The new digital technologies allow access, storage, and transmission of information increasingly easier and more accessible, so we deal with digital information that can be converted into new economic and social values, creating huge opportunities for developing new products and services.
In these conditions we can say that the information is the key resource for the new type of economy—digital economy. The new economy is characterized by the increasing incorporation of knowledge in new products and services, growing the importance of learning and innovation, globalization and sustainable development. In this paper we propose to address this new type of economy, highlighting specific features and main components.
Because the digital economy is characterized by a series of procedures that fundamentally changes the relationship between business partners and taxpayers, by introducing a coherent way of cultivating civic awareness, we considered it appropriate to give an overview of them. In view of the global character of this type of economy, we have presented some aspects of the digital economy in the European Union, considering that it could be a possible solution to the economic crisis, issue of new economy based on digital economy, being analyzed in its various aspects by many political factors and various institutions and international organizations. We ended by presenting the most significant trends in the digital economy and a set of conclusions, in which is pointed the role and the importance of this new type of economy.
Broad use of information and communication technologies and the need to move to the Informational Society and to the society based on knowledge ensure economy growth under conditions of increased environmental protection, accelerating the reduction of physical consumption in favor of information and knowledge capitalization, moving the center of gravity of the investments in fixed assets, to investments in human capital. It goes without saying, so that the Information Society is integrating sustainable development objects, based on social rights and equal opportunities, freedom, cultural diversity and innovative development ecological protection, restructuring of industry and business.
Feature of the organization in the digital economy will be replacing of traditional pyramid hierarchy with a horizontal hierarchy. At the managerial level a development of the decision-making procedures will be registered by optimizing creativity, capacity for innovation and intellectual training of subordinates. Teamwork, collaboration, and cooperation among employees will lead to generations change in management. Competitiveness of the organization will depend almost on the ability to shift from hierarchical and individual character to workplace, to promote collaborative work, leading to a new relationship of proportionality between individualism and solidarity—two major features of contemporary society.
Individual initiative, solidarity, cooperation, and mutual trust in the workplace are key factors for success in the informational society. The digital economy is citizen oriented, so we have a new orientation from the subservient citizen of the institutions, toward the one who has services available to him, who pays taxes to obtain facilities and to know how public money is spent. The digital economy has dynamic facts which correspond to structural updates and in information plan.
The Characteristics of Digital Economy
The concept of digital economy refers specifically to the current transformation of economic activities as a result of using digital technologies, which ensure the access, processing, and storing information in a way to be more cheaper and easier. The new economy is characterized by increased incorporation of knowledge in new products and services, increasing the importance of learning and innovation, globalization, and sustainable development. The significant volume of information is changing the way markets work, enabling enterprise restructuring and the emergence of new opportunities for creating value from information available. This new type of economy, as a result of interaction among computer, telecommunications, Internet, and electronic, is characterized by several features that set it apart from traditional economy (Kenawy & Abd-El Ghany, 2012):
Creating a new business model (e-business, e-commerce, e-banking, etc.)—radically changes their efficiency, in order to reduce costs, including transaction;
Placing in the center of attention, the demand, the consumer needs, the consumer that is involved in a increasingly higher measure in designing, implementation, and use of goods and services, starting from the stage of research and development. So, new economy has an interactive, participative feature, increasing the consumer role which can become an important source of innovative ideas for the manufacturer;
Competition and cooperation are two inseparable sides of the digital economy;
Requiring a higher consumption of design work, high level creates a high added value, new jobs, segments that are unlimited business opportunities and creativity by the existence of flexible and interconnected standards which facilitates the need to integrate and/or individualization of different consumers.
