By Anand Chakravarthy
It’s a hyperconnected world. The age of digitisation has totally changed the way we manage, share, and collect information. Companies are harnessing the true potential of all that data and using them to simplify and optimise our lives. As per Yuval Noah Harris, the renowned author and historian, the world is going to be driven by large firms with supreme digital powers that employ artificial intelligence, algorithms, and big data. We have already entered that phase, but the pandemic has hastened the process. At this juncture in our lives, digital Innovation and collaboration is key and companies that have recognised it are hence, heavily investing on digitalisation and AI technologies.
Conveniences of A Digital World
Digitisation or Digital Transformation is made possible using Big Data with the help of technologies like Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Analytics. With every swipe, like, share, download and a click, we are now contributing to the data universe and are helping millions of marketers out there to map us and our choices, which saves millions of dollars on ambiguous marketing plans. Now, that’s serious money saved!
Digital Revolution has made our world more elastic and convenient with seamless connectivity. Music streaming platforms use our weekly personalised playlists and choice of songs to play customised tracks,OTTs are known to have expanded their original content creation with hit shows, all basis the data collected from their audiences. In the healthcare industry, wearable devices and apps help to track fitness trends and provide us with customised plans for better health. More and more medical records are digitized that help doctors and clinics to efficiently track diseases, effectiveness of treatments etc.
Online retailers collect information from our activities on various devices and create projections about what we may want to buy in the near future. If we have to think about investments and charities, then people are now using Blockchain that supports cryptocurrencies. Music labels are holding virtual concerts and releasing records digitally. Understanding data and what we can do with it offers unbounded opportunities of growth for companies and individuals. And while all of this has been prevalent for quite some time and is nothing new, but the technology driving this amalgamation is getting more and more refined, objective, targeted and accurate with each passing day. They can even forecast the future! Did you know a Canadian AI company was already blowing the alarm of the possible coronavirus outbreak, two weeks before WHO could alert the public!
How Has the Pandemic Accelerated Digital Transformation
The high street has never seen more deserted alleyways before, and many family-owned legendary businesses have fallen by the wayside during the pandemic. One of the most strategic ways by which they are learning to survive is byopting for the ‘Click and Collect’ option to minimise personal interactions, staying safe, and yet continue to successfully run their businesses. And that is just one way by which many small and mid-sized trades are trying to stay afloat. India today is probably one of the biggest examples of digital purchasing via mobile phones and payment apps that is minimising the use of physical money. While it kick-started with demonetisation, but it definitely strengthened during the pandemic.
Businesses that are not taking steps to upgrade themselves are biting the dust. Big labels and brands that took it too lightly are slowly dwindling off the high street. The message on the walls is clear: Upskill and Go Digital! Many big retailers all over the world are taking advantage of lockdowns and are fast moving on to online platforms only and totally scrapping geographical presence. Even banks are now going completely online without any physical branches whatsoever. Every small or big business today can now become a ‘GLOCAL’ brand by using readily available e-commerce platforms and digital payment gateways. Entrepreneurs need not be restricted by local boundaries anymore. This ushers a big change and a positive change for the world. Digital connectivity and the use of video conferencing and virtual collaboration tools has enabled the world’s workforce and academia to now work and collaborate from any part of the world, seamlessly! And people have been quick to adapt, as that seems to be the way forward.
Preparedness For the New Normal
The new normal has come over us faster than we expected. And tthis digital change and transformation, requires new learning mechanisms, where working professionals will need to learn new skills that help them adapt in this changing world. Education and employment will have to alter their very characteristics, become leaner in mindset and more projected towards real-world application.
The confluence of the pandemic and surge of the big data world has inspired us to re-centre our lives around technology and get in sync with it, with the right skills and education, so that not only are we not falling behind, but rather continue to thrive in this new age of digital transformation. While the transformation may be digital, the human element is equally important. It is empowering to say the least, this vast knowledge that is driven by a hyper-connected world. But as I said at the very outset, the mantra needs to be to collaborate, continue to learn, understand how these changes weave into our lives and continue to thrive in these unprecedented times.
-The author is co-founder, Results and Outcomes. Views expressed are personal.
Read More:Influence of digitisation in the post pandemic era – ET BrandEquity