How digital economy is changing the world

Unzipping the Digital World is a new book by Keith Willetts that captures a lifetime of his experience in the communications and software world and gives an eye-opening view into how the rapidly evolving digital economy is permanently changing the world as we know it.

Sub-titled “how to thrive and survive,” the book focuses on how companies can leverage the opportunities and avoid some of the threats that the digital world will bring.

Willetts covers the primary enablers driving the digital economy: the massive rise in global connectivity, the rapid evolution of cloud services, and the enormous advances in smart devices, including not just smartphones and tablets, but connected devices embedded in everything from cars to heart monitors.

He also discusses how the digital world is enabling major changes in our business and social lives: in what we buy, how we do business, how we are governed, our education, healthcare, entertainment, interaction with others, and in our homes and offices.

Change often brings opportunities, but it can also bring disruptions to the established order. The digital world is the most profound shift the world has ever seen, and Willetts describes emerging market structures and ecosystems, particularly focusing on the communications sector – simultaneously a key enabler of the digital world but also a sector facing serious threat to its retail position and to its core products and services.

He stresses the critical importance of visionary leadership, moving quickly, becoming highly innovative, delivering an outstanding customer experience, and managing partnerships effectively and gives some highly practical advice on how to achieve these factors. He also advocates for the evolution of a truly open digital economy that allows the flow of digital goods between any players rather than in closed ecosystems, and encourages regulators to refocus efforts away from their traditional role of constraining former monopolies toward encouraging open markets, investment and protecting individual privacy.

There is no doubt transformation to the digital world is happening fast. Willetts unzips the market with a “no holds barred’ picture of what today’s giants need to do to thrive and survive and presents a series of practical steps on how to exploit the massive opportunities the digital economy presents.

Unzipping the Digital World is a must-read book for technologists, economists, futurists and sociologists alike.


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