A revolution in information and communications technology is transforming the way we live and work. A recognisable new dynamic force – the information economy – has emerged, and is transforming every other sector. It is changing the way we deliver education and business services, design buildings and cities, and manufacture engines and cars. The UK’s ability to achieve strong sustainable growth is highly dependent on a thriving information economy.
The fast-evolving nature of the information economy means we must exercise caution in our approach to industrial strategy to this field. Few of the dominant companies today were household names a decade ago, and many former market leaders have fallen by the wayside. The success stories of the next few decades may well emerge from companies and individuals currently unknown to the wider economy.
But this is not to say we should simply sit back and await change. We can look ahead to the technological innovations of the coming years and prepare ourselves. Industry, academia and the Government all have crucial roles to play. The cross-cutting and pervasive nature of software, IT services, communications and data management, which define the information economy, represent more of an eco-system than a discrete sector.
Without long term action and planning to address skills shortages, organisations will struggle to recruit the right staff. Without the right infrastructure, both physical and virtual, businesses will struggle to develop. Without good cyber security, business and
consumers will not have the confidence to use new technologies. Without action to address market failures, our information economy could be stifled by unnecessary barriers to growth.
This Strategy, developed in partnership by Government, industry and academia, sets out a road map to help the UK accelerate in the global race, focusing on our strengths.
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