FS Fives: Thursday, May 26

Welcome to the latest FS Fives – FutureScot’s lunchtime round-up of Scottish digital news.

First up, we bring you news of a pilot project being run by a small team within the Scottish Government’s digital directorate.
Under the new CivTech Accelerator SMEs will be invited to solve public sector challenges, which will be unveiled on the Public Contracts Scotland website on 9 June. Small businesses, as well as students, and ordinary citizens will be able to apply for the opportunity to develop a raft of digital solutions for government and its agencies. Their ideas will then be filtered and successful applicants will be invited to take part in a week long selection process, which aims to develop prototype solutions for new systems which can be used by government to deliver its services to the public. Those prototypes will be developed into market-ready solutions via the CivTech Accelerator, in Edinburgh. Solutions could include looking at potential service improvements around health, the environment, transport and food.

Ever heard of a LOTO, EOTO, LODOTO or SODOTO? No, us neither. We’re not going to explain them here, as that’s best left to Administrate’s Marketing Manager Sam Weston in a very interesting blog on the Edinburgh training software firm’s website. Essentially, as Sam explains, the acronyms are all about the principle of learning and then sharing knowledge within your team – based on the ‘Learn One Teach One’ concept. Weston says the idea has been embedded in the way Administrate approaches its business, and LOTO sessions are held every Thursday lunchtime where a teammate who’s an expert in one area of its training management system teaches others, or answers any questions the team have, to help disseminate their knowledge.
“LOTO sessions are so much better than watching a video or reading a document,” he says. “They draw out the sort of open-ended questions that you only get from face-to-face discussion.”

North Lanarkshire Council has joined the Scottish Wide Area Network (SWAN) through a framework contract with Capita IT Enterprise Services. It joins more than 50 other organisations including 14 local authorities on the network, which connects public service organisations around Scotland.
Brian Cook, head of revenue and e-government solutions at North Lanarkshire, said: “We have high hopes that SWAN will lead to a greater level of collaboration and sharing across the public sector and that North Lanarkshire will benefit from that both functionally and financially”.
Around 800 homes and businesses in Cumbernauld – also in the local authority’s catchment – can now access fibre services for the first time after a new connection was established as part of the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) programme.

Ever wondered why jeans turned skinny in 2005, and now they are being ditched in favour of a straighter cut? Blame it on Instagram. You’ll have heard of that. But you may not have heard of WGSN, a firm specialising in trend forecasting and live analytics. The World Global Style Network means little to those outside of the fashion industry, but to those who work in the business, WGSN is an invaluable tool, an invisible hand that predicts in daily reports the trends taking hold for fashion consumers around the world. WGSN’s 70,000 subscribers include designers who use it to decide on silhouettes for the season, colourists who check the reports when finalising their palettes, and merchandisers who consult the fashion oracle when deciding how much to spend on hats versus scarves for the autumn season. And where fashion magazines used to dominate the flow of visual information to the public, the early adopters, the outsiders, or as we’ve come to call them in internet culture, the influencers, are now all posting selfies on Instagram, which WGSN’s Sarah Owen describes as the “ultimate playground of discovery”.

And finallyFrance is proposing a remedy to the problem of ever-dinging iPhones and bulging voice-mail boxes, dinnertime conference calls and 4am reply-alls. Voici, the most newfangled human right since the right to be forgotten; le droit de la déconnexion, or the right to disconnect.