Held at Google's UK headquarters, the ADBL and CIPD's Digital Skills Event brought senior learning and development executives together with digital business leaders to discuss the future digital landscape.
Setting the scene for the evening, David Black, managing director of branding at Google UK, introduced three big trends that Google sees digital driving around the world.
- How digital is changing technology: technology is accelerating, getting faster and faster, getting better and better all the time.
- How people are changing: digital is fundamentally changing both consumer and employee behaviour.
- How digital is changing businesses, and how we all need to adapt as a result.
With most of the world yet to gain access to the internet, and today being the slowest the internet will ever be for the rest of our lives, David made the point that the internet is still only in its early life.
"We are just getting started.. by the end of this decade, most people will have gigabit internet."
"Think about how fast the internet is in your home, and what you can do when it is 20 times faster - that's just around the corner."
"People will spend more of their time online, and they will be able to do more things, they will be able to make more choices. The pace of change is only going to get quicker."
But it's not just the internet where the pace of change is fast. The number of internet enabled devices is expanding fast.
"More and more, the things that we touch every day in our lives are coming online."
"There are about 10 billion internet connected devices at the moment. By the end of the decade, there will be 50 billion internet connected devices... a five-fold explosion in the number of things connected to the internet."
In order to benefit from this expansion in technology, organisations big and small need to have people who are able to look at digital evolution and what is coming next, then strategise around that. Without this ability in an organisation, the risk of becoming obsolete is large.
"By connecting simple things to the web, using the power of technology to get better, quicker, cheaper, faster and smaller, the world is at the disposal of people thinking differently about how to use that technology in new ways.
"In all of your organisations, have you got the right thinkers that are understanding not just what the technology is doing today... but to think about what it could do next? How it could revolutionise the way you do business, revolutionise the way you connect with your consumers and customers, revolutionise the way that you organise.
"It is just going to get bigger, better and faster."
You can watch all of the insight from David's talk in far greater detail, plus we'll be making the rest of the Digital Skills Transformation Event talks available very soon.