Over the last 30 years the world has seen one of the most significant shifts in human history – the shift from the industrial to the information economy. Like the shifts before it – from feudal to mercantilist, and from mercantilist to industrial – this latest shift has brought with it a sea change in terms of access to knowledge and information, in terms of what is valued as capital, how economic activity is structured and has impacted the basis of competition between nations.
This global information and knowledge society has been driven by the democratisation of the internet and the proliferation of computers, the “Cloud” and mobile telephony. These developments have profoundly changed how we conduct almost every activity in our daily social and business activities. Equally notable has been the steady decrease in the cost of computer hardware, mobile communication devices and broadband connectivity, not only for government and big business, but more importantly for Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and individuals. The result has been a paradigm shift in the way that communication between entities (individuals, businesses, governments) occurs and in the manner in which information is disseminated, accessed, manipulated and consumed. This shift has even a profound impact on social culture and introduced a multitude of new terms to the technology, management and business jargon, both in the academic and casual usages.
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