Society can adapt but can technology keep pace?

In today’s world we find that we’re no longer constrained by the physical environment. Over the years digital adoption has evolved and, with each new generation, individuals are learning new ways to utilise technology to enable and enrich their working and personal lives.

When we consider this digital evolution, different generations have adopted technology to deliver the outcomes they required, whether that be the introduction of cash machines in the late 1960s or email in the 1970s. All of these progressions required employees and consumers to adopt and use these technologies to benefit from business efficiencies and greater convenience.

As we look to the current situation in the UK, we acknowledge that once again we’re finding new and innovative ways to use existing technologies to meet the different set of challenges facing companies, communities and the country as a whole. In many organisations, we see the rapid adoption of Digital Workplace technologies, including video conferencing and access to collaboration applications, to ensure continuity and enable employees to stay connected and work effectively. In this “new normal”, individuals are no longer constrained by the physical buildings of their workplaces and their work can take place flexibly from any location, at any time.

Operating in this way demonstrates that organisations are resilient and can adapt quickly, however, this method does raise a new set of challenges that relate to the stability, resilience, security and compliance of these Digital Workplace solutions.

If we consider the impact for individuals in their personal lives, we see a similar approach where existing technologies are quickly becoming digital enablement tools for local communities to stay connected during the COVID-19 lockdown. Messaging apps such as WhatsApp are greatly helping to support the vulnerable and video calling facilities are ensuring that human connections remain throughout this period of social distancing.  Technology companies have historically been one step ahead in terms of innovation, but the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated how quickly society can adapt. This shift in behavior now forces technology companies to think differently and to perhaps consider the multitude of use cases technology can help with. It’s likely that technology will play a more significant role in years to come with more emphasis on the support element that technology can provide. For example, it’s well known that voice assistants can play music and control smart appliances, but there are other applications that can help to improve an individual’s wellbeing and reduce stress.

No matter whether we consider personal or working aspects of life, it’s apparent that digital technologies provide that bridge between the digital and physical world, and that technology is the enabler that can drive wonderful outcomes. Across public sector, organisations have quickly adapted their processes to ensure critical services continue to reach citizens. For example, in healthcare, the use of smart assistants is being increasingly utilised for triage services. These systems are taking a physical input and using a digital interface to change the physical outcomes based on data. Driving public services based on digital insight and intelligence will be key as we move forward into the ”new normal” world and beyond, whether that be IoT sensors, for smarter bin collections and smart parking, or contactless travel.

If this situation has taught us anything, it’s that technology is central to keeping society moving, but this technology needs to be flexible enough to cope with new challenges and the speed at which individuals have shown to adapt. At UKCloud we use best-of-breed technologies to ensure we can develop solutions and outcomes that remain safe, secure and compliant. Join our upcoming webinar to find out how UKCloud can help to deliver remote working solutions that can embrace the ”new normal”.

This blog was written for techUK’s #ConnectandProtect campaign week.