Digital is like gravity, it is everywhere

Whether you are a believer or non-believer of technology and innovation, it is a force acting upon everyone!

Technology development through digital transformation will always be present in our lives from shopping online to being implemented in retirement homes.

“You can argue. You can agree or disagree, but you will not stop it. You can say you don’t believe in it. You can fight it. It doesn’t matter whether you believe in technology, it will act on you and your life, just like gravity.”


Finding middle grounds, is the key for Dualarity – without one we cannot have the other. The middle point is where we have balance, a place where believers and non-believers of technology are likely to come closer. In order to remove fear, trust must be created. Can we trust technology?  For both believers and non-believers trust will probably be the single most important change, as we move ahead. Its known that us humans have the tendency to overestimate the speed of changes and underestimate the impact of changes.

Valerie Beaulieu, GM Small & Medium Business Microsoft Asia, shared the following: The person who influenced me a lot relative to technology adoption was my grandfather. He told me that when he was a boy, people were dreading the development of a power plant on the river nearby, fearing flood, fires, etc. Who today would fear electricity? It’s definitely part of our lives.

Technology development

The exponential curve that represents the growth of Technology and Innovation, predicts that the power of all computers will exceed the power of a human´s brain. The moment where computing power exceeds human intelligence; is the technology singularity. Such era is predicted and most likely around 2045.

The future is approaching, and instead of wasting time fighting against the current, the ideal is to spending our energy into helping the next societies and industries to thrive. Let’s learn from our mistakes and be inspired of what is yet to come, minimising the side-effects.

Many of the things we do have the simple intention to make our lives easier. Save me time! Save me money! Make everything easier!

Nigel Kershaw, Big Issue Executive Chairman, says, ‘Tech puts power into people’s hands and has the potential to change both attitudes and lives.’ The impact on society of the changes we are seeing now will be much bigger than the impact on industry. We tend to underestimate the impact digital will have on the way we live, where we live and with whom we live.

So what is happening around the world?

There are 7.2 billion people on this planet, 3.4 billion are active internet users, of those, 2 billion active social media accounts. 3.6 billion unique mobile users. Hundreds of millions of people are using their mobile to make micro payments. In Africa, countries like Kenya are leading the way in using mobile phones to make payments.

The internet penetration around the world is diverse: in North America it is around 90%, Western Europe around 80%, 35% Middle East, only, and only 26% in Africa. There are initiatives taking place to enhance internet accessibility, whilst 4 billion people do not have internet access, however 1.2 billion of those do not have electricity.

Experts are predicting that 90% of the entire population will be connected to the internet within ten years.

In a typical internet minute, 60 seconds, around the world: 3.5 million Google searches are performed, 4.1 million videos are viewed, 156 million emails sent, 114,000 Skype calls are made, 900,000 Facebook logins and 46,200 Instagram images are posted. The abundance is unbelievable.

Predictions for 2020 show that we will go from 6.4 billion devices to 50 billion connected devices. An increase from 2.6 billion smartphones to 6.1 billion smartphones. Possibly 250,000 IoT enabled driverless. More than 10 million items of smart clothing. Digital will represent 25% of the worldwide economy, and will become an $ 11 trillion-dollar industry by 2025.

What is more important is the change in the labour force. Generation Y will be 50% of the future workforce in 2025. Generation Z (the eight second generation) will become 30% of the workforce in 2030, which means that by 2040 more than 60% of the workforce will be digital natives (Generations Y and Z).

Waiting for the next generations to come along to fix our technology imbalance will not be a good solution. It’s not about which generational group, X, Y or Z, that you belong to determining your mind set; it’s about infusing the right mind set and not waiting for it to appear.

In order to live up to our expectation in a productive and cautious manner whilst evolving, we need to start acting now! This will allow are kids to have a better future, our societies to live in harmony and for businesses to be successful.

Olivier Van Duuren Professor Digital Business Global MBA at Zigurat Innovation School

Olivier Van Duüren

Author of this article, professor of the Global MBA in Digital Business, Founder of the Dualarity and former executive at Microsoft. This article is in the framework of our Digital Business Global MBA. If you want to learn how to implement, execute and manage the Digital Transformation across all company structures, levels and departments to optimise the organisation’s efficiency, request more information now:

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