Though terrible, the pandemic has given us much-needed time to pause, reflect, and perhaps make some changes to the way we live our lives. We have a chance to reevaluate what is really important to us. What brings us happiness? What drains our energy? What experiences add meaning to our days? Which ones take it away? We have an opportunity to face this challenge in a way that makes us better people.
At the time of writing this piece, I am just one of five million people emerging from the world’s longest coronavirus-related lockdown, in Melbourne, Australia. For nearly two months, I was only allowed to leave the house once a day for essential items and required to stay within three miles of my home. From takeaway meals to IT support, to doctor’s appointments, most of the goods and services I've needed have been ordered virtually. Since COVID-19 hit, I’m amazed at how quickly the world went virtual.
Artificial Intelligence and the Pandemic
Artificial Intelligence (AI) defines the 21st century, impacting and driving transformation across every business and industry. With the new norms thrust upon us due to the pandemic, businesses and industries have had to find ways to transform overnight. Previously, it may have taken several years for an organization to make an incremental change or improvement.
Since March, tens of millions of Americans have lost their jobs, bringing the United States’ unemployment rate to its highest point since the Great Depression. The near-term pain is obvious, but how will this seismic economic event influence the workforce a generation from now?
Well, many companies adopt automation in only one department of their business, while the rest of the department will rely on legacy systems. An automation platform cannot perform to its ultimate capabilities if the whole company is not on the same system. When you talk about company-wide automation, many companies are hesitant to deploy automation company-wide because it can require a lot of training and the system may not be user-friendly.
Amid the pandemic, it’s fair to say the outsourced service operating model, particularly in customer service, has experienced forced change. While cost has always been the key driver in services outsourcing, Covid-19 has caused a monumental shift from cost being the critical point, to risk management and quality as the metrics and measures that now matter most. Call centers have had a particularly tough time of things; the actions that many of them have taken have been admirable, but it’s becoming clearer that long-term change has accelerated to the short term.
The coronavirus outbreak is having a profound impact on every business’ supply chain. The U.S. manufacturing PMI indicated the worst contraction in production, new orders, and employment since the 2008 recession. Nearly 75% of companies report supply chain disruptions in March, a number most expect to rise further.
The future of work will be defined by automation. With such transformative change, everyday workers may be skeptical about how it will affect them. However, what many fear-inducing headlines often don’t reveal is that automation creates plenty of opportunities.