How has COVID-19 accelerated digital transformation?
Digital transformation is the process of using digital technologies to create new (or even to modify existing) business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and market requirements. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of digital transformation and having a digital strategy in place.
The world has changed in ways that have never been seen before in recent months, and businesses need to change with it to avoid being left in the dust.The pandemic has allowed for the wide adoption of all things digital, from video conferencing software such as Zoom and Microsoft teams to entirely new, innovative platforms. The way that people and businesses have reacted to the “new normal” has meant that they are entering a digital transformation up to five years before they would have before the pandemic.
The pace of digital transformation and the technology industry was already fast, now factoring in a pandemic, the industry is changing in a way we have never seen before, from breakthroughs in artificial intelligence to combat the virus to providing the healthcare industry with the most in depth and detailed medical tools.
The main catalyst to recent digital transformations is the adoption of remote working, new and innovative technologies have been developed which could allow for many companies to allow remote working far into the future. It has been found that 80% of large technology corporations are more likely to allow employees to work remotely in the future.
McKinsey & Company, one of the world’s largest consulting firms, has highlighted the need for businesses to have a digital strategy to prepare for situations like this and to also help combat the COVID-19 pandemic. McKinsey suggests four key areas of focus to become agile, the four key areas are; to innovate entirely new digital offerings, deploying design thinking and technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) at scale across your business, and doing all of this “at pace” through acquisitions. The global consulting company says that it is imperative to reinvent your business at its core. The way to do this is through making changes to; Supply chain transparency and flexibility, data security and finally remote workforces and automation.
The Online Safety Bill: What is it and what does it mean?
New internet laws will be published today in the UK in the draft Online Safety Bill to protect children online and tackle some of the worst abuse on social media, including racist hate crimes.
The draft legislation, which was previously known as the Online Harms Bill, has been two years in the making. Some new additions to the bill include provisions to tackle online scams, such as romance fraud and fake investment opportunities.
What does it include?
The draft Bill includes changes to put an end to harmful practices and brings in a new era of accountability and protections for democratic debate, including:
New additions to strengthen people’s rights to express themselves freely online, while protecting journalism and democratic political debate in the UK.
Further provisions to tackle prolific online scams such as romance fraud, which have seen people manipulated into sending money to fake identities on dating apps.
Social media sites, websites, apps and other services hosting user-generated content or allowing people to talk to others online must remove and limit the spread of illegal and harmful content such as child sexual abuse, terrorist material and suicide content.
Ofcom will be given the power to fine companies failing in a new duty of care up to £18 million or ten per cent of annual global turnover, whichever is higher, and have the power to block access to sites.
A new criminal offence for senior managers has been included as a deferred power. This could be introduced at a later date if tech firms don’t step up their efforts to improve safety.
Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “Today the UK shows global leadership with our groundbreaking laws to usher in a new age of accountability for tech and bring fairness and accountability to the online world.
“We will protect children on the internet, crack down on racist abuse on social media, and through new measures to safeguard our liberties, create a truly democratic digital age.
The draft Bill will be scrutinised by a joint committee of MPs before a final version is formally introduced to Parliament.