By: Omar Abdulhafiz
In this article, we will discuss two main lessons that we learned about Information Technology this year, and they are as follows.
How can digital technology thrive despite the challenges?
The global COVID-19 situation has certainly made a big impact on basically all facets of business, and the Information Technology sector is no exception. A Deloitte report published on the 25th of March, 2020, titled “Understanding the sector impact of COVID-19”, discussed this in some detail. In the Technology sector of the report, it mentioned a long list of ways in which the pandemic is expected to affect technology in the long term. Such ways included supply constraints which may postpone the launch of new smartphones, higher demand on remote-working technologies, and so on. Other, equally interesting effects include disruption in the supply of raw materials such as aluminium, copper and chemicals, thus making it difficult for factories to re-inventory.
Finally, in the “Network Equipment” sector, the report also talked about an increase in the use of teleconferencing software as companies are shifting toward a remote workforce. Additionally, according to the report, an intensifying need for ever-faster access to data and automation may lead to speeding up the deployment of 5G networks and equipment.
As we can see already, most of these challenges can be great windows for growth in the digital technology sector. What we need, therefore, is to consider the ways we can bridge the gap between supply and demand, while also keeping the Tech sector environmentally sustainable as well.
How can other sectors benefit from digital technology?
Needless to say, the coronavirus pandemic has taught us that the healthcare sector can benefit greatly from digital technology. In fact, had it not been for technologies such as the Internet, and all other mainstream telecommunications systems, fighting the spread of COVID-19 would have been far more difficult than we have witnessed. To sum up, there are two major ways digital technology helped the healthcare sector survive these hard circumstances.
For one thing, digital technology helped healthcare providers – especially doctors – remain in contact with their patients during lockdowns. This was especially critical for patients who need to be constantly monitored by their doctors due to their sensitive health situations. People with serious medical problems such as heart diseases could not afford to lose contact with their doctors. Thanks, to telecommunications networks, however, doctors were able to reach out to their patients throughout the pandemic.
Another sector that was greatly affected by the recent COVID-19 outbreak is education. In a situation that the world has hardly ever witnessed before, many students across the world were forced to stay out of their school premises for whole months. In fact, a large number of students in many countries are still struggling with this situation until the time of writing this article.
And to be fair, we have to admit that the remote education has utterly failed in fully replacing the traditional way of on-premise education. And this is understandable because, after all, face-to-face interaction between the student and his/her teacher is essential for a healthy and effective educational process. Besides, parents were left to face a serious conundrum of having to balance between their remote work duties and looking after their kids at the same time.
Nevertheless, with all these difficulties in mind, we still cannot oversee how digital technology helped in keeping at least a minimum level of communication between the teachers and the students. And while remote education may never replace on-campus education (it was probably never meant to do that anyway), it can still help in extending the scope of the educational process beyond the physical concrete walls of the school.
Who knows? Perhaps the lessons we learned in the past few months can guide us into finding new innovative ways in which education can benefit from what digital technology has to offer?