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FutureScot An independent publication from www.canongate.org

Distributed with The Times Scotland 15 December 2016



Scotland’s CDO interviewed


Reporting on EduTech 2016

Trump plays Janet Jackson

A work of art How data is helping rebuild ‘The Mack’


Nick Lambert on the IP Act




15 December 2016


Delegates at BIM Scotland 2017 will gain insight into the transformative effect of data in construction

FutureScot is an independent publication by Canongate Communications.

3 BRIEFING Scotland’s new chief digital officer interviewed

5 EDUTECH 2016 How technology can transform children’s learning

9 COVER STORY Creating a 3D Charles Rennie Mackintosh world

10 THE CLOUD Scottish companies and academia leading the way

13 DATAFEST UK’s first week-long data festival coming to Scotland

14 INNOVATION Insights from the first Techaus Festival in Glasgow

15 LEGAL Comment: Sending the wrong message to the world EDITOR Will Peakin

0131 561 7364 will@futurescot.com DEPUTY EDITOR Kevin

O’Sullivan 0131 561 7364 kevin@futurescot.com ADVERTISING Jake

Oszczepalinski 0131 561 7351 jake@brandscotland.com PUBLISHER Hamish Miller 0131 561 7344 hamish@canongate.org FutureScot

Creative Exchange 29 Constitution Street Edinburgh, EH6 7BS www.futurescot.com DESIGN & PRODUCTION

Palmer Watson www.palmerwatson.com Typography:

Expresso and Flama from Feliciano Type Foundry www.felicianotypefoundry.com

Adoption through collaboration A must-attend event in the New Year as developing BIM in a collaborative 3D environment becomes imperative for the public sector By William Peakin The Review of Scottish Public Sector Procurement in Construction recommended that Building Information Modelling (BIM) be adopted on public sector projects, where appropriate, from April 2017. In line with the BIM Implementation Plan for Scotland, Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) in partnership with Scottish Government have been delivering a programme of works to support the public sector in the adoption of BIM. BIM uses digital technology to improve the sharing and analysis of data during the construction and operational phase of projects. Improving data

management and collaboration within projects will significantly improve efficiency and decision making within projects. On 17 January, FutureScot is hosting BIM Scotland 2017 - a platform for practitioners, academics, supplier and procurement professionals to exchange knowledge and ideas on innovation, development and implementation. “As Scotland moves towards a digital built environment, BIM will be a key part for the future of the Scottish construction industry,” said David Philp, global director of BIM at AECOM and head of the UK BIM Task Group, who will be chairing the FutureScot conference. “SFT’s BIM Implementation plan is on programme with the next significant milestone in April 2017 when Scottish Government looks to implement the adoption of BIM on public sector projects where appropriate. “ “SFT’s BIM delivery framework for public bodies is unique in its: When? Why? and How? approach. Firstly, an online grading tool helps the procuring client determine an appropriate level of

BIM maturity 1 or 2 by assessing BIM capability, data use cases and the value of the works. Secondly, a web-based return on investment (ROI) calculator helps inform the BIM business case for the project or programme. And thirdly, the SFT BIM website assists the procurer in navigating the relevant British Standards through a task-based approach that includes their information requirements templates, plans of work and orientation videos. Philp adds: “This BIM guidance website translates learning and best practice into a simplified approach to support public bodies implement BIM. This will enable the implementation of BIM under a consistent national approach. This will be launched in January 2017. “As part of the Scottish BIM Implementation plan there has been significant engagement from industry, academia and Scottish procurers. The formation of a successful industry forum and the work of the Scottish BIM supplier group is ensuring that the strategy can be successfully and programmatically implemented to ensure better outcomes and a sustained

journey to Scottish construction sector digitisation. “The engagement and monitoring of the four Scottish BIM pilot projects has already provided valuable lessons learned from new-build projects, major infrastructure to historic environment. These findings and other Scottish case studies are helping usere refine the guidance and provide evidence to our BIM ROI toolkit. “BIM is already helping Scottish construction organisations achieving more innovative solutions and better data driven decisions.” Adoption through collaboration – make it digital

Tuesday 17 January 2017, Glasgow The BIM Scotland 2017 conference hosted by FutureScot.com will provide a platform for practitioners, academics, supplier and procurement professionals to exchange knowledge and ideas on innovation, development and implementation. With Scottish public sector requirements to adopt BIM level 2 by April 2017, this will be a mustattend event. http://bim.scot/

Digital health strategy in development FutureScot is an independent publication by Canongate Communications distributed in The Times Scotland. All rights reserved. Neither this publication or part of it may be stored, reproduced or transmitted, electronically, photocopied or recorded without prior permission of the Publisher. FutureScot is published and exclusively distributed in The Times Scotland. We verify information to the best of our ability but do not accept responsibility for any loss for reliance on any content published. If you wish to contact us please include your full name and address with a contact telephone number.

By William Peakin The Scottish Government’s eHealth division is developing a five-year digital health and social care strategy for publication next summer. “Person-centred health and social care is at the heart of our strategic agenda in Scotland. We are developing a new, integrated digital health and social care strategy that will build on achievements to date and set out future development and

priorities,” said a spokesperson. “Digital services offer real benefits to clinicians, health and care workers and patients. [Last month] we began to develop the new strategy and are seeking general views, ideas and feedback. This will inform the draft document which will form the basis for a more detailed discussion with stakeholder groups from early 2017.” A vision for the strategy says that citizens of Scotland “should have access to the digital information, tools and

services [they] need to help maintain and improve health and wellbeing.” There is also be an expectation that people’s health and social care information would be “captured electronically, integrated and shared securely”. The vision (http://bit.ly/2hISVBb) adds that “digital technology and data will be used appropriately and innovatively to help plan and improve services, enable research and economic development and ultimately improve outcomes for everyone.”

