Published on in Public SectorInnovationResponsible Business

The next few years present some big challenges for our government and us as a nation to act fast and learn quickly. Brexit is on the horizon, alongside a sense of global political uncertainty.

But it’s not all doom and gloom – and we are very fortunate as a nation to be at the front and centre of progress both locally and globally, and there is much to be proud of.

Creating a better world

Agreed by world leaders at the UN in 2015, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a historic global agreement to eradicate extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice and leave no one behind.

The UK was at the forefront of negotiating the SDGs and will be at the forefront of delivering them. Through Department’s Single Department Plans the Government is committed to their delivery.

It’s a historic global agreement to eradicate extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice and leave no one behind. I’m incredibly proud that our President, Tatsuya Tanaka, worked on the SDG goals, made up of 17 targets to be implemented worldwide.

President Tatsuya Tanaka said “the SDGs are a key element in Fujitsu’s services, and we strive to achieve these goals together with our customers and other stakeholders. We will help to solve global environment issues with the help of ICT”.

It’s indicative of Fujitsu’s belief that the immense power of technology should be harnessed for the good of people and societies – not for its own sake.

Fujitsu calls this the human-centric intelligent society, which we can build together using technology to co-create a smarter state.

Building the smarter state

To discuss the progress we are making and consider what still needs to be done, I am delighted to be presenting a keynote session at Building the Smarter State, the conference from TechUK which opens on Thursday 6 September at County Hall, London.

It’s the first time the conference has run under this new title, which I like because it encapsulates the real heart of our shared challenge. It’s a coming together of a vibrant mix of SMEs, new start-ups and larger established businesses to deliver public services that can flourish.

It’s a vision that we at Fujitsu understands and shares – which is why we’re proud to be headline conference sponsor this year.

Technology at the heart of change

Technology is changing everything.

Citizens today expect connected services that are delivered consumer-style; they don’t differentiate between the commercial products they buy online and the services they receive from government.  They are more demanding than ever, and there is no sign of a let-up in the pace of change.

Ofcom’s Communications Market Report revealed that citizens in the UK are dependent on their digital devices. 78% of the UK population now own a smartphone – which we use for 2.5 hours a day, on average.

Our report Technology in a Transforming Britain examined how consumers and business leaders (including those in the civil service) feel about the wave of change sweeping through the UK today.

Both business leaders (70%) and the public (77%) told us they feel that their world has been transformed by technological development in the last few years.

But only 1 in 3 government leaders and members of public believe the UK is ready for digital future. Perhaps that’s because delivering digital is more difficult than the hype of a few years ago led us to believe – in fact, although digital transformation is accelerating, 66% of executives told Fujitsu that failures had put them off pursuing digital transformation projects in future.

So how do we resolve the paradox of ever-increasing demands and the challenges of delivering ‘real digital’?

What not to miss at this year’s conference

There promises to be some great discussions at this year’s conference.

The keynote address from Oliver Dowden CBE MP, Minister for implementation at the Cabinet Office promises to be illuminating for public servants and business workers alike.

I’m also looking forward to chairing the panel discussion ‘How Technology Can Be Used to support and Empower Citizens?’ featuring Theo Blackwell, Chief Digital Officer, Mayor of London’s Office.

And then I’ll be making my own appearance to talk about Technology in a Transforming Britain in a keynote address at 15:00.

There will also be some thought-provoking workshops on the second stage bringing together a range of experts from government and business.

I’m looking forward to learning from those at the forefront of digital transformation, participating in workshops and listening to practical advice on the public sector market.

A smarter state comes from co-creation

Building the Smarter State is going to be a great opportunity to discuss some of the biggest challenges facing the country today.

These are hurdles that we will have to overcome together – which is why I’m so excited to see what will happen when we bring public services and businesses into the same room at this year’s event.

At Fujitsu we believe in co-creation, so I’m looking forward to seeing it in action on the 6th of September!

Register for the event here.

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Rupal Karia

Head of Public & Private Sectors at Fujitsu UK & Ireland
Rupal leads Fujitsu's business serving public and private sector organisations in the UK, encompassing Retail, Hospitality, Public Sector & Government, Manufacturing, Utilities, Telecoms and Services.

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