|Written by David Brunnen|
|Thursday, 09 August 2012 08:06|
Suffering from DD? Whatever variant of Digital Deficit affects you, relief may soon be on the way
Summer Olympic Shock Therapy (SOST) is, alas, not available on regular prescription. It’s only available once every four years and is an expensive treatment. But, in these last two weeks, athletes have been running rings around our expectations.
In the UK we’ve learned a bit about setting aside entrenched views, daring to hope for better, celebrating success and resetting our PB aspirations. But significant changes to the way we live, play and work often pass unnoticed; they creep up on us until some momentous day when the penny drops and a new reality kicks in.
‘Penny dropping’ – from the era of old phone boxes and getting though to someone - is entirely appropriate in recognition of a widespread economic growth-inhibiting condition.
Some may see early onset ‘Digital Deficit’ as a disabling medical condition that gets recognized far too late and requires radical treatment.
Others will acknowledge that, try as we might to ‘keep up’, we will all ‘get it’ but eventually succumb to our own individual digital deficiencies – though surely not without a plethora of preventive interventions.
DD is known to have at least two variant forms. Most experience the MicroDD condition as an embarrassing exposure of their own expertise shortcomings. The MacroDD variant more generally affects whole communities and the economy at large.
Recognising and admitting to the condition is the first step towards resolving the issues.
Treating ‘Digital Deficit’ is more than an individual challenge – it requires the entire nation and every corner of the economy to sit up take stock and press their reset buttons.
Some may talk about a ‘Digital Economy’ as if there is some other kind but they too are in need of DDST – a system reboot for the way we work, live and relate to the wider digital world.
But, being gradual, it is far too easy to ignore early onset DD.
We may experience some lack of capacity so we compromise, cut down on ambition. Or we find that competitors are getting too far ahead so we settle for a narrow niche. Or we leave it to the next generation to pick up where we left off. Or we give up on rural living and move to crowded connected cities.
Economists, policy developers and politicians are, of course, well used to describing ‘national diseases’ but, in the ‘Westminster bubble’, there is the ever present danger of losing touch with voters; voters who no longer trust institutions and big businesses to understand real needs – to ‘get it’.
Nowhere is the reality gap greater than in that ‘strategic national asset’ – the essential digital infrastructure for which the remarkably well-informed Lords recently prescribed ‘an alternative vision’.
Across every sector of the economy, in every community, in every size and type of endeavor – especially in delivery of public services – dealing with the risks of endemic DD has become an enabling pre-requisite for treatment of all other deficits and a host of related growth-sapping conditions
Resetting minds and priorities will require more than a short course of SOST - particularly during outbreaks of ‘double-dip’ DD (ddDD).
The good news is that relief may soon be on the way.
Urgent alternative treatments for MacroDD will surely soon be easily affordable from the fines being levied on errant banks. The impact on the economy and society will be entirely positive and HM Treasury will still have change to spare.
On the other hand MicroDD is an individual responsibility but may perhaps be more easily treated by ‘Connected Health’ programmes.
Oh yes in DD.
Readers of this editorial may also have visited 'Press the Reset?'
Evidence from the 2010 Analysys Mason study of the Digital Deficit (for the European Competitive Tececoms Association - ECTA) highlighted potentially discriminatory conduct by dominant firms including refusal to supply essential inputs to competitors, margin squeeze and substandard service quality.
|Last Updated on Friday, 10 August 2012 07:18|