Health and Social Care 2017 Supporting digital transformation

A one-day conference, 8 February 2017, Glasgow Featuring world-leading policy-makers and technologists, Health and Social Care 2017 is an opportunity for practitioners in Scotland to understand the challenges and opportunities of digital transformation, as it relates to them in their day-to-day roles. http://hsc.scot/


15 December 2016


Meet the new Chief Digital Officer for Scotland’s local councils But just nine weeks into the job, and he’s already sick of the D-word By Kevin O’Sullivan “Digital transformation, government, I’ll do it, I’ll sort it out - it’s dead easy,” jokes Martyn Wallace, the man who has just been appointed to arguably one of the most challenging public sector jobs in Scotland. Although Wallace is laughing, I detect a bit of gallows humour in his voice. He knows this gig is not going to be easy. Wallace’s official job title is Chief Digital Officer at the newly-created Scottish Local Government Digital Office. He works in an office at the ‘Improvement Service’ in Livingston. It all sounds a bit Orwell. It’s not meant to. There is an awful lot of stock being put behind getting public services in Scotland fit for their own ‘digital transformation’. As Wallace sees it, though, the journey towards technology-driven public services is less about the word ‘digital’ and more about ‘transformation’, or change. “I’m sick of the word digital,” he says. “It’s actually just normal dayto-day stuff. It’s about business and changing the way you do things. And that is pretty fundamental.” Wallace is simply echoing the zeitgeist; at the annual World Economic Forum gathering in Davos this year, the top-level discussion focused around exactly that - leveraging the power of technology to institute a far higher level of organisational change. The CEOs of the world’s biggest companies all appear to be on board, as no one wants their markets swallowed up by the likes of Uber. “Most of the real transformation comes in reinventing your business processes, your strategy, the way you organise your company,” Erik Brynjolfsson, Director, MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, MIT Sloan School of Management, told the conference in Switzerland. Wallace is totally on board. His

job, though, is to change the way local councils operate in Scotland, using technology to make services more accessible and easier to use. He is currently working with 27 of them, and hopes to have visited half by Christmas on a tour of the country. But visiting change upon organisations that employ more than 200,000 people is not going to be easy. “We’ve got a strategy: digital leadership is about the hearts and minds, the HR that’s required,” adds Wallace, whose previous roles include working for Capita and Telefonica O2. He adds: “There will be disruption. I can’t help it but there will be potential job losses and job realignment to different services – because digital will take over people’s jobs as we become leaner and more engaged. We need to understand the fundamental problems in each service and ask, ‘What’s the art of the possible? What would Google do in this scenario’?”

His approach will be to embed a different kind of thinking within council departments, encouraging them to get together with end users to ‘co-design’ services from the outset. He is encouraged by the recent Scottish Government-led CivTech project, which put a call out to entrepreneurs and technologists to come up with innovative tech-based platforms to solve six public sector problems. One of those was to harness tech-

nology to create a flood risk mapping service for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA); another came from National Services Scotland (NSS), whose Information Services Division (ISD) was seeking to improve the way it delivers health and social care data and analysis to healthcare professionals. “I fully support and back CivTech,” Wallace adds. “I’ve got a brief that’s being written up that’s going out to chief execs. We’re going out for the call to action for CivTech 2. When I accepted the post I was given nine issues to look at. I’ve discussed those with the councils I’ve seen so far. But within those nine issues there are more issues, so I’m now looking at a list of around 40 ideas. I’m saying to people, ‘What are the big questions you want answered’? Give them to me and CivTech and we’ll look at them.” Wallace’s view is that rather than create services for local authorities multiple times, it’s far better and easier to focus on creating one and rolling it out to all councils, be it for assisted living, health, education or even volunteer-based community services. “It’s my view – and I’ve been very open about this – that councils have got no money, we’ve got an aging population, and they all essentially do the same stuff,” he says. “But what we shouldn’t be doing is building something 32 times and rolling it out once. We should be doing it once and rolling it out 32 times, so whether that’s a national programme, or best practice, or software.” It is an ambitious goal, and Wallace along with his Chief Technology Officer colleague, Dr Colin Birchenall - are part of a digital office that will be funded for the next three years; they will be expected to turn their digital transformation strategy into a set of actions that

will set the ‘long-term digital direction for local government in Scotland’. But does he think he has the right profile for a job that will undoubtedly require not just technical management, but the softer skills of working with people from a different background to his own? “My background is different and I think that’s one of the main reasons I was picked for this role,” he says. “I am

“I am a bit destructive, a bit outspoken. I’m a little bit crazy. I’m a bit eccentric. I am a geek”

a bit destructive, a bit outspoken. I’m a little bit crazy. I’m a bit eccentric. I am a geek. “But I fundamentally helped shift O2 customers to the digital portfolio and digital way of thinking. So why can’t we have that ecosystem where we all come together. Because, at the end of the day, the staff in local government are citizens, private sector staff are citizens. We are all citizens.”

Martyn Wallace has been tasked with coming up with a digital transformation strategy for local government in Scotland



15 December 2016



Primary 7 worked on a collaborative project – Macbeth - with a school in China

‘We can’t believe the creativity’ An Aberdeen primary school has shown how technology can transform children’s learning By William Peakin “It’s all about creativity, collaboration and problem solving,” said Jenny Watson, head of Middleton Park primary school in Aberdeen. She was speaking about her pupils’ use of iPads, MacBooks and applications in Live Learning, a programme that the school has run for the past three years. “It’s pupil led, a whole school approach, with pupils developing and sharing their learning – we started with P7 and then they went into the other classes to teach them - and it’s also very much about engaging our parents and our community.” The brief of Live Learning was to raise attainment across the school by empowering pupils to consistently share their learning with a wide audience using creative digital learning. This game-changing approach has achieved striking results. Not only are the 200

plus pupils striving academically, with significant increase in attainment across the curriculum, but they are also extremely confident and self-aware. They understand the benefits and joys of learning and show immense pride in their school, said Watson. Watson had previously led a literacy project at an Apple regional training centre and with this knowledge and expertise, she began a programme of training within her own school. This included ensuring that pupils took the lead in Live Learning. Pupils create their own films from their ‘digital pencil case’, effectively using a range of apps including iMovie, Tellagami, Explain Everything, Morpho, Book Creator to both articulate and apply their learning. They also create films to support younger children to develop their learning.

