Digital technologies are commonly regarded as the “electricity” of the 21st century. Growing out of the pioneering work during and after World War 2 by computer scientists Claude Shannon and Alan Turing (among others), it has taken 50 years for computers, programs and infrastructure to broadly penetrate households and garden-variety businesses.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 92.6% of businesses had internet access in 2012-13 – the lowest rate being in the hospitality industry (73.5%). We are probably close, in 2015, to saturation given the recent trends in connections.
Classically, new technologies – in the broad meaning of the term which includes new ways of doing and behaving as well as physical machinery – have two types of impact. It may be disruptive in the Schumpeterian sense of destroying the old and creating the new; or it may merely transform and modify existing industries and products.