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3 ways businesses can embrace digital transformation during COVID-19

Adnan Kayyali

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digital transformation

Digital transformation does not just refer to starting a website or app for any business out there, it is more about people, both employees and customers, than the product itself. In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, the sudden shift in all aspects of life will have impactful long-term effects.

There are numerous things companies must consider when transitioning into a digitally present and capable competitor in the online landscape.

1. Focus on the customer

The first and most important point is that customers count the most. A business is nothing without the people it serves, obviously, and people do tend to gravitate towards the most convenient and user-friendly services.

It has been the case for a long time that the product itself is sometimes secondary to the delivery. The way a business captures and holds a customer’s attention, can often shape a company’s fate more so than the quality of their product.

2. Upgrade your content

Customers these days won’t settle for poorly edited videos, grainy footage, bad graphics or sound design. Mediocre is not good enough in the age of digital transformation.

Luckily, the tools for creating high quality content is becoming more widely available by the day.

For example, Canva allows non-graphic designers to do pretty much anything they need with its intuitive drag and drop mechanics. Web hosting services such as WordPress allows basically anyone to have a website if they are willing to put in hours of their time – for a good website at least.

Beyond that, there are thousands of hours of free tutorials online for almost any program out there and many have step by step guides to completing specific projects.

It’s not about the tools anymore, it’s about the talent that utilizes them.

3. Embrace the brave new world

Remote work, automation, the gig economy. These are all examples of digital transformation in our world that may drastically shape the future we are building.

While far from being the ideal solution to all work-related-grief, working from home has some undeniable benefits for both businesses and employees. But in the end, some jobs can be done remotely while others can’t.

For alternative employment such as freelance gigs and one-time projects, remote work can be a good and cost-effective way to get certain things done when your own full timers can’t. Such examples may include, animating an introduction to a video, or creating a bot to help automate some of your more tedious processes like repetitive data entry or automatic replies to commonly asked questions online.

Digital transformation is no longer just an extra front for additional income, or an optional tool in sales. COVID-19, through its sudden and drastic stirring of the status quo, has made sure that those who have not transitioned to digital, need to.

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Junior social media strategist with a degree in media and communication. Technology enthusiast and free-lance writer. Favorite hobby: 3D modeling.

MedTech

Robotics in the MENA region finds good footing amid virus

Adnan Kayyali

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robotics in the MENA region

As the need for contactless health and safety solutions becomes ever-more essential, robotics in the MENA region is taking off. The forward-thinking startups, students, and entrepreneurial minds have stepped up to meet the growing demand by addressing a complex situation with hands-on solutions.

In the UAE, entrepreneur Aswin Sarang, understands that the demand for robotics in the MENA region is on the rise, and has developed several robots each capable of performing a certain task which include delivering food and medicine, sanitization services, and checking for fever.

“The idea is to sterilize infected areas and surfaces, such as hospitals, endemic neighborhoods and isolation rooms, to prevent doctors, health workers and volunteers from being infected.” Said Aswin Sarang – Head of Robotics & AI at Reliable Robotics.

The company supports healthcare authorities, airports, malls, as well as the private sector.

Recently, Reuters reported on an Egyptian engineer Mahmoud el-Komy who put his healthcare robot to the test with positive results. The robot was made to deliver routine healthcare duties such as taking temperature and testing for COVID-19 all via remote control.

The robot also delivers health information to the patients.

“There has been a positive response from patients. They saw the robot and weren’t afraid. On the contrary, there is more trust in this because the robot is more precise than humans.”

The drive to develop robotics in the MENA region seems to be sparking passion among the youth as well. In Lebanon, two engineering students created a cleaner bot of their own to sterilize indoor spaces like hospital rooms and offices. The cleaner bot costs $700/$800 to produce and can be rented out for cleaning at a fee of $50/$70 per session, depending on the size of the job arabnews.com reported.

On demand sterilization service robotics in the MENA region and around the world may see a similar rise in demand post-pandemic. Performing routine tasks that limit human exposure can be safer and more efficient for consumers and businesses alike.

