Skip to main content

Let’s be sincere, we’ve all fallen victim to this literary trope. You ask,” So, if we’re talking again in ten years, what accomplishments do you expect to be looking back on? ” to end a CEO interview. Of course, the likelihood of that CEO being around a decade after to review what they did is relatively low given the tenure of the majority of top executives today.

So, finding one who is makes a welcome change.

Julian David relaunched the UK’s technology trade association, which at the time represented more than 800 technology companies of all sizes across the nation, as TechUK in November 2013 shortly after being named deputy executive. The organization has a broader focus and plans to help create 500,000 jobs by 2020. He discussed the difficulties away in his first interview with Computer Weekly.

Thus, ten years later, here we are, and David is still there. TechUK statistics show that the tech sector’s financial footprint has increased by 25 % over that time, adding more than £150 billion to the UK economy and employing close to two million people as opposed to 1. 3 million in 2013 up then. job completed? never yet.

At the time, the tech community was pleading for a group to speak on its behalf to the highest levels of the government, which had just recently begun to recognize the IT sector’s potential and the profound changes that technology was beginning to bring about in both business and society.

The fact that TechUK was brought inside the tent and consulted on policy by Cabinet ministers is possibly its greatest accomplishment. Being that voice means an ever-greater opportunity to have an impact then that the UK government has a dedicated department for science, innovation, and technology. David, for instance, was one of the select few invited to attend the most current AI Safety Summit hosted by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

ten years of evolution

The obvious question is, what has changed, next?

The pervasiveness of technology has been a big factor for me over the past ten years, he claims.

Ten years ago, it was essentially a concept. But boy, is it actually happening today. Do n’t talk about the economy and technology [as two separate things ] anymore, people are admonishing you to do. There is no field in which you can work without being fairly proficient in technology and which has n’t been impacted by it. It has the ability to disrupt as well as a power for great. “”

David has a 30-year career in the IT industry, including senior roles at IBM, and he also consults with little tech companies. As such, his knowledge of the sector’s many developments and, more importantly, what is also required, is somewhat seasoned.

Photo of TechUK’s Julian David

The pervasiveness of technology has been a big factor for me over the past ten years. Ten years ago, it was essentially a concept. But boy, is it actually happening today. Do n’t talk about the economy and technology [as two separate things ]; tech is the economic system, it is now said.

TechUK Julian David

For the future of Britain, he says,” We must really make a step change in terms of skills.”

This productivity issue we have in the UK is intolerable. The fact that there is a modern divide between some regions of the nation and specific demographics is unacceptable. Tech, in my opinion, is a solution to that. However, UK technology must start producing talent, no consumers. It’s no good that we still take in more than we produce. “”

With the introduction of artificial intelligence ( AI ) as a mainstream technology, David predicts an inflection point:” As we start to look to AI, [some estimates suggest that ] 40 % or maybe 50 % of the current workforce do not have the skills they will need.” The second thing we tech professionals should really work on is talking to various industries more about the impact of technology. “”

international aspirations

Over 1,000 businesses, ranging from well-known industry behemoths to smaller companies, startups, and scaleups, are presently members of TechUK, which is a membership organization. But it now has goals that go beyond the UK. Under David’s direction, TechUK oversaw the development of the Tech7, forming a unified lobbying force with counterpart tech trade associations in each G7 nation in an effort to advance online agenda and enhance collaboration among the largest economies in the world.

Despite its advantages, David acknowledges that the global tech industry is becoming more and more seen as a contributor to unfavorable social and economic issues. He frequently emphasizes the value of trust and ethics in his conversation with Computer Weekly.

The UK’s tech sector has flourished in an amazing way, but we need to make this a place where people can trust but they feel secure in the virtual world, he says.

Without it, that will be the biggest barrier to utilizing technology’s advantages. Over the years, you’ve witnessed a variety of things that we have done incorrectly, such as access to data, for instance.

It is crucial to have access to health data for research because it is the catalyst for numerous health and various advancements. However, you wo n’t be able to enter that virtuous circle of everything being intelligent, connected, and understandable if no one trusts you with it. The industry needs to begin considering the morality of its operations. “”

David uses an anecdote from a TechUK coworker who recently attended an academic presentation at Cambridge as an example.

” I only saw something really disturbing,” he said to me after returning. Two professors were demonstrating what they could do with Facebook data they had scraped. Naturally, that evolved into Cambridge Analytica. I see what you can do, and it’s amazing, but is it honest? he questioned them. As an industry, we must address this. “”

The difficulty of Brexit

Despite the advancements of the past ten years, David is quick to draw attention to the biggest obstacle TechUK and the UK’s larger industry have faced and continue to face.

Brexit was never desired by the tech sector. Both our members and the larger industry did n’t want it. However, it did occur, so we had to make an effort to handle it, which has taken up a significant amount of our time, he claims.

It’s certainly true that the tech sector dislikes regulation; rather, it prefers effective regulation that is applied consistently over time.
TechUK Julian David

” You still try to preserve the things that are good for the tech industry if you’re going to change your relationship with this large trading block that you were an active member of.” That is our directive. There is no other mandate that we have than that. “”

Behind the scenes, TechUK was one of the groups working to restrain the government’s deregulatory tendencies.

It’s certainly true that the tech industry dislikes regulation; rather, it prefers effective regulation that is consistently applied over time. The goal of government policy was to achieve data adequacy [with the EU], but first discussions revealed that those in charge of implementing Brexit were unaware of this. They were unaware of the significance of data flows. That was important to us. “”

In 2023, TechUK will work on government initiatives ranging from AI to federal security; from business and local expansion to skills and education; and, more and more, the part that technology plays in combating climate change.

Ten more years

Maybe in ten years, our avatars will be using an Artificial model that has been programmed to look back on these earlier conversations to conduct an interview in the metaverse.

We need to see longer-term investment and a focus on the technology markets where the UK can lead, David said in his second interview with Computer Weekly ten years before. “”

One of the few things that has n’t changed in the modern era is that sentiment.

” The chance is right it.” There is a need for it. He says,” Let’s not wait for the government to handle it for us.”

The educational system must adapt to more technology. Our universities must become more innovative, and we must put that innovation on the market. Will it be as some people coding in ten years if you’re a betting man? It goes without saying that AI is capable of doing that. But who will be responsible for the design, application, and user interface? That wo n’t go away anytime soon.

” We must keep gaining the trust of our stakeholders and our clients. Making as much money as you can quickly is no going to solve the problem. We must safeguard our democracy, and technology plays a significant part in that. It goes without saying that we must transition to a net-zero, carbon-neutral environment.

And in the UK, we appear to be experts at finding solutions and finally delaying their implementation for very long. Look at 5G, fiber, and bright meters. Investment levels in some areas are comparatively low and do n’t yield much of a return. These are all significant issues that need to be resolved. When you combine all of those factors, I believe we have enough to do. “”

Leave a Reply