Technology has become a savior in these turbulent times
If you are a traditional business, this would be a harrowing time for you. Corona, floods, wars, civil unrest, bank collapse - it's just one bad news after another. Any one of these calamities is enough to shake the foundations of any business, but together, they have put thousands of businesses at risk.
Technology has become a savior in these turbulent times. Even before the pandemic, new technologies such as Cloud, IOT, Big Data, 5G, AI, Robotics, Machine Learning etc. are allowing us to work in very different ways and at a different scale. Many newer technology based startups have achieved valuations in a couple of years that their brick and mortar counterparts couldn’t do even after decades in business domains like hotels, taxi, investment, travel bookings, education, shopping etc.
During the pandemic Technology has helped many a business to not only keep their operations alive but even grow. Some of the Technologies that have seen major evolution are - Video Collaboration, Cloud Office Suites, Immersive 3D, Touchless Access Control & Time Attendance, Health Monitoring Systems etc. These Technologies have allowed businesses to reinvent themselves and add value for their customers in new ways. Let us now delve deeper into each of these.
Video Collaboration: This has been around for a long time, however, the adoption of these systems skyrocketed when people started using them as the main form of interaction. Be it schools, colleges, small business or large corporates, this was the only way to interact with your team during the lockdown. Video Conferencing softwares are now installed on phones and pc’s of millions of people who had never used them before. Sensing a big opportunity many major technology companies have upgraded their own collaboration softwares. Distance learning is now a mainstream reality and no longer a choice for most educational institutions.
Cloud Office Tools: Online remote working tools such as cloud office suite, online whiteboards, online work delegation & monitoring software kept offices running virtually. These allowed employees to keep connected and working from their home’s and this is not likely to change the working style for all organizations in future. As organizations discover the convenience, flexibility as well as lower costs associated with remote working, many have started downsizing their physical work spaces already.
Telemedicine: This is another technology that saw rapid adoption as visits to hospital for common ailments became impossible. Telehealth provided a way to contain the spread of COVID-19 while still providing essential primary care. Wearable and mobile personal IoT devices like online glucometers, portable ECG devices, smart watches, oximeters, body composition analyzers that can track vital signs can be purchased online. Chatbots can now make initial diagnoses based on symptoms identified by patients and connect them to a live doctor with the requisite specialization.
Virtual & Immersive Events: Events, conferences and exhibitions was another industry that has seen a complete transformation. Due to the pandemic, organizers had to cancel or postpone several of their events. However combining video collaboration, green screen, animation and immersive 3D technologies, organizers have found new ways to hold virtual events and engage their clients. One can be sure that this shift to virtual events is not a fad that will go away soon.
Robotics: Robot cooks and contactless deliveries are another set of technologies that got a major boost. With customers worried about the spread of infection from human touch, food preparation as well as no contact delivery are two areas which raw rapid development and uptake during COVID. Youtube is filled with several examples of both these technologies. Fully automated restaurants and coffee shops are no longer science fiction and will now see rapid adoption of these technologies in coming times as the threat of infection from new diseases is unlikely to go away anytime soon.
This pandemic created a lot of disruption. In one way it speeded up the death of legacy technologies while giving a big boost to technologies that were lying dormant due to our inborn inertia in adoption of new technologies. This change may be a threat to many businesses but is surely an incredible opportunity for many more to develop and adapt this tech to find newer ways of adding value for their customers.