Technologies that matter at such a time as this

By Edward Lim

COVID-19 is hijacking life. From Facebook News Feed to printed newspapers, it’s everywhere. And it just seems to get worse with countries taking measures to prevent spread. Telecommuting has now become necessary for many.

Thankfully, technologies are already available to help people work and study better from home.

  • Videoconferencing solutions. In the absence of face-to-face meetings and classes, videoconferencing is a godsend. Everyone can join a meeting or class from wherever they are. Videoconferencing solutions such as Webex and Zoom ensure that lessons, discussions and collaborations can still take place even when people are working or studying in silos.
  • Messaging platforms. The likes of Telegram, WeChat and WhatsApp are massively popular and widely used today. It’s even more useful in such times when communication gives a sense of connection while working from home or serving home quaratine orders.
  • Telecommunications. The glory days of voice communications over fixed phone lines may be over but telecommunications has a new weapon — mobile data. It opens up the doors to all forms of communications — data, email, voice, and video — to let people stay connected in multiple ways. It’s almost unimaginable to llve, study or work today without data communications.
  • Cloud services. Physical servers are not totally gone but still in use on-premises in many enterprises but the cloud is what makes telcommuting more convenient and effective. Besides enterprise cloud platforms such as Alibaba Cloud and Amazon Web Services, there are also cloud services like Dropbox and Google Drive which are highly popular.
  • Smartphones. Practically everyone has a smartphone. Without it, life will virtually come to a standstill for many. The smartphone is probably the most important piece of device for studying or working at home.

Having these technologies in place makes telecommuting and online learning a reality. It would be interesting to see whether enterprises will rethink the way people work after the crisis. Or even schools for that matter in how they teach. If working from home proves to be workable, is there really a need to have physical offices? Will schools and unversities start conducting more online lessons?

The way we work, live and study is set to change even more in the days ahead.