Australia’s Digital Future to 2050 (Part 1): Future trends

Australia’s Digital Future to 2050 (Part 1): Future trends

Many of us already know that our digital economy is expanding at a frenetic pace. High-speed broadband together with powerful ICT is rapidly transforming our lives, our cities and the way we interact.

While Australia has been slower than other countries to adopt high-speed broadband and benefit from the digital economy, the change is upon us as government and internet providers push towards the inevitable.

Despite the relatively slow-take up, organisations like Digital Brisbane show how our city is striving to become a digital leader.

There are sceptics among us though, and the question is, who will be the biggest winners and losers as this new age unfolds? In a world where high-speed broadband is available everywhere on computers, mobiles and wirelessly, coupled with advanced analytics and computing systems, what will happen as Australia’s digital economy expands?

Over the course of a three-part blog series, we examine the findings of a report just out by IBM and IBIS World, A Snapshot of Australia’s Digital Future to 2050, which looks at how Australia’s economy will change due digital technology and who will benefit the most from this “hyper digital era”.

Specifically, our three part series will focus on:

  • Australia’s Digital Future to 2050 (Part 1): Future trends (this article)
  • Australia’s Digital Future to 2050 (Part 2): Who will benefit most?
  • Australia’s Digital Future to 2050 (Part 3): Future workplaces

What trends does the report predict?

This world-first report, A Snapshot of Australia’s Digital Future to 2050, measures the economic potential of high-speed broadband and digital technology, in particular by predicting the likely shape of Australia’s digital future by 2050.

The report predicts substantial changes to our economy and society. Here are just a few trends predicted:

  • Massive increases to data usage as early as 2020, with Australian consumers needing a monthly data allowance of almost 200GB, and potentially five terabytes by 2030.
  • Significant advances in computing devices, such as enhanced 3D environments that simulate the sense of touch.
  • Significant advances in devices that allow users to issue computer commands using all surfaces, such as electronic contact lenses, microfilmic layers of electronics that adhere to your skin etc.
  • Development of neural control over devices and ICT systems, i.e. brain-machine interfaces.
  • There will be significantly fewer commuters as more people are able to work from their smart homes, thus reducing pressure on road networks.
  • Several industries will likely see their demise including free-to-air TV broadcasting, newspaper publishing, and motion picture exhibition.
  • By 2050, this new utility is predicted to generate around $1 trillion in revenue for Australia, almost eight times the $131 billion is generates today.

Who will benefit most from the digital economy?

These were just a few of the trends predicted by the report’s author, Phil Ruthven, Founder and Chairman or IBIS World. The bulk of the report, however, focuses on how each of Australia’s industry classes rate against the impact of this new digital age.

You can find out who will be the biggest winners and losers in Part 2 of our blog series: Australia’s Digital Future to 2050 (Part 2): Who will benefit most?

In the meantime, if you’re looking for help integrating internet technology to grow your business, contact iFactory for tailored advice.

iFactory is an award-winning, full service digital agency in Brisbane. For more than ten years, we’ve been helping hundreds of clients grow through intelligent web solutions. So, why not leverage our experience and get us working for you today.

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