The Internet has been around for 28 years, and it is now obviously an important part of everyday life. However, the Internet has really only turned things inside out over the last few years. But just as rolling up the sleeves of your shirt properly can be tricky, getting to grips with the changes caused by the Internet can take some time as well. While we don’t want to get into whether rolling up your sleeves is in fashion or not, we can report on how we face digitalization on a daily basis.
Suddenly, everything became “SMART”
Smart home, smart phone, smart factory, smart watch. “Smart” is the trendy adjective of the hour, if an hour can last ten years. Digitalization is leading to intelligence being integrated in places where it’s never been before. For example, someone with a traditional house might look with jealousy at his neighbor, whose window shades close automatically when the sprinklers turn on, which, in turn, know the weather forecast and when it’s time to water the lawn. This is the first digitalization trend:
Everything is connected
Devices are connected to one another and act together, utilizing external data. If you have a smart home, then you’ll need a green index finger in your garden rather than a green thumb. Digitalization provides a completely different advantage for companies: it boosts efficiency and productivity substantially because the cogs, so to speak, fit together better. In addition, an expert analysis of the data can show where there is potential:
Big data has two faces
Data analysis is both a curse and a blessing. The information that large datasets and applied pattern recognition yield can, depending on how they are used, be very helpful or frightening. Video and music streaming services offer suggestions that are more likely to appeal to you – entertainment based on your tastes. After conversations with your friends about planned vacations, you will receive supposedly unbeatable offers ad hoc by push message.
Sharing is fun
“Mine, yours. These are all bourgeois categories,” Marc-Uwe Kling has his protagonist say in his best-selling novel. And in doing so he illustrates the attitude that the new generation of consumers has toward ownership. When people had nothing or very little, possession represented a difference in status. We now live in a time and place where, although we don’t have everything, we at least have enough. Ownership is no longer a differentiating criterion, it is no longer a status symbol. The attitude toward ownership is changing and is fertile ground for a new economic sector: sharing providers. Sharing services are just springing up. Ride services, e-scooters, cars, apartments – everything is being shared. Many established business models were built on ownership as a basis as well as a status symbol and are now in the middle of a transformation.
Mistakes are part of the solution
Trial and error – that was the method we used as children to explore the world. It was how we determined how thick a branch had to be to support our weight, tested the limits of our parents, and found out how much ice cream we could eat before we got a stomachache. During our school years, mistakes were “penalized” with bad grades, thus making the process of failure – a process that was supposed to help us learn – a taboo. In the past, the classical business world was designed in such a way that experiments and trial and error were also not allowed, with the consequences of mistakes being economic damage, competitive disadvantage, or a lawsuit. With increasing digitalization, space is being given to learning processes in order to grow and react more flexibly. Because all software solutions are digital it is possible to analyze them precisely and modify them at short notice, thus combining the learning phase with the subsequent adoption phase. Everything is in beta.
Including this article. We’ve surely forgotten a trend that’s important to you, that represents an opportunity for you or with which you already have experience. Digitalization will continue, and we can be curious to see what new trends are coming up for us all.