Recently we’ve had the privilege of going around Queensland on behalf of the Queensland Government to speak at Digital Economy Forums about how businesses can embrace the digital age.
My main message has been that the digital wave is not coming. It’s already here and in fact, it’s been here a while.
Just consider some of the every day tasks you now do online. When was the last time you went into the bank to get cash out? Have or someone you know bought anything online in the past month? Do you happen to socialize online from time to time? Booked a holiday? What about where you go looking for information? I doubt you’re popping into your local library or pulling out the Encyclopaedia Brittanica’s gathering dust on the book shelves (if they haven’t already been donated to the local Salvos).
Across the country, the National Broadband Network (NBN) is being rolled out, presenting a massive opportunity for businesses, and indeed, the every day Australia. Many people bemoan the large amount the Government are spending on the roll out. At $40bn, it is the largest single spend on infrastructure by any Australian Government. They also argue that they already have fast enough internet, an email, a website. Why on earth therefore do they need the NBN?
The NBN in fact represents an incredible opportunity to completely review, and potentially revise the way you currently do business and live. It’s not just about doing the things you’ve always done. With faster internet you can reconsider your current business systems and processes, and maybe even completely change your business model as a result.
There have already been a number of high profile casualties from the digital age. Kodak, Blockbuster, Wow Sight & Sound, many printed publications (including the Queensland Business Review last week) just to name a few.
These stories should be a wake up call for businesses who are choosing to bury their heads in the sand claiming that they are ‘too busy’ trying to keep their businesses afloat to take a look at some of the new technologies and online trends.
The harsh reality is that if you don’t take a look at these things, you might not have a business to worry about for much longer.
Thankfully the Government has committed a significant amount of funding towards programs and other initiatives to provide information and the opportunity to gain insights and training into some of the technologies and trends you need to be taking a look at. Many of these are free or heavily subsidized to get involved in.