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The Next 5 years in Global Digital Transformation

Gerd Leonhard, Futurist and Founder and CEO of The Futures Agency and Speaker, CommunicAsia2016 | April 19, 2016
Futurist Gerd Leonhard gives us a glimpse of how the world will look like in five years' time.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

We are at a pivot point: humanity will change more in the next 20 years than in the previous 300 years. In the next five years, globally increased connectivity, super-computing and vastly more powerful interfaces will bring about exponential changes in how we communicate, how we consume media and content, how we transact and do business and how we learn and design our future.

Here's what the next five years will look like:
1. Global Digital Transformation: the 10 'ations' that will impact every business
Global digital transformation is bringing about an age of digital "ations" that all beg the question: what will it mean to be human in a digitally transformed future? That includes: mobilisation, digitisation, screenification, disintermediation, automation, virtualisation and robotisation.

We are already nearing the pivot point where very few ideas seem to actually remain in the realm of science-fiction for a long time. In a world where connectivity flows like water, we can expect intelligent software and machines of all kinds to play an increasingly larger role in the future of communication, and drive gargantuan growth in the video and radio streaming industries. In the coming years we will see OTT become the new normal, and computing become invisible.

2. Limitless and Ubiquitous: Connectivity will Flow Like Water
The world will becoming increasingly hyper-connected, technology will become omnipresent - it will become normalised and a part of the very fabric of our environment. As such, this will change the nature of our interactions and fundamentals of our environment whereby, "everything that can become digital will indeed become digital - coining this era as one of "smart-everything".

In fact, this will have a monumental impact upon society, culture and business in the near future. The future presents us with the means to revolutionise industrial processes and increase efficiency through advances such as "smart farming", "smart logistics" and "smart transportation". On the other hand, with artificial intelligence feeding big data and the Internet of Things, we have to be mindful that our new age of hyper connectivity will also exponentially heighten the present challenges (such as piracy and cyber-security) and it will become of utmost importance for us to tackle the unintended consequences of this hyper connected, borderless world - the age of digital ethics is here.

3. Digital Captives in a Limitless World
Security will become a priority - with technology becoming part of our everyday lives, society will be even more susceptible to threats such as cyber warfare. The implications of data losses or breaches will reach new heights as cyber criminals become increasingly savvy and technology begins to play an even greater role in personal enterprise, business and government. The vast movement of data will be further catapulted by high speed, cheap devices and easier access to technology.


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