Whether the antiquarians among us like it or not, our lives are being digitized all around us. The digital transformation wave that sprung up in the early 2010s was something most of us were applying to industry shifts in search of new efficiencies and not to the way we live our day-to-day lives. However, over a decade later, businesses are still struggling in earnest in many cases to have these large-scale digital transformation projects materialize tangible gains.
While the ‘digital takeover’ has accelerated onto greener, more receptive pastures – Us. Unsurprisingly, we are consuming new and exciting digital services with a zealous appetite. From how we wake up to how we work to how we communicate to how we put food on the table, we now depend on a complex network of connected devices.
What is the Digital Economy?
In simple terms, the digital economy can be summed up as an economy that is reliant on digital technologies. A global network of commercial transactions and consumption activities that are conducted online. Convenience sits at the heart of all digital things when it comes to consumers. We can search, compare, and purchase products and services from the comfort of our own homes, and this has become essential over the last couple of years due to the restrictive nature of the Covid-19 pandemic.
People have now become expectant of digital alternatives to all in-person channels. As societies make accelerated moves to going cashless across the world, people are becoming more trusting of online payment platforms. This has all resulted in a boom period for the digital economy globally and, with the dawn of the metaverse and other such virtual forums, the trading of digital assets is set to turbocharge the digital economy over the coming years.
Opportunity for Network Providers
As data became commoditized and competition devolved into who could offer xGB of data for the cheapest rate, network providers had to think beyond connectivity and reimagine how they would differentiate going forward.
This saw network providers evolve into ‘experience providers’ on the back end of 4G and into 5G, where competitive services were no longer creative bundles, but compelling and novel end-to-end experiences underpinned with assurances around the quality of service. This, of course, has proved very lucrative for those who have built strategic partnerships with the likes of online gaming outfits.
Beyond gaming, the popularity of the online marketplace in all its forms presents a wealth of opportunity for e-commerce enablement. Providing the ability to connect to this digital ecosystem is only the first part but providing the ability to charge for new services and manage transactions intelligently will also be key to driving continued growth for the digital economy. And for those interested in expanding into adjacent industries, 5G’s network exposure capability presents a significant opportunity for operators to partner with a broader ecosystem of enterprises in the digital economy to put the network to work in new and innovative ways.