AI system to detect eye disease quicker and just as efficiently as a world leading ophthalmologist. This is a great demonstration of how AI could support and enhance the great work of our NHS and improve the treatment and lives of people with eye disease. Also, across the NHS AI language processing is being used to automate the transcribing of medical notes in healthcare, meaning crucial resources and money saved can be redeployed to invest in more doctors and nurses.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s not just in the public sector where AI could help our society, but it can also address societal issues such as the state of our environment.&nbsp; AI algorithms are being trained to analyse drone footage to help to reduce plastics in our oceans by recognising and then identifying &nbsp;those items floating in the sea. In the long term, AI and drone technologies will work together to help clean up our oceans.</p> <p>In more day-to-day life, AI is also being used to strengthen consumer protections from fraud and are at the heart of the driverless vehicles revolutions which will transform our cities, making them cleaner, safer, more efficient and far more enjoyable places to live for everyone in society. Looking ahead, intelligent autonomous AI-driven systems and tools, powered by data, could hold the answers to tackling some of the biggest issues facing society, such as managing an ageing population and child poverty.&nbsp;</p> <p>The reality is that the development of AI is no longer science fiction and the pace of AI innovation is increasing. If the UK is to fully embrace and realise the social and economic benefits AI offers, there are many profound social, legal and ethical questions that need to be identified, discussed, understood and answered.</p> <p>Everyone in society must be part of the discussion about what our AI future will mean for us as individuals, employees, families, communities, companies and as a nation. However, it is vital that the public debate about our AI future remains balanced and constructive. While there are concerns and fears that must be recognised and addressed we must also recognise and promote the positive stories about the role machine learning and AI are playing in people&rsquo;s lives and delivering changes that people really want. We must be careful not to unintentionally stifle positive change or prevent organisations across the public and private sectors from embracing AI technologies, that have the potential to be a real force and power for social and economic good in the UK.</p> <div><em><a href="" target="_blank">Read more from our&nbsp;#Supercharging18&nbsp;campaign week, click here</a>.</em></div>Contact: <a href=""></a> Smart Communities: Using digital to improve people’s lives Mon, 01 Oct 2018 10:43:54 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog: Read Cisco's Smart Communities: Using digital to improve people’s lives and what challenges communities face? <h4><strong>A smart community is one that uses digital to improve people&rsquo;s lives</strong></h4> <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:left; height:147px; width:300px">Wouldn&rsquo;t it be great to live somewhere where the air was fresh, you could always find a parking space, and you were free to walk anywhere safely?</p> <p>Take air quality for example. Disappointingly, our air quality levels are among the poorest in the western world, with <a href="">asthma </a><a href="">deaths </a>in England and Wales rising by 25% over the past decade. Traffic jams are a major factor, and with an estimated 30% of all city congestion caused by drivers <a href="">looking for&nbsp;somewhere to park</a>, these are not just inconveniences, but hugely detrimental to our health.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h4><strong>Common challenges for our communities</strong></h4> <p>Traffic congestion and parking are also contributory factors to the wider area of mobility and accessibility. Along with poor road quality and inadequate public transport, lack of mobility and access limitations can make any community a less attractive place to live, work or invest in. And every community needs to attract investment to be competitive and productive.</p> <p>Other common challenges affecting our towns, cities and villages include providing adequate health and care to growing and ageing populations, from access to GP surgeries, dentists, hospital beds, housing and social care. Safety is another; not just keeping people physically safe and providing adequate emergency services but also combatting the more recent concern of cyber security and data integrity. Environmental sustainability is also a priority, as councils look for ways to develop greener, environments and manage natural resources to reduce costs and improve air quality. And they are dealing with all this while simultaneously managing ever-shrinking budgets.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h4><strong>People first</strong></h4> <p>The most important consideration when addressing these challenges should always be people. Creating smarter, connected communities that support citizens and create environments that work for them, whether they are residents, workers or visitors is key. In&nbsp;<a href="">Newcastle-upon-Tyne</a> for example, smart sensors have been used to gather data on parking space availability, traffic congestion patterns, air quality, bins and street lighting, as well as using AI to predict road surface wear and tear. <a href="" target="_blank">Southend-on-Sea Borough Council&rsquo;s</a> ambitious digital strategy meanwhile, includes air quality and congestion monitoring. In both cases, these initiatives are aimed at improving conditions for residents, workers and visitors.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h4><strong>Combining the digital and the physical</strong></h4> <p>Yet although the data accrued by the sensors and predictive analytics I&rsquo;ve mentioned above is interesting, it is worthless on its own. And the technology that generates this information can&rsquo;t resolve these issues alone. What they&nbsp;<em>can</em>&nbsp;do however, is offer council leaders valuable insights into their effects on the community &ndash; and consider how best to address each one.</p> <p>Data transfer also opens up another discussion about sharing the information obtained from connected devices. This will require appropriate governance and clear data sharing polices for councils looking to use data insights to address local concerns, from health and social services to productivity.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h4><strong>A digital future for the UK</strong></h4> <p>For any project aimed at creating smart, connected communities, it&rsquo;s therefore important to:</p> <ul><li>Avoid silos &ndash; smart communities require collaboration across public sector, business, academia and citizens, combined with a genuine desire to break down internal barriers and securely share data across all parties.</li> <li>Develop an integrated digital strategy that is commonly agreed and provides clear direction &ndash; plus leaders who are prepared to carry it through.</li> <li>Agree a realistic budget; initial outlay is inevitable in order to achieve long-term savings; smart lighting is one example that has been proven over time to substantially reduce costs.</li> <li>Understand that being smart is about making relatively small changes that have a big impact on local needs, and realise that most people neither know nor care what a &lsquo;smart community&rsquo; actually is; they will care about the potential benefits though.</li> </ul><p>&nbsp;</p> <h4><strong>Reality check</strong></h4> <p>Working in real environments like&nbsp;Newcastle upon Tyne and Southend on Sea is helping us bring together the physical and the digital for the benefit of local people. And by combining different digital technologies in one location, we can develop a meaningful and digital vision for the UK.</p> <p>After all, every town, village and city deserves the opportunity to create a cleaner, healthier, safer environment for its community.</p> <p>For information on our&nbsp;<u><a href="">smart communities</a></u>&nbsp;portfolio, including&nbsp;<u><a href="">Cisco Kinetic for Cities,</a></u>&nbsp;visit our&nbsp;<u><a href="">website</a></u>&nbsp;or&nbsp;<a href=";dtid=">contact us</a>&nbsp;directly.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><a href="" target="_blank">Read more from our&nbsp;#Supercharging18&nbsp;campaign week, click here</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Supercharging the Digital Economy campaign week Mon, 01 Oct 2018 08:27:29 +0100 CRM Sync Ahead of techUK's flagship event Supercharging the Digital Economy in Manchester on 18 October, leaders from industry and government share their thoughts on the increasing digitisation of our economy and wider society. <p>Welcome to our Supercharging campaign week! Throughout the week we will be exploring the themes and topics which we will be addressing at our <a href=""><em>Supercharging the Digital Economy</em></a> event on&nbsp;18 October. This week we&rsquo;ll be shining a spotlight on the increasing digitisation of our economy and wider society; the benefits that will bring, as well as&nbsp;the challenges and opportunities that exist in different sectors and what digital means for different regions in the UK.</p> <p>As the UK Government&rsquo;s Digital Strategy made clear, the benefits of digital are not just restricted to traditional digital sectors but rather that it <em>&ldquo;can make every business in every sector more productive, wherever they are located&rdquo;</em>. We&rsquo;ll be shining a spotlight on what digitalisation means for retail &ndash; from an enriched customer experience to expanding revenue through online sales &ndash; and transport &ndash; where increasing automation can increase safety and productivity and how it puts in place the building blocks of future mobility services. We will also be considering what regions need to do in an increasingly digital world; what they need to do to attract and retain the talent and companies that are driving this digital revolution and the benefits in productivity and growth that they can deliver to regions.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h4>Supercharging Campaign Week Blogs</h4> <p><strong>Guest blog:&nbsp;<a href="" onclick=", '', 'resizable=no,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=no,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=no,dependent=no'); return false;">Smart communities: using digital to improve people&rsquo;s lives</a>&nbsp;</strong>by Stu Higgins,&nbsp;Head of Smart Cities and IoT, Cisco</p> <p><a href="" onclick=", '', 'resizable=no,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=no,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=no,dependent=no'); return false;"><strong>AI: A force for good?</strong></a> by Sue Daley, Head of Cloud, Data Analystics and AI, techUK</p> <p><strong>Guest blog:&nbsp;<a href="" onclick=", '', 'resizable=no,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=no,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=no,dependent=no'); return false;">A closer look at the digitisation of UK transport</a></strong> by&nbsp;Milos Milojevic,&nbsp;Industry Analyst, PAC UK</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Guest blog:&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Shaping the future with Scotland&rsquo;s millennials</a></strong> by&nbsp;Ola Clark, Customer-Centric Design Analyst, CX Lab, Atos UK&amp;I</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Digital devolution: Supercharging the digital economy</strong></a>&nbsp;by Georgina Maratheftis, Programme Manager, Local Government, techUK</p> <p><strong>Guest blog:&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Bridging the UK skills gap: A race with no end</a></strong> by&nbsp;Andrew Lawson, Executive Vice President and General Manager, UK at Salesforce</p> <p><strong>Guest blog:&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Changing workforces and the role of digital labour</a></strong> by&nbsp;Martin Boakes, Sales Director, Thoughtonomy</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Guest blog:&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Five Ingredients for Supercharging the Digital Economy</a></strong> by&nbsp;Sean Gulliford,&nbsp;Principal Consultant,&nbsp;Connected Devices, Gemserv</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>In an AI world will the customer still always be right?</strong></a> By&nbsp;Katherine Mayes, Programme Manager, Cloud, Data, Analytics and AI, techUK</p> <p><strong>Guest blog:&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">The Impact of AI in the Workforce</a> </strong>by&nbsp;Andy Peart, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer, Artificial Solutions</p> <p><strong>Guest blog:&nbsp;</strong><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Data for good by&nbsp;Zandra Moore</strong></a>, CEO of Leeds-based Scale-up, Panintelligence</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Guest blog:&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Retail&rsquo;s digital revolution</a></strong> by&nbsp;Rachel Lund, Head of Retail Insights and Analytics, BRC</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Virtual Retaily&nbsp;&ndash; How VR &amp; AR will change shopping</strong></a> by&nbsp;Craig Melson, Programme Manager,&nbsp;Digital Devices, Consumer Electronics, Export Controls and Environment and Compliance, techUK</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Will 5G Supercharge the Digital Economy?</strong></a> By&nbsp;Sophie Weston, Programme Manager, Communications Infrastructure, techUK</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Full e-steam ahead: powering the future of mobility in the UK</strong></a> by Jessica Russell, Programme Manager, SmarterUK, Smart Cities &amp; Communities and Smart Transport, techUK</p> <p><a href=""><strong>Digital: Supercharging your region</strong></a> by&nbsp;Matthew Evans, Executive Director, SmarterUK and IoT, techUK</p> <p><strong>Guest blog:&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">DfT - Future of Mobility</a></strong><a href="" target="_blank"> </a>by&nbsp;Ella Taylor, Head of Future of Mobility at CCAV (Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles)</p> <p><strong>Guest blog: <a href="" target="_blank">EVs: a curse or a cure &ndash; how to unlock the energy markets for EVs</a></strong> by&nbsp;Alina Bakhareva,&nbsp;Strategy and Market &nbsp;Analyst, and Nicholas Rubin,&nbsp;Market Architect, ELEXON</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align:center"><img alt="" src="//" style="height:234px; width:476px"></p>Contact: <a href=""></a>Contact: <a href=""></a> Cloud 2020 - Is the future clear or cloudy? Fri, 28 Sep 2018 08:55:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest Blog: Sue Daley, Head of Cloud, Data Analytics and AI, highlights techUK's Cloud 2020 vision and bids farewell to Cloud week. <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:left; height:300px; width:300px">All this week at techUK we have been talking about why cloud computing matters to the UK&rsquo;s digital future. We have had an active debate on twitter all week under the hashtag #whycloud. What is clear from all the articles, insights, videos and podcasts published this week is that more and more organisations are using cloud services to gain operational efficiencies and reduce costs. But a key takeaway from this week for me is how important cloud is being seen by organisations as the digital infrastructure that will enable the adoption and use of advanced digital technologies such as AR/VR, IOT, machine learning and AI.