How will COVID-19 and BLM impact business and society? How do you succeed in the new reality?

Updated: Aug 22

Everyone agrees that COVID-19 and BLM(Black Lives Matter) movement (brought to prominence by George Floyd's death) have changed the world for ever. These unprecedented events have led to some new megatrends, while accelerating / disrupting others. This article identifies some of these key megatrends, and illustrates how businesses, society and individuals need to transform to thrive and succeed in the new reality.

Business Megatrends

Digital First - Online / Remote / Contactless

Every business now has to ask the question should I do this Digital First or Digital Only. If there is no reason to go physical first then the answer is always go digital first or digital. Solutions include - 1) E-commerce / M-commerce, 2) Online & Mobile Apps for service delivery, 3) Remote Workers (or a combination remote and on-site work), 4) Contactless Delivery and 5) Contactless Payments.

Government, Financial Services and Retail are likely going to be impacted the most.

Data Driven

Customers are increasingly data savvy. COVID-19 has accelerated this trend, as customers now used to tracking number of new cases and deaths, as well as trends relating to the Coronavirus. This is especially true when delivering Digital / Virtual Services (e.g. Financial Services).

Executives, managers and employees will also be making many more data driven decisions.

Cloud Computing

The need for cloud computing has substantially increased as a result of the following needs - 1) scalable digital infrastructure (to serve customers), 2) on demand digital infrastructure (for business continuity and disaster recovery), and 3) remote work.

Robots Everywhere

COVID-19 has accelerated Robot development, as it has brought to the forefront some compelling Robot use cases (and business cases) such as - Drone Delivery (Food and Medicine), Drone based Monitoring and Patient Care. This trend is expanding to include other Robots, Chatbots and Robotic Process Automation. Robots are being used deliver core business services and are being put in place as Business Continuity / Disaster Recovery solutions.

AI Acceleration

Rapidly increasing data and computing availability, along with advancements in Robotics is going to accelerate AI. Applications are numerous, and businesses need to be prepared to take advantage of this trend.

Social Megatrends

Surveillance / Sousveillance / Self-monitoring

Many governments have and are continuing to use various surveillance techniques such as using video cameras to detect fever and mobile devices to trace contacts. This although initiated by COVID-19 will not disappear post pandemic.

On the other hand BLM has brought into prominence sousveillance (where citizens monitor government a term coined by Steve Mann).

Sousveillance combined with AI will lead to more advanced Human Cyborgs (if you use Google Search, have a Smartphone and/or wear a Smartwatch you are already a Cyborg)

Online / Digital Education

Public schools, universities and colleges have already embraced online / digital education. Adult education will also trend online / digital. The human cyborg will be an enabler and accelerator. This will significantly change society as we know it.

Gig Economy

COVID-19 recovery will include a lot of temporary, part-time and remote work. Many of the jobs created will also require specialized skills. COVID recovery will accelerate the gig economy trend.

Remote Diagnosis and Patient Care

Remote diagnosis and patient care implemented to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic related infections will not go away. A lot of patient care has to be done in-person, however, many appointments that can be managed online will be.

Megatrends Disrupted

Some of the megatrends being disrupted include - megacities, public transportation, commercial real-estate and travel & tourism (especially business travel, cruises).

How do you Transform?

HR Transformation

HR will have to deal with more Remote Workers, who are Online / Digitally educated, and operating in the Gig Economy. Monitoring, collaboration and knowledge management people, process and tools will be critical to success.

Compensation should be based more on talent and value, as opposed to location (we are already seeing this trend).

Product / Business Transformation

Many businesses are making some investments in cloud, and increasing their focus on their Web and Mobile assets. However, their success and competitive advantage require bigger, bolder and more strategic moves. Companies need to rethink:

1) Marketing - Product, Price, Place & Promotion: All four Ps need to be rethought for many businesses in Financial Services, Government and Retail. This also includes "price" as customers understand your value and cost structure are changing.

2) Execution - People, Process and Technology: Understanding and including Digital, Big Data and AI in all 3 areas is critical to success.

Transformation Technology Examples

We believe Asperios and Semantic Notes will play a key role in helping customers succeed in the new reality

1) Asperios: This AI powered application is based on Natural Language (Speech / Text) Chat interfaces that makes it very easy for customers and employees use (significantly reduce the learning curve). It has built in analysis and data visualization that enables users to understand complex issues and make better decisions. At present the tool is optimized for Investment / Wealth management and can be used by Investors and Advisors.

2) Semantic Notes: This note taking tool helps you easily capture your research, thoughts and ideas. Furthermore, this AI helps organize your information, provide you feedback, and adds insight. Currently this tool is optimized for Investment Management, however, we do see short-term potential in other related areas such Marketing Research, Economic Analysis and Business Intelligence. Our mission is to make this the ultimate note taking tool for all knowledge work.

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