ScotlandIS calls on Scottish digital tech industry to ‘think big’ as ScotSoft 2015 gets underway

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Audiences at today’s ScotSoft conference for the digital technologies industry will be urged to ‘think big’ to help shape the future success of the sector in Scotland.

Organised by industry trade body ScotlandIS, the event will bring together over 350 CTOs and decision makers in the private and public sectors for its annual Global Forum in Edinburgh.

ScotSoft is an opportunity for business leaders and senior managers to escape day-to-day concerns, hear new ideas and discuss opportunities with their peers. United under the theme ‘Think Big,’ four industry leaders from the US and Europe will cover topics as diverse as intrapreneurialism – fostering a culture of innovation and ideas within an existing organisation – and the importance of improving research and development.

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Broadcaster and journalist Kaye Adams will be MC for the day and keynotes will be delivered by Kimberly Blessing, director at user experience consultancy Think Brownstone and formerly of PayPal, Comcast and AOL; Duncan Anderson, CTO of IBM’s Watson Europe group; Joe Marks, formerly of Disney Research and co-founder of Upfront Analytics; and Chad Sakac, president of Global Systems Engineering at EMC.

Some 80,000 Scots now work in the digital technologies industry and in recent months two Scottish digital technology companies, Skyscanner and FanDuel, were valued at $1 billion each.

Polly Purvis, chief executive of ScotlandIS, believes now is the time for big ideas.

She says: “Scotland’s digital technologies industry is thriving and success stories like Skyscanner and FanDuel have shown the importance of a ‘can-do’ attitude. They have proved that it is possible for Scottish tech companies to take on the world, and its great to see that ambition and confidence permeating right across the industry . We have no shortage of ambitious companies but we need to make sure they can think big and reach their full potential.”

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She continues: “ScotSoft gives people the chance to reflect on their business and think about the future. All of our speakers this year are inspirational so I hope our audience leaves feeling enthusiastic, motivated and ready to take on the next challenge.”

As well as the Global Forum, the annual event will also include a Developers Conference. This new strand gives software developers a great forum to catchup, and meet with experts in their field. With the theme ‘Inspire, Learn, Play’ the conference will explore topical issues, giving them the chance to share knowledge and real-world experience. It will also include a fun element with a ‘Games Room’ with some of the latest kit including drones, and robots from the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics, allowing delegates to experiment with current developments in technology.

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According to latest figures, the digital technologies industry contributes more than £4 billion in GVA to the Scottish economy.

ScotlandIS is funded by its members, and works to raise awareness of the industry’s expertise and its value to the Scottish economy. It plays a key role in lobbying government on the industry’s behalf over issues such as public sector procurement and skills, and provides a forum for members to meet and exchange knowledge, industry intelligence and best practice.

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