Digital revolution and Covid-19: has the emergency accelerated digital transformation? The point by Vittorio Massone


In a series of recently published in-depth studies, Vittorio Massone, expert in strategic consultancy and digital projects, has dealt with the theme of the digital revolution and how it is far from depleting its driving force. The revolution, on the contrary, is rather at the beginning of a new debut and is also taking hold in the non-consumer sectors. Last but not least, thanks to a further push arising from the recent emergency, the digital revolution has undergone an unexpected acceleration due to the situation deriving from Covid-19.

Former interventions published by Vittorio Massone, current Vice Chair of the Alkemy Board of Directors, have shown that the digital revolution we are witnessing has not ended its drive. In recent years, says the expert, this epoch-making change has shown alterations in the consumer sector. Today, however, the digital revolution is also affecting all areas defined as operations, supply chain, B2B, B2G and is also going to involve financial and insurance services, security and even the IT sector itself. In addition, the digital revolution will also involve sectors considered “mature”, such as logistics, agriculture and industry. The changes from this revolution, he continues, not only concern the operating areas but also cause a breakdown of the business models. In particular, the supply and the relationship with the customer take on a “personalized” dimension and the traditionally rigid corporate decisions become more fluid and enriched by a continuous and precise analysis of the data.

As illustrated by the manager on several occasions, the changes that have marked the digital revolution in the last twenty years will show their effects in the next twenty years or more, up to having an ICT driven economy and society in all sectors.
Furthermore, the technologies underlying this digital revolution exponentially evolve their effectiveness, and phenomena such as hyper-connectivity, data proliferation, quantum leap in computing speed and machine learning become an accelerating factor of the digital revolution. To these phenomena, explained Vittorio Massone in the course of his intervention, the Covid-19 emergency has now added which due to the preponderance with which it has changed our lives has had the indirect effect of further accelerating the digital revolution, marking a point of no return.

The emergency caused by the pandemic and the healthcare need to isolate people in order to avoid contacts have resulted in an increase in remote working and remote performance of all activities that do not necessarily require physical presence. This involved the development, albeit obligatory, of systems based on artificial intelligence and the entrusting of individuals and companies to the network on a global level. Not surprisingly, there was talk of a real cultural leap forward on the digital front. In this sense, the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of Alkemy suggests to just think of the huge boom in tools for video conferencing and video calls which, although they have existed for some time, have undergone a rapid implementation and have become essential tools. The lockdown has certainly led to a huge technological leap for billions of people, making the internet connection and the use of IT means the anchors of salvation not only for the private individual but also and above all for professionals and companies.

As well specified by many parties, Coronavirus and post-epidemic will be the new launching pad for “phase 2 of the digital revolution”. In this sense, the areas that have most been subjected to this indirect digital push are the world of work, with the predominant use of smart working; business models, with the greater use of data analysis and machine learning tools and, lastly, the sphere of consumption. A real revolution on all levels of society, from the public sector (education, health), to the economic sector (agriculture, industry, tertiary) up to the retail trade.
But, adds Vittorio Massone, to embrace the change, both the public and private sectors must be able to combine tradition and innovation, seizing the unexpected assist offered by the Coronavirus emergency.

In this scenario, thinking of a return tout-court to the pre-emergency Covid-19 state seems unrealistic. The pandemic has established a point of no return, even simply because of the fear of a recurrence of the contagion curve. Why take risks when you can comfortably order any type of goods via the internet and work from home, avoiding crowded means of transport or inadequate offices? With these premises, no industry will be able to ignore digital technologies both in relations with employee and with customers. Digital technology, the expert concludes, is becoming the core of business strategies: doing otherwise is impossible, especially in a period of economic recession in which only the digital revolution can allow to keep active and profitable even the sectors that traditionally have never been based on information technology.

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