COVID-19 has encouraged companies to adopt flexibility and enhance digital capabilities. Organizations have to react to unexpected and dramatic changes in their supply chains, customer interactions, as well as how and where their employees work.
The COVID-19 crisis has caused an overwhelming human and economic impact but it has also increased digital transformation throughout the world. It has revealed the opportunities offered by technology solutions to improve our lives and maintain the growth of the businesses.
These unusual times are going to stay and have given no the option of alternatives to the organizations but to redefine their “new normal” and remove the barriers that were earlier in the way of technology transformation.
The following three trends in technology transformation can be expected to emerge in the coming months:
1. A New, And Efficient, Way Of Working And Living
While the idea of working from home existed previously as well nut numerous organizations still hadn’t accepted the concept completely. This was due to many reasons, including the ability of current technology infrastructures and the capability to enable employees to work efficiently and productively remotely.
The restrictions imposed due to COVID-19 have made everyone realize that the alternate way of working is possible. Societal lockdowns brought many challenges yet businesses are successfully managing using tools such as Microsoft Teams, Skype, and Zoom to interact and collaborate. In fact, these big corporations are supporting businesses and communities by offering discounts and free use of their technology. It is expected that these technology companies will grow more due to such contributions.
Online ordering and home delivery services have increased due to the travel restrictions that are in place. There has been a huge strain on online and organizational infrastructure because of increased usage. This is just the beginning as such services will become more mainstream worldwide, generating possibilities to advance and enhance this infrastructure and keep customers into the ease of ecommerce.
Customers across the world are going for digital transactions which increases the need for improved cybersecurity assurance and payment processing. Mature economies like the East African use mobile phone-based money transfer, financing, and microfinancing service called MPESA, which has become the main currency transfer platform in that area.
2. Retrofitting By Design
The COVID-19 pandemic spread throughout the world so fast that there was no time to improve or adopt new methods or procedures, and surely no time to evaluate current technology and work on limitations. But now is the chance to think again about the old ways and decisively modify present systems to fulfill the requirements of our new reality.
The education sector can be considered a good example of this. The sector faced huge issues due to the unexpected closure of schools and learning institutions, but Edtech (education technologies including learning platforms, video conferencing, texting, and more) for remote learning has made education available to students having an internet connection. It has allowed students to continue their education regardless of their location.
Physical events have been canceled worldwide but event organizers started digital virtual events, and this might end up becoming a norm. The economic advantages only are sufficient to make organizations encourage the implementation of this transformation.
The real estate sector is already impacted as valuable business sites are vacant and employees are remote working. If working from home becomes a feasible substitute in the future then the need for dedicated office space arises. In order to effectively operate in the future, companies will need to ensure an increase in smart buildings and digital real estate offerings. New requirements, such as security, identity access, storage, connectivity, and hardware requirements of companies’ demand a redesign technology infrastructure. This is an unavoidable truth of the appearance of artificial intelligence and virtual reality.
A lot of out of the box thinking and innovation throughout industries happened due to the crisis. Current technology like 3D printing is being leveraged in distinctive methods to help the healthcare industry during the crisis by printing components for medical equipment. This industry has huge potential in the medium term, having direct advantages for communities and throughout industries.
There is an extraordinary increase in e-commerce with online transactions already pushing the limits of current infrastructure. The banking industry is looking for new methods of helping customers using digital platforms, and the use of cash is going to decrease in the future. Social distancing restrictions are imposed yet restaurants bolster their service offerings by digitizing their supply chain including online ordering and home delivery and dining alternatives.
3. Reimagining The Impossible
This is a unique time to contest pre-set ideas of what is possible and what isn’t. There are numerous examples of new methods of work being used due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Robotic support in the healthcare industry is widespread but is going to increase further. This increased enablement will allow healthcare staff to do remote surgeries, administer medication to isolated patients, and perform simple but high-risk work for humans including disinfection and waste disposal.
There are significant opportunities in the education sector too. Technology can be used to expand teaching from a few hundred students to thousands of students. Educational institutions like Harvard have adapted properly, having online learning platforms that boost their free online courses allowing continuous education using digital channels for learning and support without face-to-face communication customary in typical university settings. The traditional brick and mortar restrictions are lessened in our quest for learning and human advancement.
Organizations will need to create flexibility in their supply chains. There are ways to incorporate technology into the supply chain processes and lessen the dependence upon and interaction between individuals, while still keeping a strong and effective supply chain.
Digital content streaming, entertainment, and gamification sectors are all set to unravel the prospects offered by technology. The key to these sectors is to stay relevant. Virtual reality is going to be more common as the price of data becomes more economical and infrastructure is adapted to enhance experiences.
At the bottom of all of this is the requirement to reimagine global financial services infrastructure and flexibility. The digital economy will be further accelerated and incorporated into our daily lives with investment in next-generation technology and enhanced security, facilitating payments, and online spending.
Financial institutions can use the opportunity to become more than a bank to consumers and businesses, with the usage of technology to incorporate their services and operations as a holistic way out that offers guarantee, clearness, and assurance to customers.
Embrace the “new normal”. The situation is grim but the world will continue to change quickly and our dependence on technology will increase.