The internet has been a great force in creating a more equal society. Today 3.5 billion people have access to the internet in some form. It has democratized information, communication and education, created millions of businesses and touched on and improved so many life’s.
However, at the same time the digital divide is about to increase again.
While speaking about the latest mobile trends I often get the question or comment that technology development must slow down at some point. “I cannot cope with more” people say.
The reality is the opposite. Technology innovation and the impact on society and our life’s is accelerating.
Over the next couple of years there will be more new technologies than ever to keep up with. Many people will choose not to or won’t have option.
What happens when someone doesn’t upgrade their phone every 2–3 years? What if you don’t download the latest apps for public and private transportation, healthcare, education, the messaging apps that people communicate with and make payments through the mobile phone?
The technology savvy and geeks are taking over. The most valuable and profitable companies in the world are tech companies. Amazon might become the worlds first trillion dollar company. The first trillion ire could become a reality within the next 20 years and it will be a tech entrepreneur for sure.
Political parties and leaders have an advantage because they understand how to use and leverage technology.
Artists, actors, authors, journalists and other creative roles are more successful if they know and use technology to their advantage.
Restaurants, bars and hotels depend as much on IT skills and social media as they do on the quality of their property and service.
Doctors and nurses that keep up with the latest development in their field provide better care to their patients.
Economists and statisticians that know how to use data visualization have a huge advantage in story telling and winning their audience.
Jobs go to engineers, preferably younger engineers as fresh skills are valued higher than experience by many organizations.
The world is slowly becoming cashless, local retail stores are closing and replaced with eCommerce, bank branches and ATMs disappear.
This is just the beginning. Because society is changing rapidly whether we like it not.
Computers leveraging Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning will be able to beat humans at almost any single skill within the next 5–10 years. This means that the computer engineers and the people that control the technology will have even more power.
Homes are becoming smarter but also more complex. Every device is becoming connected. Cars drive themselves. VR and AR may cause dizziness and headaches in the short term but will extend abilities in the long term. We have to get used to talking to machines, to controlling interfaces with our eyes and motion and eventually the machines will listen to our brainwaves.
Even if only half of these technologies come true within the next 10 years it will impact most people.
What happens if someone doesn’t want to be or cannot be part of this change? What happens to those who are disconnected?
They will be left behind.
As technology leaders we have a responsibility to ensure that this doesn’t happen. We need to make sure that technology is for everyone and that people don’t feel alienated by it. That it truly makes life better for everyone!
How can we contribute?
Here are a couple of ideas / suggestions on where to start:
• Create better products and services that solve real problems and are easy to use
• Spend a few hours every month teaching your parents / grandparents how to use new technology
• Volunteer to teach and share your knowledge online through videos or education for adults at a local community centre for the unemployed or elderly
• Donate your old (not too old) devices to people who need them instead of leaving in the drawer and eventually throwing away
What do you think?
Do you agree that there is a problem? If not then why and if yes share your thoughts about how we reduce the digital divide.
DMI is starting a new initiative under the Moville umbrella to ensure that our customer engagements are inclusive of everyone. We will keep you updated about the progress.
This article is dedicated to my parents who gave me a big advantage in life thanks to early access to computers and learning to program. My father who’s now retired stays busy giving teachers access to advanced data visualisation tools and my mother provided feedback to this article on her iPad. Together we can bridge the digital divide!
About the author
Magnus is a computer engineer and serial entrepreneur as a co-founder of 8 start-ups and 3 successful exits. He’s currently Chief Innovation Officer at DMI (http://diminc.com) after the acquisition of Golden Gekko.
Changes to Anticipate with Enterprise DevOps DevOps in a larger, mature organisation is different from its small and brave counterparts. For a start, it is far harder to embrace change. So when a movement like DevOps comes along, with its commitment to agile, it can be hard to re-organise and
I love Google Translate. It was in August 2016, in Rio de Janiero, when our eyes first truly met. I picked up Google Translate on my iPhone at the 2016 Olympics, and it turned out to be a lifesaver. Alone in the city, it allowed me to get around the city without having to depend on
First things first, this is not an attempt to excuse what Jamie did. Just an examination of some of the factors that might have been at play and what we can learn to stop ourselves from reacting badly to situations. I'm probably not the only one who was quite surprised to see Jamie Carragher in t
The biggest mobile show on earth, Mobile World Congress, is about to take place in the Mobile World Capital of Barcelona for the 13th year in a row. At this year's event, the prominent theme is "creating a better future with mobile technology," with mobile communication now reaching nearly 5 billion
The end of the tax year presents a final chance to make use of tax allowances and exemptions that can give children a big step up the financial ladder. "Saving is a very fine thing. Especially when your parents have done it for you." As the intergenerational wealth divide widens, Winston Chur
Creating a diverse and inclusive work environment is essential in order to compete for top talent amidst changing demographics. This infographic points to the business benefits of diversity and illustrates how the working population is changing in terms of gender, age, race and ethnicity.
The always-on nature of work has contributed to a decline in annual leave usage. Unused holiday time not only hurts the economy due to lower holiday spend, it perpetuates a culture of burnout, ultimately reducing employee productivity. The antidote to this is for employers to create a co
To be honest, I hate using the word digital. To me saying that a company is digital is about as useful as saying it runs on electricity. It’s what you do with digital technology to achieve your organization's goals that makes the difference. Digital should be part of the DNA of th
Are you doing everything you can to retain your current employees? In an increasingly tight market, organisations should be implementing solid retention strategies that include creating a great culture, offering development opportunities and competitive pay rises.
Tired of buzzwords, glitchy new handsets, smartwatches, talks about how AI will replace employees, virtual reality shopping replacing physical stores, and other technology trends that hardly impact you in the short term? Then this is the trend report for you. We believe that the winners of th
To be honest, I hate using the word digital. To me saying that a company is digital is about as useful as saying it runs on electricity. It's what you do with digital technology to achieve your organization's goals that makes the difference. Digital should be part of the DNA of the organization and
The UK relies heavily on the immigration of EU citizens to make-up its workforce. Over 2 million EU nationals work in Britain and over a fifth of UK start-ups are led by EU entrepreneurs. Brexit may mean the end of free movement of EU citizens as restrictions on immigration are put i
First things first, this is not an attempt to excuse what Jamie did. Just an examination of some of the factors that might have been at play and what we can learn to stop ourselves from reacting badly to situations. I'm probably not the only one who was quite surprised to see Jamie Ca
I love Google Translate. It was in August 2016, in Rio de Janiero, when our eyes first truly met. I picked up Google Translate on my iPhone at the 2016 Olympics, and it turned out to be a lifesaver. Alone in the city, it allowed me to get around the city without having to depend on anyo
By Applied Influence Group Prior to Barack Obama's decision in April 2016 to authorise the mobilisation of ground troops in Iraq and Syria, he had called the US' intervention in the region 'a dumb war', he had opposed previous troop surges during the Bush administration, promised to withdraw all
Upon reading the news headlines this morning, I was astounded to see this story detailing that one tweet from Kylie Jenner, a reality TV star, had knocked $1.3bn off Snapchat's stock market value. It begs the questions why did this happen and what could Snapchat have done to avoid it? Snapcha
DevOps can drive process benefits to an enterprise For those of you that have been stuck under a rock for the last few years, DevOps is a way of developing, deploying and supporting applications in the most responsive and coordinated way possible. Once it becomes established on a running pr
31st January is the day workers are most likely to hand in their notice. If you are one of these people looking to move on then it's important to hand in your notice the right way. We Brits generally don't enjoy confrontation or awkwardness, so for most people, giving notice is not usually an enj