Why are we witnessing this explosion of digital platforms?

In response to restrictions to limit the spread of the virus, many people turned to digital tools to keep some semblance of normality.

It’s been imperative to digitally transform our places of work and education to be able to operate effectively, as Bernard Marr highlights.

Email, social media, and other digital channels have seen significant spikes in usage during the crisis as reported by Mc Kinsey research in the Exhibit 2.

 

Smartworking

 

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 12% of workers in the United States worked from home at least once per month before the pandemic, in 2017-2018.

During pandemic this number of course increased and Reeves and Rothwell estimated that around half of employed adults are currently working from home.

Digital platforms like Google Hangout, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Webex and Zoom are some of the dozens of digital platforms which are enabling organisations to create collaborative work environment for meetings and discussions, and for this reason have been an important increase.

Just consider Zoom as example: “the company’s daily active user count was up 378% from a year earlier as of March 22, while monthly active users were up 186%, according to data from Apptopia.

The DAU and MAU counts were up by about 340% and 160%, respectively, when compared with data from the end of December, indicating that the rush of new users could be largely due to the ballooning work-from-home trend brought about by COVID-19, rather than traditional business growth”.

But the real interesting point concerns what could happen after covid-19: a survey from NUI Galway’s Whitaker Institute and the Western Development Commission suggest that 83% of the people in Ireland may want to continue working remotely after the Covid-19 pandemic has passed. 

 

Remote Learning

 

Due to the COVID-19, millions of children all around the world are out of the classroom. As a result, education has changed dramatically, with the distinctive rise of e-learning, whereby teaching is undertaken remotely and on digital platforms.

In the Unesco website is possible to consult a list of educational applications, platforms and resources which aim to help parents, teachers and schools facilitate student learning and provide social care and interaction during periods of school closure. There are around 100 tools listed.

Even before COVID-19, there was already high growth and adoption in education technology (language apps, virtual tutoring, video conferencing tools and online learning software) but there has been a significant surge in usage since COVID-19.

Someone believe that a new hybrid model of education will emerge, with significant benefits.

“I believe that the integration of information technology in education will be further accelerated and that online education will eventually become an integral component of school education,“ says Wang Tao, Vice President of Tencent Cloud and Vice President of Tencent Education.

 

Events Going Virtual

 

“Over the last few months we have seen our business of virtual events grow by 1000%. We have been working overtime and hiring non-stop to keep up with the demand,” Ruben Castano, CEO of 6Connex, said in a statement. “Interest from colleges, sports teams and requests from international businesses is something we didn’t anticipate growing so rapidly, but we are thrilled to assist as the event world reconvenes online.”

With physical events set to remain on hold for some time yet, virtual conferences have seen a steady increase as companies are turning to online resources in replacement of major summits and conferences.

And what is going to happen once the situation will come back to normality ?

Probably, according to Ahmad, many events will return as before, but given the massive costs involved in travel and attendance to such conferences, and the capacity for online tools to replicate the experience, in large part, it may well be that the event industry is changed forever as a result of COVID-19. For this reason, companies and organizations are focusing on how to benefit from the virtual trend even as lockdowns are lifted.

 

Next time i will focus in one particular type of digital platform, the supply chain platform. Don’t lose it.

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