Tommy Laughlin, Public Sector Liaison Manager, ScotlandIS

Written by Alan Robertson on 27 November 2015 in Feature

For 100 days, Connect is running through our Tech 100 for 2015, profiling the key figures driving the digital agenda in Scotland

Tommy Laughlin

Tommy Laughlin (@tomlau56)

Job Title/Organisation: Public Sector Liaison Manager, ScotlandIS

What does your role involve?

Primarily acting as the link between our member companies and the public sector.

What do you consider to be the most imminent challenge in your line of work?

The sheer pace of change in our industry and the skills challenge for Scotland to take full advantage of the opportunities. Associated with that is the need to remember the 800,000 people who are digitally excluded to varying degrees and to have a coordinated approach to resolving some of those issues.

What has been the most rewarding piece of work you've undertaken?

There have been many but the recent public sector conference was a real highlight, engaging government and the industry to discuss the strategic direction of the move to a new generation of digital public services.

How can Scotland bridge the digital skills gap?

There is no single answer. A range of solutions are required from an increasing use of Modern Apprentices through to developer conversion courses (such as those offered byCodeClan). Ultimately we need to get into schools – even nurseries - and engage a whole generation coming through with the opportunities offered by the digital technologies industry.

Which new technology excites you the most?

We hear a lot about the Internet of Things and data analytics. Combining those offers the opportunities to monitor - and perhaps address - many systemic health issues for individuals. 

What's your favourite app and why?

Sounds a bit boring but I travel by train a lot and the ScotRail app is excellent. For sheer indulgence I love Google Sky Map and for leisure pursuits the OMN Navigator app from Anquet.

What, for you, will 2016 be the year of from a technology/digital standpoint?

Scotland needs to develop and deliver a coordinated approach to exciting the next generation about all things digital. 2016 could be the year where the bits – and there are lots of them - all start to come together.

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