Presented by Nokia

Creating new digital economies – preparing for a new way of working

By Neels Janse van Vuuren – Solutions Architect at Nokia

1. The requirement for social distancing globally has changed the way in which businesses operate. What would you say are the biggest changes that companies are facing and what are the types of technologies that they can put in place to make it a reality?

Companies globally are facing a dilemma – the need to ensure social distancing while still enabling interaction and collaboration. The reality is that people do business with people, and while physical engagement is not an option right now, there is still a requirement for that “physical” touch.

While technologies like teleconferencing, video conferencing and cloud collaboration platforms are bridging the gap in the interim, we believe that adding or blending technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Holographic Projections, and Haptic technologies will play an instrumental role in enhancing collaboration abilities.

2. The term digital transformation has been bandied about for quite some time – have companies embraced the need for digital transformation enough and are they ready for this new way of working?

Digital transformation has been a key priority for organisations across the globe, but nothing could prepare business for the unique situation we currently face.

Business continuity amidst the COVID-19 pandemic goes beyond just providing decent broadband connectivity to employees. Back-end systems, business processes, and digital literacy are of utmost importance, and a necessity for the “new normal”.

Industries that are more digitally inclined, for example technology, financial, and insurance companies, and who are typically responsible for 30% of a country’s GDP, have invested in ICT and embraced digitalisation.

However physical industries, such as mining, utilities, transportation, and manufacturing companies, who are typically responsible for 70% of country’s GDP, has not invested sufficiently in ICT and automation, and are therefore not able to benefit from digitalisation during this period of lock-down.

While these industries have been talking about digitalisation, the pandemic has exposed the real progress of digitisation, or lack thereof, and this is fast becoming a priority that must be accelerated.

3. Connectivity remains the backbone of driving digital economies – how can telcos best prepare themselves to provide their customers with solutions that will support this new way of working?

Telcos should firstly ensure, and secure, their existing network performance amidst the sharp rise in demand on the network. Thereafter they need to add scale fast and then stimulate economies by connecting and empowering communities to drive a return to stability within their networks.

Covid-19 has resulted in people using connectivity more for different things such as online learning, virtual fitness sessions, e-business, working from home, video calls with families, and friends to mention a few.

Reliable and seamless connectivity has become a necessity, like water and food. In these testing times, telcos must maintain operational continuity, and prevent network outages and degradations, by avoiding issues through intelligent operations, pre-emptive action, and quick resolution. Digitalisation of a telco’s operations is a key enabler to ensure business continuity.

4. What are some of the basic, fundamental infrastructure elements that need to be in place to enable a digital economy?

The world – today and tomorrow – revolves around data. As people, businesses, and things become more connected, we are living in an ‘always online’ world.

The basis for a digital economy is good, stable, and affordable broadband connectivity for everyone and everywhere. Digitalisation leads to the increased availability of big data.

Companies that make the best use of this big data, will have better productivity, and create more opportunities for themselves. A data-driven world needs reliable and affordable cloud storage solutions.

With growing data, the importance of data security solutions is imperative. Digital skills making use of technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and digital finance solutions, is required to help with data processing and understanding the value of different datasets.

This article was published in partnership with Nokia.

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Creating new digital economies – preparing for a new way of working