With much of the economy and industry slowing to a gentler pace over the past 13 months, there is one industry that has thrived in such conditions – telecoms, technology and IT.
Demand for remote working and how we connect caused a considerable shift in the way businesses are run. Many companies have gone entirely digital, and the technology has coincided to keep up with demand. With restrictions beginning to ease around the world and within the UK, and some semblance of returning to a ‘more’ normal working structure that we have become accustomed to the last year, it’s likely that the technological advances and integrations that we’ve seen as a result of the pandemic will remain and continue to transform workplaces in the post-Covid-19 world.
With so much change, will it be likely that we go back to normal or will most of the technology we have grown accustomed to will remain past lockdowns? What technology can we see staying in place once we return to a ‘normal’ environment, and what impact have they really made.
1. Video Conferencing
We are already seeing video conference software, such as Teams, Google Meet, Slack, Xelion, Horizon Collaborate & Zoom, playing a critical role in connecting employees and consumers alike. While many of these technologies have been around for a while, the last year spurred their usage and brought them into a more commonplace sphere, with the intention for them to stay indefinitely. Of course, with flexible working being favoured, these services will likely continue to play a prominent role in business connections moving forward.
2. Cloud Services
Shifting from on-premises hardware to the cloud has been a slow transition for some businesses, but a majority hasn’t even started the switch. Needless to say, this has hampered many companies as they have had to reallocate resources to support workers who are working outside of the office. As a result, it shouldn’t be long before businesses realise that cloud services will be the smartest way to handle any eventuality within their teams in collaboration with flexible working options. Not only would it be more economically viable in the long term, but it will provide a long-lasting and stable solution.
3. Encompassing IT Solutions
With the passing of the coronavirus crisis, more businesses will want to implement standardised IT solutions that support things like BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and flexible working technologies. Instead of spending large budgets on unified company devices, employing management infrastructures that can enforce company technology policies on employee devices will be more beneficial – possibly leading to a decrease in desktop PC usage that has been predicted for some time now.
4. Role of IoT
As communities continue to adapt, so must the businesses encompassed within them. This means an increase in new industries and opportunities. As we have already seen, the Internet of Things will play a more prominent role in the creation of work and will most likely thrive along with the increase in automation of work.
5. Increase in AR and VR in the industry
Whilst augmented reality and virtual reality technology has started to become commonplace in the gaming industry, the slow integration of such technologies into other areas such as architecture, manufacturing, and medicine has accelerated during the pandemic. Visualising or creating something virtually in 3D and in-depth helps not only creators but also consumers gain a better understanding of the product without the need for physical interaction or viewing. Most commonly over the last year, we’ve seen this through house viewings and digital tours, but it has become evident in medical research and surgery. It would be no surprise to see this technology develop and become a complimentary area to such industries.
6. Learning Technologies
Lockdown has moved education away from the traditional classroom environment to online learning and video conference teaching. Whilst this option has been used sparingly in some higher education institutes, the move over the past year has signified that education technologies are on the rise and machine learning will develop to improve student engagement and personalised learning. Technology creates the possibility of personalised education through online tools such as live streaming of video lectures, visual and augmented reality techniques. Creating a new paradigm to suit all types of students and their ways of learning.
Whilst this may not be a comprehensive list of all the technological advances and movements that we’ve seen as a result of the pandemic, these are some of the most apparent outcomes that we’ve already begun to see results from. There’ll likely continue to be long-term impacts from such a tumultuous year, and technology can only grow and improve from this point onwards.