New World Order – The Digital and Generational Transformation Effect 

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This is first in a two-part blog series exploring the transformative effect of the digital world on today’s workforce generations.

By definition, transformations are not linear but exponential in how quickly they change our world order and, with it, our business models. In today’s “cradle of innovation,” we have the tools, capital and instantaneous global reach to compress the cycle of ideation to market impact at transformational rates across even our most capital intensive industries. Barriers to entry are quickly becoming an illusion.

The impact is compounded when multiple transformational dynamics are in play simultaneously as we have today in the area of both digital connectivity and generational workforce change.

The digital networks laid the groundwork for transformation change. The digital signal is transmitted perfectly over long distance, can be replicated indefinitely and once the base infrastructure is in place, and can be expanded at near zero marginal cost. The value proposition is beyond dispute – just look at the “digital effect” on Facebook’s consumer business model or GE industrial internet business-to-business (B2B) model. This digital foundation has redefined both the capability and creativity of technology impacting a multitude of aspects, including: access, speed, connectivity, volume, usability, collaboration and analytic insight.

The benefits of the exponentially expanding digital technology to business models are still playing out, but the value proposition centers on instant access to a larger addressable market for product and services.  The benefits of larger and accessible markets invite opportunity for business growth and, with it, opportunities for disruption as the lines blur regarding the true source of your company’s value / revenue streams. Is it the one-time value of the product or optimizing services associated with the “outcome” the product produces over its lifecycle? What we know is that digital transformation creates enabling technologies that lead to expanded business markets at a rapid pace.

The validation is evidenced through:

  • Social dialogue on products and services through billions of things shared on Facebook and hundreds of millions of tweets;
  • Tens of billions of connected and smart devices communicating in real time
  • Trillions of dollars of commerce electronically executed across business networks
  • Billions of smart phone users
  • Exponentially exploding waves of structure, unstructured and sensor data that has hidden value to business enterprises
  • In-memory data processing that is 100,000 times faster than tradition systems of the last decade

The wheels of digital transformation are in motion and gaining speed. Many believe we are only in the early uptick of an “S-curve” growth pattern. The new cadence of business is at the speed of electronic circuits and the relevancy of your business will be determined in the “moment of decision.” Real-time business models enable the ability to engage the moment with the right solution, at the right time, for the right price by leveraging the value of information moving through the consumer and business interactions happening across our digital enabled universe.

The second blog in this series will focus on the nature of new business models in the digital age and the workforce generation issues businesses need to understand to create a competitive advantage.

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