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ICT perspective after the pandemic – is it worth it?

It has been technology and communications that helped the society to stay operational and effective during the Covid-19 pandemic. During and afterwards, an increase in digitalization can be seen when speaking about work no matter if seen from a worker’s or an employer’s perspective. 

There is a saying that disaster is a laboratory for innovation. No doubt that the pandemic could open a door to new technology – and dramatic innovation – in labor, education and other daily sectors. What does an upward shift in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry mean? What has the potential for a change and what is the perspective? 

From a local idea to global business 
ICT is widely used across various industries, from marketing and telecom to education. According to International Data Corporation (IDC) report, global ICT spending is expected to surge to over $6 trillion by 2022. The rise of artificial intelligence, big data analytics and augmented reality contributes to the rapid growth of this industry. Organizations worldwide can leverage the advantages of ICT to increase productivity in the workplace, cut operational costs and improve customer experience. 

As competition between companies usually has been mainly determined by sales drive, it can be looked once more from a different perspective. Having an innovation in ICT can have a strategic significance for a company and its operative costs in three ways: 

1. Industry structure change 
Modern technology allows us to extend the capabilities of business sales. Or it can develop an entirely new space for them with minimum costs. Everyone knows the case of Lithuanian company Vinted. Long before the pandemic, a platform was created for users to buy, sell or exchange clothing. Not only new and luxurious pieces, but also the used, handmade or vintage ones. The advent of this platform is a huge change for fast-fashion brands, opportunity for new ones and an example how ICT can rearrange an industry. 

2. Competitive advantage creation 
New ways of thinking are essential in making progress, especially in specialist areas. Lithuanian startup Oxipit develops AI products for diagnostic imaging. Oxipit software reduces the work scope of radiology specialists by automating chest X-ray reporting. The software was created aiming to alleviate the global shortage of radiologists and constant increase in their workload. Covid-19 put a stress on the healthcare sector, inviting to explore technological innovations and speed up their adoption in the daily medical practice. 

3. Whole new business proliferation 
The pandemic is also an opportunity for the global consultancy market that is estimated at $100 billion now. Half of its spending is based on digital transformation tools. “Culturengine” by Culture Intelligence is a Norwegian Software as a Service (SaaS) platform that helps companies to take a position within the circular economy by designing “circular culture codes”. They enable customers to build a more circular culture to get the sustainability results they want. This type of Peopletech will disrupt not only the consulting market, but also penetrate traditional ways of working with leadership, recruiting and employee engagement. 
“We are excited to partner with business in Lituania. As the circular economy does not hold any borderlines, partnerships across nations will be natural and prosperous. UN Strategic goal #17 is all about building partnerships for the UN goals, and our ambition is to take a lead in this field” notes Tone S. Ringstad, Founder and CEO.

Now digital technology is transforming the attitude of company‘s existing operations on a whole new level. This helps to create insight from company’s perspective, enhance existing sales models and to create new ones through content creation, website building, e-commerce and user experience. Sometimes it can be more efficient to invest into ICT tools to target the right audience rather than to re-release the same product but in different color. 

Core to everything from financial instruments to aid delivery, innovations in ICT sector are an important element both to private and public sectors. Country‘s recovery from the pandemic is based on companies and organizations who alter their current state to more innovative by driving digital transformation. The help from ICT providers in digitalization can boost growth across the economy. 

Lithuanian businesses, that want to develop technologies and find partners for such projects in Norway, will be able to apply to the Norway Grants program Business Development, Innovation and SMEs starting from mid-October. Information about the calls will available on both MITA and Norway Grants websites. 
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