Friday, April 14, 2017

Digital Transformation and Time-Space Compression

Speed impacts us in many different and unexpected ways.  It can alter how we perceive the world.  For example, a person might say they live 5 minutes from town.  Five minutes of walking is a third of a mile.  Five minutes by automobile is 5 miles - by airline it could be over 40 miles.  Our perception of five minutes, and the distance and space that can be covered, changes as technologies advance.  Our expectations about what can be accomplished in 5 minutes are transformed.  Instead of one hour of shopping in a brick and mortar store, we expect to accomplish the same in one minute online.  Dr. Paul Virilio a “philosopher of speed” wrote that increasing speeds destroy space, compress time, and alter the way humans perceive reality.   

Time-space compression occurs as a result of technologies that seem to accelerate speed and reduce distances.  Digital technologies such as broadband internet, IoT, smartphones, social media, webcams, Skype, mobile messaging apps, satellites, mobile payments, mobile banking, digital commerce, etc.  All of these digital technologies and capabilities enable us to experience events, participate in activities and collaborate instantly from anywhere in the world.  These capabilities change our expectations and habits, both personally and in our commercial dealings.  Organizations that don’t recognize how their customers’ realities and perceptions are changing and why - won’t succeed.
Kevin Benedict
Senior Analyst, Center for the Future of Work, Cognizant
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***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.