UK Government Information Economy Strategy

Euler Partners was invited to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills today to discuss the UK Government Information Economy Strategy. The strategy is a critical component in the Government’s wider policy – Using Industrial Strategy to help the UK economy and business compete and grow.

Around two dozen organisations were represented, such as the likes of Microsoft, Blackberry, Ericsson, Accenture, Deloitte, Cisco and BT, and debate was wide ranging. Importantly, while opinions differed, it was plainly evident that everyone wants the best for ‘UK plc’.

Ken McCallum, Director, Information Economy, BIS, framed the dialogue by saying we have to think about the “Information Economy” invoked in the name of the strategy rather than the IT or ICT or TMT sector, or whichever acronym you think best describes the sector. This isn’t a sector thing. It’s about how the country makes the best use of tech.

This wasn’t the forum to articulate social business per se, but you will imagine we helped articulate primary facets of social business. We soon focused on the soft / people aspects of the information economy over and above hard tech.

Education and skills became a dominant theme, and not just in relation to school children, students, and those starting out in their careers – the need to educate company board directors, and members of parliament come to that, was strongly felt. On challenging everyone to articulate how things might be different in 2020 versus 2013, the response came back that even if technology development froze right now, there were still massive gains to be made just putting today’s tech to good use.

The need to invest in the soft / cultural dimensions of tech-based transformation in business, government and the third sector, and in society in general, became a carrion cry, and the group just started to recognise that technology doesn’t just support what we’re trying to achieve in our respective organisations and in life, but fundamentally changes the possibilities and the potential. If we don’t shape it, it will shape us.

One hard tech aspect did get appropriate air-time however – Euler Partners’ and Cisco’s call for greater investment in IPv6, a topic close to our hearts.

You are invited to have your say. Public consultation is open until 15th March, 2013.

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