Digital inclusion and service delivery in a post-covid world – workshop insights

  • Date 20 May 2020

On the 30th of April, Akendi and CW successfully facilitated an online discussion on “Adjusting business service delivery to a changed world”. Participants enjoyed two short inspiring talks (now on YouTube), by Marek Pawlowski (MEX) and Tara O’Doherty (Akendi) followed by a number of themed round-table discussions hosted on Akendi's Discord server.

This blog shares the highlights from three of the most insightful topics.

Leo Poll, President of Akendi UK, chaired the “Reinventing service design” debate. Here’s his summary:

Quite a few things have been written in the past few weeks about how people have now become more tolerant of remote video meetings. Whilst no replacement for face-2-face meetings, the advantages of not having to travel and the low costs combined with the realisation that 'it is not as bad as we thought' means that a lot of these types of meetings are here to stay.

COVID also seems to have accelerated the transformation into a cashless society which many will also view as a good thing.

But how about the digital “have-not’s”? Well, they remain the “have-not's” but now they are more visible than ever. Banks are making an effort to help elderly people to switch to doing their banking online, but it is not help with the existing systems that they need, rather it is systems that are, finally, designed for them, rather than forced on them. You could also argue that it has made the need for specifically designed elderly digital services finally visible. 

This is what COVID does, it makes previously ignored needs visible. For organisations looking to introduce new services post-Covid this is very good news. Take people who are now helping their elderly neighbours by doing a bit of shopping. It is likely that these elderly people always needed a bit of help with shopping but didn't want to ask. Covid now makes it okay to accept help, and it highlights a general need for help that keeps the pride of the recipient intact. 

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