The COVID-19 virus has caused unprecedented uncertainty for all businesses and the economy.
As the cases of the COVID-19 are registered globally and lockdowns are gradually been lifted globally, the lockdowns declared by governments around the world has left a negative impact on the global economy, an increasing number of companies are facing incredibly troubling times due to supply chain disruptions, decreased customer demand and social distance imposed by the government, among other challenges.
COVID-19 is pushing everything towards digitization. More and more digital transformation during COVID-19 with applications of digitally operated devices is the call of the day.
In a matter of seconds, things have shifted to working remotely. Schools around the world now need students to take lessons and exams online, global health agencies attend to patience remotely instead of letting them visit clinics and essential services like grocery stores now make deliveries.
The New World Order
The current pandemic is really testing how effective teleworking can be!
In the new world order, digital transformation during COVID-19 is becoming the sole or primary medium of engagement.
The old maxim that “The future is unprecedented” is perhaps no longer applicable. This is because the Covid-19 virus has caught every single human being and government agency unaware.
The digital transformation during COVID-19 has suddenly occupied the center stage of every interaction and collaboration. The usage of digital platforms for virtual meetings has increased five folds. Every organization is further being forced to accentuate and speed up the process of digital transformation.
The concept of “playing it safe” with the lockdown, which is understandably a fair decision to prevent the spread until enough structures have been set up to reduce fatal accidents, cannot be a permanent solution. The economic activities cannot be allowed to remain in a state of grinding halt for months.
Simon Blackburn, an English academic philosopher states that “If a silver lining can be found, it might be in the falling barriers to improvisation and experimentation that have emerged among customers, markets, regulators, and organizations. In this world, some things will snap back to the previous form, while others will be forever changed.”
The digital transformation during Covid-19 pandemic has not only shown the way but also compellingly and convincingly paved the way for digital transformation at a faster speed with agile applications for solving problems of humanity.
We discuss some of these digital transformations being accelerated in the following lines, glimpses of some of which have been seen even before the pandemic:
- Blockchain is becoming increasingly recognized as the safest and most protected platform for citizens’ identity management, KYC for commercial activities and commercial operations with a point-to-point tracing, interruption of the infiltration of fake medicines, baby food, expensive durable consumer goods, etc. in addition to immutability, transparency, data safety and security.
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning have proved to be the handiest tools to predict the behavior of the virus in different environmental conditions, intelligently recognizing and tracing affected people and thus controlling its spread by identification. These digital tools have also helped to explore and to experiment with medicines, and methods of treatments that can save more lives in varying geophysical conditions.
- Artificially intelligent robots are gradually taking over from nursing staff the noble task of serving patients in developed countries. The human-Robot collaboration will further improve the quality and precision for medical surgery, and remote collaboration for improved diagnosis and medicinal treatment of patients.
- Drones have started being used for sanitization of vast areas, fighting fire with water guns, pest-killing operations in agricultural fields, surveillance operation at times of emergencies due to civil commotions and terror attacks.
- It has been widely ascertained by now that robotic process automation, intelligence applications of drones, humanoids, and robots can reduce human interventions in manufacturing and logistics operations. Many applications of these have been seen in the motor vehicle industry, warehousing, and other manufacturing operations.
- Digital engagement with customers will be further enhanced through virtual meeting platforms, digitalization of online sales channels, and eCommerce platforms with applications of immersive technologies such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR). Supply-chain management will be rendered more transparent, speedy, and risk-enabled with applications of Blockchain with added layers of artificial intelligence.
- Digital platforms for speedy screen sharing, immersive experience of virtual reality, video streaming, interactive discussions with break-out groups, opinion polling, etc will bring a paradigm shift in the remote learning experience of students and teaching and training professionals.
- Last but not the least data privacy, cybersecurity, and safety will be the predominant consideration while designing any solution. Existing and new applications will be fortified with shields of safety measures, powered by Blockchain, AI and IoT (Internet of Things), particularly in terms of access control, proactive hacking control abilities, and information privacy.
All of these applications will skyrocket with the overwhelming speed in this new digital world.
There is no doubt that this pandemic will have widespread and long-lasting implications.
While there is no fixed date to when this will end, no vaccine nor any drug approved to slow its reaction in the human body, the world is starting to adapt to the new conditions we are facing.
From this journey, we can see that the world’s necessity for digital technology and digital transformation during COVID-19 is only accelerating.