The seven strands of the Governmentâs new digital strategy | DMA

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The seven strands of the Governmentâs new digital strategy


The Government recognises that in 20 years’ time around 90% of all jobs will require digital skills of some sort. Young people with digital skills should be thinking about a career as a data scientist or digital marketer when at school or college. This is a huge opportunity for the marketing sector.

The DMA covered the publication of the strategy, looking particularly at the possible ramifications of artificial intelligence (AI). However, there were a range of other announcements in the strategy. The strategy is broken down in to seven key strands which are:

1. Connectivity: building world-class digital infrastructure for the UK

2. Skills and inclusion: Giving everyone access to the digital skills they need

3. The digital sectors: making the UK the best place to start and grow a digital business

4. The wider economy: helping every British business become a digital business

5. Cyberspace: making the UK the safest place in the world to live and work online

6. Digital government: maintaining the UK government as a world leader in serving its citizens online

7. The data economy: unlocking the power of data in the UK economy and improving public confidence in its use.

In the UK there is a lack of students taking up computer science and other STEM subjects. Those that do often to do not see marketing as a potential career. The marketing industry should use the Government’s new focus on digital skills to show young people the potential from a career in marketing, and DMA’s recent merger with the IDM means we can help fill the gap mentioned in pillar two.

To boost skills the Government will commit to training people with inadequate digital skills as happens now for people without basic numeracy and language knowledge. Digital exclusion will also be an area of concern the Government will look at.

The UK’s digital economy is booming and already contributes significant amounts to the UK’s GDP. However, the Government want to do more and maintain the UK’s position as a centre of innovation.

Regulation must support entrepreneurs to take risks and innovate, the Government says. This means working with regulators like the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to ensure they maintain a balanced approach allowing innovation to flourish.

Pillar seven is perhaps the most important one for DMA members as it relates to the data economy. The Government estimate that data will benefit the UK economy by up to £241 billion between 2015 and 2020, hence the emphasis.

This includes addressing the skills gap. The report says: “In recognition of the importance of data handling and data analytical skills to the digital economy, the government will work with the industry-led Data Skills Taskforce to help implement key elements of the Analytic Britain report produced by Nesta and Universities UK, which provides a number of proposals to raise levels of data analysis education and skills provision in the UK.”

The reports confirms again what we already knew, that the Government will implement the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and it will be enforced in the UK from 25 May 2018.

Another sticking point has been what will happen to the trade in data between EU countries and the UK after it has left the EU. Most commentators have been calling for the UK to seek adequacy status from the EU, which would having essentially equivalent data protection laws.

The Government recognise the importance of the trade in data between the EU and the UK and want to do all they can support the continued free flow of data but at an international level too.

The report states: “The referendum result therefore raises important questions for companies in the UK that want to share data across international boundaries, in particular with the 27 other countries of the EU. We recognise the importance of the UK maintaining strong data protection laws and safeguards to ensure that businesses and services can continue to operate across international borders.”

A part the UK Government’s plans for Brexit will be ensuring that data flows are uninterrupted and will be considering all the options available. This is great news for the marketing industry as it is clear the Governments understands the importance of striking a deal post-Brexit to maintain the free flow of data between the UK and EU.

Read the full report here.

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