Will Covid-19 result in a shift in attitudes towards digital and data-driven tech?

Covid-19 and the lockdown restrictions have placed a lot of strain on us as a society and also required the adoption of new working practices and technologies.

 

Over the past three or four weeks, I’ve been interested by the number of times someone has said to me something along the lines of: “Well we are all going to have to get used to using tech like Zoom now aren’t we?”.

 

To paraphrase those conversations, what I’m hearing is that many people have started using digital communications technology much more than ever before, and in some case, for the first time.

 

Is this a sea change I ask myself? And if so, what might that mean for digital technology in agriculture?

 

At the top of this post is a video of a presentation I gave at the NFU conference in February 2019 – just over a year ago. How things have changed since then!

 

What is interesting is that I gave that presentation in the context of what I felt was some industry scepticism as to the value or need for all this much vaunted digi tech in ag. Now, having watched it again in the context of Covid-19, I find myself wondering if there has been (or we are in the midst of) a cultural shift in attitudes towards digital tech in ag, and in particular the role of data, and data sharing to help us address the productivity challenge we have in the UK.

 

If you’ve got 12 minutes to spare, have a watch and then ask yourself:

  1. How would I have felt about what was said in this presentation if I was hearing it a year ago?
  2. How do I feel about it now?

My hunch, is that your attitude will have shifted. Maybe not a lot. Or maybe a great deal.

 

As ever, interested to hear you thoughts. Feel free to post a comment at the bottom of this post.

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