By: Amol Punekar, AND Digital Club Executive and Head of Business Unit
The last two years have been the catalyst for enormous change in our society. Given the seismic changes endured, it’s unsurprising that people are starting to think beyond financial reward, and more about the part they can play in helping to make a more positive contribution via their working life.
Although often seen as a necessary vehicle for big commerce, the global tech community now has an even bigger role to play in augmenting humanity’s capacity to reverse some of the unintended consequences it helped to create in the first place. By coupling the combined power of people and tech, can we overcome some of humanity’s most pressing challenges?
Moving away from tech for tech’s sake
There is a duality that technology must address for every step forward it takes. For example, for every giant leap technology takes in our society, there may be a demographic that becomes disenfranchised as a due to lack of technical skills or know-how to access a platform or service. Digital exclusion is something the payments industry is currently having to rebalance as it steams forward.
Another example can be seen in the cloud and crypto infrastructures we create. The ecosystems we’re currently forming still rely on intensive computing power, which is creating a huge carbon footprint; a misstep when it comes to our global climate change needs. Although balancing progress and innovation with the needs of the present may feel like an uphill battle, there is still hope. Following the pandemic, we are moving beyond a ‘tech for tech’s sake’ approach and the tech community is now equally as focused on bringing greater impact in the physical world.
Digital skills: could a lack of them derail a new era?
Although attitudes have shifted to address the very real challenges we face as a society, there is still one factor that could threaten the tech community’s efforts – a lack of digital skills.
In a sector with a traditionally high attrition rate, organisations need to ensure talent retention and steady growth by engaging and inspiring technologists. One way they can do this is by demonstrating real impact in the physical world, and making this a core proposition of their every endeavour. By setting overarching goals that go beyond the pure development of tech, more employees and partners will be engaged, which will help to close the digital skills gap and nurture talent.
Driving change in the real world
As well as attracting like-minded talent with a central mission statement, organisations need to be actively looking to collaborate with companies that are looking to make positive impacts.
AND Digital’s recent EV platform collaboration with Drax is a great example of harnessing tech and talent to make a tangible impact in the real world. The platform, called My Electric Vehicles, aims to support organisations globally in simplifying their EV fleet management. It’s also hoped the simplicity of the solution will encourage those still using diesel-powered fleet vehicles to make the switch to new electric alternatives.
The kinds of collaborations that organisations need to get involved with don’t necessarily always have to translate to the climate change crisis to have beneficial impacts though. For instance, AND was also recently involved with a project delivering a blended learning platform for The Prince’s Trust, enabling young people to build in-demand skills and access new opportunities. Grassroots skills development like this will help companies to nurture the talent and experts of the future.
Being about more than just tech…
There’s no doubt that technology has come a long way in the last two decades. It’s so ubiquitous in our lives that we don’t fully appreciate the huge benefits and advantages it brings.
However, the next phase of evolution is for the tech community to start making a bigger impact in the physical world – taking more responsibility for solving some of humanity’s biggest challenges. Technology offers us the opportunity to build a truly equitable society where each and every one of us is empowered to be real ‘change makers’. There’s never been a better time to take action.