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14 Pandemic-Driven Tech Innovations That Will Continue To Impact The World

During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, many businesses might have had to come to a complete halt if not for cutting-edge solutions from the tech industry. Although the work done by every tech team to enable remote work, e-commerce and connectivity has been valuable, the pandemic has seen its share of definite tech winners—there’s no doubt, for instance, that video conferencing now has a secure place in both the business and consumer worlds.

So which technologies that emerged during the pandemic will have a lasting impact on how we live and work? Below, 14 industry leaders from Forbes Technology Council discuss the tech innovations that are likely to stick around a long time after the Covid-19 pandemic is over.

1. Cloud Computing

Cloud computing was already prevalent, but the pandemic drove a dramatic acceleration in its use. Possibly the No. 1 technical foundation for agility, flexibility and digital, cloud computing has been key to the transformation of business models and customer experience that companies needed to respond to the pandemic. – Michael Fulton, Expedient

2. Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing

As a pandemic-driven technology, computer-assisted telephone interviewing has been very valuable to health researchers during Covid-19 lockdowns and beyond. A big advantage of CATI is that it can be done with any type of phone and doesn’t require literacy on the part of participants. It enables equity and inclusion, allowing researchers to gather data from diverse participants. – Praduman Jain, Vibrent Health

3. Financial Process Automation

As companies move into their new work structures and we see more funding going into tools to support distributed workforces, it will continue to be critical for finance departments to automate financial processes as much as possible—no matter where they are working from—so they can focus on more strategic initiatives to drive the business forward. – Chen Amit, Tipalti Ltd.

4. Embedded Financial Technology

Embedded financial technology has been a winner and will continue to grow in the post-pandemic space. Nonbank companies are offering financial services that include digital wallets, payments and lending. Firms in a variety of industries—including retail, telecommunications, automotive manufacturing, insurance, transportation, hospitality, food, logistics and technology—are building embedded financial services to serve business and consumer segments. – Spiros Liolis, Micro Focus

5. Nonfungible Tokens

The pandemic brought a critical need for artists—whether independent or with label representation—to find a new way to distribute their content and create value for future content, live shows and so on. The early adoption of nonfungible tokens in the arts and entertainment space is incredible, as Generation-Z consumers become more involved in commerce. This is one new asset class that is here to stay. – Amanda Dorenberg, COMMB

6. Intelligent Security Technology

With security risks heightened by the pandemic, the cybersecurity industry has stepped up and showcased its innovation. In particular, intelligent security technology that can mitigate insider breaches has helped organizations keep their data secure. With a future of long-term hybrid working on the horizon, businesses will need to be proactive when it comes to insider risk. – Tony Pepper, Egress

7. Cybersecurity Vendors

Among clear winners are cybersecurity vendors. A significant percentage of hacks originate with employees being careless with passwords or laptops—now, because of the pandemic, those same laptops are the ones going home, making the cyber risk much higher for organizations. Finding cyber tools to protect those assets has become a top priority for companies. This also applies to networks and mobile devices. – Mercedes Soria, Knightscope

8. Virtual Reality

As teams and individuals went remote, virtual reality experienced an uptick in attention and activity. Many innovative new uses and software releases for VR have come to the forefront to help people feel more connected, more productive and, oftentimes, more entertained. Whether it’s education, gaming, video conferencing or work, VR can bring people closer together in a Covid-19-safe way. – Marc Fischer, Dogtown Media LLC

9. Artificial Intelligence

We are in the middle of an AI renaissance that has been accelerated during the pandemic. Companies are using this as an opportunity to leverage AI to reinvent themselves to succeed in the long term. Coming out of the pandemic, we will continue this AI renaissance and see AI move from a tech enabler to a tech driver, making AI a vital piece of the overall business strategy to help drive long-term value. – Jeff Wong, EY

10. Telehealth Solutions

At the onset of the pandemic, access to health services was constrained to give hospitals headroom to focus on patient triaging and safety. Then, healthcare providers adopted video-conferencing tools to offer virtual services and practice-management solutions to optimize their operations. The market grab by tech players that offer these solutions continues to be strong. – Rena Christina Tabata, ShareSmart (Think Tank Innovations Ltd.)

11. Mental Fitness Apps

Mental fitness apps such as Calm have been pandemic-driven winners. People are taking their mental health more seriously given that we have all had to spend a lot of time with ourselves. I believe it’s a great thing and will have a lasting impact. Even when the pandemic is over, people are likely to stick to their mental fitness routine. – Vikram Joshi, pulsd

12. Streaming Services

Streaming services are clear winners. Paramount+, HBO Max and Peacock all debuted in 2020. They joined Disney+, Netflix, Apple and others. Streaming services provide the companies with predictable subscription revenue—there’s no more waiting to see if their movie is a hit. Plus, those dollars are going straight to the source, skipping the theaters. Consumers clearly like the model. Expect to see streamers offered in bundles. – David Moise, Decide Consulting

13. Home Broadband

Home broadband providers are the clear winners. Many of us have increased our home broadband speeds and capacities to cope with the increased bandwidth requirement for working from home and homeschooling. How many of us will revert back to previous packages and save the increased costs? My guess is very few, as we all enjoy the new operating speeds provided. – Mark Brown, British Standards Institution (BSI)

14. Personal Service Apps

Apps for personal service providers, such as Instacart, Doordash and others, have made strangers part of a team that supports many households. You can have almost any household item delivered to your doorstep on demand. – Laureen Knudsen, Broadcom

What do you think?

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