By Sara Downey, Thought Leadership, Dell Technologies
Dave Graham works at Dell Technologies, but he was a social worker more than 10 years ago. At the time, his heartfelt desire–to help others–was hampered by antiquated terminals and technology. With an aptitude for applying technology to solve problems, he swapped one front line for another and signed up to the mission to harness technology to drive human progress.
In recent months, the pandemic has showcased technology as a lifeline and stirred many people with the technology know-how to support the Covid-19 effort. For instance, Graham has volunteered for two organizations to:
- Rapidly deploy helpdesk software in the cloud to solve problems happening in real-time so marginalized communities in Ireland could receive aid
- Use common messaging tools, standardized software and repositories and rapid prototyping hardware to quickly iterate, test, and build ventilator designs based on the ever-changing presentation of Covid-19 around the world
For Graham and scores of others, working in IT is a privilege. Giving people the tools they need to accomplish superlatively more than they could on their own is nothing short of transformative. (Hence, many IT professionals were categorized as ‘essential workers’ during the pandemic.)
CSR Made Real
In response to the most critical issues we’re facing today, a groundswell of businesses are doing remarkable, altruistic things with technology. “Corporate stewardship has long been a common goal,” says Jennifer ‘JJ’ Davis, senior vice president, Corporate Affairs at Dell Technologies. “But Covid-19 has fuelled this sense of purpose and provided greater clarity on where the need is and how businesses can help, with technology at the center of it all.” For instance, according to the 2020 Digital Transformation Index, a biennial study with business leaders from 18 countries, 49 percent of surveyed manufacturers and business leaders working in production/supply chain & logistics departments are deploying their additive manufacturing capabilities (i.e. 3D printers) to produce vital medical equipment.
The DT Index bears this out: more than 8 in 10 believe that as a result of disruption this year, we’re seeing a more humane side of businesses (driven by wanting to help society at large). Companies are responding to the clarion call for help and operating at the intersection of profit and purpose.
Read more remarkable stories about how technology and people are leading us toward recovery in our “Recovering Together” series.
NB. So inspired by tech for good, Dave Graham is now doing a PhD in his ‘spare time’ on how emerging technologies, when trusted, can serve underrepresented/underserved communities.