Positioning in the world of COVID-19: 

Beyond digital transformation to digital survival

Just as the COVID-19 crisis started to hit the U.S., our co-CEO Nick Copping was sitting in a packed TTI/Vanguard conference at the Four Seasons Hotel, in a nearly empty and panicked Seattle. The conference topic, Transformed by Digital, delivered sessions that painted the next generation of tech.

Upon Nick’s return—amid school closures, work-from-home mandates and a hand sanitizer shortage—we realized we’ve moved past digital transformation to digital survival.

Crises like the Coronavirus, wildfires, earthquakes and floods are fast becoming the new normal. In this new normal, access to food and water, healthcare, and even toilet paper, has become more challenging. There’s new urgency to perfect a digital world that supports everything from food delivery, education, to remote healthcare.

With this new lens, think about how these presented innovations could position to support the digital survival era:

Fixing Social Media (Ethan Zuckerman): Provide safer, trustworthy social platforms that increase visibility on critical information for the global general public.

Banking, Blockchain and the Future of Telecommunications (Francis McInerney): A potential for a new world where every wireless endpoint is capable of supporting local blockchain ledger, meaning no more data centers, in turn creating an autonomous financial system, no more banks, and taking control of your power with windows containing built-in solar technology, no more energy companies–these things are already in the works.

Pizza-as-a-Service (Clayton Wood): Starting with pizza, robotic food production resolves the global issue of labor shortage and affordable access to food.

The 3-hour Prefab Home and the Future of Urban Housing (Steve Glenn): Sustainably and affordably provide high-quality homes for an overall healthier world.

Storing Digital DNA in Synthetic DNA (Karin Strauss): Supercomputing experts estimate that by 2025 there’ll be 175 zetabytes of data, and we’ll only be able to store 12.5% of it. If we store data in a molecular fashion, rather than silicon, all the data relevant to your business could fit in the volume of a 32oz paper cup! 

The University of Washington and the Clean Energy Institute are developing technology that extends the ubiquitous personal phone growth to real-time assistance in remote detection and monitoring of health. Apropos of COVID-19, these apps monitor and report on coughing, skin temperature, ECG and other vital signs so we can be safe in this new world.

The Clean Energy Institute is innovating to dramatically improve solar cell design and production, as well as new approached for clean energy batters that run electric vehicles and better store energy from solar arrays.

How are you positioned for digital survival?

The TTI/Vanguard Conference demonstrated how every tech sector–from data to banking, social media and even housing–are innovating for digital transformation. But digital transformation has a new urgency, and that is to support a new normal for digital survival.

How is your company’s technology positioned for digital survival? Are you ready to embrace the new urgency?

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