The Government of Jersey has recently published a consultation on its proposed Digital Economy Strategy and wants Islanders to get involved in helping to shape it. Why? Digitalisation and the tools and services it provides are a fact of our lives. They enrich our communications with others and provide opportunities to better balance our working and personal lives. And, as we’re already seeing with AI, technology is bringing a mind-boggling array of new applications to market on a daily basis. There are a number of reasons why we should all care about what our digital future looks like. First, it’s about the ability to sustain our economic success. The world of work is changing and the mix of Jersey’s jobs by 2040 will be markedly different than today. By deciding on the key elements of a strategy for the digital economy we can shape this change by ensuring we have the right measures in place to support lifelong learning of digital skills, to incentivise the take-up of digital tools by Jersey businesses, to make better use of our data, and to support new generations of digital entrepreneurs. Importantly, we can also ensure that the added efficiency which digitalisation can bring to the private and public sectors – having the right tools for the job – impacts on Jersey’s productivity and supports the Government’s economic strategy.
Successful countries of tomorrow will be defined by the confidence of their businesses and citizens as skilled and confident users of digital technologies. Jersey is a small place, but we have the talented people who can operate in global markets with the right support. If we start today, we can aim to have a pipeline of skilled Islanders ready to fill the creative, digital jobs of tomorrow. And, through the smart exploitation of technology, we can enhance and improve the provision of services to Islanders and ensure that no one is left behind by the economic changes brought about. In short, we can passively await the changes digitalisation will bring to Jersey, or we can proactively engage and shape them. The consultation on the Digital Economy Strategy will help to inform what that engagement looks like.