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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S5W-35917
Asked by: Tom Arthur, Renfrewshire South, Scottish National Party
Date lodged: 10 March 2021

Question

To ask the Scottish Government how its refreshed national digital strategy will enable Scotland's people and economy to flourish in an increasingly digital world.

Current status: Answered by Ivan McKee on 11 March 2021


Answer

Scotland’s previous digital strategy was published in 2017. It set out a vision of Scotland as a vibrant, inclusive, greener, open and outward-looking digital nation.

This vision is now even more compelling – however, the context in which it needs to be delivered has changed dramatically: not least as a result of the pandemic, and the end of the Brexit transition period, which has compounded the challenges Scotland faces.

The Scottish Government and COSLA have worked together to deliver a refreshed Digital Strategy for Scotland that will enable a shared vision of a modern, digital and collaborative government, designed around people.

“A Changing Nation: How Scotland Will Thrive In A Digital World” looks at the role digital will play in three key areas:

  • people, place and society;
  • business;
  • government and public services;

and sets out a path for us to work together to enable Scotland to fulfil its potential, face the challenges and opportunities digital brings and in doing so ensure the societal and economic wellbeing of our people and our country.

The strategy considers how we must build a Digital Scotland in which:-

  • we are open, ethical and working with others to meet new moral, environmental, regulatory and security concerns;
  • green thinking is incorporated into all our digital solutions, so we can contribute to meet our statutory commitments to be a net zero society by 2045;
  • geography, background or ability is not a barrier to getting online and benefiting from digital technology, and we capitalise on the potential of digital technology to sustain and invigorate rural and island communities;
  • wellbeing is both safeguarded and enhanced through the greater use of digital technology;
  • security and resilience are at the core of all our digital developments;
  • our children are prepared for the workplace of the future, and training and skills development is available for the existing workforce;
  • Scottish businesses embrace the economic opportunities of data, technology, digital marketing and new ways of working;
  • our tech sector is an innovative one, successful internationally and involving enthusiastic partners in a network of digital and data talent;
  • we reinvent our public services to make them more personal, accountable, adaptable, efficient, secure, sustainable and worthy of public trust;
  • our government, NHS and Councils are transformed into true digital organisations with digital skills, cultures and operating models; and
  • our third sector partners are supported to develop their digital capabilities and introduce new digital business models.

The strategy is available at: https://www.gov.scot/publications/a-changing-nation-how-scotland-will-thrive-in-a-digital-world .