The increase of digital economy has shaped and is still shaping economic growth. It is a catalyst for innovation and improvement in businesses across the globe. “Digitalisation is not just part of the economy – it is the economy” (Harvard Business Review, 2016).
According to Mary K. Pratt, Digital Economy is “the worldwide network of economic activities enabled by information and ICT. Simply put, it is an economy based on digital technologies”.
Every business development has its effects on the global market and Digital Economy is certainly having its impacts. According to an MIT Sloan research, “the companies that are adapting to digital world are 26% more profitable than their industry peers”. The rise in Digital Economy has changed the face of marketing by creating wider outlets than ever before and encouraging innovation.
In the UK, digital economy accounts for 7.3% of the economy and has contributed to £11.3bn in GDP (Digital Sector Economic Estimate Report, 2014). These responses go a long way to show how the populace view the rise in digitalisation. One of its negative implications, is the disengagement between “economic growth and job growth. As computers are increasing inequality and slowing down job growth” (Harvard Business Review, 2016). This puts more pressure on workers as job security cannot be determined.
How then does Digital Economy benefit African market?
Digital Economy is a perfect avenue for local entrepreneurs to become more competitive. It challenges their intellect and invokes their innovative ability. It will help to widen market horizon by allowing businesses tap into the many opportunities it avails via e-commerce and e-business. It would also encourage and promote networking which is a necessary component of every business. This is done by aiding African investors in connecting and meeting with people/organisations that share mutual interest. This action causes growth in business which contributes to the country’s economy.
Digitalising the economy will aid the African market in overcoming and bridging the communication gap across boundaries. It is indeed a growth phenomenon to the African market. Similarly, the emergence has caused a change for the better.
“Change means that what was before wasn’t perfect. People want things to be better”- Esther Dyson
Tapping into digital economy for profitability has been the order of the day since its emergence. In order to further meet the Consumer expectations, product enhancement, collaborative innovations, and organizational forms. And many other demands of a thriving business, most organisations have rapidly dived into this process. Uber is a perfect example of keying into the digital world and exploring its business opportunities. In the past, we have had to wait on taxis or call a cab driver whose contact details is available to us for a ride. But, with the emergence of this economy, a readily organized pickup can occur right in the comfort of our bedroom via Uber giving movement of individuals a more flexible approach. Its revenue has risen from 495 million US dollars in 2014 to 26 billion dollars in 2016.
Also, governments all over the world has seized the opportunity by creating e-governance platforms, to improve the efficiency of tedious government processes as well as provide convenience to citizens. Recently, the Nigerian government implemented the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and the Bank Verification Number (BVN) which has improved transparency within the financial sector of the economy.
Conclusively, digital economy is opening doors to varieties of opportunities from networking to expansion in market horizon.
The question we all need to answer is “How can I as an individual or as a member of my organisation innovatively integrate digital economy to my business in order to fully enhance business value delivery?” Answer this question, and you could just be among the emerging digital economies of this dispensation.