Early 2021 we are still struggling with the second wave of Covid-19 and epidemiologists suggest we even should expect a third wave too. Efficiency of the vaccines and distribution hereof will determine how big an impact on business, public and private activities we still have to accommodate to.
No doubt we are now much better prepared. Industries, governments, educational institutions yes, any organization not previously familiar with digital communication now spend hours in Teams, Zoom or Skype meetings and remote work and collaboration has now become the norm. Communication tools are now critical infrastructure. This will no doubt continue to a certain extent saving organizations the costs of travelling and CO2 quotas when possible. Covid-19 has indeed sparked and consolidated the expectation that you should be able to be and meet online where ever you are, doing whatever you need to do in a secure and efficient manner.
Demand for communication infrastructure such as 5G has already jumped to the next level and will probably even be driving investments in developing the technology standard for 6G even faster.
To address monopolistic tendencies in the supply it is likely that investments will be supplemented towards alternative communication technologies such as satellites too.
What we have learned in 2020 about means for virus protection is that applying digital health care solutions could play a vital role for early and prompt governing of future virus pandemics. With surveillance of health conditions and a simple health passport in your mobile phone spreading of a virus could be controlled through gatekeeping not allowing infected people into public transport, market spaces, sport events and music festivals etc. China and other countries in the south east asian area have showcased indeed how efficient a tool this could be. Data privacy agents would argue that there could be a risk of violating the Rights and Freedom of the data subjects if their whereabouts are surveilled and controlled and health data is not carefully protected and managed. However similar health App solutions already exist in the market. Potentially this could shift the balance from privacy concerns for the few individuals to benefit the common good health for the community.
Acceptable use of IT has had a growing attention through 2020 and recently peaked in the afterglow of the violent event at Capitol Hill. Since IT by itself do not provide an ethical stand we have now seen a few Big Tech companies take the lead and apply their own standards of prohibiting misinformation to the furthest extent of permanently suspending a Presidents account. This may advance regulation since regulation will eventually have to level out the differences in the market and bring back governance of misinformation vs. Freedom of Speech to public office.
For teenagers much of the extra spare time due to Covid-19 lockdown have been spent in front of a screen Gaming! Gaming is one way of replacing direct social contact with a similar yet much more powerful substitute. As a parent you worry what long-term impact this growing addiction will bring and ask for much more parental guidance in the future. On the other hand Gaming has become a software development methodology as well as a consultants’ hype facilitation tool! Difficult to say, who is really the Imposter Among Us and who is not?