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Technology in the Post-COVID World

19 Nov 2020

History is filled with instances when great adversities led to the quantum leap in the usage of technology. The world today is currently facing an unprecedented crisis of COVID-19. The pandemic has resulted in economies struggling to sustain and people trying to keep themselves safe. 

At the same time, we are adapting quickly to the changing paradigm of the environment, especially when it comes to technology adaption and implementation.  

Let’s look at the top five technological changes adopted in the Post-COVID world:

Supply Chain

The pandemic resulted in the complete collapse of supply chains across the globe. Lack of diversity and poor data management, among others, were the primary reasons for this. Organisations are now quickly adopting big data, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing to make the supply chain more robust. Internet of Things (IoT) is gaining traction in the logistics industry for transport operations, managing assets, and vehicle tracking, among others. The introduction of drones and aerial delivery has also facelifted supply chain management and many e-commerce companies around the world are using automated vehicles or drone technologies for delivery. 

One of the largest port operators in Dubai is accelerating the use of an Ethereum platform to move cargo from one place to another with the click of a button, thus minimizing human intervention.

Remote Work

In a pre-COVID world, remote working was an alien concept for many organisations. The pandemic and subsequent lockdown resulted in organisations quickly adopting the work-from-home protocol. Many organisations have adopted the work-from-home policy for an extended period, even after the outbreak’s impact mitigates. 

The use of digital technology has not only been confined to working, but virtual meetings, cloud technology, and work collaboration tools too have gained tremendous ground during the pandemic. 

When the Prime Minister of India virtually inaugurated the CII’s annual general session in June 2020, it became apparent that this trend is here to stay. Organisations have developed tools and platforms for organizing hassle-free meetings, events, webinars, etc. CII has initiated the innovative CII HIVE platform that enables virtual product exhibitions and B2B meetings seamlessly, which is a huge hit with businesses. 

Software that makes people appear over a virtual background has helped in keeping the privacy of the home intact. It not only has helped organisations function smoothly but is also cutting the commute time, reducing stress on traffic, and above all, serving the environment with less pollution.

Contactless Payment

According to a report, the global digital payment market will grow from USD 3,885.6 billion in 2019 to USD 8,059.3 billion at a CAGR of 20% through 2023. With the fear that cash might carry the virus, the trend of digital payments is a notable feature of the post-COVID world. Digital payments have also helped the Indian Government to transfer direct benefits and support to vulnerable sections of society to help tide over the crisis. 

With the change in consumer behaviour and an increase in online shopping, contactless payment will continue to be on the growth trajectory. Internet availability, devices, and secure networks for safe transactions are being addressed for expanding this further.

E-Learning

With 1.2 billion children affected by school closures, the education sector has been quick to adopt digital technologies, whether be it online classes or using AR-VR for making learning exciting. Currently, when most schools remain closed, e-learning platforms have emerged as a viable option for students and professionals alike. Many organisations are providing training modules to their employees online and working towards enhancing the learning experience. 

An India-based ed-tech startup has seen an increase of 200% in terms of new students enrolling for classes. Similarly, various e-learning websites, apps have seen a significant surge in the number of users.  

With debate doing the rounds on the efficacy of online learning versus traditional classes, the sector will need adequate infrastructure support to penetrate the rural market. 

Entertainment

While the entertainment industry suffered from the closure of theatres and multiplexes, growth in Over-the-Top (OTT) platforms has been significant in India and across the globe. Major releases from big production houses are now coming to the OTT platforms. 

The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 saw a 21% spike from 158 million viewers in 2019 to 269 million viewers in 2020 in its opening week. OTT platforms have also witnessed a significant spike in the number of subscriptions. The way movies, serials, and shows are consumed now has changed drastically, and it would be interesting to see if the change persists post-normalcy.

According to a report by McKinsey, companies have accelerated the digitization of their customer and supply-chain interactions and their internal operations by three to four years. As we fight the pandemic and try to devise a COVID-19 vaccine, these technological changes are certainly going to stay in the post-crisis world.

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