Digital Isle: Developing the Isle of Man as a digital destination of choice

01 December 2022

Developing the Isle of Man to be a digital destination of choice was the underlying theme of this year’s Digital Isle event, held on 10th November at Comis Hotel Mount Murray.

Hosted by Digital Isle of Man, Digital Isle brought together those working in and supporting the Island’s digital industry to share information, exchange ideas and plan the way ahead.

With a packed programme spread over two conference rooms, the event attracted more than 375 delegates from across the Isle of Man’s technology sector and further afield to discuss key issues and opportunities.

Minister for Enterprise, Hon. Laurie Hooper MHK, opened the conference, saying that the digital industry “sits at the heart of our future economic success.”

“It's no longer optional for our island to prioritise business, people-focused digital and technology adoption, and infrastructure investment,” he said.

“Helping to support and enable innovation, entrepreneurship and economic success is essential work. It will be the future of our Island's key public services, like education and healthcare, as well as our related industries,” he added.

Digital Isle of Man Chief Executive, Lyle Wraxall, gave an update on progress during 2022, which saw job growth increase above target in the eGaming and FinTech sectors with the digital sector now accounting for around 30% of the Isle of Man’s economy.

Lyle Wraxall also spoke about the Agency’s plan to develop a digital academy for the Isle of Man to support skills building and improve general digital literacy across the population. This was a theme that was addressed in a session panel later in the day where the Chairs of the four Government agencies – Digital, Finance, Business and Visit – discussed how Government and industry can work together to bridge skills gaps.

A fascinating virtual session with representatives from the Digital Agency’s counterparts in Guernsey, Jersey and Gibraltar looked at shared challenges and opportunities to work together and there were panel discussions on trends and developments in eGaming, the data economy and FinTech.

Other sessions covered ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) and how to create value through an ESG strategy, how to build a global business from the Isle of Man and a presentation from Government Technology Services on the Government’s own pathway to a more digitised world and how it can support business innovation.

Digital Isle offered the perfect opportunity to launch the Isle of Man’s first FinTech Innovation Challenge. The challenge is a competition for business innovators to address key issues in the FinTech space and is intended to help accelerate the development of the Isle of Man’s FinTech ecosystem. Further information about the challenge and how businesses can get involved can be found here:

The FinTech Innovation Challenge is a collaboration between Digital Isle of Man, Finance Isle of Man and the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority and is supported by Deloitte. Deloitte also sponsored a post-event eClub where delegates were able to network further and discuss learnings from the day.

Speaking after the event, Lyle Wraxall said the conference had been a great opportunity for the Digital Agency to gather feedback as well as share information and give a voice to key players and thought leaders in the industry.

“We were pleased to have such a wide range of speakers, panellists and contributors to the event,” he said. “Nothing beats hearing experiences and ideas from those at the ‘coalface’ and everyone was very generous with their time and input.

“Growth and innovation in the digital industry will be key for the Isle of Man’s future economic success and it is our role at Digital Isle of Man to support the digital ecosystem, help existing businesses thrive and ensure the Island is an attractive proposition for start-ups and relocations.

“It’s clear we have a lot of engagement from people across the technology sector and we look forward to working together to make the Island the digital destination of choice.”

Lyle Wraxall also thanked all the sponsors who had made the event possible. These were Amber Gaming, Computer Network Defence, Continent 8, Deloitte, Domicilium, Games Global, ISOQA, KPMG, MAC Group, Manx Telecom, Solutions Hub, Suntera Digital, and Van Kaizen.

A detailed report on Digital Isle will be issued in the New Year.