How COVID-19 Accelerated Digital Maturity
COVID-19 has impacted nations and individuals alike and has forced a new normal in how we operate. Technology has been a blessing because it has enabled business continuity in all walks of life—from healthcare to banking, financial services, and insurance, education to retail, government to media, and entertainment. While COVID-19 severely hit economies, the IT world has seen minimal impact thanks to the ongoing digital transformation. On the contrary, COVID-19 has revolutionized the IT industry even more through opportunities similar to those experienced during the Internet, mobile, social, and cloud revolutions.
March 2020 saw an unprecedented global switch to the digital world—schools, offices, and services—almost all activities that could avoid physical contact switched to virtual. While the first few weeks were challenging as we adapted to the new normal, given the digital savviness of the global population and the mobile penetration and scalability provided via the cloud, the remote operational strategy was accepted fairly well and has sustained for the last several months.
New products and apps ideated around the current requirements have taken center stage. Digital businesses in education, health care, and retail continue to be ranked high as potential areas worth investing in. This includes several new solutions, such as online collaboration tools. 5G adoption continues to be on the rise.
Accessibility and usability, which often lacked business prioritization, found their way in as a top-notch digital end user experience became critical. Software quality has received a face-lift because of an increased focus on functional workflows, performance, security, usability, and accessibility. Whether they are start-ups that didn’t have the time or money to spend on quality or they are large independent software vendors that were heavily invested in eliminating the human element in software quality, organizations are now increasingly embracing the need for quality.
Evangelism has also been more visible and frequent. Webinars, podcasts, and panel discussions have become more popular, allowing for a more free exchange of knowledge in the industry. While organizations carefully strategize their return-to-office schedules in close compliance with their local governments, it is doubtful if we will go back to the pre COVID-19 norm anytime soon.
The digital surge is not a complete rosy picture though. It has certainly brought challenges to cybersecurity, reliability of shared information, and overall community well-being (physical and emotional). However, the digital world is self-sufficient, where the solution to a problem also lies within. Thanks to COVID-19, more quality and compliance around cybersecurity, blockchain-powered solutions to enhance digital credibility, accessibility that enhances usability for all users, and apps to address current problem statements are some digital revolutions we will see in the future.