The Pandemic-Lead Tech Transformation
Digital transformation is no longer just fancy words on websites. The pandemic has accelerated the trend and made it very tangible. Getting businesses promptly through a digital transformation has become essential to their survival. The tech world has already changed. How?
Rising need for channels replacing in-person communication and collaboration. Crafting business solutions that provide continuity with internal and external partners. Some industries took a hard hit reducing production or ceasing services. Others, operating with emerging technological innovations, flourished. All of a sudden, already supply-limited software development companies had to tackle the pressure of a rise in demand and remote work way faster than expected.
Many companies, including big tech players like Google, Twitter, Amazon, and Facebook, have asked their employees to work from home. Some even made it mandatory. Remote work, however, is demanding when it comes to technology. It needs:
• Virtual private networks (VPNs) – a secure channel for communication and access.
• Voice over internet protocols (VoIPs) – managing office calls, messages, and conferences with partners and colleagues from anywhere.
• Data backup and recovery. Always a challenge, but especially for companies who hadn't had proper infrastructure and had to build it in a rush.
• Network security as a number one priority. Security breaches can cost a lot – financially, reputationally, and affecting productivity and KPIs. Threats are everywhere and multiplying. Protection from malware is essential. Managing digital security is costly, especially if handled internally and without prior experience.
Cloud-based video conferencing and e-learning have reached new heights. Cloud technology is becoming integral for all types of application development projects. It continues to grow as it is cost efficient and fits perfectly in the new remote work environment. Building a remote workspace for employees is challenging but has the potential to add a competitive edge to businesses.
For years now, Melon has been adept in creating digital working environments confidently offering it as a separate business line. We can stay on top of all IT needs so our partners can solely focus on their business. We can choose and maintain the cloud services that best answer any business needs. We can deploy, secure, scale and support remote working solutions to enable employees to work, connect and collaborate anytime, anywhere on any device with no interruptions. We have accumulated security best practices built from 20 years of IT experience and we are proficient in introducing the DevOps’ principles that can accelerate software product delivery. We set up and used a robust information infrastructure ourselves for years with our offices in Bulgaria and North Macedonia.
Online Purchases and AI
Consumer behavior has changed for good. Online shopping will establish itself as the preferred method. Retail and supply chain industries must be ready to handle the new changes. Looking to artificial Intelligence (AI) comes in handy. AI was expected to add $15 trillion to the world economy by 2030. The prediction was made before the pandemic. The number will turn out to be even bigger.
With the help of machine learning and advanced data science, businesses can recognize and predict purchasing patterns. It will also improve the online customer journey. Software services and tools with integrated AI learn and adapt on-the-go. Chatbots, for example, are becoming a standard. They offer 24/7 support and an answer to the challenges of attracting new talent. Moreover, data analytics helps optimize internal processes and leapfrog your organization to unexpected levels of efficiency.
Melon’s software development team has broad experience delivering Big Data and Machine Learning to enterprises, SMEs and start-ups. The process includes four types of services: Consulting, Data Engineering, Data Science & AI, and Data Visualization. For example, based on the successful software development projects we previously completed for a long-term enterprise client - a leading fast-moving consumer goods company, we were proven reference to support their new Big Data and machine-learning endeavor.
Melon Learning, our learning management system, in search of how to even better enhance remote learning, while minimizing cost and time spent, partnered with Zoom to introduce instructor-led training in addition to its asynchronous learning features. Also, we introduced a chat-bot to some of the e-courses like the Agile and Scrum ones.
Contactless Payments vs. Cash
The World Health Organization (WHO) encourages the use of digital and contactless payments. Some banks in China, USA, and South Korea turned to quarantining physical banknotes and some even burned bills. Contactless payments are also more efficient. Whether it is with a card or e-wallet, digital payments area single method used for online purchases, paying for goods at the local supermarket, services and utility payments, and receiving or sending funds. Yet, the technology is still developing. According to the World Bank, there are more than 1.5 billion people, who do not have bank accounts. Not everyone has easy access to contactless payments. Also, the fact that online payments require an internet connection, makes the adoption of digital journey of money harder in some communities.
The buzz around the era of virtual and augmented reality has been around for quite some time. However, the pandemic, might usher in the implementation of VR and AR at home not only for entertainment but for work, too. The use of VR technology has been booming since the confinement began. We used to associate VR with playing video games or exploring travel destinations. It’s different now. Businesses have started using VR and AR platforms to give their employees access to trainings, facilitate collaborations on different projects, host conferences, and connect employees in a way similar to that of being in the office. According to ARtillery Intelligence, enterprise VR revenue is estimated to reach $4.26 billion by 2023.
Robotics and Drones
The pandemic reminded people of the value of human interaction. Labor intensive industries like manufacturing, retail, logistics, and food took one of the hardest economical hits. We are seeing accelerated the technological advancements in robotics, e.g. robots being used to disinfect hospitals and other facilities. Robots and drones have been used to deliver food or medical supplies. Drones can, apparently, be used to take your dog for a walk. Trends suggest that the stock of robots will reach 20 million by 2030.
We now know that digital readiness and ability to adapt are critical for businesses. Remaining competitive amidst the virus outbreak is more important than ever. Technology is a pillar in this new normal world, but we should keep in mind that a human-centered approach remains key in all our decisions and actions. After all, technology needs governance and, for the time being, people are still indispensable.