The case for fast-tracking digitalisation
Start now and build resilience for the future
The world is changing rapidly around us and it’s becoming clear that things will not return to ‘normal’. Certainly not soon. Maybe never. When we emerge from the corona crisis, the business landscape will be different. We can expect a restructuring of supply chains, greater localisation, more automation, and a shift in the balance between human capital and artificial intelligence.
In order to prosper, businesses will need to do things differently. The good news is there are some things they can start doing now to become ‘future-fit’.
One important tool for adaptation is digitalisation. Companies that have begun their digitalisation journey are already experiencing a competitive advantage. Andrej Petef of the Sony R&D Center in Lund says others should act fast to avoid getting left behind. “All businesses today need to consider the market disruption coming from data-driven automation and optimisation” he says. “Digitalisation makes it possible to re-engineer the way businesses are run, it can make their operations more sustainable and strengthen their ability to cope with crises – present and future.”
With a sufficiently large data set, and it doesn’t have to be massive, organisations can quickly identify ways to increase efficiency and streamline their operating processes.
Businesses that are currently affected by the economic slowdown could take this opportunity to sharpen the proverbial saw. They could start implementing intelligent, connected services that make them better able to compete in tomorrow’s leaner business world.
One example of such a service is Sony’s Visilion, an asset tracking and supply chain visibility solution. By keeping companies informed in real time of what’s happening to their goods in transit, Visilion helps them mitigate or solve problems and keep deliveries flowing smoothly. Over time, insights generated by Visilion enable streamlining of a strategic kind — leading to better business decisions and increasing the users’ competitiveness.
Although it may not be a priority right now, the long-term drive towards more sustainable business will undoubtedly resume in full force after the corona crisis. Digitalisation is a key enabler of sustainability since it helps companies eliminate waste and do more with fewer resources.
By collecting and analysing key data, organisations across all sectors can pinpoint areas of waste and chip away at them. Those that have started their digitalisation journey are already leaner and less wasteful than their non-digitalised counterparts, which gives them a clear competitive advantage.
One example of a smart waste-reducing service from Sony is Criotive cloud-based access management. Through secure provisioning of virtual keys, Criotive eliminates the need for mobile health workers to travel back and forth to a central location between patient visits – thus not only reducing transport emissions but also saving significant amounts of staff time.
All sectors can of course benefit from digitalisation, but one that has been especially quick to realise its potential is healthcare. Sony’s smart connected services are already helping hospitals run more smoothly, to relieve the bottle necks and win care staff precious time.
As mentioned above, the Visilion outdoor tracking system helps medical supply companies ensure their equipment and drugs make it to their destination in time, and in good condition. Meanwhile the Visilion indoor asset-tracking system allows stretched care staff to find ventilators and other life-saving equipment quickly and easily. Tags are attached to essential pieces of equipment, and wi-fi-based devices called ‘observers’ are installed at key locations in the hospital. The position of tagged equipment is then picked up by the observers and displayed on digital maps, which are easily accessed from a computer, tablet, smartphone or dedicated wall-mounted screen.
Our Criotive secure provisioning service is helping hospitals restrict access to high-risk wards and to ensure critical supplies are stored safely. What’s more, cloud-based access management allows hospital administrators to distribute virtual keys to staff and visitors over the air. Since there is no need for a physical hand-over, they avoid the risk of contamination.
A third service, due to be launched later this year is our mSafety platform for remote health monitoring. Consisting of a connected wearable device and secure back-end solution, mSafety continuously uploads information about the patients’ health status so that care-providers and concerned family members can keep an eye on it via a web interface. Remote health monitoring is particularly valuable during a pandemic, since it reduces contamination risks and frees up time for care workers to focus on those with the greatest need. In the long term, it will enable better quality care for the elderly and empower those with chronic conditions to manage their own health effectively.
Crises are known to speed up historical processes. Decisions are made faster and new technologies are pressed into service in order to cope with urgent needs.
The decisions that businesses take in the coming months will shape their reality and broader society for years to come. It’s a good time to reflect on what kind of world we want to inhabit once the crisis is over. And a good time to explore ways of working that will make our organisations more resilient for the future.Contact us directly via the website contact form if you have an urgent need in either of the above areas.