We are now firmly in the age of a digital economy. Where once we were required to queue at a traffic department to renew our vehicle registration, we now have online connectivity to thank for saving us the hassle of what once felt like a laborious task. This is just one example of how we have moved into operating in a digital economy, but in how many ways will we be affected by what is now considered our Fourth Industrial Revolution?
We might not know it but our finest details are recorded as data. Google in particular will know almost everything about their Android mobile phone users – where they spend most of their time, how much time they spend communicating, how much time they spend in restaurants etc. This might sound scary, but it is data that assists companies in knowing your preferences, and thus how best to customise their user experience for you. If you happen to enjoy playing golf chances are Google will know, and you’ll be exposed to much more golfing literature than the average joe.
But data that is being digitally recorded is also being put towards determining climate change, for example. Through a digital economy farmers and governments will be able to use the masses of data recorded to determine weather patterns, as well as information such as what times of the year people eat more.
People Are Connected
With a social economy people will also have far more connectivity with each other. Social media has supplied a platform for people to connect with others but also another market place. Thus, being able to visit City Index to conduct CFD trading is now easier than ever as people have the ability to see what other traders are doing and what calls they are making using social platforms.
Companies such as Uber and Airbnb are now making use of a concept called a sharing economy, where everyone connects digitally to share products and services. This is a trend that could rise in a digital economy, as we will always be aware of the needs of others purely based on our constant connectivity.
A digital economy will also ensure transparency, as there will always be a digital trail. Blockchain technology is now here to further enhance this. It is a surefire way of ensuring there is a trail and that information is kept safe. Payments will always be secure using this technology, while elections will always be fairly contested and incorruptible. Cryptocurrencies are perhaps the most high profile champions of blockchain technology, and proof that we could all one day be living off a decentralised economy, which would be purely digital.
We Value Our Time
Perhaps the biggest effect this modern day phenomenon will have is gifting us more time. The digital economy will present us with answers to questions we previously had to conduct research or form experiences to have answered. Convenience is also a major factor to consider when discussing a digital economy. We no longer need to get in our cars or make use of public transport to accomplish something we once had no choice but doing. Checking your bank balance just requires you picking up your phone.
Governments Jumping On Board
As with the earlier example of renewing your vehicle license, this is but one function governments are taking digital. Health care, criminal reporting, taxes and various other daily tasks are now in the digital realm. There is very little today that you cannot pay for online. Government departments are also notorious for paperwork debacles, but with digital this should eliminate such issues and heighten efficiency.
The effects of a digital economy are endless. To list all the changes would be near impossible. It is a topic that is limitless because it will constantly be changing. All we can do is try and keep up with the times and embrace the benefits provided by what is inevitable.