Hancock has his half hour of fame

Tony Hancock, WIkimedia CommonsThe minister in charge of the UK government’s digital service made a keynote speech at the National Digital Conference 2015 today.

Matthew Hancock, who lives in the Cabinet Office, described the smartphone as “one of the most profound symbols of digital transformation the world has ever seen”.

He said the smartphone is a miniature office, a digital camera and a fitness monitor. He said that some of his younger officials use the smartphone as a dating agency.

He claimed that if you tried to get the same functionality in 1990, the memory and components alone “would cost around $3.6 million”.

He said that the last coalition government aimed to make important transactions digital by default – citing for example apps to view your driving licence and visiting prisons.

He said there are about 700 interactions between government and UK citizens and many could be digitised but it’s time consuming and expensive to build the infrastructure.

He claimed that the introduction of “government as a platform” includes building “core digital plumbing” which can be used by different government departments.

The UK government is prototyping a status tracking platform that can be used by any service.

He claimed that Intel’s Moore’s Law means “you really can do more of less, if you use technology”.

He said that the symbol of transformation “is no longer the iPhone in your hand, but here, miniaturised in the iWatch on your wrist”.