Scotland’s future will be forged in a digital world. It’s a world in which data and digital technologies are transforming every element of our nation and our lives – people, place, economy and government.
In the past year, the coronavirus crisis has changed our way of life fundamentally. Many of us have worked successfully from home. We’ve come to rely on home shopping, online education and new and creative ways of using digital technology to keep in touch with family and friends.
But it has also demonstrated the problems that come from digital exclusion. It has reminded us all that whilst technology can transform lives for the better, its essential that we ensure that no one is left behind.
For those of us in Government, be that national or local, the crisis has highlighted both the importance of collaboration and the role that data and digital technology can play in enabling this to happen. We have seen just how much can be achieved by working together, as individuals and organisations across traditional boundaries.
Last year, the Scottish Government and COSLA made a commitment to work together to deliver this refreshed Digital Strategy for Scotland, a shared vision of a modern, digital and collaborative government, designed around people.
This document is a result of that joint working, but its publication is only the beginning. Our commitment to work together remains as strong as ever as we work to put this strategy into practice – a commitment to change the way we work to ensure services are designed to meet the needs of the user, to deliver economic recovery, to meet climate change targets and to ensure that everyone in Scotland has the skills, connectivity and devices required to fully participate in our digital nation.
The speed of digital transformation around the world will only increase. But we are confident that the measures set out in the document will allow Scotland to more than keep pace with change, facing the challenges and opportunities it brings. We believe this strategy sets out a path for us to work together to ensure Scotland fulfils its full potential in this digital world.
Ivan McKee MSP, Minister for Trade Innovation and Public Finance
Councillor Gail MacGregor, COSLA Resources Spokesperson