The world is said to be moving towards digitisation. What needs to be remembered is that it is the biggest and the best which gains attention. That is what gets to the news and that’s what gets investment. Organisations devoted to tribal areas and areas populated by the weaker segment of the society, get lip service and where required, some public funding. The private sector is not known to invest there. Such deprived areas are fit for playing political golf and raking in the harvest during political counting of heads – they call it voting.
It would be a truism to emphasise that no one can stay healthy if one part of the body is exercised, nourished and another part is serviced with words, slogans, and at times sheer gimmickry. Yet, much of the media fans this distorted emphasis because much of the media is also driven by business houses that have their own business concerns to push. It is even difficult to find a forum to articulate real issues of bias. A careful look at the social composition of the representative houses of the country is needed to understand where the bias is going to be born, where is it going to be nourished and where it is going to head.
Parallel to the world of digitisation, be it urban development or rural development, there are strange twists and turns. Consider the urban habitats. Very few colonies in the country – irrespective of who developed them – would qualify to be called a good mix of the owner, the occupier and the investor. Rows of multi-storey buildings to generate optimal number of flats progressively, line the roads of colonies. Any casual survey will show that the percentage of plots actually built and occupied by original buyers are very low – a small percentage of the urban eco-system! So be it.
However, to get back to the story of digitisation, there is incessant talk of digitising the core business of the enterprise. Consider the SIM card. In the past, if one had trouble with the sim card, one could go to an outlet and have it attended to. Today, the chances are: One has to practice self-service, possibly rooted in some facilitation by a kiosk. The buzz words are ‘Internet of Things’ or ‘big data analytics’. Never worry if these phrases are new to one. There is wisdom in pretending one is conversant with it.
The problem with most of these approaches is in the gushing onslaught of new and newer technologies. No sooner has one mastered the ongoing one that it is phased out by changing and evolving assumptions. In a world where much hawala transactions still lubricates the business that matters, talk of crypto-currencies only emphasises the number of parallel universes that are existing.
There is talk of investment asset class being compared to crowd funding. Put simply, it is euphemism for the situation where the return on investment is not guaranteed. Notwithstanding the ingenious arguments of the protagonists and the breathless pleadings of the establishment dealing with regulations, the simple fact is: It is very difficult to know the level of risk one is taking. Never mind the talk of the evolution of crypto currency exchanges.
In an environment such as this, the invasion of mental spaces is manyfold. Some pedal the cause of instant wealth without a plan. This, of course, cashes on the abundant dearth of patience, the pace of modern life and the slogan of digitisation.
It is not surprising, therefore, that concepts like ‘block chain technology’ start becoming seminar themes. Put simply, it allows for secure management of shared ledgers where transactions are verified and stored on a network without a governing central authority. More of digitisation!
There is a need to create an aggressive advocacy to educate people on the comprehensive ecosystem of digitisation. Else, in the highly variegated economic structure of the sub-continent that is India, we would be perhaps creating an environment of letting gimmicky slogans substitute the charting of well-considered paths. There are few things more dangerous than a good idea run berserk without adequate anticipation, advocacy, preparation and indenting for self-correcting spaces.
Working on a digitised ecosystem – People must be educated about the ecosystem of digitisation to prevent gimmicky slogans substituting the charting of well-considered paths. this Article is about digitised ecosystem news for more information visit : http://www.dailypioneer.com/columnists