Announcing techUK's First Blockchain Leader

Congratulations to Roger Oates, Consulting Partner at TCS for being chosen as techUK's first Blockchain Leader! You can read his exclusive interview with techUK below

Congratulations to Roger Oates, Consulting Partner at TCS for being chosen as techUK's first Blockchain Leader, as part of techUK's new Blockchain Re-imagined series. 

The purpose of techUK's Blockchain Leader of the month campaign is to showcase tech leaders that are playing a crucial role in driving forward the development of emerging enterprise solutions that can establish trust, help organisations with adoption and bring to life use cases across sectors.

This is also an opportunity to learn from those working in Blockchain about the latest developments and trends in this exciting, emerging and potentially transformative technology.

You can read techUK's full interview with Roger below:

What are your current responsibilities in your role and what does a typical day involve?

I am a Consulting Partner at TCS, where I lead the UK Banking consulting team. As I have been working from home for the last 18 months, my oldest son (12), thinks I work in a contact centre as I spend my days on Teams calls or on my mobile phone.  But in reality no two days are the same, as we are strategic partner to most of the major UK banks and my days are spent dealing with engagement issues and supporting opportunities across multiple clients  

What do you most enjoy about your work?

The variety, and the intellectual challenge. If I take today, we are responding to a RFP from a client looking to transform it’s ways of working and also to multiple RFPs on transformation to cloud. While we are delivering a number of  really interesting engagements where we are looking at transforming their entire Businesses

Why is Blockchain so important to UK right now and what does the future hold for adoption and maturity of Blockchain in the UK?

I have been exploring Blockchain / DLT with my clients for a few years, and to be honest interest in blockchain in my clients has come in waves. Initially a lot of hype and excitement followed by disappointment as the world was suddenly not transformed. I have always held that Blockchain is a team sport, as the major benefits for our clients will come from taking out the friction between them. In order to achieve that you need partners to work effectively together. Therefore, I see the future success of Blockchain will be driven by consortium efforts such as B3i, which is getting a significant number of the worlds largest insurers to come together to address industry issues. In terms of maturity we are past the hype cycle and realism and hard work has set in to deliver long term benefit.    

What industries or sectors of the UK economy do you think could benefits from adopting and using Blockchain technology and why?

Blockchain or “DLT” is relevant for any industry where there is a requirement to share data between multiple partners. I have always been an advocate of the benefits to Commercial Lines Insurance. As there are multiple partners, from the insured, the broker, the insurer and the reinsurer, etc where the provision of transparent data between parties could potentially lead to a transformation in the way insurance industry operates today. i.e would no longer require brokers to walk round between parties and hence deliver significant savings and benefits

What do you think is the key challenges, issue or barriers that needs to be broken down if we are to make the UK Blockchain ready?

Blockchain still has an image problem with many Exec’s and hence Business Sponsors especially as they still see it as associated with vagaries of Bitcoin. To date, a lot of effort has gone into educating executives on the potential opportunity, but more still needs to be done to translate technology jargon into business language and hence understanding the potential business opportunity. At the moment Blockchain comes in many different shapes and forms, I quite often use the railway analogy, during the steam age, lots of different companies set up different railways with different track gauges etc, however until there was a degree of standardisation and hence connectivity success was limited.    

How can the Blockchain industry and market equip organisations with the understanding, skills and knowledge to make the right Blockchain decisions for now and for the future? Do we have everything we need?

Companies have been exploring with the technology, either via POCs or POVs, however wider spread adoption will be a multi-year journey, with success and failures along the way. Developing a compelling business case for transformation and the correct executive sponsorship will be crucial for making the journey successful 

What is your prediction for how Blockchain and DLT Technologies will change the way organisations operate in 2021 and beyond?

Blockchain and DLT technology will become an enabling technology that allows organisations to collaborate more effectively, reducing friction, costs and user experience. Companies will use the technology and we as users will not even be aware that they are doing so  

You can read more about techUK's Blockchain work here and please reach out if you would like to nominate a colleague to be the next blockchain champion

Laura Foster

Laura Foster

Programme Manager, Technology and Innovation, techUK

Laura is techUK’s Programme Manager for Technology and Innovation.

She supports the application and expansion of emerging technologies across business, including Geospatial Data, Quantum Computing, AR/VR/XR and Edge technologies.

Before joining techUK, Laura worked internationally in London, Singapore and across the United States as a conference researcher and producer covering enterprise adoption of emerging technologies. This included being part of the strategic team at London Tech Week.

Laura has a degree in History (BA Hons) from Durham University, focussing on regional social history. Outside of work she loves reading, travelling and supporting rugby team St. Helens, where she is from.

[email protected]

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Sue Daley

Sue Daley

Director, Technology and Innovation

Sue leads techUK's Technology and Innovation work.

This includes work programmes on cloud, data protection, data analytics, AI, digital ethics, Digital Identity and Internet of Things as well as emerging and transformative technologies and innovation policy. She has been recognised as one of the most influential people in UK tech by Computer Weekly's UKtech50 Longlist and in 2021 was inducted into the Computer Weekly Most Influential Women in UK Tech Hall of Fame. A key influencer in driving forward the data agenda in the UK Sue is co-chair of the UK government's National Data Strategy Forum. As well as being recognised in the UK's Big Data 100 and the Global Top 100 Data Visionaries for 2020 Sue has also been shortlisted for the Milton Keynes Women Leaders Awards and was a judge for the Loebner Prize in AI. In addition to being a regular industry speaker on issues including AI ethics, data protection and cyber security, Sue was recently a judge for the UK Tech 50 and is a regular judge of the annual UK Cloud Awards.

Prior to joining techUK in January 2015 Sue was responsible for Symantec's Government Relations in the UK and Ireland. She has spoken at events including the UK-China Internet Forum in Beijing, UN IGF and European RSA on issues ranging from data usage and privacy, cloud computing and online child safety. Before joining Symantec, Sue was senior policy advisor at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). Sue has an BA degree on History and American Studies from Leeds University and a Masters Degree on International Relations and Diplomacy from the University of Birmingham. Sue is a keen sportswoman and in 2016 achieved a lifelong ambition to swim the English Channel.

[email protected]
020 7331 2055

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Zoe Brockbank

Programme Coordinator, Policy, Tech and Innovation, techUK

Zoe is a Programme Assistant, supporting techUK's work across Policy, Technology and Innovation.

The team makes the tech case to government and policymakers in Westminster, Whitehall, Brussels and across the UK on the most pressing issues affecting this sector and supports the Technology and Innovation team in the application and expansion of emerging technologies across business, including Geospatial Data, Quantum Computing, AR/VR/XR and Edge technologies.

Before joining techUK, Zoe worked as a Business Development and Membership Coordinator at London First and prior to that Zoe worked in Partnerships at a number of Forex and CFD brokerage firms including Think Markets, ETX Capital and Central Markets.

Zoe has a degree (BA Hons) from the University of Westminster and in her spare time, Zoe enjoys travelling, painting, keeping fit and socialising with friends.

[email protected]
020 7331 2174

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