At the risk of sounding like I am nearing retirement age (ahem, I still have some 30 years to go!), when I got my first job in the late nineties in Uttar Pradesh in India, we depended on hard copies and floppy disks for all our work. Catching up on my favourite TV show meant recording it with my trusted VHS player.
Then, in the early 2000s, the Internet and cloud computing started to emerge to improve productivity – but still my colleagues and I would take care of most of our tasks in the office. We could hardly afford leased lines for Internet connectivity at home back then.
All those years later, the Internet has come a long way. We’re not bound by a physical office to work; we have access to superfast connectivity anywhere, on any device; we are able to access the company network anywhere, anytime; and binging on Game of Thrones had become my favourite pastime.
Connecting four billion people around the world
Think about how easy it is today to not just stream your favourite TV show but also get information on traffic jams or the latest online shopping deals, or pay bills on your smartphone. How easily you’re able to track how many steps you’ve taken today and watch what you eat with your health wearables. Or, how easily you can send that urgent email or move the deal in the pipeline while waiting to board a flight thousands of miles away from the office.
All this is made feasible by one thing: the Internet. It connects around four billion people around the world, and like with water and electricity, most of us who are lucky enough to have 24/7 access to it, tend to take it for granted.
The numbers speak for themselves: did you know that every minute, there are 3.7 million searches done on Google, 4.3 million videos watched on YouTube, 38 million messages sent on WhatsApp, and 266,000 hours of movies watched on Netflix?
It’s incredible how crucial the Internet has become for people, business and society as a whole, transforming the global economy into a digital ecosystem.
For global enterprises – from airlines and banks to manufacturers and retailers – the Internet has changed old industries beyond recognition, disrupting traditional business models, and opening up new opportunities for growth. In my next blog, I will discuss how the Internet is making every business a “digital business”.
Read about how digital transformation has unleashed India’s mega economy here.