Mankind was slowly, but surely, moving towards certain evolutions in our way of life. Now, post pandemic, we are hurtling towards it. This evolution is transformative and impacts virtually every sphere of our lives. What was slowly creeping up on us, is now part of our daily lives.
Digital transformation is now being led by the pandemic, and not a company or its people. It is no more a desire, it’s an urgent need, if survival is the outcome expected.
The sharpest tech shift in history is taking place. This distinct digital shift is impacting people / jobs / markets / industries and everything in between.
Several aspects of our lives have been directly impacted:
Working from home:
Work life balance 2.0
The talk about work life balance seems to have ebbed, in no uncertain terms. Working from home is providing that balance, naturally. This organic change still needs to be managed, but, at least it’s a step in the right direction. Although a minority, but many people were working offsite for decades. The idea was catching on, sluggishly. The pandemic made it an immediate need and not just an idea.
Training (classroom based):
Face to face training may never come back. At least not in the way it was in practice just a few months ago. Cramming 20 people into a closed classroom for 2 days does not seem to be on the cards in the near future. Digital learning is the go-to- solution. Although in its infancy, it is proving to be a valuable substitute. Even though a lot of work has gone into it, there is still room to take it to the next level.
Retail has been hit, and hit hard. Social distancing, quarantines, rising number of infections, store closures etc. have all contributed. And although there is a social side to shopping at retail outlets, as there is a tactile and fit aspect, online shopping has seen exponential & explosive growth over the last few months.
Ordering-in is the new norm. Far too many establishments, setup to receive large number of guests, with huge open spaces supported by an army of staff, are closing down. Some of them have yielded to pressure and taken on deliveries and app-based order platforms. Others floundered and yet some others, with not-so-deep pockets, closed shop.
The closure of international aerospace and flight cancellations ended up being semi-permanent, to a degree. Cabin crew were heavily affected. Planes were parked for months, with no going back to flights as we knew them, foreseen in the near future. A limited revival is not having the desired results.
A large chunk of this industry suffered a body blow. Specifically, those that depended on international tourism. Many of them tried to morph into staycation mode or short-term rental providers or serviced apartments. Until airspace is not opened up again, quarantines are not relaxed and international borders are not opened up, this segment will have to hang in there, if possible.
Tourism industry & related businesses:
Those that depended on a burgeoning tourism industry were left to pick up the pieces of a tattered segment. Far too many people have been touched by this shift. The entire chain that depended on foreign tourists flocking to their shores are affected.
Many other economic segments were impacted. Business plans were shelved, expansion strategies deferred and product launches were put on hold, indefinitely. Naturally.
But, what was going to happen anyway & was being deflected for some time now, happened. Digitization was thrust upon us, with no escape clauses. It was an inevitable shift that was foreseeable and inescapable. It was slowly building up. It had to come true one day, and was simply thrust into the fore by the pandemic.
It’s not all doom & gloom though. Some industries have benefited from this pandemic including digital services, logistics companies, food deliveries and related apps etc. as is evidenced by the unrealistic growth in the fortunes of these gentlemen: Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) / Jeff Bezos (Amazon). In some cases, billionaires gained a staggering 50% in their net worth.
Today’s turbulent times have unearthed an interesting story. The experienced amongst us find themselves adequately equipped to live in a world that no longer exists. Experience is not all powerful as it once was. The NEW economy, with its disruptive & innovative forces with its ability to leave in its wake generally accepted norms and working models, has created a whole new paradigm to work with. One that does not provide much room for past experiences to take center stage. Experience, so heavily touted in the past, is now taking a back seat to the fresh outlooks, new and dynamic approaches and disruptive angles being provided by the not so experienced. Additionally, experience has taught us things that may not be relevant, applicable or even viable in today’s world.
Disruptors are full of ideas that previously were either never brought up or scoffed at. We have to move away from the standardized working models into new and uncharted territories. Just because we know how to do something does not mean we cannot improve on that or find better ways to do the same thing.
Let’s not be left behind on the gates of history. Let’s take the steps needed to move forward and keep in mind, when all is said and done, hopefully, we would have done more then we would have said.