Smart Villages – Digital Economy Infrastructure for Scotland’s Rural Communities

Infrastructure for the Digital Economy

Our Smart Village Platform (SVP) provides a suite of Cloud applications for enabling Scotland’s rural economy to better participate in the Digital Economy.

  • A catalogue of template web site apps – A suite of ‘Micro-SaaS’ applications, online web tools specifically intended for freelancing ‘Gig Workers’ and common micro-business models, such as Business Coaches, Web Site Developer, Tourism Travel Operator, Bed and Breakfasts, Camp Grounds etc., those common to rural scenarios.
  • ICT needs, such as broadband, virtual phone systems, email and collaboration tools etc. This can support general business needs and also facilitate Virtual Networking and Mentoring, for example through Virtual Classrooms.
  • Digital marketing and tourism portals, for showcasing these vendors as more consumable digital marketplaces, for example Virtual Farmers Markets that can offer an online e-commerce facility for all the local artisans and tap into the global media AND tourism markets, through harnessing the popularity of shows like Outlander and movies like Braveheart.

Building a Scottish Digital Nation on the Cloud

Overall this represents bringing the power of Cloud computing to Scotland’s rural SMEs, an important need identified by Microsoft in their digital nation blueprint report, which states that:

“While 75% stated that digital technology was essential to the future growth or competitiveness of their business only 37% of the 4,000 Scottish businesses surveyed stated that their employees were equipped with sufficient technology skills to meet the business’ digital technology needs.

Only 36% invested in an improved company web site and only 17 – 19% have invested in e-commerce sites and Cloud services.

28% still don’t even have a web site!”

Smart Village Portal

Smart Villages directly addresses this need. They offer a complete Cloud-powered, digital enablement program for Scotland’s rural communities, developed around the best practices identified by Scotland’s Rural College that would unlock £2.5 BILLION in new economic growth as a consequence of adopting rural digital innovations.

In their research they identify that over half of small businesses describe other challenges beyond high speed access standing in their way of mastering digital, and identify that rural small businesses have correctly determined what they need to address the situation:

Cloud computing is seen as the biggest driver (67 per cent).

Digital portals

Specifically the Smart Village community portal aligns to their first recommendation:

“1. Set up a single portal for information and local directories giving guidance and support that fulfills the digital needs of rural businesses.”

Digital Scotland has developed a highly scalable Cloud computing platform, for providing each and every town with their own digital portal, providing all the features and more that the SRC recommend, including:

  • Local business directory.
  • Events.
  • Classified Ads.
  • Collaborative Community Documents.
  • Knowledge centres for local services like Health, Safety and Travel.

We work with each community to tailor the portal to meet their particular local needs.

 

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