What’s Driving Business Forward This Decade?
The spread of digital technologies and services across society marks the beginning of a new era in society. The emerging network society is fundamentally changing the framework for entrepreneurial success – and demands new skills from both individuals and companies. The central prerequisite for mastering and helping to shape this upheaval is a holistic, systemic understanding of digital change.
The connectivity megatrend makes it clear that the core of digital change is less about technological novelties than about social responses. In the course of increasing networking, basic human needs such as trust and security as well as cultural and social aspects are becoming more and more relevant for digital business models and for the design of products and services. In order to tap the potential of the connectivity megatrend, companies first and foremost need a comprehensive and systemic understanding of digital change. Only with a holistic view of digitization, which includes not only technological, but also social and cultural aspects. Fundamental for a holistic view of digitization is the historical insight that our society is in the midst of an epochal evolutionary leap.
Digital networking is dissolving old social structures, exploding communication options and creating a new level of complexity. We are therefore still in an early phase of digitization, in which a lot is mixed up. The lack of understanding of the essential structures of this transformation process also makes sub-complex “redemption fantasies” appear plausible.
Digitization is not just technology
In order to clear up such blind spots, it is essential not to equate digitalization with technology, but to understand it more comprehensively than technologically networked communication. Digital change is not purely technological, but a socio-technical process in which people play an increasingly important role. Especially because digital technologies are increasingly permeating all areas of life. This deeply social component was already illustrated by the first leap in development of the Internet from a pure search and reading medium to the “interactive medium” of Web 2.0.
The corona pandemic has also given us a strong boost by catapulting digitalization back into reality, so to speak. The departure from the digital over-hype also marks the beginning of a real digital revision. The main features of this change are described by the term real-digitality, which denotes a new understanding of networked reality. Instead of the traditional separation between “real” and “digital” , the holistic interplay of both dimensions is taking place. In which human needs are consistently placed at the center. It’s about balancing the digital and the analogin terms of human criteria and limits, about the sensible allocation of digital technology in the context of human needs and possibilities. A new phase of digitization begins and this includes things such as AI and more. Sustainable business models, real innovations , pioneering work and production processes – all of this can only succeed if we not only look at digital technologies from a “digital” point of view, but understand them as a socio-technical vision and purpose.
Artificial intelligence: central driver of digital change
Hardly any other topic today reflects the positive and negative potential of digital change as strongly as the term artificial intelligence. AI is currently the undisputed central driver of digital change. Today, AI is largely equated with the AI sub-area of machine learning. Learning machines can recognize patterns and laws in large amounts of data, optimize problem solutions and ultimately increase the efficiency of the entire economy. In the meantime, such AI applications can be found in almost all areas of everyday life , from home appliances and fitness bracelets to messengers and chatbots, and enable individual individuals to be addressed more and more precisely. It is now known that ai for people and business is in fact going to be a huge success.
AI will continue to be tied to rule systems and clear tasks in the future. It’s always about defining and comparing patterns. The creation of meaningful human-machine interfaces will therefore be more decisive than the question of whether AI could one day approach human intelligence that simplifies the dialogue with technology.
The network society of tomorrow requires more adaptation, resilience and complexity competence. In order to prepare for this, it is important to fully understand the complex forces of the connectivity megatrend and to consistently integrate the knowledge gained from it into your own organizational culture. The result is a reflected and agile handling of the increasing connectivity and complexity – and thus at the same time the best recipe for mastering future crises. This is the best recipe for business success this decade.