Pupils used a drone to film the witches scenes

Each week, classes create and edit a film which is uploaded to Vimeo, the video sharing website, and parents are alerted via a link sent out through Groupcall, the education communications company co-founded by Sir Bob Geldof. “It’s a great way for us to share what’s been going on in the school,” said Watson, who was speaking at EduTech 2016, FutureScot’s technol-

ogy in education conference. “We never teach the children how to use the apps to create the content; it’s all about using the apps to share their learning.” Examples include a film made by the P5 class for the P1 class about fractions, using I Can Animate from Kudlian Software, a partner of Wallace & Grommit creators Aardman Studios. The P2 class used the Tellagami app for a

project about the Vikings. “Perhaps the most ambitious was our P7 class who did a collaborative project – Macbeth - with a school in China,” said Watson. “We divided the acts between the two schools and our children started talking about going outside for the witches scene, and they wanted to use a drone so that the children in China could see the landscape of Scotland.

“When they came to film it, we hadn’t realised the drones would be quite so noisy so there was a lot of problem solving around voiceovers and greenscreening. We are a typically very busy primary school and hadn’t had time to learn all the words, so we were holding up paper with lines on for them. So we sent it over to China, at the same time as we got their one back which was Act II. Their film was 10 minutes long, on a stage, absolutely word-perfect. “Our children’s chins were hitting the table. They couldn’t believe they had learnt 10 minutes of dialogue in one take: ‘We have to up our game,’ they said. The reply we got back from China was: ‘We can’t believe all the technology and creativity you have used in your film.’ I just can’t think how better we could have done that with our pupils; the contrast of two different cultures and the shared learning. “In creating these films the pupils had to not only understand the play but act it out, film it, talk in Mandarin, add sound effects, green screen, do voice overs and add music. They had to review, edit, make changes until they were happy with their finished film. This innovative way of delivering Continued on page 6




15 December 2016

“It’s never just about the technology, it’s always about highquality learning and teaching” Jenny Watson

Continued from page 5 the curriculum results in a depth of knowledge and understanding of the subject matter that is remarkable. The P7 pupils’ ability to discuss Macbeth was at a level far beyond that we normally expect at their age. “The children love the Live Learning programme because it’s for a genuine audience. It’s for a purpose; it’s never just about the technology, it’s always about high-quality learning and teaching.” The school has a growing library of more than 250 films which have been watched by 90,000 people in 115 countries. “For me it’s a very smart way of learning. It gives a fantastic bank of evidence. It also now gives us a very powerful bank of resources. What started off as a way of developing learning, is now also providing us with materials which can be watched by different classes to help deliver the curriculum. “The parents absolutely love it; it’s a window into the school. I keep waiting for the stats to drop off, but they don’t. When we started, a few parents didn’t want their children to be in a film,

Live Learning was identified the key driver in the school’s journey to excellence which was fine, we worked around that – but now, they have all signed up to it,” said Watson. “Live Learning has created a community of learning that reaches all stakeholders. Pupils are now far more aware of learning and the progression of skills across the school. By sending the films home, we are also reinforcing the learning and sharing it with parents. Parents are better informed, more engaged

and have a huge pride in the growing collections of films that their children have created.” Data over the last three years shows a significant increase in attainment. Following an inspection in February this year, Middlepark was hailed as one of the best schools in Scotland by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education. They cited outstanding writing and attainment in mathematics across

the school. Pupils were confident, engaged and enthusiastic; they have the confidence to take risks and know that mistakes are not a failure, but a way of learning. Live Learning was identified the key driver in the school’s journey to excellence. Inspectors awarded Middlepark 11 out of 12 excellent quality indicators, which determine the success in meeting the aims of the Scottish Curriculum

for Excellence, in developing effective contributors, responsible citizens, successful learners and confident individuals. They said Live Learning and the “outstanding use of digital technology to develop and share learning’’ was pivotal in the transformation of the curriculum. This year, the school was the winner Continued on page 8

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Continued from page 6 of the UK’s Creative School award at the national TES Awards. The judges said: “An innovative curriculum model that has children ‘live’ in their learning and embraces fresh ideas, make Middleton Park the natural winner in this category. The impact of everything that this outstanding school is achieving is clear, attainment has increased across all stages and pupils are highly engaged and enthusiastic about their learning.” The school was also recently awarded gold in the best learning technologies project - public and nonprofit sector - at the LTAwards. The judges said the entry was “inspired and inspiring”. For teachers, the training has been embedded in the school’s continual professional development programme with monthly ‘Technology Bites’ sessions that allow staff to share successes, challenges and highlights. This is enhanced by support from Aberdeen City Council’s Learning Technology Team and external courses. Over the three years, the confidence and skills of the staff has been transformed and they regularly share their expertise locally and nationally.

15 December 2016

Education Secretary John Swinney’s defence of Scotland’s fall in world education rankings provided a backdrop to the conference

Around 200 delegates gathered at

Strathclyde University’s Innovation and Technology Centre for EduTech 2016. Speakers included Quintin Cutts, professor of computer science education at Glasgow University, Judy Robertson, research lead in education teaching and leadership at Edinburgh University, education consultant Ian Tosh, Dr Laurie Butgereit, of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, and Sir John Dermot Turing and Dr Nicola Turing, of the Turing Trust. Novel uses of technology were also on show, including a partnership between data firm Pupil Tracking and Monifieth High School

to improve the way pupils’ progress is tracked and the support they receive. Professor Cutts said that our experience of computing covers a spectrum that begins with apps that are easy to use and have a narrow purpose and ends with the ability to use programming language, that can achieve an infinite number of tasks. In the middle are suites of software that people use, partly by intuition and – depending on

a person’s knowledge of computing principles – partly based on knowledge of how a programme works. He pointed out that despite the progress made in hardware and applications, the basic principles that underpin computing have not changed. One of the challenges and opportunities for the education system, he said, was to try and bridge the gap between ‘power users’ and those, when confronted by computing

principles, are ‘like rabbits caught in the headlights’. “The possibilities of computation, understanding that, drives the whole economy,” he said. Professor Robertson cautioned against the notion of technology as a panacea for the gap between children in educational attainment; recent detailed research had concluded that the reality in schools is “considerably” behind the promise of technology and that the

evidence is “not convincing” for the general impact of digital technologies on learning outcomes. Robertson said: “This matters because teachers have a finite amount of time and so [they] have to channel their time effectively and if technology is not being effective then you have to consider, is it worth using?” More reports from EduTech 2016 at futurescot.com/edutech-2016’

