Scotland's digital strategy: evidence discussion paper

Summary of important links between digital and economic productivity and inclusion, changing the way we live and work in Scotland.

1. Introduction

What Is Digital?

The digital revolution continues to change the way we live our lives, to disrupt industries and transform our traditional expectations of service.

The term 'digital' is used to refer to those activities that involve internet or web-based technologies. This includes digital infrastructure (fibre, wireless etc.), digital platforms (websites, mobile etc.) and digital content (information, entertainment etc.). The term 'digital economy' comprises both the use of digital activities to conduct business and support growth across Scotland's economy as a whole (the demand side) and the extent of the business base that develops, delivers and supports such technologies at home and abroad (the supply side).

Scotland's Digital Strategy Refresh

Scotland Digital Strategy, published in 2011, aimed to extend connectivity, promote the digital economy, digitise public services and promote digital participation. Significant progress has been made on these goals. Both technology and our understanding of the benefits that digital can provide have changed significantly over the past five years, and the pace of change across the wider economy and society has accelerated. It is in this context that Scotland's digital strategy is being refreshed.

Realising Scotland's full potential in a Digital World sets out the actions for ensuring Scotland can fully benefit from the digital age.

The purpose of this paper is to provide evidence to inform the publication of the refresh of Scotland's Digital Strategy.

The document is structured as follows:

  • Section 2 discusses the key digital developments that are impacting the way in which we live, work and do business in Scotland;
  • Section 3 summarises the important links between different dimensions of digital and economic growth and inclusion in Scotland; and,
  • Section 4 analyses Scotland's progress to becoming a world-leading digital nation.


Email: Deborah McGovern

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