What will life be like when India lifts the lockdown? Can we imagine everything around us to get back to normal? Will we be the same person or an evolved person? The past two months as the entire world is in quarantine looked around for new ways to survive, words or phrases that have become common, are like “social distancing”, “Work from home”, “Contactless Delivery”. And, as we take uncertain steps into a not-so-brave new world after lockdown, another term will perhaps get even more commonplace: The “new normal”.
The word “digitalization” will play a vital role in keeping our lives progressive and demanding. The emerging digital platforms are now essential for any business or individual wishing to survive this pandemic.
Undoubtedly, lockdown is more of a challenge and made our lives uncomfortable and complicated. However, there has been a silver lining to the entire situation. Organisations have turned on their thinking caps and innovate multiple solutions which are leading our lives with new norms. I believe that while dealing with this entire pandemic, technology and the internet have rescued us when it is compared to previous epidemics and disastrous circumstances.
Moving forward, as our lives are struggling to adjust into a new normal, below are some of the digital areas which will continue to leave its impact even after the lockdown gets lifted:
Boom in Gaming: Due to Covid-19 and the nationwide lockdown, online gaming career has seen a surge. People with more free time are indulging into gaming on their laptops or PCs to keep themselves engaged. In India, there are casual games and e-sports which are really keeping the buzz alive. More people find it easier to escape to the virtual world and find gaming as the perfect way to spend time at home.
Omnichannel experience: Omni-channel caters to a multichannel approach developed for customers and business. It is an innovative technology solution that integrates the online and offline properties to provide a seamless experience to the customers. This approach helps to connect business and customers by personalizing the delivery and maintaining social distancing in mind in this lockdown.
Extensive digitization: The new age interactive tools are playing the potential role in defining the connectivity among the employees and businesses. While we all are working from home, interactive tools such as video conferencing apps, audio bridge, interactive voice response platforms have taken a front seat and working best to keep each other well connected during social distancing and shelter-in-place protocols.
Adoption of new-age technologies like Robot Process Automation, Artificial Intelligence: Major digital transformation using Artificial Intelligence and Robotics are extremely accelerating amid the COVID-19 pandemic and these new technologies are playing a huge role in helping companies expand their competitive advantage. Many workplaces are upgrading their business models with plans on leveraging automation and bots which are seeking benefits of minimizing close human contact.
E-learning trend: As coronavirus continues to spread across, it is quite noticeable that we will have to continue to maintain social distancing. In this scenario, many of the educational institutes will continue to set up seamless integration of technology in the present Indian education system, which is one of the most diverse and largest in the world is already on a fast track mode to take classes online to minimize disruptions. Various corporates introduced upskilling and e-learning courses on their online platforms. Online education will continue to see the rise and give access to learning to a much wider audience than before
The demand of Telemedicine/Online consultation: During the lockdown, many governments, hospitals, e-pharmacies and even corporations have adopted telemedicine and teleconsultations in their employee wellness strategies. The surge in teleconsultations helped the long-pending telemedicine guidelines which were finally issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) in collaboration with other industry bodies. Post lockdown, we would see this to continue. A telemedicine/teleconsultation visit can be conducted without exposing staff to viruses/infections in the times of such outbreaks. In addition, there is a trend of humanoid robots in hospitals that will help doctors and nurses to deliver medicines to patients.
This lockdown may have made us retreat into a bubble, but it is more of digitised bubble—from online learning courses to video medical consultations to video calls, conference calls, webinars to virtual parties. I believe, digitalization has helped us find new and progressive ways to live our lives in these difficult times. Thus, we must identify what is changing around us and bend ourselves towards a resilient approach which is pertinent for us to grow. Change is the only constant in this new turning world, and we must be digitally native, nimble and data-driven. It will be uncertain to say whether the “new normal” be just a bump along the way or a path-changing reality. So, are you ready for the “new normal”, it brings along?
Guest Author: Chandrahas Panigrahi, CMO, and Consumer Business Head Acer India
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