A relationship is based on information and communication. This Fundamental relationship with everything has been transformed by the way people get information and communicate with other people. New information and communication technology seems to be powerfully represented by digital devices and services like smart phones and social network services (SNS). The digital phenomenon is occurring all over the world from Korea to Africa, leading to social and even political revolution. The ICT is one of the key sectors in the Korean economy, as the ICT industry has grown rapidly in the global market. Newly emerging global companies are mainly from the ICT sector, both at home and abroad.
Efficient use of ICT is essential for participating in social and economic life as a citizen and consumer. Smart application of ICT in business and government has been the source of the competitive advantage. Innovation by ICT within the government has been initiated in most industrialized countries. Few of those succeeded, however, Korea is among those with success stories.
Creativity is one of the elements of core competency for both individuals and businesses to survive and thrive. A process of searching for collective intelligence in itself is an integral part of good governance.
Creativity has become a buzzword in particular since the Internet opened wide the windows of opportunity for global information. It has become the most essential ingredient to set up new business along with passion and a spirit of adventure. Digital frontiers have come up with new product, new services, and new business models. People and businesses all over the world benefitted from digital potential realized by digital stars such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Following the digital frontiers, many have committed themselves to showcasing their ability and originality using the Internet and digital devices.
After the financial crises and moratorium, individuals, business, and government in Korea did a fairly good job taking advantage of a digital opportunity ahead of the digital trend. Korean businesses effectively capitalized on the industrial experience and system. The digital opportunity opened up by digital revolution was taken by industrial capability. Government is no exception in harnessing the potential of ICT in business operation and government services.
So far, so good. However, success came with new challenges to tackle. New challenges call for new response. Digital substance in the industrial mode of governance is not sustainable in the long run both for business organization and government. We must transform the industrial mode of governance into a new digital one. A process of consensus building should be initially put in place for creative and collective intelligence in the organization and in the government.
Now that the Korean industrial business and economy have proven competitive, it's time to reinforce it with digital capability with creative minds. It's high time that we turned our attention to our digital creativity to solve many side effects of digital transformation from industrial system. One thing good about an industrial economy is the fact that the manufacturing sector employs a certain level of mass labor force, even if it is decreasing in number and in importance. I wonder, however, how much further the manufacturing capability alone can keep both business and government holding labor force and competitive. As we can see in Microsoft, Apple, and Google, organizational capability remains valuable along with creative visionaries with passion. What matters at this point in Korea is to cultivate and nurture people of creativity and passion, whether they are young or old.
An efficient market system can help us make it better. Market system functions as a critical national infrastructure as well as man-made resources. We must build an efficient market system to effectively mobilize and allocate resources. In doing so, a market system generates and distributes information necessary for resource allocation, meaning that a market system acts as a substantial information system in the world. You cannot compete with bad information. National economy cannot do well with bad information system, rather requiring an efficient market system. Democracy cannot prevail without an efficient information system. As citizens and businesses go digital, the government must do so in pace with them. In this fast moving world, the government alone cannot deal with unprecedented multidimensional problems. The government should be able to collaborate with its citizens and the market home and abroad. To do this the government itself should be transformed into a solid platform for collaboration.
As we move towards an increasingly digital society, we must learn not only how to use the ICT but how to create a sound ICT ecosystem such as a platform government with data, service, and communication. Mutual trust among participants, online and offline is a building block for a usable and hence sustainable platform on which anyone can freely sing and dance. One moratorium is enough. Let's take a big step to pass a digital moratorium this time.
Pilky Hong has served as a professor at Department of Business Administration, Seoul Digital University since 2004. He formerly worked as a monitoring and evaluation officer at the Ministry of Education and Human Resources from 2007 to 2008. He had Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Texas at Austin in 1994.