Despite media, investors and economists mostly talking about Technology or Tech Companies when addressing digitalization, we will try - and hopefully prove - in this paper that digital means much more and far outreaches technology. We want to argue that making a clear difference between Technology and Digital goes beyond semantics and offers a decisive edge towards getting to grips with the groundshaking impacts of the fast-paced emerging or yet to emerge digitalization trends.
We start with a bit of history, first describing how the information technology (IT) era blossomed in the eighties and nineties, and how best to characterize the “Tech” era.
We look at how Apple actually pivoted at breakneck speed to become a digital company.
We make the point that the Internet giants that have emerged in the 21st century are all digital, which explains why they have grown so fast.
We try to pinpoint the precise date of the shift from Technology to Digital; 2007, the year of the launch of the iPhone, comes as a strong #1 suspect.
We describe how the sectorial definition of stock markets is about to evolve – the announcement has been made -, now making a clean distinction between Technology and Digital, in order to stay relevant.
Once stated the structural difference between technology and digital, we focus on two economic impacts: the so-called productivity paradox and the rising societal issues the digital era fuels.
We indifferently talk of Technology, Tech, Information Technology or IT. There are other industries with a strong technology content, notably BioTechnology, but we believe that whenever people talk of Tech, they refer to IT, unless stated otherwise. On the opposite, we believe that AdTech, AgTech, CarTech, FinTech, InsurTech, and RegTech are nothing but vertical instantiations of the digital era.