There are many innovations that managers and employees need to follow in order to adapt to our day-to-day digital world. Along with the rapid technological developments and innovations, it is seen that the learning characteristics and methods of individuals, as well as the expectations of the age from the learner, have changed. Therefore, digital media literacy is one of the requirements of this age.
There are many factors that make the digital world popular. Technology is a concept that people met before digital. After people met the internet and social media, a new term has entered their lives: “Digital literacy”. Digital literacy is the general name given to the skills of understanding, analyzing, and finding information with all technological devices. Some of the competencies that technology has brought to humanity in the 21st century, where technology is closest to life; individuals can access to the right information easily, quickly, and effectively. The concept of digital literacy was formed by combining two terms; digital and literate. It consists of different combinations of these two terms. Here, digital is a symbol that represents information. Literacy means someone who can read and write within the frames of said information. Literacy embraces the principles of powerful smart devices.
Digital media, unlike traditional media; allows users to produce content, be interactive, and access it from anywhere. For this reason, the scope of the concept of media literacy is expanding. Digital media provides easy and fast access to information (processed and organized data), information, and entertainment options from anywhere. However, it is necessary to acquire new knowledge and skills in order to use digital media consciously and responsibly.
So, what are the features that good digital literacy should have and how to become one? First of all, anyone who wants to be a good digital literate should be aware that technology is necessary for everyone, not just those who are interested. A person who is aware of this should focus on his education on this subject, being aware that digital literacy will contribute to his life, especially on his education and career journey. It is also very important that education should not be limited to school only. On the contrary, it should be seen as a life journey that someone carries on until the day that they dieTo be a digital literate, the skills that someone should posses are; “Critical and creative thinking, easy access to information and information, active use and creative content production, awareness of rights and responsibilities, online security skills, communication and internet ethics awareness.” Developing technical knowledge and skills on how to use information and communication technologies is the first step towards becoming a good digital literate. In this way, more productive time is spent in digital media. Thus, the information and information needed can be accessed more easily and quickly. Interpreting and analyzing the data in the digital environment and diversifying the information sources, as well as evaluating the accuracy of the information obtained from different sources, make you a better digital literate.
Commercial companies; may use other personal data shared in digital media, reflecting interests and preferences. For this reason, it is necessary to act consciously to be aware of the harms of online marketing practices, to take precautions in order to protect personal data in the digital environment and to check the security settings regularly.
In this paragraph, the effects of digitalization and digital literacy on institutions and employees will be discussed. With the 80s, digitalization began to gain momentum in institutions. Digitized data became easier to access, interpret and share. Digitization has taken the life of humanity to another dimension with its convenience that helps us to save money and time. The beginning of digitalization in institutions; Access to personal computers has become easier, hardware and operating systems have become more user-friendly, and packaged programs have become widespread.
Digitalization, which first started in departments such as finance and accounting, spreads to all departments over time. If we take the banking and finance sector as an example; The banking sector is one of the most rapidly adapting sectors to technological change. Digital changes and transformations in banking and finance are leading to the rapid digitalization of individuals and society. People provide most of their needs over the internet, cost-reducing developments in the banking sector and developments in digital banking attract the attention of customers and direct their preferences. While the concepts of the Industry 4.0 Revolution and artificial intelligence come to the fore, banks slowly but surely adapted to improvements in this field.
For individuals who adapt to the digitalizing world, it becomes unresistable to handle all banking transactions with a single click. The point that banks have made the most effort recently is to meet the needs of their customers in the digital environment. In this process, a fierce competition environment draws attention among banks that want to attract more customers by making use of mobile applications. Many of the transactions that were made by going to branches in the past are now carried out through internet banking. Here, too, it comes to the fore how much bankers and customers have mastered digital literacy. Bankers need to be digitally literate in order to find effective and fast solutions to customers’ problems. As a result, customers prefer to be directed to the place where they receive fast and easy service.
This process, which started in the 80s and continued until the 2010s, is called digitalization of business processes. Today, the pandemic has led to social restrictions, causing digitalization to progress much faster. Based on various researches, it is shown that it is not possible to re-establish the old order even if the effects of the pandemic begin to diminish and/or disappear completely. In other words, for some professions, the culture of remote and flexible working will become permanent all over the world.
Digital literacy, which is one of the most important competencies of the 21st century, is now becoming much more necessary. Digitalization is driving the development of many new business models. However, the effects of digitalization are not limited to this. Thanks to all the data, information, and tools that are easily accessible in the digital environment, businesses also have the chance to customize their business models according to their needs. Advancement of digitalization and digital transformation for the benefit of corporate life; leads businesses to adapt their new ideas to their established strategies, to use their resources more flexibly and efficiently, and as a result, to build a new and innovative digital order that is different from the old order. Nowadays, digitalization is moving to a new medium. Innovation, which uses the data provided by digitalization and places them at the center of business models, causing a general transformation, especially new business fields, is examined under the name of digital transformation.
So what is this digital transformation? Digital transformation is the transformation of business activities, processes, products, and models to take full advantage of the great opportunities of digital technologies. The overall goal is to increase efficiency, manage risk, and find new monetization opportunities.
Digital transformation aims to do things strictly in digital manners. This digital transformation has also caused employers to look for a new feature in their employees, the “digital literacy” mentioned since the beginning of the article.
So why do employers want their employees to be digitally literate? As mentioned above, the world is now being moved to a completely digital environment. Global internet penetration rate has grown tremendously in the past few years. Digital literacy is encountered and needed in various fields. Digitally literate employees can reach the right information faster, analyze it, use digital devices more effectively and accurately, are researchers, can think critically, and always take their place one step further.
As a result, everyone needs to be a “Digital Literate-Writer” in order to reach the right information without any effort, to adapt to the digitalizing business world and to become an element of modern society.