Economic recessions and pandemics often drive waves of major innovation. After the Black Death in the 1300’s, the feudal system of employment was replaced with the more modern employee contract. A century later during an economic recession caused by the war between England and France, agricultural productivity was greatly improved by major innovations in agricultural technologies. In more recent times, the SARS pandemic helped Ali Baba grow and become established as the face of retail in Asia.
According to Hamaza Mudassir in his article, “COVID-19 Will Fuel the Next Wave of Innovation,” there are already signs of innovation driven by Covid-19:
“Remote working is being encouraged by tech and non-tech companies alike, airline profitability is getting impacted by low seat occupancy, supply chains are getting disrupted globally and retail stores are running out of ibuprofen, dry goods and toilet paper en masse. Some of these changes are direct, short-term responses to the crises and will revert to regular levels once Covid-19 is contained. However, some of these shifts will continue on, creating a long-term digital disruption that will shape businesses for decades to come.”
Mudassir suggests that pandemics drive three dimensions of impact: Biolobical, psychological, and economic. He concludes,
“Over the longer term, Covid-19 has irrevocably changed the way businesses will compete over the next decade. Firms that choose to capitalize on these underlying changes will succeed and the ones that don’t will get disrupted.”
OneReach.ai has seen an influx of companies aggressively stepping up their employment of digital tools, in particular Intelligent Digital Works, to help triage the floods of requests from their employees and staff. As part of the OneReach.ai response to healthcare companies reaching out for help, we created a new template, IDW-5 – an Intelligent Digital Worker that within one hour can be operational and ready to start triaging portions of inbound requests 24/7, over phone, SMS, rich web chat, mobile app, and email.