2020 has gotten off to a shaky start, and the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic certainly hasn’t made things easier on us. Nobody would’ve thought that we would be experiencing such a massive shift in the way businesses operate. Remote working has become the new normal, and social distancing is slowly becoming ingrained into cultures across the world.
While the coronavirus has been around for more than a few months (in China, anyway), it’s only been over the past few weeks that it’s truly reared its ugly head into every corner of our society. Businesses have been shut down, workers are going fully remote, and companies across nearly all sectors/verticals are experiencing a lot of uncertainty.
The problems that this pandemic has caused have the potential to spur a new wave of technological development across essentially all industries. Is your business prepared for these coming changes? How is your company currently dealing with the fallout from this newest pandemic? It really doesn’t matter what industry you operate in, if you aren’t adapting to this new world, you’re going to lose out to your competitors.
The goal of this article is to widen your perspective on some of the challenges that businesses are currently facing, as well as some of the potential ways that these challenges can be solved. The tech industry is going to be driving a lot of innovation over the coming months/years, and it’s essential that your business prepares itself for these changes.
Major Changes: Social Distancing and WFH (Working From Home)
Remote work has always been more of a secondary option, at least for the majority of businesses in the world. However, thanks to the restrictions placed on businesses (and society in general) during this pandemic, more and more companies are turning to WFH (i.e. working from home) as their primary work system.
While there are many apps and software tools that have been specifically designed for remote-based teams (e.g. Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc.), there are still countless areas that don’t have apps (e.g. remote onboarding is something that lots of companies will need to start doing - and there’s no dedicated app for this process, yet). Thinking along these lines is how tech companies and startups will be able to drive a new era of business innovation.
There’s no doubting the fact that social distancing is having a major impact on businesses in nearly every country around the globe. While some mitigation strategies might help (e.g. having certain insurance types - professional liability for your business, interruption insurance, etc.), the pandemic has exposed a massive vulnerability in the world’s business infrastructure.
Companies are going to need to get creative if they want to last through however long this pandemic takes to resolve. Businesses also need to be prepared for the long haul, meaning that nobody truly knows how long this might last, nor how long the impact will be felt in the business world.
Online Merchants and Remote-Based Delivery Services
eCommerce has been the rising star in the business world ever since the early 2000s. Fast forward to 2020, and it's becoming a truly dominant player in the commerce industry as a whole. Many IRL (i.e. in real life) retail chains are closing their stores in favor of eCommerce deployments, and the COVID-19 pandemic certainly hasn’t helped these retailers, either.
What’s fascinating about eCommerce is the innovation that it’s driving in regards to automated delivery services. Amazon Prime Air is a service that’s been in development for a number of years now. Basically, this service uses automated drones to make internet-based deliveries. While it’s still a few years from scaled deployment, it’s getting closer. These are the types of changes that your business should expect to see over the coming decade - more of a focus on automation and AI-driven tech.
IoT Technology and Future Innovations
The IoT industry is massive, and it’s only going to continue to grow. COVID-19 has certainly caused a wave of growth in IoT, with a strong focus on remote-based sensors and environmental scanners. While these developments might seem too broad for your business, eventually these innovations will trickle down across all verticals, until nearly every industry has some type of IoT technology inherent to it.
Is your business truly prepared to handle another pandemic? Do you have the mitigation strategies in place? Do you have the right type of insurance? These are the types of questions you need to be asking at a time such as this.