COVID-19 continues wreaking havoc on the global economy. The latest IMF forecast projects an unprecedented -4.4% global GDP contraction for 2020. However, with the year drawing to a close and vaccine production ramping up across the globe, it’s not too early to begin looking towards the future.
While the pandemic has proven to be a uniquely disruptive force in world history, changing basic patterns of human behavior at unprecedented speed and scale, it also presents opportunities for businesses to fast-track digital transformation strategies. Over the course of the year, we’ve already seen a massive shift away from the traditional office space and towards remote or “hybrid” work-from-home models. It’s now clear that digital businesses have been the clear beneficiaries of the post-pandemic world.
As the global economy adjusts to the post-COVID “New Business Normal,” the application of artificial intelligence (AI) offers arguably the most promising avenue for unlocking innovation, enhanced productivity, and greater workplace efficiency. It’s estimated that global AI investment will hit US$52.2bn in 2021. IT consulting firm Gartner projects that in 2021 alone, AI will create US$2.9trn of overall business value while accounting for 6.2bn hours of worker productivity.
Nor is AI strictly the domain of major technology players. As the next decade unfolds, small and medium-sized enterprises will be hard-pressed to utilize the power of AI and Big Data to optimize day-to-day operations. Recent analysis from the International Data Corporation suggests businesses undertaking comprehensive digital transformations enjoy US$430bn in additional revenue in comparison to those that do not.
It goes without saying that AI is now at the forefront of the next digital revolution. One that will fundamentally reshape how societies work, shop, play, and receive medical care. Deploying technology solutions that can effectively leverage the power of AI is more important than ever.