DATA HELPS WIN THE WAR
1942 was the year of 3 victories which changed the course of WW2, the British at El Alamein, the Americans at Midway, and the Soviets in the carnage of Stalingrad.
Yet even before these battles the UK Government had already in June 1941 formed the Beveridge Committee. Their subsequent report was published in November 1942 before El Alamein and Stalingrad had concluded laid the foundations of the post-war welfare state, including the National Health Service which so many Britons can thank right now.
The point? At the height of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan’s brutal rampages the British Government had the wisdom to plan for the future. Covid-19 is yet to be defeated, but businesses must start preparing for the post-coronavirus world now, and the digital world of data is going to be a key factor in ensuring a rapid economic recovery.
The challenges businesses must face down are the measures needed to defeat Covid-19. This means innovative thought, the kind employed by that tragic genius Alan Turning whose work at Bletchley Park helped shorten WW2 and founded the world of data that we know today and need to deploy to first overcome Covid-19, then stimulate the vital subsequent economic recovery.
This brief presentation looks at 3 items:
- How data is helping fight the war on Covid-19
- Challenges in planning now
- Why the economic recovery will be digital
The data and graphics included in this presentation come from Imperial College, London
Imperial College Coronavirus updates www.imperial.ac.uk/mrc-global-infectious-disease-analysis/covid-19
CHALLENGES IN PLANNING NOW
As already stated the necessary measures being put into place to defeat Covid-19 are the ones that make doing business difficult right now. Social interaction in the workplace planned and, especially, spontaneous is the catalyst for knowledge and information transfer, the formative process by which we learn and adapt to changing environments. This aids decision making and developing mental business acuity.
Staying at home is not a great place to start thinking of a future when the virus threat is over, especially when this is not foreseeable. Equally for many individuals this is not going to be a priority as they understandably focus upon keeping jobs and maintaining basic levels of business functionality.
Fortunately modern technology while not providing complete solutions does offer substitutions which business managements are embracing. The question is how these substitutions are applied. There are 3 core elements, the third of which is not data driven but important because the right investment will be drive the recovery.
- Connectivity. Video conferencing has taken off, but it is not spontaneous, calls need to be arranged. Time is not used as efficiently, and tend to be scripted. Introducing video ‘coffee breaks’ and ‘social conferencing’ while imperfect creates a human element.
- Home access to data introduces security and compliance issues. Good management relies upon access to data, if not all available data can be provided in a home environment, or if can be, but should not be, it introduces business risk. This needs to be resolved or else business efficiency will decline further than it already will do.
- Motivation. Project planning tends to go out the window in times of emergency, this is a mistake. Projects need to be re-prioritised, and re-planned, this intent of purpose for employees shows there is a future. It is the company’s own Beveridge Committees in action, right now, because it is as good a time as any to look at new options.
PLANNING THE DIGITAL RENAISSANCE
The current situation is taking a dreadful toll on service industries, airlines, tourism, hotels, restaurants, sports the list goes on, and the people who work in them. These will take time to recover, but the digital world can make this process faster by
By its very nature, the digital world is decentralised, yet it facilitates the bringing of information into a single place. It relies less on group contact, by providing solutions that automate previously manual processes. Covid-19 will drive this further, by developing new applications to help in the fight which then have commercial potential. For instance, the BBC reported (www.bbc.com/news/technology-52079287) the NHS is working with leading tech companies in the following areas:
• Microsoft had built a data store on its Azure cloud computing platform to hold the information in a single, secure location
• Palantir was providing use of its Foundry software tool, which analyses records to deliver a ‘single source of truth’
• Faculty AI was developing the dashboards, models and simulations that decision-makers would be presented with
• Google’s G Suite of productivity apps might be used to collect and aggregate real-time operational data such as occupancy levels and A&E capacity
Each of these solutions can assist in getting businesses back to their feet quicker by delivering better understanding of the marketplace, energy consumption, commodity production, just to start with. And these are just some, for instance, tech designed for mobility tracking of quarantined people can be employed to aid manufacturing supply chains, and transport patterns. WHO has picked up Malaysian ‘CoronaTracker’ a community-based website used as a predictive analysis tool.
Why it will be a digital recovery? Businesses will apply solutions with superior analytical tools making businesses more efficient, this will directly lead to a lower cost of recovery.
Covid-19 is likely to accelerate the development of the digital economy, and the digital society. Telecoms are already seeing a benefit, and there is no need to keep a social distance on Facebook, even if some like me keep a social distance from Facebook.
For an additional view point please read Vision Digitals 5 Tips at https://vision-digital.co.uk/5-tips-to-keep-your-business-growing-during-the-c-bomb
pdf is available upon request