Cover story

15 December 2016



A definitive scan combined with a previous photographic survey and subsequent scans as the building is restored, will allow people to move around the building virtually

Making a point, 15bn times A huge cloud of data is generating a 3D world of Charles Rennie Mackintosh By William Peakin On the morning of Saturday 24 May 2014, as firemen watched over the smouldering remains of The Mackintosh Building, a team of data documentation experts from the Glasgow School of Art and Historic Environment Scotland stepped inside and set up powerful laser scanning equipment. The spinning head fired a laser one million times a second, through 360 degrees, and by recording the angle and the time taken for the light to return identified enough coordinates to generate a three-dimensional recreation of the building. Fortuitously, the team had scanned the building’s exterior four years previously, allowing them to provide a rapid and accurate comparison post-fire. This proved invaluable in reassuring the city’s building control department that the western façade, which had borne the brunt of the blaze as it spread from the basement – where a projector ignited solvent in a student’s work – up through vents to the iconic library, was safe from collapse. Just a few heavy stones at the top had moved, by about 4cm, and they could be numbered, removed and later

reinstated. Another crucial contribution came in team’s ability to measure the amount of debris – 46 cubic metres – on the library floor. Structural engineers could confirm that the floor was also not in danger of collapse, allowing a forensic excavation of the material to go ahead. Sadly, very little of the library did survive – just 12 of the 10,000 books, which are being restored – but fragments of the structure are being analysed to inform the reconstruction. The scanning of the interior over the past two years is not only assisting architects and the School of Art’s restoration team, but it also promises a ground-breaking record of the building’s life. A year later, over a period of two months, a full 3D laser survey of the entire interior of the building was undertaken. As areas changed, the team would re-scan - and by August this year it had a definitive version – comprising 15 billion data points - which, combined with a previous

“We believe that it will be a really important and accessible record” Alastair Rawlinson

photographic survey by the Royal Commission and subsequent scans as the building is restored, will allow people to move around the building virtually and explore its history. “We believe that it will be a really important and accessible record,” said Alastair Rawlinson, head of data acquisition at the School of Art’s School of Simulation and Visualisation (SimVis). “Something, that in 50 years’ time people will be able to use to look back at how the building changed over time, the extent of the damage it experienced in the fire and how it was subsequently restored as close as possible to Mackintosh’s original vision, all in a virtual 3D environment.” ‘SimVis has established an international reputation for its visualisation of the world’s heritage sites and the human anatomy, and in sound production and the use of 3D technologies in learning. Previously known as the Digital design Studio, it will formally launch as the School of Simulation and Visualisation next year, making it the fourth school at The Glasgow School of Art. It is thought that work on the main structural envelope of The Mackintosh Building, including all external stonework, walls and roofs will be complete by July next year. Work on the interior is scheduled to begin in February and be finished towards the end of 2018, when contractors, the School of Art and independent conservators will commission and install specialist items. The building is expected to reopen by Easter 2019.

Why Mackintosh was ahead of Google Restoration of the Glasgow School of Art’s historic Mackintosh Building, devastated by fire in 2014, began last month and the project’s leader has spoken about how the architect’s masterwork was an early example of a space that encouraged creativity through social interaction. “He’s known as one of the first modern architects,” said Liz Davidson. “The more you look at what he did here – the cleverness throughout the building and the future-proofing he put in and the way he used seating as social spaces; that’s what you find in a Google headquarters now. He built little social spaces all over.” During a tour of the site for journalists Davidson, the senior project manager, added: “It was so ahead of its time. We think that to go back to Mackintosh’s vision is actually giving us back a really modern building which has kind of been cluttered up over the last 100 years.” For example, Mackintosh furniture had been replaced over time and wooden and brass features painted over. Under the project’s plans, the interior of the restored building will be much closer to the original than recent generations of students and art lovers have known. But before Mackintosh’s vision

of a creative space can be restored, major structural work is required. Specialists have begun the process of removing the massive stone piers between the iconic windows on the west wall of the building, so that they can be inspected and where possible reinstated. Research to source authentic replacement timber is underway and specialists have begun the painstaking job of re-assembling 600-plus fragments of the original innovative electric lights retrieved following the fire. “It’s taken a year of work by the restoration team, with our colleagues from Archives and Collections, to develop our conservation methodology and sort the fragments into light ‘kits’,” said Sarah Mackinnon, project manager. The kits are now being transformed – into 29 completely original lights and at least a further seven, partially using original glass fragments and brass parts – by specialist lantern maker Lonsdale and Dutch in Edinburgh. But, when “the Mack” reopens in 2019, there will be some modern touches not available to Mackintosh; the lamps will be fitted with LED lights and the building will have underfloor heating and WiFi.

10 futurescot

The cloud

15 December 2016

In the world of digital transformation silver linings abound

The ease with which appointments can be synched over several devices is indicative of the overall transformative effect enabled by the cloud

Research shows organisations are rapidly adopting cloud services but a wide range of barriers still need to be overcome

By William Peakin The true worth of storing information in the cloud hit home, personally, when my 2016 MacBook died last month. Just a couple of months after purchase, it began to behave oddly; shutting down unexpectedly or not waking up from sleep. Some of you will probably be familiar with the various keyboard combinations (requiring a Twister-like dexterity) that reset either the memory model or the system management controller. It usually does the trick. Not for this problem though; it transpired the computer’s logic board, the piece that connects the computer’s various components, had failed. In another time, this would be a heart-in-the-mouth moment. Had I backed up? What about all my documents, pictures, music? As the machine began to falter, I did make a half-hearted attempt to clone the drive, but it was more to save the hassle of reinstalling third-party applications than to protect against the loss of data. You see, I don’t store a great deal on a computer; it’s in the cloud, mostly in Dropbox, or spread across various other cloud-based storage options. So, as this mini-crises unfolded I

