Event details

The need for digital transformation isn’t going away, and with legacy technology, budget constraints, and lack of skills being the 3 main hurdles for the public sector to address, how can we tackle digital transformation in a way that benefits citizens and doesn’t leave government lagging behind? 

The Government estimates that the UK tech sector’s annual gross value will grow by £41.5 billion by 2025, whilst creating a further 678,000 jobs, so how can we ensure this is being put towards transforming the public sector and that those working within have the skills to work with new technology? 

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  • 08:55 AM - 09:25 AM

    Digital Skills

    In the context of an ever-changing digital public sector, this panel aims to address critical challenges. It focuses on upskilling the current workforce to meet digital demands, retaining, and developing skills for transformation. Despite budget constraints and outdated infrastructure, authorities must prepare for tomorrow by embracing emerging technologies, attracting new talent, and fostering innovation. A digitally skilled workforce is essential for efficient public service delivery and staying ahead of evolving challenges.

    Robert Ling
    Robert Ling Director of Transformation North Yorkshire County Council

    Robert is the Director of Transformation at North Yorkshire County Council where he leads the transformation function across the council, responsible for Digital, Data and Technology, Projects, and Customer Services. He previously worked for Local Partnership as a Project Director specialising in Digital Exploitation, UK Government in the delivery of the national broadband programme. Prior to this Robert worked at Yorkshire Forward the regional development agency, focusing on programmes increasing business performance through Supply Chain Development, ICT Exploitation, and Sustainable Development. Currently Robert is Programme Director for the merger of the 8 North Yorkshire councils into a single new council on April 1st 2023. Outside of work, Robert who is a resident of Harrogate is also a trustee of Ripon Workhouse Museum and Solidaritech, as social enterprise responsible for repurposing IT and distributing to asylum seekers and refugees.

    Kat Sexton
    Kat Sexton Head of Function for Product Birmingham City Council

    Kat Sexton, is currently Head of Function - Product at Birmingham City Council, bringing experience from previous roles at North Northamptonshire Council as Head of Digital and as Service Design Lead at the University of Nottingham. With a robust skill set that includes Training, Management, Project Management and more, Kat Sexton contributes valuable insights to the industry.

  • 09:35 AM - 10:05 AM


    In today’s data-driven world, information permeates every aspect of our lives, from welfare systems to transportation networks and urban planning. As we navigate this digital landscape, it’s crucial to stay abreast of evolving data handling methods and avoid lagging behind. Key considerations include implementing practical data handling policies, understanding legal foundations, and addressing cyber risks. Data isn’t just information—it’s the fuel that propels us toward better choices and more efficient public services.

    Jonathan Pownall
    Jonathan Pownall Senior Digital Specialist National Audit Office

    Jonathan is a digital specialist at the National Audit Office and has over 20 years' experience of assessing digital and technology programmes in the central government sector, including the management of associated technology risk.

    He is a contributing author to numerous NAO reports including Digital transformation in government, Challenges in using data across government, Digital transformation in the NHS and The challenges in implementing digital change.

    Craig Suckling
    Craig Suckling UK Government Chief Data Officer UK Civil Service

    The UK Central Digital and Data Office (CDDO) has recently appointed Craig Suckling as Government Chief Data Officer. The CDDO is part of the UK Cabinet Office and it leads the Government Digital and Data function. He joins from Amazon Web Services (AWS) where he served as Head of Data Strategy – Worldwide. Craig is a Data and AI leader with 20 years of experience partnering with organisations in innovating for the future, developing transformation strategies, navigating change, and generating sustainable growth.

    John Laurence Curtis
    John Laurence Curtis Assistant Director Info & Data Gov and DPO Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Transport for Greater Manchester

    John Laurence Curtis current role is Assistant Director Information and Data Governance and DPO at Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Transport for Greater Manchester, his role involves working in Information Security, General Data Protection Regulation, Information management Data governance and DPO. John has previously worked with in both the public and private sector, within the public sector he has had roles such as Director Knowledge and Information Management and SIRO at Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service and Head of information and knowledge management DPO deputy SIRO Sheffield City Council.

  • 10:15 AM - 10:30 AM

    Strategic Keynote - Hyland

    Graham Lewis
    Graham Lewis Public Sector Lead UK&I Hyland

    As the Public Sector Lead for UK and Ireland at Hyland, a leading Gartner content services provider, Graham helps public sector organisations achieve their digital transformation goals with innovative and reliable software solutions. Bringing in over 15 years of experience in marketing and sales, working with various channels and partners to create and execute effective go-to-market strategies that align with business and sales targets.

