Technology, the Bedrock for Innovation and Opportunity

Growing up, one phrase that was often used to motivate kids was the wise words “necessity is the mother of invention”! This has been proven time and again throughout human existence, whatever your faith and beliefs may be. As we face challenges, we find ways to cope, emotionally and physically. We use resources available to us to either change the situation or develop better and easier ways to mitigate challenging circumstances. This has been the truism of human existence. There is an inherent ability for us to adapt and change.

The barriers to adaptation and change have always been first human resistance; largely due to fear of the unknown and lack of the necessary resources to enable change. By resources, I refer to both societal and environmental; beliefs -culture, faith; geographical and political. We have evolved over such that changes have been made due to challenges to these beliefs, globalisation, and access to information. With education and enlightenment, research has been instrumental in technological breakthroughs, mainly due to enabling environments that have encouraged creativity. This has led to the development and implementation of innovative solutions to challenging situations over the years.

Innovation has led to exponential growth in the use of technology and in a roundabout way, technology has fed the development of innovative solutions to everyday living. Look no further than the following areas

  •     ICT
  •     Manufacturing & materials
  •     Health & medical
  •     Food
  •     Energy
  •     Services & business processes

Covid-19 and Technology

As the world faces the challenge of a global health pandemic, once again, technology is at the forefront as the enabling resource for combating the spread of the Covid-19 virus. The healthcare sector has been called to duty – to arm itself not only with the tools that it has always relied upon – professionals and medical supplies, but most importantly information dissemination. The need for correct and factual information has never been more important. In this situation where facts are fundamental to managing the situation, scientists have been key in leading research into the nature of the virus, feeding information to governments and frontline healthcare workers and subsequently informing public health strategies and actions.

Businesses have looked to governments for direction on how to stay afloat in what is shaping up to be an economic crisis. Financial experts are working diligently to assess the impact of the situation and advising governments of the likely scenarios and how to mitigate or manage another global recession. Information to the public based on this advice has been one of reassurance from most western governments. “We will get through this” has been the rallying call. Business practices and processes will be re-evaluated to guide against adverse impact that the current pandemic has had on businesses; logistics and supply chain, outsourcing, manufacturing and distribution. As people self-isolate, businesses will increasingly explore ways of capitalising on this to enhance their online presence and stakeholder’s engagement. Innovation is going to be fundamental in achieving revised business strategies and the drive towards global economic recovery in the coming years.

In academia, from primary to third-level institutions, teachers and administrators have had to think outside the box and find innovative ways to continue teaching and engaging with students and parents.

Employers have had to implement actions that encourage remote working, teleconferencing, social distancing and increased the implementation of environmental health and safety in the workspace.

Governments have developed and began the implementation of systems of payments for employees that have been impacted as a consequence of the virus.

Artists and celebrities are live streaming to keep their fans engaged and happy, people are using social media platforms to volunteer support for their neighbours and communities and to show solidarity to each other across borders.

A common denominator for all these actions has been the use of technology. It is commonly held by experts that technology creates solutions, but it also creates opportunities. As we face this global health crisis, it is important for professionals seeking new career paths to analyse and examine opportunities for the future. As earlier stated, we know that we will get through this. It is important to ask ourselves what lessons can and, have been learned and how we can use these in conjunction with technology to create innovative solutions and advance our career prospects. A country’s greatest strengths are its people. Innovation depends on technology and innovative solutions depends on the use of technology for the greater good. See our insight on med-tech and the healthcare sector.

Remember, necessity they say, is the mother of invention! Inventions require innovative actions.