Digital Nation

Digital Government – Foundation for a Scottish Digital Nation

Digitizing the Scottish public sector is a keystone foundation required to realize the vision of a world leading Scottish Digital Nation.

As they describe here digitally transforming the public sector is central to the Scottish Government’s ambition to build a world leading digital nation.

It’s defined as one of the component foundations of their Principles of a Digital Nation, a holistic strategy that also encompasses the development of Digital Education and growing a Strong Digital Economy, through Digitizing Scottish Businesses and Supporting the Tech Sector.

Digital Government describes how to become a truly digital nation, the nature of government, at a national and local level, will need to change to meet the needs of citizens:

“The people we serve expect services that are responsive and tailored to their needs and they expect to hold us to account for the quality and efficiency of these services. This requires us to both re-think how we design and deliver services and change the operating model of the organisations that provide them.”

Audit Scotland has tracked progress, publishing two reports Enabling Digital Government and Digital Progress in Local Government, which identified a number of factors and characteristics necessary for true Digital Government, and that are being addressed through the Scottish Government’s action plan to:

  • Design services around the needs of our users and enable users to play a full and active part in the design process.
  • Design digital public services with security built in from the outset.
  • Adopt a common approach to online identity where personal data is controlled by the individual.
  • Place national and local government at the heart of an ecosystem of organisations, across the public, private and third sector, working together in new and different ways to meet public needs.
  • Commit to using common digital and data standards that enable us to work across boundaries and deliver personalised and preventive services.
  • Use common operating platforms for the processes that are common across Government and enable our resources to be focussed on front line service delivery.
  • Be data driven, using data systematically to improve decision making, saving time, money and lives.
  • Stimulate innovation through innovative procurement and the availability of non-personalised research data.

Overall Transforming Government requires a fundamental shift in culture, skills, leadership, service design, process engineering, the use of data, collaboration, and investment planning. It requires leaders with the confidence to move away from the approaches, systems and ways of working that have been successful in the past.


Editor of On a mission to build a world leading Scottish digital nation.

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