adopted a Zen-like calm. There was mild irritation at a new, £1,000-plus, computer failing in the first place – but it was still under warranty and, as long as Apple don’t discover that you have been using it in the bath, they’ll repair it (in about five days, if the part needs to be ordered in) and waive the cost (in this case, £500). I was slightly more irritated at discovering later that the Apple ‘Genius’ (do they still call them that?) had described the condition of my MacBook as having “debris” on the top enclosure and “pits” and “light scratches” on the bottom. Strange, given that it had been in a protective cover since day one. Just three stars for Callum, then. There is also a new irritation; as soon as I unplug the charger it switches off and the battery indicator is displaying the message: “Condition: replace now!” What’s going on Apple? After 30 years, is the romance waning? But, back to the cloud. Yes, I had to spend a bit of time reinstalling applications and, because we had been waiting three months for broadband at home (that’s another story), resynching Dropbox over a 3G Wi-Fi dongle took on a comical aspect; at one point,

as the application detailed the number of files still to be synched it switched from saying the time remaining was 29 hours to, “a long time”. But, eventually, all my “stuff” – personal and work – was there. So, the cloud works for me from an individual work perspective, the way appointments can be synched over several devices is indicative of the overall transformative effect enabled by the cloud. As publishers, we use a web-based app called Blinkplan, which lets you create a digital ‘flatplan’ of a magazine or newspaper supplement, like this one. As well as the ease with which a publication can be organised, it is a collaborative tool also; make a change and your colleagues see it in real-time wherever they are located. Friction free access to data, the ability to collaborate in real-time, powerful applications that are always the latest version; the cloud is going mainstream in the workplace, or wherever you need information, apps and software as a service. The big technology players like Microsoft and Adobe, who for decades built their business on selling CDs in shrink-wrapped boxes, made bold moves into subscription-based software as a service (SaaS). Now, across industry sectors, companies are

“The way in which forward-thinking organisations transact today has fundamentally changed”

seeing the merit in third-party hosting of their data and running their business on SaaS platforms. There have been many definitions of cloud computing since the phrase was first coined in the 1990s and it has, to an extent, become a catch-all term for hosted IT services of any type, including, but not limited to, multi-tenanted services accessed via the internet. However, for the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s definition is: “cloud computing is a term that relates to the IT infrastructure and environment required to develop/ host/run IT services and applications on demand, with consumption-based pricing, as a resilient service. “Communicating over the internet and requiring little or no client end

The cloud

15 December 2016

components, it provides resources and services to store data and run applications, from many devices, anytime, anywhere, as-a-service. The services can, in turn, be scaled up and down as needed to meet a customer’s variable operational needs, ensuring maximum cost efficiency.” According to the Cloud Industry

Forum, adoption remains high with 78% of organisations using cloud services today – albeit a slight dip from the 2015 figure, this is likely to increase to 85% within the next two years. Of those organisations using cloud, three quarters expected to increased their usage this year. More than three-quarters of the organisations that use cloud have deployed two or more services

and they store, on average, 29% of their data in the cloud. The Forum’s research found that six in ten (63%) foresaw a time when they will move their entire estates to the cloud, with the remainder intending to keep certain applications in-house. Webhosting (57%), email (56%), ecommerce (53%) and collaboration services (52%) are the applications most likely to be hosted in the cloud today. The biggest growth over the next few years will be in unified communications, which promises to deliver significant benefits for end users. The flexibility of the delivery model (77%) stands as the most common reason given by cloud users for their initial adoptions. This is followed closely by scalability (76%) and 24/7

“There are significant benefits to be had by businesses that pursue both digital transformation and cloud strategies in tandem”

service dependence (74%). Over two in five (45%) say that enabling innovation is a business objective driving their continued investment in Cloud. Enhancing business continuity (37%) and improving customer service (31%) are the other objectives most likely to drive investment. Around 64% have found that using cloud has saved their organisation time and 86% report that their organisation has experienced at least one intangible benefit of the cloud. Security concerns are a primary reason for not wanting to move specific applications to the cloud for two thirds of organisations. Similarly, during the decision-making process for cloud migration, 75% were concerned about data security and 56% about data privacy. However, the clear



majority (98%) of respondents have never experienced a breach of security when using a cloud service. “The way in which forward-thinking organisations transact today has fundamentally changed, as businesses of all sizes have come to embrace digital technologies as a means to disrupt industries and secure competitive advantage,” said Nick Hilton, the Forum’s chief executive. “The imperatives for change are many, but chief among them are the mounting demands of consumers and the increasingly blurred line between our personal and professional lives; customers, both internal and external, want to be able to access information Continued on page 11

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The cloud

15 December 2016

Cloud services, which effectively offer unlimited and dynamic IT resources, form the foundation of digital transformation and can facilitate rapid business change

Continued from page 11 in real time and staff expect the same functionality of their business applications as they experience in their private lives.” Hilton said that their research suggested that the digital transformation of UK businesses is still “relatively immature and too many organisations are only just scratching the surface. While a high proportion of businesses have digital transformation in their sights, work is needed if they are to reach their digital potential. “Cloud computing is the agent of

this digital disruption, and it is clear from this research that there are significant benefits to be had by businesses that pursue both digital transformation and cloud strategies in tandem. This is not marketing hype; cloud computing and digital transformation go hand in hand. 85 per cent of businesses with a digital transformation plan have benefited from a tangible competitive advantage. “Cloud services, which effectively offer unlimited and dynamic IT resources, form the foundation of digital transformation and can facilitate rapid business change. But it is also clear from our research that digital transformation strategies serve to directly enhance the effectiveness and benefits of cloud implementations in their own right. “Flexible, on-demand, consumptionbased cloud services and applications are removing the barriers to change, allowing businesses to react quickly to changing market conditions, move on new opportunities faster than their competitors – without having to invest heavily in IT infrastructure and skills. Cloud removes – or at least lessens – the risks.”

Hilton added: “It is worth stating that the move to cloud is, often by necessity, evolutionary, not revolutionary. We have seen that while the vast majority of organisations are using cloud to some extent, data is still more likely to be located on-premise than it is in the cloud. “Encouragingly, there are strong indications that that will change in the not-too-distant future; three quarters of cloud users expect to increase their usage over the next year and over six in ten organisations can foresee a time when they will migrate everything to the cloud, representing a significant shift from this time last year.” Hilton said there was a wide

range of barriers - “be they perceived or otherwise” - that must be overcome for businesses to make the wholesale move to cloud. “Security is a persistent worry, as too are data privacy, data sovereignty and a lack of available internet bandwidth. At an organisational level, other more practical issues often need to be navigated; existing investments in legacy systems slow the pace of adoption, SMEs in particular lack leadership internally, while one in five organisations are constrained by a lack of appropriate skills. “Addressing these barriers must now be a priority. The Cloud Industry Forum calls upon UK business and technology leaders to consider how they support their staff and their businesses by ensuring access to the necessary training and skills development. 43% of businesses are facing a very real challenge to their growth because of a lack of access to talent and this is also hampering the pace of cloud adoption which has clear and significant benefits to UK business and its global position.”

