The ScotChain17 presentation from Wallet.Services is introduced by Alexander Holt of the Scottish Government’s CivTech Accelerator.
Alexander describes the challenges of slow and bureaucratic government procurement, and how their initiative is intended to speed things through a more innovative approach. Working around a number of shared challenges they then award contracts to for the best ideas.
CivTech works across the public sector to offer them this more dynamic procurement approach for agencies that know they need this new approach for key challenges.
Alexander also describes how CivTech has enabled the government to act quickly on its Digital Strategy goals – For example one being an intention to explore and master Blockchain technologies for public sector benefit. As part of the CivTech Cybersecurity challenge pitching Wallet.Services presented this opportunity and were contracted around a developed government requirement for a Blockchain Strategy, then procured through the Digital Marketplace.
Digital Native Public Services
Peter Ferry of Wallet describes how despite the hype of the tech market we still live in a mostly analogue world, where government digital services are most just the ‘web page lipstick on the paper process pig’.
Highlighting the Equifax personal data loss Peter describes how we’re still at quite an immature state of online security for digital services, and asks the basic but fundamental question of why this is still happening despite our technological advances.
He arrives at the very nature of Government IT systems and their implementation models, in short how each department operates their own silo and at best they offer web interfaces to these applications. These silos are the same cause of why there is so still so much paper-based manual procedure, it provides the “middleware” that exchanges information between them. The financial and customer experience consequences of this manual bureaucracy are as ever huge for the public sector, and so major leaps in joining up systems offers massive potential for efficiency savings.
Hybrid Blockchain Platforms
The core idea at the heart of the solution and thus Wallet.Services concept is the use of DLT (Distributed Ledger Technologies, like Blockchain for example) Smart Contracts and Oracle technologies to facilitate new models for secure data exchange.
Like the public sector makes use of ‘Private Clouds’, and other different permutations of Cloud Security model, Peter envisages a similar approach to DLT platforms, where governments deploy hybrid combinations of open and private features, to meet their regulatory needs while also enabling the critical sharing functionality that addresses the root issue.
Become a Blockchain Builder
A tremendously powerful effect that Scotland can cultivate is one of an accelerating ecosystem, as CivTech is intending to build. New venture ideas and digital government apps that build on these existing investments and capabilities will start to engender a ‘network effect’, an amplification of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.
Not only would Scotland enjoy more efficient public sector IT systems but this adoption would finance a sector with massive global growth potential – All governments globally experience the same root issues and will adopt the same Blockchain solutions to address them.