It’s been an interesting 2020 for the world so far as we battle through these unprecedented times. When I first fully understood the gravity of the pandemic and the implications of the lockdown, like many I felt paralyzed. I still do some days – this is the truth! And this is probably why it took me a while to get back on social media.
After 30-years of a professional career in consulting and working for organizations such as Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, DEWA, Smart Dubai, and others, I left a year ago to start my two businesses, DigitAI, an Innovation & Management consultancy specializing in Artificial Intelligence, and Algofy.ai, an InsureTech Startup out of Abu Dhabi Global Markets. So not only did I feel alarmed and deeply concerned along with the world about the COVID-19 that was sweeping through the world and the global stock markets plunge, I couldn’t help but feel a deep sense of sadness towards value destruction taking place for businesses, startups and the economy.
But when adversity comes, so does opportunity. If there was ever a time for businesses to innovate, digitize and automate their processes, it is now.
Challenges are Opportunities for Innovation
10 years ago, the economy was in free fall from the 2008/ 2009 recession. But from these ashes emerged some of the biggest tech giants including Uber, Pinterest, YouTube, Air BnB and Slack. Yes, recessions can be detrimental for businesses, but they also bring forth new market opportunities, digital innovation, and reduced market competition. Investors and entrepreneurs around the world have said that the COVID-19 we are presently fighting is the “world crisis” for a startup and broader economy since the great depression.
As organizations and governments around the world mandate employees work from home to reduce the spread of COVID-19, many businesses, such as airlines and hotels, have been hit hard. And as automakers, malls, shops and commercial, physical locations are forced to close, COVID-19 is revealing the physical-digital divide: Universities and schools have made a shift to online learning, restaurants have transitioned to online ordering and delivery, and video conferencing platforms users for platform like Zoom and BlueJeans have skyrocketed. Delivery giant Amazon encouraged their staff to work overtime to try and cope with the huge demand. We are beginning to see a rapid organizational transformation across industries which is very quickly changing and shaping the future of work as we know it.
Digitization is the New Standard
After working on large-scale digital transformations for the majority of my career, I know how difficult digitization can be for established and traditional organizations to adopt. And to complicate it further there is now an additional layer required for a digital operating models: virtual work.
Before companies digitized and leveraged Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence and other emerging technologies to be better, faster and stronger. In my career, we used digitization, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence to automate tasks that tripled teams production, recovered Millions of dollars from fraud, and improved the type of work for the workforce. But now, digitizing is not just a great recipe for improving your operations and increasing your bottom line. It’s far more fundamental for worker employment and the public’s health. The stakes have drastically, and quickly, increased.
In my next article, I will be revealing 3 things that leaders and organizations can do in the wake of this rapid digital transformation. What else would you like to learn? I would like everyone to know that I am here for them and happy to help in whatever way I can, whether it’s a quick Zoom call to brainstorm ideas or a large-scale digital transformation project planning, I am here and ready.
Additionally, DigitAI is lending a hand “pro-bono” to assist organizations with their data to solve problems using Machine Learning & Artificial intelligence. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org