Keep your eye on these top 6 tech trends during this pandemic.
With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing, there’s no argument that we’re all being affected in different ways. For just one example, the BBC points out that an estimated 200 million people will lose their jobs due to COVID-19. A key strategy that can help us prepare and adapt as changes come?
Digital readiness will allow business and life to continue as usual (as much as possible) during a pandemic. To remain competitive in a post-COVID-19 world, industries must establish a necessary infrastructure to support a digitized world and stay current in the latest technology.
Here are the top 6 tech trends that are accelerating with digital readiness.
1. Online Shopping and Robot Deliveries
The SARS outbreak in late 2002 led to the immense growth of both B2B and B2C online marketplace platforms in China. Similarly, COVID-19 transformed online shopping from simply convenient to absolutely necessary. However, shoppers are raising concerns about the safety of their online orders. While many delivery companies and restaurants have stepped up their game to contactless delivery, Chinese e-commerce giants are reportedly ramping up their development of robot deliveries. Of course, clear protocols still need to be established to support and enable robot deliveries. But it is on the horizon for the future of e-commerce.
2. Digital and Contactless Payments
Paper money can reportedly carry more germs than a household toilet. WHO said cash might carry the virus, and as such, contactless payments-whether cards or e-wallets-are preferred and recommended payment methods to avoid the spread of COVID-19. With digital and/or contactless payments, consumers are able to make online purchases and payments at a much more accelerated rate than if they use physical cash.
3. Remote Work
Countless companies have been forced to embrace work-from-home changes. It’s safe to say, whether we planned it or not, remote work has become a prominent tech trend. In the process, research has shown that productivity does not suffer, therefore, employees may not need to return to the office to be productive. Remote work is likely here to stay. Remote work is enabled by all kinds of tech, including virtual private networks (VPNs), voice over internet protocols (VoIPs), virtual meetings, cloud technology, work collaboration tools, and even facial recognition technologies.
There are challenges that accompany the change, like prioritizing cybersecurity for remote workers, helping employees prepare for shifting to remote work, and ensuring information security, privacy, and support. Additionally, not every job can be done from home. There are obstacles to this trend, as there is a need to implement policies adjusted for those not able to work from home.
4. Distance Learning
Nationwide closures are impacting over 72% of the world’s student population. This has undoubtedly caused a gap in education. Tech being both implemented and developed to accommodate this include virtual reality, augmented reality, 3D printing, and artificial-intelligence-enabled robot teachers. Potential concerns with this tech trend are the possibility that this could create a wider divide in income level and digital readiness.
Virtual visits can be a very effective way to contain the spread of the virus while still tending to patients’ primary care. And it is here to stay. Based on a survey by Sage Growth Partner (SGP) and Black Book Market Research, 25% of consumer respondents had used telehealth prior to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Fifty-nine percent reported they are more likely to use telehealth services now than previously, and 33% would even leave their current physician for a provider who offered telehealth access.
6. Online Entertainment
All things entertainment is being made accessible virtually. Airbnb launched Online Experiences, online gaming traffic has increased catastrophically, and museums and art galleries have started to offer virtual tours. Social distancing may have reduced in-person interactions, but thanks to virtual communication, the party has been brought online.