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MedTech

The multi-cloud adoption boom

Mounir Jamil

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multi-cloud adoption

As the rapid advancements in tech continue – fueled by the current pandemic – we find ourselves stretching our limits and breaking boundaries. An important area that has gained significant traction this year is cloud computing, and more specifically, multi-cloud adoption.

What is multi-cloud? 

For those of you who are not familiar with the concept, a multi-cloud environment Is when an enterprise utilizes more than one cloud platform and delivers a specific function, application, or service. Multi-clouds can be made up of private, public, and edge clouds to achieve a datacenter’s end goals and objectives. 

Multi-cloud adoption garnered a significant increase to 70 percent year-over-year in 2020, outpacing the previous year by a whopping 20 percent. 

Current State of multi-cloud

The Continuous Intelligence Report The State of Modern applications, DevSecOps and the Impact of COVID-19 from Sumo Logic revealed that customers adopted 3 main vendors to meet their cloud needs; CloudTrail (60 percent), VPC Flow Logs (34 percent) and GuardDuty (22 percent) respectively. 

The report is developed from data that is aggregated from more than 2100 Sumo Logic customers that run applications over several major cloud platforms as well as on-premises environments. The report highlighted the importance of securing cloud workloads via the adoption of both cloud-native security technologies and available cloud data sources. 

Furthermore, the pandemic has highlighted how important remote work is – and that is where cloud-computing shines bright. The rise in multi-cloud adoption led enterprises to modern cloud platforms such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

It is noteworthy to mention that AWS regional centers in the EU and US were among the top targets for hackers, according to the Sumo Logic’s global intelligence. 

What are the benefits of multi-cloud adoption? 

  • Flexibility: No single cloud can perform most business functions, or at least no single cloud can do everything well. Integrating multi-cloud can allocate the right cloud platform to the right business function 
  • Proximity: By hosting some workloads through regional cloud providers that operate closer to where the user is, the enterprise would be greatly enhancing a user’s experience
  • Failover: As a failover solution, multi-cloud adoption can protect an enterprise from outages by providing readily available and highly scalable backup for data and workflows for systems 
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MedTech

Why GovTech adoption during COVID-19 is a must

Adnan Kayyali

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Govtech

GovTech is a new term that refers to the modernization and/or digitization of government services for better accessibility and efficiency of public services. A mouth full, but this suggests a need for governments to do what the private sector has been doing from the start: embrace and incorporate industry 4.0 technology. However, to do so on a governmental level is complex.

The tech revolution occurring around the world, accelerated by the pandemic will not wait for governments to search their paper file cabinet for a solution. Citizens’ expectations of speed and efficiency are set higher by the private sector.

Too many authorities in developing nations, and many government-managed institutions in developed nations, are woefully behind on tech adoption within their systems.

According to the World Bank’s definition as stated in their brief, GovTech is essentially about putting people first.

“GovTech is a whole-of-government approach to public sector modernization that promotes simple, accessible, and efficient government”.

Governments who had already begun improving their digital infrastructure before the pandemic, had a better chance of curbing outbreaks after the initial wave with known exceptions. Namely the US and UK. 

Examples of GovTech used well during the pandemic can be found more to the east, in Singapore and South Korea among others, where data-gathering and citizen compliance with safety measures worked well to begin with.

Still, in the United states we see examples of GovTech being implemented even before the pandemic.

In areas of infrastructure, 120 Water Audit was recently launched, a cloud-based water management software, that a government on any level and size can use to minimize water waste.

During the pandemic, we have seen companies like BlueDot develop early warning systems to predict outbreaks, allowing governments to react preemptively. These systems used data gathered from numerous data sets from news, medical records and airlines to detect certain trends using their algorithm.

In the future, we should expect better GovTech adoption in public health services. Governments must work with the private sector to secure the right systems and consolidate their systems for better data collection. Undoubtedly, this is a long-term process.

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