‘It’s only day two of the Internet’ How Scottish companies foresee the future of cloud services Scotland can point to considerable success in cloud services. Just this month, iomart reported a 26% boost in pre-tax profits for the six months to 30 September. Chief executive Angus Macsween commented: “The move to the cloud continues to be at the centre of attention within IT departments. iomart continues to invest in the skills required to architect, migrate, manage, monitor, secure and scale public cloud, private cloud, hybrid IT and traditional IT, with a view to enabling organisations to transform, innovate, and scale their operations.” He said that there was a “longterm and large market opportunity” in preparing and managing enterprises for transformation and deployment to cloud platforms. The information technology environment has become more complex with more choice and he sees a growing requirement for the skills associated with cloud adoption. “Our ongoing challenge and opportunity is to navigate through these early days of the further evolution of cloud adoption to ensure we continue to develop the assets, skills and resources necessary to be successful in that space. As we have

broadened the scope of our services to include professional services, we have begun to see the benefits of having the skill sets around consulting and managing cloud transformation. “We are entering intomore strategic conversations with IT departments who are looking for ‘joined up thinking’ when it comes to looking at moving applications or services to the cloud. There is a growing trend to manage IT in a more fragmented way. Gone are the days when large organisations or departments would outsource their entire IT departments and magically believe that things would somehow be better. “IT evolution now tends to be project by project, application by application, with a view to maximising value, not being locked into any one technology vendor, and being able to migrate services at will. This plays into the strengths we have established around agility and flexibility alongside the right expertise and infrastructure, with an ability to manage the mix of public and private cloud and hybrids of both effectively. “This is a very long term market opportunity. We are only now starting to see back office workloads move to cloud environments and this is a trend that will continue for many years. It is, after all, only day two of the Internet.”

Other cloud services providers in Scotland include: brightsolid: “Our values define

us, our people and the way we do business. In our 2015 team satisfaction survey, 77% of respondents ‘strongly agreed’ that brightsolid has values and ethics that it lives by.”

DataVita: “A privately funded, new Scottish company, started by people who have a desire to innovate. Our board team has over 30 years’ experience designing, selling and operating datacentres and cloud services to deliver IT transformation.” Pulsant: “Our vision: To help cre-

ate a world where people can develop to meet their aspirations without being restrained by the limits of their knowledge of technology, or ability to acquire the right technology, now, or in the future.”

Commsworld: “We understand

the multiple options that are available and have a raft of experience in the delivery of network platforms that will fully support cloud access, 100% of the time, 24/7, 365 days a year.”

Aridhia: “Delivering AnalytiXagil-

ity, the self-service cloud-based data analysis platform built for biomedical research, precision medicine and healthcare communities.”


15 December 2016

Data changes everything March 2017 will see The Data Lab bring the UK’s first ever week-long data science festival to Scotland By William Peakin Scotland is poised to lead a data revolution and DataFest17 will bring some of the brightest minds from across the world in data science to Edinburgh. The event will celebrate innovation in data science and will offer the world the chance to see Scotland’s leading data science capabilities. The festival will begin the week commencing 20 March, with a programme of training events from practical data science to leadership. By harnessing the best in Scottish talent, innovation and expertise it aims to further secure Scotland’s place on the international data science stage. The event will also span the whole of Scotland where Fringe events including meetups, hackathons, debates and public engagement will be held in locations across Scotland. There is an open call for DataFest17 Fringe events, which will be included in the official programme.

Following the success of Data Talent Scotland in March this year, the one day event returns, on Wednesday 22 March, as part of the DataFest17 programme. Data Talent Scotland will bring together more than 500 attendees linking data talent from 15 Scottish universities with industry and public sector organisations and highlight Scotland’s exceptional data science ecosystem. In the evening an executive dinner will be held for senior leaders considering expanding, or creating, a business presence within Scotland. Gillian Docherty, chief executive of The Data Lab, said: “Scotland is a world-leader in data science and, in launching DataFest17, we will promote and grow our position on the international stage. The potential benefit of data to Scotland is colossal and by

“The potential benefit of data to Scotland is colossal” Gillian Docherty

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Dr Hannah Fry, mathematician and broadcaster, is among the speakers

awakening business and the public to the possibilities of data, we can create significant social and economic impact. DataFest17 will explore current and future innovation under the #DataChangesEverything theme. Data affects all parts of our lives and the festival will help us to highlight that.” The final element of the festival is the Data Summit, which will be held in Edinburgh over 23 and 24 March. The two day international conference presents compelling stories of how #DataChangesEverything with inspiring keynotes and debates. Speakers at the Data Summit

include; Dr Hannah Fry, British complex systems theorist, lecturer in the Mathematics of Cities at UCL and presenter of BBC TV’s The Joy of Data and former Chief Scientist at bitly, Hilary Mason who founded technology start up Fast Forward Labs and is Data Scientist in Residence at Accel Partners, which funds companies from inception through the growth stage. Marc Priestley, former McLaren F1 pit stop crew and expert in British racing technology, will also be sharing his experience with data at the Data Summit and said: “It’s really exciting and important that we help realise the true potential of data and I’m pleased to be supporting DataFest17

and can’t wait to see what it brings. “In Formula One, getting split-second decisions right under pressure can be the difference between success and failure. Instinct and experience can get you so far, but finding the crucial marginal advantages over the opposition may not always be obvious to the ‘naked eye’. Analysing F1 data in the

right ways can uncover the opportunities that help teams win races.” DataFest17 will take place from 20 to 24 March 2017. The festival is supported by The Scottish Government, NHS NSS, Aquila Insights and Sainsbury’s Bank. Tickets to DataFest events and more information can be found on www.datafest.global

