Fasten your seat belts as software prepares to eat the future of unprepared nations!
Is there a possibility of a global digital economy war now and in the future? The definitive answer is a capital yes. The war had long started! The software train left the docking bay a long time ago.
However, the recent trajectory informs that the train has transformed self into an intimidating supersonic pilotless jet controlled by AI. The speed behind its mission of data at all costs is phenomenal.
Available reports signify that Android War is on at great speed.
Since the debut of the Android Software Solutions for Mobile Phones and devices, a new era of computing and service delivery opened-up.
The Holy War:
Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs declared 2011 the year of “holy war against Google” in an email to Apple executives ahead of an annual management retreat in late 2010. The email was revealed by lawyers for Samsung who presented it to a jury in California as they opened their defense against Apple’s claims of “massive infringement” of five smartphone patents. Samsung lawyers came across the Jobs’ email after it was forwarded by Phil Schiller, Apple’s head of marketing, to Michael Tchao; an iPad marketing executive.
Today, with total world population in 2021 at 7.9 billion, there are 3.8 billion smartphone users in the world – accounting to about 50% of world population. (Source: Bank my Cell).
The number grew from 2016 from 2.5 billion smartphone devices; presenting a humongous opportunity and demand for Apps development and employment. According to Statista, users downloaded 218 billion apps from Google Play and App Store in 2020; representing an increase of 26 billion more than 2018 figures and 78 billion more than that of 2016. Further records from Hindu Business Line show that in 2020; TikTok was the most downloaded non-gaming app with over 115.2 million installations.
Statista further justified the claim that the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated first-user download and user experience of mobile apps; such as Zoom, TikTok, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram etc. Not surprising, TikTok proclaimed an amazing user registration surge of 315million downloads on Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Meanwhile, the business-side-of-things indicates that Mobile apps will generate $935 billion by 2023. Whereas, generated total revenue from mobile App business was $462 billion in 2019, in contrast with the 2018 figure of $365.2 billion.
The attraction of the mobile app industry remains unstoppable as it continues to generate billions of dollars in revenue every year – making its growth phenomenal. Meanwhile, as the digital business competition progresses at the Apps levels; the Software Governance, Ownership and Dominance War continues at the threshold of Government Policy and Strategies aimed at somersaulting each other’s aspiration and position for absolute control of global Data resources to fuel AI and Quantum Computing.
All the above makes the Internet and in particular, Software Governance, Policy and Strategic Framework a national responsibility. How the Internet is governed has been a question of considerable debate since its earliest days. Indeed, Software-of-Things (SoT) is at the centre of how diverse sets of stakeholders collaborate to manage this important global resource as an impact on the nature of the Internet as a trusted global platform for innovation, creativity, and freedom of expression.
Reliable information from the Internet Society (IS) informs that ‘the Internet is a decentralized network of networks and those who rely on it help to define its policies. The term ‘Internet governance’ refers to the processes that impact how the Internet is managed. The historic and future success of the Internet as an open and trusted platform; for innovation and empowerment depends on a decentralized, collaborative, and multi-stakeholder approach to Internet governance.
While the Internet evolved from a number of government-funded research projects; individuals from universities and private-sector organizations led most of its early development. Since these early beginnings, management of the Internet and global Internet resources (e.g., the Domain Name System) has relied heavily upon bottom-up coordination; and direct participation by those interested in and impacted by related decisions.
Meanwhile, over the years, this decentralized and community-driven management approach has supported the tremendous growth and innovation that has defined Internet’s success and reflects the early design choices of the technical community in the adoption and implementation of Internet standards. By 2005, what had traditionally been referred to as private, bottom-up coordination evolved into the “multistakeholder” model of Internet governance that exists today.
Some of the key considerations are that: (a) decentralized nature of the Internet means; that no single, centralized authority governs Internet management. Instead, the Internet is governed in a decentralized, collaborative fashion; that ensures that issues can be resolved at the level closest to their origin. (b) In this context, the Internet’s system of decentralized decision-making is similar to the principle of subsidiarity; in which issues are best handled at the level consistent with where the solution is applied’.
Experience shows that without the framework of Internet multi-stakeholder governance; the Internet, as we know and apply it today, would have become a freefall and unmanageable catastrophe. This collaborative framework sums up to the fact that the Internet belongs to all. However, what we see today is that the developing countries are at the receiving end of the negative exploitation; of the Software-enabled global digital infrastructure and content connectivity ecosystem. This, amongst other critical concerns, underscores the urgency for a developing nation; such as Nigeria to vigorously interrogate the strategic imperatives of institutionalizing a National Software Policy and Strategic Framework for sustainable national development.
The benefits of this development roadmap will be explored as we examine the future impact of global digital economic war under Part 2.