As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to remain profitable, manufacturing is accelerating digital transformation. Companies are investing an average of 36% of their global budget for all factory-related initiatives toward smart manufacturing. Wow, but it seems to be paying off.
Deaths. The number of deaths is up 17% in June, but not for the reason you think. The surge in deaths has nothing to do with COVID-19. We are all traveling less, but our roads are not any less dangerous. Even with the rebound in VMT (vehicle miles traveled) relative to January, driving is still well short of normal for June and July, because those months are normally much heavier traveling months than January. Again, that doesn’t mean those who are driving on the roads are any less distracted.
With the pandemic, a lot of companies have had to loosen some of the restrictions on remote work and that has unleashed havoc on many industries, particularly those that have a supply-chain of partners such as manufacturing. This is leading to an uptick in attacks. In fact, new research shows four in five firms have had a cybersecurity breach caused by a third-party vendor.
If we want young workers—both those considered millennials and those considered gen Z—we need to better understand them and what they bring to our work environments. Then, perhaps most importantly, we need to craft our jobs, processes, and working environments to enable them to thrive. I am not sure if enough manufacturers have taken these steps.
Let’s face it. The healthcare industry is facing a number of challenges today. Between a very real labor shortage, and the need to keep everything clean, the industry is facing an uphill battle if it doesn’t find some help. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Conor McGinn, CEO, Akara Robotics, to address this very topic and he has an interesting solution. Here is a hint: it’s a robot.
Here at Connected World and over on The Peggy Smedley Show, we are talking about first responders—and the technology that can help them do their job—all month long. With 240 million 911 calls every year, we need to make sure our first responders have the data they need when they need it. With all the information that currently exists, sifting through the noise can be challenging. That is where AI (artificial intelligence) and the IoT (Internet of Things) can help. Technology can help shuffle through all the data and discern what information is needed to respond faster and save more lives.
The opportunities for autonomous driving are vast. It can create a paradigm shift in transportation, freeing up drivers to be passengers, and ultimately leading to fewer traffic fatalities. Less traffic means less pollution. Still, we know the future of AVs (automated vehicles) hinges on a lot more than just the technology. We need cooperation between government and technology. We need to address the public’s concerns for safety related to self-driving cars. Now, the government is taking the steps to create a tool to address this.
Back in June, we wrote a feature narrowing in on the fact that we need to make our homes and buildings healthier. We know that Americans spend about 90% of their time indoors—a statistic that might be higher due to the pandemic. The challenge here is pollutants are often two to five times higher than it is outdoors.
With more than 80% of companies planning to have their staff work remotely at least part-time for the foreseeable future, working from home is still one of the biggest trends impacting the IoT (Internet of Things) and AI (artificial intelligence) space this year. From my personal experience, I can tell you there are some upsides to working from home—and there are some downsides.