Scottish Futures Trust: Ambition needed on digital public services

Use of digital technologies within the public sector “remains fragmented and varies by institution”, according to a report commissioned by Scottish Futures Trust.

However, nine out of ten Scots could be using online public services by 2030 if the country takes steps to become a world-leading digital society, the study claimed. 

The report projected a £13bn increase in GDP for the national economy if Scotland set out to become a “world leader in digitalisation”.

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Modelling carried out by Deloitte suggested an additional 175,000 jobs could be created by the end of the next decade if Scotland takes the most ambitious choices.

Under this scenario, 90 per cent of people and businesses would use online public services at both the local and central government levels at least once a month by 2030. The current figure is 60 per cent.

Cloud computing would be used by all departments, while the public sector would be using Internet of Things (IoT) technology in the provision of public services such as waste management. 

Reflecting on the current digital landscape, the report said: “The use of digital technologies in public administration remains fragmented and varies by institution.

“The use of digital technologies in public services is increasing with work on a digital portal,, and in the health sector where 190 people per 1,000 of over 75’s were care for using telecare.”

Scottish Futures Trust infrastructure director Tony Rose said: “As our lives become ever more reliant on digital communications, it’s vital that Scotland has the proper infrastructure in the right place to harness the huge economic and social benefits that improved digital communications will bring.

“The report highlights the potential impact that improved digitisation could bring to consumers, businesses and the public sector. We, along with our partners, are looking to ‘future proof’ our investment in digital infrastructure to enable Scotland to fulfil its ambition of being a world class digital nation.”

Colin Marrs

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