With the COVID-19 pandemic having a greater impact on food and the supply chain, particularly in densely populated areas, and the precision agriculture market set to grow in the next five years, we have a big opportunity to tap into it—along with the power of AI (artificial intelligence) and the IoT (Internet of Things)—to help make a difference in sustainability and the move from grey to green to blue.
Mobile devices are a critical part of modern society, playing a role in how people communicate with each other personally and professionally, how they accomplish tasks personally and professionally, and how they remain productive on the go. Remote work is now a bigger part of the picture thanks to COVID-19, and mobile-device security should be a focus for both individuals and enterprises that rely on mobile devices, which are consumer devices at their core, for productivity.
Many industries have had to evolve at a rapid pace in the past year, but I would argue one that has had to change the fastest has been the supply chain. While two words likely come to mind when we think back to 2020 and the supply chain—toilet paper—the long-term impact has more far-reaching implications for things like just-in-time manufacturing, sustainability, digital transformation, and the workforce of the future.
For the second year, Cisco’s annual event, Cisco Live!, was virtual. The event wrapped up last week, leaving a lot on the table for the industry to digest. Chuck Robbins, Cisco’s chairman and CEO, pointed to it being a unique moment in history—a moment that’s shaping the future. Robbins says technology is foundational to this future. With the innovations announced at Cisco’s event, Robbins said, “Our customers around the world will not only be able to connect, secure, and automate the future of IT, but also leverage technology to truly power an inclusive future for all.”
Walid Ali, artificial intelligence in manufacturing, Microsoft, joins Peggy again to talk more about AI (artificial intelligence) as it relates to manufacturing and sustainability. He says the workforce has been drastically challenged with what has happened with COVID-19 now that we are facing a demand for efficiency increase, a demand for better productivity, and a demand for also scaling the workforce. He also discusses how the workforce is a foundational pillar in any digital transformation and how to empower them. This discussion really talks about the disruption and innovation that is creating new opportunities that are good for businesses looking ahead.
Companies are making some pretty bold statements when it comes to circularity and the climate. I have explained what Microsoft is doing, as one example. Now, we are seeing the automakers, like BMW, making some bold moves.
Changes coming to the transportation space in the next few decades include not only AVs (autonomous vehicles), but also an overhaul of the transportation paradigm. One way the transportation paradigm may change is a shift toward ridesharing, and many companies are working round-the-clock to develop and deploy autonomous rideshare solutions that will usher in this new era. One lingering question, however, is what the downstream effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will be on the transportation space as a whole. Will the pandemic slow down or even reverse the trend toward urbanization? Will it decelerate adoption trends for rideshare solutions?
Sometimes, it’s hard to admit that you’ve reached your limit and need to take a break, especially when working in a virtual environment. Maybe you frantically do more and more in an attempt to keep up, until a big mistake brings your efforts screeching to a halt. Or perhaps you stop only when you get sick. Or maybe you just give up.
Digitization is forever changing work and workplaces. Digital processes and digital productivity tools, virtual collaboration tools and other technologies that allow work to happen from anywhere, as well as automation and AI (artificial intelligence) are all contributing to the redefinition of work in the next decade.
And while digitization across industries has been trending for some time, what’s new to the future-of-work discussion is COVID-19. It’s possible the pandemic will be a watershed moment in time, a tipping point of sorts toward remote and distributed work. Is this the end of the traditional 9-5 workday? How much of the forced change in the past year will become permanent? How do companies need to rethink their business processes, and how can companies create a people-centric culture in this new world?
The semiconductor space is experiencing upheaval. Demand for chips is high, and the industry is recovering from supply chain issues that plagued it during 2020. Internationally, China’s efforts to become a leader in the semiconductor space are putting pressure on other firms, but not in a good way. In the U.S., things are changing too. In July 2020, after former Intel CEO Bob Swan announced a product delay, Nvidia surpassed Intel as the largest chipmaker in the U.S. (according to market cap values) for the first time. Intel has spent a lot of time in the top spot, jockeying at times for the position with chipmakers like Qualcomm, which announced in January it would acquire chip startup Nuvia. Also in January, Intel replaced Bob Swan with Pat Gelsinger as CEO, supposedly after being pressured to do so.
Increasingly, the need to offer products and services based on up-to-date, or, in some cases, even realtime data is imperative in industries like manufacturing, retail, healthcare, and insurance. Analytics and AI (artificial intelligence) technologies offer a much more accurate and granular look at various metrics that help businesses make decisions about their products, services, and customers. In the insurance space, there’s a drive to adopt predictive analytics and data analytics that can enable more accurate customer experiences and reduce fraud. This is due not only to the big-picture trend toward digital transformation but also to the specific need to compete with insurtech startup firms. In many cases, these startups were founded on the premise of using these technologies to differentiate themselves from the “big dogs” in the space.
We know automation and AI (artificial intelligence) has been sped up due to the COVID-19 pandemic and we are on the precipice of moving toward greater sustainability in industries such as manufacturing. Last week, I made the case the future of manufacturing is sustainable. Today, I am going to argue innovation needs to start with empowering our workforce.