TechUK urges regional mayors to adopt digital mindsets

The organisation creates guide to help new mayors in their first 100 days

TechUK has urged incoming regional mayors around the country to make digital innovation a key part of their strategies, helping to support the wider community embrace digitisation and ensure regions align their digital services with the rest of the country.

"With their direct and convening powers, the Mayors can re-shape and integrate services, creating better places to live and drive regional growth," Julian David, CEO of techUK said. "To do so they must adopt a digital first mind-set."

David explained that was the key motivation behind techUK creating a guide for mayors, produced to offer support to new mayors in their first 100 days. Its main purpose is to "engender change and build capacity across the ecosystem."

"It also includes recommendations to appoint a Chief Digital and Innovation Champion, supported by an Innovation Unit and to use their influence to boost smart procurement, open data and digital skills," David added. "The new Mayors should also note that London is currently on the hunt for its first Chief Digital Officer and also place a vision for digital at the heart of their administration and strategy."

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Sadiq Khan revealed more details about what the CDO's responsibilities will be last week, including that the appointed person will be expected to lead the integration of the GLA, the Smart London Board, local authorities and the tech sector to ensure they encourage collaboration and innovate common standards for data and service integration.

The mayors will play a key part in this too, working alongside the CDO to lead change from within their local authorities to help generate smarter cities and smarter services for their citizens.

"The Mayors have an enormous opportunity to redefine what a successful and modern city region could look like and techUK looks forward to working with them at this crucial juncture," David concluded.

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