What the Tech Just Happened: How Disruptive Technology Is Accelerated by a Pandemic

Penny Conway
Penny Conway

It’s official. It’s a pandemic. Is your business prepared for what comes next?

On March 11, the World Health Organization’s Director-General “made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic.” This pandemic is bringing cutting-edge AI technology to the forefront. It has spurred an overwhelming response by technology giants to support, what I am coining as, the global proof of concept for remote work. On our most recent episode of What The Tech Just Happened, I sat down and discussed how this pandemic may be the catalyst for the next technology disruption.

The Role of Artificial Intelligence

It seems like just yesterday, we were talking about robots taking over the world. Today, they are being used to treat and prevent disease. Limiting human contact, they can disinfect, communicate with, and get vital readings from patients. Connection’s Jamal Khan commented, “At the recent Consumer Technology Showcase in January, 2020, robots walked the floor handing out marketing material. Who knew just two months later—they would be handing out medication?”

AI is also playing a pivotal role in the detection of diseases across the globe. AI startup, BlueDot, has cut their teeth on aggregating open source data around the globe to predict infectious disease outbreaks. Their platform reported unusual activity around Wuhan, China nine days before the WHO issued a public statement on the same activity.

Remote Work and Business Continuity

NASA is testing remote functionality, students are being asked to stay on break, and tech giants are mandating remote work. We’re seeing an increase in purchases of hardware and software to support this remote work, some with short-term financing. Partners, like Cisco and Microsoft, are stepping up to support productivity and make it easier to move in-person engagement to a virtual experience. Connection’s Lane Shelton said, “This is where we’ll see the Office 365 ecosystem in action,” bringing collaboration through Teams and more. Cisco is also extending free licenses across the globe for 90 days, giving customers more ways to communicate and collaborate.

Over the next few months, what organizations learn will force them to examine business continuity plans through new eyes. Many who sit with excellent plans around data and security have not thought about how to support thousands of remote employees and students. This will create new opportunities for hardware and Infrastructure as a Service. Given the ability to scale with consumption, there is a huge opportunity for companies to expand mobility and make it easier to support a remote workforce.

I’d encourage you to take a few moments and listen to the full conversation with Jamal Khan, Lane Shelton, and Andre Stoykovich, where we look at technology’s positive contributions and outcomes during this pandemic.

If the pandemic has you nervous about hosting a remote workforce, reach out to us. Connection has helped many companies form a continuity plan and increase business resiliency. We’re experts in assessing your current situation and helping you find a solution to fit your business needs. We’ll help calm the confusion and prepare you for whatever happens next. Give us a call or visit connection.com.

Penny Conway

Penny is a Senior Program Manager for Workplace Transformation at Connection. In her free time, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her family.

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