Monday, 30 March, 2020
The digital transformation is currently showing people its most helpful face. While digitalization was still a distant vision of the future for many people before the crisis, it will remain part of our everyday reality from now on.
By Sven Krüger, CEO Eucon Group
The acute health crisis surrounding Covid-19 is far from over. This is true from a medical and also from an economic point of view. Nobody knows when the number of cases will have fallen so far that companies worldwide will be able to work halfway productively again under relaxed restrictions. Nevertheless – as is already becoming apparent to me: This crisis is making even the biggest digital skeptics aware of the significance of intelligent networking and will accelerate digitalization in Germany by a considerable margin.
Eucon too is not immune to the current restrictions on public life. We too have directed our employees to work from home – in Europe, the USA and Asia. We are an international company working for the insurance industry, for example. Our data- and technology-based solutions make it possible, among other things, to settle motor vehicle claims digitally in the shortest possible time. Even though the volume of traffic in some major European cities has currently fallen below 20 percent, we can still enable insurers to settle claims quickly in the event of a loss and relieve the burden on their claim handlers working from home.
This crisis of the century is the moment when digital solutions are becoming more important to society than hardly ever before. This should give all of us as well as policymakers crucial impetus. We should ask ourselves whether we shouldn't welcome the digital tomorrow with even more open minds than before.
At any rate, the facts that speak in favor of digitalization are obvious at the moment. The examples are legion. Almost everyone is now familiar with software tools that can be used to productively network large teams from home. Digital 3D printers could soon be able to transfer design plans of ventilators worldwide into rapid mass production. In Italy, a corona hotspot, Facebook reports a 1,000 percent increase in Whatsapp calls, because people in the state-imposed isolation want to talk to and comfort each other. In German supermarkets, we are currently supposed to pay contactlessly by card for reasons of hygiene. Corona will, I am sure, significantly reduce the reluctance to use digital payment processes – in a country where cash has been more popular with consumers than anywhere else. Delivery services bring pizza or groceries to our doorstep because we are no longer allowed to eat out. This too doesn't work without a complex digital infrastructure that provides vital supplies. It also was a localization app that helped to quickly flatten the virus's infection curve in South Korea. For me, these are all great examples of how humans use technology in an effective way to solve acute problems. Digital-based epidemiology, as this crisis shows, can help us in the fight against corona and save many lives.
After the pandemic, the economy in particular will be much more concerned with the issue of digitalization than before. Companies will make intensive efforts to maintain their operational capability through digitalization. After all, the human factor is a risk in modern production and service processes when such a disease breaks out. Intelligent automation in manufacturing is likely to increase speed for vehicle manufacturers for example - another of Eucon's customer groups – so that production plants can manage with far less human labor in an emergency. In the case of our insurance companies, we are already noticing a veritable surge in digitalization against the background of the virus crisis. And customers from the real estate sector are thanking us for giving their staff the continued ability to work remotely with our digital solutions. We often hear: “If only I had taken care of this or that digitalization project earlier.”
There's no question: the digital transformation is currently showing people its most helpful face. State-of-the-art data technologies are helping us to overcome the corona crisis. Above all, though, there will be a time when the pandemic has passed, and we should use the current phase to prepare ourselves successfully for the coming years. While digitalization was still a distant vision of the future for many people before the crisis, it will remain part of our everyday reality from now on.
In Asia, the pandemic is already abating. There, the first of our colleagues are returning to their regular offices. Let's hope that Europe too will return to this point as quickly as possible – and that not only vaccines and drugs against Covid-19 will be found quickly, but also that there will be a widespread realization that there is no alternative to the deep integration of data technologies into the economy and society.
Written by Eucon Group