In November 2019, the first case of #COVID19 was detected. Today, after seven months, the outbreak has reshaped the world beyond recognition. Half of the world population is now primarily confined to their homes and living the “new normal” under lockdown. These extraordinary measures to prevent the spread of this virus are tearing at the social fabric of nations, disrupting economies, and transforming the way we think, live, and survive.
Every great catastrophe in the history of humankind, whether it was the world wars or other pandemics or global recessions, has pushed humanity into a new era. The same rings true today. We may achingly remember our pre-COVID19 lives, but the absence of a vaccine and fear of the next pandemic strike has forced us to accept the new normal and permanently change the way we work, socialize, worship and play.
There is no looking back, but what does the #FutureofBusiness hold?
From working remotely to ensure business continuity and to keep employees safe from the contagion, to robot-deliveries that facilitate contact-free, virus-proof delivery, there are several instances of how COVID19 has accelerated the next industrial revolution. Telehealth and virtual care are already being widely adopted and may soon become the norm. Meanwhile, online education is now an accepted format across schools. Digital technology has proven to help make our lives easier in these challenging times and will undoubtedly continue to support us after COVID19.
As the analog world descends into a crisis, innovation will rise from the ashes of this pandemic like a phoenix. In the post-COVID19 world, digital technology will be essential for our survival and will be ubiquitous.
Adversity yields innovation, and the current black swan event is no exception. Nothing is certain anymore. Your customer’s demands are changing by the minute; your accessibility to them is also reducing. It’s fascinating to see how fast some companies have innovated their processes and people practices to adjust to the new world. But, sustaining this performance will connect the dots from surviving to thriving in the post-COVID19 world, and innovation will be the light to lead us in these dark times.
Every organization, whether large-, mid-, or small-scale, has a business continuity plan. But no business continuity plan had been prepared for a pandemic that could bring the world to a standstill, impose global lockdowns for uncertain periods, and threaten the normalcy. Companies with agile infrastructure, technology readiness, and people who are ready to transform as the situation demands will lead the new economy.
COVID19 is just one disruption that we will face in the lifetime of business operations. It’s a first of many, and it has certainly prepared us, to some extent, for the unforeseen future.
Our survival instinct must kick in, and we need to channel the inner tiger in us — its agility to adapt to every situation, the force with which it strikes, and the versatility with which it hunts its prey. This is not the time to stay still and hope for the storm to pass. It’s time to gear up, face the challenge, and roar to greatness!