In 2020, the COVID-19 epidemic has brought a great impact on people’s lives around the world. As a response to the impact, many enterprises are accelerating their digital transformation and maintaining business and production continuity through remote work and remote collaboration. Cloud-based collaboration software became ubiquitous during the epidemic, allowing billions of teleconferences to be held worldwide every day. Technology is critical to the survival of businesses, according to a new study by Global Data, a well-known research institution, with more than 80 percent of executives saying cloud computing and network are key to helping their businesses get through the crisis.
In fact, a perception is emerging in many industries that entrepreneurs have experienced a digital enlightenment during the epidemic. In the post- epidemic era, all industries will accelerate digital transformation, either actively or passively, to better adapt to future market challenges.
The financial sector
The financial industry has always been a pioneer in digitalization. According to the IDC Financial Industry Cloud Computing White Paper, the financial industry has reached a consensus that cloudification is top priority. In fact, not just large organizations, more and more small- and medium-sized financial institutions have become increasingly in urgent need for cloud migration. Small and medium-sized financial institutions face challenges in terms of capital, talent and experience. Financial cloud services can effectively address these challenges due to low investment requirements, quick results, cost saving, and timely service abilities. The market demand for these financial cloud services will continue to grow in the next few years. Before 2017, most financial institutions were mainly using private clouds. With the continued development of cloud technologies, financial institutions are now more willing to use public cloud services and build hybrid cloud models. Deploying AI and big data technologies on the cloud platform will help financial institutions achieve precise marketing, intelligent risk control, reduce costs, and improve efficiency. Further maturation of 5G and IoT will help financial institutions gradually build unbounded networks centering on their products and services, achieving financial inclusion.
Healthcare has always been an important industry for everyone, especially this year. Cloud computing and AI technologies have been widely used by medical staffs in the fight against epidemics and vaccine development, providing great value for people’s lives and health. Researchers are using cloud computing-based AI technologies to analyze vaccines in the US, Europe, and Asia, they built models based on a small amount of genomics information about viral proteins, completed a large amount of high-performance scientific computing, used high-precision algorithms to simulate virus models and human cells, and started hundreds of thousands of CPU clusters for computing within half an hour, which effectively shortened the development process of vaccines. Generally, the early drug discovery process takes 4 to 6 years. However, AI and cloud computing can shorten the process to 1 to 2 years. On the other hand, with increasingly developed communications network technologies, people can access the healthcare cloud anytime, anywhere to obtain transparent, customizable, and cost-effective healthcare solutions and evaluate healthcare outcomes. Cloud computing is helping the healthcare industry move towards value-driven and consumer-centric patient care.
Digital technologies such as cloud computing are also playing an increasingly important role in another area that is closely related to us – the energy industry. In recent years, pioneers in the energy industry have begun to leverage cloud computing and AI, coupled with capability such as mobile network technology, to drive enterprise digital transformation. According to research from IEA Digital and Energy, the large-scale application of cloud computing and other technologies will reduce oil and gas production costs by 10% to 20% and increase global oil and gas technology recoverable reserves by 5%. At the same time, digitization can also benefit clean energy technologies such as carbon capture and storage.
From now on to 2025, the digitalization and intelligence of energy technologies will undergo significant changes. By 2025, the global digital market in the energy industry is expected to grow to US$64 billion, including cloud computing, AI, machine learning and big data.
Transportation is another good example. Under the tide of economic globalization, large cities in various countries are becoming an important part of the world urban system, and some international metropolises have become global productive forces, science and technology centers, educational and cultural centers and world trade centers. However, with the influx of population, large cities face more and more challenges in traffic management, which are difficult to solve by traditional means. In many large cities around the world, traffic management departments are trying to improve the traffic conditions of cities by using various technologies, including updating intelligent traffic sensing devices to obtain clearer and accurate traffic data by building a unified traffic management system based on the cloud computing platform to coordinate the handling of traffic signals, and emergency cases. The integration of these new technologies effectively improves the urban transportation environment.
In addition to improving benefits for traditional industries and large-scale enterprises, emerging digital technologies such as cloud computing and AI will also provide new opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises to improve operation efficiency, promote innovation, expand market and financing channels, and facilitate remote operations during the epidemic. In the Middle East, SMEs account for more than 90 % of the total size of enterprises and contribute 70 % of GDP. Helping small and medium-sized enterprises accelerate their digital transformation will bring significant benefits to local economic development.
With the development of vaccines in various countries, businesses will move from addressing COVID-19, to driving sustained growth. They must focus on the three main areas that will shape trends: Consumer-oriented focus, business independence and intelligent delivery. These trends will have a greater impact when combined, and businesses must focus on meeting social and individual needs around the globe for optimal practice.
Digital transformation is entering the next stage, as intelligence, which is the key strategy for the future development of global cities, industries and enterprises. Research by Gartner, a leading research firm, shows that the need for business resilience has never been more intense. CIOs are trying to adapt to changing circumstances and design future-oriented businesses. This requires that the enterprise organization be sufficiently intelligent and reorganized and reformed to be adaptable. The intelligent business architecture and anywhere operations mode that are implemented based on the cloud computing platform, AI, 5G, and IoT technologies are the key to future enterprise development. Only companies that take advantage of the combination of these technologies for continuous digital transformation will have the chance to be the winner of business competition over the next few years.