By Masimba Biriwasha | Global Editor-At-Large | January 01, 2013 | @ChiefKMasimba
With an estimated 2 billion people now connected to the internet, and the number growing by 200 million each, the internet is changing everything from business, politics, education, communication to how we find love and everything else in between.
By 2016, there will be 3 billion Internet users globally – almost half of the world’s population, according to Boston Consulting Group, adding that the internet economy will reach $4,2 trillion in the G20 economies.
Fully capitalizing the potential of the internet is increasingly a must for individuals and governments around the world. The good news is the internet is still evolving with prospects for greater power and reach.
In two decades, the internet has changed the way we live, the way we work, the way we socialize and meet, and the way our countries development and grow, according to McKinsey & Company, a global research firm.
The medium has opened up new and unprecedented opportunities to the world, improving the instant exchange of ideas, facilitating communication and closing the gap between inspiration and action when it comes to launching things. It is also opening up access to information in a way never seen in human history, in the process, making the world flatter.
It’s global capability to connect anyone with anything is literally and figuratively redefining modern lives and livelihoods.
It facilitates new ideas to show up that no-one would have ever thought of thereby giving birth to new products and services that have a potential to makes our lives easier and the world a better place. In a word, the internet is changing everything.
“The Internet embraces all of us: businesses, individuals, governments and entrepreneurs. The Web has made possible new models of business models and entrepreneurship but has also led to radical innovations for accessing, using, and delivering goods and services for everyone. It has transformed industries and governments through innovative approaches and changed how users engage the world,” states McKinsey and Company in a report titled, “Internet matters: The Net’s sweeping impact on growth, jobs and prosperity.”
A study of 13 countries that account for 70 per cent of the global GDP revealed that the internet accounts for an average of 3.4 per cent of the GDP. In Africa alone, the upsurge in internet usage could add could add $300bn a year to the continent’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2025, according to McKinsey and Company.
“The leapfrogging effects of the Internet make it the most interesting development on the African continent since the wide-scale adoption of mobile phones,” says Armando Cabral, a Director at McKinsey & Company.
According to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the internet has become an essential tool for creating an environment that nurtures the technological and service innovation, and triggering positive change in business processes as well as in society as a whole.