THE search to find Scotland’s best digitally focused businesses is on. The Herald Scottish Digital Business Awards 2019 in association with DigitalBoost and supported by Business Gateway and SQA look to reward companies large and small which are benefitting their business and clients through digital technology.

As the digital industry changes and evolves our award categories are evaluated and reviewed to ensure they are relevant and in line with industry developments. This year we have introduced new categories to the mix, Emerging Talent Award and Outstanding Contribution to the Digital Community.

We have also added the Innovative use of AI Award. We are looking for organisations who have the creativity and innovation to leverage Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, advancing user experience and driving business performance.


Sponsor of the E-commerce Award, Business Gateway National Unit, Chief Officer, Hugh Lightbody, said: “With an estimated one in every five pounds spent online in the UK, effective e-commerce is more important than ever, which is why we wanted to support this award.

“We want entrants to show us how e-commerce has benefitted their wider business, from the design and functionality of their site to an exceptional user experience which effectively converts visitors to buyers.

“E-commerce is fundamental to businesses across all sectors, so we’re looking for entrants who are leading the way in this respect.”

Back for the third year, sponsoring the Education & Training Award, Derek Houston, SQA Regional Manager, said: “We’re delighted to sponsor the Education & Training Award, which celebrates organisations who are using digital technology to create exciting new learning opportunities.”

This year the awards are in association with DigitalBoost, category sponsors of the Business Award, as they continue to strive to aid the business community.

Hugh Lightbody: “Embracing digital technology is no longer just about effective marketing or sales strategies, as more and more businesses are integrating digital platforms across the business to improve their efficiency and productivity on a daily basis.

“We will be looking for examples of how entrants have effectively implemented digital business tools to deliver consistent results in unpredictable market conditions.

“This award is particularly exciting for us to support because we’re looking for examples of businesses pushing the boundaries of what digital can do for them and their customers.”

We are asking businesses to enter by Friday, August 16, 2019. Details of categories available at For more information on how to get involved, please contact Holly Rutherford on 0141 302 6019.

2019 Categories

E-Commerce Award

This award is for an organisation that uses e-commerce to benefit the wider business.

Judges will be looking for a site which effectively converts visitors into purchasers.  Key criteria include design, functionality, checkout process and user experience as well as after sales service.

The effective use of search to drive customers to the site will also be considered.

Business Award

This award will be given to an organisation that can best demonstrate the effective implementation of digital platforms and tools in a business capacity. Are you completely wireless office, have you implemented an effective chatbot? Judges will look for evidence of how the technique was adopted and has delivered consistent results in unpredictable market conditions.

Charity and Social Enterprise Award

This award will be presented to an organisation that is using digital technology to tech for good across Scotland and beyond. We will be looking for charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises where innovative digital projects have resulted in real and meaningful engagement with the people they work with, from donors and beneficiaries to the general public. This can

include the use of social media, digital campaigns, websites and online platforms, and mobile apps and services. This is the perfect opportunity to showcase how digital technology can be

used for social good, and to raise your profile and inspire others at the same time. Please note this category is free to enter.

App of the Year

Judges will be looking for innovative and commercially successful apps. This category will reward the most effective mobile application targeting consumers/users across any platform.  We understand that developers launch apps for different reasons, therefore the judges will select the winner based on the entrant’s stated objectives, user experience and app success.

Consumer Engagement Award

This category will recognise the most innovative use of digital platforms and tools to engage with consumers about a product, service or event.  Websites, targeted marketing campaigns, social media applications and mobile technology are all eligible.  Entrants should provide examples of how they have successfully communicated with the audience and the business benefits achieved.

Public Sector Award

This category is open to all government agencies, education establishments, health providers and uniformed services.  Judges will be looking for evidence of how digital tools, platforms or techniques have been used to meet an objective, simplify a process, galvanise support and encourage participation.

Education & Training Award

This category will reward the innovative use of digital platforms to enhance education and training to a specific market. Judges will look at how the e-learning brief has been successful in achieving the objectives e.g. by a specific innovation or outstanding user take-up. Entrants should detail the aspirations of the programme and how it has aided the organisation or individual.  Access to the e-learning tool is needed to demonstrate its working.

Emerging Talent Award

To showcase emerging talent in Scotland we have launched the Emerging Talent Award for 2019.  This category is open to anyone enrolled in a digital learning project or a thriving entrepreneur. Entrants can submit a project which covers one or more digital platforms which they have completed. Entrants must demonstrate creativity, new ways of thinking and potential impact rather than specific business results. This is your opportunity to showcase your skills on a national stage and show the industry you are a force to be reckoned with. This award is free to enter.

Best Use of Social Media Award

This category will reward an organisation that demonstrates the best use of social media to enhance their business.  Entrants should include examples of how they have successfully utilised social media through the means of social networking sites, blogs and other forms of viral communication.

Innovative use of AI Award

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are transforming businesses across the country. We are looking for organisations who have the creativity and innovation to leverage AI/ML, advancing user experience and driving business performance. We are looking for organisations who have designed AI/ML to provide a breakthrough in any area of business, any type of business can enter this category including private, public and third sector organisations.

Digital Professional of the Year Award

This category will recognise the best Digital, Media or Creative professional.  The individual will demonstrate technical / creative expertise as well as commercial success for their team or business.  Evidence of work and client/peer testimonials must be provided.

Digital Agency Award

This award will be presented to the agency which has carried out the most advanced digital innovation in Scotland.  This category will celebrate a digital leader with an impressive client list, diversity of work and excellence in creative execution.  Judges will review the agency’s overall quality of work, commercial success and fulfilment of client briefs (please supply client testimonials).  Overall, we are looking for an agency that is using digital to excite, enthuse and inspire.

Outstanding Contribution to the Digital Community

This award will be awarded to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the digital community.