Alice Ting (Asia) - How Digitization Changed the World

How has technology affected the world? And how far will it continue to do so? This article discusses the effect of the internet on a country's economy.

In an increasingly fast-paced online world, technology change accelerates exponentially and new digital platforms and devices are emerging. Businesses now know that they must use digital channels to engage with their key stakeholders. Akamai is able to keep a finger on the pulse of this ever-evolving online world with the help of its globally distributed Intelligent Platform that enables the company to gather massive amounts of information on many metrics and develop the quarterly "State of the Internet" (SOTI) report which provides insights into trends including connection speeds, attack traffic, latency problems, and so on. Some of the major trends that the report has shown are detailed below.

According to the latest SOTI report, Hong Kong once again recorded the highest peak connection speed at 54.1 Mbps, with South Korea holding consistently on to the highest average connection speed, most recently at 14.7 Mbps. The top three countries/regions in the Asia Pacific region (and the world, for that matter) with the highest average connection speeds remained South Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong. These findings show that generally, connection or broadband speeds in Asia Pacific are increasing. What impact does this have on today's society?

A study showed that 80 new jobs are created for every 1,000 new broadband connections. Another finding stated that doubling a country's broadband speed increases its GDP by 0.3%. Most importantly, the study scientifically confirms that broadband speed is a highly important factor in spurring economic development in society.

We are moving from the information society to the networked society, which leads to new ways of doing business, enabling us to be more productive through the development of automated and simplified processes and real-time information sourcing along the increasing broadband speed and penetration.

Recent trends in security, cloud, mobility and media in this networked society have impacted the way businesses operate. Each trend carries its own set of challenges, but all are essential to ensure a consistent, protected and rich experience for every customer.

First, security has shifted from being an IT issue to a serious business issue. The attacks we're seeing can literally cripple a brand and cost a company millions of dollars. We've seen a huge increase in the frequency of attacks across the Akamai Platform over the last three years. Attacks vary from large-scale distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) of up to 200 Gbps, to cutting-edge web application hacks, theft of personal identification information, site corruption and cyber-extortion. It is a global problem; with the latest SOTI identifying attack traffic originating from 188 unique countries or regions - up from 182 the previous quarter.

Security is also one of the key considerations for businesses running applications across public, private and hybrid clouds. As more and more critical business moves to the cloud, companies need to ensure that their applications perform to meet the demands of an increasingly global and mobile workforce. This includes offering robust performance, reliability, visibility and security for all applications.

Next, the demand of users accessing the internet for media and entertainment may explain the high connection speeds. Every second in page-load time makes a noticeable difference to conversion or engagement and this is particularly critical with mobile sites. Audience appetite for HD video continues to increase and viewers expect a high quality experience on any device, anywhere. In fact, a recent Akamai study revealed that online viewers start ditching a video after just two seconds if it fails to load properly. The Akamai Platform regularly delivers the world's largest media events live and on-demand, with over 6,200 hours of video streamed every minute. Businesses are now expected to have dynamic mobile sites that launch faster and better, with optimized experiences for every user and every device, every time.

It is clear that digitization is paving the way for a new culture for consumers and businesses. A recent study predicted that there will be 25 billion devices connected to the internet by 2015 and 50 billion by 2020. The emergence of the hyper-connected world has presented new technology challenges for businesses as they strive to deliver content and applications to customers, partners, suppliers and employees, independent of user device or physical location.

By Alice Ting, Country Manager, Hong Kong & Taiwan, Akamai Technologies