New World Order: The Digital And Generational Transformation Effect

Mark Mueller

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 highspeed trafficworld 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.

Digital networks have laid the groundwork for transformation change. The digital signal is transmitted perfectly over long distance, can be replicated indefinitely 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’s 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 smartphone users
  • Exponentially exploding waves of structured, unstructured, and sensor data that has hidden value to business enterprises
  • In-memory data processing that is 100,000 times faster than the traditional systems of the last decade

The wheels of digital transformation are in motion and are 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 digitally 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.

For more insight on today’s increasingly digitally enabled world, see 3 Ways The Networked Economy Is Changing Your Life [VIDEO].