</p> <p>Cloud computing is fast becoming the digital foundations on which organisations ability to achieve the full economic benefits and value of data analytics and AI will be fully realised. With AI alone estimated to be worth &pound;232 billion to the UK economy by 2035, and cloud being seen as an essential tool to making this happen, then a key question must be are we doing enough to keep the UK at the forefront of cloud adoption, optimisation and maturity.&nbsp;</p> <p>Back in 2016 techUK published its Cloud 2020 Vision. This report highlighted the benefits the UK stand to gain from driving greater take up and adoption, by organisations across both the public and private sectors, of cloud-based technologies, and what must be done in six key areas to ensure this happens. With 2020 nearly upon us, and the increased importance of the cloud to the UK&rsquo;s digital future, we believe now is the right time to review the progress that has been made so far in these six areas and what may still need to be done, on the following key recommendations made in the report:</p> <ol><li>Enabling data portability and system interoperability within the cloud computing ecosystem</li> <li>Building trust in the security of cloud computing services</li> <li>Supporting the cultural shift required to optimise the use of cloud</li> <li>Building a coherent regulatory framework for cloud</li> <li>Ensuring effective public-sector adoption and usage of cloud</li> <li>Having a communications infrastructure that keeps pace with mass cloud adoption.</li> </ol><p>To assess how far we have come already, and what more we still need to do, on the 3rd December techUK is holding a special Cloud 2020 debate. Key leaders in cloud computing will assess progress made in each of the recommendations and consider whether there are important issues that need to be overcome now to ensure they do not impact the future development of the cloud computing market in the UK.&nbsp; It will include recommendations on the action that still needs to be taken to ensure the UK&rsquo;s digital future is clear. Confirmed speakers include Jamie Tyler, CenturyLink, and Paul Knott from &nbsp;Symantec but we need your input too so come and take part in this interactive event and give us your views on the future of cloud computing in the UK.</p> <p>All the output from the December session will be used to develop techUK&rsquo;s Cloud 2020 Vision progress report, to be released in early 2019.&nbsp; With the increased importance of cloud to the next wave of the UK&rsquo;s digital, AI driven, future techUK&rsquo;s mission to ensure all organisations can benefits from cloud services&nbsp; and move the UK cloud market forward is more important than ever before.&nbsp; The debate and discussion we have started during Cloud week will therefore continue not only via twitter but throughout our upcoming events, discussions and work of techUK&rsquo;s Cloud work programme. If you would like to get involved in this important work and help drive techUK&rsquo;s cloud activities, then just get in touch and help techUK ensure the future of cloud computing in the UK is clear.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="360" src="" width="640"></iframe></p> <p><a href="">@ChannelSwimSue</a></p> <p><a href="">LinkedIn</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>To read more from techUK's Cloud Week,&nbsp;<a href="">visit our landing page</a></em></p>Contact: <a href=""></a>Contact: <a href=""></a> Why cloud is increasingly MAGic (Microsoft, Amazon & Google) Fri, 28 Sep 2018 08:44:54 +0100 CRM Sync Guest Blog: Ian Moyse, Industry Cloud Influencer/Director at Natterbox, explores how cloud delivery is changing both for customers and cloud providers. <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:left; height:300px; width:300px">We hear the term &lsquo;the year of cloud&rsquo; many a time, I profess it is &lsquo;the decade of cloud&rsquo; and we haven&rsquo;t even really started yet. Cloud as a term has been overused and hyped as the be all and end all. But it is a very generic term encompassing SaaS (Software as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service), IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), Hybrid cloud, Private and Public as well as for many web 2.0, social media, apps and more.</p> <p>Having been in the cloud industry for over 12 years and had a wealth of opportunity to engage with businesses across vertical sectors, from small local businesses to global enterprises and across geographic regions I have witnessed an evolutionary change of acceptance of &lsquo;cloud technologies&rsquo; from adamant &lsquo;we resist / no Cloud policies&rsquo; through to &lsquo;all in - cloud 1st strategies&rsquo;. We seem to have settled down now into a world where there is acceptance that cloud options should always be considered and the fear of cloud has diminished to a point where questions are asked and diligence done, rightly so, but not as a barrier to progressing, but as a necessary checkpoint.</p> <p>Cloud is going to rapidly proliferate, not though the name of cloud; who says &lsquo;I want some cloud&rsquo;! but due to the accelerated and rapid growth of emerging technologies powered by cloud somewhere or somehow. There are fast becoming the norm in everyday life and appearing on business agenda&rsquo;s across sectors.&nbsp; We find Big Data, AI, IOT, VR and even Drones all appearing in ever more interesting and applicable ways, with their prices becoming consumable by even the smallest of firms.&nbsp; By 2020 we can expect to be seeing AI and IOT increasingly in our everyday lives, often transparent to us and with cloud hidden away powering their wondrous delivery.</p> <p>We now hear the terms edge computing, fog computing and wider use of &hellip;..As A Service as the cloud sector matures.&nbsp; With this maturing comes a wave of change in the underlying delivery mechanism and platforms. We started muchly with hosting, data centres hosting your own racked equipment or providing racks where you could remotely install your applications onto your own single tenancy instance. Heading towards 2020 we are seeing an acceleration of re-platforming, customers moving their workloads to the public cloud, where the early concerns have gone and we now see compute and storage costs constantly reducing on what is known as the Race to Zero (who will be the 1st to give it away?) . This whilst performance, reliability and function have increased. We have never seen a time in compute previously where the power and function went up at as high an exponential as prices are coming down.</p> <p>Compounding this is technology vendors who themselves are re-platforming, moving their SaaS offerings from their own hosted data centres to the likes of the big 3, AWS, Azure or Google. We have seen major technology SaaS firms already doing this and, in my experience, both where I have worked and those I know well in the sector, this is increasingly commonplace. Cloud firms realising their core is the IP and expertise, not running the traditional cloud infrastructure itself. Add to this that we are seeing a growth of hosting firms, traditionally fighting against these public cloud giants, not getting on board, reselling their hosting and wrapping their cloud expertise around the unbeatable compute power &lt;&gt; price ratio that the goliaths can deliver.</p> <p>By 2020 we can expect cheaper prices throughout the cloud chain, the emergence of eye opening new tech at home and in the workplace and a change under the covers of how the cloud providers themselves deliver and monetarise their own offerings.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="">Ian Moyse</a>,&nbsp;<a href="">Natterbox</a></p> <p><a href="">LinkedIn</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>To read more from techUK's Cloud Week,&nbsp;<a href="">visit our landing page</a></em></p>Contact: <a href=""></a>Contact: <a href=""></a> The surprising state of analytics in the cloud Fri, 28 Sep 2018 08:29:18 +0100 CRM Sync Guest Blog: Martyn Etherington, Teradata, discusses cloud analytics research, where organisations are now and where they want to be by 2023. <p>Today, global commerce is without boundaries and geography agnostic. Time zones are no longer a barrier and language a universal one of technology, innovation and progress. Today, organisations are handling data the size of which the world has never seen before, with hundreds of terabytes and thousands of users running millions of queries per day.<br><br> How this information is stored and used has become a major focus. That&rsquo;s according to a&nbsp;<a href="">Teradata report</a>&nbsp;from Vanson Bourne, who surveyed 700 global organisations with an average revenue of nearly $10 billion about their ambitions, fears and investments in cloud analytics. It found that more than ever before, cloud analytics is playing a major role in boardrooms the world over. But the approach with regards how it should be used, is far from unanimous.</p> <p><strong>Cloud Crossroads</strong></p> <p>Cloud analytics, where data analysis is performed on a public or private cloud, is not new. In fact, 83% of businesses in the study agree that public cloud is the best place to run analytics. But, according to the report, there is a disparity between where global companies are with running analytics in the cloud, and where they want to be. Leaders are at a crossroads: they believe the cloud is the best place to run enterprise-scale analytics, but almost all agree, that the march toward cloud, is moving slower than it should.</p> <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:left; height:239px; width:500px"></p> <p><strong>Barriers of Cloud Uptake</strong></p> <p>By 2023, most organisations cited they want to run all their analytics in the cloud and an overwhelming 91% saying that the move to public cloud should be faster, but what&rsquo;s stopping it from happening faster? It&rsquo;s a combination of factors, in an age when data is so valuable, security is the number one concern, followed by the perception of immature and low-performing available technology. As we step into GDPR, regulatory compliance, along with a lack of trust to technology integration, a lack of in-house skills, legacy system integration concerns and greater prioritisation of other applications are important barriers reported.</p> <p><strong>High Expectations</strong></p> <p>So, why are companies so concerned with reaching a point of public cloud analytics so quickly? Much like the barriers, there is more than one answer. The top perceived benefits being faster deployment, the need to deliver more quickly and security. Across the board, businesses expect the move to cloud analytics to deliver improvements in, performance, insights into data, access by users, and cheaper maintenance.</p> <p><strong>Detail Is in the Data</strong></p> <p>Given the boom in business intelligence in recent years, it&rsquo;s not hard to see why companies see their future of analytics in the cloud. The report found businesses using BI, data discovery and data mining are moving quickly into advanced analytics. What is apparent is that cloud analytics is where business are moving, and developments in the coming months and years will quickly inform if an organisation will be able to run all their analytics from the cloud by 2023.</p> <p>Yet, technology has a track record of shattering barriers and recalibrating expectations while there are innovative, bold companies consistently challenging the status quo. Given the desire to embrace cloud analytics, we might all get there sooner than we think.<br> &nbsp;<br> Teradata provides the fastest path to secure, scalable analytics in the cloud, and are ready to help customers move on their own timeline. To find out more, read the full report &ldquo;<a href="">The State of Analytics in the Cloud</a>&rdquo; and visit:&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank"></a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="">@Terdata</a></p> <p><a href="">LinkedIn</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>To read more from techUK's Cloud Week,&nbsp;<a href="">visit our landing page</a></em></p> <p><a href="">Original blog for Terdata</a></p>Contact: <a href=""></a>Contact: <a href=""></a> Cloud 2020 and beyond: The dawn of the cloudless era Fri, 28 Sep 2018 08:21:57 +0100 CRM Sync Guest Blog: Simon Abrahams, Cloud Analyst at PAC, shares his personal view of the future of cloud, and how all parts of the market will be impacted. <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:left; height:200px; width:300px">We all know that Cloud is driving one of the biggest transformations in IT in a generation.&nbsp;&nbsp; Now over a decade old, many organisations have broken through the FUD barrier to accept cloud as at least somewhat mature. Larger and younger organizations are more bullish - most of the largest enterprises are using multiple cloud services and systems in production, while many younger organizations use nothing but cloud.</p> <p><strong>Provider landscape &ndash; familiar faces getting hungrier</strong></p> <p>In the few short years to 2020, the public cloud landscape will remain largely dominated by today&rsquo;s global players. At the same time competition will be increasingly evenly-matched, as years of investment nibble away at first mover advantage. The main shake-up will be new cloud providers from China, bringing their mature domestic services to fresh Western markets. By 2020 onward there will be a wider range of credible services in the market from a broader bench of providers. This will help vendors avoid complacency and keep offerings competitive for cloud consumers.