Have we overruled technology over physical presence?
In the past one year we have lived in a world where technological innovations have overruled our physical presence. During the pandemic we all have learnt that the mobility revolution might involve technologies that would mean consumers need to move less, not more — innovations that let digital devices get things done without the need to travel from one place to another.
Today, Covid-19 is responsible for the accelerated adoption of several technologies that are all about staying safe at home. Instead of traveling to work, grocery shop, see a doctor, or go to school, people around the world now rely on solutions that let them complete these tasks using a laptop or phone. And the implications of this reduced mobility could be enormous, especially for industries like transportation and energy.
In this article we explore possible scenarios of the digital surge and some of the industry veterans to talk about it.
An increase in digitalization is leading firms and educational institutions to shift to work-from-home (WFH). Blockchain technology will become important and will entail research on design and regulations. Gig workers and the gig economy is likely to increase in scale, raising questions of work allocation, collaboration, motivation, and aspects of work overload and presenteeism. Workplace monitoring and technostress issues will become prominent with an increase in digital presence. Online fraud is likely to grow, along with research on managing security. The regulation of the internet, a key resource, will be crucial post-pandemic.The final technology that has become very important during the pandemic is e-learning. All education levels switched to online instruction once the pandemic shut down classrooms. But the transition proved rocky initially with both teachers and students unprepared. Most of the set-up problems have now been resolved, making future usage easier.hile most students will be returning to classrooms post-pandemic, our expectation is for digital solutions to continue to play a key role and support an evolution in the physical learning environment.
As the use of video- and audio-conferencing tools increases significantly, organizations will ramp up their technology infrastructure to account for the surge. This will lead to increased investment in bandwidth expansion, network equipment, and software that leverages cloud services. With employees becoming acclimatized to the idea of work-from-home (WFH), meeting and transacting online, firms will shift to WFH as a norm rather than as an exception
Digital transformation technologies such as Cloud, Internet-of-Things (IoT), Blockchain (BC), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Machine Learning (ML), constitute a bulk of the of what is being adopted by organizations as part of their transformation effort.
Blockchain (BC) technology presents an opportunity to create secure and trusted information control mechanisms (Upadhyay, 2020). As education and healthcare services witnesses a shift to the digital domain, BCs enable a way to secure and authenticate certificates, health records, medical records, and prescriptions. Research on the design of such systems, along with maintaining their ease-of-use and usefulness will gain importance.
Gartner, one of the worlds’ leading research and advisory company had recently stated that digital transformation is on a fast-track as IT spending has increased due to Covid-19.
S Sriram, Chief Strategy Officer at iValue InfoSolutions is of the opinion, ”Even before the pandemic, most business realised the importance of digital and online models and had made descent progress to keep business agileand address larger markets. Pandemic reinforced the importance of technology investments to extend flexibility in different lockdown scenarios including WFA. Most IT firms focused around empowering secured digital business did well despite India’s GDP posting negative growth after several decades including iValue, with its double digit growth for Fy21.Forward looking companies did a lot of saving around business travel and office expenses during pandemic most of which was invested around securely extending business apps to all stake holders, strengthening authentication and end point security, ensuring optimal app performance for WFA scenario and securing end point data. Business continuity was another key focus area with investment in hybrid cloud model for bursting in and out of multi-clouds from private and seamlessly managing it remotely. 3 way DR was in focus too along with continuous audit and assessment with heightened attacks in a vulnerable WFA working model.With rapid recovery during 2nd half of Fy21 and India poised for the fastest GDP growth for Fy22, we are excited on the growth opportunities for the IT fraternity focused around services and solutions to empower business to power safe, secure and scalable digitalisation of business. We expect relevant IT to grow at 2X of GDP which wud be around 26% for Fy22. “
Prashanth GJ, CEO at Technobind says, “ “The Gartner report on the WW IT spending forecast is pretty much in line with what we hear when talking to the CIOs in Indian Industry. Coming out of a difficult year when a lot of IT spend was made on extenuating circumstances where the focus was on ensuring business continuity by providing access for remote working environment. This year will see spends on two fronts – one consolidation of the strategy and execution for a more continued WFH culture and second re-starting of the paused transformation projects. At Technobind we have quite a few technologies in our portfolio for enabling WFH culture, Employee experience and Collaboration – where we engaged with the industry through our partners and this is something we will continue to focus on in this year as well. The Gartner commentary on the industry, which highlights the role of IT becoming more about business value delivery, is very exciting for us as it endorses our core philosophy where we continuously try and focus our selling story towards solving specific business pain points of customers. We will continue to invest more on enabling our partners to walk this talk and we strongly believe that we should be able to see FY 21-22 also being a good growth year.”
Gurpreet Singh, Managing Director at Arrow PC (Dell Technologies – Titanium Partner) says, “ Gartner has predicted that the total worldwide IT spending is going to increase in 2021 from $3.2 M to $3.9M. Enterprise Software is predicted to grow 8.8%.To ensure growth consistency and right focus on expenditure in the enterprise industry this data is useful. Partners like us (Arrow PC) will certainly help enterprises or any organization to fast track towards digital transformation which is driven by the current necessity. But it is not just the growth which organizations need to focus on, an employee-centric approach in terms of technology to ensure that employees are up to date on technology and the IT infrastructure they are using. Change in IT policies, tools and with the right budget, the predicted increase in spending will certainly give the needed edge to all the organizations connected directly or indirectly to digital transformation. Due to the after effects of the pandemic, there is a necessity for companies to carefully plan their expenditure. As remote working has become the new norm, tech companies need to watch their budget and improve the remote working environment. Supporting DCs is also a need of the hour as off-premises data management and analytics is what is supporting the industry to plan their next step. A prediction like Gartner’s can certainly help industries tread in the right path.”
Satish Kumar V, CEO at EverestIMS says,” The “Gartner Worldwide IT spending forecast” indicates a deeper role for IT being an enabler of “business value delivery”. IT now will assume a “spearhead” function to achieve enterprise goals rather than being just a support player. The pandemic actually was a telling case in point that showed how IT came to the rescue of businesses, but through emergency and kneejerk reactions. Whether it was “work from home” or managing the internet backbones that kept communication or remote management of Infra, IT was a key player in keeping the show running. We anticipate a larger role for IT to play in the coming years and the Gartner forecast only confirms the same. Such spending will be directed towards achieving revenue goals, creating platforms for employee engagement and collaboration, along with ensuring IT Infra is kept pristine and in high performance mode. IT will no longer be seen as an expense centre, rather it may soon become a key element in the arsenal of businesses looking to excel.”
The Covid-19 pandemic has led to an inevitable surge in the use of digital technologies due to the social distancing norms and nationwide lockdowns. People and organizations all over the world have had to adjust to new ways of work and life.