The reality of a digital world today is quite apparent when some of us receive Facebook invites from our not so tech savvy relatives. It is not so much the efforts from an older generation trying to remain relevant but rather the rapid rate of digitization taking place in our world today. Not only are we teaching our elders (most with no formal education) how to use their smart phones better but even the impact on the youngest of children is worth noting. Digitization is leaving no stone unturned within industries and the consumer across generations.
The mobile phone as a communication device has sophisticated the consumer's experience with goods and services.
The opportunities for small companies in introducing and growing their brands and networks have never quite been so convenient. The relevance of digital marketing has allowed the utilization of small scale multimedia distributive platforms yielding exceptional results for business purposes. As opposed to formal and traditional methods and means, the digital way has allowed consumers to engage brands in providing feedback beneficial for product development among other things. Companies have benefited from being able to tailor their marketing to relevant segments. The sophisticated marketing involved in digitization is causing a rapid expansion in markets as well as the purchasing power that the consumer has. The culmination of social media and internet dependency within growing markets has created a need for digital infrastructure aimed at stimulating skills, capacity, research and innovative projects.
The need for the creation of more digital hubs can only lead to a more competitive delivery of goods and services. Digital hubs as a source of absorbing the labor market needs to be promoted in the support of businesses in ICT, and the exposure of digital impact on related industries. The incorporation of digital communication within formal sectors including schools and everyday spaces needs to be across the board so as to safe guard against a further divide between the haves and the haves not. If we are to ensure that we embrace the digital era we are being ushered into, we will do well to position ourselves as effective role players in the communities being realized because of this. The need to also anticipate the impact of digitization on social cohesion allows us to facilitate development with care.
While hubs may not be realized in every corner of our country today, there needs to be appreciation for the slightest technological advancement in any given context. Digitization speaks to the future of entrepreneurship. Foreign investment from advanced markets allows leeway for economic stimulation in trade and skills transfer. The nature of tomorrow's solutions need to be practiced today. Through structural intervention, more attention needs to be given in stimulating a robust establishment of an internet age in South Africa.
By: Thato Sihlali