The next business revolution has come in the form of digital transformation and technology adoption.
Technology is playing a key role during the COVID-19 pandemic in keeping our society working at the time of lockdowns and quarantines. And beyond COVID-19 these technologies can have a long-lasting effect. From start-ups to MNC, all are adopting technology at different levels, in accordance with their immediate needs and capabilities. However, the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent shutdown have brought back a new emphasis on the urgent need to embrace digitization and technologies to retain in a competitive market and plan for future crises.
As a result of this emphasis, companies of all sizes are increasingly interested in building for themselves a reliable technology infrastructure that can be beneficial in the event of a potential crisis. And the post-lockdown period will see these companies increasingly growing main technology solutions. Some of these will resolve the need for solutions that support stable, remote access, secure data exchange sources, and agile solutions. Here are some technology solutions which are expected to be common in the business environment post-COVID-19.
Offline to Online mode
The power of digital engagement has everyone to see. This has been sharply visible especially in the last few weeks. Even SMEs or MSMEs are now adopting digital tools to connect with customers and stakeholders, such as websites, digital newsletters, blogs, digital conferences, workshops, and webinars. As more and more people embark on video-calling apps like Zoom and Skype, the shift from offline to online engagement is taking place at a fast pace and is going to stay here for long.
Online Shopping and Robot Deliveries
Similarly, COVID-19 is transforming online shopping from a nice-to-have to a must-have around the world. A comprehensive logistics network will support online shopping. Delivery in person isn't virus-proof. Many US and China delivery companies and restaurants are launching contact-less delivery services where goods are picked up and dropped off at a designated location rather than from or into a person's hands.
Digital and Contact-less Payments
Cash could carry the virus, so central banks in China, the US, and South Korea have taken various measures to ensure that banknotes are clean before they go into circulation. Now, contact-less digital payments, whether in the form of cards or e-wallets, are the preferred method of payment to prevent COVID-19 spreading. Digital payments enable people to make online purchases and payments of goods, services, and even utility payments, as well as to receive stimulus funds faster.
Managing employees while operating from home or via a remote access network requires an effective digital HR system capable of monitoring attendance, efficiency, log-in and log-out times, etc., for employees who do not work physically on a regular basis from the workplace. Apps such as safe authentication, automatic time records when logging in to monitor day-to-day working hours, etc. go a long way to ensure companies can provide a remote working opportunity to their employees without compromising on monitoring their work performance and attendance.
Secure Data Servers
Even as a large number are forced to turn to insecure or poorly enabled data connections and transfer platforms available at home, companies are waking up to phishing and data security threats. Currently, a large amount of confidential data is shared on public servers/platforms due to work from the home directive, making it highly vulnerable to data breaches and hacking. As the trend for home-gaining work gains momentum and fair post-COVID-19 pandemic support, businesses will actively seek to secure their data through solutions that can be tailored to meet the needs of their remote workers. With centralized data storage and secure remote access functionality, the post-lockdown business environment would mostly be about robust cloud infrastructure.
Although the world economies are coping with the fear of an imminent recession, the 4th Revolution would strongly push business processes in a post-COVID-19 period. While most SMEs and MSMEs had looked at adopting new-age technology as an 'out-of-league' or 'future' investment, the pandemic has accelerated the need for early adoption, hoping for a sustainable business