The word ‘digital’ is a rage these days. Digital technologies, digital data, digital media, digital transformation, and digital marketing are the buzzwords that the entire world is talking about and for a good reason! We are preparing for a way of life that is focused on a completely new level of social connection and communication.
The main reason why we need to go digital is to meet the demands of a fast-paced world. This is majorly due to the realization that mobile is the future of everything! With the rise of mobile devices, IoT and AI our lives have completely changed.
There are countless benefits to a digital lifestyle, but the point we need to consider is that any business within virtually any industry needs to adapt to the digital age in order to survive and thrive.
Restaurants are finding new customers thanks to the use of applications. Hotels are booking more guests with the use of convenient software solutions and virtually every industry in existence is seeing benefits from digital strategies. We live in a world where you can connect your coffee machine to the Internet and make your coffee via Bluetooth!
Now, before you move ahead with your digital strategy, it’s important to know what it really means and understand how & where it all began.
The Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes which included going from hand methods to machines, the development of machine tools, the rise of the factory systems, and many of the technological and architectural innovations as well.
There have been four specific stages which have created a before and after in the world. They have all made essential contributions to the way we think and work. Each stage represents an advancement in the industrial revolution going from manufacturing to digital transformation and beyond.
The First Industrial Revolution – Coal
During the 1760s, the production, exchange, and transportation of products and goods underwent significant changes and Coal was the catalyst for that change. A remarkable aspect of it was the way it was used to improve all aspects of life.
The Second Industrial Revolution – Gas
For many reasons, this evolution was far more impressive than the first. About a hundred years later, it coincided with the discovery of oil, gas, and electricity. You can understand how much the world would have evolved at this point. As a result, everything that the coal revolution improved was drastically altered by the gas revolution.
The Third Industrial Revolution – Electronics and Nuclear Energy
With the advent of nuclear energy and electronics, around the 1970s, the world moved at a much faster pace than we had ever known. We invented new means of transportation, communication, and manufacturing and involved the use of electronics and IT (Information Technology) to further automation of production
The Fourth Industrial Revolution – Internet and Renewable Energy
A revolution that we are experiencing currently, and it has been the most dramatic in every possible way. There is no denying that the internet has created an entirely different world, one that is truly different from past industrial revolution outcomes. This is the era of smart machines, storage systems and production facilities that can autonomously exchange information, trigger actions and control each other without human intervention.
The Fifth Industrial Revolution – Human and machine interactions
There is no date to this one because it has yet to happen. With that said, we are already on the outskirts of this revolution. Our world is about to change even more drastically as we are going to see a merge between machines and human beings working together.
Less than a decade since the 4th industrial revolution, visionaries are already forecasting the next revolution! The current industry focus is on the integration of machines into interconnected networks, and the vision for I 5.0 is about reconnecting humans into that framework.
Having said that there are many ways for us to gain access to the digital world and it is important to learn how to use them.
Following are some of the most relevant ways for individuals to gain access to the digital era.
The internet is the biggest and one of the most powerful creations we have ever seen which offers endless information, knowledge, and entertainment. It plays a critical role for us in many ways. One of the biggest advantages is the way in which we communicate with each other. It has never been so easy, fast, reliable, and accessible.
We can talk to someone (and see them on video) on the opposite side of the world. The Internet has enabled us to make money, use banking services, shop, and work from home as well. All this without any delay in the communication.
The internet allows the creation of websites that offer all kinds of information, but it also gives way to the creation of web apps. These web apps allow us to engage in different activities and handle a variety of tasks.
Just like web apps, this is an invention with multiple uses and helps people in many ways. The main difference is that mobile apps are standalone and do not necessarily require you to access a website. Moreover, they are an essential part of the digital era.
Software solutions in general have been a blessing for many reasons. We are now part of a world that caters to faster solutions and better time management. Software solutions have become an integral part of the modern world.
The Internet of Things is something that everyone hears about but very few people understand. The truth is that the IoT is not “something”, but a collection of objects embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies to connect and exchange data with other devices over the internet! These devices range from ordinary household devices to industrial tools.
Experts estimate that there are currently more than 7 billion IoT devices worldwide, and that number will grow to 10 billion by 2020 and 22 billion by 2025.
Why do we need to change the way of working?
Looking at the pace of our evolution, it is not difficult to say that we have been focused on how fast we get things done. The different industrial revolution processes have created a faster and more efficient way of life.
The way we work currently is nothing like the way we worked a few decades ago. The pace we had 20 years ago was much slower and it did not allow us to stay competitive as well.
The world is ditching printers and papers while replacing them with cloud-based solutions and virtual storage. This means that all the data we can gather physically can now be created & stored safely in a digital format for use whenever needed. Not negating the fact that going paperless is also beneficial for the environment which is always a plus.
Impact on the industry due to Covid
The pandemic has played a crucial part in the process of taking the leap into the digital world. While we already knew this is going to happen within the next decade, COVID gave it a push that leapt over several years and brought this change into our lives suddenly.
The good news, however, is that this type of sudden change allows us to adapt to the digital age much faster than expected.
The biggest takeaway here is to understand that if you are not online, it’s like you do not exist! There is careful planning and strategizing involved in the process. Whether it’s customers, current employees or potential employees, everybody wants the best experiences and opportunities.