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Government appoints director general for digital and media

The digital world is increasingly important to business and public sector, obviously. It’s therefore little surprise that the government has announced that the UK now has a director general for digital and media. Matthew Gould was announced as the incumbent this week.

Attached to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), his brief will be to oversee the country’s digital infrastructure, to ensure British people are equipped with digital skills, reduce risks in the Cyber-economy and ensure people are not excluded digitally.

Speaking of his announcement, he said: “Our economy is powered by innovation and we want Britain to be the safest place to do business and go online. But if we want the UK to prosper we need to make sure we have world-class connectivity, and If we want an inclusive society, we need to tackle digital exclusion and make sure everyone has the digital skills they need.

“I’m determined to tackle these challenges to help make the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a digital company. It is a huge privilege to be the Government’s first director general for digital and media and to have the chance to help make this happen.”

Reaction started to trickle in to the New Statesman Tech news desk this morning. Shafath Syed, senior director of end user solutions at BMC Software, pointed to a number of difficulties ahead:

“The appointment of Matthew Gould as first Director General for Digital and Media shows the government’s commitment in supporting digital ecosystems. However, so much more than the latest technology is needed to drive change.

“With our latest research undertaken in conjunction with Opinion Life showing that only under half (42 per cent) of workers in the UK think that their workplace is innovative enough, this initiative may be more important than ever.

“Our findings suggest that only 54 per cent of employees in the UK, against the 74 per cent in Spain, 73 per cent in France and 66 per cent in Germany, feel inspired in the workplace. The fact that businesses across the UK are struggling to foster an innovative culture fast enough and failing to capitalise on the creativity of their staff has much to do with this. To address this gap the government’s support on the creation of tomorrow’s leading digital businesses could become a vital ingredient for success”.