The word ‘coronavirus’ has become the common parlance in today’s world, slipping into everyone’s conversations quietly whilst invoking a certain dread in the back of our minds. An invisible villain, it was unlikely that the human race will be brought to its knees and mercy at the hands of a biological organism Covid-19 did the impossible; it brought a halt to the doings of the world and toppled the rules that we were traditionally governed by. It has forced us to think out of the box and resort to alternatives for our survival or continue to tread our previous, reckless paths and succumb to its power. With worldwide lockdowns being imposed everywhere, we as civilians are playing a small albeit a powerful role in shaping our fate in the midst of a pandemic like this.
“Survival of the fittest”, these words by Charles Darwin continue to echo through everyone’s minds and enjoy a rather absurd relevancy. The biggest weapon at our disposal to defeat our nemesis right now happens to be invisible as well: the power of digital technology and the Internet. Initially conceived as a method of bridging the gap of communication, the internet and computer software were deemed to be revolutionary in nature. Since its inception, such digital monstrosity has gotten bigger and smarter, owing to the varied modifications and contributions by us in its lifetime. Though the importance of such digitisation has not been oblivious to us, its need however becomes much more valuable in times of utter distress and helplessness.
Instead of the survival of the ‘fittest’, it will be the survival of the ‘smartest’; the ones who conceive ideas not spurious but essential to retain some semblance of our routine while fighting this disease by staying in the four walls of our homes simultaneously. In such situations, it is rather prudent to express our gratitude to live in the digital age that helps us in countless ways, as follows:
1. Digital platforms prove to be an innovative solution in such crises for office goers and the company as a whole. Work from home as a concept is being encouraged for all employees alike, who have the liberty to operate their job remotely. The chief role of data platforms is to collect data, store it and remain accessible from different devices.
What needs to be kept in mind is that companies must select the appropriate digital platform or technology that is compatible with the nature and volume of data they deal with in order to maintain/achieve optimal results.
2. Online conferences on Skype Business, Zoom, Cisco WebEx Meetings are a great option to round up important members for discussion on pertinent topics and issues surrounding your organization and enable sound decision making.
3. Enterprise automation platforms like ERP’s, enterprise performance management software for financial reporting & consolidation like FinAlyzer®, cognitive automation platforms, business process management, operational reporting and analytics software have all made it possible for most organisations to continue operating in spite of complete lockdown.
4. Learning platforms have multiple uses such as knowledge-based ones like Coursera, Udemy, edX etc. which help in acquiring any skills or polishing existing knowledge that can be helpful in running in the business through the medium of easy, user-friendly courses.
5. Networking Platforms like LinkedIn, the biggest platform for business networking is available as a website or an app and can boost the marketing strategies adopted by the organisation by posting regular updates of the company’s activities and major achievements, thereby attracting potential customers and reassuring the old customers of the company’s integrity and transparency.
6. Data Sharing platforms like Dropbox and Google Drive aids in the storage of data and having the option of re-accessing it from any device to different people, thus protecting it and making it easier for sharing.
For Individuals: Outside of being able to work remotely from home, the digital world has made isolation a lot easier to handle:
1. Relaxation is a huge benefit that comes from self-imposed quarantine. Instead of rushing to get ready for your schools/colleges/offices, one can simply take a break and command things to be self-paced. The plethora of entertainment options on the internet such as movies, games, stories etc. makes it simpler, if not easier, to combat the present problem and divert our minds.
2. Family time becomes ingrained in our new routine. Whether that family is your immediate family living in the same house as you or your long-distance friends who stay miles apart, we need not break into a sweat about losing out on the fruits of socialising and worrying about them. Your loved ones are simply a phone/video call away and you can continue to bond and strengthen your relationships whilst keeping each other’s morale afloat.
3. Information at your fingertips While you may be constrained from physically stepping out into the world (unless it is for essentials & emergencies), it is fascinating to note that you can be apprised of the happenings of the world and not submerge yourself into complete indifference or oblivion. News articles, media channels etc. are still functioning in these dangerous times to make sure that the common man feels connected while maintaining a healthy distance about it.
4. Learning Time As a person who encourages inculcating hobbies, now is a good time to chance upon your goal to better your personality. Learning music, dance, cooking, baking, painting and other numerous activities are simply a click away on our devices. All we need is a bit of patience, willingness and a strong Wi-Fi broadband to help us sail through this tide.
It is noteworthy that despite such difficult times, we as humans never get truly halted by it but merely delayed. Digital age is a golden age ripe with many opportunities to push ourselves and our businesses to do better.