Scotland's Economy

Achieving Scotland’s full potential in a digital world

March 22, 2017 by No Comments | Category Business, Economy, Public Services

In 1989 the world wide web was born.  At the time, few, if any of us, could have foreseen the opportunities it would provide for our economy and the way in which we live our lives.

Over the subsequent years however, the internet has boomed and brought with it amazing new opportunities for innovation and inclusive growth.  The pace of change continues to be challenging, but it’s also extremely exciting for all of us, whether we live in our towns and cities or in the more remote and rural part of our country.

What is also clear to me is that we have only seen the beginning of this transformation.  Scotland must seek and seize every opportunity to ensure it continues to have a thriving, open, digital economy.

That is why, I visited Tontine House in Glasgow today to launch our refreshed digital strategy and outline the Scottish Government’s vision of Scotland as a vibrant, inclusive, open and outward looking digital nation, and to see first-hand how young aspiring digital businesses are being supported in Glasgow.

‘Achieving Scotland’s full potential in a digital world: A digital strategy for Scotland’ sets out our plans for ensuring that we put digital at the heart of everything we do – in the way in which we deliver inclusive economic growth, reform our public services, prepare our children for the workplace of the future, tackle inequalities and empower our communities.  It is a strategy for Scotland, not just the Scottish Government.

Our digital strategy sets out the initial actions we will take to ensure Scotland can anticipate and react to the changing opportunities the digital age presents.  For example, it describes the steps we will take to:

  • support our digital technologies industries
  • support all businesses sectors to become digitally mature and internationally competitive
  • create digital public services around the needs of their users and to make the public sector more efficient
  • share and use non-personal data as a source of innovation and efficiency
  • provide high quality connectivity across the whole of our country
  • focus our education and training systems on expanding its pool of digital skills and capabilities
  • tackle the current gender gap in digital skills and careers
  • enable everybody to share in the social, economic and democratic opportunities of digital
  • ensure Scotland is a cyber–resilient and secure nation

This strategy builds on the successes made since we published our original digital strategy in 2011.  But it also makes clear that no single organisation can deliver these bold actions.

Realising Scotland’s full potential in a digital world is critical to our ambitions to become a fairer, more inclusive society and a more prosperous economy.  Projections in Deloitte’s 2015 report for the Scottish Futures Trust suggest a scenario which in Scotland could become a ‘digital world leader’ by 2030 would:

  • Increase Scotland’s GDP by up to £13 billion
  • Generate an extra 175,000 jobs in Scotland

I look forward to working with the rest of the public sector, the private sector and civic society to ensuring nobody is left behind and we all remain safe, secure and confident about the future.  After all, it is in all our interests to ensure that Scotland can indeed realise its full potential in a digital world.

Tags: , ,


Leave a comment

By submitting a comment, you understand it may be published on this public website. Please read our privacy policy to see how the Scottish Government handles your information.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *