The coronavirus pandemic has proven catastrophic and has shaken the world. But this viral infection has given rise to many new innovations, as well. People are about to step into a new world that will be different from the world known pre-COVID-19.
In the wake of the pandemic, the movement of people is restricted and businesses are either grounded or forced to operate online, so digital solutions are trending. Digital solutions will be central to this rapid shift as they have brought accessibility, convenience, and simplicity to customers.
We all know that digital solutions are trending — but what other tech is on a roll? Here are the technology trends that are emerging post-pandemic. They are changing the way we trade, how we get our work done (or not), how we produce goods and services, how we seek medical help, and how we look for entertainment.
Online Shopping and Robot Deliveries
In 2002, when the SARS outbreak occurred, it led to the tremendous growth of B2B and B2C platforms in China. Similarly, the Covid-19 pandemic has transformed the online marketplace and changed it from a nice-to-have to a must-have. To maintain social distancing and to contain the virus, online shopping is the way to go.
E-commerce has sprung up massively in this pandemic. You can get what you want at your doorstep with a robotic delivery, with no fear of catching coronavirus from the delivery boy.
Online shopping needs a robust logistics system to make delivery experience risk-free. Moreover, e-commerce giants are ramping up to launch contactless deliveries whereby they pick up and drop off goods at a certain location instead of handing them over to a person.
Virtual Technologies for Remote Work
Businesses have asked employees to work from home to maintain social distancing. Technologies including virtual meetings, cloud technology, digital identity-verification tools, face-recognition technology, and virtual private networks (VPNs) are supporting remote work. On the one hand, remote work saves commute time and provides flexibility — but on the other hand, it imposes cybersecurity challenges. So to deal with all the issues cybersecurity technology is revamping, too.
Information security, privacy, and timely tech support are required to deal with loopholes in systems and protect confidential data. You'll recall that Zoom app fell foul of privacy concerns recently.
There is a dire need for HR departments to employ digital identity-verification solutions to trace and tackle fraudsters and to improve the on-boarding processes of businesses. HR departments can use augmented reality to create immersive experiences for training and fast-tracking employees at home.
While many businesses are counting the costs of the COVID-19 crisis, sectors that have adapted and moved swiftly on technology needs are reaping rewards. These technologies are also spiking in demand in virtual learning programs owing to school closures.
Digital Payments or Contactless
Some people think that cash may carry the coronavirus, so digital payments such as cards or e-wallets are recommended methods to make purchases. These also allow people and businesses to receive stimulus funds faster.
Robotics and Drones
COVID-19 makes the world realize that we rely heavily on human interactions to carry out work. This pandemic provides a strong push to roll out the usage of digital workers called robots for different purposes, such as to disinfect areas and to deliver food to those in quarantine.
Organizations are using drones for awareness campaigns, as well. Robots and drones are becoming the “new normal” for the upcoming world. Many human jobs will be replaced by robots; but at the same time, new jobs will be created.
Cloud companies are weathering the pandemic stress-test, which is caused by the sudden hike in workloads and inexperienced users. According to a Microsoft report, there is a 775% spike in cloud services in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cloud technology has seen a surge in usage across all types of apps. Organizations are adopting work-from-home strategies to maintain social distancing. With the implementation of online learning models, the demand for cloud-based video conferencing is also increasing. Businesses and educational institutions will continue to make use of this technology.
Cybersecurity is one of the vital technologies for data-driven organizations. Much attention is being paid to privacy and data protection as per GDPR — General Data Protection Regulation. As people work from their homes, businesses' data is quite vulnerable to cyberattacks; this risk gives another incentive to the implementation of good cybersecurity practices. Cybercriminals are taking advantage of the pandemic and devising different techniques to exploit a system. In addition, there is a hike in ransomware attacks, so every business needs to take cybersecurity into consideration.
The COVID-19 crisis has uncovered gaps in the connectivity of our global supply chains. So there is a dire need to build transparent, interoperable and connective networks. Blockchain technology can improve transparency in business by seamlessly integrating disparate networks.
Blockchain is supporting efforts around the globe to battle the virus in many ways, such as tracking infectious-disease outbreaks through public-health data surveillance and crisis management, and by securing the medical supply chain.
Organizations are using this advanced technology to train employees, collaborate on projects, hold conferences, and connect employees virtually. Scientists worldwide have been using VR platforms to collaborate on coronavirus research, molecular design, and potential treatments for viruses.
Moreover, people are using VR headsets to play games, to explore virtual travel, and to enjoy online entertainment. As our new normal sets in, we are likely to see more virtual conferences.
Needless to say, by embracing emerging technologies, businesses can better position themselves in the post-COVID-19 business landscape that lies ahead.