Many companies boiled over the Covid-19 restrictions and associated losses. Was everything that bad for businesses? Let’s game out the advantages instead of listing the issues that many have already disputed before.
COVID-19 has pushed companies to reinvent their business processes and operate in new ways. In this outbreak environment, companies must constantly adapt to new and uncertain market realities. As a result, companies began adopting new technologies and IT solutions much faster than before the pandemic.
Advantages of Covid-19 outbreak
Staying competitive in the new business and economic environment requires companies to implement new approaches, strategies, and techniques. Most leaders started to recognize the strategic importance of technology as a critical business component and not just a source of economic efficiency. Companies that swiftly responded to the outbreak reported some advantages that their less successful competitors didn’t have. The top advantages were
- the use of advanced technologies,
- the speed of experimentation,
- and the adoption of innovation.
Closing offices and working remotely were unusual only at the beginning, but later the vast majority of employees found a lot of advantages in working from home (WFH). More than half say that if they had a choice, they would like to continue working from home even after the pandemic, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center. Also, enterprises reported saving millions in utility and operating costs. They began to esteem their expensive offices as unnecessary because their business was doing just fine even without them.
Digitalization has helped business owners to rethink the entire business management model, cut costs, reduce staff, and boost productivity. That happened due to the adoption of digital tools and flexible methods of business process management.
Meanwhile, the Covid-19 outbreak itself has become an advantage for many sectors of the economy. For example, home workout equipment manufacturers significantly increased their sales volume. Peloton’s sales doubled in the last fiscal year to $ 1.8 billion. That was a consequence of fitness center closure. If a door closes, another immediately opens. Those who caught the opportunity earned a lot. And those who could not adapt just lost.
The same situation was in the education sector. The remote education field experienced the hockey stick growth. Still, the shift to distance learning has been a disaster for the traditional schooling sector as well as for the students, and the careers and mental health of their parents. Nevertheless, staying at home has benefited many children in terms of their academic performance, raising and caring for them, and reducing their environment’s negative impact.
Key opportunities of rapid digital transformation
Highlighting the key, digital transformation into a pandemic brought companies the following:
- The new opportunities to push the limits of existing business models, exploring new markets and ways to make a profit.
- Reducing the prime cost by reinventing operational processes and cutting unnecessary costs.
- Improving the level of control and quality.
- Decrease in time expenses for business meetings, commuting, and so on.
- Increase the speed of decision-making and transactions, improving results and growing profitability.
- Ensuring control over the health of employees at enterprises.
- Adoption of automation tools to coordinate work processes and a decrease in the number of involved employees provided the possibility to interact more within the team and become more responsible.
- The use of cloud technologies, big data, blockchain, the Internet of things, chatbots, voice assistants, and artificial intelligence for trusted interaction with customers increased the value of the goods and services created by the company.
- The use of autonomous machines, robotics and machine interaction, augmented and virtual reality, and 3D printing in production to accelerate and improve the created goods.
- The use of contactless technologies to get into managed facilities, instant payment for goods and services.
And that is not the future – that is happening now – accelerated by the Covid-19 outbreak. Currently, it is hard to assess the pace of business transformation around the world and across all industries. But we can unequivocally say that the world has changed irrevocably and not for the worse.
The transformation of the economy and business is so rapid that it is necessary to monitor the emergence of new technologies that can change our world even more.
That means that businesses need to prepare for the next technological leap forward:
- Quantum computing, networks, and post-quantum cryptography.
- Digital money in mass use.
- Artificial intelligence is available to everyone.
- Differential privacy.
- Ubiquitous Internet.
- The Internet of things and the end of the deficit.
- Bioprinting and life extension.
And that is not the exhaustive list of disrupting technological directions.
Businesses do not want to look pessimistically at this outbreak but perceive it as an incentive for global transformation – towards the world of a technological future, a world of new challenges and opportunities.