Tuesday 28 April 2020

Tech and the New Normal

The world we once knew has changed in ways that we cannot even begin to decipher. While Covid19 marches on its pace in reaching every nook and corner of the world, every vertical from medical to big corporates are stumbling to handle the aftermath of this pandemic. It's no more the question of when the new normal is going to begin, we are already in it.

Technology has stepped up with lots of innovation in tracing, quarantining, monitoring, predicting, and assisting with challenges created as a by-product of the pandemic. If you are interested in reading how technology has stepped up in the fight against Covid19, you may head over here and hereWhile Tech did provide short term benefits to our situation, The Tech industry has also suffered the consequences of Covid19 just like other industries.  And just like any other industry Tech too must reinvent itself to survive the new normal.

Given the nature of the new normal we are observing tech trends that will likely be our foreseeable future. I am listing down three such technologies that are going to be much sought-after tech tool in the new normal.

WFH – Remote working and Collaborations

If there is one thing, we all learned about work in recent times is that majority of tech aided jobs can be done from home.  Companies that were apprehensive about providing work from home options to their employees are now realizing that WFH is indeed more productive.   Zoom calls, Team chats, and project management tools are being used more now than ever. Zoom is in a lot of scrutinies over data encryption but fortunately its not the only tool in the market.  Video conferencing applications with better data security and the ability to record, chat, screen share while on call is on the rise. However, they are only addressing the current needs of the WFH employees. There is a wider area of scope with respect to integrating the conferencing tools to other team management and collaboration applications. For instance, deducing minutes of meeting using voice commands or assigning a task to a team member while discussing it on the video call.

Supply Chain

Isolation has proved to us that necessities never go out of style! the supply chain for food and other necessities have been growing given that people are cooking and spending more time at home. Demand for hobbies and board games have also increased in the recent past. Assuming that this new normal is going to be our way of life for a year or so, the demand for necessities are going to be steady if not less. Supply chain management with a lack of manpower has been an issue for quite some time but not to the extent that we are witnessing.  Applications which are powered by AI/Machine learning can aid in producing more goods in less time by utilizing the data on the availability of raw materials, transportation time, and delays.  Such AI-powered applications can also help in operating machinery, robots /drones which can deliver goods, and so on.  Technology in the manufacturing sector is going to grow exponentially as it's driven by high demand.

Smart City

Applications that are built over the Internet of Things (IoT) can provide substantial value in not just combating the spread of Covid19, but also in preventing future pandemics. These applications can perform facial recognition, body temperature scanning, and (arguably) access medical records to identify and quarantine personals with infectious diseases as and when it happens.  The interconnected devices can also provide value in surveillance in real as well as in digital world. 

Coupled with 5G, sensors, and mobile devices, applications that weave the virtual layer over the physical world,  can provide more value in the new normal. For instance, garbage bins can notify public service when they are full, streetlights can turn on automatically using visibility conditions of the road/usage, public transport can be optimized based on usage, etc.

The needs of new normal is going to be different than that of the years before and it is up to the organizations and governments to utilize the technology to tackle the challenges of our current times.  Only entities that can roll with changes of new normal can survive, and that includes the tech industry as well.

Srivatsan Aravamudan
Solution Consultant

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