Being a cluster lead, or manager is an odd job. There isn’t really a job description or a definitive list of things that you have to do to be successful. Each of the four of us at Dynamo share notes yet we tend to operate in our own way. We’re skilled enough to bring our own slant to the role and each of us is addressing a different cluster. It is not always easy to apply lessons from one to another.
I’ve made the point therefore of trying to build a relationship with the other cybersecurity cluster managers around the UK. All in all there are a dozen or so of us, working at a regional level and I have made contact with my colleagues mainly in the far flung regions of Scotland, Norther Ireland and Wales. This might sound like some sort of Celtic alliance though I also have strong relations with Plexal which leads the London cluster.
I would like to see each of the regional clusters working more closely together, to understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses (if that is the right word) so that we can fit in with each other to form a patchwork of mutually assisting clusters. Each of us has different aims, is set up in different ways and supports different industries. We are not competing with each other as there is enough cybersecurity work out there for each of us to carve out our own niche.
I was please then when I was asked, along with all of the cluster leads, to take part in a consultation on behalf of the DCMS to understand better the challenges and opportunities faced by cyber clusters across the UK.
To move this forward it is essential that there is some central coordination and understanding. DCMS, as the relevant government department, is ideally placed to do this as part of its development of the 2021 national cybersecurity strategy. I’m looking forward to the outcome of the consultation. Who knows what will happen but I am hoping there may even be a small amount of funding to come.