miércoles, 27 de mayo de 2015

Disruptions of the physical world on the digital world

It is generally accepted that digital technology is disrupting the physical world. Any kind of social and economic activity is changing in some way due to usage of technology. From industrial manufacturing to health services, within big companies business process and in our personal leisure, software and gadgets have completely changed the world where we were born. Something that we think less on is in the possibility that the physical world can also disrupt the digital world.

According with the Cambridge Dictionary, the definition of disrupt is "to prevent something, especially a system, process, or event, from continuing as usual or as expected". The social shared vision of the digitalisation of economy and society is a progressive dematerialisation of any kind of activity. The more outstanding sign of this vision is the trade activity, physical shops have disappeared or shrunk due to the evolution of legacy processes through the digitalisation. Until now, it was thought that in a near future all the retailer shops would vanished. However, this dematerialisation process of retailers seems that is under disruption, "it not going to continue as expected". Although the increase of e-commerce usage has not halted, Amazon and Google has announced the opening of a physical store in a move that gives a clear signal that physical shops will not dissapear in the short term. Bricks-and mortars look as the next step of the evolution of e-commerce.

But the halting of the complete dematerialisation process of retail shops is not the only signal of disruption on the digital world coming from the physical world. Some usages of physical objects that we thought would disappear with its digital substitutes are coming back. This is the case of second-hand ebooks. It would have been difficult to forecast that there could be a market for this kind of digital items, but the case is that the second-hand ebook business is even the object of a legal dispute. Our customs in the physical world are disrupting and will disrupt the business models planned for the digital world

Forget of seeing a linear process of dematerialisation of the physical world. Forget of seeing a complete disappearance of the physical world. The disruption signals of the physical world on the digital world are far from being the last swansong.

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