  • 10:40 AM - 11:10 AM

    Networking and Infrastructure

    In today’s dynamic work environment, integrating IoT devices is crucial for remote and hybrid work. These devices enhance efficiency, monitor workspaces, and improve collaboration. However, challenges such as trust-buildingfunding constraints, and integration must be overcome. Modernising IT infrastructure and breaking down data silos through a cohesive approach can lead to more efficient public services. Adaptation to the evolving digital landscape requires proactive measures and a citizen-centric mindset 


    Richard Bevan
    Richard Bevan Chief Technology Officer Met Office

    Richard joined the Met Office in 1998 as a software engineer. He has built his career in the technology profession, initially working in the software engineering discipline before later leading the delivery of IT infrastructure and operations at the Met Office. Richard took up the position of Chief Technology Officer in November 2021. As Chief Technology Officer, Richard has accountability for running all aspects of Met Office IT, ensuring the world-class IT capability continues to meet the needs of the organisation.

    Raj Mack
    Raj Mack Head of Digital City and Innovation Birmingham City Council

    With over 30 years’ experience of working in the public and private sectors, Raj Mack is head of Digital Birmingham, a city-wide partnership which aims to accelerate digital investment and opportunities for both businesses and citizens. Its key areas of focus include; attracting digital infrastructure and investment, improving digital skills and capabilities, and stimulating digital innovation and the smart city activities. As Head, Raj works with local, national and international partners and organisations to shape and influence digital and smart city strategies and policies and is responsible for the delivery of a portfolio of digital projects and programmes ranging from digital infrastructure to innovative and cutting-edge smart projects, activities and applications to support both public services, businesses as well as increasing digital inclusion for citizens.

  • 11:45 AM - 12:15 PM


    Cloud migration remains an ongoing concern for public sector organisations as technology continues to advance. While cloud-based technologies offer benefits like lower maintenance costs and rapid scalability, several challenges persist. Resource constraints make securing necessary resources difficult, and organisations often struggle to allocate funds and skilled personnel. Additionally, privacy and security concerns arise due to compliance. Ensuring data security and privacy remains a priority. Choosing the right Cloud Service Provider (CSP) is crucial, as technology leaders must navigate a wide portfolio of options. In summary, cloud adoption isn’t one-size-fits-all; organisations must carefully weigh security, cost, and skills considerations to harness the cloud’s potential while avoiding pitfalls.

    Martyn Wallace
    Martyn Wallace Chief Digital Officer Scottish Local Government

    Martyn leads the Digital Office for Scottish Local Government which was set up in October 2016 to look at creating, delivering and accelerating innovative digital solutions to help Scottish Councils with the challenge of balancing their budgets whilst still delivering critical front-line services. Currently working with Scottish Local Authorities and its partners to look at how Recovery and Renewal plans can be fully utilised, mobilised and supported by Digital & Data tools and technologies. Before joining the Digital Office and indeed Public Sector, Martyn’s career has been in the tech sector working with Private & Public Sector clients to understand and innovate with new Digital technology for over 20 Years. During his career he has worked for companies including Capita Secure Digital Solutions, Telefonica O2UK, BlackBerry, Computacenter and Compaq plus been a board advisor to some start-ups.

    Melville Carrie
    Melville Carrie Chief Product Officer Cabinet Office

    Melville (Mel) joined Cabinet Office as the Chief Product Officer, having spent 25+ years in a very diverse set of organisation. For 13 years he was a Digital start-up entrepreneur; 8 of which at the forefront of the AI, Data, Cloud, Mobile and IoT innovation revolutions, through to huge international consultancies like Capgemini and Genpact, as well as much loved British brands like Royal Mail. Mel has delivered over 150 digital solutions to over 120 global clients, and has worked all over the world. His belief in putting the person – the user – at the centre of designing systems, services and products, has resulted in many award winning products, engaged users, and delighted clients.

  • 12:25 PM - 12:40 PM

    Keynote - Alison Pritchard

    Alison Pritchard
    Alison Pritchard Director General for Data Capability Office National Statistics

    Alison is leading the transformation in data usage which will see ever more integrated data put to effective and safe use across the private and public sectors. She ensures ONS has the right technology and skills to meet its ambitious goals in data analytics and data science and champions safe and secure data sharing for the public good in ONS and beyond.

