Entrepreneurship

The Role of Technology in Bringing Together People with Trust, Positivity, Compassion, and Purpose

By CP Gurnani, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Tech Mahindra

Technology never ceases to amaze the world with its ability to create meaningful impacts across lives. As we prepare to make a comeback from this massive setback caused by the pandemic, leveraging technology for good is of utmost importance to build a resilient world. Robust digital infrastructure has a huge role to play in accelerating economic growth in 2021 and beyond.

Throughout the pandemic, India has been making a difference on the ground with technology. In these challenging times, technology has definitely been the glue bringing together people with trust, positivity, compassion, and purpose.

 Reinforcing Trust amidst Uncertainties with Safe and Transparent Tech Solutions

The pandemic has resulted in disruption of the established and familiar ways in which society has been functioning and this has, in turn, affected the trust associated with those ways.

There is a great element of trust present in face-to-face interactions and transactions, which is now being limited due to the spread of the pandemic; however, technology has been bridging that gap by creating safe ways to interact. For instance, organizations are now creating touchless experiences through solutions such as facial recognition systems, banks are increasingly adopting online services for customers, and retail organizations have quickly shifted to omnichannel models by leveraging all the digital means.

Furthermore, in some cases, digital technologies bring in a greater trust element by providing verifiable evidence related to a product or service, which is beyond its look and feel.  For instance, blockchain-enabled solutions can give assurance to customers about safety of their products by providing transparency into how a product is created, assembled, delivered, and serviced. Business models such as cloud kitchens, which have been a boon for many during the pandemic, can further strengthen customers’ trust in them by using digital technologies that can enable customers to see and analyse how the products are being made in real-time.

Tech-Enabled Services  — A Positive Breather for the Healthcare Industry

Digital health technology has been a boon to people all over the world, in the face of the current situation caused by the pandemic. Services like online consultation, telemedicine, mapping and monitoring of patients, intelligent diagnosis, and remote care are being widely accepted and used by people all over the world now.

Data from digital sources can help diagnose and monitor the infectious virus with the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI). At Tech Mahindra, we have been leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) for protein folding research, which aims at repurposing drugs approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) that may be effective against the virus. We have also developed an AI-based predictive tool — SEIR modelling (Susceptible, Exposed, Infectious, Removed model) — which is a ‘what if’ analysis tool which uses available data for the prediction of the spread of the pandemic.

In addition to the development of such innovative solutions, the tech industry can play a significant role in ensuring seamless last mile accessibility to solutions and services. For instance, it can support the government to ensure smooth accessibility of vaccines to people in remote places, by leveraging technology such as Data Analytics and Machine Learning that can be used by authorized bodies of each state to assign nearby vaccination centers to every citizen based on their location/age.

These new-age technologies have helped overcome various challenges through innovative solutions. For a nation like India with its huge population, it is equally important to ensure that the delivery of such services is streamlined in order to ensure accessibility to every single individual.

Agile and Adaptive Supply Chains with Tech Integration Bringing the World Together in Real-Time

COVID-19 has affected businesses — small and large — like never before. The impact on the workforce due to illness and loss of lives, coupled with the initial shortage of supplies during the lockdown, has in particular highlighted the vulnerabilities in supply chains and sourcing strategies. These difficult times have forced us to reimagine ways to redesign supply chains to become more agile and adaptive.

Digital technologies such as Blockchain can play a crucial role in improving the performance of supply chains by ensuring data accuracy, data security, real-time visibility, traceability, and predictive capabilities, thus resulting in better, strategic outcomes and risk mitigation. By integrating technology into the end-to-end process, we will be able to create lean, adaptive and cost-effective global supply chain networks.

Creation of a Human-Centered Workplace with Technology

Remote working has emerged as one of the greatest boons amidst the pandemic’s harsh reality. The use of cloud-based collaboration tools skyrocketed as a result of COVID-19. Technology is enabling us to maximize collaboration and co-creation while providing the flexibility of working from anywhere to deliver all our commitments. In addition to creating meaningful experiences for existing employees, technology is also helping us create a more diverse workforce.

For instance, assistive technologies such as text-to-speech software, visual and audio aids, are enabling organizations to onboard differently-abled candidates from across disciplines. The pandemic has also seen a significant rise in the use of AI-based automation that focuses on enhancing workspace productivity by simplifying and automating daily work-related tasks and taking care of employee well-being by monitoring their health.

Throwback from the Future – Let this be a battle where Technology wins over the Virus

The world has been on the digital transformation trajectory for quite some time. The pandemic, though destructive in nature, has in some ways been the Chief Digital Officer to the world, driving us to accelerate this transformation.

To overcome pandemic-induced disruptions, we should focus more on extracting strategic value from ‘human-centric digitalisation’ characterised by the safe and ethical deployment of technology. Let us fight this battle with all the innovative ammunitions that we have in our technology weapons, and hope that our future generations can remember this as an era where technology won over the virus.

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