e-shock 2020. How the digital technology revolution is changing business and all our lives

Michael De Kare-Silver

Published by

Palgrave Macmillan

ISBN

9780230301306

RRP

£26 (hardcover)

Reviewed by

Dean Burnell MBCS

Score

9 out of 10

This book presents a review of the developments in technology over the last 20 years, draws out how much has changed and describes how this has affected businesses and the way we live our lives. It then goes on to predict where technology will take us by 2020.

The book charts the evolution of the human computer interface, from the mouse to the touch screen and predicts the emergence of voice and gesture as the next stages of this evolution.

It goes on to predict that social TV will be the next big thing, returning the TV to the media hub of the home, and bringing new levels of interactivity, e.g. social shopping, interactive game shows or the ability to purchase via TV adverts.

On a lighter note, the book considers how much of the technology we were initially awed by in the 2002 film ‘Minority Report’ has become a reality in a relatively short timescale.

The book describes the way that the business world is having to continuously rethink itself to keep up with the changes that new technology are enabling. It considers this from a number of perspectives including media, travel and health care.

Social media is a thread that runs through the whole book and there are a number of real life examples that illustrate how businesses must be on their toes or they could find themselves in a position where they need to respond via a medium where they have no established voice.

The Domino's incident (a member of staff posted a YouTube video showing staff playing with the food) shows how companies must work with social media from the perspectives of both a threat and an opportunity.

The book proposes that social media is no longer an optional extra in the marketing budget; it needs to be the beating heart of an organisation’s communications and marketing strategy. The tone and pace of the book is punchy, fast-paced and bold.

The messages are clearly described and simple charts are used to bring out the points more clearly; this is really effective. The author’s enthusiasm for the subject is clear throughout the book. It includes fascinating insights into the pace at which technology change has taken place during our lifetimes and all the predictions made seem both logical and (almost) tangible.

Don’t be put off by the cover; this book is a worthwhile read for anyone who needs a briefing on recent technology developments. For everyone else, it is worth a read if only to take stock for a moment of how fast things have changed and to truly appreciate the extraordinary times in which we are living.

Further Information: Palgrave Macmillan

October 2011