The impact of the digital revolution on the community is massive. Technology is becoming smarter, faster, more informed and more creative. It is reaching into every corner of modern life. It is having a bigger impact than the “horseless carriage” or the industrial revolution. As modern technologies crash into our lives, they transform business models forever.
What is the Digital Revolution? Let’s take a look at the really great summary and explanation produced by Techpedia.
The Digital Revolution refers to the advancement of technology from analog electronic and mechanical devices to the digital technology available today. The era started to during the 1980s and is ongoing. The Digital Revolution also marks the beginning of the Information Era.
The Digital Revolution is sometimes also called the Third Industrial Revolution.
The development and advancement of digital technologies started with one fundamental idea: The Internet. Here is a brief timeline of how the Digital Revolution progressed:
1947-1979 – The transistor, which was introduced in 1947, paved the way for the development of advanced digital computers. The government, military and other organizations made use of computer systems during the 1950s and 1960s. This research eventually led to the creation of the World Wide Web.
1980s – The computer became a familiar machine and by the end of the decade, being able to use one became a necessity for many jobs. The first cell phone was also introduced during this decade.
1990s – By 1992, the World Wide Web had been introduced, and by 1996 the Internet became a normal part of most business operations. By the late 1990s, the Internet became a part of everyday life for almost half of the American population.
2000s – By this decade, the Digital Revolution had begun to spread all over the developing world; mobile phones were commonly seen, the number of Internet users continued to grow, and the television started to transition from using an analog to digital signals.
2010 and beyond – By this decade, the Internet makes up more than 25% of the world’s population. Mobile communication has also become very important, as nearly 70% of the world’s population owns a mobile phone. The connection between Internet websites and mobile gadgets has become a standard in communication. The innovation of tablet computers will far surpass personal computers with the use of the Internet and the promise of cloud computing services. This will allow users to consume media and use business applications on their mobile devices, applications that would otherwise be too much for such devices to handle.
Disruption Is Here to Stay
If the cloud provides the infrastructure to implement disruption throughout markets and industries, it is the app, that unintimidating foot soldier of the cloud that delivers new ideas, products, services and innovation in real-time. The app is able to obtain a nearly ubiquitous presence in the daily lives of potential customers and is able to accomplish this completely under the radar of its established legacy competitors. Through installed beachheads on phones, tablets and other devices, these disruptors can deliver a constant stream of new experiences to their users. These apps are not only the delivery mechanisms of innovation but also serve as learning mechanisms that absorb information about the users that interact with them. These apps learn the motivations and preferences of users, channelling all of this data into virtual storage pools in the cloud where advanced analytics can dissect this continual information. This allows disruptors to constantly refine and target services and provide new products and innovations. In breathtaking brevity of time, established static competitors are displaced.
We have witnessed this progression acted out many times in the last several years with disruptors such as Uber and Airbnb. In essence, businesses today must operate at the speed of software, and the software it implements must operate at the speed of business. Behind the scenes, all of this software is orchestrated by the cloud, from which there is nowhere to hide, which means that everything and everyone is vulnerable to its disrupting forces that are echoing throughout the world. It is a whole new world, a world of great opportunity for those who embrace it, and eventual demise for those who choose to ignore it. In the end, disruption is what you make of it.
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