Ariel Gonzalez Guerrero
The pandemic caused by the COVID19 virus surprised us all, both human beings and business organizations.
COVID19 and its aftermath, becomes a fact not contemplated or planned within the plans of the organizations, which forced in a short term, most companies to close their doors to the public and their employees to stay in their houses.
At the beginning of the pandemic, the impact of the pandemic began to be distinguished based on the business turns of the companies. A large part of the companies had to completely cease operations, another part was partially operating and a minority were fully operating. The sectors related to health, food, security, public services, technology, among others, were within that minority.
From the confinement measures, a stage of accelerated digital adoption / transformation begins both by companies and by most human beings.
As for organizations, those that were in areas that allowed to operate, strengthened or developed digital media to maintain their services. Assistance centers (call centers), online services, home deliveries, collection services at the establishment (pick up) were enabled, the use of software hosted in the Cloud (cloud) was increased, among other aspects . While probably everything that was done or strengthened was in development plans, it is no less true that as a result of the pandemic they became a priority and to be carried out in the short term.
As far as people are concerned, the vast majority have experienced an accelerated digital upgrade as well. Let’s exclude those who live with digital services in their day-to-day lives. This huge strip of the population has had to use digital tools for their daily work, family and personal tasks.
At the work level and if it is within the group that could operate, they went on to “work at home or work remotely.” To achieve this, connectivity tools and internet services were needed, and prominent players such as virtual conference tools (Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, Microsoft Teams, among others) appear.
The consulting firm McKinsey expressed in the middle of the pandemic. “Companies that make the right investments now could build a lasting advantage in serving customers and employees.”
On a family and personal level, he did not escape this reality. Purchase services in supermarkets for home delivery, mini markets, pharmacies, retail stores, hardware stores, among others, promoted digital media.
With regard to education, it has been one of the areas with the greatest impact; Virtual education systems and (LMS, Learning Management Systems) had to be implemented in an accelerated manner. A challenge not only for students but for all educational centers. Unexpectedly the system or teaching medium changed.
This accelerated digitization not only had an impact on work and educational aspects, but on interpersonal relationships. With the spread of the pandemic and confinement, there was a need to share with friends and family and the only existing way was virtual communication or conference tools. The majority of the family nucleus, regardless of age or social status, began to use Whatasap and ZOOM mainly for their family and personal gatherings.
“The term ZOOM practically became a generic one for virtual meetings.”
From the human liberation of the Pandemic, what will remain?
There is a great desire to return to the normal routine of life. However, during this period many lessons have been had and we understand that from the point of view of digital services, several of the aspects that we carry out today will remain post COVID19.
On a social and family level:
a) Services using digital platforms will continue to grow. There is no turning back. Now it will be a constant to incorporate innovations to these services.
b) The processes of sanitation and personal and environmental protection will be maintained. It has been seen how viral processes other than COVID19 have decreased as a result of the protection that we have had to implement.
At the business level:
Many of the changes that have occurred will remain.
a) Working from home or remote work will already become a viable option for many organizations. Of course, it will depend on the conditions of each employee. Starting from normality, the option of working at home is incorporated without this representing a lost day or leave. Even being in the country or out of the country.
b) The meetings will have radical changes. Most of the meetings will be held virtually, not because of distancing issues but because of their productivity; and only those of greater importance will be carried out in person.
c) Innovation in digital services will have to maintain the same pace as of post COVID19. There is already a more demanding consumer market, more informed and with greater command of technological tools. This market will demand agile and quality digital services.
d) It was possible to recognize that there are many similar needs and problems in all countries. Now with digital services the global market has narrowed even more. The offer should no longer be for local markets but global markets.
In summary, this year of confinement and global health crisis has led to an accelerated process of changes, fundamentally in digital services. Possibly changes and knowledge that were going to require 5 to 10 years have had to be acquired in a single year. COVID19, with all its negative and sad sequel, has abruptly pushed digital services for the benefit of society.