Think the Digital Economy is just a Technology Play – Prepare to fail


The rise of the digital economy is of course an era of global development that will transform all. Nothing new or controversial with that. It will also lead to the overwhelming and never ending pervasiveness of technology in all that society does as consumers, enterprises and governments.

capioIT has long been concerned that the most commonly accepted definition of Digital based around SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud, for some, security) is a technology based construct.

Quite simply until the impact of a governance and regulatory framework, and consumer behaviour is included in the definition of Digital, the benefits and value cannot be fully realised.

The importance of the regulatory environment should be clear to all that are looking to transform or innovate from the business model level through to basic employee level. Governments have not been able to catch up with legislative requirements across the board, from inadequate Privacy and Metadata legislation, to consumer rights, IP, and data location considerations. As a result technology based solutions that work in one jurisdiction may be illegal in another. This even occurs within a countries border. New consumption options such as Uber are illegal (if not tolerated) in some states within a country and legal in others. The total industry needs to strive for consistent (and fair) legislative and regulatory environment. Without the environment too much innovation will be caught short.

In this context we are defining consumer, as the beneficiary or user of the ecosystem. This can be an individual or communities of customers, employee or other “users” of the service provision.

Building a “Digital Ecosystem” without understanding, engaging and including the consumer is another rapid path to failure. Change is difficult for many individuals and communities; failure to account for this is clear in a range of industries, from fashion retail, personal accounting, banking and internet services. At the same time, many organisations have quickly learnt that the consumer is able to hijack and come together using mobile and social media to form a rapid and highly influential view on the provider of the services.

Just ask airlines, governments and other groups who have naively asked for an opinion on their customer satisfaction, services or other related and visible failures to understand how their consumer will operate. Reliance on a build it and they will come approach is also another doomed to failure, you need to have the consumer on side from day 1 regardless of the audience.

Capture Point

Whilst technology is the central driver for the global transformation that is impacting every facet of our professional and personal lives, this shift is more than technology. Legislative and consumer responses will ultimately drive the success or failure. Organisations cannot just rely on technology alone, nor can technology capabilities live outside the organisation.

About capioIT - Phil Hassey

capioIT is an advisory firm focused on helping organisations to understand emerging technology in emerging markets. CEO Phil Hassey established the company in 2010
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