Digitalization – the gift that keeps on giving

While the holiday season is upon us and everyone is counting down to 2021 there is one that is clear: digitalization is the gift that keeps on giving.  

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, 2020 was a year unlike any before, and without the gift of digitalization, things would have been very different. Here are just a few ways digitalization is the gift that keeps on giving: 

1. Bringing us together, without actually being together. 

Digitalization has kept the world running safely. Whether it is for work, school, or personal, the ability to connect with anyone, anywhere, and at any time has been a critical part of 2020.  Generations young and old are utilizing new technologies – some for the first time – to stay connected. Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams – are all very familiar platforms now.  

Everything from conferences to doctor’s appointments to factory maintenance going remote, it’s likely these options will be around for a long time. They offer convenience that will still be desired after the pandemic is over. 

2. AR/VR giving us a taste of normalcy.  

Sure, you may not be getting the same experience as walking into that crowded mall with holiday lights strung and people buzzing in a hurry. But some companies have taken advantage of AR/VR technology to bring you a similar experience safely at home. 

For example, virtual try-on has been something brewing in the technology world for quite a long time but was always tied to an online-only experience. Now, you can use apps on your phone to virtually try on items like sunglasses or jewelry in real-time, no matter where you are. 

3. Get what you want, when you want it! 

On-demand delivery is skyrocketing. According to Statista, Amazon was responsible for 45% of US eCommerce spending in 2019 – a figure which was expected to rise to 47% in 2020. Companies like Walmart and Target stepped up their returns process to give customers more time to return items. Things like food delivery and order/pickup available with a few clicks in an app made it possible for businesses to serve customers in a new, safer way.   

Netflix, Hulu, and Disney + are certainly not new and the online live streaming industry has grown 99% between April 2019 and April 2020. Not to mention, new streaming platforms are coming to market left and right – like Twitch for music, major networks like NCB, CBS – are all looking to streaming services to make sure customers get what they want when they want it!  

4. Opening a new world of opportunities in the industrial sector.

In the industrial sector, manufacturers are leveraging digitalization more than ever to keep operations up and running and employees safe – while still delivering stellar customer service and top-notch products.  

Solutions like remote condition monitoring enable manufacturers to connect assets to the IoT to collect operational data and set alerts for operating conditions out of the norm. Having access to near-real-time IoT data enables them to prevent machine downtime before it happens to make it possible to control costs, improve productivity, lower risk, and maintain compliance – at times without ever stepping foot in the factory.

2020 was truly the year of embracing digitalization and the new technologies it brings and with 2021 right around the corner, digitalization is the gift that will keep on giving. 

Want to see what IoT can do for you? Connect your device for free with MindSphere Start for free – register here.  

Check out these additional digitalization resources! 
Learn more about IoT-based solutions  
Digitalization in manufacturing: the need for monitoring and optimizing

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at