How customers accelerated industry innovation during a year of disruptive change: A look back on 2020
While 2020 can certainly be characterized as a year of disruptive change, it was also a year of accelerated innovation across industries and technology trends that, in many cases, were already gathering pace.
For example, well before the pandemic, many of our customers had embraced a modern compute paradigm in the cloud and were increasingly looking to create an economic flywheel or engine to unlock further innovation. They also showed a keen interest in democratizing digital experiences that allow everyone in their organization, from the frontline worker to the C-suite, to be part of the innovation process.
Customers accelerating their digital journey in this way are ultimately more agile, resilient and positioned for continued growth in 2021 and beyond.
Rapid industry innovation and customers’ response to COVID-19
Faurecia, LG Electronics and ZF announced automotive experiences highlighting cloud, edge, IoT and AI services. Samsung announced a new smartphone with a push-to-talk button to make communication easier for frontline workers, Canada Goose built on the principle of the endless aisle, and H&M shared its continued work toward a more sustainable future using Azure IoT.
Business continuity became paramount and customers turned to technology to adapt as quickly as possible. Telemedicine took on a critical role and frontline workers at St. Luke’s University Health Network found technology-based solutions to scale the triage process and preserve protective gear while the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a COVID-19 assessment bot so organizations could more easily screen patients for potential infection and care alternatives. We worked across industries to accelerate research and scientific discovery, and joined a White House-led consortium, participating alongside C3.ai and top universities. Preserving a culture of learning was more important than ever, and teachers and students at the University of Bologna, University of Sydney and Case Western Reserve University turned to remote options to continue classes and maintain social connections. We also joined a coalition to contribute resources and technology expertise to ensure #LearningNeverStops.
Digital technology to recover and adapt to a new normal
As the year went on, customers continued adopting digital technologies to increase agility, accelerate their recovery and quickly respond to changing needs. UnitedHealth Group launched a tool to help manage employee symptom screening, and ImmunityBio turned to our cloud for computational analysis on vaccine development.
From deploying smart cameras and analytics capabilities, to increasing operational efficiency and more, customers including Sony, Hitachi, GE Aviation, BNY Mellon, and Volkswagen all turned to digital technologies to further advance their businesses despite the pressures of the pandemic.
Resiliency across industry and increased adoption of cloud-first business strategies
Government organizations, including the Georgia Office of the State Treasurer and New Jersey Courts, adopted secure remote work environments to maintain critical state services and court proceedings. Whether it was virtual or in-person, customers like Suffolk, Biersdorf AG, Lumen (formerly CenturyLink), and T-Mobile provided employees with secure remote access, thermal imaging for temperature checks, and more.
For example, Mastercard, Morgan Stanley Capital International, Finastra, Refinitiv, National Australia Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Munich RE turned to the cloud to provide secure customer solutions. AT&T unveiled a new solution to help businesses connect machines and equipment to the cloud, citizen developers at Telstra automated manual processes and SK Telecom brought the first gaming cloud to the Asian market. We also partnered closely with Citrix to help companies reimagine the workplace of the future and adapt to changing market conditions with cloud-based tools and services.
Jan 25, 2021 at 22:17