|10 December 2015|

Becoming a world leader in digitalisation would add £13 to the Scottish economy, according to a new report.

A Deloitte report commissioned by the Scottish Futures Trust reveals the windfall would potentially bring major economic and social benefits to the country by 2030.

Deputy first minister John Swinney said: “We welcome this report, which shows the incredible potential of increased digitalisation to Scotland. 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.

“Across all scenarios outlined in the report, businesses and individuals benefit from enhanced digitalisation. As well as having the potential to generate significant economic benefits, increased digital capabilities could also have a positive impact on the provision of health, education and social inclusion.

“On health, increased use of telemedicine, as well as the use of digital technology to improve health literacy, could save significant numbers of lives by 2030. On education, enhanced digital capabilities enables access to knowledge sharing and resources. On social inclusion, digital technologies help individuals, businesses and communities connect and share experiences.

“Scotland is already making good progress in digitalisation. We are driving the £410 million roll out of superfast broadband across Scotland, supporting businesses and individuals to get online, and working to ensure our people have the right skills to both get online and make a career in the digital sector. This report demonstrates the economic impacts of this activity, but also offers a sense of the potential of reaching above and beyond this.”

Tony Rose, infrastructure director at the Scottish Future Trust, explained: “As our lives become ever more reliant on digital communications, it’s vital that Scotland has the proper infrastructure in the right place to harness the huge economic and social benefits that improved digital communications will bring.

“The report highlights the potential impact that improved digitisation could bring to consumers, businesses and the public sector. We, along with our partners, are looking to ‘future proof’ our investment in digital infrastructure to enable Scotland to fulfil its ambition of being a world class digital nation.”