For all the discussion about the benefits of technology as compared to potential pitfalls, during a time of crisis there is no greater opportunity for technology and overall crisis advisory to shine.
As the COVID-19 outbreak expanded from a global health emergency to being classified as a global pandemic, the Qatar Government is putting in place several measures to contain its spread and protect both citizens and businesses from its potential health and economic impacts. In doing so, government entities are extensively relying on technology to enable these measures and help fight the spread of the virus.
Innovations from technology are also embraced by businesses and citizens alike during these times of enforced social distancing and remote working. In fact, there are many ways in which technology is currently being used in Qatar to help in the efforts around COVID-19 response:
— Use of social media for pushing latest updates and quelling rumors – In addition to traditional hotlines, government entities in Qatar have intensified the use of social media platforms to inform and raise the awareness of both citizens and residents about the measures taken and instructions given to control the spread of the virus within the State. Efforts are also taken to limit the spread of misinformation on these social platforms.
— Pushing clients to opt for mobile services and digital platforms – Companies in Qatar started communication campaigns through apps, social media and text messaging to urge their customers to use mobile services and avoid being exposed to infection. Such services include e-Government services via the Metrash application, mobile banking operations through banking applications and web portals, telecommunication services for credit top-ups and contract management, or catering and grocery services via order management and delivery platform.
— Promoting the use of e-learning and collaborative technologies for education – MoEHE has announced the use of Microsoft Teams and Learning Management System (LMS) applications to enable schools and education institutions to interact with students and parents and deliver digital content to ensure a smooth educational process during these times of crisis
— Fostering remote work for all employees where possible – Qatar has also noted a significant surge in the number of employees working remotely to align with social distancing instructions. Just like KPMG, several private companies urged their employees to work remotely leveraging the large set of digital enablers that facilitate daily collaboration and productivity. Eighty percent of Government employees have also been ordered to work from home.
— Enabling effective working from home by enhancing connectivity – Leading Telecom companies like Ooredoo and Vodafone have contributed to the Government’s effort to ensure the safety of people by improving the capacity of the existing infrastructure to ensure everyone is better connected while working from home, focusing on doubling the internet speed without any extra charges.
One of the many things to take away is that we are reminded again that in a time of crisis, as global industries, communities and citizens, we come together to find a solution. This time it’s humans and technology together for the greater good.
© 2020 KPMG LLC, a limited liability company registered with Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFCA), State of Qatar and a member firm of the KPMG global organization of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Limited, a private English company limited by guarantee. All rights reserved.
© 2020 KPMG Qatar Branch is registered with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, State of Qatar and a member firm of the KPMG global organization of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Limited, a private English company limited by guarantee. All rights reserved.
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