Is building of robust digital infrastructure across the globe even more critical now than ever before? The answer to me is, YES.
The answer struck me as I was trying to attend a conference/webinar last week amidst lockdown. As I tried getting disconnected from the webinar repeatedly, I ultimately decided to hung up on further attending it. I knew I was not going by the wise saying to never give up but felt that on this occasion I would be more productive if I spent my time and energy otherwise.
Regardless, there are multiple challenges to smooth occurrence of an online coordination meeting - preparation of content, communication/being camera friendly, mindset (to adopt digital), digital infrastructure and more. However, the most critical one needing immediate attention, I feel, is the digital infrastructure. As without the digital infrastructure, progress towards resolving the other challenges will be significantly slower than otherwise (imagine, encouraging employees in an organization to go digital whenever possible, without adequately building necessary digital infrastructure; employees would soon loose enthusiasm to advance the organization's mission of going digital in such a situation).
Digital infrastructure has been quite a buzzword across the globe ever since we learnt about industrial revolution 4.0 and emerging technologies such as IOT, Cloud &, AI. However, given the need we have seen for embracing online coordination meetings during lockdowns, a robust digital infrastructure cannot anymore be treated as a step towards fully accomplishing industrial revolution 4.0. Rather, such a robust digital infrastructure is an IMMEDIATE CRITICAL NEED for sustainability of businesses and economies, I feel. Any entity (businesses/governments) that invests well in digital infrastructure recognizing it as an immediate critical need will certainly have an edge in disaster response over any entity that does not do so.
Let's hope we see great innovative and scalable solutions with regards to building robust digital infrastructure across the globe that makes disaster response easier for us as a human society.