The Herald Digital Transformation Awards, which take place in August, were launched last year as a way of recognising the positive impact that technology is having on every aspect of life, from how we shop and interact to how organisations conduct business and communicate with customers.

The response to those first awards was overwhelming and now, in their second year, fresh examples of individuals and organisations that are using technology in new and exciting ways are flooding in.

The closing date this year is Thursday, 14 July, so there is still time to submit entries in all 10 categories, including Digital Community Award, Business Growth and Innovative Use of Technology.

The awards are open to all industries and sectors and there is a strong focus on both business and community endeavours, so it was significant that,

amongst last year’s winners, was a project that demonstrated outstanding results in both fields and brought great pleasure to many people, especially during lockdown.

The award for Digitally Transformed Business was won jointly by Albion Rovers and Stenhousemuir FC for the role the clubs played in introducing match day live streaming across a number of SPFL clubs.

When the pandemic struck and matches were held behind closed doors, there was no way for fans to participate, but with the help of writer and Hollywood producer Mark Millar, the clubs’ collaboration resulted in 22 professional clubs across the SPFL adopting the Pixellot camera system, which used Artificial Intelligence (AI) to remotely film and broadcast live matches and events to supporters who were locked out of stadiums due to lockdown restrictions.

The new technology also acted as a catalyst for a number of clubs to bolster their online media departments and has offered opportunities for up and coming young sports journalists or media students to get involved with their local clubs and improve the match day content for supporters.

Liam Nugent, of Albion Rovers, says: “The outcome was better than we could ever have predicted. It was an opportunity to bring the clubs closer to their fans and to bring communications up to date.

“At Albion Rovers we have a team of four commenting on social media, producing match reports and making videos and now that lockdown is over, the live streaming has continued, allowing anyone who is unable to get to a match to watch it wherever they are. It means too that fans who are housebound or unable to travel can enjoy the action and not miss out on the excitement of matches.”

Winning the award, says Liam, was a recognition of the work that has been done in transforming the communications efforts of SPFL clubs and helping to deliver a better service to fans.

Amongst the awards that will be handed out at this year’s ceremony on Thursday, 25 August will be the Digital Diversity Award, sponsored by Be-IT Resourcing and Be-IT Projects and the Digital Young Person of the Year Award, sponsored by Glasgow City Innovation District.

Alisdair Gunn, Project Director, Glasgow City Innovation District, commented this week: “It has been great to see so many applications for this year’s Digital Transformation Awards. Scotland has so many innovative companies who are using digital technology in new ways and I’d encourage more to submit their projects to these awards before the deadline.”

In these and all other categories, the judges will be looking for examples of how technology has been used to improve services, with special emphasis on innovative ideas and ways in which digital know-how has been used, as in the case of the SPFL live streaming service, to bring something traditional bang up to date.

Full details of the event, a list of categories and entry forms are available to download at https://newsquestscotlandevents.com/events/digitransform/ 

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