Technology in Our New Reality

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What role is technology playing in keeping the industry going and where could it lead us down the line?

We’ve spoken a lot about how the changes brought about by COVID-19 are affecting businesses in our industry and how we are acting to mitigate the risks brought about by these changes. We’ve also explored how the home office can provide benefits to efficiency and productivity, but what of our interactions with clients and others in the industry? 

Digitisation:

We have been moving towards a more digitised world for some time now, in the last month though, the need for this has been rapidly accelerated. In the rail industry, as with many other industries, the sharing of information and news is primarily done through technical meetings, networking events and conferences. The cancellation or postponement of these events has led to many organisations hosting webinars and virtual conferences to maintain a platform for updates and debates. Depending on the success of these online meetings, organisations will have the capability going forward to host conferences both in person and online simultaneously. Giving people the opportunity to attend either virtually or physically has the potential to significantly increase attendance at these events.

Adapting and Interacting:

The cancellation of events and conferences also presents the issues of finding a new method of showcasing products and services and meeting new clients. In a time where being at the forefront of your client’s plans is imperative, new means of promoting products and services must be explored. Some companies are bringing forward product launches, while others make a move towards online advertising. A challenge of the online world is to find ways of maintaining a personal connection to clients. Competition in this area is going to be tough, but tough competition breeds innovation and quality.

The world on the other side:

We find ourselves in a constantly changing situation, which means our solutions have to be equally flexible. As is often the case, technology is going to be at the forefront of our solutions. The new approach that has to be taken to combat these challenges will lead to an influx of technology designed to vastly improve business processes. Companies using a cloud-based storage system are at an advantage over companies needing to use VPN software to access their local server-based systems. Many VPN based systems are designed only for occasional use and are struggling to cope with the mass usage that comes with an entire company working from home. Will this lead to a migration towards cloud-based systems for better business continuity in times of crisis?