The new decade has marked itself with an unprecedented health crisis and we are now watching live right from the front row the world taking a huge shift towards a new future.
A lot of businesses are becoming not relevant anymore, while others are growing at a lightning speed.
As both individuals and professionals, we all wonder what it is going to be like, so we are keeping a close eye on how things are taking turn, and thanks to the diversity of industries we are lucky to work with, there are some quite distinct trends we see gaining momentum.
So make yourself comfortable, it’s the time to do the homework and analyse what’s there to get ready for within the IT industry and not only.
The undeniable fact is that in the time of crisis like this, the innovation is flourishing as never before and what’s more important, it is powered by AI development. In this regard, today’s context has only amplified the growing trend. In the current situation healthcare is the primary area adopting the most recent technological advances.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are driving a revolution in the healthcare sector, that’s why the so-called Telemedicine or Digital Health is rapidly developing to offer various technological solutions to help users be better-aware of their health, facilitate prevention and early diagnosis of life-threatening diseases online.
These tools imply medical apps, software, IoT devices that gather one’s data to give a comprehensive understanding of a patient’s health and thus, allow doctors diagnose more accurately, having more control about patients’ health.
It comes as no surprise that under the current circumstances, AI technologies are actively utilized to cope with COVID-19 outbreak. For example, England’s NHS has started trial of a system that uses machine learning to predict upcoming demand for intensive care beds, equipment and staff to support hospitals by ensuring those have enough resources. At the moment it is being tested in four hospitals across the country.
Apart from the solutions aimed at combating the pandemic, there have been launched digital health programs developed specifically for the elderly, maternity care, people suffering from chronic diseases etc.
With the crisis forcing everything that can go digital - digitalize, combined with people becoming more aware of their health, digital health expansion is expected to boom.
Virtual Reality Economy
Digitalization trend mentioned earlier is accelerating, since almost every aspect of our life has been forced to adapt digitally: work, studies, personal and professional communication, shopping, sport, - all come with “remote” prefix now.
Even leisure format is being modified adjusting to the self-isolation mode: world’s popular music stars are giving concerts online just from their social media accounts, ballet and opera performances are streamed live, the Louvre, Vatican Museums, Musée d’Orsay are offering online tours without any ticket prices or queues.
Digital experiences are transforming from being just entertainment tools to bringing actual real-world experiences, which implies a whole different consumer value. This means that the new behaviour patterns are highly probable to take root and succeed in a post-COVID world, too.
Unlike the Experience Economy, Virtual Reality offers some convenience and comfort, from one side, as well as means spending less money to gain new experiences, on the other side. The latter is even a more crucial factor, given the world’s economy recession, thousands of workers losing their jobs and people’s urge to accumulate some savings.
Thanks to AI and Machine Learning e-commerce is transitioning to a new paradigm by delegating shopping assistance to machines, giving a way to a new trend - automated commerce. Its demand has increased significantly over the last couple of months, since contact-free interactions is something the society desperately needs now.
For instance, Domino’s Pizza collaborated with robotics company Nuro to launch driverless robot cars to deliver pizza in Houston, Texas. The car was monitored remotely and followed by additional human-driven vehicles during the test period.
During the crisis a-commerce is becoming beneficial for both businesses and customers.
For entrepreneurs it’s a chance to optimize operational costs and consequently, stay afloat and not to go bankrupt.
From an individual’s standpoint, it’s a good alternative to avoid human contacts during the quarantine.
It may indeed sound futuristic to some, but the truth is that reducing staff costs by replacing human workers with software or machines, where it’s possible, is a stable tendency that has been evolving in numerous industries over the past decades.
Not Made in China Anymore
Just a few years ago China was a solid “homeland” of gadgets manufacture. Yet, in the new reality of trade wars and pandemics, this may not be the case anymore.
The recent events have shown that concentrating manufacturing centres in one country can be very risky. That’s why many businesses are considering more countries to diversify their supply chain not be entirely dependent on one unity.
India, Taiwan, Vietnam are among the most popular alternatives for this matter mainly due to the local labor costs and their proximity to China.
Will people return to offices when things are back to normal? That’s a big question and there is no definite answer to that.
Before the pandemic working from home and having flex-hours was the most desired non-insurance perk, as various labor statistics claim. On top of that, there is a number of human resources studies that speak in favor of remote work. They say it boosts work-life balance which results in higher productivity, increased employee loyalty and engagement.
For employers it can be an opportunity to reduce overhead and office costs.
Another benefit is the talent-acquisition geography: if the office location plays no role, one can broaden the search area by taking into consideration potential candidates outside of the usual market to find the perfect fit.
The good news is that the storm will pass and the humankind will survive, but the world we’ll live in - will be different. The trends we are watching unfold now, did not appear out of nowhere. On the opposite, they’ve been progressing steadily for quite a while, and the crisis has only expedited their expansion.
Now is the right time to react to the society’s changing needs and to reshape your business. If you are in doubt, don’t hesitate to reach out to us to see which technological advances will take your company to the brave new world we are already witnessing.