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DigitalGovernment.scot – Digital Strategy for an Independent Scotland

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Our ebook DigitalGovernment.scot is intended to aggregate best practices from around Scotland and the world to define a compendium of blueprints for achieving Digital Government transformation.

A particularly interesting dimension is that at this time of Brexit chaos there is an increasing likelihood Scotland may soon vote to go their own way entirely and vote for their own Independence.

This would then require their own completely new national digital infrastructure, a scenario documented in this report from the Common Weal.

The author Gordon Morgan walks through all the systems a new Scotland would require, with estimated costings for each totaling £1,250 million.

Be Like Estonia

A key idea to consider is to view this not as a cost but an investment.

It could be argued the practical route would be to procure these systems from IBM et al, but what if instead the solutions were sourced locally from Scottish tech startups, and the spending used to fund a massive skills training program to support it’s implementation?

This would deliver a double whammy – All the required systems and a massively expanded tech sector, now the largest industry in the world, underpinned by an asset and skills base that could be exported internationally, generating huge revenues.

A keynote exemplar to emulate is Estonia, a country 1/5 the size of Scotland, which has achieved the awe-inspiring status of now being the world‘s leading digital nation.

For Scotland what is especially compelling about this is that this accomplishment was achieved following their own independence. They too had to build an entirely new digital infrastructure from the ground up with limited means, and so necessity became the mother of invention.

They simply had to make it work and so employed an ultra lean approach based on open source technologies, and unencumbered by legacy systems were able to build an entirely integrated platform, a foundation that led to their current world leading status.

Building a Blockchain Nation

That was many years ago and so today in 2019 Scotland has the opportunity to repeat the same process, but in an age of the Cloud, Blockchain and Self-Sovereign Identity.

Scotland could leapfrog to the position of boasting the world’s most advanced digital government infrastructure, being the first to master and deploy into production emerging technologies that other countries are still only experimenting with.

It would provide a platform for a 21st century nation, facilitating new digital currencies, online voting and democratic participation by default and yield a massively more efficient public service.

Many other countries would want to emulate this success and so it would facilitate a surge in international exports for Scotland’s tech sector.

Greatly reducing the cost base of Scotland’s public sector while simultaneously growing international trade revenues, is clearly a compelling and powerful strategy for ensuring Scotland’s independence drives economic prosperity for all of its people.

Neil McEvoy
Founder of Digital Scotland. Veteran entrepreneur with 20+ years of pioneering Cloud computing innovations and best practices.

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