Digital Literacy in Transformative Age: Must-Have (!) and Mass-Halved (?)

Updated: Jun 26, 2019

Have you been noticing the surging prominence of the traditional market + a suffix ‘tech’ on it? The closely related FinTech, InsurTech and PropTech. The family of HealthTech and BioTech – including the close-to-its-heart CleanTech/GreenTech. The LegalTech. The EdTech. TECH-NOLOGY. Despite its heavy popularity, it is STILL underrated – or so I believe.

BBVA, a multinational Spanish banking group, claims that the players and solutions are leveraging advancements in sensors, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data to develop new ways to detect, gather and analyse swaths of data from different repositories to come up with more efficient procedures and, especially better products that benefit from new risk measurement mechanisms, to cater to the new habits of increasingly demanding consumers. Virtual Reality (VR), smart contacts that run automatically in Blockchain, digital identities – these are all highfaluting but NOT AS OVERHYPED AS THEY SHOULD BE. Approaches through social web, mobile apps and the use of cloud, drones and robotics are all endearing but to some - dreadful.

The world is transforming into a digital box. Is it disruption or recalibration?

CHANGE is coming? It HAS COME (already). Welcome to Transformative Age (World Economic Forum, WEF, is calling it the ‘Industry 4.0’) – where business is anything but usual; and navigating it demands that we ask better questions: the NOW, NEXT and BEYOND. Norman Lonergan, EY Advisory Services Global Vice Chair, compared the Industrial Revolution to Transformative Age where one can expect a FUNDAMENTAL shift in everything that we know. Only in Transformative Age, the speed at which all these changes are taking place is complemented by our increasing reliance on connectivity – being connected whether to data, interfaces, people or experiences.

HOW CONNECTED ARE YOU, then? “Search engine.” “Coding.” #digitalworld

ACCA, a global professional accounting body, on its ‘How will digital shape your future?’ posits that the three key trends on the digital horizon are: 1) continued growth of cloud-based accounting software, 2) adoption of automatic intelligence systems, and 3) the emergence of blockchain.

Cloud-based accounting software is hosted on remote servers and accessed via a web browser, rather than having a copy of the software on your own computer. Solutions by companies such as Sage, Intuit Quickbooks and Xero are already on offer and it’s something which is growing in popularity. According to The Practice of Now report published by Sage in November 2018, 53% of accountants have already adopted cloud-based software. With AccountancyAge predicting that 78% of small businesses will be using cloud-based accountancy software by 2020, it’s likely that the number of accountants using it will continue to rise too (Ibid).

Automatic intelligence systems are designed to take care of simple and mundane tasks such as capturing invoices and classifying transactions. This frees up accountants’ time to focus on more complex, value-added tasks. It is expected that the development of intelligent automated accounting systems will have the greatest impact over the next three to ten years (Ibid).

Blockchain is a technology that enables people to exchange digital items such as currency, tokens or documents. What makes it different from other online payment or exchange systems is that it relies on a distributed network of computers, rather than a central governing organisation like a bank, to track and verify transactions. Blockchain maintains a public, timestamped ledger of all of the transactions that have taken place in the chain (Ibid). The fundamentals? DIGITAL SIGNATURES + HASH ALGORITHM.

“Digital Wallet.” “Platforms overlap and interoperability.”

Modernisation of globalisation via e-commerce. Multiple disruptions on how we live (smart automation), work (dynamic offices/enterprises) and play (VR). You couldn't help but notice, really.

Change is coming? It has come (already).

Guess we can all agree that DIGITAL LITERACY IS ESSENTIAL – it being generally defined as having the ability to be aware and have knowledge of existing and emerging digital technologies, capabilities, practices, strategies and culture.

But is it exclusively an ‘enabler’? ...or does mastery over such also disable trust? Does being digitally literate actually and effectively create? ...or is one’s technological knowledge ultimately aimed at putting up an army of bots and cutting the workforce into half?

Privacy and cybersecurity being intercepted are making headlines all over the world. Analytics are being used through ads targeting – good and evil intentions alike. Cryptocurrencies traders and users are laughing at (and by-passing) AML/CTF regulations. Is this a sign that the future looks like we will be split into two factions: the advanced tech-savvy exploiters and the exploited? Sounds like "DIGITAL COLONIALISM," eh?

The world is transforming into a digital box. Is it disruption or recalibration?

If Thanos is INEVITABLE - so is the continuous evolution of technology. Fortunately, #iamironman - but, hey, so are you! *SNAPS (…half of the world is decimated leaving no digital footprint in a digitised society. Oh, nope! Actually, only the digitally illiterate! Are you there yet?)

#digitalliteracy #roadtodigitalfluency #transformativeage #industry4.0 #technology #akawnthink

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