- Coronavirus induced lockdown brought an immense change in the working style of businesses, consumer values and behaviour.
- COVID-19 has triggered an unprecedented demand for various technological innovations
- Drone-based delivery, embracing cashless transactions via Google Pay, embedded payment systems in a car, QR based orders, etc act as stepping stones towards battling the coronavirus.
Did you say 2020 has been disappointing so far? Yes! But calling it disappointing is an understatement. There is more to COVID-19 pandemic impact than meets the eye. It is not just a health crisis, as globally many economies, industries, businesses, etc have been suffering from it.
Necessity has become the mother of innovation. This statement has never been more relatable than now, as the world is combating to weather the coronavirus storm.
Let us sit in the time machine and roll back at the time of World War I and World War II.
It is rightly said that human beings put an extra effort when met with a crisis.
During war times, innovation was supercharged and brought it to the forefront. The innovations includes various machine guns, medical innovations (Facial reconstructive surgery, neurosurgery for head wounds, and Carrel-Dakin solution still used for injury), aircrafts, new technology- communication line (sending messages via wire and those that sent and received wireless).
Post-war, there was a paradigm shift in the way technology was used.
COVID-19 may not lead to radical changes; however, small changes may be unleashed every day with thousands of discoveries from individuals, governments, researchers and businesses worldwide.
There is a popular saying that no war can be fought alone, no battle won – without a force. This statement is perfectly portrayed by the World Health Organization (WHO), which received overwhelming support from various technological companies globally to weather COVID-19 virus.
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The virus is going to be in our lives for quite some time, so it makes sense to adjust and live with it.
Let’s dive in and glance at a few of the small changes that are happening across various sectors amid the crisis period.
Drones as the game changer
Hey, look up in the sky! It is a drone! Drones have been used widely for delivery of parcels, advertising, cinematography, site surveying, mining, etc.
While millions of people were under lockdown amid COVID-19, the online marketplace sales boomed.
Heard of Amazon Prime Air? No! Amazon Prime Air is currently under development; set to deliver products using small drones.
A Beijing based e-commerce company, JD.com, conducted various feasibility studies and trials on quick delivery via drones. They also obtained the required approvals to deliver via drones in various distant places, even to the remotest of area. Also, Irish entity Manna Aero is providing medicines to the people locked in their homes via drone in countryside region- Moneygall, Ireland.
Gravitation towards Contactless transactions
Numerous barriers have diminished with the integration of contactless payments by the retailers. However, Wuhan based virus has acted as a catalyst for the rapid adoption of contactless payments. The fear that cash might be an easy vehicle in spreading the virus has boosted the demand for cashless and digital payments. These payments are secure, hygienic and require minimum physical contact between the seller and the customer.
Of late, there has been an upsurge in contactless payment methods, with the introduction of its various forms including - digital wallets such as GooglePay, checkouts utilising facial recognition, embedded payment systems in cars, etc. Though infrastructure for these services may not be deployed quickly, but considering the need for speed, financial institutions are expected to grab these cost-effective payment methods.
Remote working- the new office space
COVID-19 has led to a change in the way businesses work. This has led to relying more on the remote working tools to maintain business continuity. This virus has made many companies experience collaborations, operations, and communications, virtually for the very first time.
Remote working locations have boosted the need for various video conferencing apps and cloud-based software.
The notification of ‘meeting at 2 PM’ on Zoom has become a normal new for the employees across the world. The Zoom app is a by-product of the coronavirus. Zoom is a video-based conferencing app that has witnessed meetings by millions of users during this time of pandemic.
This app has made it to top of the charts of successful business management during the coronavirus time, and has a broad user base including kids, doctors, teachers, musicians, etc.
Also, cloud computing has emerged as a partner for businesses during these times. The cloud services are creating a digital workplace wherein, employees can work agilely, collaboratively, and securely.
Moreover, Microsoft has plans to speed up the digital transformation in Italy with the investment of USD1.5 billion to bring its first Data Centre in the country.
Restaurants like other hospitality businesses are one of the most hard-hit ones amid the virus. Though eateries are beginning to reopen now, they are striving hard toward ways to take orders and payments, with social distancing norms in place and providing contactless experience to the customers.
The new QR-Code payment system is all set to sway the market. weQless is expected to emerge in the market from July 2020 to kick off the queues and grubby menus at the restaurants. The customers can access a virtual menu via a unique QR-Code and place and pay their orders via the app.
As of now, we are into the seventh month since the mystery virus made its first appearance in Wuhan, China, in December last year, and our eyes are fixated towards an emergence of vaccine to combat it. The outbreak of COVID-19 has led to a paradigm shift in the ways of living, working, and everybody worldwide is adjusting with the new normal and is in no mood to give up yet.