The first Industrial Revolution where machines changed the manufacturing industries brought about a sweeping change in our society. Today, another revolution involving digital technologies are changing financial, media, educational, and other service industries. Considering the advances being made, it is worthy to note that this revolution is dependent on the following enablers; top institutions, friendly regulators, world-class universities, dynamic entrepreneurial climate, and good leadership.
The revolution takes its roots from the Information Age, which has been spurred by the wide spread use of computing, digital cellular phone, and the internet. It is evident in our society that digital computing and communication technology has brought sweeping changes.
  1. A small firm with a global client base, would have been unthinkable centuries ago! Electronic commerce has made it possible for individual buyers to select and make payment for goods.
  2. Business meetings can be attended without the need to be physically present.
  3. The whole philosophy of learning has been revolutionised, with distance learning coming into full view. The power of a virtual class room where students are scattered all over the world! Learning materials are easily accessible.
The information age has resulted in the creation of a knowledge-based society. Peter Drucker introduced the concept of knowledge economy in his 1966 book, “The Effective Executive” were He distinguished between a knowledge and manual worker. A manual worker, works with his or her hands and produces goods or services. While a knowledge worker works with his or her head, not hands, and produces ideas, knowledge, and information. 
This phenomenon is noticeable in today’s society with the numerous internet entrepreneurs who are using their heads and other people’s hands to provide services that are valuable.
Some examples of these entrepreneurs are;

From left to right;

1. Larry Page – Google
The world’s information is aggregated into a search engine.

2. Brian Chesky – Airbnb
Private accommodation is aggregated into an online platform

3. Linda Ikeji – Linda Ikeji Blog
World gossip news is aggregated into a blog site

4. Jimmy Wales – Wikipedia
An encyclopaedia easily accessible online

5. Tunde Kehinde – Jumia
Goods are made available via an online store.

Notice that these businesses are using their head to create value from the hand work of others. Like the saying goes, “the beautiful ones are not yet born”.

The growing application of digital technologies is set to ignite a new industrial revolution which will see the growing use of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies. Today, advanced robots work alongside humans and can be trained to do new tasks in under an hour. These advancements in technology at a glance do not seem like technologies that are capable of disrupting existing businesses, because the changes are not directly expressed. As the technology begins to evolve the disruption becomes more evident.

Therefore is it imperative that existing businesses continuously monitor and analyse the impact of new technologies in their industry.