Article (August-2020)

Articles

Future of IT Applications Post Covid-19

Dr. Upinder Dhar & Dr. Santosh Dhar

Designation : -   Vice Chancellor & Dean - Faculty of Doctoral Studies and Research

Organization : -  Shri Vaishnav Vidyapeeth Vishwavidyalaya, Indore

01-Aug-2020

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New businesses are created with continuous innovations. Business and technology exist in a synergetic relationship, which will co-exist more closely Post Covid-19. Business has been in existence since pre-historic times, which had begun with just barter trade. Historically, it has transformed into far more complex phenomenon with technological interventions over the period of time. Major industries of the world may collapse without the use of information technology as business transactions and operations cannot be imagined in the 21st century without technology. Technology has made things easier as is evident from improved telecommunications and online payment options which have made businesses more efficient. The ability to accept credit or debit card payments at retail stores requires a complex system of bank exchanges and telecommunications in order to operate smoothly and reliably (Miley, 2018).

The Novel Corona virus Covid-19 pandemic is the defining global health crisis of the present time and greatest challenge mankind has faced since World War II. It has the potential to create devastating social, economic and political crises that will leave deep scars. The International Labor Organization estimates that 195 million jobs could be lost, and global recession will inevitably affect all economies around the world, especially with the IMF predicting negative growth rates for FY21 world over.

There are number of ways in which information technology is going to be more significant in view of Covid-19. The business world changed forever when computers were introduced to take over the tasks performed manually. Businesses utilize information technology by using computers and various software in almost all departments to function smoothly. The IT and internet have created the opportunity for organizations to offer their products to customers anywhere in the globe.

Technology has automated numerous processes to enhance productivity. It facilitates to use fewer resources to improve quality at a low cost, and helps in improving the speed of delivery, thus serving more clients. Technology supports to store more information with integrity. Sensitive and confidential information is stored in a way that makes it less vulnerable to data breach. The information can be retrieved instantly when needed, and it can be analyzed not only to study past trends but also to forecast the future. In turn, thedecision-making process becomes more effective.

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Communication is a part of business. So, transportation and networking make business a web of complex processes that interplay with each other. With technology, business operations have been globalized. Managing contemporary organizations like Google with information technology provides an assortment of unique perspectives on the issues surrounding business, looking more closely at the technology itself vis-a-vis business context (https://www.go4expert.com). Technology has made it possible for businesses to have a global reach. The internet enables the business to attract customers worldwide. Businesses have become worthwhile because of well-integrated technology. However, technology has also brought threats to business through malicious activities like hacking. Thus, onus is on businesses to use technology responsibly, more so in view of certain increase in technological interventions Post Covid-19.

The advent of mobile solutions, the phenomenon of cloud computing, increased customer segmentation, increased connectivity, decreasing costs and increasing utility, a changing consumer base, greater consideration for the social impact of business, and the end of downtime have, thus, changed every aspect of business significantly.

Online Reputation and Digital Footprint

Mobility is seen by many as an upcoming challenge for businesses. Google's algorithms reflect this in making mobile websites a priority. All aspects of business can be carried out by using a tablet or Smartphone. From content marketing to customer relations, to sales, the back-end activity like invoicing and shipping are already in use. Mobile solutions are not confined to businesses only; they are also about consumers. Today, people use their phones to do everything from buying to selling to sharing their experiences with their friends and finding opportunities for local businesses.

Cloud computing facilitates to outsource many business functions to third party using the internet. This makes possible for businesses to handle variable data packages and expand rapidly and harness mobility without having to worry about crashes, downtime, and lost data. This has enabled small and medium sized businesses to have an easy access to resources for which they would have incurred heavy expenditure a few years ago. IT applications are everywhere in the contemporary business and great advantage is the way costs are reduced. Costs are lowered even by saving time in the retrieval of information from a database or website. Rapid searches are carried out by simply using a key word such as the name of a customer or a component (Business Case Studies, 2019).

It is now much easier to analyze and gain deep insight into how customers are working as more data is flowing. Analytics services are widening to allow businesses to segment their prospects into definite groups, making it much easier to target them and get better returns on investment in advertising. For example, Google account can let a business know where the users are from, the kind of browser they are using, have they visited a website, what they do on that website, how long they are likely to stay and at what point they decide to leave. Advanced analytics allows businesses to become even more focused in order to improve their conversions significantly.

Information technology has made it simple for people to stay in touch, and communicate with employees and colleagues through video chat or by sending email blasts to leads, particularly during lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic when everybody is confined to home, and work from home is emerging as new normal. The tough time of lockdown has made social networking and emotional proximity more relevant. Mobile technology and continuous innovations have made it possible for communication to take on a new level of hyper-realism.

