Scotland has the potential to be the country known for innovation, for an ethical approach to data, and an integrated approach to public services.
We are small enough to be able to seize this opportunity but big enough to make a real impact and to show the world how it’s done
Scotland has the opportunity to become a Digital Nation, a true Digital Democracy. By building the right transformational infrastructure and working collaboratively we can create a Digital Scotland that is good for the people, the economy, the environment and the government.
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I believe, as the voice of the digital technology industry, ScotlandIS is in a unique position to lead and facilitate this.
In January 2020, and working with stakeholders across every sector of the economy in Scotland, we will begin a program of work to create the strategy that sees Scotland becoming a truly Digital Nation. We will collaborate with industry, including micro, SME and enterprise level organisations, and work across the public sector to ensure that we have a truly transformational approach, enabling, empowering, promoting and growing Scotland’s reputation, status and economy as the Digital Nation.
I am lucky. Polly Purvis, the outgoing CEO of ScotlandIS, has created an excellent launchpad for our ambition both for Scotland and ScotlandIS.
For many years, Polly was instrumental in the growth of the tech sector and has been recognised with lifetime achievement awards and OBE for her services to industry. She was one of the small bid team made up of industry and academics that developed the proposal for the establishment of The Data Lab, and was also one of the founding team that established the dotScot Registry, Scotland’s top level internet domain.
Polly has been credited for her work in the creation of the Skills Investment Plan; a strategy developed to create a strong and continuing supply of skills for the tech sector, underlining its crucial importance to the Scottish economy. This led to the creation of CodeClan, Digital Xtra Fund, the Digital Schools Programme, and the Digital Skills Partnership – an ambitious ScotlandIS initiative, supported by SDS and SFC, bringing together industry, colleges and universities. This is a legacy that will continue to evolve, ensure the changing skills needs of our members and industry will continue to be met.
Building on the solid foundations laid by Dr Polly Purvis OBE, I intend for ScotlandIS to become the organisation that creates one window to the digital and technology economy in Scotland. We will be the channel to international markets for our members and a catalyst for innovation and excellence. We will do this by focusing on the international opportunities for our members, by working to create a ‘brand’ for Scotland as the country to look at for expertise and solutions in digital technologies.
As she enters retirement, Polly can look back on the career that has transformed the lives of thousands of Scottish people for the better, and I, and the team at ScotlandIS, can look forward to building on the incredible foundation she has laid.