How the Pandemic Changed the Way We View Digital Services
21/8/22, 9:30 am
"Covid-19 is probably the biggest Chief Transformation Officer for cities"
The pandemic has changed the way we view digital services. People were suddenly thrust into a world where they had to rely on digital services for everything from getting groceries delivered to their homes to attending school or work meetings online. And while there was a steep learning curve for many, the increased use of digital services during the pandemic has led to a greater comfort level with these technologies.
The pandemic has forced cities to digitise at speed and scale, which has changed citizen comfort with digital services. Digital technology has become an essential part of our lives and the way we do business.
Digital Services and Their Importance
Digital services are services that are delivered or accessed over digital channels, such as the internet. They include everything from online banking to shopping to ordering food delivery. Digital services are important for cities because they make it easier for citizens to access important information and services.
The sudden increase in the use of digital services has led to a greater need for cities to digitise at speed and scale. This has changed citizen comfort with digital services. In the past, there may have been some hesitancy to use them because of security concerns or a lack of understanding of how they work. However, the pandemic has forced people to confront their fears about digital technology and learn how to use these services. As a result, we are now more comfortable with using digital services and we expect cities to provide us with more of them.
We now see digital services as essential parts of our lives and we expect them to be available to us at all times. We also expect them to be easy to use and reliable. The pandemic has shown us that digital services can make our lives easier and help us to stay connected with the people and businesses that we rely on.
Pandemic-driven Digital Services
There are a number of different types of digital infrastructure that a city can use to connect with the world around them. These include:
One of the most commonly used digital services during the pandemic was contactless payments. This is a type of payment that allows you to make transactions by touching or waving your card or phone near a reader, without having to physically hand over your card or enter your PIN. Contactless payments are quick and convenient, and they help to reduce the spread of germs by eliminating the need to handle cash.
The pandemic has led to a significant increase in the use of contactless payments. In 2020, the number of contactless transactions tripled compared to the previous year. This increase is because people are looking for ways to avoid handling cash, which can be a vector for the spread of disease. Contactless payments are now seen as a safe and convenient way to pay for goods and services.
Dashboards Tracking Health Data
Another digital service that has become essential during the pandemic is dashboards that track health data. These dashboards allow individuals to track their health data, as well as the health data of people in their community. This information can be used to help identify potential hotspots for the spread of disease and to make informed decisions about how to protect oneself and others.
Other Digital Services Used During the Pandemic
During the pandemic, many other digital services have become essential to our lives. These services include grocery delivery, online education, and video conferencing. The pandemic has forced us to confront our fears about digital technology and learn how to use these services.
Citizens, Cities and Digital Services in the Future
The pandemic has shown us that digital services may improve our lives and allow us to stay connected with the individuals and organizations who support us. As a result, we expect digital services to become a mainstay of city life after the pandemic.
Public transport is one area where digital services will continue to evolve in cities. Examples include:
- Digital ticketing will become more common in cities
- Contactless payments will become the norm for public transport
- Digital services, like integrated transport apps, will make it easier to get around cities
Digital services will continue to expand in healthcare in urban areas in the near future. Examples include:
- Patient portals will become more common, allowing patients to access their health records and communicate with healthcare providers
- Virtual doctor visits will become more common, reducing the need for patients to travel to see a doctor
- Big data and machine learning will be used to improve the accuracy of diagnoses and to develop new treatments
Schools and Universities
Digital services will continue to play a role in education in cities. Examples include:
- Online learning platforms will become more common, reducing the need for students to physically attend classes
- Virtual reality will be used to provide immersive educational experiences
- Digital services will be used to track student progress and to customize learning plans
Digital services have made cities better in a number of ways. They have helped to reduce the spread of disease, make it easier for people to get around, and improve our access to education and healthcare. The pandemic has forced us to confront our fears about digital technology and learn how to use these services. We expect digital services to become a mainstay of city life after the pandemic.
Are you looking for ways to improve your city?
NEC's Digital Cities Index can help city leaders make better decisions about how to use technology to improve their cities. The Index ranks 30 global cities according to their digital performance and provides detailed profiles of each city. This resource can help cities use technology to improve urban life and make their cities more livable.
You can use our Digital Cities Index to find out how your city compares to other global cities, and learn about the latest trends in digital technologies. The Index can help you identify areas where your city could benefit from using technology to improve urban life.