A study from the global management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group (BCG) makes for very happy reading for specialists in IT contracting. The research forecasts a massive proliferation in the use of internet-enabled mobile devices, which will double the value of the G20’s web economy by 2016.

The value of that economy is set to rise from its present £1.5 trillion to £2.7 trillion over the next four years. If this proves accurate, you can be sure that demand for PAYE umbrella contractors and other techies working in the IT skills market will soar.

By 2016, the report suggests, the number of people using the internet will rise to 3 billion – that’s almost half of the world’s population. However, they won’t be surfing on a desktop PC anchored to a desk with a copper wire internet connection. They will be using smartphones, which have dropped dramatically in price in recent years, as well as many other internet-enabled gadgets. The study suggests that internet access will no longer be considered a luxury and that 80% of the world’s web surfers will be using a mobile to access the web.

The expansion of digital technologies has major implications for how to run a business because many more products are going to be connected to the web, including cars, sensors and even radiators. Digital can no longer be seen as an added extra but will form the core of new business models, driving companies to adapt their processes, structures and people for survival in the digital economy.

BCG spokesman Paul Zwillenberg notes that digital businesses are already outperforming those that have not embraced the web economy.

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