Remote work, distance learning and virtual activities are growing trends that will continue to have a serious impact on the global economy
Companies, organizations and businesses are experimenting with radical and innovative solutions to survive in the new normal.
Digital disruption is real and it’s here to stay. Technology is changing and moving at a rapid pace. Now more than ever, technology is creating a big impact across industries and geographies, especially as the world tries to cope with the ever-changing implications of the pandemic.
Traditional processes and business models are seeing their end on the horizon as more companies, organizations and institutions are pursuing digital transformations. In response to the unprecedented needs and challenges of today’s world, people are rethinking their lives, choices and future. People are turning to digital tools and resources to survive amid stay-at-home and social distancing orders, travel bans, and school closures. To keep semblance of normalcy, tech tools and devices are turning from wants to needs. Remote work, distance learning, and online and virtual activities are seeing a surge of interest and are likely to become the new normal.
With schools shut down and physical classes on hold, distance learning is becoming the educational method of choice. A study done by Accenture on Global Value of Higher Education found that 70 percent of the respondents want schools to have more digital tools in and out of the classroom. It added that 81 percent want technology to have more integration in the classroom experience, online access to materials and online availability of classes.
While distance learning is not a new concept, innovations in communications and technology have changed the way it works today. Online learning, for example, is expanding the scope and capabilities of learning remotely through the use of high-speed internet. Teachers use technology to communicate with students and monitor each of them, allowing for better involvement and development. Video games, educational videos, and augmented and virtual realities are also providing learners with a more immersive and engaging experience.
Massive open online course (MOOC) platforms, which were created to provide free or affordable education to people with limited resources, are seeing a spike in enrollments. With schools in a rush to come up with online learning instructions, demand for laptops, computers, smartphones and tablet PCs are also on the rise.
Impacts on business
Companies need to adopt aggressive approaches to digital disruptions and innovations or they risk losing business. In today’s fast-paced and hyperconnected marketplace, e-commerce is the way forward. Building a strong online presence is a powerful strategy to stand out in this competitive world. Businesses are utilizing chatbots, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, cloud computing services, process automation, and social media and mobile apps to streamline their workflow.
Impacts on employees
Remote working and working from anywhere are becoming a common practice across industries. Video conferencing apps, cloud data storage and services, workplace monitoring tools, and cross-platform messaging apps are now considered essentials in the workplace. Employees are also stylizing their personal workspaces with ergonomically designed furniture and fixtures, high-tech laptops, computers and peripherals, and smart home products to boost productivity.
Takeaways for sourcing professionals
This reshaping of demand means that many businesses must re-evaluate their sourcing priorities. In some cases, such as desktop and laptop computer suppliers, the transition may appear relatively seamless, as consumers start using existing product types at home rather than in the office. But for others the change will be more marked. For example, those sourcing for educational supplies must now accelerate their adoption of electronic and online tools, while suppliers to businesses will be expected to be ready with more products to support cloud technology and expanded ecommerce adoption.