TECH | May 20, 2020

New Normal: repairing what is broken is not enough, we must think differently

Engineering issues its Manifesto for building together the New Normal in a post-Covid world

The world has changed and so have we. It has changed in ways that we cannot even fully comprehend yet, but we certainly know that it won’t be the same as before.

Emergencies, such as this one, not only show the world clearly as it is, but also highlight its biggest cracks and weaknesses. The Covid-19 pandemic is a massive stress test for society and organizations. Like all good stress tests, it has showcased what is solid and resilient and has exposed clearly whatever was weak and likely broken.

They say crises shape history and that disruptions can have positive impacts, as they have a way of rapidly exposing alternatives to the status quo, giving light and new weight to opportunities of uncovering resilience.

The challenge is not only to fix what is broken but to reimagine what the “New Normal” should look like.

We are all going to be called upon to rebuild our world. We have a chance to build it better.

A post-Covid world between Digital Transformation and new values

Technology has enabled us throughout the first phase of the crisis to keep in touch with our national institutions, as well as with our families and friends, keeping many organizations in full operating mode, think of the Digital Workplace and collaboration tools extended to schools and universities, to the handling the medical emergency, using data platforms to act as decisively as possible. The Covid-19 crisis has clearly demonstrated to those organizations who thought Digital Transformation was a nice concept or simply on the to-do list that it is of vital importance for the survival of any business. In most fields, the more digitalized the processes, the less disruption they have suffered.

This crisis has also uncovered certain insights and answers that could help us as we redefine how to build what will be called our New Normal; to help us identify what core values could guide us as our societies and businesses adapt and evolve moving forward.

Practically, in all nations around the world, when it came to choose between safeguarding the economy or human lives, the latter was chosen. We chose what was best for humanity. Factories, offices, whole cities and nations were shut down in the hope to preserve human lives. This could change everything from here onwards. New core values, such as sustainability and social responsibility as well as agility and mobility in the workplace, are emerging and could shape the way decisions will be made. Based on this insight, when the world will resume its normal operations, technology will be a strong enabler.

This crisis also provided us with an answer linked to our capability to change and adapt: to what extent and how quickly could modern societies change their living patterns?

It’s time to think outside the box

We have witnessed these past weeks how many organizations were able to change work and delivery patterns nearly overnight: Government, Schools, Healthcare institutions, businesses. Those that had or were able to rapidly digitalize their core processes were able to keep pushing on despite all the surrounding difficulties. Some had already been doing so for some time, and some had to rapidly expand their capabilities in these past weeks. Others were caught unprepared and are currently suffering the consequences.

Change was likely ripe… but some didn’t perceive it. This crisis will continue to speed up change. Investments will grow to expand or to kick start Digital Transformation activities.

In the following weeks and months, we will all be called upon to start again, start anew, to repair and rebuild. To develop a new today, to rebalance business and sustainability. Technology and different working patterns represent real and viable alternatives.

In this tragedy, we have the opportunity to forge a new path and not retrace old roads. We are at the dawn of a new age: a data-driven, connected era that could well be a new Renaissance. Now is the time to think outside the box, try new ideas, accelerating the Digital Transformation of our core processes and the way we do business.

We have witnessed the power of data, across all domains, as the fundamental building block for a safer and more productive world, based on digital ecosystems that could empower new digital citizens.

Can we rebuild our world, recognizing that our most critical core values are based on humans and sustainable work? Now is the moment to build a new and better world. This is a time to review and rethink many of our mental and societal barriers. Now is the moment to step up and change.

In this crucial time in history, we are all being called to act. How we react and the decisions we make will most likely shape our careers and determine whether our organizations will achieve greatness in these troubled times.

The Challenge is not only to fix what was damaged and broken, but to think differently, try new ideas, to listen, to learn, to heal, to rise again and evolve, together.

Building the New Normal

Time has come to re-map our needs and our whole ecosystem. This time ’round, technology and the promises it holds will reshape society.

The current crisis has also highlighted how we are a part of a global ecosystem, one we are inextricably linked to, affected by and one we also have the power to impact in a major way. It has shown that we are naturally dependent on the giant Social, Economic and Physical ecosystems in which we operate and live. Technology seems to be the only way to bridge these gaps and provide the support and answers we seek in a timely fashion.

Ecosystems are no longer there to be exploited as marketplaces but are part of our grand contingency plan. We believe that a lot of these ecosystems will be remapped in the coming months.

As we stated in the opening, the world has changed. So will organizations, processes and technologies. The crisis will accelerate many changes that were already happening and redirect other ones. It is time to understand where we are, to evolve into a new tomorrow.

The time has come to envision our New Normal by embracing the continuous waves of innovation technology will bring, by incorporating new core values linked to sustainability and preserving humanity.

The time has come to take our place in history, reshape this world and deliver a new tomorrow, our New Normal.

Edward Abbiati ed Emiliano Coraretti


Extracted from the White Paper: “Engineering The New Normal”
Video: “Engineering The New Normal”