Session 1: Building the Nation’s Digital DNA: The view to 2026

9.30am – 11.00am

There’s a marked difference between talking about digital and being digital. Amazon, Uber, Spotify and Airbnb have all transformed their sectors, but these are all examples of businesses that begun digital. For established commercial or public organisations to remain relevant in this digital era, re-imagining engagement processes, and sustaining them once implemented, is required. This change needs to happen throughout the very fabric of both the public and private sectors. So what is needed in the next ten years to build the nation’s digital DNA? We heard leaders from Government, the technology industry, big enterprise and SMEs, speak on this challenge.

9.30am  Nick Williams, Consumer Digital Director, Lloyds Bank

Nick discussed building Digital DNA within SMEs and with those who have a lower level of digital skills.

Nick is a highly respected leader with significant financial services experience in the UK, with a strong background in banking and insurance. Nick’s move into Lloyds Banking Group Digital builds on his experience in Products and Technology, as well as his consultancy years at Accenture.

9.45am  Jacqueline de Rojas, President, TechUK

Jacqueline discussed the pace of change that technology brings, and the disruption this causes. Where do we need to put pressure on to ensure we can be a leading tech nation by 2026?

Advisory Board Member of the Digital Leaders Programme and VP at Citrix, Jacqueline is a believer in smart partnering and tech that makes life easy. She dedicates much of her time to encouraging and empowering women in tech. Away from her day-to-day role at Citrix, Jacqueline is the president of techUK. Jacqueline was named Computer Weekly’s most influential women in UK IT in 2015.

9.55am  John Torrie, CEO, Sopra Steria

John gave direct insights into the experience of digital transformation within government and the opportunities and barriers identified.

John, with over 40 years’ experience in the IT industry, is CEO Sopra Steria Limited, responsible for the UK Organisation, and is Deputy CEO of Sopra Steria Group. John is a main board Director of two joint ventures with the UK Government; NHS Strategic Business Systems (NHS SBS) a 50:50 joint venture between Sopra Steria and the Department of Health England, and Shared Services Connected Ltd (SSCL), a joint venture with the Cabinet Office.


Matthew Hancock is Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General. As Minister for the Cabinet Office, Matthew has overall responsibility for the policy and work of the department and is responsible for the digital transformation of government.

10.15am Q & A

The four speakers receive questions from conference chair Mark Thompson and the audience, including what key action they believe is essential to developing the Nation’s Digital DNA over the next decade.

Table Talks

These table discussions debated the actions our speakers’ believes are essential to building the Nation’s Digital DNA; selecting one (or developing their own) which they consider most important and then stating the next steps for how it can be achieved.

Tables will choose two words each that they believe inspire digital transformation, these will be presented in a word cloud.