I’ve gone on for a while about the democratising effect of digital technology – mainly in the way it gives people access to information and encourages organisations to behave in a more transparent way.
The McKinsey Global Institute Study: “Disruptive Technologies: Advances that will transform life, business and the global economy” published in May offers a different take:
A new wave of unprecedented innovation and entrepreneurship could be in the offing as a result of falling costs and rapid dissemination of technologies. Many of the technologies discussed in this report will be readily available and may require little or no capital investment. 3D printing, for example, could help “democratize” the design, production, and distribution of products and services. Cloud-based services and mobile Internet devices could help level the playing field, putting IT capabilities and other resources within reach of small enterprises, including developing nations. Finally, the opportunities and innovation unleashed by a new wave of entrepreneurship could provide new sources of employment.
The challenge to businesses and us as individuals is to make sure we have the right skills to fully embrace the technology.
The McKinsey report gives a great perspective on the changes we can expect and is definitely worth a read.