Why this emergency is accelerating Digital Innovation

We’re living a very difficult and particular time in human history.

Coronavirus has drastically changed the way we live, think, work and spend our days.

This outbreak caught us unprepared, but that doesn’t mean we can’t fight back with the tool that made us survive far harder times: adaptation.

Human history is a long (related to our lifetime) series of events during which we had to adapt to rapidly changing climate conditions, judicial systems and perceptions of good and bad.

A lot of epidemics have damaged economies and populations during history.

Not all of these populations were technologically advanced like we currently are though.

This happens to help on both a healthcare level and a lifestyle level: we are able to work faster to find solutions, vaccines and treatments to eradicate the virus and we’re also able to innovate and adapt to the new scenarios in which workers and students found themselves.

The digital landscape

Fortunately, these past few years have seen an insane growth regarding the tech and digital worlds.

Companies constantly work on new technologies to offer their users and the use of tools like AI and machine learning created new and very interesting options for both the upgrade and the birth of innovative services.

Especially internet-related products are the most used and appreciated by basically the majority of people who have access to them.

Companies have started to try online solutions to function.

Institutions have been less inclined to go digital, but the convenience of such digital platforms slowly started to find its way into them as well.

At the same time, even if 4.54 billion people are online and 3.8 billion on social media, the digital transformation didn’t really happen… Well, at least until today.

Digital innovation and Coronavirus

The spread of the virus made scientists agree on two key points to extinguish it: testing and social distancing.

The most effective way to practice social distancing is to declare quarantines across nations and limit the time spent outside as much as possible.

As I said earlier, this lead to a radical change in our habits and made us realize we are lucky to have all these technologies to support our social relationships, to keep working and to entertain us.

The problem is many activities were not ready to go full digital.

Here comes the digital innovation part: this situation forced us to come up with new ideas to keep doing ordinary activities in a digital way.

In this sense, I really think the whole Coronavirus experience will help cross the boundaries of tech and innovation that haven’t been touched these pas few years.

I’m talking about the digital integration.

How challenging is the digital integration?

The first level of digital innovation is the actual creation and production of such technologies and services.

We’ve already lived that.

Even if there will be many more discoveries, devices and tools in the years to come, a huge amount of those resources is already there, created during the last ten-year period.

The next big step is the integration of all these digital resources in the majority of our everyday activities.

I find this step much more challenging than the first one we just talked about.

It requires organizations, companies, institutions and government to collectively believe in their functionality and convenience, which at least for now, seems to be a difficult thing to accomplish.

This period of emergency flipped the coin.

Numerous businesses and professionals found themselves unable to keep working because of the quarantine rules promulgates across the world.

A few of them were already digital-based, so the quarantine hasn’t really affected their operations.

The vast majority of them, though, were not prepared to shift online because of the lack of digital innovation (or integration) in their business models before the epidemic started spreading.

Coronavirus is forcing us to find solutions to problems that didn’t exist a while ago

Or better, to problems that didn’t seem to exist.

An epidemic isn’t the only thing that can happen to us and to the normal way of doing business and conducting our activities.

Prevention is a concept we’re all going to keep in mind a whole lot more when all of this will go away.

What is going on with tech and internet

Innovation has an intrinsic advantage: it’s here to stay.

This is a moment of rapid changes and innovation, so what’s happening right now is going to stay.. or at least to change our previous modus operandi.

Video conferencing is the new standard to attend classes, join meetings, work on projects or record interviews.

Softwares like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts Meet and Cisco Webex are all facing a period of incredible growth (also because of the privacy issues Zoom’s having).

Live streamings are the most used way of communicating with audiences throughout all the social media world.

Messaging platforms are overcrowded since everybody wants to remain in contact with relatives or friends.

But also, more and more people are exploring the possibilities to work online, either by shifting their job on digital platforms or trying to start from scratch.

Smart devices are crucial now that being connected is the only option: we have to stay home, so if there are physical tools we can use while being online, they’re surely going to be more popular.

Humanity is going through tough times, full of constraints.

But constraints create the conditions to innovate.

Now, they’re eliminating all the options that require social contact and interaction: the only way to keep doing the things we were doing before (even though in a different way) and to also start doing new ones is to double down on digital innovation and to turn all the tech progress we’ve assisted in the last decade into our biggest asset.

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