The Future of Digital Looks Bright

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When the song “In the Year 2525” was released back in 1968, who would have known it would become number one on Billboard shortly afterward, much less remain at the top for six weeks?

While none of what it forecast appears to be headed in the direction of the lyrics, lots of attention is being directed to an in-depth study of what our digital world might look like in 2023. That study by technology giant Cisco depicted 2023 filled with all kinds of digital opportunities for brands.

Based on its findings, Cisco predicted that 66% of the world’s population or 5.3 billion people would be on the internet by 2023. What’s more is that they estimated that more than 29 billion devices would be connected to the internet by then, an average of 3.8 per capita. While Cisco reported that consumers would have 74% of all connections, it added that they expect machine-to-machine (M2M) connections to make up half of all globally connected devices by then as well.

What marketers need to be aware of is that Cisco predicted that fixed broadband speeds would more than double by 2023. From 45.9 Mbps in 2018, it will hit 110.4 Mbps. Even more impressive are cellular speeds, which Cisco says will more than triple by 2023. The firm said it would rise from 13.2 Mbps in 2018 to 43.9. What’s more, is that 5G speeds are forecast to be 13 times faster than the average mobile connection. Wi-fi speeds, they reported, are expected to triple.

What may be prompting the anticipated increase in speed is the anticipated rise in mobile apps. Cisco forecasts that 300 million mobile applications will be downloaded by 2023. The company said that the most popular ones would be social media, gaming, and business apps.

In anticipation of this digital explosion, Cisco forecast that the 169 million public wi-fi hotspots in 2018 will increase 400% to 628 million in 2023. They added that they expect the biggest increase to occur between 2020 and 2023.

This is all good news so far for marketers. But there is one cautionary note in the study as well. Cisco reported that between 2018 and 2019, there were 7.9 million internet breaches globally. The firm predicted that these denial of service (DDoS) attacks would double and hit 15.4 million by 2023.

The good news is that marketers have time to prepare for the increase in digital traffic. It means ensuring that a brand’s technology keeps pace with the marketplace so that consumers can access information and browse quickly without delays and load problems. It also means that marketers must have enough budgeted to manage these faster speeds and changes.

Security will likely be a growing concern among consumers. Marketers must do whatever possible to ensure that their customers are protected and make sure that they’re made aware of what the brand is doing in that regard. Being clear about company policies on privacy and assuring customers that any information and data they share will be secure and never shared will be paramount.

Ronn Torossian is the CEO and Founder of 5W Public Relations. 5W PR is a leading digital pr and influencer marketing agency.

Ronn Torossian is CEO & Founder of 5WPR & one of America’s most notable PR executives. He is the Author of best-selling PR book, “For Immediate Release.“

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