Tech 100: What government can do to help tech

Written by Staff reporter on 16 January 2017 in Comment

Farrpoint co-founder Andrew Muir and Hutchinson Networks CTO Stephen Hampton feature in the latest Tech 100 instalment

Tech 100 Industry - Image credit: Holyrood

With a new year under way, we asked the latest two individuals to be included in our Tech 100, a rundown of who will lead Scotland’s digital transformation in 2017, what they would like to see most from policymakers either at the Scottish or UK government level in the 12 months ahead to help them grow their business.


Community cloud would provide enormous benefit

"HN are an Edinburgh based company who provide cloud and IT infrastructure services. The way in which Scottish Government currently helps us most is by mandating the involvement of SMEs in large government initiatives, such as SWAN.

"With this in mind, I would love to see an initiative to build community cloud infrastructure for public sector organisations in Scotland. The community clouds could centrally deliver services such as IaaS, advanced analytics and multi-tenant big data clusters.

"This community cloud would offer an environment with all of the benefits of cloud (rapid deployment, utility consumption, Scottish data sovereignty and reduced operational overhead), but without the drawbacks of public cloud (security and cost). It would also encourage collaboration between large public sector organisations such as local authorities and NHS.

"Building this community cloud would provide enormous benefit not only to public sector in Scotland but also to a range of local SMEs such as HN, who would contribute expertise to the design and implementation of the community cloud."

Stephen Hampton is chief technology officer for Hutchinson Networks


Attainment of digital skills needs to remain high on agenda

"One of the biggest challenges we currently face as a company is getting the right personnel to help grow the business. As an independent IT and networking consultancy we need people to have excellent technical understanding, communication skills and know how to listen, ruminate and understand the challenges.

"Combined with this we need staff to have the commercial skills to scope out and deliver projects to our client’s satisfaction. In our experience this can be a hard combination to find.

"We would like to see the Scottish Government continue to encourage and promote all things digital with a focus on funding for further and higher education courses relating to the sector. 

"This will, over time, develop the skills that the sector needs in order to grow and achieve scale. Work has been done in this area but we believe that the attainment of digital skills needs to remain high on the Scottish Government’s agenda to make a difference in the long term.

"Alongside this we’d like the see the UK Government encouraging the use of smart, talented SMEs in delivering services to the public sector. We need to move away from the idea that big is best and allow these up and coming innovative and disruptive companies to deliver cutting edge solutions."

Andrew Muir is CEO and co-founder of Farrpoint



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