It is clear that as mobile telecoms and the internet come together, nothing is guaranteed. Two of the most successful players of both industries have struggled for relevance in the converged space of the mobile internet and smartphones. This converged space and the impact that it has on society has been our focus at KeySo Global for the last 3 years, and we refer to it as Digital Life. This phenomenon is spreading virally and facilitating increasing globalization of politics, economics, education and societal change.
Efficient real time communication and “anytime anywhere” access to information sources are fueling a broader societal perspective and increasing peoples’ expectations for leaders to solve the issues that negatively impact their lives, especially among the younger generation. The impact has stunned industry veterans like Intel’s Paul Otellini: “I would not have thought that technology would change politics or democracy. But it changed the American electoral cycle, it just changed two countries and it’s not going to stop there. It’s a liberating technology.”
2011 has continued to provide a constant stream of 24 /7 TV images and online reports of the problems in many countries such as Tunisia, Iran, Egypt, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and most recently Bahrain. Given this barrage, it’s difficult to deny that we’re living in uniquely turbulent times. Citizens in all countries have gained a louder and more powerful collective voice which is generating real and intense pressure on incumbent leaders to alter their policies or step down.
Since 1989 and the deconstruction of both the Berlin Wall and the Soviet empire, the number of democracies in the world has increased significantly, according to George Mason University. Some observers have noted the Middle East was an outlier in the trend to democracy and that the current events are evidence of the continued enlightenment and alignment of the global population. Others highlight the impact of a connected and educated younger generation and an empowered middle class. Both these factors are relevant but probably two of the most significant aspects of change are the democratization of information and the mobilization of people that these converged technologies enabled. Despite the desperate efforts of some existing governments to curtail, block and usurp access to these converged services, the inevitable outcome could not be prevented.
Returning to the question of the significance of the Nokia and Microsoft partnership – the deciding factor will be their ability to quickly unify their product strategy and collaboratively re-enter the market. As the pace of change accelerates they will be shooting from behind at a rapidly moving target. Compounding these challenges will be the added distraction of finding synergistic thinking among many different egos, overcoming turf wars and posturing which could further hinder the ability of both companies to collaborate effectively and innovate competitively. Nothing is guaranteed in this converged space but if these two can harness their combined depth of knowledge with proactive interaction with consumers and enterprise customers, they have the potential to win.
If you would like to learn how open innovation can be leveraged through internal & external knowledge networks and how to take advantage of Digital Life opportunities, contact us at +1 847-478-1633 or visit our website at www.keysoglobal.com.