As time goes on, the digital revolution changing our world is only gathering pace, and it is a process that drives itself. The more that digital transformation takes hold, the more data is gained and the more we can change, and it is something that will be seen across more and more sectors as we learn more about the applicability of different strands of digital knowledge. From your annual holidays to your weekly shopping, there are untold ways in which the digital age is ushering in change, a process which, if anything, has been accelerated by the pandemic.
We will look below at how this change has already made itself known and utterly changed five different, diverse fields. What is interesting is how, no matter the fundamentals involved in growing an industry, digital application is changing it in ways we could not have even perceived just a short time ago. As we see the changes that have already taken place, it becomes ever clearer just how different our world of work and leisure may look just a short way into the future.
One of the first fields which really saw a digital boom, the travel industry was an early adopter of the online transaction model. It’s more or less expected now that you’ll book a holiday online rather than go to a travel agent. But even in an industry that had already undergone a radical overhaul by the turn of the century, the pace of change remains rapid. You can now not only book holiday accommodation online, you can use your phone to book into that accommodation when you get there, to hail a car to take you there and to check in before you even reach the airport – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
While betting shops are still a feature of our high streets, the age of online betting has fundamentally changed how people place bets. From using digital tools to find the best online casino, to transferring your winnings back to your bank account, a new age of bettors has emerged with more things than ever on which to place a bet. Whether it’s a game of online poker, a World Cup final or a virtual horse race, there are digital means by which you can bet on just about anything you care to mention. Added to this, there has arisen a wealth of digital sources for stats and information to help you bet smarter and even automate the process.
Although the pace of change was sped somewhat by the pandemic and related lockdowns, healthcare was already seeing digitally-driven change long before most of us had heard of a coronavirus. It’s extremely simple now to book an online GP appointment, get a referral and order medication for delivery. Developments seen in recent years have included the opportunity to book blood tests which can be conducted partially in your own home with results posted online within a few days. Wearable technology allows people to monitor their own vital signs and advises them on steps to take in order to improve those categories.
Online banking isn’t new, but the pace and versatility of the sector is delivering rapid changes that we couldn’t have predicted. Contactless payments no longer even need to involve a physical card; it’s possible to link bank accounts under one main app and even have one’s credit checked at the touch of a button. Push notifications can alert a customer to overdue payments, statements being issued and new offers that might be beneficial to one’s financial standing. It’s also possible to invest in stocks and shares via an app and to automate investment decisions based on market signals.
In the early days of online media, the internet was an augmentation of print journalism – a secondary repository of news stories and a place where breaking news could be reported. These days, online news sources are beginning to make print journalism seem like a relic from a bygone age. Multiple independent sites are springing up, and often stories are broken by social media rather than by “conventional” sources. No longer do you need to be in front of a TV or even online at the time of a breaking news story – digital push notifications alert individuals to all the news stories they want, from the most seismic changes to the more personally interesting.