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15 December 2016

Ideas for a connected world

There is a huge, digitallycentric future we are all headed towards, regardless of Brexit, Trump or whatever…

Around 400 people attended Techaus in Glasgow which featured workshops and talks By William Peakin

The inaugural Techaus festival took place in November at SWG3 in Finnieston, Glasgow, as a collaboration between ideas agency Equator and the Digital Media Meet-ups. With the theme ‘Ideas for a connected world’, the event joined local businesses with industry leaders and gave digital agencies an exciting, creative space to share ideas. Around 400 people attended Techaus which featured workshops and talks from companies including Spotify, Skyscanner and IBM, all themed around creativity, engagement, skills, disruption and vision. Some of the speakers from the event present their thoughts below, showing how ‘ideas for a connected world’ can come from a huge range of sectors. David Hill, account director, Spotify

Nowadays, streaming has become the mainstream; we live in a streaming economy. The holiday home has been replaced by Airbnb. The taxi has been replaced by Uber. My DVD collection at home has been replaced by Netflix and Amazon Prime. Spotify is the world’s largest music streaming service. At ten years-old, Spotify has over 30m songs, 100m active users and 2bn playlists. Spotify ultimately wants to make music available to everyone in the world, and we made great progress on that goal this year, with our recent launch in the second biggest music market in the world, Japan. Such an enormous audience produces a huge amount of data, so we work with a research firm to understand our customers and gather interesting insights. For example, when legends of the music world pass away, like David Bowie and Leonard Cohen, we see this reflected in our data. From a topical perspective, we saw a 250% increase in listenership to Nasty by Janet Jackson, after Donald Trump called Hilary Clinton a nasty woman. The music people are listening to, as well as how and when they listen, tells us a lot about them. We use this data to deliver effective advertising solutions for clients. We can help sports brands reach out to people who are listening to their gym playlist. We even have more than 40,000 shower playlists, so we can join soap brands to their potential customers too! Phil McParlane, founder, Scoop Analytics

Techaus was an exciting event for Scoop to exhibit at as it also coincided with the official launch of our breaking news dashboard, after almost five years of research and development. Our algorithms, which were developed at Glasgow University, monitor social media to pick up on breaking news before it breaks. Everyday, Scoop alerts our users to thousands of breaking news stories as they happen, ranging from leaked football transfers to eyewitness accounts

of terrorist attacks. By automatically analysing thousands of tweets every second, we can identify news as it happens and, crucially, before it hits mainstream media. Our product has applications in many areas such as journalism and finance, but also in digital marketing, which was our main reason for attending Techaus. The event was an excellent showcase of Scotland’s digital landscape and provided us with the network to grow Scoop’s presence in the market. Stephen Noble, content director, Equator

If we look back, even just a decade ago, it’s clear to see marketing has changed immensely. Ten years ago, marketing budget was invested in key word searches and flashing website banners, which people tended to avoid, believing they were viruses. Consumers would search for products on one or two websites and make their purchase decision based on what they found there. Fast forward to now and there is an endless list of sources for people to explore, meaning brands have to try harder than ever before to stand out. The main way businesses engage customers nowadays is through content, however, content creators can’t simply produce meaningless material or ‘clickbait’ for brands to churn out. They need to craft something that adds real value for the individual who will be interacting with it. The best way to do this is to know your brand’s story and use your creativity to tell it well. If you do so from the very beginning, you’ll get off to a strong start as your followers will have a greater belief in you. Consumers want brands to be authentic and down to earth - there are no walls for busi-

“We saw a 250% increase in listenership to Nasty by Janet Jackson, after Donald Trump called Hilary Clinton a nasty woman” David Hill, Spotify nesses to hide behind. It’s important to really get to know your customers too – the better you understand them, the more effectively you’ll be able to connect with them. Andrew Steele, head of SEO, Equator

Google enhanced its capability to understand conversational search, entities and their properties through the implementation of its Hummingbird algorithm in 2013. In 2016 this was supplemented by Google’s introduction of artificial intelligence into its search algorithms – allowing it to better deal with entirely new, never before seen queries and present more appropriate search results by interpreting user preferences and behaviour trends. These updates paved the way for the coming age of voice-activated personal

assistants powered by artificial intelligence, like Google Home. Now we are moving towards a future that will involve us searching very differently from the way we currently do. Google already hold patents for technology to serve digital content based on expected user behaviour and the beginning of the “connected world” of devices is already looming. The future where information arrives before you even think you need it will be here sooner than we think. While simple for factual queries, already we are seeing Google attempt to condense complex, highly subjective queries, such as “what are the best noise cancelling headphones?” and “why is there war between Israel and Palestine?” down to a single answer. Currently these appear in Google’s Knowledge Graph cards presented in search results, however in the future it’s possible these could become answers provided by voice activated personal assistants for such searches. Brands looking to survive and thrive in this future must ensure they understand how search engines, like Google, discover and interpret information while focussing on truly serving and satisfying users to develop brand affinity. Martin Jordan, innovation director, Equator

There is a huge, digitally-centric future we are all headed towards, regardless of Brexit, Trump or whatever else may be around the corner. We can see the beginning of that future with the growth of chatbots. But it’s easy to get a bot wrong. There are many out there which know few words, ask inane questions and offer little value. The best bots must be clear in purpose, clear in use and strongly task-focused. In almost all

appropriate use cases, a well-coded bot has the potential to deliver a faster, slicker service than the alternatives. Bots are always learning – from mistakes to picking up dialectic nuances and slang. The backbones of many of these bots are run by companies like Google and Facebook so they are constantly growing in intelligence. The more they are adopted, the more they advance. And when they are adopted, everything will change. I’m not proposing a world where we don’t engage with humans anymore but even today, the magic you experience when first engaging with Alexa on the Amazon Echo hints at the bright future this technology has for all of us. After using a device that seamlessly understands requests, you don’t want to hand it back. In the post-mobile world, we will no longer need an all-controlling supercomputer in our pocket, nor a keyboard and mouse. When smart assistants have the depth and breadth of knowledge to understand almost everything we ask of them, we will have them do our bidding, whether its switching on the lights, booking a flight or sending a message to a friend. Our connectedness will become absolute as will our ability to rely on these interconnected smart machines. The Star Trek world of summoning technology with our voice will come around a lot quicker than the 23rd century. To learn more about Techaus festival go to http://www.techausfestival. com/. To keep up with news and announcements for 2017’s event, add the festival on Twitter @techausfest and Facebook https://www.facebook. com/techausofficial/.


