Anything that can be digital, will be. But the reverse is also true, anything that can be done online could also be done in the pre-digital, analog world – it would have just been less efficient (sometimes to the point of being impractical). Take Youtube for example:
I saw this video years ago and lost it. It took me a long time to find it again.
Why this is important:
It can be a useful creative exercise to “reverse design” a solution and trace it back to its real world parallels. By understanding what would have to happen to do the same thing without the web we get a better grasp of the governance and processes required and even the feasibility of the idea. After all, computers can automate any process, but you have to HAVE a process that you can at least imagine doing without computers first. There is nothing magic about computers. You can only get out what you put in. So if a client is asking for a solution, but can not even imagine where content will come from, I send them to this video.