Digitisation could make Scotland ‘world-leader’

Deputy First Minister John Swinney is an advocate of the socioeconomic benefits that digitisation will bring across Scotland
Deputy First Minister John Swinney is an advocate of the socioeconomic benefits that digitisation will bring across Scotland
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An increase in the digitisation of the Scottish economy could yield returns of up to £13 billion.

The Deloitte report - commissioned by the Scottish Futures Trust report - which focuses on the socioeconomic benefits of digital infrastructure, cites the figure which could be obtained if Scotland became the world leader in digitisation.

Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce leader Alison Henderson has welcomed the city's increased digital growth. Image: DACC

Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce leader Alison Henderson has welcomed the city's increased digital growth. Image: DACC

The vast sum compares to an increase of £4 billion by 2030 if Scotland merely continues its sluggish pace of digital improvements.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “The report outlines that if Scotland were to become a world leader, the nation could not only see a significant increase in GDP, but also the creation of nearly 6,000 new small-medium sized enterprises (SME) and small office/home office enterprises (SOHO) and an extra 175,000 jobs by 2020.

READ MORE: Bridging Scotland’s digital skills gap

“Across all scenarios outlined in the report, businesses and individuals benefit from enhanced digitalisation.”

I regularly see new people looking for opportunities to develop and a lot of this is driven by digitisation

Alison Henderson, CEO of Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce

At present, the Scottish Government is investing £410 million in the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband project, which aims for at least 95 per cent of the country’s premises to have a fibre internet connection by the end of 2017.

One of the cities best-placed to benefit from increasing digitisation is Dundee. Thanks for the large number of digital start-ups in the city, it has established itself as a Scottish hub of digital creativity through entrepreneurial technology firms and software developers.

Alison Henderson is the Chief Executive Office of Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce. She said: “Dundee City and Angus are both innovative and ambitious areas - I regularly see new people looking for opportunities to develop and a lot of this is driven by digitisation.

“If there’s a slight chink in any of that, we are hearing that some businesses both in the city and in rural areas still can’t get superfast broadband, so it’s currently patchier than we’d like it to be.

“It’s rare that a business isn’t digitising in some way now. A good quality internet-connection is as essential as electricity for any business.”

As well as the Digital Scotland project, the government is also encouraging people to take up careers in digital roles through the CodeClan project launched by the Deputy First Minister in October this year.