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November 24, 2015

Back UK fintech & cybersecurity: 5 tech demands for the Autumn Statement

News: EMC, SAP and others explain what they want from George Osborne.

By Alexander Sword

As UK Chancellor of Exchequer George Osborne prepares to deliver another Autumn Statement, the tech sector gives CBR its views on what it would like him to say.

1. Time to back public sector tech

James Norman, UK Public Sector CIO, EMC, said:

"The sheer growth of digital citizen services has been astounding and the Government needs to understand the demand and expectations of the ‘information generation’.

Our recent ‘Future of Government Digital Services’ report found that over half of 18-34 year olds want more online services in business support, whilst businesses are losing an average of 33 working days a year as a result of inadequate online resources.

" In a world where ‘uberisation’ has become the buzzword of the year and companies like Airbnb are redefining the standards of customer service, government needs to see technology as not a costly disruptive influence but a fundamental tool to help better engage businesses and citizens.

"It will be interesting to see whether the delivery of smarter and more convenient online services in areas like healthcare, local government and tax, plays a focus in the Autumn Statement announcement."


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2. Government must look to data for productivity gains

Elizabeth Kanter, Director Government Relations and Public Policy, Global Corporate Affairs at SAP, said:

"We firmly believe that unlocking the value of government data will be key to delivering this next wave of public sector productivity.
"Indeed, effective use and analysis of government data will identify common issues, optimise resources across departments and ultimately deliver more efficient public services.

"However, leveraging data alone isn’t enough- departments will require access to skills and technology that can harness, analyse and derive insights from government data to ultimately support digital transformation.

"Put simply to achieve the results the Government will propose tomorrow, it must become a ‘data leader’.

"This means Government must invest in data infrastructure and building the required skills base needed to support data driven decision making which will ultimately enable government to make more informed decisions faster across departments and, ultimately, do a better, more effective job – doing more with less."


3. Create the right environment for fintech to thrive

Dan Wagner, founder and CEO of Powa Technologies, said:

"George Osborne has recently announced his ambitions to make London ‘the global centre for fintech’, but to see this become reality he must abide by his commitment to provide "a space where innovation can happen" when he sets out his Autumn Statement.

"Since start-ups provide so much of the innovation in this sector, the Statement should re-evaluate the government’s policy towards investment in entrepreneurial ventures.

"After closing a loophole in the Entrepreneur’s Relief on capital gains tax in September, Osborne will have to convince the business community that he is serious about encouraging investment in innovation."


4. Investing is not enough to boost UK cybersecurity

Paul Farrington, Senior Solutions Architect at Veracode, said:

"As GCHQ director Robert Hannigan argued earlier this month, the free market is failing cybersecurity. The government must go beyond its fiscal investment and also invest in policy and regulation to ensure that companies are held liable for breaches where they have not taken appropriate measures to secure customer data.

"This will be important for ensuring that companies carry out their cybersecurity due diligence and protect against known threats.

"But, with any steps towards issuing liability, the government must also ensure that it is providing cyber education to the private sector so that all companies can make informed decisions on cybersecurity.

"Technical training must not only be provided to the engineers who are leading the cyber fightback, but also to Non-Executive Directors who will then be better informed to ask the board the uncomfortable questions necessary to determine whether the firm can repel and indeed survive a breach attempt."


5. Modern infrastructure is key to a modern economy

Neil Fraser, Satellite Programme Lead, ViaSat UK, said:

"High-speed internet is almost guaranteed to be on the industry’s wish list from the Spending Review; from assuring a minimum service commitment to every business in the nation and even moving towards ultra-fast speeds in some areas.

"Quite simply, if Britain is to be a modern economy beyond London, we need the infrastructure to match. However, it will be interesting to see how far any investment announced will go toward meeting these requirements.

"The latest 10Mbps Universal Service Obligation is one example of a goal that reflects increased demand for broadband; but does not go far enough, and by itself does not solve the connectivity problems many businesses face.

"True superfast speeds to any location in the British Isles are almost within reach: for instance, satellite internet providers worldwide are already providing speeds of over 24Mbps, often with a more consistent and reliable level of service than their terrestrial competitors."


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