Huawei: How cloud computing will accelerate digital transformation in a post-epidemic era

Li Shi, President of Cloud and AI Business Group, Huawei Middle East, discusses how digital technologies such as cloud computing and AI will enable enterprises to succeed in a post-epidemic era.

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.

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 analyse vaccines in the US, Europe, and Asia, which can effectively shorten the vaccine development process. With increasingly developed communications network technologies, patients can access the healthcare cloud anytime, anywhere to obtain transparent, customisable, 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.

The transport industry is also a very typical example. Under the tide of economic globalisation, large cities in various countries are becoming an important part of the world’s urban system, and some international metropolises have become global productive forces, science and technology centres, educational and cultural centres and world trade centres. 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 more accurate traffic data. Building a unified traffic management system based on a cloud computing platform can coordinate the handling of traffic signals and emergency cases. Using multiple connection technologies, including 5G, will also optimise data connections between traffic sensing devices and the traffic management system, ensuring that massive data can be aggregated and analysed in a timely manner. Advanced AI analysis algorithms can in turn analyse and support decision-making for congestion prediction, route analysis, and traffic signal control, then, the analysis result and decision-making suggestions could be sent to the traffic control department and frontline traffic police through the network. 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.

Now, with the development of vaccines in various countries, the epidemic will gradually be effectively controlled. As businesses move from addressing the COVID-19 epidemic to driving sustained business growth, they must focus on the three main areas that shape the trend this year: consumer-oriented, 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. From 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 organisation be sufficiently intelligent and reorganised and reformed plasticity.

The intelligent business architecture and anywhere operations mode that is implemented based on the cloud computing platform, AI, 5G, and IoT technologies is 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.

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