In conclusion, we might say that the new type of economy is required increasingly more due to its economic effects and the reduction of resource consumption, the increase of innovative and entrepreneurial spirit, the increase of productivity work, speed production and the change of economic events and processes, increasing value added. If any market economy to become operational must meet minimum requirements, so, an economy to be in the category digital economy must also be registered with a number of features, presenting a particular importance, the availability to quantify, manifested by state’s authorities, to know exactly the real available resources, and especially to direct financial resources to the defining operational digital economy:
The existence of large numbers of networked computers which may exist in state companies, in private companies, in administration, shops, banks, schools, especially in homes and particularly at street corners, railway stations and elsewhere where man wants to solve a problem;
Operationality of general interest database. The existence of a correct and complete database is the starting point for a true digital economy, but is necessary an update of its in real time, as there is a new development of a phenomenon, a new stage of an individual journey and a process of achieving interoperability of computer applications to access databases from other systems considered until now included. The existence of a complex system of national databases must be characterized by controlling the level of redundancy and flexible ways of retrievals, customer oriented and characterized by satisfaction of applicants, in relation to the application;
The existence of a strong contingent of IT who implement applications made by others, but who, taking into account to the specificity of the Romanian economy, firstly to develop a strategy for information society development, then, step by step, to proceed with implementation of this strategy in life. Huge amount of problems which must be solved requires not only the specialization of designers but also the elimination of redundancies (Malecki & Moriset, 2007, p. 87). Transparency that accompanies all stages of development of information society is meant to orient clear training of labor to clear objectives which really means elements of social progress. Workforce is complex in structure as dynamic if we take into account the accelerated pace obsolescence of knowledge, computer technicians, and instruments. In a digital economy, there must be an optimal ratio between those who produce and develop IT applications, respectively, those who use, without causing distortions in the intermediation process by creating monopolies;
Availability for investment effort of all actors in society. Using budgetary resources is created fundamental elements of national infrastructure, private investors and especially of the local citizens, accounting for the financing of projects tasks that come to complete a complex construction, multipurpose;
The depolarization of society through access to people and performance by delivering complete and natural streams to micro-level. The society in which information has a peripheral role, has polarization as steady state, on the one side it is the few percent, billionaires, and on the other side at the other pole it is poor people, very poor, the middle class is insignificant. The digital economy is the economy based on knowledge in which the initiative and individual performance takes the place of engineering and legislative cracks. Complete flows are the only one which introduce a self control to subsystems levels of society with levers that regulate developments of these subsystems, pushing the corruption to the periphery, for real and healthy competition. These features of the digital economy are built step by step, by decisions deriving from government programs, medium-term political decisions, with adjustments which ensure continuity and development especially, without replays from zero at each election cycle. It is the basic condition of modern information society’s dynamic.
Digital Economy’s Components
By using new digital technologies, information storage, their access and transmission is becoming easier and more accessible, leading to the creation of several opportunities for developing new products and services for digital economy. The digital economy requires the creation of new markets, new markets law, new patterns of behavior for both producers and for consumers, new types of money, new distribution networks. The components of digital economy are: Internet infrastructure increases companies of the other three areas and can be called the backbone of the digital economy. At this level there are companies that activate to produce goods or services which form the Internet infrastructure:
- Internet service providers;
- Suppliers of network equipment and related services;
- Providers’ servers and hardware companies.
- The applications of the digital economy infrastructure—at this level, are found organizations whose products and services enable optimal use of infrastructure, to make electronic transactions:
- Applications for electronic commerce;
- Multimedia applications;
- Development of Web software; Software search engine;
- Training online;
- Web databases;
- Hosting sites and support services.
- According to Nicoară (2004), intermediaries in the digital economy act as a catalyst in the process by which investment in infrastructure and applications are processed in transactions. While playing a major role to supplement the information and knowledge’s required for the digital economy, intermediaries occupy a relatively small share in it, their incomes are not necessarily directly from transactions, but from advertising, charges, and commissions. Intermediaries include:
- Dealers on various types of activities;
- Online travel agencies;
- Online Brokers;
- Advertising brokers;
- Online advertising;
- Virtual Stores.
- The on-line transactions include all categories of participants in the supply chain which carries out operations on-line:
- E-retailers—distribution of books, music, appliances, flowers etc.;
- Manufacturers that sell their products;
- Transportation service providers that sell tickets online;
- Online entertainment and professional services online;
- Shipping services.
Proceedings of the Digital Economy
To the digital economy is characteristic a series of procedures that fundamentally changes the relationship between business partners and contributors, introducing a coherent growing way of civic consciousness? Internet auction procedure manages the database of bidders and the client database and the result of the adjudication is made public, together with all other alternatives. This procedure is completed with electronic payment of provider to the customer and partners coverage in the management of transactions automatically. The procedure of using software for sending email messages with special significance is a simple but generous way to connect citizens to a minimum number of services.