If you are in a traditional business, this would be a harrowing time for you. COVID-19, floods, wars, civil unrest, bank collapse — it’s just one bad news after another. Any one of these calamities is enough to shake the foundations of any business, but together, they have put thousands of businesses at risk.
Technology plays a role of a redeemer in these tough times. Prior to the pandemic, unique technologies like Cloud, 5G and AI, to name a few, were permitting us to work in various ways at a new scale. Innovative invention in technology by each passing day has helped various industries to grow, like hospitality, entertainment, traditional education system, and such.
During the pandemic technology has helped many a business to not only keep their operations alive but even grow. Some of the technologies that have seen major evolution are — Video Collaboration, Cloud Office Suites, Immersive 3D, Touchless Access Control & Time Attendance, Health Monitoring Systems, among others.
These technologies have allowed businesses to reinvent themselves and add value for their customers in new ways.
This has been around for a long time, however, the adoption of these systems skyrocketed when people started using them as the main form of interaction. Be it schools, colleges, small business or large corporates, this was the only way to interact with your team during the lockdown.
Video Conferencing software is now installed on phones and laptops/desktops of millions of people who had never used them before. Sensing a big opportunity many major technology companies have upgraded their own collaboration software. Distance learning is now a mainstream reality and no longer a choice for most educational institutions.
Cloud Office Tools
Online remote working tools such as cloud office suite, online whiteboards, online work delegation and monitoring software kept offices running virtually. These allowed employees to keep connected and working from their homes and this is not likely to change the working style for all organisations in the future.
As organisations discover the convenience, flexibility as well as lower costs associated with remote working, many have started downsizing their physical work spaces already.
This is another technology that saw rapid adoption as visits to hospital for common ailments became impossible. Health help through technology provided a solution to control the infection of COVID-19 along with the traditional treatment.
Wearable and mobile personal IoT devices like online glucometers, portable ECG devices, smart watches, oximeters, body composition analysers that can track vital signs can be purchased online. Chatbots can now make initial diagnoses based on symptoms identified by patients and connect them to a live doctor with the requisite specialisation.
Virtual & Immersive Events
Events, conferences and exhibitions was another industry that has seen a complete transformation. The pandemic resulted in cancellation of various events, workshops, webinars, etc. However, combining video collaboration, green screen, animation and immersive 3D technologies, organisers have found new ways to hold virtual events and engage their audience. One can be sure that this shift to virtual events is not a fad that will go away soon.
Robot cooks and contactless deliveries are another set of technology that got a major boost. With customers worried about the spread of infection from human touch, food preparation as well as no-contact delivery are two areas which raw rapid development and uptake during COVID. YouTube is replete with several examples of both these technologies.
Fully automated restaurants and coffee shops are no longer science fiction and will now see rapid adoption of these technologies in coming times as the threat of infection from new diseases is unlikely to go away anytime soon.
The pandemic created a lot of disruption. In one way, it sounded the death knell of legacy technologies while giving a big boost to technologies that were lying dormant due to our innate inertia in adoption of new technologies. This change may be a threat to many businesses, but is surely an incredible opportunity for many more to develop and adapt this technology to find newer ways of adding value for their customers.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)