With many organizations forced into remote work setups due to the global pandemic, and with limited capacity to deliver physical services, there is a growing need for providers in all industries to accelerate digitization and agile work formats across their entire operation, from supporting their employees and adjusting their supply chain to communicating, as well as delivering products and services to customers and partners.
At the same time, people who might have long been considered slow to adopt new tools, or still preferred more conventional solutions, are now being exposed to new ways of working, communicating, and consuming. And many of them are realizing that some of these solutions are much better experiences than what they were used to.
It’s not just about digitizing everything, it’s about serving human needs at the most critical of times—putting humanity at the center of continuing to function as a society. While we are forced to adapt amid the crisis, we can also view this as an opportunity to focus our energy on designing what truly matters for our people, our communities, our partners, our customers, and our employees.
For public services, this is an opportunity to remove bureaucracy and deliver everything through digital channels and videoconferencing. Imagine never having to come into a public office just to submit paperwork again. The vision of digital voting may become true—just because we need to make the shift—but the experience we create can become the best one we could imagine, increasing voter turnout, as well as avoiding crowds and miscounts.
Financial services can now feel confident about accelerating existing processes of digitizing all services, while also providing live banking support through videoconferencing and human support through phone calls and chats. This is true across the board for retail, commercial, and investment banking, small and medium business services, freelance solutions, and the internal employee experience. When it comes to our banking and finance, many of us have wondered out loud, “Why is it still like this in 2020?” Now is the opportunity to shape it in a way that serves real human needs, and, given the expected economic downturn, provide improved efficiencies for the financial service providers.
Healthcare services are also rapidly introducing and scaling more telehealth, on-demand, and robotic services. While these technologies are not new, we are now seeing mass adoption and usage of these solutions outside major providers with local and independent care providers experimenting and introducing them. As more providers and patients experiment with and adopt these tools, we should think about the optimal patient and care provider experience. What is the role of physical clinics? What’s expected of empowered patients and how can they best prepare themselves for home treatment? When can we use an app for diagnosis and when should we really call the doctor? These questions are starting to become more real and practical. Now is the opportunity to address some of them and shape the healthcare experience we are all wishing for.
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The transition to remote teaching and learning has forced our entire education system to transform in a matter of days. From pre-schools to higher education, everyone is now exploring ways of delivering classes virtually. While it might not be ideal, it could be the best thing to have happened in order to truly upgrade the way we teach, study, and learn.
As institutions are jumping right into delivering existing content through Zoom, there is an opportunity to think about how this new setup can enhance the learning experience moving forward—how do we use our classrooms and campuses? What is the role of teachers and parents in a remote setting? How do we design a home learning environment for students? And how can we reimagine the delivery and engagement formats to compete with other online and virtual content experiences?
These examples are few and broad, but the need to accelerate change is real and present for many organizations across almost every industry. The need to take action may be forced upon us, but the opportunity to design and shape solutions that could improve our service experiences for humanity is up to us. Because what matters to people, matters to business, and matters to society.
This article first appeared in NoCamels, which covers innovations from Israel for a global audience.