Building a digital future -  lessons from lockdown and beyond

This year’s conference will focus on the digital response to COVID-19. In line with nations across the world, Scotland has turned to technology at an unprecedented rate, as systems were spun or scaled up in record time to ensure public services could be delivered as smoothly and efficiently as possible during lockdown.

Digital Scotland will hear from the public sector leaders who rose to the challenge of a global pandemic and delivered what most now agree was a period of several years of digital change compressed into a matter of weeks and months. And that disruption is still ongoing.

Leaders from local and central government, the NHS, education and justice have moved services to cloud-based systems, created shared data networks and made meaningful steps towards a common platforms approach that will allow the ‘Once for Scotland’ concept to become a reality.

Partnerships forged through programmes such as Connecting Scotland – the largest distribution of mobile devices and data ever to be undertaken – have not only helped bridge the digital divide but have brought together national and local government in a joint effort to refresh the national digital vision for Scotland.

That strategy has been set out in a public consultation and will be discussed in greater depth at Digital Scotland. Although the lessons of lockdown are still shaping our digital response, the conference will also be a timely reminder that there remain many ‘wicked’ social, economic and environmental challenges that are reflected in National Performance Framework goals. Climate change, poverty, educational attainment, to name a few.

The event will be an opportunity to hear from our digital leaders about how Data & AI, Connectivity, Service Design, Smart Cities, Cloud and Cybersecurity are helping towards solving some of those higher order policy goals of governments – and improving the lives of citizens - here and around the world.

Digital Scotland 2019 Highlights: