Transformation on Pandemics: What’s Really New?
There’s plenty to do when it comes to real digital innovation in a rush moment, but some good stuff is on the verge of becoming a trend.
A lot has been said lately about the potential changes in the world in consequence of pandemics. Mostly when it comes to digital acceleration on all our human relations, I’d be willing to believe that it could be true. However, right after the opening of some countries concerning Covid-19, we’ve seen a rush to physical stores that didn’t last long though. Same rush that was registered in some companies trying to “be digital” at a quick pace. As it was easy this way. Schools, restaurants, clothing stores, back offices. Hard not to be excited by all of it when it comes from people like me that have been working with digital technology for several years.
However, how deep this transformation really is? I mean, is it a digital transformation or still a process of digitization? When I look at online classes for instance. Something that always disturbed me was the old-fashioned process of learning in schools that still exists. There’s plenty of scientific material that shows that our learning abilities are different from each one another. I have always been a student that hated going to school and attending classes. However, I was always a high achiever student since I’ve learned the material by myself at home. But we are still forced to attend regular classes and interact even knowing that it is just a part of the students that really can learn this way.
I wonder what has changed in this digital process of learning? Same old-fashioned process translated to a digital arena in most of the cases. A simple translation to the digital of the old school classes when a lot could be done in transforming the experience of learning into something more customised. Same with our corporate meetings that happen now in an online environment. Unfortunately we are still far from a disruption in all this digital arena. I hope this will come soon though, since there are plenty of innovations coming from startups that will bring some different approaches to the way we do things. However, it seems it is not coming from a pandemic.
On the other hand, I am happy to see how digital is far from being only a tool and changing some ways we do things. We are now close to having a global API of virus monitoring for each country sponsored by Apple and Google; a dashboard that tracks in real time cases and calculates the survival rate of users; new approaches from old and new business models; new social selling approaches; etc.
It’s clear too that some of the aspects related to digital transformation are connected to the way we have been doing things. I can explain. For instance, the way some digital teams were used to work in the past. Collaborating with each other based on each other’s skills. It doesn’t matter if the boss knows or not about it. Credit doesn’t matter. It is a digital mindset of collaboration. Lately it was translated as the Growth squads. Same now. What some used to do differently may be in the future the normal or a “new” trend to come such as less meetings, more digital selling channels, or flexible working hours policies.
One trend that comes at a quick pace may be our new “chinese” approach to track and get more detailed data from our population with the “excuse” of the pandemics. The most important artificial intelligence advantages from the east comes from the rich data that the west now may be able to have. It can turn out as a huge increase of digital solutions on our daily basis and an even deeper discussion about data privacy.
Lastly, it is important for me to address how hard it is now to write an opinionated article like that. On the last trial I ended up writing another scientific article that couldn’t be addressed here. So my effort here was to bring as many references as possible – as you could see on the links above. Due to the high volume of information and articles that we read and listen to everyday, opinions are really disposable. Hope to link it to something more accurate and on facts.
Alex Sanghikian is a Digital Customer Experience Manager from Schneider Electric in Brazil. Has more than 10 years of experience in digital products development, user experience and innovation on different segments such as energy management, healthcare and finance.
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