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Embracing Technology – A Strategic Imperative for Survival

“The take up in embracing technologies is high!”

Those words were said by Business Analyst at MC Systems, Toussaint Stewart, who explained that adversity and disruption have become drivers for innovation and technology adoption. He noted that the technologies that have become commonplace over the past year are in fact not “new” per se.

“What was missing was the impetus for persons and organisations to adopt them in their day-to-day operations. COVID-19 provided that impetus,” said Stewart. He said there are really no new technologies, as the term “new technologies” has been and, now more than ever, is being sensationalised. “What is happening is an emergence of technological solutions that were proven to be effective and efficient before the pandemic, being highly used now, because their efficiencies and effectiveness stand firm and flourishes despite the pandemic.”

Companies worldwide have engaged in wide-scale adoption of technological solutions which has led to vast improvements in those technologies after recognising that digital transformation has become a strategic imperative for survival. “There has been a massive increase in e-commerce transactions and many businesses have embraced remote working, which requires solutions such as VPN, Teams/Slack/ZoomGoogle Hangouts, Teamviewer, etc. The use of digital media/marketing has increased immensely, and the need for automation and digitalising processes have been a pivotal adoption for many industries, especially the banking industry,” Stewart continued.

But there are some technological solutions which are in higher demand than others. Stewart gave an outline of the most-sought-after solutions at this time. E-commerce – this allows for merchants and consumers to have virtual access to each other, with an added delivery of service, to combat the social norms introduced by the pandemic.

Data science & analytics – Data have always been a very important asset prior to the pandemic. However, now that the ‘world’ has to adopt digital, more companies in several countries are seeing where data are essential to navigate and capitalise on opportunities in this vastly emerging digital age. With more virtual/digital interactions, there is more digital data, hence, more effective and efficient decision- making is highly dependent on digital data science and analytics. Therefore, data science and analytics solutions are in very high demand globally, and this is evident given the increased job vacancies for data scientists and data analysts.

Cybersecurity – Security is key in all aspects of life. Hence, with the increased dependence on the internet to do business, security on the internet is now an emerging technological solution in high demand. Similar to data scientists and data analysts, there is also an increase in job vacancies for cybersecurity professionals.

Cloud computing – There is an uptick of companies migrating traditional on-premise computer servers to Cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service. The main benefits are lower Total Cost of Ownership and cybersecurity risk mitigation. Since the onset of the pandemic companies have sought various ways to keep productivity high remotely. Some of the solutions being used to facilitate work from home include: VPN, Anydesk, Teamviewer, MS Teams and Slack.

“These solutions have proven effective and efficient remote working enablers prior to and during the pandemic. VPN enables employees to privately connect to their respective work networks to execute their work tasks as if they were physically on a work site; MS Teams or Slack allow for communication, collaboration and meeting with employees; and Teamviewer allows for IT Support to provide any technical assistance required, as they would if the employee was physically on worksite. Hence, there is no question about the sustainability of remote work, given these existing solutions. I would implore businesses to invest in cybersecurity as a means of mitigating cybersecurity exploitations in order to support the use of these solutions,” Stewart noted.

As the pandemic persists, the business systems analyst is proposing that companies delve even deeper into the digital transformation to stay ahead of the curb. “Local companies must shift gears and start using other tech solutions to realise their immense business values. They should consider: AI & ML, data science & analytics, robotic process automation (RPA), blockchain, VR, AR, cybersecurity and cloud computing,” Stewart noted.

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