Digital Strategy is promising but more is needed to truly make a difference (Guest post) » Charity Digital News

Digital Strategy is promising but more is needed to truly make a difference (Guest post)

Matthew Moorut, head of marketing at Technology Trust, shares his thoughts on the government’s long-awaited digital strategy.

The government today announced its long-awaited digital strategy, encompassing topics from open data to security to regulation to connectivity.

The publication has been some time coming and is a welcome step from the government as, if nothing else, it shows that digital is on their roadmap.

Most of the positive steps focus on connectivity. As an example, they’ve announced a Universal Service Obligation – giving every individual, business and public premise across the country the right to request an affordable broadband connection (up to 10Mbps).

Of course, it’s been a couple of years since David Cameron said that access to the internet should be an “absolutely fundamental” right and yet about 10.2% of the UK still haven’t ever used it. Plus, there’s no detail on how affordable “affordable” really is, so time will tell how effective the government are with this.

Still, the bulk of the publication is promising. Ultimately, it’s just a framework of intent and the rhetoric is positive on the whole.

My main worry is that there isn’t enough provision for training, particularly with charities in mind.

Apart from education in schools, the government has left all of the heavy lifting to private companies, like Barclays and Lloyds Bank, Microsoft and Google.

It’s brilliant that private companies are willing to put resources into training others, but this tends to be aimed at commercial SMEs, which can in turn spend money with them as they grow.

There’s a risk that the charity sector is missed out, which is a shame because we’re probably the sector in most need and the sector that would benefit society most by maturing digitally.

Truly, Lloyds Bank, Microsoft, Google and some of the others named in the publication have done brilliant work for a lot of charities, but much more could be done for the sector as a whole, which CSR projects can’t stretch to.

At Technology Trust, we’re trying to accelerate digital progress in the sector. We’ve helped UK charities to save £180 million on IT through our donation programme and any revenue we generate goes back into educational resources for charities.

Still, to really push the agenda forwards in a big way, more resources are needed. It would have been great to see the government pledging support in that respect.

We’ve seen first-hand just how big a difference today’s digital tools and platforms can make to charities’ effectiveness when coupled with good strategy. We’ll continue our efforts to help charities with both of those and we’ll be here if the government wants to talk charity.

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