The third digital revolution: why you should embrace now or be marginalised

A recent study conducted by the 100 top business technologists from Atos’s Scientific Community, which helps the company anticipate future trends and business challenges, predicted the ‘third digital revolution’.

The 21st century will be the century for data – the new resource to boost the economy, as finance was in the previous century. Gathering and using data will transform people’s lives whether they are at home, travelling, shopping or even receiving healthcare. It will help them to control teir energy spending, allow industry to use equipment more efficiently and offer greater flexibility in manufacturing.

The report describes how data is created, transported, analysed and acted upon, and will represent both an opportunity and a threat for organisations in the new data economy, where for the first time they will have both the capability to represent information and the technology to compute that information.

>See also: Digital transformation: are you living and breathing next practice or best practice?

Those that are first to grasp its relevance will be the winners. The lifecycle of data is now at the heart of digital transformation of both business and society.

Digital empowerment

In the report, Atos describes an ever-more-connected digital world, with an estimated 4.5 billion smartphones, 2.5 billion users of social networks and more than 25 billion connected objects.

The full impact of the third digital revolution will only be felt when the link is made between the B2C and B2B worlds. The Internet of Everything and big data are the new technology domains that will have a disruptive impact on enterprise IT.

Connected consumers seem ready and willing to trade access to their personal data for better and cheaper services, provided that personal data usage is limited to the purposes intended and guaranteed by trusted third parties.

Industry 4.0 challenges traditional front office and back office separation by allowing optimised process in a flexible demand that flows between the two. Meanwhile, the first industry consortia are forming multi-sided markets with privacy and data protection as a built-in feature for trust

The complexity and diversity represented by 25 billion connected objects raises unprecedented technical and economic questions. The resulting accessibility and connectivity are foundation and catalyst of the third digital revolution, enabled by the ‘internet of everything’ and its associated future networking technologies.  Services for the third digital revolution will be increasingly delivered through the cloud.

But, the third digital revolution is a “double-edged sword” bringing both agility and fragility. Looking at the impact technology will have, businesses need to consider the driving forces and interplays between them to understand the choices and respective consequences they face.

Looking towards the digital world of 2018, businesses can no longer constrain their thinking to that of evolution of business and technology, but instead embrace a revolution in thinking. The interplay of global megatrends and emerging technologies means that businesses need to do things differently, not just better, if they are to survive.

Whilst a number of traditional business models face obsolescence, the new-value paradigms arising from ever-richer contextual information will become the foundation for a new data and service economy.

>See also: Building a data culture to accelerate digital transformation

Organisations must consciously and quickly embark on digital transformation to avoid obsolescence and secure such new value. Openness, learning by doing, social innovation and strategic partnerships will be key aspects to a successful transformation.

2015 to 2018 is a vital period for businesses to embark purposefully on their digital transformation in order to increase, secure and consolidate growth. Those ignoring it, observing from the sidelines or merely paying lip service to the trends of change, will find themselves marginalised by 2020, or worse.


Sourced from Guy Lidbetter, CTO, Global Managed Services, Atos

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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