The world is going live and it’s going to eat you alive
Heed this not just as a warning, because it’s already happening. The digital disruption that not so long ago we had read from textbooks and global industry magazines on the west is here with us. It is making much greater inroads, faster than we can say the word disruption, fuelled by the current economic crisis facing our economy. Here are just some of the examples of industries shaken by digital.
Picture this; a technology company becomes the biggest taxi operator within the country, less than a year after its launch. The firm achieves this without owning a single taxi! A lot can be told of the Uber story in Kenya, but heck we all know that you need to get around in an Uber, especially after a crazy night out don’t we?
In the beginning, there were big banks and the big banks were like gods. Then came Mpesa and the mobile money phenomenon and the banks grew a conscience.
I have to admit that I was a bit blown away by the experience of having to move money from the bank account to my mobile phone, on one of my laziest days ever. No queuing no breaking a sweat, just completing transactions at the touch of the screen.
No wonder many banks are currently closing down branches and cutting down on staff, all in a bid to capitalise on the efficiency created by technology.
As we speak, one of the biggest online retailers, Jumia is running a week-long 5th year anniversary sales promotion. Yes it has been around seven years and counting.
That major retailers are facing a tumultuous period while Jumia’s growth chart is still facing the upward trajectory is enough testament of the shift of the ground.
Media, Arts and Entertainment
Social media is now the undisputed biggest source of news and information, despite the valid queries raised on credibility and media ethics. It’s now common for news to break online before it hits the prime time news.
Entertainers and celebrities now don’t have to hassle for airtime on the big media outlets. They now create their own online channels where they can create and share their content. Greater online audiences mean they can monetise their channels and earn revenues through advertising as well as sway the large media providers to air their content. I say this and I think of Propesa and Jaymo Yule Msee not forgetting one of the most gifted writers of our time, Jackson Biko.
You can now take a Harvard certified course from the comfort of your living room.
Digitally savvy teachers nowadays reinforce the learning experience through the use of online video clips and illustrations. Enough said.
These represent just a snippet of the disruptions. It seems like no industry will be spared the disruption. Well not just industries but even the modern worker will be forced to be digitally competent.
I recently lost my identity card. I felt a much deeper sense of loss when I recalled the harrowing processes it took me to get one way back when the documents were gotten from the district commissioner’s office. Two weeks later, I’m now staring at a gleaming new generation, duplicate ID card, which I applied for at a Huduma centre. Much of the processes were automated from fingerprint scanning to the personal signature and even queuing!
This just illustrates how even governments have not been spared with the move to digital. No one will be spared. Don’t be eaten alive by this monster, master it, domesticate it and ride it to prosperity.
On my next article I will talk about some of the strategies a business can opt for to stay digitally relevant.