The unprecedented role of technology in overcoming today’s challenges
The outbreak of Covid-19 has reshaped society in just a few weeks. Our responsibilities within this rapidly changing world are now quite simple – and technology can help us to fulfil them.
We have 3 jobs:
Job 1. Ensuring we are not the problem – doing everything we can to avoid catching the virus.
Job 2. Ensuring we are not contributing to the problem by taking unnecessary risks, potentially becoming carriers of the virus and putting other people’s lives at risk.
Job 3. Doing everything we can to help one another – whilst also ensuring we achieve Job #1 and #2.
With this new framework, remote working has become the rapid new norm – globally! Roles that were previously considered impossible to be undertaken remotely are now being carried out from kitchens, living rooms, studies and garden sheds.
Everyone is understanding, accommodating the need for flexibility. With the possibility of isolation continuing for a number of weeks, we need to find a way of making our remote workspaces sustainable.
Digital technology has been an enabler to support this essential, life-saving rapid change and will also play a role in supporting sustainable development for society in general, and more specifically in the workspace environment – wherever that should now be.
The physical office – and location altogether – is now less central to the world of work. Within Fujitsu Global Delivery, we’ve gone from 5% regular homeworking to 90% in ten days, without any impact to service. Already, people are questioning whether there is a need to fully return to the world of office working.
Support is being provided with the use of Virtual Reality – enabling people to self-help or be guided remotely on how to resolve issues. Collaboration tools are not only creating global virtual meeting rooms, but are now essential in ensuring a human aspect to daily interactions – reducing the impact of self-isolation. Physical isolation may be necessary; emotional isolation can’t be.
Supporting food supplies
Retailers and hospitality have also had to make an immediate switch. Home delivery has now become an essential lifeline (literally) for people to receive home provisions.
Our operational teams in Fujitsu have live dashboard reports that track ticket volume against normal run-rate so we can understand the invisible backlog and forecast potential future volume.
It identifies tickets impacted by COVID-19 and provides a global visualization of on-site based engineers. Our Global Partner Network is also available to support our customers if needed.
Accelerating drug discovery
And of course, most importantly AI technology is being leveraged to support the research and piloting of ground-breaking new drugs, to bring vital medication to market more quickly and cost effectively – generally across the board.
For example, Fujitsu recently launched a new quantum-inspired platform that brings together pioneering technology from Fujitsu and POLARISqb to significantly improve the speed and chemical diversity of small molecule lead discovery, tested on the Dengue Fever polymerase.
This platform will significantly impact early stage drug discovery by reducing typical timelines from 24-48 months to approximately 8 months. Additionally, the quality of leads is improved by screening a far larger targeted chemical space of over 1 billion molecules.
The outcomes will be patentable, novel molecules that have optimized drug-like qualities, low toxicity, synthesizability and are biologically active.
Supporting one another
Whether it’s enabling people to work from home to slow the spread of the virus, ensuring vital food supplies reach those in need or accelerating drug discovery, technology has a critical role to play in coping with these unprecedented times.
But there is also the opportunity to sow positive seeds for the future, whether it’s enabling more employees to enjoy flexible working or ensuring that in the future vaccines can be produced more rapidly in times of crisis.
By working together and making the most of the advanced technology at our disposal, we can help to overcome the effects of this outbreak and even create some more positive change for the world after the pandemic.
Technology can do incredible things – and creating a bright future, with human care and kindness is important to all.