</p> <p><strong>Market adoption &ndash; rate of change and security take the front seat</strong></p> <p>Cloud adoption will increasingly penetrate segments of the market that have previously resisted. Whereas cheap on-demand resources kicked off demand for cloud, in 2020 demand will be increasingly driven by the pace of systems change. When your competitors are able to make tactical pivots, and they are not held back by their core systems, you learn the hard way that it&rsquo;s time to find a more flexible (cloudy) solution. Other cloud laggards will in future adopt cloud to address security and compliance concerns &ndash; which is ironic as today security is the main reason for not using cloud.</p> <p><strong>Technology evolution &ndash; cloud gets simpler</strong></p> <p>Initial cloud services were designed to be familiar to IT teams, so provided cloud equivalents to existing IT components.&nbsp; As cloud penetrates further into the market, demand is growing for simpler services that are easier to use. By 2020 so-called &ldquo;serverless&rdquo; cloud services will be starting to gain broad adoption, helping drive the complexity out of cloud.</p> <p><strong>Cloud goes AWOL</strong></p> <p>The final surprise in the evolution of cloud will be its crowd-pleasing vanishing act.&nbsp; This will not happen by 2020, although the signs will already be there: just as electronic diaries and phone-books disappeared into smartphones, cloud will in due course be absorbed into regular IT. The end of cloud discussions will signal that (finally) cloud has become truly mainstream. &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>What can you do to prepare?</strong></p> <p>Cloud is going to be a key element of IT for the foreseeable future. While the major players are already entrenched, it is never too late to start building your cloud plan, whether as an IT service consumer, as an overlay IT service provider, or as a supplier to the ecosystem. The only wrong course of action is to ignore it!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="">@simonabrahams</a></p> <p><a href="">LinkedIn</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>To read more from techUK's Cloud Week,&nbsp;<a href="">visit our landing page</a></em></p>Contact: <a href=""></a>Contact: <a href=""></a> The digital revolution has arrived, and we must embrace it Thu, 27 Sep 2018 14:11:00 +0100 CRM Sync Melissa Di Donato, Chief Operating Officer and Global Head of ERP Cloud Solutions at SAP Cloud ERP, discusses what digital transformation involves. <p>Digital transformation: it&rsquo;s a phrase that businesses have been throwing around for years. It feels like we&rsquo;re constantly reminded about the benefits of digitally transforming, but these words are failing to transform themselves into action. The reality is that, despite knowing what needs to be done, organisations across industries are failing to adopt the technology needed to take their business to the next level. This needs to change.</p> <p>Organisations that make the move to adopt cloud computing technology can benefit from a number of distinct advantages that help sharpen their competitive edge.&nbsp;One of the top advantages of the cloud is the ability to accelerate innovation cycles to take advantage of the latest technology available such as AI and IoT.&nbsp;</p> <p>According to <a href="">IDC</a>, by 2019, 40% of digital transformation initiatives will use AI services. With this date fast approaching, AI is already offering businesses the ability to automate repetitive tasks, providing employees with time for higher-level, results-driven thinking.</p> <p>This technology has the ability to automate administrative processes, and truly transform customer experience.</p> <p><strong>Removing the stress of decision-making with automation and say goodbye to mundane work</strong></p> <p>According to a <a href="">recent SAP Cloud ERP study of 2,500 C-level executives</a>, 94% of respondents feel that the deployment of technologies such as AI and machine learning will play a critical role in their organisation&rsquo;s survival over the next five years. Business leaders are becoming more conscious of the role digital disruptors and macro-economic factors are going to play in turning their industries upside down over the coming years.</p> <p>As this technology burgeons, many industries are also now coming to terms with the fact that AI can action tasks that were once regarded as deeply human. AI is now changing job roles across multiple industries, whether that be retail, manufacturing or energy.</p> <p>By implementing intelligent technologies capable of combining behaviours with historical data, a business can amplify their processes and reduce manual efforts, human mistakes and those repetitive tasks.</p> <p><strong>Why business leaders must embrace this change </strong></p> <p>According to the findings in SAP Cloud ERP&rsquo;s AI survey, almost one in five business leaders believe the deployment of intelligent technologies are the biggest threat to their business. It&rsquo;s understandable that some employees may become uncomfortable as machines work their way up the white-collar food chain. &nbsp;When employees are lacking in confidence and are concerned about their future, it is important that business leaders demonstrate humility and adaptability. 71% of the survey&rsquo;s sample believe that a leader&rsquo;s ability to adapt to opportunities and threats is essential to an organisations success. This includes their ability to identify and respond to new insights, whilst ensuring employee satisfaction remains positive.</p> <p>Leadership is evolving; AI is here to help tomorrow&rsquo;s business leaders flourish and the cloud can help them get there faster. Those who fail to adapt risk stagnating the business, and with that, risk being left behind.</p> <p><strong>The question is &ldquo;when&rdquo; not &ldquo;if&rdquo; </strong></p> <p>Humans are the product of evolution. This has been fundamental to our survival for thousands of years and is just as important to our future success. But these changes are for the better and will promote far more rewarding careers. This presents businesses and employees alike with the choice: embrace the opportunities cloud technology can bring them, or remain at the desk trying to connect the reasons why they chose to be left behind.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="">@mdidonato1</a></p> <p><a href="">LinkedIn</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>To read more from techUK's Cloud Week,&nbsp;<a href="">visit our landing page</a></em></p>Contact: <a href=""></a>Contact: <a href=""></a> The importance of IT within the public sector Thu, 27 Sep 2018 10:58:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest Blog and Video: Dr. Bernard Parsons, CEO of Becrypt, talks about the pressure to transform its services to deliver more effectively and how IT will help do this. <p>The public sector has never been under greater pressure to transform its services, to deliver more and better services, more cost effectively, and IT has to be at the very heart of that.&nbsp;There are of course multiple drivers at play. The pace of innovation within the private sector continues to accelerate, creating both the opportunity and the responsibility for public sector organisations to assess how they can leverage where evolving technology is used effectively within the private sector, to continuously explore how this translates to transforming existing public sector services and driving value and efficiencies. This is relevant to mature technologies, such as cloud and mobile, that whilst in many sectors are clearly well established, within the much of the public sector a lot more can be done in terms of deriving value form the maturity of today&rsquo;s cloud platforms.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>A significant driver remains the evolving expectations of citizens that are continuously exposed to increasingly pervasive and increasingly sophisticated technologies that influences how one expects to communicate, to collaborate, and to transact with everyday technology.&nbsp;This continues to set the expectations for what is expected in terms of the public services that we consume.&nbsp; Additionally, a responsibility rests with government to continue to invest in emerging technologies, identifying opportunities with areas such as Artificial Intelligence and the internet of things, collaborating with industry and academia to explore where the sector has unique challenges and where innovation can allow emerging technologies to be incorporated effectively to meet government&rsquo;s industrial strategy, and the diverse needs served across the public sector.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="">@Becrypt</a></p> <p><a href="">LinkedIn</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>To read more from techUK's Cloud Week,&nbsp;<a href="">visit our landing page</a></em></p>Contact: <a href=""></a>Contact: <a href=""></a> Digital transformation: privacy and security in the cloud Thu, 27 Sep 2018 08:53:34 +0100 CRM Sync Guest Blog: Joanna de Fonseka, Senior Associate at global law firm Baker McKenzie, explains the top five privacy issues to consider when placing personal data in the cloud. <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:left; height:215px; width:215px">Digital transformation is one of the big tech buzzwords of 2018.&nbsp; It has many facets, but one stands out as a key trend across industries: the rise of the cloud.&nbsp; IT professionals are increasingly privacy-conscious, particularly following the introduction of the GDPR earlier this year, but the cloud presents unique and complex privacy issues and it can be difficult to know where to start. &nbsp;</p> <p>It's worth remembering that the GDPR applies only to "personal data", meaning information from which it would be possible to identify a living individual (such as name, email address, IP address, or device information).&nbsp; However, certain considerations (for example, security) remain relevant even where the data concerned is not personal data.&nbsp;</p> <p>Here are my top five privacy issues to consider when moving to a cloud-based model.</p> <p><strong>1. Do you have the right terms in place with the cloud provider?</strong></p> <p>Customers engaging cloud providers will normally be "data controllers" of any personal data that they share with the provider (meaning they decide how and why that data is processed).&nbsp; The provider is considered a "data processor" acting on the customer's behalf.&nbsp;&nbsp; To comply with their GDPR obligations, both parties must ensure that the cloud contract includes certain provisions mandated for agreements between controllers and processors.&nbsp; Many cloud service providers will address these in their standard terms, but customers should always ensure that the correct terms have been included and consider whether to negotiate on certain points (e.g. breach notification time frames).</p> <p>Liability for privacy or security breaches is another important issue.&nbsp; The parties should consider whether liability should be capped or uncapped and whether indemnities are appropriate (and if a cap is agreed, what the amount of the cap should be).</p> <p><strong>2. Will personal data be transferred outside the EEA?</strong></p> <p>The GDPR restricts the transfer of data outside the EEA.&nbsp; "Transfer" in this context includes cases where data is stored in or accessed from locations outside the EEA - for example, a cloud storage solution where data is hosted on servers in the USA or India would be caught by this definition.&nbsp; If data is transferred outside the EEA, additional documentation may be needed to ensure that the transfer is lawful.</p> <p><strong>3. Do you have the right security measures? </strong></p> <p>The GDPR requires personal data to be kept secure and requires organisations to use certain security measures, such as encryption and pseudonymisation, where appropriate.&nbsp; Customers must also ensure that any third parties processing data on their behalf can provide sufficient guarantees for the security of that data.&nbsp; Customers should therefore satisfy themselves that the security measures used by the cloud provider are appropriate, taking into account the volume and sensitivity of the data.&nbsp; If there would be a high risk to individuals if the data were compromised (for example, if that data includes health records or credit card information), &nbsp;this will generally warrant a higher level of security.&nbsp;</p> <p>Of course, security considerations also apply to data stored in the cloud more broadly even where the data is not personal data - customers will often, for example, want to encrypt information before placing it in the cloud.&nbsp;</p> <p>Note, it will be the role of the company's security professionals, rather than lawyers or business stakeholders, to evaluate the adequacy of security for personal data.</p> <p><strong>4. How will you deal with data breaches?</strong></p> <p>Despite an organisation's best attempts to keep information secure, data breaches still happen. &nbsp;Under the GDPR, a data controller (here, the customer) is normally required to report a data breach to regulators within 72 hours (elapsed hours, not business hours) of becoming aware of it (unless the breach is unlikely to result in a risk to individuals).&nbsp; This reporting obligation still applies where the customer's data is compromised due to a breach in a cloud provider's environment.&nbsp; Customers will therefore want to ensure that the cloud contract includes appropriate reporting obligations to ensure the 72-hour deadline can be met.&nbsp; Both parties should also have an effective breach response procedure in place to ensure any incidents identified are dealt with quickly.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>5. How will individuals exercise their rights?</strong></p> <p>The individual (or "data subject") sits at the heart of modern privacy law.&nbsp; Data subjects have a strong set of rights, including rights to access their data, have it deleted, corrected, or in certain circumstances ported to another IT environment (known as "data portability").&nbsp; Organisations moving data into the cloud should therefore ensure appropriate mechanisms exist for dealing with the data subjects' rights.