With the rise of digital platforms, the world is rapidly changing. In newspaper and book publishing, TV and radio, film, music, and other forms of media, we see that the walls that protected organisations within traditional models are crumbling. Yet, despite the obvious need to move with the times, many professionals and organisations are still grappling with the digital economy and questioning the impact it will have on them – or, even worse, are ignorant about it. In many cases, their own consumers are well ahead of them. The public sector is also seriously affected; it should learn from the problems in other areas, especially book and newspaper publishing. Healthcare and education are classic examples here.
Throughout the world, a significant portion of GDP is spent on healthcare. New technologies are increasing life expectations and improving our lifestyle. The cost of this, however, is enormous and it is difficult to finance these huge advancements through the public health systems. BuddeComm believes that the alternative to not embracing e-health is to accept a significantly inferior healthcare service in the future. Countries that are lagging in broadband infrastructure developments are going to face, not just a telecoms dilemma – but, more importantly, they are going to face a health crisis.
In countries with a clear policy for an advanced broadband infrastructure (i.e. National Broadband Networks/NBN), we see e-health emerging to allow us to enjoy these advances in medical technology at more affordable costs. On truly high-speed broadband networks, E-health is rapidly shaping up as one of the key killer apps. Millions of people around the world can potentially benefit from e-health applications. Cost savings through e-health are expected to be between 10% and 20% of total healthcare costs.
Education is another sector where digital economy plays a vital role. The use of IT and telecommunications technology within educational environments is set to increase dramatically as high-speed fibre-based broadband becomes more widely available. Simultaneously, the capability of internet services devoted to distance education is set to increase enormously over the next decade as well.
With smartphones and other mobile devices proliferating around the world, people are finding more and more uses for these tools that have become practically an extension of the self. In health and education, the use of mobile devices opens up unforetold possibilities. Without a doubt, the future of the world is tied to this small revolutionary tool, which has radically changed the way we think and interact with our environment. The potential of mobile devices is staggering – they are with us everywhere, able to provide performance support, knowledge checking, real-time diagnosis, medical recordings, and countless other services.
Critical elements for the future of the global digital economy include Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and Big Data. Without a doubt, there is much interest throughout the world in the M2M market. But what we are seeing is only what is happening on the surface. Most of the M2M activities are taking place unnoticed. As for Big Data, despite its potential advantages (particularly in the healthcare sector), there are still concerns surrounding privacy. While the Big Data that is floating around somewhere in clouds is becoming increasingly critical to business operations, very few companies have a good understanding of where their data is at any given time.
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