Platform convergence is the merging of technology, communications and content to produce new products, services, platforms or work practices. This has been enabled by the rapid advancement of new technologies and computer networks.
The term “convergence” describes the integration of various technologies into one platform, such as the smartphone which incorporates e-books, news apps, broadcast TV, radio and the Internet. This has resulted in a shift away from print media towards electronic formats which has affected industries such as media production, news reporting, journalism, blogging social networking sites and telecommunications services.
Convergence can be broken down into three components: technology platforms, content design and industry structure.
Techopedia Defines Convergence
Technological convergence occurs when a technology or product integrates functionalities from different platforms into one device that functions at the same level of complexity. It may also be referred to as “hybrid” technology since it allows multiple functions to be combined on one interface, such as mobile phones which combine phone, messaging, music and camera features in one place.
Traditionally, each platform was regulated independently with its own standards and policies. But as technology continues to merge and integrate, converged technologies may no longer be subject to their original regulation.
It is uncertain whether converged technologies should be subject to existing national or international regulations in their specific field, such as telephony. This issue poses challenges for both governments and businesses alike.
Digital privacy and data security should be taken into account when regulating converged technologies. Therefore, converged technologies may need to implement new measures to safeguard personal information as well as sensitive data.
Some converged technologies are more vulnerable to cybersecurity breaches than others due to their different connections to the Internet. For instance, one that utilizes Bluetooth technology for linking other devices could be more at risk from hackers than one using Wi-Fi or cellular connectivity.
These vulnerabilities make converged technologies more challenging to secure, which in turn affects a company’s profitability. Therefore, many firms opt for encryption techniques like SSL to protect their data.
Encryption in converged technologies is especially essential for enterprises operating globally, as it reduces costs by eliminating local servers and storage requirements as well as restricting data transfers between locations.
Human error can also affect the reliability of a converged technology, as users may unintentionally install malware on their smartphone or tablet, which negatively impacts its functionality. Converged technologies that offer communication and other services via the cloud also face risks when connected via unsecured connections such as wired network connections to home routers or public Wi-Fi connections that lack encryption.