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Written by Chris Ashworth, Head of Public Benefit, Nominet

It’s the sequel none of us wanted, although perhaps all knew was coming: Lockdown 3.0. When the Prime Minister told us to remain in our homes once again at the turn of the year — closing schools just one day into the new term — my first thought was of all the young people still living on the wrong side of digital divide. How would they cope?

Statistics suggest that up to 1.78 million students faced challenges with home schooling due to a lack of access to internet connections or devices during the previous lockdowns. This is supported by our recent (serendipitously timed) Nominet research which found that half of British parents worry that their children’s education will be impacted due to a lack of tech in the home, and only one in four parents (26%) are able to provide their children with uninterrupted access to the internet for home learning. …

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Written by Karlyn McKell, Senior Content Marketing Specialist at Siege Media

COVID-19 has disrupted the way we go on about our daily lives. With vaccines on the way, there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel yet the toll on our public health and economy have been major. In 2021, leaders and citizens alike will reflect on lessons learned throughout the pandemic to see what can be done in the future to slow the spread of disease.

IoT has proven to be a unique defense against the viral spread, with smart cities helping to track data and keep citizens informed. Keep reading to learn about smart cities’ defense against pandemics, such as contactless payment, disease tracking, and more. …

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Written by Tarun Sinha, CEO Aasaan Jobs

The ongoing global pandemic and its economic impact have presented businesses around the world with many unknown frontiers. As lockdowns are gradually being lifted across geographies, a key challenge is gradually re-entering the workspace, with regards to optimum productivity along with optimum workplace safety. With the right tools and resources, it is possible for companies to deliver an effective and successful ‘re-entry strategy’ for their businesses as well as their employees.

Physical spaces and workplace dynamics are now being re-thought, re-drafted, and re-designed to allow for the changing aspirations of talent as well as of businesses. Although workplaces had already begun transforming for a new millennia pre-Covid, the global pandemic has perhaps sped up a process that would otherwise have taken years to come across the board. …

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Written by Liz O’Driscoll , Head of Innovation, Civica

This year has been a defining period for both our public services and our community. Few could have predicted a global pandemic and the far-reaching impact it has had on our society. But despite it being the most disruptive period in a generation, it has seen our public services at their best and most innovative.

There’s no doubt the pandemic has, “turbocharged the digital transformation of almost every part of our days” as UK Digital Minister Oliver Dowden commented. It’s unmistakably altered our lives and highlighted the essential role technology and cloud plays in keeping us working and connected. It’s unlikely that we will, or even want to, return to the way things were. …

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Written by Liz O’Driscoll , Head of Innovation, Civica

This year has been a defining period for both our public services and our community. Few could have predicted a global pandemic and the far-reaching impact it has had on our society. But despite it being the most disruptive period in a generation, it has seen our public services at their best and most innovative.

There’s no doubt the pandemic has, “turbocharged the digital transformation of almost every part of our days” as UK Digital Minister Oliver Dowden commented. It’s unmistakably altered our lives and highlighted the essential role technology and cloud plays in keeping us working and connected. It’s unlikely that we will, or even want to, return to the way things were. …

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Written by Kyle Nel, CEO Co-Founder, Uncommon Partners & Nathan Furr, Assistant Professor of Strategy, INSEAD

Whether creating a disruptive business model, developing a radical innovation, or executing a cultural makeover, leaders know that their job is to drive organizational transformation to keep pace with today’s rapidly changing world.

They also know that the odds of success are against them.

Often, however, it is not the inability to solve technological or strategic problems that causes companies to fail. …

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Written by Sally Meecham, CEO, Centre for Digital Public Services, Wales

Commitment to supporting digital in Wales

In her draft budget for 2021–22, Rebecca Evans announced that CDPS has been allocated funding of £4.9m for the next financial year. This is brilliant news for digital public services in Wales.

There is now a really exciting opportunity to build on the first six months of CDPS and we will continue to work with colleagues across the public sector in Wales and our ever-growing network of partners, suppliers and stakeholders to deliver good, inclusive and accessible public services and ensure the people that design and deliver the services have the right skills, capability, ambition and support. …

Written by Neha Sampat, CEO, Contentstack

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Researchers and businesses are increasingly intent on creating a circular economy, one that decouples economic success from the consumption of finite resources. By designing waste out of operations and transitioning to renewable energy, we can enjoy a high standard of living and continued innovation without consuming and destroying the world around us.

Digital technology has been used to make huge strides in reducing paper waste, increasing efficiency and reducing unnecessary travel and transport. And while these are definitely benefits worth noting, digital is not the entirely green solution we often think it is.

The Invisible Costs Of Digital Life

One prime example of how the digital revolution can remove some forms of waste while replacing it with others is the music industry. Consumers once had to go to a store to buy a record or CD. Now they can stream it virtually. With so many costly steps in the process eliminated, it seems obvious that digitally distributed music consumes less energy and resources than the old system. …

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Written by Denis Kaminskiy, Founder at Arcus Global

The UK has a hugely complex system of public services. When I started Arcus Global at the backend of 2009, the UK was considered a world leader in digital government. Over that time we’ve seen a dramatic digital shift, with much innovation and achievement taking place between 2010 and 2015.

According to the new report from the Commission for Smart Government, progress has somewhat stalled over the last five years. Part of the issue is that the procurement process for government contracts is an extremely variable experience for smaller tech companies.

The report states that the Government has ‘allowed itself to be captured by a small number of legacy providers who in many cases dictate the terms of the market, squeezing out smaller and more innovative firms.’ But then, further hurdles come into place when smaller players do win those contracts. …

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Written by Byron Reese , CEO & publisher at Gigaom

In the past few years, artificial intelligence has advanced so quickly that it now seems hardly a month goes by without a newsworthy AI breakthrough. In areas as wide-ranging as speech translation, medical diagnosis, and gameplay, we have seen computers outperform humans in startling ways.

This has sparked a discussion about how AI will impact employment. Some fear that as AI improves, it will supplant workers, creating an ever-growing pool of unemployable humans who cannot compete economically with machines.

This concern, while understandable, is unfounded. In fact, AI will be the greatest job engine the world has ever seen. …

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