Two things have come together to make a "buyer's market" possible. Both hardware and software needed for creating the necessary solutions have become more affordable, and tech-savvy entrepreneurs appear to make use of these technologies. Earlier, even large companies used to take about a year to build a back-end inventory system. Now, it takes a few college graduates less than a month to develop the same. The solutions have become affordable and user friendly. Therefore, businesses do not have to invest too much money into them.

Gen Y (born during the period 1981-1996) has come of age and it is now the force driving the modern economy. It is greater in number than the baby boomers (born during the period 1946-1964) and is a lot more liberal with the wallet. Gen Y is all about instant gratification is connected, and tech-savvy.

Critical Services in Covid-19

Compared to many other industries, the IT industry is expected to have an enormous market boom from US$ 131 Billion in 2020 to US$ 295 Billion in the next five years i.e., by 2025. The main reason for this increase in the economy for this industry is the increased demand for software and social media platforms such as Google Hangouts, WhatsApp, Video Call, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams. All these teleconferencing tools help the people who are in quarantine due to Covid-19 to stay in touch with their family members as well as have conference meetings and work at the same time. The economy will also blossom, because during the pandemic people have understood the importance of technology in helping them to stay safe and communicate with doctors and public.

Educational Services too have grown with technology. Education needs to be in tune with the advancement in technology so that it could reach the students to prepare them for the future, because they are the thought leaders, businessmen/ businesswomen, teachers and investors of tomorrow. This is why the use of gadgets in teaching, such as computers, mobile phones, and tablets, as well as the use of internet as a medium of learning has become a reality today. With an increasing number of transactions happening online, it is imperative that financial and security institutions work together to make the internet safe. As more transactions are done on the internet, there is a need for more networks and greater security, making it possible for banks to keep their operations secure.

IT and Accounting come from different backgrounds. Accounting has been practiced since 8500 BC till today and perhaps there are not many changes in the way accounts are maintained. However, IT is advancing very rapidly and changing every day. New technologies become obsolete within couple of months. The influence of IT is inescapable in today's world, as it results in competitive advantage and growth in business. IT systems make available all possible information to those who need it to take a decision at the point of action with appropriate measures. There is a paradigm shift from position-based to knowledge-based decisions.

Health Sector is getting reformed with advancements in information technology. Hospitals are now able to share medical information with other hospitals and clinics, and they can get a patient's health data from his/her previous doctors. This makes it possible to provide timely care at reduced cost. At the same time, there is an increasing need for safety due to greater number of online transactions. Data and information need to be kept safely and accessible to the authentic person only. The use of encryption and passwords has thus gained greater importance to keep digital data safely hidden away and accessible only to those who have permission of the authentic user. World Health Organization has mentioned telehealth as one of the critical services in Covid-19 emergency policy response. Here, two medical professionals can discuss a specific case on phone while at different health centers. This could help people to get diagnosed, treated and operated without the need of a physician to be physically present.

Meeting Emerging Challenges

Technology should be used to integrate communication within the organization so that employees are on the same page while using collaborative platforms and social media to keep everyone updated about the present status of business and way forward. Remaining in sync with the goals of the business promotes productivity of the employees significantly. Technology will be used more Post Covid-19 to improve delivery of service based on feedback of the customers. Many countries facing shutdown have invested in smart city solutions such as the cops in China are using drones attached with thermal sensors to identify the symptoms of Covid-19 and get immediate medical help.

In Australia, the government had launched a chatbot to keep the citizens up to date with the situation and answer their questions so that they are able to nullify the spread of misleading information and stop the panic that could be created in public. In South Korea, the local government has launched a Smartphone app that keeps the self-quarantine employees in touch with their co-workers to keep the updates to the work process and to ask any questions. The time has come to do away with passwords altogether and use biometric security systems so that a person does not have to remember multiple passwords at a time. Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Machine Learning will play significant role in the functioning of organizations.

Companies need to upgrade IT infrastructure adequately to cope with the emerging challenges in the new normal. Companies will have to share technologies. Work from home will be adopted as a norm by many companies. Post Covid -19, a lot of opportunities will open in the IT industry, such as the growing need for the 5th generation (5G) technology. This will help increase connections that support the primed remote interactions, as this has become top priority for many organizations due to the pandemic.

References

La Mares, Nicole (2018). Information Technology & Its Uses in Business Management. https://www.smallbusiness.chron.com

Miley, Erik (2018). Uses of Information Technology in Business. October 11, https://www.bizflent.com

Business Case Studies (2019). The Use of IT. September 25, https://www.businesscasestudies.co.uk

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