Understanding the pandemic as a challenge: instead of being idle, more and more companies are seeing a variety of opportunities for their area now and after the Corona period. At the same time, the crisis can pave new paths for technology and sustainable transformation. So far, various factors have inhibited the development steps of companies. Slow procedures, complex bureaucracies and rigid hierarchies made innovation in many areas more difficult and destroyed the motivation of the actors.
But now many of them see the coronavirus as an opportunity to break through these rigid systems and act. Procedures can be speeded up, rules suspended and decisions made more independently.
It becomes clear that as soon as there is a strong incentive behavior can change very quickly, which lead to new approaches and technologies. Companies should use this spirit and create innovations that are valuable even after the crisis and ultimately maintain the pace.
Booming technologies in the pandemic
Healthcare and Digital Health
As part of its current study, the management and strategy consultancy McKinsey assumes that quarantine measures in the course of Covid-19 illnesses can be dispensed within the following autumn. McKinsey sees the reason for this as an extremely positive development in the medical field, which detects newly infected people at an early stage and makes the course of the disease of many patients mild.
Therefore, the coronavirus is expected to accelerate the implementation of e-health in medical practice – especially telemedical and IoT-based health surveillance. Even if the critical voice for more data protection in Germany will not be silenced in the future, other countries will promote healthcare solutions in health surveillance all the more.
In addition, the increased use of technology in the healthcare industry will play a significant role in the future. Unfortunately, this pandemic will most likely not be the only one. To better understand the outbreak of a virus in the future, countries, in particular, will support these innovations where there is less data protection.
Teleconferencing and e-learning
Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Slack or Jitsi are currently used by more and more companies, today almost every second employee works from home. Whether or not the right to remote work and working from home is enforced, these tools will certainly be critical to the success of many companies.
e-learning platforms are also experiencing strong demand. While normal school operations probably will only run in normal ways after the summer holidays, schools in over 100 countries are currently completely or partially closed.
It is therefore obvious that even after the pandemic, digital training and homeschooling will be in demand and will also be integrated into everyday school and business life. The education market will have to deal intensively with this trend.
Virtual Reality and Augmented/Extended Reality
The industrial sector will also adapt and develop further against the background of the corona crisis. If training and further education do not take place on-site, companies will increasingly turn to VR solutions in the future.
Product development, which is already completely digital, will further exploit its already collected 3D data and transfer it into digital technologies such as Web3D or WebAR. This allows companies to make new products virtually tangible for partners and consumers.
What makes WebAR so incredibly attractive: The augmented reality function does not require additional plugins or apps and can be easily integrated into any common browser. At home on our home notebook or smartphone, we can then virtually marvel at the product from all sides.
Of course, the haptic and real impression still counts more than the virtual one. But in times of cancelled trade fairs, these product presentations are a wonderful alternative.
The currently suffering tourism sector will also take advantage of these options: With Extended Reality (XR), dream places and holiday destinations could be brought into the living room at home. Even cultural institutions have already discovered the virtual world for themselves and organize virtual tours of museums and exhibitions – often these tours reveal more than a normal visit to the site.
Smart Manufacturing and Industry 4.0
In the future, the networking of machines and sensors will be accelerated. If this is coupled with digital business processes, planning and production will change fundamentally.
The reason: throughout the entire production process, sensors permanently determine data. And these provide helpful information on how companies can improve their efficiency. Even after completion, the product communicates via IoT and provides information for big data evaluations.
Due to the permanent data transfer, statements can be made about a certain service and maintenance interval. The advantage for companies: Their supply and supply chain can then be predicted more precisely and the effort along the value chain can be reduced to an absolute minimum.
Conclusion and outlook
Currently, most countries are doing everything they can to curb or completely prevent an economic downturn. Innovations that lead to technological expansion will almost certainly be promoted with large investments. These can range from large smart city initiatives to smaller platforms that optimize the disaster management of many companies. IoT projects and virtual reality should also be used by companies from various industries to position themselves more broadly and independently. Now good means and techniques are needed to cushion the effects of the corona pandemic and to use them for themselves.