Understanding the Digital Economy?

While the COVID19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on businesses throughout the global economy, it has rapidly accelerated growth trajectories and brought unprecedented growth for others. The secret behind many businesses’ success lies in their ability to integrate with the digital economy.

You’ve heard the term before, but what IS the digital economy?

Deloitte defines the digital economy as “The economic activity that results from billions of everyday online connections among people, businesses, devices, data, and processes”.

This is a great, concise definition, but let’s dive a little deeper to better understand the digital economy.

First, let’s unpack the driving factors. 

The foundation of the digital economy lays in advanced technologies such as the internet, mobile technology, and the Internet of Things (IoT). Labor market shifts and growth in the gig economy have accelerated this evolution by providing a large supply of independent contractors who are capable of working online, remotely in their own homes.

Imperative to the functionality of the digital economy is hyperconnectivity, and imperative to hyperconnectivity is digitization (the conversion of objects and processes into digital format), and IoT.

Hyperconnectivity and digitization have revolutionized our ability to connect! Today, we can easily connect with each other, remotely to machines, and there is even machine to machine contact. These developments have provided us with unprecedented benefits.

Digital transformation during COVID19

Digital transformation is about using technology to improve existing business functions – transforming products, services and processes. The rate at which this occurred during the COVID19 pandemic has been nothing short of astounding!

Contrary to the perception of many, the pandemic did not induce the rapid digitalization we are now witnessing, rather it rapidly accelerated an impending transition.

UNCTAD found that companies, on average, reacted to a range of pandemic related factors 20 to 25 time faster than expected. When asked about their transition to working remotely, the response rate was 40 times faster than prior to the COVID19 crisis. Prior to the pandemic, a shift to remote working at such a dramatic level would, on average, have taken a full year. During the COVID19 pandemic, this shift was observed at an average rate of only 11 days! 

There has also been a rapid increase in the creation of digital and digitally enhanced offerings. The global average rate of product and service development has increased by seven years. Interestingly, the types of digital products within the portfolio of businesses polled have not changed much in terms of composition mix. This indicates that many businesses have “refocused their offerings” rather than pursued major new product development. 

Is your business equipped to navigate the post-pandemic economy? 

The digital economy is about far more than e-commerce. There are diverse digital solutions available for nearly all business functions. Digital tools are a great way to rapidly increase efficiency. Some examples include using a Customer Relationship Management platform such as Hubspot or Salesforce to manage your prospecting and professional contacts, adopting a project management tool such as Trello to increase collaboration, or even hiring a virtual assistant to filter your sales funnel and field basic questions.  The optimization of internal processes is a consideration that all businesses should explore. 

Success in the digital space is about more than subscribing to the latest and greatest tools. It requires a carefully constructed strategy, and consistent quality content. For some easy first steps – check out our blog on 4 Powerful ways to Improve your Web Presence.

The benefits of going digital are numerous, while the process of “going digital” can be understandably overwhelming! It is normal to not know where to start, or how to make your dollar go farthest. Here at Hubspace, our job is to help local firms integrate with the digital economy and adopt the tools that best suit their organization’s goals and needs.

There will never be a better moment to take control of your company’s future.


From the desk of Heidi Booth, Economic Research Officer

If you would like to contact us with any questions, please call us at 250 563 2663 or email officeadmin[at]hubspace.ca