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="">@bakermckenzie</a></p> <p><a href="">LinkedIn</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>To read more from techUK's Cloud Week,&nbsp;<a href="">visit our landing page</a></em></p>Contact: <a href=""></a>Contact: <a href=""></a> Springboard to the cloud: considerations for the public sector Thu, 27 Sep 2018 08:48:30 +0100 CRM Sync Guest Blog: Andrew Mellish, Six Degrees, explains how making the right choice of IT partner can help your organisation springboard to the cloud. <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:left; height:300px; width:300px">With many public sector contracts due to expire over the next three years, organisations are understandably assessing options around what to do with IT. More and more public sector organisations want to take back control of their IT and harness the flexibility of cloud services. However, many recognise that they aren&rsquo;t ready to move everything to the cloud just yet. They need an interim solution that lets them bridge the gap between their current outsourcing contract and true public cloud service delivery: a springboard to the cloud.</p> <p><strong>Choices and Challenges</strong></p> <p>So, what options do public sector organisations have when they&rsquo;re coming to the end of their outsourced contract? There are several, but they all present their own challenges and bring their own problems:</p> <ul><li>They could decide to <strong>stick with the existing outsourced provider</strong> and renew the contract because they don&rsquo;t have the time pick apart their IT services and find new strategies for each area. But that would merely entrench the inefficiencies that blighted the previous contract.</li> <li>Alternatively, they might choose to take the contract, shift it to a new provider, <strong>and re-tender for another ten year contract</strong> because it seems like the easiest and least risky option. But it&rsquo;s still a leap in the dark, and people are naturally cautious about changing providers. And of course, it leaves them locked into another supplier for a long period of time.</li> <li>Another option would be to <strong>move everything to the public cloud</strong>, and deploy all services to Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure. But most applications would need to be rewritten to be cloud-ready, as they would typically have been hosted on infrastructure that was more than five years old and out of warranty.</li> <li>They might decide to <strong>move all services back in-house</strong>, but finding the staff to manage 10-year-old applications and legacy infrastructure (and the budget for those purchases) could be a struggle.</li> <li>Or they can choose to work with specialist technology partners, such as Six Degrees, who provide a <strong>springboard to the cloud</strong> through managed services.</li> </ul><p><strong>Change Isn&rsquo;t Easy</strong></p> <p>Breaking away from an existing provider can be a daunting prospect &ndash; the enterprise IT technology landscape has changed radically over the past 10 years, and the skills needed in-house, from Amazon Web Services certified engineers to cloud architects, are not yet readily available. With the government&rsquo;s recent budget announcements on tightening up IR35 regulations causing many public sector IT contractors to leave for jobs in the private sector, the skills shortage is likely to become a major factor limiting the ability of organisations to transform their IT in-house.</p> <p>The risks of getting it wrong are well-known: there have been plenty of headlines accusing public sector bodies of wasting hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers&rsquo; money on the wrong IT choice. But it&rsquo;s a complex job to migrate services affecting thousands of people to a new provider, and organisations can be guilty of making panicked decisions at the end of their contract, such as signing up to expensive contract extensions because they don&rsquo;t have a suitable alternative solution in place.</p> <p><strong>The Right IT Partner</strong></p> <p>When it is time to consider the next step in your digital transformation journey, ask yourself the following to pick the right IT partner and contract option for your organisation &ndash; don&rsquo;t make a snap decision:</p> <ol><li>Does your IT partner share your organisation&rsquo;s vision and digital transformation journey?</li> <li>Does your IT partner have the ability to enable the migration of your services to a more agile platform so in the future you can capitalise on more automation capabilities?</li> <li>Does your IT partner have the rigour to safeguard your sensitive data?</li> <li>Does your IT partner offer cost effective solutions?</li> <li>Can your IT partner scale up or down your needs based on demand?</li> <li>Can your IT partner identify inefficiencies in your current environment to make your usage more effective?</li> <li>Does your IT partner offer you an agile way to work and deploy all your applications?</li> </ol><p>Springboarding your organisation to the cloud is the most time and cost effective next step for public sector organisations on their digital transformation journey. For further information, or to take the next step in your digital transformation journey, visit <a href=""></a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="">@6degreesgroup&#8203;</a></p> <p><a href="">LinkedIn</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>To read more from techUK's Cloud Week,&nbsp;<a href="">visit our landing page</a></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p>Contact: <a href=""></a>Contact: <a href=""></a> Don’t ignore your tech stack Thu, 27 Sep 2018 08:32:55 +0100 CRM Sync Guest Blog: Dave Briggs, a Digital Transformation Consultant at Advice Cloud, reminds businesses not to ignore their tech stack. <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:left; height:300px; width:300px">A point that is regularly made in discussions about digital transformation is that it's about more than technology. Sometimes this is taken further, and claims are made that it isn't about technology <em>at all</em>.</p> <p>That's taking things a bit far, but it's certainly true that, without significant attention being given to underlying operating models and redesigning services and processes to better meet user needs, merely deploying new technology components won't get you very far. Likewise, a shift in mindset, that encourages innovation and rapid responses to changing circumstances are vital in making transformation a reality.</p> <p>This is not to say that technology isn't important, however. It's vital,&nbsp; and must be considered in alignment with work on all the other elements of change. Too many projects don't engage with technology until it's too late - the computers end up saying 'no' and everyone points the finger of blame at the techies.</p> <p><strong>How does the cloud help with this? </strong></p> <p>A key role for IT and digital teams to play is to build the foundations for digital business transformation. These foundations should be made up of flexible, reusable components that are easy to deploy and maintain, interoperate with one another and can be accessed via any device, anywhere. Now, it might be possible to do that using on-premise technology, but it's likely to drive you mad. Better to build for the new world right away, using the cloud.</p> <p>There might be some bits of your current stack that can&rsquo;t be moved into cloud native components, however. These legacy systems often perform vital functions that, for whatever reason, the market hasn&rsquo;t yet delivered a suitable modern replacement for. This doesn&rsquo;t mean you leave them exactly as they are though - you can replatform these technologies into the cloud through infrastructure as a service, or shift specific workloads into dedicated platform as a service components. In the meantime, use of cloud native integration products can enable your new technology and your old to interoperate.</p> <p>For example, Adur &amp; Worthing, Horsham and Mid Sussex councils worked together to implement an infrastructure as a service project, moving legacy applications and data to public cloud providers Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. This is running alongside wider work exploiting software as a service and in-house development using cloud components.</p> <p><strong>Cloud and transformation go together</strong></p> <p>The real advantage to having these foundations in place early is that is can put your organisation in the space whereby digital transformation isn't about IT - because the IT is, in effect, sorted. This suddenly shifts the conversation, because all the focus can be on re-designing operating models and processes to meet user needs. No worrying voice in the back of everyone's heads as to whether the IT will be able to cope with what is being proposed - if those foundations are done correctly, they should easily cope.</p> <p>It appears that in many areas of UK government, this message is being heard, with increases in year on year spend being seen at government departments and local councils, as well as the NHS. Often this is happening in the parts of those organisations responsible for making change happen - demonstrating another example of why cloud and transformation go together.</p> <p>For example, <a href="">NHS Digital spent &pound;1.88m from April to December 2017</a>, more than 2016-17&rsquo;s &pound;1.34m for the whole year. An increase can also be seen at the Department for Work and Pensions, responsible for a huge programme of change, where &pound;14.87m was spent in 2015-16, &pound;45.72m in 2016-17 and &pound;34.75m in the first three quarters of 2017-18.</p> <p>So, to summarise, business transformation has to be enabled by flexible, integrated technology. Ignoring your tech stack will not yield the results that organisations need from their change initiatives. The cloud can be a massive driver in enabling this, and transition to cloud-native computing should be prioritised alongside the necessary shifts in culture, skills and approaches that modern, digital age businesses need.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="">@davebriggs</a>, <a href="">@AdviceCloud</a></p> <p><a href="">LinkedIn</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>To read more from techUK's Cloud Week,&nbsp;<a href="">visit our landing page</a></em></p>Contact: <a href=""></a>Contact: <a href=""></a> How cloud computing can help to save the planet Thu, 27 Sep 2018 08:19:39 +0100 CRM Sync Guest Blog: Craig Melson, techUK, explores the environmental and energy saving benefits of cloud adoption. <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:left; height:300px; width:300px">A big theme for this week is efficiency &ndash; how cloud adoption can save organisations money, improve processes and be more agile. However, the point of this blog is to discuss the sometimes-overlooked benefit of cloud adoption which is that it can be better for the planet.</p> <p>Properly planned and project managed, moving into the cloud means business processes have the potential to become more streamlined and efficient. Cloud migration can be challenging,&nbsp;but with quality control and an understanding of what the limitations are, cloud can be transformational.</p> <p>Increased productivity&nbsp;is likely be a major driver for introducing cloud (i.e. reduced costs, energy savings and increased flexibility), but the potential sustainability benefit should feature too in decision making. This isn&rsquo;t some nice-to-have either - there is real evidence that customers care.</p> <p>One member has seen a 20% rise in sustainability requirements in tenders and sustainable procurement has grown hugely as a concept in recent years. Furthermore employees and shareholders are becoming more mindful of the environmental impact of their employers and investments. More companies are being asked to disclose their greenhouse gas and environmental impacts. Going into the cloud could be a relatively &lsquo;quick win&rsquo; for cutting down emissions related to operations and there are numerous ways cloud operations can enable this:</p> <ul><li><strong>Consolidation - </strong>Having thousands of business server rooms with their own power requirements consolidated into one dedicated data centre means there are serious efficiencies on offer as computing at scale uses energy and resources more efficiently.</li> <li><strong>Renewable energy - </strong>The cost per kWh of renewable energy is falling and as data centres are large buyers of energy they have better negotiation leverage so can access renewable sources much more economically.</li> <li><strong>Energy efficient IT - </strong>Software running via browsers in the cloud uses less internal processing power for laptops which means the battery lasts longer. Also new servers are always more efficient than old ones and data centres will invest in these new machines quicker than individual companies.</li> <li><strong>Flexible working</strong> - Being able to access your work from anywhere means there is less need for travel and enables more home-working. This reduces business travel and improves employee well-being.</li> </ul><p>So how much carbon can be saved from cloud adoption?</p> <p>In a <a href="">recent report the All Parliamentary Group on Climate Change</a> says that ICT can reduce emissions by 15.3%. Capgemini have estimated that at an individual system level, the carbon saving from moving to the cloud can be as high as 50-70%. Other studies have given smaller estimates. Microsoft have studies showing one customer emitted 93% less carbon from moving to their Azure platform and another saving 70%.</p> <p>However compelling case studies demonstrate cloud adoption should be considered as part of every company&rsquo;s low-carbon business strategy.</p> <p>To see how cloud adoption can save you emissions, check out the Global e-Sustainability Initiative Cloud Impact Tool <a href=";cc=br&amp;cs=small&amp;tt=all">here</a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>techUK is running a week focusing on low-carbon and sustainability issues on 15-20 October. For full information or to submit a guest blog, please click <a href="">here</a>.</em></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="">@techUK</a>,&nbsp;<a href="">@craigmelson</a></p> <p><a href="">LinkedIn</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>To read more from techUK's Cloud Week,&nbsp;<a href="">visit our landing page</a></em></p>Contact: <a href=""></a>Contact: <a href=""></a> Digitisation, business transformation and the cloud Thu, 27 Sep 2018 08:15:09 +0100 CRM Sync Guest Blog: Leighton James, CTO at UKCloud talks about ‘digital transformation’ and what it means for business of government. <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:left; height:300px; width:300px">It&rsquo;s not uncommon to hear the word transformation, well, everywhere.&nbsp; More relevantly, digital transformation is at the heart of everything, it seems, but at its core is a &lsquo;channel-shift&rsquo; enabling customers, partners and even staff to engage and collaborate in powerful new ways. The cloud, artificial intelligence and Internet of Things are driving business connections in a way never thought possible before.