That’s the guts of a 20 terabyte report recently released by IBM: ‘A snapshot of Australia’s Digital Future to 2050′. Written by strategist Phil Ruthven, it is crystal ball gazing into our future with super-fast broadband. (Download the report here. It’s a big read so go the good exec summary.)

The report offers us the benefit of hindsight, now.

Thank you Phil and IBM for dragging us from the here and now, which already feels so fast and furiously overwhelming, and into the future. I love the future, don’t you? The critical-that-you-get-with-the-hyperconnected-program future.

The gist of it is this: we are not only in the Digital Age – following the Hunting and Trapping, Agrarian and Industrial Ages – but since 2007, fuelled by high-speed broadband, cloud computing, analytics and our general acceleration towards all things digital, we have been in a whole new age. A Hyper Digital Age. How cool is that? A new age. Powered by super fast broadband (why, hello, NBN) and things are gonna get way messy from here, affecting the way society functions, communicates, works, shops and recreates. Phil surmises that this will particularly affect businesses, some of which will not survive unless they go with the flow.

Sure we see the hints already. Death of newsprint. Connected classrooms. Six screens in the average Aussie house. But it is going way further than that and fast, to the point that we will all be in the media game, pumping stories around our increasingly borderless world.

Here’s a few little ideas from the report to whet your appetite:

  • We are fast becoming an exporting nation, but not just what we dig out of he ground. Service exports is the name of the game in the new hyper-connected future – education, business services and health,
  • Our appetite for data is insatiable. Think terabytes soon and petrabytes in my lifetime. I don’t even know what a petrabyte is. (Think of how many photos of cats playing pianos we will need to download in 2030),
  • Every surface is a screen. Including our bodies,
  • Get into healthcare and education and out of video retailing and newspapers. It seems like the most impact will be on media as we know it. Great. And,
  • Mining is OK, Gina.

I’m working with two clients at present – one in property development who doesn’t think they are in media (they are). The other a telco who know they have to be in media but are not certain how (they’ll work it out). Our hyper-connected future is going to change everything about their business models. And they may find that they need one another to survive.

So put the kettle on, put your feet up, read the report and marvel at how rapidly the world is changing before our very eyes.

 

Jacquie Riddell
BY Jacquie Riddell ON 12 July 2012
With over 25 years experience in media innovation and leadership, Jacquie has created TV channels, radio stations, new program formats, digital media concepts and led large television productions. Currently using her skills in marketing strategy and creative leadership within various organisations, she was previously director of marketing at SBS for 6 years, responsible for brand management, creative direction, audience research, content strategy and promotion, including the development of SBS' new brand platform ‘Six (now Seven) Billion Stories and counting…’