Chris J Powell

The Digital Platform of Tomorrow

There are many things that bring us to what has become the Digital Platform that we all know and enjoy today. The Internet as we know it has been around since 1991 and Email just celebrated its 42nd birthday…but a Digital Platform is defined as:

(Digital platforms) provide audio, video or data transmission in the real time or delayed mode in many networks, such as cable, satellite, terrestrial digital broadcasting and broadband networks

digital platforms
So with digital platforms building out our ability to connect with any device, any time and almost anywhere…what does this mean for all of us? Will the future be as bright as is eluded to by the powers that be? The need to be connected is something that I struggle with on a daily basis. Putting down my phone, tablet, laptop or stepping away from my desktop even for a couple of hours is a real challenge.

As the definition eludes to…it is not just all of that data that is tied to the Digital Platforms that we all interact with…it is Voice and Video too. Netflix took the world by surprise and not only put Blockbuster out of business…it changed the face of Television forever!

What will the future look like though? Our reliance on all things Digital can be a very dangerous thing. The more that we rely on information that is “provided” rather than information that is owned is a very dangerous thing. One does not need to be a conspiracy theorist to think of the implications of a massive power grid failure or a natural disaster that removes us from our access to this information.

Sure I have an extensive book collection that takes up 20+ shelves in my man cave where I confine myself and put out these posts each day but it pales in comparison to the digital library that I have amassed over the past decade of being online.

What if my ability to have access to power goes away? What if a Walking Dead Scenario happens?

This is not a far stretch to think about. All of the information that I have amassed over the past 10 years is very much tied directly to my ability to power the devices that I will use to read them from and so are all of us.

The world around us is very much so tied to the world of Digital Platforms. Recently the Canadian Information and Communications Technology Council published a very interesting report that looks to the current and growing need of qualified and sustainable Digital Platform expertise. With 75% of Canadian Businesses employing at least one full time “ICT” specialist (and I would hazard a guess that the other 75% have some one that pulls double or triple duty) there is not only a demand…but the reality that even with our stable economy…what could truly bring down the digital platforms that we rely upon…is a lack of support for them.

Sure, we all know how to turn on a computer and open a browser. But how many people know how to actually make them work? Who can build a web page or administer a data base?

The future of Digital Platforms is not in my opinion in the further development of new Technology and new ways of spreading that technology around. Having just watched the movie “Jobs” I did realize one big thing…we have for the most part forgotten where innovation really does come from.

The future of Technology rests in the hearts, the hands and the dreams of those who “use” technology but want to get more out of it. That will be the saving grace of what the future Digital Platforms will be.

I look outwardly at Nicholas Negroponte the founder of the One Laptop per Child program and how the development of a very much so underpowered laptop led to the building of large mesh networks in developing countries that did not need to have the 12 layers of supporting infrastructure to work. It just worked and that is amazing. The same could be said for our lifestyle choices if we just chose to employ the same concept to how we use technology every day.

But enough of this rant…I slept in today and writing this was not constrained by a dead line so I went a little overboard.

Have a great day everyone.



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