</p> <p>As businesses have continued to digitise their operations and embrace such trends and the proliferation of mobile devices and voice control assistants, the tech industry has invested in the rapid innovation this will bring.&nbsp; Organisations (whether private sector businesses or public sector agencies) are seeking to connect and integrate traditional technology product providers, disparate service providers and modern public clouds to function as one holistic platform for their business operations.</p> <p>IT industry leaders around the world suggest that only 10 per cent consider their organisations digitally transformed and almost 25 per cent are still in the very early stages of the journey. Organisations are having to modernise to survive and need to truly embrace new technologies. The early successes of digital transformation will mean that 2019 will be a year of accelerating digital transformation, with organisations beginning to understand the innovative ways they could look to revolutionise their operations and services by embracing this essential technology shift.&nbsp; A recent survey by Gartner reveals that 56 per cent of decision-makers link digital improvements and a digital-first attitude to an increase in profits &ndash; not to mention the enhanced business agility, reduced operational risk and improved customer satisfaction.</p> <p>For most organisations, the question previously was &lsquo;cloud or no cloud&rsquo; but the benefits realised by &lsquo;Cloud First&rsquo; has changed this. Then there was the argument between private, hybrid and public solutions. Private cloud has mostly offered poor returns, while multi-cloud has succeeded hybrid cloud as it has become obvious that there can be no one-cloud-fits-all solution and most organisations are consuming multiple clouds in order to use the best cloud for every requirement.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;Multi-cloud enables modern applications to harness dynamic cloud native technologies such as Azure and Kubernetes, while also accelerating the modernisation of traditional applications that are typically built for VMware and Oracle environments so that they come together on the same platform. The diversity of multiple cloud technologies enables customers to avoid lock-in, harness their existing capabilities and enable greater agility to deal with uncertainty &ndash; all of which remove the blockers to digital transformation.</p> <p>The majority of workloads that can be moved to the cloud are gradually being migrated there, starting with the &lsquo;low-hanging fruit&rsquo; from which savings can then be reinvested.&nbsp; The private sector has seen a quarter of all workloads already move to the cloud, however the ratio is lower in central government (10%) and lower still elsewhere &ndash; such as local government or the NHS. &nbsp;&nbsp;In the UK, the public sector is rapidly adopting cloud-based services, in an effort to pass on eventual efficiencies and savings to the tax payer, yet the migration challenges and a lack of either capability, capacity or both in the sector mean that the majority of organisations have yet to move beyond the &lsquo;low-hanging fruit&rsquo;.</p> <p>In the private sector, transformation has been driven by innovators introducing radical new business models &ndash; such as AirBNB and Netflix. The greatest advances have been made by enterprises taking innovative new business approaches and supporting these with flexible technologies such as containers and cloud-native applications (rather than legacy applications that have simply been shifted to the cloud).</p> <p>In the public sector, there are examples of similar innovations such as <a href="">Genomics England</a> and the NHS GP-at-hand service, but the benefits which come from breaking down departmental siloes are yet to be realised.&nbsp; There is massive opportunity in rethinking the way that public services are delivered and introduce joined up government (including <a href="">Defence and National Security</a> services) in the same way that the digital revolution is transforming industries elsewhere.&nbsp; Hence, at the heart of&nbsp;<a href="">making transformation happen</a>&nbsp;is a passion and focus for delivering better value through the power of modern IT for benefit of UK taxpayers.</p> <p>The benefits of &lsquo;as-a-service&rsquo; has successfully been proven, now is the time to strive for the potential gains from digital transformation that are obvious to all. Certainly, in the UK public sector, we are seeing the perfect storm. Public sector organisations need to do more for less while adapting to political and economic uncertainty. New technologies are increasingly proven and are maturing to support more complex use-cases. And the consumers of public services; citizens, businesses, patients, and so on, all have ever increasing demands and expectations. &ldquo;Digital transformation&rdquo;, whatever it means to your organisation, is the way forward as seen from any perspective.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="">@ukcloudltd</a></p> <p><a href="">LinkedIn</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>To read more from techUK's Cloud Week,&nbsp;<a href="">visit our landing page</a></em></p>Contact: <a href=""></a>Contact: <a href=""></a> Cloud security and the public sector Wed, 26 Sep 2018 10:22:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest Blog and Video: Bernard Parsons, CEO of Becrypt, explores the impact of the maturity of cloud technology on public sector organisation. <p>The maturity of cloud technology today has had a significant impact on the ability of public sector organisation to transform their IT infrastructures.&nbsp; From a security perspective, the large cloud platform providers have both the ability and need to invest significant resource into security controls, security technology and security governance.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe> <p>The need is in part due to the extent of the liabilities that they as organisations would face if there was a significant data breach of their platforms, and the resulting negative impact in confidence in the cloud model. Consequently, this level of expertise and technology now exists in a form that is available for their customers, including the public sector, and for more than 80% of public sector systems these platforms are secure enough, as recognised by authorities including NCSC.&nbsp; This creates the opportunity for public sector organisations to adopt commodity services and platforms that are the same as those adopted by much of the private sector, enabling the benefits of cloud, such as agility, the advantages of software as a service or infrastructure as a service models, and the flexibility to scale up and scale down as organisations require.&nbsp; These benefits, alongside the security that the cloud platform technology providers are able to deliver to the public sector, provides a very different environment across much of government to that that existed four or five years ago.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="">@Becrypt</a></p> <p><a href="">LinkedIn</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>To read more from techUK's Cloud Week,&nbsp;<a href="">visit our landing page</a></em></p>Contact: <a href=""></a>Contact: <a href=""></a> Multi cloud and security insights - tackling the complexities Wed, 26 Sep 2018 08:54:13 +0100 CRM Sync Guest Blog: Danny O’Neill, Rackspace, explores how to tackle complexities when delivering the cloud securely in today’s evolving digital landscape. <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:left; height:300px; width:300px">For many businesses,&nbsp;it&rsquo;s no longer a question of whether to adopt the cloud, but rather how to deliver cloud solutions securely. Many organisations recognise the need to make security central to their strategic business goals, but how?</p> <p>In this blog, I&rsquo;ll unravel the security implications of multi cloud and share practical insights on tackling the complexities, such as achieving organisational alignment and understanding security across multiple clouds.</p> <p><strong>Forget &lsquo;lift and shift&rsquo;</strong></p> <p>The consensus is that traditional non-cloud security approaches won&rsquo;t necessarily protect organisations using the cloud. &nbsp;And if you do end up &lsquo;lifting and shifting&rsquo; procedures once workflows move to the cloud, expect gaps in coverage and an ability to operate securely. Such procedures struggle to deal with the agility and speed that cloud offers. Security must adapt and become equally flexible to shed the perception of being &lsquo;a necessary evil,&rsquo; or &lsquo;something we must do&rsquo;.</p> <p>Many see security as enabling business, not stopping progress. By taking away the risk to data and workflows moving across multiple cloud services, innovation is possible without taking chances on governance. This protects reputations and supports revenues in the long term.</p> <p><strong>Avoid business strategy and security strategy mismatches</strong></p> <p>An extension of the restrictive &lsquo;lift and shift/we&rsquo;ve always done it this way&rsquo; mentality some professionals are challenging, is the &lsquo;retrofit&rsquo; mindset. This is where security must be engineered into business strategy.</p> <p>Security is enhanced and solutions more coherent when the CISO is plugged into the highest level of business strategy, from the onset. Some of the work here will be about analysing proposed strategies against the current security gaps, then developing bespoke solutions concurrently to support the business strategy.</p> <p>When CISOs secure a seat at the strategy table, they need to be prepared to be more &lsquo;business-orientated&rsquo; and take security &lsquo;out of the corner.&rsquo; For some, that means giving more thought to how they&rsquo;re going to reposition security as enabler, not a blocker.</p> <p><strong>Security, not compliance, first</strong></p> <p>Leading with security makes you more compliant. Leading with compliance does not make you more secure.</p> <p>We&rsquo;d argue that businesses wed to &lsquo;compliance-first&rsquo; postures could be more vulnerable to attack. Conversely, shooting for a gold standard in data security as your top priority will have the natural consequence of generating compliance as a by-product.</p> <p><strong>Secure the supply chain</strong></p> <p>Working with multiple cloud vendors and related third parties can complicate the picture on governance. It&rsquo;s important to understand the shared responsibilities around keeping your data safe, as it flows across various services.</p> <p>A gap analysis is valuable, as is an appreciation that securing the supply chain is about far more than switching on the native security features of cloud platforms. While these are often compelling, businesses need oversight of where those shared responsibilities begin and end along the supply chain.</p> <p><strong>Create a &lsquo;single pane of glass&rsquo; on security</strong></p> <p>This &lsquo;single pane of glass&rsquo; was discussed by our dinner guests, many of whom saw the value of working in partnership with specialist security professionals. This can mitigate security fears whilst enabling higher standards of compliance and greater innovation. It may also provide a clearer view of the supply chain.</p> <p><strong>Learn from others</strong></p> <p>Look at your competitors&rsquo; cloud enablements &ndash; see what you can find on what went well and not so well. These lessons are likely to include avoiding vendor lock-in - this is simply no longer necessary in the multi cloud world. There may be those who go along with 3-5-year contracts because, &lsquo;We&rsquo;ve always done it that way,&rsquo; or prefer a single platform solution to avoid complexity. However, this complexity can be mitigated using a specialist hosting partner. In addition, multi cloud can prove to be more secure, providing data is spread across multiple environments.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="">@rackspaceUK</a></p> <p><a href="">LinkedIn</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>To read more from techUK's Cloud Week,&nbsp;<a href="">visit our landing page</a></em></p>Contact: <a href=""></a>Contact: <a href=""></a> Protect yourself against the top 3 cyber threats of 2018 Wed, 26 Sep 2018 08:16:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest Blog: Sarah Tierney, Digital Storyteller at Microsoft, explains how customers should protect themselves against the most common cyber threats of the year. <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:left; height:200px; width:300px">As we all become increasingly connected and our customer&rsquo;s personal data is stored in the cloud or on other systems, the way this information is stored becomes more and more important. Not only does having secure and compliant systems mean it&rsquo;s easy to ensure the data stays safe, but it also keeps you in line with GDPR.</p> <p>Perhaps most importantly, a cyber breach is a huge reputational risk and ruins the customer experience &ndash; not only has their data been stolen, but they&rsquo;re affected by any downtime that occurs. It&rsquo;s important to make sure organisations and their employees are aware of the latest threats and how best to protect against them. Here are three cyber threats you should be aware of:</p> <p><strong>1. Botnets</strong></p> <p>A bot is a program that allows an attacker to take control of an infected computer. A botnet is a network of these computers that communicate with a server.</p> <p>These botnets are harnessed by cyber criminals for a variety of online attacks such as to send spam, denial-of-service attacks on websites, to spread malware, and much more.</p> <p>In 2017 Microsoft&rsquo;s Digital Crimes Unit tackled Gamarue, a leading botnet that has infected more than 23 million IP addresses.</p> <p>Microsoft analysed over 44,000 malware samples that revealed Gamarue&rsquo;s sprawling infrastructure, which has included threats such as Petya ransomware, DDoS attack bots, info-stealing malware, and spam bots. Since the Gamarue disruption, there has been a 30% decrease in victims worldwide.</p> <p>In order to protect your organisation against botnets, look for a solution that harnesses advanced machine learning. Windows Defender ATP&nbsp;uses the power of the cloud, machine learning and behaviour analytics to detect, protect and respond.</p> <p><strong>2. Easy mark attack methods</strong></p> <p>As we incorporate stronger security measures on our systems, hackers are finding it harder to get into these systems. As such, hackers are now focussing more on the &lsquo;low hanging fruit&rsquo; such as social engineering or poorly secured cloud apps.