As a rule, associated with new cutting-edge technology, disruption is not necessarily linked to a fantastic discovery. It actually defines a change in the way we do something or how we behave in a situation. And if there’s one thing the pandemic has done is to change our habits and behavior, isn’t it?
The spread of the covid-19 virus almost radically changed many of the things we did leading to new habits, such as social distancing, mask-wearing in the Western world, telemedicine consultations, and remote work. With the pandemic, and the need to preserve our health and that of others, we are constantly thinking about how to carry out our tasks without exposing ourselves to the risk of contagion. In other words, we started to have a disruptive mentality.
Disruption can come with the launch of a new product or service, which considerably changes the way you do, consume or solve something, but it can also happen with a relevant decrease in costs or price. If a service that used to be charged is now offered for free with the same efficiency, it causes disruption, because no one else will be able to charge for it. That is, we can shout “Eureka” without necessarily discovering a theory of physics, like the Greek mathematician Archimedes.
The covid-19 pandemic accelerated the digital transformation. Some trends that were already emerging were accelerated and amplified. We move forward in months what would likely take a few years if there was no global emergency. New solutions and services, digital platforms, startups have multiplied at an impressive speed.
Amid the complex challenges in very different areas, such as science, health, commerce, food, transport, the scenario designed by the new coronavirus has created countless opportunities. Apparently, the changes promoted by the pandemic should shape the main technological trends to be incorporated in the coming years.
We will reunite with friends, travel, and go out on the streets.
We are moving towards an era of XaaS (Everything as a Service), in which companies will offer products and services in increasingly decentralized technological environments, with on-demand and customized solutions. Remote work and virtual collaboration will become the norm (the so-called new normal) in many areas, even when we overcome the uncertainties arising from the pandemic.
Emerging technologies, such as the internet of behaviors (IoB), with increasingly mobile and virtual interactions, systems capable of ensuring privacy and data protection, public cloud services, smarter and more flexible business processes and hyper-automation will shape this new reality. These technologies added to the advancement of innovations such as machine learning, internet of things (IoT), cloud computing, artificial intelligence, 5G, digital twins, and the disruptive mindset we’ve developed will take us to the next stage, which some call the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
These changes will have a major impact on the corporate world, the economy, and social behavior. Materials science is one of the areas that must undergo a disruption, with the development of products that, in addition to being recyclable, can be reused, significantly extending their useful life and reducing waste generation. Likewise, the need to substantially reduce gas emissions will lead to significant changes in the areas of energy and transport.
The covid-19 saga will end, and we will certainly return to old habits, such as meeting friends, traveling and taking to the streets without fear, but even so, our reality will be very different from the one we lived until the appearance of the new coronavirus.