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Communications technology is creating a world where people’s awareness of global developments in ideas, politics and popular aspirations is growing in both speed and reach.

The very same tools and technologies allow communities to assemble almost instantaneously (across markets, generations and political divides) to influence or to create alternatives to traditional business, government and community structures.

For more on Connectedness, including web-enabled business models and processes, and consumers as co-creators, see Forces for Change

Changing technology

Internet technology and social media provide customers with greater access to information on corporate performance than ever before, and the ability to share that information at scale. Six billion out of the seven billion people on the planet have access to cell phones [i]; in the UK there are more mobile phone contracts than there are people living in the country [ii] and more than 2 billion people are online [iii]; in the UK 80% of households have a broadband internet connection (compared to 25% in 2000). The rate of people connecting online has grown exponentially. From 2004 to 2013, Facebook has amassed more than a billion users. [iv]

Information is extremely easy to find, and using social media, businesses are able to communicate with their customers at home and abroad in unprecedented ways.

According to a Microsoft study, businesses choosing to run their applications through cloud computing can reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions by net 30% or more, compared to using traditional on-site server rooms. [v]

When it comes to investment, crowdfunding allows companies and individuals to use the web to find new sources of funding from large groups of individuals rather than banks or venture capitalists. In 2011 $2 billion was raised by Crowd Funding Platforms (CFPs) world-wide and as of April 2012, 452 CFPs were operating globally. [vi]

Key implication:

  • Connectedness is disrupting the traditional rules of competition. No longer does big business dominate small business; it's the fast that outwit the slow.


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