Denmark’s digital ambassador: should the UK be following suit?

  By Steven McGinty On 26 January, the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that they would be appointing the world’s first ‘digital ambassador’ to act as the nation’s representative to major technology companies, such as Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon. At a conference on the future of the Foreign Service, the Foreign Minister, Anders […]

Moving into the 21st century … the challenges and opportunities of digital culture

Back in December, I attended the International Symposium on Evaluating Digital Cultural Resources at the newly refurbished Kelvin Hall in Glasgow. The day provided an opportunity for researchers and professionals with an interest in culture and heritage in Scotland to come together to consider how digital technologies are transforming the sector. Key questions addressed included […]

Slow by default: achieving digital transformation in the complex world of local government

By Steven McGinty Bringing local government into the 21st century is fraught with well documented challenges. In 2015, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) carried out a survey into local government leaders’ views on digital transformation. The research identified six key barriers to digital adoption: Legacy systems and ICT infrastructure Lack of development […]

Digital infrastructure: laying the foundations for a better-connected future

In the first of three articles looking at the challenges facing the building control sector, James Carson highlights the growing demand – driven in part by changes to the building regulations due in 2017 – for future-proof digital infrastructure. The broadband imperative Online living is rapidly becoming the new normal. From the comfort of our sofa, […]

Government as a Platform: a new way of thinking about digital transformation

By Steven McGinty The term ‘Government as a Platform’ (GaaP) was coined by Tim O’Reilly, a technology entrepreneur and advocate. The Government Digital Service (GDS), the body responsible for UK Government digital transformation, has started to introduce ‘platform thinking’ to government services. However, according to a survey carried out in February, three-quarters of civil servants […]

Digital Greenwich: a local council approach to smart cities

By Steven McGinty According to research by Lucy Zodion, a leading designer and manufacturer of streetlighting equipment, smart cities are not deemed a priority for local government. The findings show that 80% of local authorities have little or no involvement with smart cities, and that only a few had specific teams managing smart city initiatives. […]

The public-private sector: working in partnership to create innovative digital solutions

By Steven McGinty When most people think of public-private sector technology collaboration the word ‘controversy’ isn’t too far behind. High profile failures such as the Home Office’s immigration computer system (which cost the taxpayer £224 million) and NHS Connecting for Health (which cost £9 billion over 10 years), have made both the public and politicians […]

Digital Economy Bill – the impact of Brexit

By Steven McGinty On the 18th March, the Queen’s Speech set out the government’s legislative programme for the year ahead. This included the Digital Economy Bill, a piece of legislation which aims to ensure the UK is a world leader in digital provision. However, as former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson once said ‘a week […]

Now we’ve got a Local Government Digital Service Standard … what now?

By Steven McGinty After two months of consultation and the input of more than 60 councils, the final Local Government Digital Service Standard was published in April. The standard, introduced by practitioner network LocalGov Digital, aims to provide a ‘common approach for local authorities to deliver good quality, user centred, and value for money digital […]