15 December 2016

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“If the UK wants to be regarded as a safe place to live we need a much more considered approach to our cybersecurity laws” Nick Lambert, chief operating officer of Maidsafe

Welcome to the surveillance state Current approach sends the wrong message to our citizens and the world By Nick Lambert It is critical the UK gets its cybersecurity legislation right, because so much depends on our digital presence today. The Boston Consulting Group estimates the internet economy will be 5.3% of GDP in G20 countries in 2016, so we cannot afford to let trust in our internet infrastructure fail. At the same time, we must give citizens confidence that the laws we enact will balance the controls and freedoms we have become accustomed to; The Economist expressed its concern earlier this month that the various geopolitical and technology changes could lead to the “splinternet.” My doubts are more fundamental. If the UK wants to be regarded as a safe place to live, which protects a citizen’s right to privacy and enshrines the right to free speech, then we need a much more considered approach to our cybersecurity laws. If we want to be seen by the rest of the world as “open for business” and not encouraging less scrupulous leaders to exploit the internet for their purposes, we need to spend more time debating this policy. The answer is not simple, because we are dealing with an incred-

ibly important, emotive subject, but equally that means it deserves our full attention. I believe there are several key questions we need to ask and seek answers for; we may not get a perfect solution, but they require fuller debate than we have seen. The intelligence services claim the ability to store and analyse huge volumes of metadata is crucial in today’s fight against terrorists and cyber criminals. I’m not so sure, as we have not seen categoric evidence backing up this approach. The Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, David Anderson QC, who had previously expressed concerns, gave an unconvincing assessment of the passing of the Investigatory Powers Bill when speaking to The Financial Times: “There are some very extensive powers in the Bill and in the wrong hands are capable of being abused, no doubt about that…But the Bill does subject everything to a legal framework, so there is no excuse for agencies to do anything they are not fully authorised to do.” This leads very quickly to the next question; who will be watching the watchmen?

Legislation in this country had to be updated to keep up with changes in technology and the ever-evolving threats. Yet many critics with a broad spectrum of opinions have voiced concern over the way the Bill has been worded. Paul Bernal, human rights expert and IT lecturer at the University

of East Anglia, told the International Business Times that: “These powers are actually better suited for monitoring and controlling political dissent than catching criminals and terrorists − they’re ideal for an authoritarian clampdown should a government wish to do that. A future government might well.” The biggest concern is abuse of power and to David Anderson’s suggestion that there is “no excuse for agencies” to misbehave, history clearly suggests we have never been good at sticking to the legal framework. Do you remember councils being caught using the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa) to check whether parents were cheating on school catchment area regulations or flouting bin rules? Also, let us not forget that the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, the only body authorised to investigate the security services’ actions, declared they had illegally gathered information for 17 years without adequate safeguards. For many concerned onlookers, the Investigatory Powers Act is now legalising what was previously seen as illegal acts and the layer of regulatory oversight is not convincing enough. Warrants will need approval, but when you consider that everyone from the Food Standards Agency to the Scottish Ambulance Service Board and the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland will be able to apply to see UK citizen browsing histories you have to question the purpose of

such sweeping powers. James Vincent pointed out on the Verge that last year the UK police made more than half a million requests for metadata, so if we believe this will not become an essential tool for daily policing moving forward we should reconsider. What’s more concerning is the ambiguity in the Bill in relation to key powers. Amelia Tait in the New Statesman outlined how vague the wording was around the issuance of warrants, particularly in the context of journalists and the protection of their sources: “The Bill provides that all warrants authorising access to the content of communications must be necessary in the interests of the prevention or detection of serious crime, in the interests of national security, or to protect the economic well-being of the United Kingdom when it is also relevant to national security, and must be proportionate to what is sought to be achieved. All warrants must be approved by a judicial commissioner before they can be issued and can only be granted when another, less intrusive means is not available.” The Government will point to the role of judicial oversight in the case of warrants, but with such language it is easy to see how the law will be open to interpretation. What message does this send to the world?

Freedom House has stated that internet freedom has declined for the sixth consecutive year in 2016. 67% of internet users now live in countries where criticism of the government, military or the ruling family is subject to censorship. Perhaps we do not believe such conditions might ever be replicated here, but let’s face it, 2016 has been the year of the unexpected. Do we want to take that risk? If we are going to impose demands for access to encrypted information and force internet service providers to store information for a year, creating enticing honeypots for hackers,

what message does this send about our openness for business? When re-announcing the Cybersecurity Strategy Philip Hammond said “Trust in the internet and the infrastructure on which it relies is fundamental to our economic future.” True, but when the legislation governing that infrastructure is so ill-thought through why would technology start-ups be attracted to this country. In the financial services industry, we have seen the importance of regulation in simplifying and unifying markets, but we have also seen poor legislation create the conditions for market abuse and failure. Certainly, I would imagine less scrupulous regimes will be looking at the UK’s Investigatory Powers Act, widely seen as the toughest rules in the world, as license to impose tougher controls and oversight on the internet. I shall leave you with a comment from David Davis, who like Andy Burnham, appears to have melted into the background as we have entered the final stages of the Bill’s approval. Back in February Davis estimated that the time available to the 300-page draft bill meant MPs would have no more than five seconds a page. Clearly this is not sufficient time and Davis said as much (the “they” he is referring to is the Government he is now a member of): “It all keeps with their strategy, which is to rush everything through. They know when they engage with experts they lose. This is the way they will try to get this through – on the rush. There’s no doubt about it.” Nine months later and a trawl of reputable news sites finds no fresh challenges from Davis critical of the legislation. Who would have thought that such an ardent opponent would have fallen silent? We should learn to expect the unexpected. Nick Lambert is chief operating officer of Maidsafe. https://maidsafe.net/

Profile for Canongate Communications

Futurescot December 2016  

Futurescot December 2016