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Matthew Zenus of SAP shares perspective on democratization of technology

Matthew Zenus, Global SAP HANA and Database Solutions Strategy Leader

The COVID-19 pandemic has made all of us realize the importance of being technologically advanced all the more. The lockdowns world over compelled us to be more technology friendly and bring transition in the way we live, work and connect. Technology has also played a vital role in managing the pandemic. The situation has strongly reinforced the point that democratization of technology is the only answer to a safer world.

Let’s hear it from Matthew Zenus, Global SAP HANA and Database Solutions Strategy Leader how important it is to democratize technology now.

In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, why has democratization of technology become more important than ever before, especially in a world surrounded by huge challenges and uncertainty? 

Modern software technology can help to manage catastrophes and pandemics, like COVID-19, more efficiently and help customers and employees adjust to their new normal. Broader accessibility to these technologies not only allows companies to get a real-time picture of current situations but also predicts future developments and conditions. Especially the integration of innovation technologies, such as machine learning and data science, provides significant predictive advantages. In addition, massive data amounts that are continuously acquired can be used to understand the current and future situation and require adequate applications and processing in order to derive insights. Therefore, the democratization of technology is tremendously important for governments, corporations or any other decision makers who have certain social responsibility, so we are all able to act as timely as possible base on the most current and correct information. 

Opening and democratizing access to technologies can help employees, companies, communities, and governments continue to move forward during this time of uncertainty. This will ensure that customers can thrive in the new normal by offering free access to solutions that that create engaging experiences, optimize processes for critical resource management, and allow for rapid insight-driven decision making. 

Also Read: COVID-19: Five spatial approaches to safely reopen

What should governments, big businesses and society as a whole collective do to ensure better, if not equal, access to technology to the underdeveloped parts of the world; and how will this enhance our preparedness and response to an “unknown enemy” in the future? 

Real-time data analytics, which can deliver significant improvements for decision processes, can only be effectively performed if the processes of data acquisition and consumption can be streamlined. You can actually achieve more with less through this type of process optimization, but it requires widespread access to open and high-quality data. Apart from providing momentary support, governments, enterprises and society can offer access to technology via established platforms. The advancement of cloud platforms reduces the necessity of local technology acquisitions and decreases the time to react, especially for underdeveloped parts of the world. 

For example, providing real time monitoring of COVID along with customer & employee  experience data and their impact on business and then combine that with data from government organizations, local health agencies, travel authorities and social media, so we can have a single source of truth of the current situation. The power of the new insights generated from the single source of truth will allow us to be more prepared and proactive to “unknown enemy” in the future. 

As far as collaboration and cooperation are concerned, what lessons should the geospatial industry take from the current crises? 

Collaboration and cooperation are the key to provide the best holistic solutions and offerings. The current crisis shows us, that only the right combination of data and technologies can provide insightful results. The geospatial industry is a key piece to providing the holistic view with insights needed for business continuity and efficiency. For example, solutions that track ventilators manufactured and shipped with real time monitoring of demand and shortage by location. This can allow real-time monitoring of patient and bed capacity, occupancy, inventory by hospital, and reallocate overflow patients to nearby hospital. Location intelligence and machine learning is essential for scenarios like critical resource and supply management so organizations can proactively monitor and manage resource status in real time to match the world’s changing demands and most urgent needs. 

The ongoing crisis shows us that high qualitative open data, such as location data, can drive valuable business cases and ensure business continuity and efficiency, which underlines its importance in the future.   

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