</p> <p>Humans are often the weakest link in cyber security. All it takes is one person in your organisation clicking a malicious link or opening a phishing email and your data could be compromised. Phishing was the top threat vector for Office 365-based threats during the second half of 2017. From November 2017 &ndash; January 2018 there were approximately 180,000,000&ndash;200,000,000 detected by Microsoft. These often impersonate popular brands such as Microsoft, Amazon, FedEx, banks and government services.</p> <p>The best defence against phishing is employee education and training. An employee that spots and reports a suspicious email could head off an extensive phishing campaign before it does damage. Cloud app adoption is rising to support business productivity, but a lack of security infrastructure could be compromising data. Our research says that 79% of SaaS storage apps and 86% of SaaS collaboration apps do not encrypt data both at rest and in transit.</p> <p>For visibility and control over all cloud apps usage across the enterprise, use a cloud access security broker (CASB) security solution such as&nbsp;Microsoft Cloud App Security&nbsp;and ensure you keep system software updated</p> <p><strong>3. Ransomware</strong></p> <p>The most famous ransomware attack of 2017 was WannaCrypt, which hit the NHS and other systems around the world, bringing down critical services. It affected over 230,000 computers &ndash; one of the largest attacks ever. Ransomware does, as the name suggests, infect and encrypt files (or entire disks) to prevent access until a ransom is paid &ndash; with no guarantee victims will regain access.</p> <p>Ransomware was one of the types of malware distributed by botnets such as Gamarue and is also used via some &lsquo;low hanging fruit&rsquo; channels such as phishing emails. Ensure you have destruction-resistant backups of critical systems and data so you can recover them in case of an attack. Most importantly, ensure these backups are updated and working.</p> <p>Protect yourself against ransomware by applying multi-layered security defences: An email security system that scans email attachments and quarantines/blocks suspicious attachments. Apply advanced threat protection that applies machine learning and AI technology to help detect ransomware.</p> <p>Ensure your systems are updated with the latest patches to keep protecting against new threats &ndash; WannaCrypt only infected unpatched computers. From June to November 2017, Windows 7 devices were 3.4 times more likely to encounter ransomware compared to Windows 10 devices.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s important to keep up with the ever-evolving landscape and help stay GDPR compliant. Every year the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report analyses security threats and offers advice on how to mitigate the top attack types.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="">@Microsoft</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>To read more from techUK's Cloud Week,&nbsp;<a href="">visit our landing page</a></em></p> <p><a href="">Original blog for Microsoft</a></p>Contact: <a href=""></a>Contact: <a href=""></a> The NCSC cloud security principles and secure by default Wed, 26 Sep 2018 08:05:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest Blog: Talal Rajab, Programme Manager for techUK Cyber, National Security and Criminal Justice, discusses why concerns and questions around the security of the cloud exist. <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:left; height:300px; width:300px">We&rsquo;ve heard it all before.&nbsp;</p> <p>Moving to the cloud can bring businesses untold benefits, from reduced costs to greater flexibility, yet many organisations are still reluctant to use the cloud due to security concerns. The perception that moving to the cloud offers, in many cases, more risk than an organisation is prepared to take on still persists, which can in turn lead to a decrease in cloud adoption as businesses and public sector organisations are put off from using the cloud.</p> <p>Why do these concerns and questions around the security of the cloud exist, and what can we do to help build trust in the security of the cloud?</p> <p><strong>Cloud Security Principles</strong></p> <p>The key is transparency.&nbsp; Companies can alleviate their customers&rsquo; concerns by being transparent about the security credentials of their products and services.&nbsp; To help achieve this transparency, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) published a framework around 14 Cloud Security Principles which include important considerations such as data in-transit protection, supply chain security, identity and authentication&nbsp;and secure use of the service.&nbsp;</p> <p>The aim of the principles is to enable cloud companies to showcase how solutions built on their platforms adhere to the principles. Some providers use the Principles to self-assess against, showcasing how they abide by a number of them, if not all, whilst others have used them to publish whitepapers and thought leadership reports highlighting the security credentials of their products and services.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Education</strong></p> <p>One of the main issues around the Principles, however, is that of awareness and understanding amongst customers.&nbsp; Providers can be as transparent as possible by using the Principles however, if the end-user is not aware of them or finds them opaque and difficult to understand, then their usefulness is limited.&nbsp;</p> <p>That is why education and awareness must go hand in hand with transparency. The simple fact is that the majority of cyber security breaches affecting the cloud are due to user error and misconfiguration; from poor authentication practices like weak passwords to not implementing two-factor authentication.&nbsp; More can be done by vendors to educate end-users about the security protocols behind the tools that they are using but, ultimately, we need to move to a world where the onus is not on the user.</p> <p><strong>Secure by Default</strong></p> <p>That is why the NCSC are so keen for the Principles to be used in conjunction with secure by default, enterprise ready cloud services that include configurations that are easy for people to understand.&nbsp; For example, end-users should not have to explicitly turn on audit and monitoring services when buying products. The problem, however, is that whilst vendors can provide a secure by default service, they cannot control what their customers do.&nbsp; That is why the work of the NCSC, and the Principles, are so important.</p> <p>Through adopting this secure by default posture, companies can help contribute to a future where the demand for secure &ldquo;serverless&rdquo; products increases, more organisations begin using cloud services securely and data breaches become less common.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="">@techUK</a>,&nbsp;<a href="">@TRajab</a></p> <p><a href="">LinkedIn</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>To read more from techUK's Cloud Week,&nbsp;<a href="">visit our landing page</a></em></p>Contact: <a href=""></a>Contact: <a href=""></a> Embrace cloud, embed cyber security Wed, 26 Sep 2018 08:00:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog and video: Andrew Hawkins, Zaizi, on why adopting cloud and embedding a “good enough” cyber security approach is a great starting point for organisations. <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:left; height:201px; width:300px">Cloud services are becoming ubiquitous. Big cloud providers such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google provide unrivalled scale and significant commercial benefits. These global providers are facilitating a dynamic market of new cloud software and technology that, a few years ago, sat in the realm of science fiction. And it is these platforms and services that can help your organisation to completely rethink how it does business.</p> <p>In the private sector, this creates competitive pressures. Not only from traditional rivals but also new upstarts that utilise the new tech to build their business models. In the public sector, the opportunity is there to deliver public services in a completely different way. Health service provision, for example, feels like it could be on the cusp of a digital revolution.</p> <p>All this is encouraging organisations to become digital. However, as technology advances, so to do cyber security threats. Criminals and state-sponsored threats can create embarrassment, cause financial loss and ultimately threaten the existence of businesses. So, taking advantage of cloud services requires a fresh approach to cyber security. Here are three key takeaways for organisations to consider when thinking about cyber security and cloud:</p> <p><strong>Embed cyber-security</strong></p> <p>Successful, innovative businesses and public sector bodies require a culture, governance and operational process that embraces change. Creating new digital services and adopting new technology is about continual improvement and making use of Agile and <a href="">DevOps</a> practices.</p> <p>Cyber security is no longer just steps in these processes; security needs to be embedded from the start. Progressive organisations are embracing DevSecOps and embedding security within the development and delivery teams. Why does this matter? It means that at each step of the development and release process, from initial design to ongoing improvement in live service, cyber security is ingrained. It ensures a secure system, but critically a system that can respond to new threats.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;Good Enough&rdquo; is good enough</strong></p> <p>The phrase &ldquo;good enough&rdquo; is not one that many organisations would choose to shout about. As consumers, we are told: &ldquo;Why have good enough, when you can have the BEST!&rdquo;. But for organisations looking to capitalise on the opportunity cloud represents, and to become innovative, nimble, whilst maintaining comprehensive cyber security, &ldquo;good enough&rdquo; is good enough.</p> <p>When embedded in your business, security begins with understanding the threat, the risk to your business and to your customers. Manage your understanding of threats and risks proactively. This is much more than managing a risk log; it is living and breathing cyber security as part of the business culture.</p> <p>This understanding enables cyber security to be built into services, maintains flexibility to respond to new threats and allows the services to adapt. In reality, it is the best security based upon your business needs. And that is &ldquo;good enough.&rdquo; There is plenty of guidance on this; a good place to start is the National Cyber Security Centre&rsquo;s 1<a href="">4 Cloud Security Principles</a> and the <a href="">OWASP security by design principles</a>.</p> <p><strong>Cloud is ready</strong></p> <p>Hypercloud providers take cyber security seriously. It is at the heart of what they do; it has to be. The bottom line is cloud is ready for business applications, not all, but the majority. Like the public sector, businesses should adopt a Cloud First approach. Start with your business risks, understand those, define your cyber security requirements and if cloud meets the requirements, adopt it. The prize is competitiveness, commercial savings and risk mitigation.</p> <p>In summary, adopting Cloud First and embedding a &ldquo;good enough&rdquo; cyber security approach is a great starting point to build an organisation that is prepared and enabled to adopt innovative technologies and services rapidly. There are other elements too, such as the power of open source software which can facilitate real innovation. But the power cloud services offer today represents a massive opportunity for everyone.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="">@zaizi</a>, <a href="">@andrewhawkins65</a></p> <p><a href="">LinkedIn</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>To read more from techUK's Cloud Week,&nbsp;<a href="">visit our landing page</a></em></p>Contact: <a href=""></a>Contact: <a href=""></a> Social Media Video Marketing Tips from The Business Film Booth Wed, 26 Sep 2018 07:00:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest blog from Business Film Booth <h2>Is Your Social Media A Bit Rubbish?</h2> <p><em>Top news tonight&hellip;</em></p> <p><em>Local businessman takes selfie.</em></p> <p><em>Fix it Co lets us know where they are and what they&rsquo;re doing.</em></p> <p><em>And&hellip; Motivational quote floors entire news feed.</em></p> <p><strong>Are SMEs Missing The Point Of Social Media?</strong></p> <p>It&rsquo;s tempting to think that social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are relatively new. Of course, they are relatively new in terms of years, but actually they are just the latest in a series of media channels that date back to when TV first started.</p> <p><strong>Production, cast, crew and distributors</strong></p> <p>It&rsquo;s as if we&rsquo;ve forgotten how channels work. The only new thing that has really happened in the last 10-15 years is that we&rsquo;ve all become production, cast and crew, as well as distributors on our own media channels.</p> <p>And it&rsquo;s fair to say that this has been a massive learning curve for businesses of all shapes and sizes.</p> <p>It appears the learning wasn't quite sharp enough though.</p> <p>Look at it this way, if LinkedIn was the BBC Business News it would resemble something akin to the introduction of this article &ndash; and that would hardly make for compelling television.</p> <p>As an SME you probably don&rsquo;t want to hear this &ndash; and we&rsquo;re all guilty of it &ndash; but actually it&rsquo;s great news if you&rsquo;re hoping to get cut-through.</p> <p>This is because all you need to do to stay out in front with social media is to consistently stand for something.</p> <p><strong>Reach out and make relevant content</strong></p> <p>Channels work really hard at their programming to make sure that their audience stays engaged by understanding who they are reaching out to and then making content that&rsquo;s relevant to them.</p> <p>Status updates, well-meaning as they are, are seldom going to result in a new prospect considering your brand&rsquo;s product or service &ndash; unless of course your primary role is that of a public figure&hellip;</p> <p>Like Richard Branson who can post photos from Necker Island whenever he likes. He&rsquo;s in a completely different league, especially to you&hellip;</p> <p>We&rsquo;re now way past the phase in which we get to play with the new media tech. It&rsquo;s time to start producing content that is going to drive people to watch the next programme that you put on your TV channel.