How Technology will impact the Businesses post-COVID-19?

how the world will be after coronavirus covid 19

28th March 2020

With over 2.72 million confirmed cases* and 1.91 lacs of deaths* around the world due to coronavirus, the current situation is being regarded as one of the worst pandemics of the human history that has affected the entire population of the world. No pandemic has been seen this big that has halted the day-to-day operations of several businesses and has forced people to stay indoors. It has wreaked havoc on the global economic system and is testing the healthcare ecosystem nationally.

Industrial sectors and several businesses, due to many barriers in place, are equally impacted. With people locked indoors, sectors such as manufacturing and travel & hospitality are among the worst hit, while other sectors have been forced to alter their working model to continue with the business operations amidst pandemic situation. Several industries have halted productions, in response to the coronavirus attack, that are grappled with issues such as reduced workforce, shortage of raw materials, and supply chain problems.

The current testing times have also forced several companies, around the world, to try out measures with existing technologies to compensate for the ongoing losses. Several technological advancements, done in the past but were not used, are being implemented by businesses in carrying out their daily operations. Work-from-home (WFH), Online classes, Online fitness, Virtual meetings are becoming normal in these turbulent times. The current situation is also enabling and giving opportunities to several tech companies to come out with innovative and sustainable solutions to help businesses around the world. Technologies, such as AI, ML, IoT, and Robotics, are finding ways into the health care industry to treat patients affected by the coronavirus.

With such tech-based solutions and examples in front of us in the current times, this article will talk more about how technology will help businesses and economies shape the world after COVID-19. But before we discuss that, let us have a look in the past.

How humans have reacted to adversity in the past?

World under covid19 coronavirus

Of all the animals on the planet earth, humans have evolved faster and better. The evolution process has given humans the ability to think, to experiment, to assess the situation and to act responsibly. Humans have the privilege to use their abilities and convert the time of adversity into an opportunity to make the world a better place to live. Historical incidents have also tested the humans’ mettle to come out of the misfortune and to strengthen their responses for future tribulations.

The SARS outbreak, in 2003, in countries like Singapore, Taiwan & Honk Kong held them by the neck and took thousands of lives. After the catastrophe, the government of these countries was forced to strengthen their medical readiness for a possible future epidemic. The hard lessons learned from the SARS outbreak helped to control the spread of the coronavirus in these countries.

Similarly, the 2008 financial crisis around the world forced nations to strengthen and tighten their financial systems that led to the establishment of several institutions to scrutinize the financial transactions and to detect any frauds or collapse waiting to happen. The financial and banking system around the world, taking lessons from the crisis, shifted to a new paradigm after the crisis.

Every adverse situation provided an opportunity for humankind to see the world through alternate eyes and adapt accordingly with the changing times. It forced humans to challenge the status quo and look for sustainable solutions that are easily adaptable to any torment situation. Using available technologies, several start-ups emerged after every crisis to solve societal problems or to create a path for a protected future. Companies, like Airbnb, WhatsApp, Uber, Pinterest, and Slack, were founded during the 2008 global recession are a few examples of that.

The current pandemic situation also serves as an opportunity for individuals and companies alike to assess and implement the business model that is likely to survive any adverse situation that might occur in the future.

Business challenges & solutions – How technology is helping businesses?

business World and challenges after coronavirus

Every business, in a crisis, tends to focus on the short-term business results and adopts a defensive survival strategy. However, this could help them to stay afloat in the turbulent times, but they would have to follow the same strategy every time an adverse situation occurs. In other words, the response will determine whether one has won the battle and lost the war or vice-versa. No doubt, businesses are in deep trouble in the current times and the trouble might loom over if they cry over it instead of bouncing back using available resources.

Across industries, businesses are facing challenges like production halt, dipping sales & revenue, low productivity, supply chain issues, transportation barriers, workforce shortage, incapable technical infrastructure, and in-person meetings problems among others. The challenges are forcing businesses to try out available technologies to mitigate the problems and losses attached to it.

Every other business is forced to change the business model to stay afloat and relevant in these times where sales & revenue is a big concern. Moving into e-commerce is a step towards that.

They are investing in cloud-based technological infrastructure to make the assets and resources available anytime and anywhere that are helping employees working from home.

Meeting and work collaborations are happening virtually through apps like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Slack among others, thus solving the employee productivity issues.

Businesses that are into commerce are trying out ways to use Drone-delivery systems to make products available to the customers.

• Automation is helping businesses in production lines and mitigating productivity issues. Startups, like Nebeskie Labs, are using AI-based IoT platforms to provide contactless experiences and solutions to control electricity usage through remote access.

Education sector is utilizing online classes to impart education to students in this lockdown situation. Online fitness sessions and online doctor consultations are in trend nowadays.

Look around anywhere and one can see how technology has streamlined and provided a much-needed cushion to transfer the work from office to home. The focus on social distancing has brought technology to the forefront in every aspect of our life. Thus, technical measures taken now will have long-lasting effects as the crisis has pulled down several entry barriers.

How will technology change the world after COVID-19?

Look around anywhere and one can see how technology has streamlined and provided a much-needed cushion to transfer the work from office to home. The focus on social distancing has brought technology to the forefront in every aspect of our life. Thus, technical measures taken now will have long-lasting effects as the crisis has pulled down several entry barriers.

virtual reality world

“Imagine a drone delivery of e-commerce and food orders to your doorstep, VR music concerts & movie premiers in your bedroom, and robot police patrolling in high-risk areas.”

We are moving into a world that will have more contactless interactions and experiences.

We will move from touch-based interactions to voice-based/app-based interactions. Devices taking voice-based commands will become a norm and will be integrated into daily activities. Startups, like Nebeskie Labs, are already helping businesses with their app-based command to control and monitor the electricity consumption in business premises.

With universities going online, the education sector has already started to see the change and has entered into the future. Soon technologies like Augmented Reality (AR) & Virtual Reality (VR) will help in imparting education to students in a better way. This will cut off the requirement of students to be physically present at schools or universities.

In the health sector, AI and Big Data technologies will help detect disease and monitor the health of a patient or public in general. Smart Health Bands will have more capabilities to track and asses the health parameters. Robotics will deep dive into this sector with AI doctors to treat patients with high-risk diseases.

With the majority of the population working from home, remote work culture will still find a place after the COVID-19 situation. Businesses will cut the building infrastructure development and will invest more in strengthening cloud infrastructure and cybersecurity. Augmenting reality (AR)/Mixed reality (MR) meetings would be the next way of business meetings and replace physical meeting practices.

We would have a much connected and tech-integrated world after COVID-19, where data would still be gold. With more businesses going online and virtual, using new technologies, data warehousing and security would be of utmost importance. Collected data across sectors would be used for security, medical science improvement, tracking frauds, and taking business decisions.

• Blockchain technology will not be only limited to the financial world but would also find ways into the supply chain. Currently, when the world’s supply chain is in turmoil as every country is battling an internal war with an invisible virus, blockchain would solve the supply chain problem by providing transparency and a permanent audit trail along every link in the chain.

The possibilities are endless and businesses and startups will crank up their innovative game and will make use of technologies in a way that not only will help businesses but also will make a more digitally connected safe world. COVID-19 is forcing people to change their perception towards many things, things that many of us took for granted, and will permanently change the way we live in this world. Technologies, in the past, had always helped the humankind in a positive way and had been beneficial for the society at large. Businesses and government will lead the way forward to our new society using new technologies and consequently, we will witness a progressive change in every front of our life.

"Most Innovative Energy Saving Product" - 21st National Award for Excellence in Energy Management 2020 - Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

* - Statistics at the time of writing this article.