Digital convergence has been around for a while, following in the footsteps of evolving technologies and upgraded networking. The development of the Internet of Things (IoT) has increased the amount of multimedia available to consumers all around the world – multimedia being the combination of audio, video, and data.
There’s a lot of talk about digital convergence with a global pandemic raging and how it has been affected. Digital convergence has seen a massive uptake due the digital transformation demanded by the changes of 2020. But what is digital convergence, really? And how has it impacted society?
What is Digital Convergence?
Digital convergence is the ability to use any device to view any kind of multimedia regardless of what format it takes. This seems very straightforward on the surface of things, but the technology required to allow us to stream videos from our smartphones to our televisions, read emails on our tablets, or send instant messages from our computers, has been evolving over decades. The seamless experiences so many of us take for granted has already transformed the way in which we live and work.
What Impact has it had on Society?
Digital convergence has given society a new interconnectedness across all facets – both our personal and professional existances. Convergence has opened access to information in all its shapes and forms to all of us, no matter what devices we own. It has also allowed us to share that information more easily with others; we are no longer depenedent on the content’s format to be able to view or share it. This has lead to improved integration in communication, not only between individuals and companies but between machines as well.
Think about it this way, if we can share information more readily across all our devices without fussing over the kind of shape it takes or its compatibilty with devices, the sharing of data between machines has taken on a whole new speed.
The downside of digital convergence is ‘fate sharing’. If everything is interconnected across one network, then if something goes wrong with the network everything will be affected. Think of it like ‘all eggs in one basket’ – if the basket breaks, all your eggs will be on the floor in pieces, leaving you with a mess and no omelette.
The Digital Convergence Revolution in 2021
One of the keys to unlocking the advantages of the digital convergence in 2021 will be agility. The ability to pivot based on the changing circumstances will be the difference between companies that survive the pandemic and companies that fail. 2020 taught us that digitally transformation is no longer optional, but demanded in the face of the unpredictable world we live in – you never know when a start-up competitor will undercut you, or your industry will take a hit, or a pandemic will bring the entire world to a halt.
No matter the situation, an agile company is a strong company. In fact, 75% of executives believe the pandemic’s lasting impact will mean that we will be working faster and with more agility than before. Combined with the pandemic, the digital revolution has already left behind those brands that were stuck in rigid systems. Those brands may never recover. In fact, in the Forrester predicts that lines between marketing and customer experience functionality will blurred more than ever before, eventually leading to a true convergence and a definite increase on loyalty and rentention marketing.
2021 will be a make or break it year for all brands: either join the revolution or be left behind and miss out on all the opportunities that the new year will have to offer.
Digital convergence has carved the path for all future technology. It’s come as the natural progression through the impact of digital transformation and it’s not going anywhere. It empowers the IoT and drives the strategies behind digital marketing, research and development for new technologies, improving the way we gather, communicate, and track data, and as automate systems. Where will it all lead? Only time will tell, but with the rise of seamlessly integrated technologies like smart home devices and voice controls, we can assume that somewhere down the line digital convergence will give birth to a single digital ecosystem.