digital scotland (2)

Digital Scotland: Hype or Reality


Sometimes it can be useful to talk things up. A feel-good factor can help to motivate, persuading others to follow a similar path to reach an agreed goal.

Talking things up too much, however, can lead to hubris - an exaggerated feeling of self-importance, a position of dangerous overconfidence totally divorced from reality.

In terms of Digital Scotland, it really is time to distinguish between hype and reality.

Over the last week or so, we have been exposed to a series of headlines which would appear to indicate that we do indeed live in a world class digital nation. Apparently, the North East is pushing to become a global digital leader; we are on the verge of building an IoT nation for all; our digital sector is ready to take on the world by going global; Scotland is leading the way in narrowing the digital divide; and Glasgow is set to become tech’s ‘living lab’.

Hype or reality?

Digital Glasgow Roadmap 2014

As always, it is useful to take a step back before looking forward.

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As we continue with the pretence that Scotland will be a world-class digital nation by 2020, an objective that is already unattainable due to Digital Darwinism (the fact that technology and society are evolving at a faster rate than our ability to adapt), this is the debate we really should be having - Digital Disruption Summit.

With November and December being the traditional business awards months in Scotland, we will soon be handing out awards covering the best use of e-commerce, best mobile app, best use of social media, digital professional of the year and many others. While I wish the short-listed candidates all the best, I think we are completely missing the point here.

Where is the award for the best appreciation of the likely impact of digital disruption on the Scottish economy? Where is the award for the best example of digital business transformation? Are we even having this debate?

With evidence suggesting that digital disruption will replace 4 out of 10 industry incum

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