</p> <p>Forget making content because you have to. Use this as a litmus test. If you saw this content pop up on your news feed: Would you engage with it? Would you share it, or would you try and tag other people in it?</p> <p>Because if not, why post it?</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s another way of looking at it. If LinkedIn were the BBC Business News it would be wall-to-wall advertising as programmes and the commercial breaks would be presenters, cast and crew sharing photos of their latest training course and giving updates on the interiors of their trailers.</p> <p><strong><em>Watch the video version <a href="">here</a></em></strong></p> <p><a href=""><img src=";image_crop_resized=960x540&amp;image_play_button=1&amp;image_play_button_color=000000e0" style="height:325px; width:600px"></a></p> <p><a href="">Is your social media a bit rubbish? - Are you Channel 5 in the late 90s?</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>What&rsquo;s The Difference Between Awful And Great Content?</h2> <p>When first coming up with content for your video your primary thoughts should be: how can you make this personal? How can you show them this works? How can you demonstrate value?</p> <p>If they see something that&rsquo;s different, personal and works for them, they will keep coming back for more.</p> <p><strong>The BIG issue:</strong></p> <p>We are in the age of the internet. With information at our fingertips, everyone has the possibility to know everything. But, does this mean everyone does know everything?</p> <p>Content, nowadays, is the same. We can get the same 5 answers to the same 5 questions from 5 different sources, so&hellip; make yours unique.</p> <p>&ldquo;But that&rsquo;s so much easier said than done!&rdquo; You may say.</p> <p>Okay, we understand that the problem is, the more content that&rsquo;s made, the harder it is to add real value.</p> <p>Your content&rsquo;s goal should be to get people to stop and think about the information you&rsquo;ve given them and then relate it to their own business, so you use this. You&rsquo;ll have an upper hand on your competitors.</p> <p><strong>Tell me more:</strong></p> <p>Well, since you asked so nicely.</p> <p>Did you know your brain is made up on millions of neurons that band together to create a singular idea.</p> <p>During a video you share these same ideas with your audience. But if they&rsquo;ve already had that thought before, they&rsquo;ll simply zone out.</p> <p>So how do you know if you&rsquo;re creating great content?</p> <p>Hang off experiences, results, stories and keep it personal and entertaining.</p> <p>Easy really&hellip;..</p> <p><strong><em>Watch the video version <a href="">here</a></em></strong></p> <p><a href=""><img src=";image_crop_resized=960x540&amp;image_play_button=1&amp;image_play_button_color=000000e0" style="height:300px; width:600px"></a></p> <p><a href="">The difference between awful and great content - A guide to greatness</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>How To Generate Leads On LinkedIn Using Video</h2> <p>So, here&rsquo;s how you can boost your personal brand, your following, engagement, connections, and a whole host of other things on LinkedIn using video.</p> <p><strong>Who&rsquo;s this for?</strong></p> <p>Well, firstly it&rsquo;s for anybody that might be getting a bit disillusioned with LinkedIn, or disappointed with the results they are getting. Maybe, you just feel fed up that you&rsquo;re not getting anything back from the platform. It might be that it feels like your posts are getting ignored and you are not getting the credit you deserve.</p> <p>This vlog is also for those people who have never had any business from LinkedIn (or very little). Last but not least, it is for anybody that wants to boost their personal profile.</p> <p><strong>Why bother with LinkedIn?</strong></p> <p>Why is posting to LinkedIn important? Well, the moment you sign up to LinkedIn is the moment you actually start your own media channel. Just like television and radio, it means you can&rsquo;t have dead air. You&rsquo;ve got to post quality content to it.</p> <p><strong>What will this do?</strong></p> <p>Posting quality content will help you to generate leads, nurture leads, and raise your profile. Potentially, this could make you look like an authority in your industry.</p> <p>&lsquo;What do I need to get started?&rsquo; We hear you say&hellip; Well, you need two things in your toolbox.</p> <p>You need:</p> <p>1) Video and</p> <p>2) You just need LinkedIn.</p> <p><strong>What video content should you post?</strong></p> <p>A fair enough question. We always advise our clients to create high quality and useful content &ndash; stuff that will resonate with their ideal client avatars.</p> <p><strong>Why video over normal LinkedIn posts?</strong></p> <p>We did a split test over a fortnight to see if there was any difference between posting content to LinkedIn with a link (driving people away from it) and posting native video. Here&rsquo;s what we found, with one normal post and one video post every day for 2 weeks&hellip;</p> <p><strong>Reach</strong> (the amount of people that LinkedIn decided to show this content to).</p> <p>Regular text posts 7080 vs video 6809</p> <p><strong>Regular text posts win by 3.98%</strong></p> <p>This was pretty similar although there was a slight increase for regular content.</p> <p><strong>Likes:</strong></p> <p>The video content received a whopping increase of 269.44% when it came to likes</p> <p><strong>Comments:</strong>&nbsp; A 200% increase for video over text</p> <p><strong>Tags/shares:</strong> 400% increase for video over text</p> <p><strong>Traffic:</strong> This was constant for both &ndash; at&hellip; er&hellip; 0%.</p> <p>That&rsquo;s right, although all our written posts received likes not one person clicked the link to digest the content. We didn&rsquo;t put any links in the video posts but we will in the future.</p> <p><strong>New Followers:</strong></p> <p>Native video posts resulted in new followers increasing by 428.57%&nbsp;</p> <p>Direct leads: 3 from native video as opposed to 0 from normal content (this continued to increase over the coming weeks).</p> <p><strong>Who watched our videos?</strong></p> <p>Another impressive thing is that LinkedIn shows you who has actually watched your videos. So, we could see that our videos had reached the likes of Pepsi, Astra Zeneca, Heineken, Johnson &amp; Johnson, RBS, L&rsquo;Or&eacute;al (because I&rsquo;m worth it), and then Pepsi again.</p> <p><strong>What does it all mean?</strong></p> <p>So, what do these results all mean? Well, it shows that if you want to stick out, start conversations and get results, you really shouldn&rsquo;t ignore video. LinkedIn and video really are the best of mates!</p> <p><strong>How can I get in on the action?</strong></p> <p>If you want to make your own videos check out our how to series on <a href=""></a>&nbsp; or if you fancy skipping the learning curve and want to get the pros in then check out our video production membership services.</p> <p><strong><em>Watch the video version <a href="">here</a></em></strong></p> <p><a href=""><img src=";image_crop_resized=960x541&amp;image_play_button=1&amp;image_play_button_color=5d877fe0" style="height:300px; width:600px"></a></p> <p><a href="">How to generate leads on Linked In using video - A LinkedIn Study</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h6><strong><em>These blog posts and others are available in video and text versions on The Business Film Booth web site.</em></strong></h6> <h6><em>&nbsp;</em></h6> <h6>Business Film Booth,1 Avia Close, Hemel Hempstead, HP3 9TH</h6> <h6>T: 01442 573 227</h6> <h6>E: <a href=""></a></h6> <p>W: <a href=""></a></p>Contact: <a href=""></a> Culture eats transformation for breakfast: Part III Tue, 25 Sep 2018 14:07:19 +0100 CRM Sync Building a culture that supports on-going change. <p><em>For two decades,</em><em> <a href="">Agilisys</a> has helped public sector organisations re-imagine their future and strive for positive change. <em>In the final piece in a three-part series, Caroline Gray, Principal Consultant &ndash; Business Change, explains how to embed a culture that will support ongoing change through clear accountability, ownership and &lsquo;can-do&rsquo; thinking.</em></em></p> <p>Most organisations don&rsquo;t put enough time, thought and effort into driving culture change as part of digital transformation, yet almost all see culture as the main challenge.</p> <p>However, the vast majority of a public sector organisation&rsquo;s culture is hidden below the surface. That&rsquo;s why Discover, the first step in any digital transformation, is a crucial process: it reveals the complexity bubbling away beneath the day-to-day.</p> <p>Alongside unmasking the current situation in terms of citizens, staff and infrastructure, Discover must also expose existing cultural assumptions and practices. The goal is to understand how all these elements dynamically interact. The result should be a nuanced understanding of what works and what needs to change organisationally, technologically and most importantly culturally.</p> <p>We&rsquo;ve already discussed the three vital levers that can be used to drive culture change - leadership, ownership and use of language &ndash; but what does this look like in practice? Here are our recommendations:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-left:36.0pt"><strong>Lead clearly</strong></p> <p style="margin-left:36.0pt">Transformation is six times likelier to succeed when senior leaders share aligned messages about the change effort with the rest of the organisation. Be honest and pragmatic. In any transformation things will go wrong but make it clear that staff and stakeholders will be supported, that challenges can be overcome and that the results are worth it.</p> <p style="margin-left:36.0pt">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-left:36.0pt"><strong>Keep listening</strong></p> <p style="margin-left:36.0pt">Listen to and acknowledge concerns across the organisation. Learn to distinguish between real issues and cultural resistance, exploring problems and acting on them as necessary. Ensure that people across the organisation are listening to each other too, facilitating communication and collaboration through meetings, workshops and more. Resources such as &lsquo;The Cultural Web&rsquo; are great tools for altering an organisation&rsquo;s culture in a dynamic and interactive way.</p> <p style="margin-left:36.0pt">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-left:36.0pt"><strong>Instil ownership</strong></p> <p style="margin-left:36.0pt">Set clear expectations and accountability for delivering digital change. Tools like responsibility assignment matrices (RACI) can be extremely valuable in setting out tasks and duties. Staff should still be free to innovate and make decisions, but this needs to happen within an agreed framework that makes it clear where permission is required. Be ready to challenge words or behaviours that demonstrate a lack of ownership, like &ldquo;<em>no one told me&rdquo;.</em></p> <p style="margin-left:36.0pt">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-left:36.0pt"><strong>Set the pace</strong></p> <p style="margin-left:36.0pt">Closely measure the progress of the transformation journey, for instance by setting KPIs around specific outcomes or expectations. Timeboxing (allocating a fixed period for each planned activity) will keep your programme on track. Visibly praise and reward progress and on-time completion as this will show your people that its important.</p> <p style="margin-left:36.0pt">&nbsp;</p> <p>The right culture is integral to driving successful digital change &ndash; not just over the near future, but over the long-term. With emerging trends like the Internet of Things, AI, robotics and more poised to transform citizen expectations and day-to-day working life inside the public sector, a culture that fully supports change is a critical part of being prepared for the future.</p> <p>While digital change can seem daunting, don&rsquo;t forget: there are plenty of transformation specialists out there who&rsquo;ve done all this before. From discovering more and embedding the right culture, to successful implementation and optimisation, they&rsquo;re ready to help.</p> <p><em>If you&rsquo;re a GovTech leader, download our whitepaper on <a href=";utm_source=techuk&amp;utm_campaign=rethinking%20transformation&amp;utm_content=discover&amp;utm_term=comment">Rethinking Digital Transformation</a></em><em>&nbsp;</em><em>now to discover the common traits behind successful change. We&rsquo;ve drawn on decades of experience with public sector organisations to help you drive bold thinking, ambitious transformation and successful outcomes.</em></p> Looking at the cloud skills gap Tue, 25 Sep 2018 11:14:02 +0100 CRM Sync Guest Blog: Matthew McDermott, Director of Public Policy at Access Partnership, tackles the cloud skills gap by looking to UK digital strategy. <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:left; height:200px; width:160px">Organisations of all size across the UK are increasingly adopting cloud as they recognise the transformative possibilities it creates. For many it is the driving force for the fourth industrial revolution, but for all it allows previously impossible scalability and cost-saving. Cloud is redefining the way businesses engage with their customers, empower their employees, optimise their business processes, and create entirely new products and services.</p> <p>As organisations are waking up to the value of cloud, it is accelerating the demand for cloud skills across the economy. While job hunters with technical skills in areas such as machine learning, security, and cloud integration are more in demand than ever before, the shortage of these skills not only means vacancies go unfilled, but companies are unable to take advantage of the benefits offered by cloud.</p> <p>The Government&rsquo;s Digital Strategy offers some useful pointers on how to address the skills gap, but it also recognises that government does not have all the answers and the importance of working with business. In addition, diversity and inclusivity are key if we are to ensure that the opportunities of cloud are felt by all members of society, and that all available talent is tapped into. Those of us already in work should not rest on our laurels. As cloud becomes ubiquitous there will be a need for cloud skills in all jobs, meaning a robust reskilling strategy is as important as the pipeline for training those joining the jobs market.