IT and the Coronavirus

With businesses reeling from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many views on what will remain the same and what will be changed forever. Alexandre Bilger, CEO, Sinequa, recently reflected on the shifts in IT and business practices and the renewed attention to what is really important, including collaboration.

The Value of Collaboration

Alexandre Bilger, Sinequa“One thing that’s been true throughout human history is that our greatest achievements—whether it was developing a vaccine for polio, putting a man on the moon or ‘inventing’ the smartphone—are all a result of what is known as collective learning," said Bilger. "No single person accomplished these things. It took a vast amount of knowledge slowly built over time and applied by large groups of people to make them happen. That process of learning, combined with incredible human creativity, is one of the things that separate us from any other species on the planet. This is how we will address the coronavirus pandemic."

'Intelligent search makes it possible for groups of people to collaborate in a contextual environment without being overloaded with information.'

Similarly, said Bilger, it is going to take collaboration among a large number of people across scientific, academic, and high-tech communities to get the answers needed to fight this virus. "The biggest challenge is that no one has spent years studying this virus because it hasn’t existed until now. It’s unprecedented, and so we’re in a period of uncertainty. So if you are a researcher, where do you get the context? The best answer is intelligent search, which makes it possible for groups of people to collaborate in a contextual environment without being overloaded with information. More importantly, it allows them to do so across locations (both their own physical location and where data resides), across specialties and even across languages."

Search-Driven Information Sharing

If there is any reason for hope in taking on this difficult challenge, said Bilger, it is that we have this collective learning ability, which is made all the more powerful in the information-driven era by technologies such as intelligent search. "It will be a powerful tool in this fight, and as a result, we expect to see it grow significantly in coming years for a wide range of uses.”