It has been apparent for a while that COVID-19, far from being a phenomenon of 2020, is going to be with us for some time yet in terms of economic and social impact. Somehow the term ‘new normal’ does not quite do justice to where we find ourselves right now. In fact let’s just call it the ‘new crazy’.
So as a new year starts, it might be time to ask ourselves what part technology will play in this ‘new crazy’? How should organisations be deploying technology to give themselves the best chance of survival, given that nobody truly understands exactly what is going to happen next?
Speaking at a recent virtual discussion organised by NetEvents, Jeremiah Caron, Global Head of Research & Analysis with independent consultancy GlobalData pointed out that the main priority for 2020 was resiliency – working out how to survive and then thrive going forward. He also reminded those that tuned in how critical the role of the tech and telecom industry was in enabling this, standing tall alongside healthcare, emergency services other types of key worker. After some initial expectations of a complete collapse in global connectivity, and consequent global economic meltdown, none of that happened.
So what’s the priority for 2021? Well, digitization and automation still look pretty essential for survival. Organisations should be looking at accelerating their digital momentum, not just to better support customers but also provide a boost for employees. What technologies can really energise remote workers and keep the business ticking over while sustaining motivation? This has to be about software-led transformation projects and the pursuit of migration strategies from old systems to new systems. Last year many of these DX initiatives were put on hold. Not it’s time to press the accelerator again.
Where should people be spending to achieve this? Mobility, cloud computing, better technology for communication and collaborations, and also for security, appear to be key to it. These areas should all be deemed essential for surviving and thriving as we go forward. Organisations of all kinds must use these technologies as tools to improve operational efficiency, make business processes work better, cut costs, and reduce human intervention. We can expect to see increased interest and investment in things like AI, machine learning and IoT.
None of us knows when or if the ‘new crazy’ will really return to any kind of familiar normality. But we can all do our bit to get prepared for whatever comes next, and that looks a lot like severing ties with the legacy past. To do anything else amounts to simply hoping for the best.
Meanwhile, let’s not lose sight of the positives. Last year was a tough one, any for many people a tragic one, but might have been even tougher had technology not come to the aid of enterprises and citizens everywhere. This is reflected in stock markets and indexes like NASDAQ, NYSE and FTSE, all of which are on a high fuelled in large measure by strongly performing tech stocks. Here’s hoping for a more successful and much less rocky 2021.
Here are the participants in the above discussion:
Here is a webcast of the event for further detail:
And if the themes in this blog have interested you, you should also check this out.
By Guy Matthews, Editor of NetReporter