Digitizing economies with innovative tech

2016.06.04 By Sally Gao

The Economist’s think tank predicts that the global economy will increase by a modest 2.7 percent in 2016, continuing the sub-3 percent growth rate that has characterized global GDP since 2011. In contrast, the global digital economy is growing at an astonishing 10 percent every year, and is accompanied by an unprecedented revolution across the planet as more countries realize that national economic development shouldn’t just focus on GDP – it also needs to consider the quality of economic growth.

Over the last decade or so, the rapid development of ICT has delivered high broadband network penetration and availability. A huge amount of data has been accumulated as a result of Internet-based business innovation, which is laddering-up stages of national innovation from foundation to Internet to data. 

More nations have come to understand that digital infrastructure is the key to accelerating the transformation to a digital economy. Whether it's Germany’s Industry 4.0, Singapore’s Smart Nation, or Digital Malaysia, each initiative is basically the same. In the future, broadband, data centers, cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) will drive the development of each other, pushing society from Data Innovation to a more intelligent, efficient and collaborative innovation period – Augmented Innovation. 

Huawei estimates that by 2020, a new All Cloud era with cloud computing, IoT, big data analytics, and AI will come into being, which will usher in an unprecedented wave of innovation that will transcend physical limits. In this new era, technological development will streamline everything and be prioritized over strategic design, and transform every vertical through full digitalization and cloudification. 

However, economic digitization cannot be achieved overnight. Currently, 41% of businesses in the EU are non-digital, with fully-digitized enterprises accounting for only 2% of the total. With the key technology enablers advancing rapidly, a new horizon is upon us. Be it governments, enterprises or individuals, each party should harness this tide of tech development, both for economic advancement and a sustainable tomorrow.  

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