    Previously Alison was Director General of the Government Digital Service leading the organisation through a busy and critical period. And before that, she was Director of Transformation at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

    She began her Civil Service career in 1987. She has worked across a range of departments including the Ministry of Defence, HM Treasury, Cabinet Office, Home Office and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

    Her career has seen her enjoy a varied and interesting range of roles, including: spending five years in Saudi Arabia with a UK defence programme; leading the independent review of Royal Family and ministerial air travel; and being responsible for gambling and the National Lottery.

  • 12:50 PM - 13:20 PM

    Digital Citizen Engagement

    In our interconnected world, Digital Citizenship plays a pivotal role in ensuring equal access and participation for all. The goal is to bridge the Digital Divide by addressing disparities in internet access and providing affordable connectivity and devices to underserved communities. Promoting digital literacy programs empowers citizens with essential skills. In the post-pandemic landscape, citizens’ reliance on technology has surged. Key concerns include financial security, privacy, and job security. Educating citizens about online financial transactions, cybersecurity, and data protection is crucial. By fostering digital skills development, we empower citizens to navigate this tech-driven environment effectively.

    Alex Yoxall
    Alex Yoxall Digital Inclusion & Engagement Officer Wigan Council

    Alex Yoxall is a Digital Inclusion & Engagement Officer for Wigan Council’s Digital Services Team. Alex leads the council’s digital inclusion offer, which comes in the form of the TechMates programme, Tablet Lending Library and National Databank - which all aim to combat the three main pillars of digital exclusion – which are lack of digital skills, no access to a Device and no access to connectivity. Alex also works alongside partners within the council’s Digital Communities Partnership, which sees local groups, organisations and professionals join together regularly to share resources, information and best practice in the fight to bridge the digital divide. Alex’s previous background is within the voluntary sector as an Activities & Engagement Officer, with a focus on working with volunteers to run services that better the local community.

    Will Plant
    Will Plant Digital Inclusion Lead Cambridgeshire County Council

    As The Digital Inclusion Lead for Connecting Cambridgeshire, Will’s objective is to help close the digital divide. Connecting Cambridgeshire is a connectivity/infrastructure/digital programme funded by the CPCA to boost better connectivity across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. As the Digital Inclusion Lead, Will’s focus is on helping communities and businesses utilise this infrastructure to realise benefits in their lives through digital and technology, bringing in his experience from his previous role at Westminster City Council as Digital Inclusion Programme Manager.

    Sam Lawrence-Rose
    Sam Lawrence-Rose Digital Lead for Digital Inclusion and Capabilities Kent County Council

    Sam is currently the Digital Lead for Digital Inclusion and Capabilities at Kent County Council within the Strategy, Policy, Relationships and Corporate Assurance division, heading up the Digital Kent team. As Digital Lead, Sam oversees the digital inclusion agenda across the county – improving digital access, engagement and skills. Working in partnership with all district and borough councils across the county, along with other partners, such as the NHS – Sam has been able to continue to grow and develop the digital programme, to maximise the impact. Previously Sam worked in the private sector, as a Service Manager for a retail group and latterly as Business Consultant for a global brand supporting franchisees.

    Karen Snape
    Karen Snape Digital Inclusion Manager Salford City Council

    Karen Snape is Salford City Council’s digital inclusion manager. Her work aims to help Salford become a digital city.  Salford’s “Digital Everyone” is a council led cross-sector collaboration working to create a 100% digitally inclusive city. In which Salford Council want to make sure no one is left behind as digital becomes the way to access services, communicate with organisations and interact with friends and family.

  • 11:20 AM - 11:35 AM

    Strategic Keynote - Scriberia

    Dan Porter
    Dan Porter Co-Founder Scriberia

    Dan Porter co-founded Scriberia, one of the world's first visual thinking agencies. He is a pioneer of vision mapping; an innovative form of consultancy that uses drawing as a filter for complex information. It enables key stakeholders to reach consensus and alignment at speed, and communicate their vision at scale. Past projects have included vision mapping the Army’s operating model, the digital transformation of the Prison and Probation Service and Defra’s plans for biosecurity at our borders. Scriberia are an approved Crown Commercial Service supplier.


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