Digital Technology and a Healthy Global Economy

Boston University School of Management - IT

A substantial contribution to the overall growth of the global economy could come from the increased use of digital technologies. The greatest impact would be realized by emerging markets, but the growth would have a reach across many countries, with a $1.36 trillion output to be realized by 2020.

According to a recent study conducted by Accenture and Oxford Economics, digital is defined through an array of strategies, which include the volume of transactions conducted online, the use of cloud or other technologies to streamline processes, the pervasiveness of technology skills in a company, or an economy’s acceptance of new digitally driven business models. Organizations who transition to fully digital platforms, essentially decide to implement “digital at the heart of their strategy and enterprise to transform every part of their operations, including R&D, supply chains, and the use of cloud, analytics and CRM technologies.”

While digital technology is extremely vital to the growth that could be realized in the next three to five years, it shouldn’t be seen as the only opportunity for growth. This is evident in the estimated numbers, as the growth realized in dollars is less than two percent of the global gross world product. This doesn’t diminish the amount of growth, it merely means there is an enormous amount of room for other driving factors. Innovation is extremely vital. It’s in the DNA of any effort towards growth. But with it comes the demand of education, new skills and training. This is oftentimes the contrast to growth, regardless of the platform. Simply put, it’s out with the old and in with the new and unfortunately this type of change isn’t easily implemented nor embraced.

Source: Accenture

Source: Accenture

Digital technology is a part of our everyday lives. When you break it down between personal and business, it’s easy to see how much of an impact it already makes and how this impact draws a clear line to what the future could hold. It’s a part of what we read and how we choose to access this information. It’s in where and how we shop and the processes in place to pay for those purchases. For businesses, it’s in the collaboration opportunities and knowledge sharing. It’s in market penetration, trend analysis, process improvements and overall cost savings. There is truly no end to how digital technology could continue to improve the economy.

The growth behind the digital technologies movement isn’t merely about automating processes. Of course this method would have impact on productivity, as well as overall performance and efficiency. But with the evolution of digital and the undeniable role it plays across various facets of business, organizations will essentially have to transform their overall operations. They will have to embrace digital in every aspect of their business, in order to remain a viable competitor within their key markets. This is why it’s important to note, when it comes to theorizing the impact of digital technology on global economy, that the perspective centers around one keyword – could.

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