COVID-19 is disrupting the business ecosystem and the economy significantly and is likely to cost the global economy $1 trillion during 2020, says UNCTAD, the UN trade agency.
From governments closing the borders and enforcing lockdowns to businesses struggling to meet the supply and demand, the novel coronavirus is changing the way businesses operate, collaborate and compete. Traditional business models are on the verge of being wiped out by their digital counterparts. Digital Transformation is something that has been predicted by leading analyst firms as the way forward for years now, and certain organizations have already implemented it, with a fast-tracked future now becoming a reality. In this current scenario, the first movers will have the upper hand in the long journey ahead, and unfortunately, the laggards will struggle to tackle the situation.
This article takes a predictive look at how various industries will flourish post COVID-19.
Unlike any other industry, COVID-19 has affected the healthcare industry the most. The current situation is an opportunity for healthcare stakeholders to utilize the available tools, software, and technologies such as AI, ML, IoT, Data Analytics, etc to offer better solutions.
Mobile healthcare, IoT, Virtual Assistants, and Robotics are some of the leading areas that healthcare providers can look into. Mobile apps to get in touch with doctors at your convenience, sensors/IoT devices to monitor real-time patient data, virtual assistants to guide healthcare professionals with complex procedures remotely, machine-learned robots to assist doctors in patient examination, etc. are some of the areas where digital transformation is going to make its mark.
Ultimately, new business models will emerge, as all healthcare providers need to rethink their current business strategies and pave the way for the vast opportunities that will come along with this pandemic.
With people staying inside their homes and practicing social distancing, the impact of COVID-19 on retailers will be severe. Leading retailers have started adopting omnichannel digital transformation strategies rapidly to win the customer pie. Most traditional retail customers, who once swore by the in-store experience, have now been forced to experience the convenience of digital purchasing, and are likely to continue with the trend even once this phase of being locked in is over.
Brick and mortar stores have noted reduced footfall during this situation. In order to stay afloat, they must now look into newer and more innovative ways to do business – be it through online platforms or even just becoming available on social media platforms to take orders. We are yet to see how the retail industry will evolve post-pandemic but surely, COVID-19 has dramatically accelerated the digital transformation in the retail industry too.
The insurance industry thrives on predictability and the uncertainty that COVID-19 has caused is unprecedented. Most of their customers will be devastated with the fear of losing their jobs, their businesses and even their lives and they will rely on the insurance industry to be a ray of hope.
Collaboration with various governments and other industry players to collect data from all possible sources should be the priority. Be it in the form of sensors, IoT devices, weather reports, and drones, they must generate meaningful insights in real-time to offer pro-active and personalized solutions. Coupled with advanced data analysis, they can come up with data models that predict possible future outcomes like this.
InsurTech players must lead the digital transformation journey in terms of leveraging the latest technologies, optimizing the processes, personalizing the solutions, and bringing in automation to reduce costs and improve efficiency and effectiveness. All the players in the ecosystem must embrace digital transformation at the heart of their strategy to be the front-runners in the new insurance era.
With people being asked to remain indoors and governments and central banks announcing economic relief packages, everyone is looking at FinTech to help implement their ideas. The current situation brings a new sense of urgency to the need to examine ‘going digital’ by accelerating the rush to digitization. Digital payments have become an integral part of everyday life across the globe, opening up new avenues of innovation and business opportunities in the coming future.
Digital onboarding, omnichannel retailing and eWallets will likely grow to new heights. Financial institutions must utilize these opportunities and go digital in their offerings. Technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and big-data analytics will play a crucial role in formulating FinTech strategies in the digital-only era.
The global learning population has been keenly impacted by the spread of the C0VID-19 virus. Though the infrastructure in terms of internet access, data costs, etc are yet to catch up with the rising requirements, the time is ripe for EduTech companies to make their mark. This will be the point of transition in the adoption of the online medium against the traditional educational model.
Instead of focusing on replacing mundane administrative and managerial roles, which unfortunately most providers are doing right now, they must embrace and accelerate the digital transformation of education itself. EduTech companies need to collaborate with traditional universities and schools and offer an online-offline system. They must leverage the latest technologies such as online video-based learning, artificial intelligence, machine learning, advanced analytics to personalize the learning experience and ensure a more engaging and valuable offering to the user.
The change here must come from the educational institutes as well, as they need to take the step towards embracing this change – but the current pandemic has only proven that it is high time they understand that this is the future of education.
Transportation & Logistics
Transportation and logistics players globally are trying to fix things with whatever resources they have because they are the lifelines that make sure the logistics of essentials stay in place. With limited manpower and severe restrictions, they must leverage technologies to overcome this hurdle.
This is an opportunity for them to rethink their business practices. Instead of working and relying on outdated legacy software systems, they should embrace digitization and automation to stay competitive within the industry. They must accelerate their digital transformation process and partner with technology companies to develop tech-driven solutions to offer streamlined and personalized end-to-end services. They must harness the power of “digital” to handle any unforeseen events in the future.
The challenges that COVID-19 poses cannot be generalized as it varies from industry to industry. Post epidemic, organizations should revisit and reinvent their business strategies with more focus and weightage on innovation, research and development. Inevitably across industries, digitization shall be embraced with an urgency more than ever before.
Survival and recovery of core operations should be what organizations focus on post COVID-19. Collaborating with digital technology consultants like Experion Technologies can help you get the kick-start you need to successfully restart your businesses.