Covid-19 has become one of the worst pandemics in recent times, having impacted not only the economy, but also daily life.
This virus is going to be with us for a long time, so it’s likely the new lifestyle we are getting accustomed to may well become the new normal for years to come.
Businesses have had to adapt, having had to automate processes and develop new business continuity plans. This digital transformation may be a silver lining for tech companies, as more sectors embrace digital transformation.
Let us look at 3 common sectors that have had to adapt to this new normal and exploit the benefits of digital transformation to ensure they continue functioning.
1. Shopping & retail sector
E-commerce has been a great boon during the pandemic era as essential goods could be delivered at our doorsteps to comply with social distancing.
Many e-commerce companies have had to ensure people have access to goods and services, without having to visit a supermarket or a grocery store.
To make this happen, the supply chains that power these businesses have had to adapt to this new market dynamic. As governments worldwide enforce lockdowns, companies have had to ensure their supply chains are able to adapt to steep rises in demands, as people stock up on essential items and staple goods.
This was challenging since many parts of supply chains are often manual and depend on paperwork and manual data entry — both prone to human errors.
This has caused many E-commerce companies and online retailers to automate many parts of their supply chains to ensure they are able to continue meeting demands.
Walmart Canada for example, leverages a freight and payment solution that it created with DLT Labs. This lets them consolidate all business rules and transactions in real-time and improve collective resource utilization throughout their network of third party carriers.
How did it benefit them?
The result was a 97% reduction in invoice disputes with payments being received by their carriers faster.
2. Education sector
Using and learning on smart phones and computers is nothing new, since children these grow up surrounded by such gadgets since birth. Due to the pandemic though, many educational institutions have had to digitize the learning experiences they offer, with many using video-conferencing and VoIP to impart lessons and chapters to students remotely.
This presents several benefits to students and teachers. The first one is equity. Books and other study material can be prohibitively expensive. This is not the case with digital content that can be produced and shared inexpensively and easily.
Lessons can be better customized to a student’s aptitude, enabling them to learn better and be more productive, while examinations can be conducted online.
Documents such as marksheets and degrees can be issued online instantly, without requiring contact with students. Platforms such as DLT Labs’ DL Certify for example, enable the issuance and management of institutional grade sheets, marksheets or certificates. It also enables the management of student and employee data in the form of immutable transcripts and data records.
However, not everything is perfect. Many of the technologies needed to digitize classroom learning can have a learning curve and a cost attached to them.
Additionally, teaching remotely may require educators to adapt their teaching styles to make up for the lack of direct human to human connect.
Younger students, such as 12 year old children for example, may require a different learning style to fully benefit from a remote learning experience.
Schools and educational institutions may lack the experience or technical knowhow needed to effectively deploy and manage such software, tools and infrastructure to fully capitalize on the opportunities provided by learning digitally. These are some of the challenges institutions must overcome to continue being effective in this new landscape.
3. Corporate sector
Ever since lockdowns became widespread worldwide, a majority of the workforce has had to work remotely. Those who could not do so, unfortunately, could not continue working.
Working remotely has brought about new challenges for companies everywhere. These stem from issues of data security and privacy brought about by working remotely and from employees using their own devices. Companies have also had to invest in new communication tools to make remote team work and collaboration easier.
Business continuity plans have had to be updated to ensure enterprise infrastructure can function reliably, in this style of working environment.
Our increased reliance on technology is just the beginning of things to come. As we get used to interacting with our friends and family online over long periods of time, we have to accept this new role technology plays in our lives. We must be prepared to permanently redefine what normal means.
Author — Ram Bahadur Singh, DLT Labs™
About the Author —Ram has been with DLT Labs since 2017 and brings with him several years of experience in various domains including security, e-commerce and e-learning. He is involved in business requirement analysis and is focused on providing the best user-experience to end users in the end product.