Friday, August 27, 2010

Silver surfers promise golden years for ICT industry

Silicon Republic (Ireland's Technology News Service) reports that "Silver surfers promise golden years for ICT industry". The report states that...

"computer use amongst older people was increasing on a yearly basis, and that huge opportunities exist for the ICT industry to connect with older customers

...and that...

"According to CSO data, about one third of those aged between 50 and 64 use computers and the internet regularly". (Glad I am in this third!).

ICT companies need to make their products more attractive to older people - avoiding things like "sectoral abbreviations and acronyms" and instead using plain English. Older people want to be able to do things like buy books/tickets/music just like everybody else. They also want to "surf" the web, and in my experience, love looking up things like census returns and being able to email family. There is a large market going untapped, and in 20 years time, a quarter of the world's population will be over 65 (this will of course include me).

So the message to budding entrepreneurs and start-ups - why not look at the "silver surfer" as an opportunity to do business. The on-line world is still very youth-centred - Facebook just doesn't cut it with older people. Initiatives such as Age Action's "Getting Started with Computers" for the over 55's are getting more and more seniors to use computers - and they love it.

We (us 50 to 65 year olds) are waiting!

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