Back in the olden days, it was common to see labor intensive organizations. People went to school to be employed. Whether or not many accept this, it’s a fact.
Things have changed drastically in the past 50 years. The world has become more digital. We’ve gone online. Ours is a digital economy.
A digital economy is a convergence of communications, computing, and information. The new economy is basically about coordination, innovation, selection and learning.
The combination of networked computing technologies and new business models is creating entirely new markets, industries, businesses, and work practices today to form a digital economy.
The new economy or digital economy is based more in the form of intangibles, information, innovation, and creativity, in expanding economic potential and is based on the exploitation of ideas rather than material things. – Harbhajan Kehal & Varinder Singh in Digital Economy: Impacts, Influences and Challenges
This implies that much of information and many services are available online. A widely distributed access to the networks, the intra- and Internet, and of skills to live and work in the Information Society is the basis for the digital economy. And from where I’m standing, computer illiteracy will render many unfit in the future markets.
Having looked at a bunch of job adverts. I saw something peculiar. They had something uniform. But to an untrained eye that is likely to remain hidden. I mean even posts of the lowest rank, they for some unknown reason require basic computer skills.
Computer skills in Microsoft is an added advantage. This statement is found in almost all job openings. What then should we make of that? It is a clear indication that our world has changed.
But now let’s take it easy. Let’s focus on e-commerce just a bit. Online business. Buying and selling, and doing business transactions over the internet.
E-commerce will continue to revolutionize our way of doing business. Think about it. We will be able to operate 24/7, thereby being in a position to transact with anybody, anywhere and at any time.
Harbhajan et.al posit that, a website can bring a prospect from the point of advertising and information directly to the point of sale, seamlessly, without involving any other medium. E-commerce has reinvented the way businesses operate. E-commerce has also allowed the establishment of completely new types of businesses such as online shopping and Internet banking.
These new ways of thinking, and processes involved in commerce, provide many benefits and advantages. E-commerce brings substantial net benefits to the economy. The real impact of e-commerce is its ability to reduce costs and prices and make doing business more efficient.
The increased productivity will result from lower production costs, lower inventory holding costs and lower overall input costs to a business. These savings permeate through the entire value chain and impact significantly in business interactions with other businesses.
That captures to a greater degree our future. Businesses trying all they can to reduce production costs. For instance, the costs of recruiting many employees will surely be minimized. Few digitally-aware individuals will be at an advantage.
Our old industrial beliefs will be brought to nothing. Now there’s an inevitable change. Failure to changing now may mean forced change in the near future. Basically following is what is and will continue to be our world. This is a sobering reality looking at the already expanded unemployment.
Considering what the internet has done, it is only normal to wonder at the magnitude of changes that have occurred already in the ways we do business. The Internet is providing considerable opportunities for firms to streamline their business operations as well as offering greater choice and lower prices to customers shopping online or alternatively obtaining product information before making a store or catalogue purchase. A large number of enterprises have migrated to Internet-based systems for increased efficiencies, lower costs and the ability to operate in real time across different platforms.
The internet has shrunk and made the globe one big village. This is evidenced by the fact that, suppliers and retailers are able to collaborate on product forecasts and product flow and inventory management decisions using the collaborative Internet-based networks between suppliers and retailers. In addition to reducing costs, e-commerce solutions permit customers to custom order products based on individual needs and preferences. Retailers are able to allow customers to mass customize orders based on virtually thousands of choices.
The net economy or digital economy will result in lower prices for consumers, better information access and increased competitiveness of small and mid-size businesses. It will also pave the way for a true global trading community. These changes demand close attention by organizations as well as lower level aspiring entrepreneurs. It’s no rocket science at all, the fact that we’ve become pervasively digital.