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By Isabella Wang, Operations Director, New York Marketing Association
2020 has been a roller coaster ride for each one of us. We are going through the worst humanitarian crisis in over a century, causing the restructuring of our society and global economic order.
COVID-19 has shaken up the business landscape, and the impact fast-tracked the process of moving to a digital era overnight. The rise of a contact-free economy triggered an unprecedented wave of super digitalization and digital transformation.
The growth of e-commerce during Quarter 1, 2020, has surpassed what it’s been for the past ten years. The COVID-19 pandemic beat ten years of development in just 90 days. Digitalization has become a necessity for us all in many ways.
The Switch To Digital Solutions
Every recession throughout history has resulted in the ramp-up of new technologies at an exponential rate. The contact-free economy has forced us to operate online via digital solutions, enabling emerging technologies to gain momentum, especially in e-learning, digital commerce, telehealth, automation, and remote work.
Based on how many companies have adopted the online workplace, it won’t be surprising if they stick with it. Twitter, for example, announced that its employees could continue to work from home even after the pandemic is over.
Technology Trends in the Post-COVID-19 World
Throughout the pandemic, technology has been a key advantage and will help redefine the world after COVID-19. Here are the emerging tech trends that transform the way we live:
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI has played a significant role in getting us through this pandemic, and it will continue to have the best support in the post COVID era. Big media companies, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and WhatsApp use AI-powered machine learning to ease the online dissemination of COVID-19 related misinformation. Developers have begun to create AI software that helps scan users for signs of COVID-19, and doctors are refining their clinical trials on COVID-19 medicines and vaccinations through digitized information.
Robots, Cobots, and Drones
E-commerce giants have started to use robot deliveries during the pandemic to avoid human contact. Robots are beginning to appear everywhere, including supermarkets, hospitals, restaurants, and hotels. According to an IBM report from earlier this year: 120 million workers will need retraining due to robots shortly.
Online shopping needs to be backed by a robust logistic system; in-person delivery is not anti-virus. Many US vendors and restaurants offer contactless delivery services, where items are delivered and dropped instead of in a person’s hands at a designated venue.
As of mid-April, 191 countries declared or imposed school or university suspensions, which affected 1,57 billion pupils. Digital learning technologies that are being utilized include interactive reality, augmented reality, 3D printing, and artificially intelligent robot teachers that seem just like a real teacher.
However, distance learning does have disadvantages, including the risk that technology will add to the existing wage gap and training issues. Distance learning may also cause economic strain on parents, most of whom are women because they need to remain home to watch their children and will have to attend work significantly less.
Twitter officially announced in mid-May that some of its employees could permanently work from home. And Google also announced that its employees would work from home until at least summer 2021. All of this would not be possible without virtual technologies. These technologies will continue to be in huge demand due to our remote work lifestyle.
Zoom – the video-chat software has become a household name throughout the world as the need for video chat increases. This company served as the go-to solution for connecting co-workers while far apart. Other companies, such as Skype, experienced phenomenal growth for the same reasons.
Due to COVID-19, people have started to use less and less cash to avoid getting the virus. In most countries, ATM transactions have decreased significantly. The bigger question is: will cash continue to be on the decline? In my opinion, it WILL.
The banking industry is committed to improving digital banking systems for its customers, which will allow them to make online transactions even faster. Digital identity verification services can recognize customers in seconds using a highly secure and creative method that enables digital banks to protect consumer accounts and the financial system’s integrity.
What’s The New Norm Going to Be?
The drastic transformation, along with the emerging technologies, bring shifts in skills, which force us to reimagine the way the world is working. As an individual or a company, the only way to succeed in the marketplace is by continuing to learn new skills.
Every recession is an equalizer. COVID-19 has accelerated digital business resulted in the adoption of technology and a super digitalization wave. The business processes are going to be driven by tech, even more so as the future progresses. We should pay attention to conscious technologies trends to turn massive digital data into meaningful insights and develop to dominate the technologies, not vice versa.
The coronavirus has disrupted the way the global economy worked and flipped the world upside down. The world will never be the same, not even once the pandemic is quelled. However, change is boosted in the face of adversity. Businesses need to plan and think wisely about their decisions in the coming months.
It is better to accept reality and begin to change how you think and act rather than hope things will return to normal. As Charles Darwin said: “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”