The pandemic forced several businesses to embrace the change. However, while the competitive ones survived by adopting the new technologies, others failed and shut down.
Several reports confirm that the pandemic has propelled online trade.
According to a March 2021 report, eCommerce is worth over $26.7 trillion.
The report also suggests that the top 13 eCommerce companies accounted for $2.9 trillion in 2020.
So, what are the technologies at play in this growth?
Big Data and Virtual Reality
The first industry that adopted digitization in 2020 was healthcare. Tele-Consultation and remote health monitoring technologies came in handy.
Little did you know, health care facilities were and are still running overcapacity. And the need for health-related services never dipped but instead increased.
Thanks to big data and virtual reality, the healthcare sector has consulted and guided patients through this tough time.
For example, automation in the diagnosis and prescription process uses big data. Intelligent wearables can collect information, correlate it with the available data, and suggest treatments.
Similarly, virtual reality platforms, precisely teleconsultation platforms, helped patients have a one-on-one conversation with the health specialists. Thus, receiving the needful treatment without actually having to walk into a hospital or a clinic.
Remote Digital Infrastructure
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that most of the businesses shifted to remote work last year. And many are continuing the trend.
To ease and seamlessly operate remote work, businesses needed digital infrastructure. For example, remote teams required digital tools to communicate and share information.
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Businesses quickly tackled, thanks to cloud computing, both of these issues.
Also, many businesses now use VPNs to secure connections to the remote workforce. A VPN is simply a masked network that protects the original IP of a system. Thus, helping in preventing threats from cyber attacks.
At the same time, managers and top-level executives had access to the work reports and progress.
In a nutshell, it was the ready availability of digital infrastructure that facilitated the growth of online trade.
Contactless Financial Solutions
Most of the people around the world resorted to making contact with the outside world. As a result, the need for contactless solutions was imminent.
By contactless solutions, we are mainly referring to financial transactions.
Cash payments declined in the first quarter, last year. However, it slowly regained the pace in the trade cycle. But, it is noteworthy that cash transactions still lack behind e-transactions.
Mobile wallets, e-transfers, NEFT, and many more such transaction technologies witnessed a significant boom last year. And, to your surprise, they are still booming.
Perhaps, the increasing number of fintech corps would justify this fact.
Online Data Security
Even before the pandemic, cyber security was one of the critical concerns. And the pandemic only helped it grow more intensive in size and technology.
Consider this scenario. Online businesses collect and store a humongous amount of user data, from personal information to accounting details and much more.
However, with the increasing amount of online user data, the risks of cyber attacks also increased. For this, the cyber security industry took up surveillance and effective firewall strategies. In other words, breaking into data vaults was layered with tons of security checkpoints.
For example, two-step authentication is a standard norm these days. Likewise, payment gateways now use 32-bit encryption. As a result, they are making it even more challenging to break into personal data.
Virtual And Over The Top Media
The pandemic forced people into the confinements of their homes. And little or no entertainment opportunities were made available.
As a result, people moved on to online media platforms to dodge their stress and loneliness. People had access to all sorts of content, from entertainment to news updates and more.
Apart from this, virtual media (gaming) also witnessed a significant boost last year. It was yet another escape that people found solace in.
Several new games and gaming platforms were also established during the 2020 lockdown. Perhaps, these technologies are only expected to grow more.
Food Services And Cloud Kitchens
The public gathering was one of the critical activities that almost disappeared last year. And the worst-hit industry due to this change was the hospitality industry.
Thankfully, cloud kitchens and food delivery services helped many businesses survive through the crisis. Leveraging innovative mobile app technologies and open-source APIs, restaurants frequently started catering to their customers.
A year later, even now, cloud kitchens are creating more business than dine-in restaurants. And this has a lot to do with the increasing accessibility to mobile technologies.
Today, three in every four people have access to smartphones. And it is way easier to market a business through these devices than most other media, especially when it comes to food services.
Automation In Manufacturing Technology
Although automation is not a new technology, neither is it a new concept. The pandemic has still improved its market share. The workforce is avoiding coming to the manufacturing plants to keep the gathering to the minimum.
While it certainly has helped control the spread of Covid, it has also affected businesses negatively. With little or no workforce to handle production tasks, it is pretty apparent to experience losses.
A recent study revealed that manufacturing plants and factories are opting for automation. Well, that’s not a new thing. But wait. The factories are now opting for automation in areas where earlier it didn’t seem possible.
For example, mobile robots in supply chain management are now a common sight.
Moreover, as far as manufacturing and production scheduling are concerned, quality testing is better and more sophisticated. Thus, eliminating the need for a large workforce to supervise these tasks.
While an upward trend is anticipated in the technologies we’ve highlighted, there is always a possibility that these may go wrong. Most importantly, it depends on the consumer perspective and general health how these trends would continue in the coming years.
Apart from this, vaccination drives may also affect what the future holds for online businesses.
On this note, we’d like to take your leave.
Please leave us your thoughts in the comments section below and let us know what you feel about these technology trends.