Understanding Major Digital Disruption

Understanding major digital disruption and managing the changes caused by digital transformation starts by “following the money”.

This guide is a series of posts to assist businesses to understand and make sense of technological changes. There are hundreds of experts using terminology like “AI” and “IoT” and “Cloud” and how the world will be shaped in the future, when actually it is all quite predictable, understandable and manageable.

The 4th Industrial revolution has already happened. The question you should be asking is:  “How will the 4th Industrial Revolution affect my business?”

Did you know: Different sizes of business are and will still be affected by digital transformation in different ways? 

Let us be clear on this fact: Cloud platforms means unlimited storage space, unlimited processing power – but it is not free:

Use of storage space and processing power costs money.

Data Budget

a Data budget is much like a financial budget as it regulates and plans the amount of business data that is stored outside of your local office.

It may surprise you to know that the majority of businesses do not have any data budget or even understand or plan use of “cloud” data.

Data budgets include, but are not limited to: The types of data: Active data / Archived Data / Long term archive data. The actual number of GB’s storage amount for each data type. The costs of transmission and processing for each data type.  For large business the data budget is linked to other functions and for small business it is as easy as deciding the size of an IMAP mailbox (or rather defining the use of POP and DELE on certain mailboxes, for example: Sales or Sales Enquiries). Smaller business tends to know not to store everything in the cloud as this, over time, becomes quite expensive and decreases not only operational speed and productivity but eats into limited resources.

Cloud Service Providers

Your business (and yourself) is the product when you do not pay for space or processing. When you pay for storage and processing, you are as much of a product as you are “cloud vendor locked” into a specific solution.

Your brand and your name will either be independent (your domain name, your own independent cloud and you paying cloud service providers for measured marketing to their products) OR you will be a product to a cloud service provider (and also paying that cloud service provider for measured marketing to other products)

Small business should have their own domain name and focus on their brand name. Small business can host in the cloud but should save (archive) their long term data in local storage as transmitting large data over the network is not only costly but impractical and wasteful of resources (+Carbon).  Small business should support, employ, deploy and utilise open source software and local cloud service providers with low levels of vendor lock in (high data mobility). Small business should avoid supporting huge multi national companies and focus on buying locally, in their own geographic region.

Small business tips: Use Open Office, store your documents on your office server, back your data up off site, yourself. keep your monthly costs low as possible, set a data budget and stick to it.

Larger business must try to get as much vendor independence as possible. Larger businesses should develop tech silo’s and operate independent data functions across multiple smaller clouds. Larger businesses must develop their own technology based on open source software as this will supply the difference between them and their competition in a future where a single percentage cost saving could mean survival or death. Large business should employ local cloud tech (at HQ), not only will this improve data security but it will reduce network costs.

Unfortunately (or fortunately) the cloud service providers of today has a different agenda for your business (small or large) this means that you or your competition may become locked in to a cloud service provider or be in an untenable situation where you do not own or control your own data and costs.


IoT (Internet of things) simply means everything can be (inter)connected. But, the fact that everything can be connected is not a good thing, it means sacrificing your freedoms for convenience.

IoT will grow to become a balance between what a specific society requires in terms of freedom and privacy VS the level of required convenience.

Basically it boils down to this: Your fridge can see that you do not have milk and can automatically place an order for delivery of milk (and do the payment) The delivery company drone can enter your home and deliver milk to your fridge.

It will be up to you (and each society) in current and future generations, which level of automation you/they would require (or tolerate)

Artificial Intelligence

As an actual creator and practical user of artificial intelligence I can tell you that all intelligence is not equal.

My artificial intelligence is a combination of machine learning and data, simply: The system learns (and keeps on learning) how to perform specific tasks.

I can see sentient artificial intelligence being a thing in the future, as I have also looped together some of the current AI projects to create a type of single sentient AI, but it is costly and freaky and not something I am interested in developing. I note that Microsoft recently committed 1 Billion Dollars to sentient AI development and I do think that societies should legislate AI sooner than later. The planet is learning how the non regulation of social media platforms has affected and is affecting societies. How sentient AI could affect things like WARFARE and trade wars is more scary than anything that goes bump in the night….