Commanders of Roman armies could once estimate the day and time of battle based upon their soldiers ability to march 20 miles per day on purpose built stone roads. Today, however, a ballistic missile can be launched and reach the other side of the earth in minutes. As a result, nations and their military commanders must now prepare to make critical decisions in mere seconds rather than taking days, weeks or months to deliberate. That's a big deal. In the past, an army could retreat and give up distance for time. In the example of the roman army, an opponent could retreat and separate themselves by 100 miles to give them the security of 5 days of time. Today 100 miles means only a matter of seconds. The distance and time of military conflicts today has been compressed to milliseconds.
The ability to send digitized products and services (digital media) to a person on the other side of the world, and have it arrive in the pocket of the intended recipient instantly is still hard to comprehend! It is the culmination of decades worth of work by scientists, researchers, international standards bodies, governments and entrepreneurs to create something out of nothing. To harness the rules of physics to deliver a digital package around the world. The capability of delivering digital products and services around the world instantly compresses times and distances in global commerce.
The ability to launch a ballistic missile and hit an exact location on the other side of the world is the result of one of the greatest invasions of privacy ever known to man, but seldom discussed. The United States and friends launched into orbit a satellite constellation of 24 + satellites positioned in six earth-centered orbital planes. Working together, they defined times, measurements and coordinates to identify the exact (within millimeters) location of every place on the earth, including points of interest in both friendly and unfriendly nations. The result was a digital representation of the earth. This digital twin is now being overlaid with massive volumes of additional data from all kinds of different sources daily. The earth, once a sphere of uncharted and unexplored mystery that took Captain James Cook's men three years to circumnavigate, is quickly being documented and understood. Using a digital twin, Google Earth can now spin you to the exact location of any GPS coordinate on earth in seconds. Geographic time and distance is quickly being compressed.
Distance and time no longer insulates friends from enemies, or one global business competitor from another. Like it or not, we are all competing in the digital world. If I search on fly fishing gear, I can view content and buy products from e-commerce sites all around the world. There is no going back to an isolated, insulated economy.
Compressed times and distances also mean businesses must operate at an operational tempo that surpasses human capabilities. To support real-time digital interactions, organizations will increasingly need to compete with and depend on robotic process automation and artificial intelligence to deliver contextually relevant and personalized digital experiences, make decisions and deliver exceptional customer service at the speeds required by digital consumers.
Increasingly, in a world of compressed times and distances, humans will be the inventors, designers and managers of digital systems and processes, rather than the operators. Operations will be measured in milliseconds, an inhumane speed where only the machines can deliver. We will each need digital proxies of ourselves able to work and compete 24x7x365 in digital time and at digital speeds.
Read more from Kevin Benedict and the Center for Digital Intelligence™ here:
- Patterns, Platforms and Automation
- Making the Hard Decisions in Digital Transformation
- The Center for Digital Intelligence Interview Series: Hitachi's Rob Tiffany on Industrial IoT Platforms
- Digital Transformation and the New Rules for Start-Ups
- Digital Transformation and Leadership Development
- Digital Transformation and Competitive Decision-Making
- Combinatorial Nature of Digital Technologies and Legos
- Digital Transformation from 40,000 feet
- Winning in Chaos - Digital Leaders
- 13 Recommended Actions for Digital Transformation in Retail
- Mistakes in Retail Digital Transformation
- Winning Strategies for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
- Digital Transformation - Mindset Differences
- Analyzing Retail Through Digital Lenses
- Digital Thinking and Beyond!
- Measuring the Pace of Change in the Fourth Industrial Revolution
- How Digital Thinking Separates Retail Leaders from Laggards
- To Bot, or Not to Bot
- Oils, Bots, AI and Clogged Arteries
- Artificial Intelligence Out of Doors in the Kingdom of Robots
- How Digital Leaders are Different
- The Three Tsunamis of Digital Transformation - Be Prepared!
- Bots, AI and the Next 40 Months
- You Only Have 40 Months to Digitally Transform
- Digital Technologies and the Greater Good
- Video Report: 40 Months of Hyper-Digital Transformation
- Report: 40 Months of Hyper-Digital Transformation
- Virtual Moves to Real in with Sensors and Digital Transformation
- Technology Must Disappear in 2017
- Merging Humans with AI and Machine Learning Systems
- In Defense of the Human Experience in a Digital World
- Profits that Kill in the Age of Digital Transformation
- Competing in Future Time and Digital Transformation
- Digital Hope and Redemption in the Digital Age
- Digital Transformation and the Role of Faster
- Digital Transformation and the Law of Thermodynamics
- Jettison the Heavy Baggage and Digitally Transform
- Digital Transformation - The Dark Side
- Business is Not as Usual in Digital Transformation
- 15 Rules for Winning in Digital Transformation
- The End Goal of Digital Transformation
- Digital Transformation and the Ignorance Penalty
- Surviving the Three Ages of Digital Transformation
- The Advantages of an Advantage in Digital Transformation
- From Digital to Hyper-Transformation
- Believers, Non-Believers and Digital Transformation
- Forces Driving the Digital Transformation Era
- Digital Transformation Requires Agility and Energy Measurement
- A Doctrine for Digital Transformation is Required
- Digital Transformation and Its Role in Mobility and Competition
- Digital Transformation - A Revolution in Precision Through IoT, Analytics and Mobility
- Competing in Digital Transformation and Mobility
- Ambiguity and Digital Transformation
- Digital Transformation and Mobility - Macro-Forces and Timing
- Mobile and IoT Technologies are Inside the Curve of Human Time
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***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.