Industry election wish list includes more support for digital transformation

As the election draws closer industry groups, including FAST and techUK, have issued their manifesto wish lists for the next government

It's hard to avoid politics at the moment and particularly the focus on manifestos and declarations of promises that might be fulfilled if a particular party gets elected.

As is now traditional during the election process some of the lobby groups in the IT world have put forward their wish lists hoping to influence the major parties.

Earlier this week the software industry views got an airing with the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) launching its Manifesto for Growth.

“By the current Government’s own measurement, the UK’s Creative Industries, of which the software sector is a part, were worth a staggering £84bn to the UK economy in 2016, growing at around 8% year-on-year. That means it is generating roughly £9m an hour to UK Plc. The latest figures from DCMS show that the UK IT, software and computer services sector was one of the UK’s fastest growing areas in terms of job creation, having grown by just under 33% over the 2011-2015 timeframe," said Alex Hilton, CEO of FAST.

The FAST 10 point plan includes a call for more investment in the sector and several measure that would beef up the legal response to those individuals and companies that are using illegal software.

“The UK economy is made of an increasing number of small technology businesses; notably 95 per cent of the 120,000 enterprises in the information economy sector employ fewer than ten people. This entrepreneurial community needs a strong legal structure to discourage IP infringements and offer a backbone of support. We have therefore developed a Manifesto that focuses on three key areas: enforcement, deterrence and accountability and all within the context of Post-Brexit Britain,” added Hilton.

Another source of advice for the main parties came from techUK, which has put together its manifesto calling for more of a proactive stance by the next government on digital technology.

"The pace of global digitisation will not slow down. We have a choice about whether we want to shape the digital future or be shaped by it. This manifesto is about inventing a positive future for everyone in Global Britain," said techUK CEO Julian David.

"The course of the next parliament will see significant technological developments in the way we work and live. It’s crucial that all political parties avoid broad brush and reactionary policy solutions to the complex challenges of the digital age. Politicians must do all they can to cultivate a world-leading tech sector, where a new wave of tech talent can start and scale the next generation of world leading tech companies," he added.

For a lot of resellers the plans that the next government might have for businesses is also important and the noises coming out of the Federation for Small Businesses stress the need for tougher steps to tackle late payers and to make supply chain bullying illegal.

"There are a series of decisions required by new Government Ministers in their first 100 days in office. From export support to tackling our late payments crisis, to co-funding apprenticeships and a new consensus on the future of business rates, to the survival of small businesses on our high streets and in our communities. Our manifesto sets out what small businesses want to see from all major parties and candidates standing on 8th June. Millions of votes are at stake," said Mike Cherry, FSB national chairman.

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