The Era of Digital Globalisation


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The Era of Digital Globalisation

HCS Monthly Insights (March 2016) – Part 2


Ramesh Profile 

By Ramesh Shahdadpuri (Programme Director, HCS)


The latest report by McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) has some great insights on the new era of globalisation. An interesting measure of our greater global interconnectivity today is the global flow of data.  Global data flows have greatly changed the way we live and work.  For new players and entrants in an industry, they use disruptive technologies that offer new competitive advantages against incumbents.    Disruptive innovation and the rise of new business start-ups have triggered industry shakeouts, threatening even the most dominant players who are not agile enough to respond quickly.

The wonderful thing about this new phase of globalisation today is that it is pervasive, with developing countries and poorer members of society now more empowered to participate and seek their share of the economic and social pie.  Technology has made education more accessible.  Traditional classroom learning is being replaced by blended learning, with richer electronic content and greater accessibility. Many electronic learning tools and platforms are free, available anytime, from anywhere.

There will always be winners and losers when seismic shifts occur but the world is collectively better off as a result of the digital transformation.  Good managers who work smarter, pursuing higher value-add strategies and optimal business processes through the right mix of people and technology, will be able to achieve productivity driven growth and be rewarded with high rates of investment returns.

Individuals are faced with major changes in the workplace.  More people today can work virtually and as part of global virtual teams.   There is also more flexiwork, be it in choosing preferred hours or contract terms, empowering today’s workers with greater choices in work-life balance decisions.  The pursuit of leisure, with social media and digital content, has truly revolutionised the way we live and socialise.  Learning opportunities, for professional advancement, skills development or just for plain old fun, is limitless and available to anyone, anywhere.

One interesting nugget from the McKinsey study is its measure of connectedness and the ranking of countries in terms of how connected they are.  The MGI Connectedness Index attempts to measure and ascertain how countries participate in inflows and outflows of goods, services, finance, people and data.  In this maiden study, Singapore has been ranked Number One!

As Singapore aspires to be a Smart Nation, the Little Red Dot is surely not a bad place to be – right in the thick of action, in the era of digital globalisation.