Rapid and ongoing advances in digital technology continue to disrupt almost every industry across the globe. From self-driving cars and 3D printers that can directly fabricate products, to blockchain technology that promises to revolutionise the way people transact, the impact of digital innovation has been considerable and widespread.
According to Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, this Fourth Industrial Revolution (as it is now being termed) is characterised by “a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.”
As this revolution continues to impact all disciplines, economies and industries, Schwab’s concern is that organizations, governments and societies will continue to lag further and further behind. He believes that recent tech advancements and trends need to be embraced, employed and regulated, both to capture their full benefits and ensure that the right measures are in place to mitigate any associated risks.
Consumers like to have their cake and Tweet it
One of the biggest incentives for embracing digital innovation is that consumers already have. As of June 2016, there were over 3.6 billion recorded Internet users in the world, with a reported 40 percent of the world population now connected to the Internet through some form of smart device. What this means for billions of people across the globe is that instant connectivity and ease of use now form an integral part of their lives.
The contemporary consumer feels quite comfortable with using devices and apps to simplify and streamline their work and personal activities. This has led to, among other things, the rise of the gig economy, where temporary work positions allow freelancers to earn money through online work platforms such as Uber or Airbnb. The appeal here is increased flexibility and more control over work hours and income.
Consumers use technology to find information, relax, shop, transact, get around and keep abreast of local and world affairs. In short, digital innovation has transformed the way the average consumer now expects to interact with the world; it has served to place the power of choice, autonomy and independence firmly in their hands – something to which they are now very accustomed.
The top disruptive trends in real estate
The rumbles of digital disruption have been felt in the property investment industry for some time now. In response, most real estate businesses have moved their services online to cater to a digital market. Online portals with search engine capabilities allow prospective buyers to browse through the agent’s current listings, based on a selection of specific criteria.
But digital disruption in real estate goes a lot deeper than that. According to the Silicon Valley Innovation Centre and the MIT Centre For Real Estate, the top disruptive trends in property investment include smart buildings, shared space, crowdfunding, big data, fibre optics, the Internet of Things (IoT) and virtual reality (VR).