How the Pandemic is Accelerating Digital Transformation

The coronavirus pandemic and the need to avoid person-to-person interactions has pushed us further into a digital world. The crisis will have lasting effects on the way we work, do business and interact with each other.

How the Pandemic is Accelerating Digital Transformation

Up until now, companies have embraced digital transformation at an uneven pace and rate of success. A majority of companies have found it hard to follow through on their digital transformation efforts. According to research by McKinsey conducted prior to the pandemic, fewer than 30% of companies considered themselves successful at doing so. Yet today, the pandemic has left many organizations with little choice but to catch up.

Communication

The novel circumstances forced organizations based in physical offices to quickly put communication tools in place that enable all employees to carry out tasks efficiently from home. Demand for online conferencing software such as Microsoft Teams, Skype, Cisco’s Webex and Zoom has skyrocketed as organizations and employees adapt to new ways of working:

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E-commerce

Companies that so far hadn’t considered e-commerce a viable platform for selling their goods and services have been prompted to put the necessary infrastructure in place to do so. Vice versa, businesses that already had a strong online presence had to up their game to compete with newcomers and address delivery bottlenecks. This is a time to remind ourselves of the unlimited potential of e-commerce:  

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Education

As students from kindergarten to university are making forays into digital learning, educators accustomed to traditional classroom settings may come to recognize the advantages of integrating digital learning options more consistently into school curricula. Likewise, university and continuing education students eager to continue their classes from home may be positively surprised by how “real” the class experience of online learning can be. The coronavirus crisis may indeed create many new digital learning converts:

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Health Care

An explosion in demand for online doctor consultations has paved the way for the widespread adoption of telemedicine. Furthermore, tech companies are working on contact tracing apps that could help contain the future spread of coronavirus once stay-at-home orders are lifted.

Meanwhile, the need to find a COVID-19 treatment in record time has prompted tech companies and researchers to make their research data accessible to AI researchers and their algorithms. By cross-referencing papers and searching for patterns, AI algorithms might help discover new possible treatments or find an existing drug that can be repurposed to treat the novel coronavirus.

Find out more about how technology is revolutionizing health care:

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Government

Vulnerable population groups that are most at risk of developing severe symptoms of COVID-19 may choose to conduct their government businesses from home – from renewing an ID document to casting their voting ballot. Here a glimpse of what e-governance might look like in the future:  

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Cybersecurity

Alas, the explosion in online activity has also led to a spike in online-based fraud, forcing companies and individuals to ramp up cybersecurity:

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The coronavirus crisis has prompted a shift in people’s relationship with, and attitude toward, technology. Rather than “disrupt,” digital tools enable us to carry on business-as-usual under extraordinary circumstances. Online communication tools turned out to be much easier to use than technophobes had expected. Meanwhile, the deployment of AI in the race to save lives will serve as a powerful example of the potential of AI to do good. Digital transformation is no longer an abstract buzzword – more people and organizations are now ready to embrace it.


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