</p> <p><strong>UK Digital Strategy</strong></p> <p>In its 2017 Digital Strategy, the UK Government recognised that individuals, businesses, and government must all take immediate steps to ensure the UK has the skilled and capable workforce needed in the cloud age. It looks at imbedding digital skills, including cloud skills, in the earliest forms of education, including at primary and secondary schools. There is also a recognition that there also needs to be a focus on more specialist skills, with government taking steps to reform the technical education system.</p> <p>Government cannot provide all the answers, and the strategy aims to build links with business to support training. In the Digital Skills Partnership, public, private and charity sector organisations are brought together to boost skills for a world-leading, inclusive digital economy. The Partnership will also examine options for improving the coherence of digital skills provision. For example, by setting ambitions for increasing the level of certain types of training on offer and agreeing how it can be targeted where it is needed most. This level of flexibility is crucial if the Partnership is to be responsive to the changing need for cloud skills as technology evolution changes which skills are most in demand.</p> <p><strong>Inclusivity and Diversity</strong></p> <p>There is also a growing awareness that the lack of diversity in the uptake of digital skills holds the UK back from addressing the cloud skills gap. To help support more women developing digital skills the Government set up the Tech Talent Charter. It outlines key measures that encourage organisations to think differently and attract more women into the sector to create more diversity in the availability of cloud skills.</p> <p>Improving cloud skills from women and other underrepresented groups is not simply sign of good corporate responsibility. There is a growing awareness that AI and machine learning are shaped by the inherent biases of the developers building the product. By diversifying the cloud skills base, companies are more likely to build products that understand and add value to the lives of UK citizens, and minimise the risk of unforeseen negative outcomes.</p> <p><strong>Future of Work?</strong></p> <p>The rapid pace of technological change means digital techniques and technologies are constantly evolving. Many of us currently in work will need to make sure we regularly refresh our skills to remain relevant on the jobs market. Across society, a focus on lifelong learning should mean that the approach to digital skills mirrors the approach for adult literacy and numeracy training. Only if the building blocks for reskilling are put in place now can we ensure that the UK has the workforce it needs to meet the demand for digital skills and close the cloud skills gap.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="">@MatthewMcD9</a></p> <p><a href="">LinkedIn</a>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>To read more from techUK's Cloud Week,&nbsp;<a href="">visit our landing page</a></em></p>Contact: <a href=""></a>Contact: <a href=""></a> Addressing cloud skills shortages Tue, 25 Sep 2018 08:40:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest Blog: Tom Dibble, Account Mananger of BJSS, discusses how the drive of cloud adoption is leading to a shortage of skills. <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:left; height:259px; width:300px">The pace of public Cloud adoption is driving a demand for skills to the point where the shortage of skills is inhibiting adoption. Impacting BJSS and its clients. We know that any change needs careful management and attention to the people&rsquo;s skills gap is crucial. Many IT organisations have very talented people who need to be assured that they can be upskilled in the new world of cloud, which is subtly different than the old world of siloed thinking around network, apps and infrastructure.</p> <p>Anticipating this problem, in association with major Cloud vendors, we put in place an extensive training programme to supports our staff in gaining Cloud vendor accreditations. We provide funding and time for the training and offer various incentives and competitions to encourage our staff to study for the accreditations and acquire new skills. To date we&rsquo;ve achieved over 300 accreditations in AWS and Azure.</p> <p>We have also captured our experience of what works in a series of Cloud Adoption Accelerators. These enable us to help clients assess their Cloud readiness, and plan and implement Cloud migrations following industry best practice informed by BJSS experience. This modular and rigorous approach reduces the requirement for key personnel full time on each engagement and allows us to support multiple client Cloud engagements concurrently.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s also important to look beyond the typical candidate pool for relevant skills. For example, we recently introduced our Platform Engineering Academy for ex-armed forces personnel wishing to retrain for technology careers in the private sector.</p> <p>Delivered in association with AWS, this 12-week long programme equips candidates with a range of Platform Engineering skills and is based on BJSS&rsquo; Queen&rsquo;s Award- winning software delivery approach, Enterprise Agile&reg;.</p> <p>Upon successfully completing the programme, candidates wishing to apply for roles at BJSS are fast-tracked through our recruitment process. Early indications are that the programme is working - all candidates in our first cohort have taken full-time permanent roles at BJSS as Platform Engineers and are now contributing to client deliveries.</p> <p>Stephen Davies, former Corporal in the Royal Air Force, recent graduate of the BJSS Platform Engineering Academy, and Platform Engineer at BJSS says:</p> <p>&ldquo;Leaving the Military is stressful, but the help and support Ireceived from the BJSS Platform Engineering Academy has made me a confident and competent Platform Engineer.Having been offered a permanent role at BJSS and knowing that the company will still support me as Icontinue to learn, has made my transition into civilian life easier.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="">@BJSSLtd</a></p> <p><a href="">LinkedIn&nbsp;</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>To read more from techUK's Cloud Week,&nbsp;<a href="">visit our landing page</a></em></p>Contact: <a href=""></a>Contact: <a href=""></a> A trusted adviser: the role of consultants in cloud-based analytics Tue, 25 Sep 2018 08:15:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest Blog: Karen Griffith, Teradata, discusses the skills gap for Cloud Data Analytics and the importance of trusted advisor’s in addressing this gap. <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:right; height:225px; width:300px">Large scale data and analytics for global organisations can be complex enough in their design, implementation and operationalisation, let alone adding in the unfamiliarity of cloud-based deployment options. There are many questions:</p> <ul><li>How do you decide between public, private, or managed cloud?</li> <li>What about the ease of accessing the data; how are you going to get your data into your chosen cloud platform?</li> <li>What cloud-based ecosystem solution will you choose or design to virtualise and run your analytic use cases?</li> <li>Who will design this, and what are the cost implications?</li> <li>What are the security risks and implications of moving and running your data and analytics platform in the cloud?</li> </ul><p>What most organisations need initially is a trusted advisor&mdash;or a consultant: a person who understands their business requirements and comprehends the business drivers behind the desired business outcomes. A consultant can advise on, and help navigate, the cloud journey as well as the data and analytics journey on which they want to embark. Trusted advisers bring with them a rich portfolio of technical experience and a deep understanding of the industry business specifics and market trends. They look at the bigger picture&mdash;the holistic view&mdash;and can guide the customer into making the right decision that supports the business outcomes they desire.</p> <p>Having a trusted advisor for your data and analytics cloud journey is essential; however, having a team of consultants available to deliver on the agreed approach is vital. Organisations on this journey need to navigate their way through architectural decisions, design and implementation considerations, and right on through to operationalisation and support.</p> <p>It comes down to experience to ensure you have the best skilled resources on your team. You need consultants who have worked with large and complex data sets. You need a team that has a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and hands-on experience who have implemented Cloud solutions with customers around the globe. It&rsquo;s critical to avoid common pitfalls around cloud-based data and analytic solutions, which is why having experienced consultants on your side can make such a profound difference.</p> <p>Having the right calibre of consultants, who can combine business acumen, data science, deep technical skills, and experience with analytical ecosystems on cloud-based platforms&mdash;working with you and for you&mdash;is crucial.</p> <p>At Teradata, we are the pioneers of data and analytics consulting and technology. As trusted advisors to global enterprise customers, our highly skilled consultants use their analytical insights to help deliver optimal business outcomes in hybrid cloud-based deployments. Visit <a href="">teradata</a>&nbsp;to learn more.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="">@Terdata</a></p> <p><a href="">LinkedIn</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>To read more from techUK's Cloud Week,&nbsp;<a href="">visit our landing page</a></em></p>Contact: <a href=""></a>Contact: <a href=""></a> Software to service: addressing the cloud skills gap Tue, 25 Sep 2018 08:10:00 +0100 CRM Sync Guest Blog: Juliet Morris, Talent Expert at UKCloud, explores how the skills gap in cloud could be addressed by the very nature of digital transformation itself. <p><img alt="" src="//" style="float:left; height:300px; width:300px">Hindering the public sector&rsquo;s cloud adoption journey is the lack of digital skills&mdash;a concern voiced by 25% of central government organisations. While the digital skills gap is widely discussed in the SMB and enterprise space, it's important not to overlook the public sector. Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) initiatives designed to address this should be adapted to tackle the needs of the public sector as much as the private one.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Addressing this plays into a step-change in IT department culture and digital transformation. At the heart of&nbsp;<a href="">making transformation happen</a>&nbsp;is delivering better value IT for UK taxpayers. The first wave of citizen facing digital services has ensured that technologies such as cloud, mobile and digital are much more widely accepted. Yet the cloud has not yet disrupted the bulk of the public sector&rsquo;s IT which is most often locked into on-premises facilities or long term outsource agreements.</p> <p>The benefits of modernising these traditional IT systems (or replacing them with software-as-a-service) will far exceed the benefits seen to date, but what worked for the first wave of transformation, won&rsquo;t be enough for the next wave, which is behind the rise of the concept of multi-cloud enabling customers to use the right cloud service for every workload, whether IaaS, PaaS or SaaS.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Rather than forcing IT organisations to re-skill in order to benefit from cloud, a true multi-cloud platform enables existing skills and capabilities in traditional technologies such as Microsoft, Oracle and VMware to be applied to the cloud. This buys more time&nbsp;for public sector CIOs to develop the skills and capabilities required for more modern and digital approaches. Another approach is for public sector CIO&rsquo;s to buy into the innovation and specialism inherent within IT service providers by replacing DIY bespoke software with outcome-based software services (SaaS).</p> <p>IT service providers invest significantly in dramatically different skillsets that are unfamiliar to most existing IT teams and are radically different to what they have become accustomed to. For most organisations, adapting to a DevOps mindset with Infrastructure as code and CI/CD (continuous integration/development) will require an intake of expensive contractors, or rapid and expensive upskilling of existing staff who are then at risk of leaving for the lucrative contract market. Rather than competing with commercial businesses, public sector organisations can simply tap into these capabilities by consuming &lsquo;as-a-service&rsquo; &ndash; whether that&rsquo;s Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). This way, public sector can focus on outcomes &ndash; delivering better public services.</p> <p>Government departments are not without ambition when it comes to improving digital skills and increasing the use of IT to cut costs and enhance services. But there are obstacles to these goals being achieved which may not realistically be overcome without a different approach. The problem of digital skills is one which impacts both public and private sector organisations and is likely to be a multi-billion pound burden on the economy unless action is taken, although the precise details of what needs to be done are up for debate.</p> <p>A new generation of digital skills is leading the charge, fuelling innovation and potential cost savings. Early career opportunities through Apprentices, Graduates and Placement Students further enable the transformation toward digitisation and the sector is seeing a greater focus on diversity and inclusivity through programmes like &lsquo;Women in STEM&rsquo;.</p> <p>There is no &lsquo;one-size-fits-all&rsquo; solution to addressing the skills gap.&nbsp; What doesn&rsquo;t work is &lsquo;importing&rsquo; these skills from the large global cloud platforms that don&rsquo;t invest in significant UK operations. What does work is to harness&nbsp;existing skills - soft skills, leadership, technical ambition - and capabilities through familiar technologies inherent within multi-cloud. Tapping into the skills and innovation within UK GovTech service providers also enables you to make the shift from a traditional approach to a more outcome-based approach.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="">@ukcloudltd</a></p> <p><a href="">LinkedIn</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>To read more from techUK's Cloud Week, <a href="">visit our landing page</a></em></p>Contact: <a href=""></a>Contact: <a href=""></a>