From Geographical to Digital Boundaries

It is widely accepted that we are now living the Fourth Industrial Revolution of Industry 4.0 as it’s popularly called. A quick recap – The First Industrial Revolution started at the end of the 18th century to the beginning of the 19th. The biggest changes came in the industries in the form of mechanization. At the time, people witnessed massive extraction of coal along with the significant invention of the steam engine that created a new type of energy that later on helped speed up the manufacturing of railroads, thus accelerating economies. The Second Industrial Revolution came almost a century later. It started at the end of the 19th century, with massive technological advancements in industries that helped the emergence of a new source of energy—electricity, gas, and oil. This revolution resulted in the creation of the internal combustion engine that started to reach its full potential. Another century passes, and we bear witness to the Third Industrial Revolution. This phase brought forth the rise of electronics, telecommunications and, of course, computers. The third industrial revolution opened the doors to space expeditions, research, and biotechnology through the new technologies.

Industry 4.0 is admittedly a revolution that is happening right now We are experiencing it every day, and its magnitude is yet unknown. Industry 4.0 started at the dawn of the third millennium with the one thing everyone uses every day—the Internet. This revolution combines digitalization with automation (from the third revolution). Let’s park it here for a moment.

Marketers often use the term – Gen Y. For the record, Gen Y includes people born between 1982 and 1994 and use technology as part of their everyday lives. They are also called as Digital natives. Generation Y is the first generation to grow up with the internet, cell phones and digital communication. These people are comfortable learning and using the latest software releases in the workplace. They may find it easier to learn new software, such as shared chat platforms.

The World Economic Forum says that there are 1.8 million Gen Y consumers in the world today comprising of about 23% of the total world population. Asia is home to about 25% of them. Africa has 278 million, South America about 155 million, North America 76 million and EU has 148 Gen Y citizens.

With the Industry 4.0 phase and the spread of Gen Y (a.k.a. technology citizens) around the world, the obvious connection is very simple. The average Gen Y does not purchase goods or services from the nearest mom and pop store. With all the screen based technology at their disposal, they can shop virtually from anywhere in the world, pay using online media and have it shipped to them (provided supply and distribution chains are established)

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