Days of the Future are Passing Us
It has been 22 months since WHO declared COVID-19 as a pandemic. Since then, life, as we know, has taken a drastic change. Those who are more fortunate quickly adapt and change how we live and work. However, many could not make such changes and even do not have access to vaccination. COVID-19 highlighted the social disparity over the past 22 months.
Amid the negativities that come from this pandemic and the uncertainties facing us, we see positivities that aid in accelerating what might take years.
The Future of Meeting People
When discussing project matters with teams from India, HK, Indonesia, and others, I still recall using Skype Calls. Besides email, the best thing is to meet face-to-face to expedite things and ensure that the other party understands us. During the pandemic, services such as Zoom, Team, FaceTime, etc., started to get famous and commonly accepted as a means to meet.
As good as it gets, it comes with other challenges where many needs to get online within short notice. Instead of being a “Busy-Bee” and focusing on our work, we become a “Zoombie”. People are also starting to realise that “Zoom-ing” someone can only take us this far when establishing a relationship with business partners. The best way to build deep and trusting relationships fast is to meet up face-to-face and talk. So when we have been to the future, are we seeing that we are getting back to where we started to get further?
The Future of Business
The pandemic also allows traditional businesses to peek at the benefit of digitisation. Instead of something they need next year, many feel they need these last year. I had seen this first hand when we helped a key customer transform their distribution from their retail outlet to selling online and using technology to support their workflow at the central kitchen. This is a positive example, but will this lead to continuity in using the technology or enhancing what they have post-pandemic? After seeing the future, will they fall back to the past to move forward?
“Digital Transformation is not about technology” is something that I have been sharing since 2018 and will continue sharing. Technology is a tool to bring businesses to their goal, not the silver bullet. Technology without consideration to their workflow and “silver bullet” is likely to reduce to be a “White Elephant” as the “Silver Bullet” cannot see how it is relevant to them. Yes, our human capital is the “Silver Bullet”, and we already have them. So how can we leverage them and technologies to bring us into the future?
Back to the Future
In conclusion, we have already seen the future, and as we exit the pandemic, businesses might revert to the past. It has been an uncomfortable two years, and we tend to seek some comfort and rest before going further. Thus, for technologies and changes implemented without much consideration, many might revert to the 2019 state to consolidate before we move ahead post 2023.