Digital Scotland – Blueprint for a Scottish Digital Nation

The purpose of Digital Scotland is to support and help accelerate the Scottish Government’s ambition for the country to become a world leading digital nation, and our ebook will provide a complete blueprint for achieving this.

The first step in this exercise is to define what a ‘Digital Nation’ actually is, a concept so deep and broad it would form an ongoing debate, that we can start through identifying some key component parts:

  • A technical infrastructure, for uniting all the disparate IT systems into a single environment, particularly that of Digital Identity – the core mechanism for commonality across multiple systems, as well as other key foundations notably the Blockchain and a national integration platform like Estonia’s X-Road system.
  • A digital learning nation – Online learning is ubiquitous, modernizing our schooling, empowering the disadvantaged with new skill sets and integrated with businesses to form route to work pathways.
  • A nation of digital entrepreneurs – These skills are married with support programs and technology accelerators to enable the fast-tracked launch of a myriad of new digital businesses.
  • Wholesale digital capability across all the nation – Key groups are lagging in their adoption of technology, such as small businesses and rural communities. Initiatives to address this will be implemented.

Digital Platform Ecosystems

These are just some of the themes that would comprise an entire digital nation strategy, and we’ll be executing against all these goals, within an overall umbrella of building a national ‘digital ecosystem’. This provides for the platform and tools to organize the collaborations required to advance them and to encourage the dialogue to identify others and advance those too.

As Wikipedia describes:

“A digital ecosystem is a distributed, adaptive, open socio-technical system with properties of self-organisation, scalability and sustainability inspired from natural ecosystems. Digital ecosystem models are informed by knowledge of natural ecosystems, especially for aspects related to competition and collaboration among diverse entities.”

To date ecosystems have mainly been defined in terms of specific business models, industries and technology domains. For example as McKinsey offer in this detailed special guide, typical scenarios are digital banking and the IoT.

Our goal is to apply the model to a national infrastructure, literally a platform for a country’s entire digital economy, achieving multiple benefits. As described in this Telegraph article:

“You’re not only building digital business,” he says, “but a more connected, more efficient digital society ‒ from smarter cities to agricultural systems that can feed billions, to the need for fewer hospital beds.”

The DigitalScot.net site provides the core building block of a digital community, equipped with social business networking, an e-learning knowledge base and vendor directory among other features with more to come, that provide the tools for defining and implementing a digital ecosystem.

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