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Innovation and digital transformation; the other side of COVID-19

According to Red Hat’s annual report, 2021 Global Tech Outlook, 65% of companies state they have stepped up their digital transformation process in 2020.

The tourism and education sectors are examples where the need and importance of the digital transformation process is evident. Thanks to this process, both sectors have been able to offer solutions against COVID-19, in response to the needs of their users.

February 2021 – Even though the COVID-19 pandemic has had a very negative impact on all areas of society, it has triggered innovation, and with it, digital transformation has been stepped up in practically all industries. As occurs in all great crises, finding solutions that can help tackle arising new challenges is essential, and it is here where most innovative ideas are born. To fight the pandemic, continue with their operations and survive this situation, the different sectors have been required to adapt and innovate in their business models.

“Due to the pandemic, we have been able to observe that the digitization process, which was slowly being implemented, has been stepped up in a manner that was unforeseeable. A great effort has been made by all sectors to adapt their businesses and seek solutions to tackle the new challenges, where digitization has become one of the keys to being able to provide a quick response. Nowadays our society has become more digitally developed”, says Enric Quintero, General Manager of Beabloo.

According to the annual report by Red Hat, 2021 Global Tech Outlook, that surveys more than 1,400 leaders from the Information Technology (IT) departments of different companies to find out where they are at in terms of digital transformation, 21% of them said they had to activate their digital transformation plans sooner than expected because of the pandemic. These are companies that had not yet begun their digital transformation process.

If we also take into account companies that had already begun their digital transformation process and have continued or stepped it up due to COVID-19, we see that a total of 65% of those surveyed said they have stepped up the process. Also, among companies that have not yet begun this process, 19% of them say they are beginning to implement new technologies and are on the path to digital transformation.

In sectors that have been greatly affected by the pandemic as well as others, which due to their essential nature have been required to continue their operations, digitization has not only been essential to their activity, it has played an essential role in preparing their businesses for the future.

The tourism and education sectors are perfect examples where the need and importance of this digital transformation process is evident. Both these sectors had to be able to offer solutions against COVID-19 in response to the need to keep their clients and workers safe in the case of tourist establishments, and in keeping students, parents, teachers and non-teaching staff safe in the case of educational centers. The implemented solutions were always conditioned to the health regulations and procedures that were imposed by public institutions.

Before the pandemic, these sectors focused their technology investments on digital on-line projects, while always giving preference to face interactions. However, the current situation has required them to rely on technological innovation to continue providing a quality service that is essential, while also guaranteeing safety by minimizing the risk of infection.

“Technology that allows companies and public spaces to adapt to the health regulations and measures and operate as normal is also being applied in these sectors. Applying these technological solutions reduces the risk of infection, while guaranteeing compliance with measures that have proven essential to stopping the spread of the virus. Considering the economic repercussions of the pandemic, protecting people and increasing the sense of safety is essential”, explains the executive.

Projects such as Interaction Care by Beabloo, among others, are examples of the technological innovation against COVID-19 that is being applied in these sectors. The solution developed by Beabloo to secure physical spaces against the virus is based on installing sensors in these spaces. It incorporates systems that provide body temperature control, occupancy management, detection of high-risk interactions and mask detection. It provides anonymous data about occupancy, audience and interactions, which can be subsequently analyzed to help optimize the spaces and improve the experience of clients and users. This data can also be used in the future once the pandemic is over.

Education centers like Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona, Spain) and Universitat Rovira i Virgili (Tarragona, Spain), and airports like Istanbul Grand Airport (Turkey) or the hotel/lodge Ionis in Athens (Greece) are some examples of places where this system is being implemented in addition to different hospitals, pharmacies, markets and many other physical spaces where this technology is already being used.

The pandemic has proven just how essential digitization has become in our society. Digitization has become an essential tool for managing COVID-19 and key to the survival and future development of companies.