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Reboot and Recover | The Scottish Tech Sector’s Role in Supporting Scotland

Jane Morrison-Ross

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Scottish tech

ScotlandIS CEO Jane Morrison-Ross reflects on the strength of the Scottish tech sector and how it can support economic recovery in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The power and role of digital technology has never been more apparent in everyone’s lives.

While the continuation of Covid-19 restrictions may feel overwhelming for businesses and individuals alike, digital technology will give Scotland the power to reboot, recover and protect the most vulnerable if we embrace it and use it to collaborate toward a clear vision for the future.

As digital leaders gather at Scotland’s leading tech conference, Cmd+R ScotSoft on 1st October, many will be reflecting on how digital technology has transformed the way we work and engage.

Digital technology has changed our lives more in the past six months than we anticipated we might achieve in two years. The fact that we have been making rapid, unplanned step changes in how we use technology is largely thanks to the sector’s self-support and the ability of the industry, ScotlandIS and the Scottish Government to collaborate to deliver benefits quickly.

While opportunities may exist, we also recognise that the coming year will be full of challenges beyond the immediacy of Covid-19. Brexit will affect our ability to attract international talent and create uncertainty in the market, which will affect investment decisions.

We need to ensure that Scotland can continue to attract inward investment – both financial and physical – particularly as we face an economic recession.

Covid-19 has created a new, digital lens to enable us to see opportunities for the year ahead; to see how things can be done differently and ensure the benefits are felt widespread.

ScotlandIS has been working in partnership with Scottish and international technology companies over the last six months to rise to the challenge posed by Covid-19, providing much-needed support and technology – often for free – to those businesses needing it most.

We have used this time to reach out to other sectors, demonstrating how digital technology can underpin economic growth and resilience. Digital platforms can help businesses access new markets both at home and internationally. Our cross-sector steering groups are now established, which bring together organisations as diverse as renewables and transport.

Cmd+R ScotSoft will bring industry together with government to shape our digital future. Partnership with the Scottish Government has enabled Scotland’s tech sector to collaborate on exciting new projects and opportunities.

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The government’s commissioned Logan Report launched earlier in September, is a groundbreaking piece of analysis on how our burgeoning tech sector can be supported from micro-businesses through to unicorn status.

A new Scottish digital strategy was announced in the recent Programme for Government, which will offer all sectors an opportunity to shape the future of government support and regulation in years to come.

Yet it is not only business that needs digital support to thrive – we all do. And those who need it most are often from the most deprived parts of our community.

With rising unemployment and greater financial hardships, these people need the opportunity to access training and, just as importantly, hardware. No community should be left behind in the coming years as we shape a truly digital nation.

Covid-19 has prompted us to think afresh. It is our job to work with industry, government and wider organisations to ensure that we can develop a common framework to support future growth and ensure that the benefits are felt as widely as possible.

To learn more about Cmd+R ScotSoft, visit: www.www.scotsoft.scot

Jane Morrison-Ross

ScotlandIS CEO

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