The new normal is already an all too familiar term as the world struggles with what work, education, travel, entertainment and everything else should look like going forward. There’s no doubt that the disruptions of the global health crisis have accelerated change in every industry.

Now, as companies debate how to do business in the new environment, one thing is clear – business leaders are moving technology to the top of their priority list so they can quickly evolve and adapt, relying more on new technologies to facilitate collaboration, support business models and develop new products and services.

Emerging transformative technologies

Consequentially, not only has paramount importance been given to existing technologies — such as cloud-enabled video platforms to facilitate collaboration and artificial intelligence to assist with businesses’ processes — but there is a burgeoning interest in transformative technology such as robotics, digital identity/recognition, drones, 3D printing and more.

Healthcare institutions are among those already benefitting from deploying these technologies. A hospital in Chiari, Italy, for example, is using 3D-printed oxygen valves that connect to ventilators to help coronavirus patients and those with other respiratory diseases breathe. Healthcare systems across the United States are using 3D-printed nasal swabs to test for infection. Around the world, robots have been used to help with disinfecting public spaces and delivering meals and prescriptions to patients.

What should leaders do?

In every sense, leaders around the world are now operating at a pace we have never seen before. They have had to reassess what changes are required and what is feasible based on their organisation’s current position and circumstances.

This is a big task. To be successful, leaders need to understand and embrace how technology can transform their organisation and align it with the three priorities discussed by Michael Billimoria in his recent blog. They are:

  1. Protecting employees
  2. Managing steady state operations
  3. Achieving growth in uncertain times

Understanding what other leaders are facing is equally important, and I’m looking forward to launching the next iteration of DXC’s Beyond Disruption study which identifies the common trends affecting us during this crisis and recommendations we should consider for recovery.

An immediate priority for leaders is to look for ways that will safeguard their communities while also enabling greater freedom and a seamless return to work. Preventative technologies that keep people safe and help business continuity will play an important role in helping everyone get back to a new normal with peace of mind. How leaders respond right now to these disruptions may make the difference between whether their organisations merely survive or actually thrive in the future.