Hopes Labour will support tech, improve security and drive innovation

With the Labour Party having wrapped up a landslide victory in the general election, the industry is already starting to share its wish list for the next government.

Keir Starmer secured 412 seats, largely at the expense of the Conservatives, who suffered a heavy defeat and retained only 121 MPs.

Almost immediately, reactions from industry lobby groups and leading figures started to be shared with an expectation that IT would be used by the next government to help move the country’s fortunes.

At a most basic level, the hope is that a focus on using technology to drive improvements and innovation will spur investments in technology.

“Delivering economic growth and raising productivity will require the new government to create the conditions to support the appropriate application of digital technology and provide an environment where innovation can thrive,” said Dale Peters, senior research director at TechMarketView.

“Labour plans to create a National Data Library to help deliver data-driven public services, and introduce a new industry strategy to support the development of the AI [artificial intelligence] sector and remove planning barriers to new datacentres,” he said.

“It will introduce 10-year funding cycles for key R&D institutions, and aims to develop better industry and academic partnerships, all of which will be welcomed by the tech sector.”

Supporting tech firms

Elsewhere, the message from Rob Borley, CEO of system integrator Dootrix, was for the incoming government to do more to support tech firms.

“One of the biggest frustrations for the ambitious, pioneering tech startups we work with is securing the necessary investment to scale,” he said. “Time and again, we see tech entrepreneurs growing their businesses to a certain size, only to struggle to get the investment they need to fuel the next stage of their growth; all too often, they end up taking their business overseas to secure its future.

“Some in the industry have found the election campaign frustrating for its lack of specific tech policies, but hope that will change now a fresh government has to face some real challenges and navigate some pressing issues.”

Al Lakhani, CEO of multi-factor authentication specialist IDEE, said there has been a dearth of strategy on the security front that needs to be addressed.

“For all the election noise, cyber security was absent,” he said. “In a way, this is understandable; there are many other social and economic issues to focus on when trying to woo voters. But as the dust settles on this election and a new party comes to power, continuing to overlook cyber security would be a grave mistake.”

Chris Dimitriadis, global chief strategy officer at ISACA, agreed that cyber security would have to be one of the areas where the new government leads the line.

“Protecting the UK’s critical infrastructure from cyber crime must continue to be a priority for the next administration,” he said. “But as cyber criminals carry out more sophisticated attacks more easily and more often, there isn’t time to undo the progress made and restart. With 38% of cyber professionals saying they’re experiencing more cyber attacks than in 2022, the next government must build on what’s already in place.”


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