Digitalization / Technology

Pandemic, Technology, and Life: New Undertakings and New Approaches for the New World

16 February 2021

As the original texts are written in Turkish, English translation is provided for non-Turkish readers. The author apologizes in advance for any and all possible changes and losses in meaning due to translation.

About a year ago, we were living an entirely different world. Most probably, we had many predictions and expectations about the near and distant future. However, the sudden occurrence of the pandemic, which rapidly became a global phenomenon, assumed extraordinary dimensions and caused sweeping impact.

Surely, epidemic diseases cause short-, mid- or long-term devastation on the one hand, while transforming societies on the other. Just as we are now experiencing. One of the most important lessons this disaster taught us has perhaps been prompting people to reflect on the kind of world they wish to live in. Even though we are not yet able to foresee the outcomes of Covid-19 in this respect, we are well aware that from now on, nothing will be the way it used to be. But, in my opinion, the effects of the transformation it brought about, especially on our daily lives and technology, give us some important clues about the future.

Maintaining our transformed habits is very important

2020 has been an extraordinary year. Necessities such as observing social distancing rules, using facemasks, washing our hands often and avoiding crowded indoor environments unless necessary, have caused considerable changes and restrictions in our ways and habits of living. However, such restrictions have also made a positive impact. We observed that the protective measures and practices adopted during the pandemic helped reduce the number of not only COVID-19 cases, but also other respiratory diseases. I believe that it is important for us to maintain this pandemic-induced cultural transformation in the future as well. Because, the studies being conducted reveal that the measures taken do help reduce the number of flu cases, but that vaccination is still important. Since the population immunity has been reduced due to the pandemic-induced restrictions and different practices, some comments are being made to point to the likelihood of a sharp increase in the number of flu cases after the pandemic. Thus, maintaining the newly acquired habits regarding acts of close physical contact such as hugging and shaking hands is important to protect ourselves, as well as our loved ones against the risks.

The Brave ‘Digital’ World After the Pandemic

One of the most significant pandemic-related changes has definitely been observed in the area of digitalization. Using digital technologies is now the only way to sustain life, as well as economic activities. We have seen how important it is to work, produce, and communicate remotely, in short, to move everything we can to the digital environment. Most importantly, we have seen that this was possible. We have also witnessed a reduction in the human-related impacts on climate change, as well as its reflections on the nature. Millions of people have been able to recover the time they used to spend in heavy traffic everyday. We have been able to complete tasks more efficiently, in a shorter time, and with less error.

Indeed, at this point, Turkey stands on the threshold of a critical opportunity to be ready to respond to the requirements of the new world. Accelerating investments in digitalization and new technologies is very important on Turkey’s path to becoming an advanced manufacturing economy.

It is very pleasing to see that significant investments and undertakings are taking place in this field in our country. For example, founded by the Turkish Metal Industrialists Union (MESS) to carry Turkey into the next industrial revolution, MEXT represents one of the most substantial investments made in this area. As the world’s largest digital transformation and competence development center, MEXT will surely be an important milestone in Turkey’s digitalization journey.

As Siemens Turkey, we are among the digitalization partners of MEXT, providing support with our innovative technologies. Assuming a powerful position in the new digital world will be enabled by the increase in the number of such centers as MEXT. Therefore, I believe that it is highly important that the leading organized industrial zones (OIZ) of our country should take action and establish similar centers to support digital technologies and innovation for the future of our country. We need to proceed with brave and rapid steps to carry our country to a powerful position in the new digital world and increase the number of investments like MEXT, as well as innovative enterprises. Only then, we can create more value for the society and human life, shaping the required infrastructure to build a future today.

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