The recently released techUK manifesto sets out a digital vision which sees the Government placing digital technology at the heart of the UK economy, launched ahead of the upcoming general election. But just how can our new government set about increasing the use and uptake of digital across the UK?
With so many changes in the pipeline, the increased introduction of digital services could assist to alleviate some workload pressures and enable a more fluid transition for changes across both the government and British organisations.
The manifesto sets our recommendations, with specifics in five different areas:
- Making Brexit work for the tech industry
- Economic growth
- Building a smarter state
- Skills and jobs
- Guaranteeing a safe and secure digital world
It is clear that it would be a struggle to disagree that further investment, both in money and efforts, needs to be provided to these areas to ensure that they can grow and prosper – particularly with regards to technical jobs in IT. With an ongoing crisis, due to a lack of candidates with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) skills to fill vacancies, the government needs to look at how people can be incentivised to learn and train to fill these positions.
With so many recent cyber-attack crises, particularly those within large British businesses and organisations, there is also the requirement to further invest in cyber security. techUK calls on the government to increase its national cyber security budget by 10% to ensure public security. But will this be a priority for the new government?
A larger investment in cyber security could enable the development of further cyber security tools and assist in making the UK a world leader in this essential field. The threat of cyber-attacks is ever increasing, and certainly isn’t something that will ever disappear making it a priority that needs to be dealt with.
Interestingly, techUK have called on the government to get to grips with barriers stopping digital innovation within the healthcare industry. Whilst they have made a commitment to becoming paperless by 2020, digital integration needs to expand much wider and faster than this to keep up with the organisations surrounding it – and the expectations of the citizens it serves.
It is clear that a lot needs to be done to fully utilise the digital technology available to the government, and to further develop and expand upon the range of citizen-facing applications and services. But it’s certainly not an overnight job.