The rapid transformation in technology over the decades has been pushing us towards automated processes when the pandemic rushed the sectors to quickly adopt various ways of communicating with their clients, teams and customers while tracking businesses activities on a daily basis. With remote working, work from home to hybrid models of working, planning virtual business management means taking into account the technological advancements that are necessary to adopt. This is the core of operations today and this core is managed by the IT teams which allow its employees, clients, customers and other parties involved in the functioning of businesses to interact hassle free and efficiently.
At the ease of our home, we are able to connect with our colleagues in other parts of the country/ world via video/ teleconferencing, screen-share and easy digital transmission of sensitive documents with protected codes. Many applications now also offer collaborative workspace online – google documents/ sheets, Airtable and more – wherein one person can make changes and edit in real time while the other reviews the changes in the same document, offering a centralized place for project management and storing information that is easy to access.
Here are some leading examples of collaborative tools, applications and software that aided small teams to large global organization in managing their businesses:
– Project Management tool: Tools that aid in planning, assigning tasks, tracking progress, schedules and managing tasks via one centralized hub. Such as Microsoft Project, JIRA, Basecamp and more.
– Virtual Meeting Tools: Tools that aid in cloud calling, virtual meetings like webEx meetings and GoToMeeting
– Collaborative Tools: That assist a team to directly communicate and find easy access to what they are looking for. These are channel based messaging platforms that transform the business communication process. Like Slack and Huddle.
– Document creation and save applications like Dropbox, Google Drive and more.
– Video calling applications such as Skype, Google Hangouts and more.
Some of the global brands that have aided to bring the world closer during the past couple of years of pandemic are Microsoft, Google and Zoom. While these brands aced the transformational process of managing their businesses virtually using merging tech, there were many sectors like manufacturing, retail, hospitality and few more that suffered losses due to their nature of businesses demanding a more in person experience with their customers. Here is a look into how some industries have been managing their virtual business via the use of technology:
- Retail Industry
When the only point of contact between the final product and consumer is them visiting the store to interact before purchasing, and that main source is forced to shut in pandemic, the sector sure did find it hard to tackle the loss of its sales. While e-commerce has widely taken over almost all goods that can fall under retail, there are some products that demand an experiential process before the customers make their buying decision. Technology came as a savior for the retail sector, especially when it came to fashion clothing, accessories, handbags, footwear, watches, laptops and mobiles.
A few examples of what brands have been offering to their customers to enhance their online shopping experience:
- Virtual Try-ons: With the use of AR technology, apps now offer consumers a virtual try-on for a garment, sunglasses, earnings, shoes, beauty and makeup brands and a few other products.
- AR apps for shopping: AR/VR technology has helped many brand built virtual stores that can be visited via mobile application or gaming headsets – offering a 360 degree view of a grocery store – adding items to cart like in a shopping mall. Enhancing the experience of a consumer.Also Read: Digital Transformation for Business Agility
Another hard hit sector was the manufacturing sector in the recent pandemic. While science and technology has enabled automation at many levels, human presence is necessary to keep smooth functioning with efficiency in such automated factories. Another noteworthy aspect is how most parts of the world are still heavily reliant on their manpower to produce desired results. These manufacturing units, especially mid-size and small ones do not have the capital to invest in emerging technology which at the moment are rather expensive.
Some examples of technologies used in manufacturing sector at the moment are:
AR/VR – Augmented and virtual reality are being widely used in the manufacturing sector in the design process of prototypes, maintaining and repairing products and inventory management. In certain sensitive manufacturing units, AR/VR devices can automatically display temperatures and other critical information for employees to be aware and understand all components.
Robotics/ Robots – While assembly line functions have been reliant on the automation process by robots, robotic technology is growing rapidly to make the manufacturing processes more cost-efficient and consistent. The challenge here is how manufacturing units adopt the increasingly sophisticated and intelligent robots into their everyday functions.
Wearables – Smart devices like smart watches, smart glasses and other accessories are now available for factory workers and engineers which help them to monitor productivity, get updates on real time changes, and improve the overall safety and efficiency. Also Read: Why has Digital Transformation Become a Necessary Disruption?
3. Gaming Sector
We all remember our childhood days of playing in the park and growing up in game arenas to play video games. World has come a long way since then. The proliferation of the number of emerging technologies has offered the gaming industry a fundamental shift. Gaming industry today is one of the most lucrative sectors that has one of the smoothest adaptations to managing their virtual business.
AR/VR – Gaming sector has been the pioneer in making use of AR/VR and building a world now more popularly known as Metaverse, in simpler words, virtual world with our virtual avatars.
While AR is the leading technology in gaming, here are some other innovations that changed the face of gaming –
- Introduction of mobile gaming in the early 2000’s gave consumers the power at the touch of their hands. With the most popular games – decades old- now easily accessible in hands, the industry became a magnet for many entrepreneurs.
- Gaming and retail – Building AR gaming experiences is now a great power play by a brand that aids in offering its customers a quirky and unique way of engaging and interacting with the brand while having fun and enjoying themselves. These gaming experiences also offer digital product lines for customers virtual closets that can be highlighted and shared via social media and also links to digital storefronts of the brands.
4. Education Sector
Education has been long considered an activity that requires an extensive amount of human interaction over a period of time. Going to school from a young age to attending college/university is one of the most common aspects of human life across the globe. In the recent past, while many EdTech brands have been working to offer world class education via online learning modules, nothing pushed online learning and hybrid learning more than the pandemic. Many Edtech tools were used to adapt that embody the use of emerging technology, including use of
- 3D animations,
- Visual effects,
- Virtual Reality (VR), – Making learning experiential and offering stimulations of real life experiences or a glimpse into the metaverse world via virtual reality is rapidly gaining more demand in the education sector.
- Gamification – Making learning fun and interactive by introducing educational games is now almost a necessity.
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