September 2, 2020
It is that time of year once again: London Tech Week. Only, like every other major event and aspect of business, it has had to be adapted to fit the ‘new normal’ and the demands of 2020. In fact, it is now taking place virtually this month, as opposed to the traditional June.
As suggested in a previous post, under normal circumstances London Tech Week is marked in everyone’s calendar as to the ‘go-to’ event where businesses, researchers and entrepreneurs discuss the most pressing topics facing the sector, and the role technology will play in future society. It offers a moment where the global tech community can gather in the UK’s capital and growing technology hub to share ideas, celebrate new innovations and, of course, to network.
Whilst the pandemic has meant changing the event’s format - which has no doubt proven a challenge for its organisers who will be working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure everything runs smoothly - the sentiment of London Tech Week is just as valid, if not more so.
Accelerating digital transformation
Over the past few months, the coronavirus has forced great change and accelerated digital transformation across multiple industries.
With the sudden move to remote working, both businesses and government have had to quickly pivot and adjust their operations, testing our global communications infrastructure, with Vodafone reporting early on a data traffic increase of as much as 50 per cent.
Likewise, cloud services and customer relationship management (CRM) companies such as Salesforce, have seen a tremendous growth in demand for their services throughout this period, as we all adapt to new working habits .
Such a pandemic has brought many new innovations to the fore and, once again, technology has proven its resilience, providing inventive solutions to new problems. For example, despite the challenges faced throughout lockdown, EdTech has enabled students to continue with their studies.
Similarly, social distancing has meant that telehealth has become a vital tool in providing continuity of health services. In fact, a report by Frost & Sullivan suggests there will be a 64.3 per cent rise in demand for telehealth services throughout 2020 in the US alone. Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) launched a chatbot on Facebook Messenger to provide up-to-date information to billions around the world on the spread of the coronavirus and its symptoms. All these technological innovations of course, are designed to answer society’s problems, as well as encourage partnership and communication.
Technology in future society
Interestingly, a familiar London Tech Week mantra is ‘be part of the future’, an indicator of collaboration and unity. Familiar topics will feature such as 5G, quantum computing and artificial intelligence (the latter of which, according to a new report by IDC, is expected to see global spending double over the next four years).
However, taking the last few months into consideration, I think the event will also likely examine what the future holds for us, and how technology can continue to answer some of society’s toughest questions. Also, the critical role that technology will play in our future society and the immediate ‘new normal’ with attention on keeping people safe and healthcare. I look forward to seeing the trends emerging from discussions this week and next, and hearing what some of today’s leading tech innovators have to say.