Define the concept of a digital economy? What are the forces that have led to the existence of such an economy? How do you see this progressing in the near and longer term future?
The term digital economy has been discussed by many authors and governments and this has made its definition quite difficult. However, Kranenburg (67) defines digital economy as a network of global economies, processes and social ventures by the aid of computer enabled technologies such as sensory networks, mobile application and internet platforms. Digital economy entails the exchange of different political, social and economic activities which include: education, business, financial undertakings as well as communication. It has been fostered by a number of forces such as globalization, change and innovation, access to internet tools and intellectual capital (knowledge).
Today’s global economy is faced with turbulent and unpredictable digital economy is fast evolving. This implies that there is need to have strong strategic technologist that can constantly monitor these sporadic development and design best ways that world economies can utilize digital economies. Change management, technology transfer, commercialization of intellectual knowledge and the evolution of creative economies such technology, arts, music, culture continue to contribute immensely to the stability of digital economy (Kranenburg 67). These forces require urgent management and strategic attention. This lies on innovators and leaders to find a level playing ground with which key fundamentals of digital economy can be utilized to contribute to development and growth just like the traditional form of economy.
Forces that have contributed to digital economy
The evolution and expansion of digital economy has been propelled by a number o forces. These include: intellectual capital, growth of internet platform, globalization, change, increased creative entrepreneurship, emerging complexities, heightened competition and growth of information consumption.
Intellectual capital has been the lead in the evolution of digital economies through commercial intellectual and copyright laws. Most countries have passed supportive laws that enhance the growth of digital economies. The increased use of internet platform has also contributed significantly to economic digitalization. As a way to increase competition and stimulate business growth, internet has increased the levels of returns through online sales besides helping in cost reduction. New processes, innovation and idea generation for economic investment are but some of the products of internet.
Globalization is also another important force that has necessitated the growth and faster evolution of digital economy. For instance the pervasiveness of the internet and the rapid expansion of global companies, with numerous branches in different countries, have created boundary less economies that form a global village, which is the bigger part of digital economies. Tapscott (23) has also asserted the global economy is growing by a double digit due to embracement of digital economy.
Increased creative entrepreneurship remains to be a key pillar in the development and sustenance of digital economy. Ranging from art, culture, entertainment to technology, creative economy has been considered as a strong economic driver that could otherwise be generated through the traditional economy. Most virtual enterprises have been conceptualized through the concept of creative economy. It is therefore quite predictable that digital economy is the next driver that will propel world economies to higher grounds, both in terms of economics, social and political.
The future of digital economy
Kranenburg (67) infers that since digital economy is based on the evolvement and technological investment, it cannot become obsolete. However, though we may be experiencing the growth and benefits of digital economy, it is imperative to note the future digital technology will make human capital less competitive. Most manpower is likely to be replaced by computers and this will have negative implication on the world populations. In all these, the future of digital economy remains to be a competitive driver to facilitate growth and development in many countries.

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