We’re at the midpoint of 2020, a year that reminds us of every apocalypse movie we’ve ever seen — and there’s so much we still don’t know. Can the world fight Covid-19? Will the global economic crash lead to another Great Depression? Is the ‘new normal’ here to stay? There are so many questions, yet, very few answers.
However, over the last six months, in response to the pandemic, the world has seen some common emerging business trends. In this piece, we analyse five such trends and their significance in the post-Covid world.
1. The era of digital transformation
Digital Transformation is a business trend that has gained immense popularity over the last few months.
Before the pandemic, while some businesses invested significant time, effort, and capital into digital transformation, others weren’t too concerned about digitalising their offerings. However, Covid-19 has forced organisations across the globe to take radical steps towards adopting technological advancements to secure their business.
Almost all industries, ranging from retail, healthcare, hospitality, and education, will need to transform their business models to remain viable. Companies can no longer enjoy the comfort of operating ‘business as usual’. In fact, even if an organisation is ahead of their competitors today, they still have to be prepared to embrace uncertainty, take calculated risks, keep abreast of the changing business trends, and leverage the newest digital technology. Failure to do so can disrupt their entire business model.
“Every industry and every organization will have to transform itself in the next few years. What is coming at us is bigger than the original internet and you need to understand it, get on board with it and figure out how to transform your business.”
And that’s why, accelerating digital transformation journeys, staying relevant in changing times, and embracing innovation to create breakthrough value, will become a top priority for businesses in the post-Covid world.
2. Healthcare reformation
There’s no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed major gaps in the healthcare systems of some of the most advanced nations in the world, such as the United States, France, and the United Kingdom. In fact, in order to provide equitable care, the healthcare industry must undergo significant reforms.
DID YOU KNOW?
Medical bankruptcies in the US affect up to 2 million people.
Source: The Balance
Studies have revealed that even before the pandemic, more than half of the citizens of the US with employer-sponsored health insurance delayed their treatment because of the additional costs. In a recent poll conducted, 68% of adults said that the cost of treatment would be extremely crucial to their decision to seek medical care if they had Covid-19. If that’s the case, then failure to get treated prolongs the pandemic and exacerbates its economic impact, making the reformation critical.
Apart from the industry reformation, businesses will also have to go the extra mile to concentrate on the health of their employees. The need to focus on their mental health will significantly increase, as remote working, social isolation, and social distancing becomes the ‘new normal’.
3. Growth of online education systems
The Covid-19 pandemic didn’t just affect businesses — it affected the education system too. Many schools and educational institutions just weren’t ready to take their classes online, causing a lot of unprecedented chaos and confusion.
While children were missing school, online education systems became an emerging business trend. Schools across the globe have started implementing different online teaching platforms to suit their requirements. However, because this is an entirely new concept to many, the assessment of assignments, online exams, and making students understand complex concepts is a new challenge on the horizon.
“Since the lockdown, we have seen a four-fold increase in paid subscriptions. We also saw a growth in our web-traffic rising to more than 25M sessions in May, 2020, with an average of 800K sessions per day”
In response to this situation, pre-recorded videos with more options and animations are being used frequently, giving rise to Learning Management Systems (LMS) as well. Edtech platforms such as Byju’s and Vedantu in India, that use IT tools to create an engaging and individualised learning experience is becoming the ‘new normal’ and will continue to challenge the traditional education system, one video at a time.
4. Re-configuration of supply chains
Over the last few years, China has emerged as the undefeated hub of global supply. But then came the pandemic.
The disruption created by Covid-19 was unlike anything the new world had ever seen. Nobody was prepared for the world’s second-largest economy, China, to go completely off the grid and shut down every one of its external logistical connections. And that’s why global businesses have no choice but to reconfigure their supply chains.
An anticipated business trend in the coming months is that supply chains will fragment further with technology platforms integrating them. Supply chains will take on a more multi-tier approach, tracking critical components such as the origin of supply and incremental value-adds. This also opens new ways to communicate and engage with customers, manage inventories and logistics, manage capital, production, and distribution.
5. Evolution of traditional workspaces and remote teams
A huge chunk of global businesses are encouraging their employees to work from home, even post-Covid. Before the pandemic, though some companies offered work from home facilities, the majority weren’t ready for this sudden shift.
Therefore, a business trend that one can expect in the coming months is for enterprises to adopt different digital tools to manage their operations smoothly. In fact, the significant spike in the demand for these online tools has worked as a catalyst for other organisations to develop work-from-home products and services.
Communication tools, project-management applications, software for data security, etc., will experience a notable boost in the coming months.
FUN FACTMicrosoft sees twice the number of new Teams users every day in China even after the country lifted its restrictions.
On the other hand, coworking spaces have experienced a major hit, with social distancing becoming the new norm. During the lockdown in many countries, a large number of companies have either given up their coworking space or reduced their office size. Will this be a permanent shift? Only time will tell.
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