The Beatles remind us how digital infrastructure is crucial to survive in a digital-first world

File photo of the Beatles posing in Twickenham. Picture: Reuters

File photo of the Beatles posing in Twickenham. Picture: Reuters

Published May 7, 2024


By Jacques Jordaan

By the time of their breakup in 1970, the legendary British musical band, The Beatles, had undeniably revolutionised the global music industry and established a benchmark impregnable for decades that followed.

Millions, charmed by their fusing of rock, pop, and psychedelic rhythms were further drawn in by their hypnotising melodies, imaginative songwriting, and enigmatic performances, solidifying their position at the forefront of Britain’s cultural resurgence.

But while the fandom remained resolute for the decade of the swinging 1960s, many hearts were crushed by the announcement that the group, once regarded as being bigger than Jesus, was no more.

While the Liverpudlians went on to record music as individuals or collaborate with other artists, the world was never again blessed and graced with new content from the original Beatles group.

Until November, 2023.

With work spanning over five decades, the single “Now and Then” started with a solo voice recording by John Lennon in the 1970s, coupled with attempts by McCarthy, Starr, and Harrison in the mid-1990s to overlay Lennon’s original recording with their accompaniments.

Those efforts proved futile, as technological limitations of the time made it impossible to successfully isolate Lennon’s voice from his piano accompaniment. But in 2022, new software was made available that split Lennon’s recording and allowed McCarthy and Starr to add the final layers of instrumental and voice accompaniment, along with the recordings the two had done with Harrison in the 1990s.

One final song for the world from the greatest band of all time; memorialising two of the Beatles whose deaths had pained the world, and honouring the remaining two whose efforts once again warmed the hearts of the boomer generation who can still recall the fandom rage of their youth.

The journey of “Now and Then” to completion is a rousing reminder that even a band formed and dissolved in a time before the advent of the World Wide Web, let alone instant messaging could be resuscitated through the miracles of modern-day digital technology.

But it also demonstrates the need to embrace digital technology and infrastructure. While human nature is inclined to hold onto the past, the digital-first world around us continues moving forward, and it is our choice to go with the flow of the digital revolution.

For a business to survive the currents of changing industry, investment in digital infrastructure is the only insurance policy for market survival and provides the technological framework that supports a business’s digital operations. This could take the shape of a loyalty app, an e-commerce website or improved data asset management systems.

While these services may sound avant-garde to some, it does not necessarily stress the compelling reasons why your company should be actively and continuously investing in digital infrastructure.

The leveraging of digital infrastructure can empower your company with an essential competitive advantage over competitors who have not fully embraced the rapid advancements of technology. This can be achieved by using the infrastructure to enhance your customer’s experience of your services or products by enabling you to utilise data analytics on your customer’s preferences, behaviours, and trends that can assist maximising sales through personalised marketing, promotions, and products.

Your business is further empowered to improve efficiency and productivity, with faster decision-making and automation, streamlining of processes, reduction of manual errors, and more optimal allocation of resources.

The long-term cost savings of investing in digital infrastructure far outweigh the upfront costs. Cloud-based solutions eliminate the ongoing costs of procuring expensive hardware and its maintenance.

Digital solutions can further reduce energy consumption and overhead costs, while also ensuring data security and compliance. Investment in robust technology that allows your company to implement advanced security measures such as encryption, multi-factor authentication, and threat detection systems will provide that needed layer of security from the ever-increasing rise of evolving cyber threats.

But should your company ever fall victim to a cyberattack or natural disaster, cloud-based backups through regular data management practices will safeguard the continuity of your business with rapid recovery of operations.

But while the world is ripe for many security threats, it remains an unlimited pool of customers. Digital infrastructure guarantees a company’s ability to reach and expand across the globe by analysing and penetrating new markets and enhancing your company’s bottom line.

Digital infrastructure is your company’s insurance policy for market survival.

Technology is rapidly evolving, and no longer navigates according to the behaviour of markets. Open markets are now at the beck and call of technology. The emergence and sustainability of cryptocurrency blockchains have further cemented technology as the primary actor in global economics, determining the direction and trends of stock exchanges. The train of technology is no longer stopping over at various stations for businesses to hop onto.

Companies, regardless of size, only have the option of running after the train and grabbing a ledge once they’re close enough. Otherwise, they run the real risk of being left completely behind.

Jacques Jordaan is the CEO of Specno